Kingston HyperX T1 Series DDR2-8500 2 x 2GB Review
Reviewed by: ajmatson
Reviewed on: December 28, 2008
With the majority of motherboards these days natively supporting 1066MHz, why should we stick to the older 800MHz JEDEC speeds and fulfill the potential of our systems with faster components? With these speeds however, does come the issue of heat. The more we push our memory, the more heat is generated that floods our system. In the past memory was overlooked in the cooling department containing at the most, small heatspreaders. These days we need better cooling for the overclocked speeds that are reached and Kingston's answer to this problem is called HTX. HTX stands for HyperX Thermal Xchange and is designed to keep the memory modules cooler during overclocking for faster and more stable speeds. With the amount that enthusiasts push their hardware, this is a welcome addition to the HyperX memory line.
The HyperX T1 Series comes in both DDR2 and DDR3 flavors and also in Dual Channel and Triple Channel editions for better flexibility depending on the motherboard chipset you might have. Today we are going to be looking at the (KHX8500D2T1K2/4G) DDR2-8500 set which has two 2GB modules for a total 4GB Dual Channel set. This set natively runs at 1066MHz with enhanced timings of 5-5-5-15 at 2.2 to 2.3 volts. These modules are part of the HyperX T1 line with the enhanced heatspreaders for maximum cooling. The memory SPD is programmed for DDR2-800 with timings of 5-5-5-18 at 1.8v, so you will have to do some manual tuning to achieve the rated 1066MHz speeds with these modules.
The Kingston HyperX modules came to us in a well protected box sandwiched between two foam layers. They were placed in an anti static bag to prevent damage to the sensitive parts. Since these are review samples, this is not the normal packaging you might see when purchasing retail. However, Kingston did take great precautions protecting them in transit to us.
Once you get the modules out of the package, you can see the new T1 heatspreaders that Kingston has placed on the T1 Series HyperX modules. These new heatspreaders use a technology called HTX or HyperX Thermal Xchange to aid in diffusing the heat generated when overclocking, for a more stable system. The heatspreaders are made from aluminum with fins that extend off of the main towers, which help the warm air dissipate quicker over more surface area. Each module reaches a whopping 61mm from the contacts to the top of the T1 heatspreader.
Now that the modules are out of the package, how about we put them to the test?
4 Gigabyte Kit
HyperX T1 Series
|2.2 - 2.3v|
256M x 64-bit
- Double-data-rate architecture; two data transfers per clock cycle
- Bidirectional data strobe(DQS)
- Differential clock inputs(CK and CK)
- DLL aligns DQ and DQS transition with CK transition
- Programmable Read latency 5 (clock)
- Burst Length: 4, 8 (Interleave/nibble sequential)
- Programmable Burst type (sequential & interleave)
- Timing Reference: 5-5-5-18 at +1.8V / 5-5-5-15 at +2.2V - 2.3V
- Edge aligned data output, center aligned data input
- Auto & Self refresh, 7.8us refresh interval (8K/64ms refresh)
- Serial presence detect with EEPROM
- High Performance Heat Spreader
- PCB : Height 1.180” (30.00mm), double sided component
All information courtesy of Kingston @ http://www.ec.kingston.com/ecom/configurator_new/partsinfo.asp?ktcpartno=KHX8500D2T1K2/4G&promo=hx2shp
I am all about raw speed and with the ability to keep the memory modules cooler during operation, I just cannot wait to see how the overclocking and stock tests run. I will be running a series of benchmarks to test the memory itself and how it interacts with the system as a whole. Then I am going to compare it to other memory on the market, that currently offer their own cooling solutions to see how these perform. The tests will be run at 800MHz to show how each set performs at a standard speed. Then I will run the HyperX at their rated 1066MHz and finally overclocked, to see how hard we can push this set of memory. All components will be run at their stock speeds, timings, and voltages to prevent any outside interference from affecting the scores and accurately represent the tests.
- Processor: Intel Core2 Quad Q9450
- Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X48-DQ6
- Memory: Kingston HyperX T1 DDR2-8500 2x2GB 5-5-5-15 2.2 volts
- Video Card: PowerColor HD4850
- Power Supply: Mushkin 800w Modular Power Supply
- Hard Drive: Seagate 750GB SATA
- Optical Drive: LG DVD-RW
- OS: Windows Vista Ultimate
- Comparison Module #1: Corsair XMS2 DHX 2x2GB
- Comparison Module #2: OCZ Reaper HPC 2 x 2GB
- Comparison Module #3: Mushkin XP2 8000 Redline 2 x 2GB
CPU-Z: This application shows us the settings that we have chosen in the BIOS. Items shown in this application include CPU speed and bus settings, motherboard manufacturer, BIOS revisions, memory timings and SPD chip information.
Task Manager: We use this utility to show physical memory, kernel memory, page file, and processor usage.
- Processor: Intel Q9450 333 x 8 1.375 volts
- Memory: Kingston HyperX T1 DDR2-8500 2x2GB 1111MHz 5-5-5-17 2.3 volts
Overclocking the Kingston HyperX or any memory for that fact, takes time and patience. Since they are 1066MHz at 5-5-5-15, I started using the straps on the Gigabyte X48 board to manipulate the memory. I knew from past experience with DDR2-8500 memory I should be able to reach at least 1100MHz, so I found a strap that was at 1111MHz and started there with the timings still at 5-5-5-15. I was only able to get halfway through Memtest86+ with this setup, so I loosened the timings from 5-5-5-15 to 5-5-5-16 and still no joy. However, at 5-5-5-17 they were good and passed Memtest with no errors at all. I then tried to push the CPU speed to increase my memory speeds via the strapping but at 5-5-5-17 I was getting errors again. I did place the timings higher to 5-5-5-18 with the memory at 1123MHz but the benchmark scores were lower than at 1111MHz with timings of 5-5-5-17, so that is where I ran the overclocks, since the performance was better.
The benchmarks used in this review include the following:
- CPU-Z Version 1.47
- Windows Task Manager
- PCMark Vantage
- SiSoft Sandra XII
- Company of Heroes
PCMark Vantage: With this benchmark, I will be running the system suite as well as the memory test suite. The measure for the system suite will be the total score. The measure for memory performance is the total memory score.
SiSoftware Sandra XII: In this program, I will be doing the following benchmarks: Cache and Memory, Memory Bandwidth and Memory Latency. Higher is better in all tests except for Memory Latency, where lower is better.
For the PCMark Vantage tests, the overall system performance with the HyperX T1 series was higher. However, the memory tests were considerably lower than the rest. Also, for the Sandra tests, while very close the HyperX memory was still at the rear.
Company of Heroes is a real time strategy game set during World War II. The object is to occupy and control the ground you capture, while forcing the opponents to capitulate. We will use the in-game performance test to measure the performance of the system.
The settings used in this test are listed below:
- All settings to maximum
Higher is Better
For Company of Heroes, the scores were very close and within a margin of error, so they were the same across the board.
Kingston has created a nice looking set of memory, but for the speeds, there is nothing that would make me jump for joy. At 800MHz the scores were below the other sets that we compared to when run at the same speed, timings, and latency as the HyperX. When pushed to the stock 1066MHz, the scores did start to come out a little better, but nothing to jump out of your seat for. The good thing is that when the speeds were run with the system as a whole, the Kingston HyperX did create a better harmony with the other components for a better score in PCMark Vantage - Total Score. Don't get me wrong - the differences are negligible when running your system for everyday use or gaming, as you can see by the Company of Heroes numbers, but if you are into raw power and scores, then this might be tied into your decision. When it came to overclocking, there was little headroom with the Kingston HyperX set. I was only able to max them out at 1111MHz with timings of 5-5-5-17 for a performance increase, when I was able to push the OCZ Reaper with the same stock speeds to 1120MHz. Also depending on where you purchase these modules, you could end up paying a pretty penny. The range in pricing from etailers means that you can pick up this 4 gigabyte set for as low as $65, with the majority of stores selling at a $100+ price point.
The T1 Heatspreader did do its job, keeping the modules frosty during operation. Even while overclocked, I was able to touch the heatspreaders and they were fairly cool to the touch - a lot cooler than the Corsair XMS2 DHX were when tested. If you can find this set for at the $60 price point for the 4GB, they would offer a great value especially for a gaming build or workstation. While the Kinston HyperX T1 modules are not the fastest in our test suite, they do provide results that are competitive. The unique heatspreaders that do their job at a high 2.3 volts coupled with the price point, makes these modules an option for the cost conscious buyer looking for higher speed binned memory.
- T1 Series heatspreaders
- Fast stock speeds
- Enhanced latencies
- Runs cool to the touch
- Could be pricey depending on where you purchase
- Marginal performance
- Low overclocking headroom