Kingston HyperX blu KHX1600C9D3B1K2/4GX Review
Reviewed by: RJR
Reviewed on: July 29, 2010
Kingston Technology has recently introduced a new line of HyperX memory modules called HyperX blu. The HyperX blu memory is focused on the "entry level" gaming and PC enthusiast sector, as stated by Kingston. This particular set, KHX1600C9D3B1K2, is also optimized for use with Intel XMP, making the job of setting the rated frequency and timings very easy with just a single BIOS entry. This is a 4 GB dual channel kit with a rated frequency/timings of 1600 MHz @ 9-9-9-27 @ 1.65v and carries a lifetime warranty. This new HyperX blu line is very reasonably priced, but since it still carries the HyperX moniker, we will see if it can live up to the HyperX branding.
The packaging is just your standard memory module blister pack, so nothing exciting here. It does include a small pamphlet with warranty and installation information. The memory has a lifetime warranty and the installation guide has simple illustrated instructions to make it rather easy if you have never installed memory before.
This memory, KHX1600C9D3B1K2/4GX, is rated to run at 1600 MHz with a timing of 9-9-9-27 @ 1.65v, so, rather conservative for today's DDR3 memory offerings. The memory has a low profile aluminum heat spreader with a slightly raised border that includes the DDR3 branding. This can come in very handy if you are using a larger CPU heat sink and need the low profile for clearance reasons.
Let's take a look at how this memory performs, and whether it lives up to the HyperX name, albeit with budget pricing.
Kingston Part #
HyperX blu DDR3 1600 MHz, 4 GB kit
Optimized for Intel XMP
0c to 85c
- DDR3-1600 @ 9-9-9-27, 1.65v
- DDR3-1333 @ 9-9-9, 1.50v
- Low Profile Aluminum Heat Spreader
- Lifetime Warranty
All information courtesy of Kingston @ http://www.kingston.com/hyperx/products/blu.asp
Testing of the Kingston HyperX blu modules was done a little differently, because of the "entry level" sector that these modules fall into. I will try the optimized XMP profile to make sure it works as promised, then run the memory at the JEDEC standard frequency of 1333 MHz to make sure the memory can run at the stated frequency, timings and voltage specified by Kingston. Then, I will see how it runs at the rated frequency of 1600 MHz at 9-9-9-27 @ 1.65v, and then try to tighten up the timings at the stock rated speed. Finally I'll try to push the memory to see if there is any overhead for the overclockers out there.
- CPU: Intel core i7 860
- Motherboard: Gigabyte P55UD4P
- Memory: Kingston HyperX blu DDR3 1600 CAS 9 4GB Kit
- Video Card: Gigabyte HD 5870
- Power Supply: Enermax Modu-82+ 625W
- HDD: Patriot Torqx 128 GB, Seagate 640 GB 7200.11
- Optical Drive: Samsung DVD-R
- OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
- G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3-1600 CL9
- Mushkin Blackline 996782
- Corsair Dominator DDR3-1600
- Memonex Top Series DDR3-1333
- G.Skil ECO Series DDR3-1600
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 core i7 860 at 174 X 18
- Memory: Kingston HyperX blu at 2088 MHz 9-11-9-28
The overclocking was a very pleasant surprise from a set of memory stated by Kingston to be entry-level and not performance. The JEDEC standard frequency of 1333 MHz at 1.5v even allowed some surprises, as it allowed the timings to be tightened to 6-7-6-20. Stock 1600 MHz speed allowed me to tighten the timings to 7-8-7-27. This got me rather optimistic to try and see how high they would go. There turned out to be a lot of headroom with this memory to the point that I had it over 2200 MHz at one time, but it did require looser timings than would be practical. Taking the time to balance the higher frequency capability with tightening of the timings could really pay off with this RAM. I settled on a rather nice 2088 MHz speed and slightly looser timings of 9-11-9-28 for the comparison benches.
The XMP profile worked just as it should by bringing the memory up to the 1600 MHz rated frequency and timings.
The maximum memory speed for each set of modules when overclocked is a measure of how well the modules ran on these particular modules and test system. As such, your results may differ in either a positive or negative way based on the capabilities of your hardware. That said, your mileage may vary!
The benchmarks used in this review include the following:
- CPU-Z Version 1.52
- Windows Task Manager
- PCMark Vantage
- Geekbench 2.1
- Super Pi 1.5
- SiSoft Sandra 2010
- Batman Arkham Asylum
PCMark Vantage: With this benchmark, I will be running the system suite, as well as the memory test suite. The measurement for the system suite will be the total score. The measurement for memory performance is the total memory score.
SiSoftware Sandra 2010: In this program, I will be running 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.
The Kingston HyperX blu memory is about par with the rest of the memory at its stock-rated frequency of 1600 MHz. Even at the lower CAS 9 timing than some of the memory it was up against, it really proved it could keep up with the higher priced and tighter timing competitors when overclocked.
Geekbench 2.1 provides a comprehensive set of benchmarks engineered to quickly and accurately measure processor and memory performance. Designed to make benchmarks easy to run and easy to understand, Geekbench takes the guesswork out of producing robust and reliable benchmark results.
Super Pi Mod 1.5: is a program designed to calculate Pi up to the 32nd millionth digit after the decimal and is used as both a benchmarking utility and simple stress test to check your overclock before moving forward with more rigorous testing. The world records for this benchmark utility are hotly contested.
Once again, nothing really special here, as it does hold it's own against the competition.
Batman Arkham Asylum is a game that pits Batman against the Joker, who has taken control of Arkham Asylum along with a whole load of bad guy prisoners. His task is to rescue various hostages the Joker takes, along with trying to stop the joker himself, and fighting scores of prisoners in the interim.
- 0 x AA
- 0 x AF
- Global Settings = Low
- Ambient Occlusion = Off
- Resolutions: 800X600,1024X768,1280X1024
The HyperX blu is still on par with the rest of the comparison modules we tested it against.
This Kingston HyperX blu memory turned out to be a little bit surprising for an entry-level offering. You can easily keep it at the JEDEC standard of 1333 MHz and tighten the timings to 6-7-6-20 @ 1.5v for a very efficient and lower voltage set of memory, or set it by the XMP profile to run at the rated 1600 MHz speed and timings. You could also tighten the timings at its rated speed, to 7-8-7-27, for an even more efficient stock speed setting. Overclocking the memory brings all new possibilities to this set of memory with a plethora of speed and timing options that just makes it really fun to mess with. Most RAM sets in this price range get rather picky, rather quickly, about what values you can set in the BIOS before it doesn't like what you set, so this was rather fun RAM to deal with.
The low profile heat spreaders on this RAM, while not looking cool like the performance RAM offerings, does come in handy when space is at a premium, like under a larger CPU heat sink. Under the Mega Shadow I have installed on the Gigabyte P55UD4P motherboard, this RAM was easily installed and removed from under the horizontally mounted heat sink.
- Very good performance
- Low profile
- Lots of setting options