Kingston HyperX H2O PC3 16000 3x2GB Cas 9 Reviewccokeman - September 28, 2010
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Finding the right system memory for your needs is akin to finding that proverbial needle in the haystack if you are looking within a very narrow niche. The Kingston HyperX H20 line is a set of memory that does fit in the minority niche of users who are water cooled enthusiasts. However, this segment has been growing by leaps and bounds, as the amount of equipment and parts to get into this traditionally high end enthusiast arena become more numerous. Water or liquid cooling has never been an inexpensive proposition, but you could get by with some ingenuity and mechanical aptitude. Now all you really need is some time to sit down and read about how to make it happen so you have a good idea of what works and what doesn't and then fill your shopping cart with the required parts. At this point, you can liquid cool just about anything inside your computer from the obvious CPU and GPU to the motherboard components, power supply, hard drives, and even the memory. Water cooling equipped memory straight from the manufacturer has been very limited. However, Kingston has gotten into this game with the introduction of its HyperX H20 series of modules to compete with the likes of OCZ's Flex series modules. Kingston has introduced three sets of memory in this line up that range from a 3x2GB 2000MHz set that is rated for operation with latencies of 9-10-9-27 at 1.65v on the Intel socket 1366 platform, up to a 2x2GB set designed to run at 2133MHz with latencies of 9-11-9-27 with 1.65vs as well. Each of these modules comes equipped with an XMP (Extreme Memory Profile), if reaching memory speeds of 2000MHz plus seems like a daunting task. If water cooling is your thing then this set of modules is right up your alley, so let's see how this set from Kingston performs.
The Kingston HyperX H20 comes in a traditional blister pack that houses three 2GB DDR3 modules. The ribbon across the front of the package features the Kingston and HyperX logo with the label below having the part number and technical details. The rear of the packaging has nothing of interest to mention — most of the attention is focused on the unique looking memory modules.
This set of modules from Kingston is part of its new HyperX H20 line that features a cooling tube attached to the heat spreaders to increase the thermal load that the heat spreaders can remove, giving you added piece of mind when bumping the voltages up above the 1.65 volts that Intel suggests as a maximum applied voltage. This set of modules carries part number KHX2000C9AD3W1K3/6GX. This part number is for a 3x2GB set of DDR3 modules rated to run at 2000MHz with latencies of 9-10-9-27 using just 1.65 volts. There is an XMP programmed into the SPD chip to make reaching the designed settings a breeze. Traditionally, the HyperX line has had a blue heat shield and has come in a number of varieties, including the large finned T1 design that is all the rage with memory modules now. With this series, Kingston goes one step further and integrates a method to cool these modules down with a water tube that makes contact across the tops of the heat shields.
Curiosity got the better of me when I saw the screws that hold the outer heat shield to the memory modules. By removing these two screws, you can get a good look at how this cooling solution works. The black outer shield clamps onto the main heat shield and draws the heat into the water tube to be carried away and dispersed to the atmosphere by the radiator in a water cooled system. Mixing metals has always been one of those things that you are not supposed to do in a water cooling loop to prevent galvanic corrosion. The water tubes are chrome plated, but eventually you will wear through to the base metal. In this case, the base metal looks to be aluminum after a quick hit with a file, even though it seems to weigh more than an aluminum piece of this size should weigh. The water tube has a radiused inlet that directs the flow of water into the tube rather than a harsh squared off opening.
With rated speeds of 2000MHz, this set of modules should do well by comparison, but will the looser latencies have an effect on performance? Let's find out — but what review is complete without the obligatory beauty shot?