Kingston Hyper X PC3 12800 Cl9 6GB Reviewccokeman - August 3, 2009
Price: Memory $131.99 HyperX Fan $22.99
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Memory that is running at 1600MHz or higher is what you might call enthusiast class by definition, as most of the world is going to be running 1066 or 1333Mhz when they buy memory for their new Intel Corei7 based computer. Sure some people don't overclock their hardware, but it is all the rage, so why not get a set of memory that can run higher than what the stock frequencies offer? Depending on the memory divider used you can run the memory at speeds from 1066MHz on up to 2000MHz just by changing the divider. While that does give a small benefit, the real benefit comes when you increase the clock speed of the CPU and the memory. This is where memory that can run at the higher frequencies pays off. But speed is not everything. When Intel introduced the Corei7 processors and X58 chipset with the ability to run memory in a Tri Channel configuration, the race was on to develop memory kits that would work within the confines of this architecture. At the time DDR3 2000MHz modules were running with voltages as high as 2.1 volts and many high performance kits running in the 1.8 to 1.9 volt range. On the i7 the maximum voltage specified by Intel for the memory was reduced down to 1.65 volts to give the CPU a chance at a long and happy life - or so the story goes. This came at a time when 64 bit operating systems were coming into their own as more and more desktops and notebooks were being sold with 64 bit versions of Windows Vista to take advantage of the ability to use the additional memory. Of course with the pre-builts, there had to be some thought on making sure you can actually "see" the memory to reduce those nuisance customer service calls.
The HyperX line has long been the standard bearer for Kingston's high performance memory line up. The HyperX KHX12800D3T1K36GX kit includes three 2 GB modules rated to run DDR3 1600MHz speeds with latencies of 9-9-9-27 using just 1.65 volts. The modules do not use just the standard flat heatspreaders, but use Kingston's T1 heatspreader design to let the modules run as cool as possible under load and contain an XMP profile to allow for a no hassle setup. Included with this set of memory is something that should prove useful when it comes to overclocking the HyperX modules. This is the HyperX fan assembly. How many of us have aimed a 120mm fan at the modules in the system in the hope of keeping the modules cool? I have! Now you can couple this fan assembly with the T1 heatspreaders to keep your modules alive and cool when laying the voltage to the modules to get the most from them. Let's find out just how well the HyperX modules compare to some of the other performance modules on the market.
The HyperX modules come in a retail blister pack that stacks the modules up to give the visual impact of the large heatspreaders. Across the front is a red band containing the Kingston and HyperX logos while below it there is the model number designation of the 3x2GB kit. The rear of the package contains no information. The red band doubles as the brand identifier as well as the seal to prove that the modules have not been opened and have not been tampered with. The memory kit number is KHX12800D3T1K36GX. The blister pack is opened by cutting the seal and pulling off the clear front of the package.
This set of Kingston modules contains three 2 gigabyte modules that are rated for operation at 1600MHz with latencies of 9-9-9-27 using 1.65 volts. The modules use Kingston's T1 heatspreader design that are made up of large finned aluminum heatsinks that protrude well above the top of the PCB to provide additional cooling to the modules, increasing their lifespan and potentially increasing the clock speed they can run. Cooler is better.
Taking a closer look at the modules you can see how the T1 heatspreader is configured. The top part of the assembly is slotted and rises well above the PCB with additional fins on each vertical rib to increase the surface area for heat dissipation. The sides of the heatspreader are also ribbed again, adding to the available surface area. Similar, but vastly different from the design used by Patriot on their Viper series modules.
I mentioned the HyperX fan earlier so let's see what it looks like and how it mounts to the motherboard.