Kingston HyperX KHX1600C8D3K2/4GX 2x2GB Reviewccokeman - September 9, 2009
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Intel's Nehalem cores launched last year to much fanfare and striking levels of performance over past generation processors. One new feature was the use of a tri-channel memory configuration that offered huge memory bandwidth and excellent memory performance. Now that the latest iteration of the Nehalam architecture has been released to the masses, the fact is that this new generation is meant for the mainstream users and not simply the uber elite, high end user. To keep the costs in line with the mainstream mantra, Intel chose to go back to a dual-channel memory configuration. This, of course, presents the opportunity to bring out new sets of memory designed to work with the Intel Corei5/i7 Lynnfied processors and P55 chipset motherboards. If the performance delivered by the last set of Kingston HyperX modules is indicative of what I can expect from this set of modules, then I can't wait to get to testing them out to see just where they perform.
This set of Kingston HyperX modules includes two 2GB modules rated to run at latencies of 8-8-8-24 at 1600MHz, using no more than the Intel specified 1.65 volts. Why only 1.65v? So you do not cause irreparable harm to your new Core i5 baby as it is based on the same architecture as the 9 series Core i7 processors. If you have been around long enough to remember the early Athlon 64 chips suddenly dying because of running the vdimm brutally high while keeping the CPU core voltage low, Intel is giving guidance so that they do not have the same issue. Since the memory specification on the i5 caps out at 1333MHz, how do you run these modules at 1600MHz? Well, since we are an enthusiast community, you have to overclock the Corei5 processor to reach the 1600MHz mark; something that is easily achievable with a moderate clock increase. This set of modules does not carry the T1 heatspreader design, so will heat be an issue for this kit? Only one way to tell! Now let's look at the modules and see just what they are made of and if they deliver on the promise of performance.
The Kingston HyperX modules come in a retail blister pack. Information on the label includes the kit model number KHX1600C8D3K2/4GX, the size of the modules and the top level memory specifications on the bottom of the label. This label serves a dual purpose; to provide the consumer information about the memory, as well as serving as a security seal for the modules, proving they have not been tampered with. The rear of the package does not provide any information and merely shows the knockouts where the modules are locked in to prevent damage.
The HyperX KHX1600C8D3K2/4GX set of modules consists of a set of modules 2x2GB in size, rated to run at 1600MHz using the Intel specified 1.65volts. These modules contain an XMP (Extreme Memory Performance) profile to make overclocking a no fuss proposition... if you believe the hype. Manually tuning the memory seems to offer the most benefit. The modules are the traditional HyperX blue and silver color scheme that has been so popular. The HyperX logo is in the center of the modules and appears to be die-cut rather than simply painted on. The specifications for the modules are contained on the label that is attached to only one side of the modules. One thing you will note is that this set of modules do not carry the T1 heatspreader design, but rather the standard, non-finned, clamshell-type spreader. Without the T1 style heatspreader, will cooling be compromised? We'll have to find out.
I can't wait to get these modules installed on the p55 platform to see if they can hang with the T1-equipped modules I looked at for the i7.