Kingston HyperX Predator KHX28C12T2K2/8X Review

ccokeman - 2013-12-06 17:19:52 in Memory
Category: Memory
Reviewed by: ccokeman   
Reviewed on: May 8, 2014
Price: $229

Kingston HyperX Predator 2800MHz Introduction:

Choosing the right set of memory for your system can be either a simple or complex task depending on what you want out of the system once you finally button it up and start installing the games you built the beast to play. Speed bins range from a lowly 1333MHz all the way up to the uber expensive 3100MHz modules. By uber expensive, I'm talking close to $900 for an 8GB kit. In the end, these kits are more for show than go, and come with loose latencys that translate into reduced performance to reach that speed number. Kingston has been in the game with HyperX modules as far back as I have been tinkering (yeah it borders on old man speak) with PCs, and the first set I remember owning was a set of modules I was running on my P4 3.0C and ABIT IC7 Max 3. Before that, it was whatever was cheapest at the local computer show that bounced around every couple months. Times have changed, but the HyperX brand is still around and delivering performance for Kingston.

The Predator line of HyperX modules is offered in speed bins from 1866MHz to 2800MHz in dual- and quad-channel configurations. The HyperX Predator kit we will be looking at today is an 8GB kit rated to run at 2800MHz with latencies of 12-14-14-35 using just 1.65v. Priced around $220, this set is the highest rated kit offered in the Predator line and compares price-wise favorably with other kits in this range. Will the high latencies come with that added cost of lower performance or will the Predator modules chew up the competition? Let's find out.

Kingston HyperX Predator 2800MHz Closer Look:

Packaging for the HyperX Predator line is pretty much standard fare from Kingston, with a clear plastic cover over a black plastic base that holds the modules firmly in place during transit and on your retailer's shelves. A paper tamper seal with the Kingston HyperX logo is wrapped around the packaging to prevent theft or damaging of the product by those searching for the holy grail kit of memory. The part number is on an additional sticker and identifies these modules as a 2800MHz rated 2x4GB kit of Kingston's HyperX memory line-up. Hidden under the memory modules is a warranty and installation guide, along with a cool little case badge to show who you are backing!

 

 

The HyperX Predator modules feature a huge heat sink package that measures 2.12 inches high and should easily handle the thermal load from this set of modules, even when cranking some serious voltage through them. Covered in the HyperX signature blue, these modules will easily match many of the blue-themed boards on the market. A large signature X in black covers each side of the Predator heat sink and carries the Predator and HyperX names. A decal on one side shows the basic specifications for this kit. Rated to run at 2800MHz using 1.65v and latencies of 12-14-14-35, this kit features a pair of XMP profiles as well as a JEDEC spec profile. When viewing the profile, I saw both the 2800MHz profile as well as a 2666MHz profile with tighter timings. The Predator heat sink is a thick aluminum design that allows airflow along both axes. The modules are single-sided and most likely Hynix MFR, but we will see soon enough when we look at the performance.

 

 

 

Last up, we get the money shot of the memory to see what you get before it gets shoved into the confines of my test rig. I'm interested in this performance series of memory to see if this set of Predator modules can indeed deliver all the performance the image and lineage projects.

Kingston HyperX Predator 2800MHz Specifications:

CL(IDD)
11 cycles
Row Cycle Time (tRCmin)
48.125ns (min.)
Refresh to Active/Refresh Command Time (tRFCmin)
260ns (min.)
Row Active Time (tRASmin) 35ns (min.)
35ns (min.)
Maximum Operating Power
2.160 W* (per module)
UL Rating
94 V - 0
Operating Temperature
0 °C - 85 °C

 

Kingston HyperX Predator 2800MHz Features:

 

 

All information courtesy of Kingston @ http://www.kingston.com/us/hyperx/memory/predator?ktc_campaign=US_HyperX&gclid=CK6r4MPQib4CFYc7OgodaFoA7Q

Kingston HyperX Predator 2800MHz Testing:

Memory is often hard to separate from one kit to another in gaming, but when it comes to number crunching and computing, some memory provides an extra boost in comparison. To see just what kind of performance this kit has to offer, I will be running the modules through a series of benches to see just how they compare. There will be 8GB and 16GB kits ranging in speed from 2133MHz - 2400MHz, tested at native speeds, as well as overclocked. Overclocking of course will be dependent on exactly how far the testing rig will allow, but I'll push it as far as I can. The testing setup used for these benchmarks is listed below, where Turbo Boost has been disabled to eliminate uncontrolled clock changes that may skew the results. The CPU will be run with default Boost clock speed of 3.9GHz for baseline testing and bumped up to 4.2 GHz for OC testing, or as close as possible to that speed. All current updates and patches are installed for Windows 7 Professional 64-bit and the latest driver for the NVIDIA GTX 770 will be used.

 

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Modules:

 

CPU-Z: This application visually shows 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.

CPU-Z

 

Task Manager: We use this utility to show physical memory, kernel memory, page file, and processor usage.

Task Manager

 

Overclocking:

Overclocking on Intel Haswell processors is quite a bit different from what we are used to in the last few generations, where the CPU clock speeds did not influence the clock speed the memory controller could handle. Entry to Haswell memory overclocking 101 shows that, while the CPU may handle a nice overclock of up 4.7GHz to 5.0GHz on really impressive examples, the memory may not scale up past 1866MHz or 2133MHz at those CPU clock speeds, even though the memory modules are rated much higher. What I found on both of my CPUs was that anything greater than around 4250MHz on the CPU would not run the memory at 2600MHz or higher. That being said, keeping the CPU as close to 4200MHz was imperative if I wanted to push a set of modules to anything north of 2666MHz.

Pushing the HyperX Predator series any higher than 2800MHz required loosening the primary timings up and increasing the voltage applied to the DIMMs to 1.77v. Tweaking the system agent, analog and digital I/O voltages and some of the subtimings was required to get over the 3000MHz mark for a final clock speed of 3025MHz. This bump of 225MHz over the XMP #1 profile hopefully brings some additional performance to the table.

 

 

Maximum Memory Speed:

The maximum memory speed for each set of overclocked modules is indicative of how well the modules ran on this test system. As such, your results may differ in either a positive or negative way based on the capabilities of your hardware. In other words, your mileage may vary!

 

The benchmarks used in this review include the following:

Benchmarks:

Kingston HyperX Predator 2800MHz Testing:

PCMark 8: With this benchmark, I will be running the Home and Creative suites. The measurement for the both test suites will be the total score.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

   

 

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.

   

   

 

Hyper Pi is a multi threaded 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.

   

 

This first set of benchmarks show that modules set up to run speed numbers often trade performance for the MHz rating. In this case, the 2800MHz XMP 1.3 profile on the HyperX Predator modules are loose enough that the performance trade off is not there, as the modules finish lowest in 3 out of 5 tests. When pushed further, the modules do slightly better in terms of comparative performance.

Kingston HyperX Predator 2800MHz Testing:

SiSoftware Sandra 2014: In this program, I will be running the following benchmarks: Memory Bandwidth and Transactional Memory Throughput. Higher score are better in the Bandwidth test while lower scores are better in the transactional memory test.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

   

   

 

X.264 Benchmark: This benchmark is used to measure the time it takes to encode a 1080p video file into the x.264 format. The default benchmark is used with an average of all four tests on each pass taken as the result.

  

  

 

AIDA64 Extreme Edition is a software utility designed to be used for hardware diagnosis and benchmarking. I will be using the Cache and Memory benchmark to test each module’s read, write, and copy bandwidth, as well as the latency test.

  

  

  

  

 

The HyperX Predator modules fall decidedly mid-pack at stock speeds with the XMP profile applied, performance-wise. Overclocking does not improve that overall, except in two benchmarks.

Kingston HyperX Predator 2800MHz Testing:

Part first-person shooter, part survival horror, Metro: Last Light is the follow-up to the extremely popular game Metro 2033. Developed by 4A games and published by Deep Silver, this game uses the 4A game engine. In this game set a year after the missile strike on the Dark Ones, you continue on as Artyom as he digs deeper into the bowels of the Metro.

 

 

Settings:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher = Better

 

At stock speeds, the HyperX Predator modules are about 2 FPS slower than the comparison field. When overclocked, the results are fairly similar across all four sets of modules.

Kingston HyperX Predator 2800MHz Conclusion:

Kingston's HyperX Predator modules come with a ton of potential out of the box, including the signature blue coloring so often associated with the HyperX brand – or at least a brand within a brand as it seems. The tall Predator heat sinks are good looking and fully functional even when pushing 1.8v+ through the DIMMs. Yes I beat on them and can attest to that fact. All that is needed to keep them cool is a good steady stream of airflow through the chassis or into the CPU heat sink. At over two inches tall you may or may not run into clearance issues with your heat sink of choice. Thankfully, CPU heat sinks are currently available to minimize the impact of tall memory modules close to the DIMM slots on Z77 and Z87 based motherboards. If one of those solutions don't meet your needs there is always the AIO liquid cooling market to fill the cooling needs. Using that route, there are no clearance concerns to worry about.

These modules are most certainly using Hynix MFR series ICs in a single-sided configuration. With this configuration, you get the ability to run high clock speeds with loose primary timings to get you there. With this set, I was able to hit 3024MHz stable enough to run through the benchmark suite and some quick Prime 95 testing. By using the 125MHz strap and tweaking the timings along with the voltage on the DIMMs and memory controller, surpassing 3000MHz came pretty easily. Getting further really needs some in-depth tweaking of the voltages and timings. Unfortunately, performance starts suffering even more so than with the timings setup on the 2800MHz XMP profile. A secondary profile is available that sets the DIMMs at 2666MHz with tighter primary timings using the same 1.65v applied voltage.

Performance-wise, Hynix MFR-equipped modules are not going to light up the performance metrics with a stunning positive performance over modules running lower speeds and tighter timings. However, when you look at real world tests, can you feel that small performance differential? Most likely not. Looking at the PCMark 8 testing at stock speeds, the results are fairly close between the 2800MHz HyperX Predator and the 1600MHz modules running a CAS latency of 7. That brings us to a point where you have to make the choice on price vs performance, as well as deciding if your memory will be purely for overclocking fun with a return to lower speeds and tighter timings. At $229, these Kingston HyperX Predator series modules are competitively priced by comparison to other 2800MHz modules. After looking at the performance out of the box, you might be better served with a 16GB 2133MHz kit for $80 less if you won't be doing any extreme overclocking. If extreme overclocking is where your heart lies, I am sure there is more left in these modules than the 3025MHz I was able to complete the benchmarks with. There are better options for the average user, but for those who test the limits of their hardware and want to spend the time tuning and using many of the presets available in today's UEFI BIOS implementations, this set is right in your wheel-house.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: