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P67 Memory Kit Roundup Review

ccokeman    -   March 29, 2011
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Conclusion: Corsair Vengeance

Having looked at a set of Corsair's Vengeance series modules earlier this year I had an expectation as to how these modules would perform and how they would overclock. My expectations were in line with how these modules performed so in that sense, this 8GB kit was right where I expected it to be in terms of performance and scaling. In the grand scheme of things, the Corsair Vengeance modules had the highest overhead of any of the four sets of modules tested at close to a 23% increase over the base frequency of 1600MHz. That equates to a 352MHz improvement with just a bump in the voltage and moving the TRCD setting to 10 from 9. This alone offers performance opportunities because of how memory overclocking has to be done on the P67 platform. If overclocking is not part of your vocabulary, the timings on the Vengeance modules can be tightened up to increase the level of performance by reducing latency to an easy to reach 7-8-7. If all of that does not interest you, the fact that these are low voltage modules means that the energy consumption in your system can be reduced by just plugging them in and and setting the memory speed in the motherboard BIOS. Or if that's too much, the XMP setting does it all for you.

The heat spreader design is what visually sets these modules apart from the ever popular Dominator lineup. The Vengeance heat spreader is completely different in that it is made from two pieces of thin aluminum the reach over to form a large fin array over the modules that come in a little shorter than the Dominator design. Based on the default voltage, the Vengeance design is more than capable of dissipating the heat load from the modules. The large fins are right in the airstream feeding the CPU cooler and are effective at keeping the modules cool under load. If you use a large heat sink, then you may run into interference issues when installing the modules. This however is not a problem unique to the Vengeance modules. Priced at $129, this set of memory from Corsair will give you added memory capacity for not a huge outlay of your hard earned cash. The Vengeance series delivers low voltage performance, good looks and Corsair's lifetime warranty.

 

Pros:

  • Low Voltage
  • Effective heat shields
  • Timings can be tightened
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Good Looks
  • Overclocking headroom
  • Pricing
  • XMP

Cons:

  • May interfere with non-stock cooling solutions

 

Conclusion G.Skill:

The G.Skill modules are the only ones that come with an added bonus in the Turbulence II cooling system. Not only does it prove functional at keeping your modules cool but it looks good when in operation. The G.Skill RipJawsX were easily the ones with the most flash when you compare the four sets of memory. The brilliant red coloring looked right at home in the Maximus IV Extreme motherboard. Running 8GB of memory at 2133MHz was just as easy it seems as running 4GB. If manually setting the modules up in the BIOS is not your cup of tea, the RipJaws X have XMP support so all you do is enable the XMP profile and you are good to go. When it came to overclocking these modules, I had expected to have some overhead to play with but in reality, this set of modules had the second lowest total overhead at 75MHz. Sure this gave me a speed over 2200MHz which is nothing to sneeze at but I am greedy and was hoping for more based on my past experiences with G.Skill. 2400MHz was not going to happen with this set when I tried boosting them up to the next multiplier. The other part that confounded me was that the timings could not be reduced to increase performance unless I dropped the overclock speed of the modules. This kind of defeats the purpose of having 2133MHz DIMMs though. Even though the modules had a lower overhead they did deliver performance consistently in the top three sets of modules. Pricing wise, this set from G.Skill is the highest priced kit in this comparison at $199 but also is the only one that includes a cooling system. The pricing of modules goes up exponentially it seems based on speed and capacity. While tall, the heat shields are shorter than the ones you get on the Vengeance and Division 2 modules but they are tall enough to create a clearance issue with large air cooled CPU coolers. Again this is not an exclusive problem to the RipJaws X modules as just about anything taller than a standard shield will not fit under the most common air cooled solutions. Performance wise, the G.Skill modules delivered performance numbers that were usually in the top two at stock speeds except in the latency based testing and two gaming resolutions. In reality, these differences won't be felt but will show up as reduced completion times in tasks that are memory sensitive when compared to slower modules. So what's this all add up to? The G.Skill modules deliver performance and look good doing it.

 

Pros:

  • 2133MHz speed
  • Good Looks
  • Included Ram Cooler
  • Functional Heat shield
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • XMP

 

Cons:

  • Low Headroom
  • Tall heat spreader may interfere with cooling

 

Conclusion Kingston Grey Series:

The Kingston Genesis Grey series modules are the only 4GB P67 specific kit tested today with the Mushkin Redline being a P55 based kit. Even so, this set of memory from Kingston was easily the fastest and for the most part, the highest performing kit in this roundup! It did not finish at the top in every test but on average, it hands down won the most tests. Memory speeds are seemingly getting faster by the month so 2133MHz is no longer the top of the food chain in many cases but 2133 is still darn fast for the everyday consumer. Let's look at the overclocking on this set of Kingston modules. This set easily ran tighter timings at stock speeds. In fact they ran CAS 7 but unfortunately the TRCD had to stay at 10 but 7-10-7-27 was a walk in the park with the stock voltage. Moving the clock speeds up, I needed to go back to the delivered latencies to reach the 2260MHz maximum speed I reached on these modules. I think at this point, my 2600K is tapped out on BCLK headroom so trying to go further meant a multiplier bump to 2400MHz. Well just like the last two sets, this was not happening so the 2260MHz clock speed maximum is what this set would deliver. Not all sets will have this type of headroom and some may give you more but it really depends on how good the CPU's IMC and BCLK abilities are. If setting up memory in the BIOS is a challenge, the Kingston Grey series Hyper X modules support Intel XMP (Extreme Memory Profile) to allow the end user to set it and forget it. These modules from Kingston use a low profile Genesis heat shield that allows the modules to fit under large CPU cooling solutions, an ability the rest of the comparison modules do not have. Populating all of the DIMM sockets with these Kingston modules is not a problem. The pricing on this 4GB set of modules is currently a tasty 99 bucks making it the lowest cost, highest rated set of modules in this comparison. Buying two of these kits will get you 8GB of memory but coming in as a value at that point makes the G.Skill modules a better value. If 4GB of memory is what you are looking to use in that latest P67 build, the Kingston Genesis Special Edition Grey series modules offer great performance and excellent overclocking in a petite package.

 

Pros:

  • Low Profile
  • Excellent performance
  • Can run CAS 7 at 2133MHz
  • No interference with large cooling solutions
  • Overclocking
  • XMP

 

Cons:

  • None

 

Conclusion Patriot Division 2:

As part of the Viper Extreme lineup, the Division 2 modules are reminiscent of the Sector 5 modules released last year by Patriot. When it comes to looks, the Division 2 modules have an industrial look with a copper shield under the extruded aluminum shield. Kind of like the original AOC design but enhanced. The copper layer lays across the memory modules and then transfers heat to the aluminum to dissipate into the airstream over the modules. That being said, the tall design is both a help and a hindrance, a help in cooling these modules under extreme conditions and a hindrance when trying to populate all of the DIMM slots on the motherboard. But then again, it's that same issue with al modules that use a tall heat shield. During operation and up to 1.72 volts, the modules were able to shed the thermal load effectively as long as there was sufficient airflow over them. Something that should be easy to achieve. Overclocking this set of modules was not as fruitful as I had hoped. Increasing the memory multiplier showed that 2133MHz was too far of a jump for this set of modules, again this is the case with almost all of these modules in the comparison. The next option was increasing the BCLK to up the memory speed. I was able to reach 1952MHz with a bclock increase to 104.6. This increase being the second lowest in this comparison with a total bump of 86MHz. Tightening the timings up proved just as unfruitful as the modules just did not want to run looser latencies with changes to voltage or sub timings. It looks like in the binning process, the hand tested modules were set to run a very specific set of parameters. With this in mind, setting the XMP profile may be the best way to run these unless you drop the speed to tighten latencies but there are trade offs with any change. Pricing for this Division 2 set of memory is currently $159. The second lowest price out of the 8GB kits tested and pricing seems to follow the speed profile. This set of Patriot memory comes with their Lifetime Warranty in case you have anything go wrong. This Division 2 kit from Patriot does what is supposed to do. It runs the numbers but not much more, comes with a great looking cooling solution and delivers performance indicative of the results that should be expected from 1866MHz memory.

 

Pros:

  • Good Looks
  • Efficient heat sinks
  • Lifetime warranty
  • 8 GB capacity

 

Cons:

  • Unable to tighten timings
  • Low overhead
  • May interfere with large cooling solutions




  1. Introduction & Closer Look Corsair Vengeance
  2. Closer Look: G.Skill F3-17000CL9D-8GBXLD
  3. Closer Look: Kingston Grey Series KHX2133C9AD3X2K2/4GX
  4. Closer Look: Patriot Division 2 PXD38G1866ELK
  5. Specifications & Features
  6. Testing: Setup, CPU-z, Task Manager, Overclocking
  7. Testing, PCMark Vantage, Geek Bench, Super Pi 1.5
  8. Testing: Sisoft Sandra 2011
  9. Testing: Batman Arkham Asylum
  10. Conclusion:
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