Patriot Viper II Sector 5 PC3 20000 Cas 9 4GB Reviewccokeman - June 16, 2010
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When you set out to overclock your system, you want to make sure you know the limitations of your hardware and work around those limits. One area where you can end up with a limitation is with your system memory. In response to the enthusiast community desire for modules that reach up to 2000MHz, 2200MHz, 2400MHz and higher, Patriot has reached a bit deeper into the chip barrel to put together a set of memory designed for use with socket 1156 Intel P55 based systems rated at 2500MHz right out of the box, using only 1.65 to 1.70 volts. Running them at 2500MHz is going to require a fairly decent overclocking Core i7 processor to get to this level, but then again, that really is the point of having a set of memory that can run at this speed. This set of memory is built for use with Intel's socket 1156 processors and P55 based motherboards. Running your Core i7 870 CPU at the default 133 bclock is going to give you a maximum memory speed of 1600MHz, a far cry from 2500MHz, so you can see the increase in speed you are looking for - 900MHz!
Patriot is targeting these modules at the extreme overclocker that is not weak in the knees when it comes to tweaking the system for maximum performance. As you can guess, getting enough memory chips to run this high is going to take some serious binning, which takes time. Time costs money and this set is going to retail at about $350. This however, is the fastest off-the-shelf kit you can currently buy. Bandwidth and performance should see some nice increases with a set of memory that can run this fast. Let's see just what they can do when paired with Intel's latest unlocked socket 1156 offering - the Core i7 875 - to see just what this set is capable of delivering.
The packaging for this set of modules is not the standard blister you get used to seeing when buying a set of memory, that's inside an illustrated box. The front panel shows a picture of what you will find inside, the Viper II equipped Sector 5 series modules. The rear panel has minimal information listing free technical support as one of the attributes of the modules. The Patriot and Sector 5 logo are on the top left, with contact information for Patriot on the bottom of the panel. One little note on the bottom, is that these modules carry a lifetime warranty. This gives you some peace of mind when it comes to pushing these modules. Pulling the modules out of the package, you get the traditional clam-shell style package that holds the modules in place during transit. This memory has a commemorative icon on the front of the card for the modules, that shows this to be Patriot's 25th anniversary, a significant achievement.
As part of the "Extreme Performance" lineup, this set of Viper II Sector 5 DDR3 modules carries part number PVV34G2500C9K and are rated to run at an impressive 2500MHz, while still only requiring 1.65 to 1.7 volts. Timings are set at 9-11-9-27 to reach the rated speed of 2500MHz and at the time of writing, are just about the highest rated modules you can buy with anyone's money! Where the Viper II modules differ from the popular Viper series modules is the design of the heat sink. The original Viper series used an AOC design that used an aluminum/copper composite heat shield, while the Viper II uses an aircraft grade extruded aluminum design to handle the heat. This set of modules features memory IC's that are binned to make sure they reach the specified 2500MHz and are individually tested and qualified on the ASUS P7P55D.
The bar has been set, so let's see if these modules can do the magic number and then get a little more clock speed on top of what's available out of the box.