Patriot Viper II Sector 5 PC3 20000 Cas 9 4GB Reviewccokeman -
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This set of memory from Patriot is easily one for the person who wants to overclock their system. The reason I say this, is that you will need to overclock the system to reach the 2500MHz speeds these modules deliver. This being said, you don't need to kill them with voltage to get there, as they only require 1.65-1.7 volts to get to 2500MHz. Your CPU will need to be a Core i7 860, 870 or the just released K-spec Core i7 875 to reach the potential of these modules, though. Without the higher memory multipliers, other chips will need a huge bclock to get to the 2500MHz promised land. It will take at a minimum, a motherboard/CPU combo that can handle a 209MHz bclock, just to get to 2500MHz. These modules are certified on ASUS P7P55D motherboard and are guaranteed to work at the rated speeds on this board. I did try another ASUS board and used the Maximus III Formula and reached the same clock speed and timings with both it, and the P7P55D Deluxe.
The performance delivered with these Patriot modules was easily the best in the field in most of the testing. In one test, the results were less than expected - PCMark Vantage. The memory score was less than what I felt it should be. Two separate motherboards and two clean OS installs delivered the same result. When it came time to overclock the modules, the system was tapped out at 2500MHz on air. Maybe some sub-zero cooling could help these modules scale a bit higher. These modules will, however, run at lower speeds with tighter timings. Cas 6 was run at up to 1940MHz, Cas 7 to 2058 and surprisingly Cas 8 to 2490MHz. The only problem is to get the modules to scale, you need to bump up the TRCD setting in the memory sub-timings. This leads to some erosion in the performance potential. The extruded aluminum heat shields kept the modules cool even when running almost 1.8 volts through them and trying for some big gains in performance. Keeping a fan on them is mandatory at this level, but with the rated voltage they are nice and cool, making them a worthy successor to the AOC heat shields on the Viper series.
These Sector 5 modules from Patriot are priced at $349. No doubt about it that this is a steep price tag for a 4GB set of memory, but at the upper-end of the performance spectrum, you have to bare the cost of admission into the ownership club. Much like buying a Ferrari or Bugatti, it costs a bit more to go this fast. Pricing aside, the Patriot Sector 5 2500MHz modules deliver the high clock speeds you will need to make sure your CPU overclock can be maximized without the memory as the limiting factor. When it comes to performance at the top-end, they definitely deliver.
- Excellent performance
- Increased performance
- Heat spreaders work
- 2500MHz right out of the box
- High speeds with reasonable volts
- Ran out of headroom
- PCMark Vantage memory scores