Patriot Sector 5 2x2GB 2000MHz Cas 8 Review

ccokeman - 2009-10-05 20:01:48 in Memory
Category: Memory
Reviewed by: ccokeman   
Reviewed on: November 12, 2009
Price: $175

Introduction:

Intel's Nehalem architecture went mainstream with the release of the Core i5/i7 just a few short months ago. Not only did the socket change from 1366 pins to 1156 pins, but the memory requirements changed as well, with triple channel memory being dropped from the socket 1156 line up. This leaves you with a dual or single channel configuration as your only options. Of course, performance is enhanced when running in dual channel mode. Even though the amount of channels was reduced, the voltage requirement of 1.65 volts is the same required for the socket 1366 processors. In the past, we had been used to DDR3 modules requiring 1.9 volts and higher for insane speeds and timings. The Intel specification put the kibosh on that and the memory manufacturers responded with sets that now do this with voltages that were unheard of last year. To this end, Patriot has put together the Viper II series Sector 5 modules that are designed to be run on the Intel Core i5 platform at 2000MHz with relatively tight 8-8-8-24 timings, all while using only 1.65 volts to achieve that goal. The Viper II series heatsink is noticeably different than the AOC design used on the Viper Series of Patriot modules. How this will impact cooling and ultimately performance is something I will have to explore.

Closer Look:

The retail packaging for the Patriot Viper II Sector 5 modules is a bit more elaborate than the traditional plastic clamshell. The front of the package contains an image of the DDR3 Sector 5 modules. Patriot has includes an activation key for the popular Futuremark benchmark 3DMark Vantage as an added bonus. The rear of the package is pretty spartan, containing contact information and pointing out the availability of free technical support in eight different languages. Along the bottom you see that the modules have a lifetime warranty, something that can come in handy after a benchmarking session gone wrong. The only mention of the modules' speed or model number is on a sticker on the bottom right hand side of the rear panel, showing that this set of memory has the model number PVV34G2000LLKB.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you go to pull the modules from the box, you find that the modules are in a plastic clamshell indicative of a typical retail package. From the front, you get the same graphic as on the retail box. Flipping the package over, you get a view of the Sector 5 modules and the activation key for 3DMark Vantage. The manual opens up to provide some installation and trouble shooting tips.

 

 

 

What you notice right away is that the modules differ in appearance from the traditional Viper series. Gone are the Aluminum/Copper composite heatspreaders, replaced by an aluminum-only heatspreader design. These modules from Patriot are rated to run at 2000MHz with latencies of 8-8-8-24 at 1.65 volts to stay within the Intel specified maximum voltage. The modules feature an XMP profile for 2000MHz and ICs that are "presorted" in an effort to provide the best modules for the enthusiast. The heatspreaders have changed dramatically from the Viper series design with the modules taking on a more aggressive look. There are fewer cooling fins in total but the fins are larger and have some ribbing internally and externally across the fins instead of only externally. This ribbing increases the available surface area to promote better cooling.

 

 

 

The Patriot Viper II Sector 5 modules are a good looking set of modules that should add to the look of your build, but looks are only part of the equation; performance being the other. What good are looks if you can't perform? Let's see if the good looks translate into good performance.

 

Specifications:

PATRIOT PART#
PVV34G2000LLKB
DESCRIPTION

DDR3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 2000MHz Low Latency Kit with 3DMark® Vantage

SPEED

PC3-16000 (2000MHz)

MEMORY TIMINGS
8-8-8-24
VOLTAGE SETTINGS
1.65V

 

Features:

 

 

Information Courtesy of Patriot @ http://www.patriotmemory.com/products/detailp.jsp?prodline=5&catid=60&prodgroupid=131&id=886&type=1

Testing:

Many people believe that memory modules all perform the same, but this is not true. Every module overclocks and performs differently. You want to get the best for your money and there are many ways to test which memory performs best. In order to test the Patriot Viper II Sector 5 modules, I will be running them through the OverclockersClub suite of benchmarks to see how the performance compares to that of modules that are rated at a lower rated speed, but with similar timings of 8-8-8-24. The CPU is run at a clock speed of 200 x 16 on the Patriot modules, while the Corsair and Kingston modules are run with the CPU at 160 x 20 with the memory multiplier increased to reach the 2000MHz mark of the modules. For the overclocking test, I will use a combination of voltages and increasing the clock on the CPU to increase the clock speed of the Viper II Sector 5 modules from Patriot to see if they will reach higher speeds.

Testing Setup:

Comparison Modules:

CPU-Z: This application shows us 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.

 

 

 

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

Overclocking:

Overclocked settings:

The Patriot Sector 5 modules hit 2000MHz 8-8-8-24 with ease. Of course, they should since that is the rated speed of the modules. Since the CPU was already pushed to a 200 clock just to get to the 2000MHz rated speed I was not sure just how far I was going to be able to push them above the 2000MHz threshold. 2100MHz was not too difficult, requiring a bump in the IMC voltage up to 1.70 volts to get into Windows and run the benchamrks. To go higher needed some serious tweaking and I ran out of clock before tapping out the Sector 5 modules. 2200MHz at 8-8-8-28 is not bad at all. With the top end tapped out, I went on to check and see just how tight the latencies could be squeezed. What I was greeted with was 7-7-7-24 at 2070MHz with only 1.72 volts. This was a surprise and hints at the fact that these modules might be Elpida Hyper based. Time and pulling the spreaders off will be the only way to tell for sure.

 

 

The benchmarks used in this review include the following:

Benchmarks:

 

Testing:

PCMark Vantage: With this benchmark, I will be running the system suite, as well as the memory test suite. The measurement for the system suite will be the total score. The measurement for memory performance is the total memory score.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SiSoftware Sandra 2009 SP2: In this program, I will be running the following benchmarks: Cache and Memory, Memory Bandwidth, and Memory Latency. Higher is better in all tests, except for Memory Latency, where lower is better.

 

 

 

 

 

There is no doubt that the higher speeds do provide a tangible increase in measured performance in both the stock and overclocked scores. When overclocked, the score went up even higher than what the 2000MHz speeds delivered.

Testing:

Left 4 Dead is a new release from Valve that leaves you as part of a group of survivors in a world where an infection has rapidly turned the populace into a zombie horde. Your goal is to make it to a rescue point, all while fighting what seems like overwhelming odds. Along the way there are safe houses where you can replenish your weapons and health. The movie "I Am Legend" comes to mind to set the stage for this game. But unlike the movie, there are four characters and not just a lone gun and his faithful companion. The horde is not at all like the typical slow walking, foot shuffling zombies. These zombies are quick and work with pack mentality. You have but one job; survival!

Settings:

 

 

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Running at 2000MHz stock, the Patriot Sector 5 modules have a slight performance advantage at 1024x768 that is lost by the time you bump up to 1280x1024. When not limited by the video card, the modules do show a boost in performance when CPU and GPU clock speeds are the same. Overclocking the system does not bring benefits beyond 1024x768.

Conclusion:

To say I was disappointed with the Patriot Viper II Sector 5 modules would be a disservice to these modules. During the testing, the modules showed improvements over the performance of the comparison modules due to the higher speed they were running. The gaming tests showed the modules were good for an additional few FPS at the bottom end. The PCMark Vantage tests showed an advantage toward the Patriot modules as well, while the Sandra testing is all in favor of the Patriot modules. When it came to overclocking the Sector 5 modules, I was already close to tapped out on the clock capabilities of my i5 processor, but I still had 200MHz more to play with, which gave me a maximum memory speed of 2200MHz that the modules were capable of running with some tweaking of voltages and subtimings. The voltage did need to get moved up above what Intel tells us is safe to 1.70 volts, but that's part of the game when you are pushing for higher than rated speeds. While 200MHz does not sound like much of an overclock, you have to put it in perspective. There is possibly more left in this set of modules, as the voltages and timings did not get out of hand. That being said, the modules would indeed run at 7-7-7-24 at speeds up to 2070MHz with the voltage at the same 1.7 volts I used for the 2200MHz at 8-8-8-28. Bonafide 2000MHz+ 7-7-7-24 memory without insane voltages is what this set of modules delivered in my testing. That makes it the first set I have tested to go above 2000MHz cas 7. When the manufacturer specially picks the ICs used on the modules, you can be assured that you will be getting something special.

Not only do the Sector 5 modules perform well, they also are using what is called the Advanced Aluminum heatspreader that does the job it is designed to do and keeps the modules cool. Of course, additional airflow over the modules is a good thing to have when beating on them trying to get the most from them. The red and black theme should go well with just about any build and looked right at home in the ASUS Maximus III Formula motherboard used as the test bed. The addition of the activation key for the full version of 3DMark Vantage is a nice added bonus that adds value to the purchase. Pricing on the Sector 5 modules, as you can guess, come in at a premium price point of about 175 bucks, but this still puts the modules about $55 less than the Dominator GTs from Corsair, while featuring the same timings. The old saying goes, you get what you pay for! Performance, good looks, cooling, XMP profile, and a Lifetime warranty, make these modules ones to keep on your short list.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: