Patriot Viper II Sector 7 PC3 14400 Cas 9 6GB Review

ccokeman - 2010-06-25 22:48:27 in Memory
Category: Memory
Reviewed by: ccokeman   
Reviewed on: August 1, 2010
Price: $179

Introduction:

The Intel Core i7 architecture was launched back in November of 2008. With that launch, memory manufacturers had to search for modules that would run the speeds we need, while still meeting the 1.65v maximum voltage to the modules, or .15 over JEDEC spec for DDR3 modules. This is to preserve the integrated memory controller so it did not suffer the same fate as the A64 chips from AMD when the memory was over-volted. Of course slapping 3.0+ volts through some BH-5 modules has its advantages when you are shooting for world records, but for everyday use, something more realistic was in order. When Intel's latest micro architecture was launched, we looked at a set of Patriots Viper Series modules rated at 1333Mhz with timings of 9-9-9-24. Fast-forward a couple years and latencies have dropped dramatically, with speeds trending ever higher while still keeping at, or slightly above Intel's 1.65v guidance. Just last month, Patriot rolled out a 4GB set of Sector 5 modules for use on a P55 based platform that came out the door running at 2500Mhz. No small feat in itself running speeds this high. The Sector 7 modules are the logical progression up from the Sector 5 series and are for use with the X58 platform. Let's see if this 6GB set of memory from Patriot performs under the gun.

Closer Look:

This set of Patriot Sector 5 modules comes in a package sized to fit all three of the modules. A color change from red on the Sector 5 packaging to blue on the Sector 7 modules. The front of the package shows the design of the Sector 7 modules the part number and rated speed and a 25th anniversary graphic celebrating 25 years in operation. The rear identifies this set of modules as part of the Viper series of modules, lists free technical support as a feature, lists the addresses and method of contact for its main facilities. On the bottom left is the mention of the lifetime warranty on this set of modules. Inside the package, you get the traditional blister pack style of packaging. This method seems to hold the modules firmly in place preventing any damage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Patriot Sector 7 modules are part of Patriots Extreme Performance Enhanced Latency line up with each module hand tested before it leaves the factory. Each set of modules are built using pre-sorted IC's to make sure these modules stand up to the rigors of use by the overclocker or enthusiast. This set of modules carries part number PV736G1800ELK and are built to run at PC3 14400 speeds or 1800Mhz with timings of 9-9-9-27 using 1.65 volts and carries an XMP profile for this configuration. Where this series of modules differs from the Viper series is in the construction of the heat sinks used on the modules. The original Viper Series modules used an AOC (Aluminum on Copper) heat shield that utilized the benefits of both Aluminum and copper to deliver excellent cooling to the dram chips. The Viper II series uses and extruded aircraft aluminum heatshield to keep the modules cool. When I tested the Sector 5 modules I found the heat shields to be effective at transferring the heat from the IC's to be dissipated by the airflow around the modules.

 

 

 

The new heat shield should offer cooling benefits, but how does that transfer into real performance numbers?

Specifications:

Product Name
Extreme Performance
Patriot Part #
PV736G1800ELK (3 x 2GB)
Description
Viper II Series, Sector 7 Edition
 DDR3 6GB 1800MHz Enhanced
 Latency Kit
Certifications / Safety
RoHS
Product Warranty
Lifetime Warranty
Unit Dimensions
5.3” (L) x .27” (W) x 1.75” (H)
13.4 cm (L) x .69 cm (W) x 4.4 cm (H)
Unit UPC
0815530010036
Packaging Type
Boxed
Packaging Dimensions
6.125” (L) x .75” (W) x 7.375” (H)
15.6cm (L) x 1.9cm (W) x 18.7cm (H)
Net Weight
.38 lbs / 174 gm
Gross Weight
.52 lbs / 238 gm
Units per Master Carton
17

 

Features:




All information courtesy of Patriot Memory @ http://www.patriotmemory.com/products/groupdetailp.jsp?prodgroupid=128&prodline=5&group=PC3-14400%20-%201800MHz%20Memory%20Modules&catid=76

Testing:

Testing the Patriot Viper II Sector 7 1800MHz will require the use of a small overclock to get the rated speeds. To keep the CPU close to its 2.66Ghz clock speed I will be reducing the clock multiplier and raising the bclock to get the 1800MHz speed. The testing will include both stock and overclocked testing to see just how much headroom this set of modules has. Each set of modules is tested in this method to keep the CPU as close to the 2.66Ghz default speed as possible.

 

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.

CPU-Z Pics

 

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

 

Overclocking:

Overclocked settings:

 

To reach the 1800MHz speed required, an increase of the bclock to 150MHz was needed. This was needed since the memory ratios skipped from 1600MHz to 1866MHz based on the factory default bclock setting of 133MHz. Overclocking the Sector 7 modules went pretty smoothly up until just over the 2000MHz mark. Bumping the QPI volts up on the modules helped stabilize the overclock as the speed increased. Once above ~2000MHz I had to bump up the TRCD setting to 10 to keep going and higher. The highest stable clocks I could achieve with this set was 2074MHz with timings of 9-10-9-27. Going higher than this is possible, but a those latencies, it really starts to hit performance so cas 9 was the maximum tested. What this means is that this set had 135MHz of overclocking headroom or a good solid 15%. While big speeds are always nice when you are chasing records some people don't overclock their systems but still want higher rated memory. In that case the Patriot Sector 7 modules sub timings can be tightened up to 7-8-7-24 for some increased performance at the rated 1800MHz. Pretty solid results from a kit that is competitively priced.

 

 

The maximum memory speed for each set of modules when overclocked is a measure of how well the modules ran on these particular modules and test system. As such, your results may differ in either a positive or negative way based on the capabilities of your hardware. That said, your mileage may vary!

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Patriot Sector 7 1800MHz rated modules deliver higher scores than the 1600MHz rated modules and falls right behind the 1866MHz modules from Mushkin that operate with tighter latencies.

Testing:

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Super PI Mod 1.5: is a 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.

 

 

The Geekbench system score is based on the overall speed of the processor, so the results across the test field fall in a relatively close range that are based on the bclock and multiplier needed to reach the rated memory speed. The Sector 7 modules easily eclipse the results delivered by the 1600MHz kits and fall slightly behind the higher rated set in the Geekbench testing. When compared to a kit with a higher rated speed and tighter timings, they are slightly slower in the Super Pi testing.

Testing:

Batman: Arkham Asylum is a new game that brings together two bitter foes, The Joker and Batman. The Joker Has taken over Arkham Asylum, Gotham's home for the criminally insane. Your task is to rein the Joker back in and restore order. This game makes use of PhysX technology to create a rich environment for you to ply your trade.

 

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the second fastest set of memory in this test, the results follow the rated speed of the modules. Overclocking brings up different questions as kits that are rated slower overclocked with better timings to help deliver a higher level of performance.

Conclusion:

After looking at several great sets of Patriots Sector 5, expectations for this set of modules was pretty high. The Sector 7 modules come with fairly loose timings at the rated 1800MHz speed of 9-9-9-27. Right up front the modules are at a slight disadvantage against modules of similar speeds but with tighter timings. This advantage manifests itself in higher synthetic benchmarks, but in real life the difference is more of a "feel" than anything else. While that may seem like a slight hit on the Sector 7 modules, it's really not when you compare the results delivered by the comparison modules, several with identical timings to the Sector 7 modules. Right out of the box you get a 200MHz increase in memory speed over 1600MHz modules that translates into additional performance. IF you choose not to overclock your system, this set of modules can be run with tighter timings at 1800MHz. I was able to get these modules to run at 7-8-7-24 with nothing other than changing the timings. No voltage increase or loosening of the sub timings was required.

Now if you choose to overclock these modules, then there is enough headroom to get you over 2000MHz and allow you to use a bclock of up to 200MHz on your Core i7 X58-based system without fear of the memory limiting your overclock. This you can do without a bump in timings, that's 200MHz or about a 12% increase on top of the 1800MHz with really only a bump in memory controller voltage to reach 2000MHz. Over that and you have to start playing with sub timings and more voltages but that's what overclocking is all about anyhow.

To keep the Sector 7 modules cool, Patriot has used its Viper II series of heatshields on this set of memory. This design uses an extruded "Aircraft Grade" aluminum instead of the AOC design used on past Viper series modules. This design proved effective at keeping the modules cool even with voltages as high as 1.75V. Just like any of the tall heat shields used on memory modules these days, you may run into clearance issues with larger CPU heat sink/fan combos.

The Patriot Sector 7 modules offer a step up in performance for not a significant amount of cash. Priced at $179, this set of modules from Patriot can be had for about the same price as modules rated at 1600MHz, making them quite a deal. If you need a set of modules for your latest Core i7 X58-based build, the Patriot Sector 7 modules with their use of pre-sorted IC's, hand testing to verify performance and lifetime warranty would not be a bad choice.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: