Patriot Viper DDR3 2000MHz 2x2GB Review
Reviewed by: gotdamojo06
Reviewed on: September 29, 2008
Are you looking to upgrade your system soon? Have you been working with DDR2 RAM with all of your builds including your current one? Maybe you are looking to see what all the rage about DDR3 RAM with it's lower power consumption and higher frequencies is. Well, if you are looking for some of the highest frequencies out there for your RAM, then you are in luck, Patriot has just released their newest Viper DDR3 2x2GB kit that clocks in at 2000MHz! I am very interested to see exactly how well this RAM is going to be able to perform at these high speeds, and to see if we can get the kit any higher than it's rated to run. Enough talk, let's see what this stuff looks like.
The packaging of the Patriot Viper DDR3 2000MHz kit looks very similar to the other RAM kits that are out on the market, as it comes in a molded plastic packaging that will not only keep it in place, but add some protection during the shipping process.The front of the package is very busy looking. It has a picture of one of the Patriot Viper DDR3 memory modules installed in a motherboard, showing you what it will look like. There is also the Patriot logo up in the top right hand corner of the package. Under this, the slogan "Extreme Performance - Low Latency" appears, which suggests that this memory is going to give you the benchmarking numbers to be proud of, while operating at lower latency than you are acustomed to. There is a green box below this on the right hand side of the package that shows you some of the specifications of the Viper DDR3 kit from Patriot, such as PC3-16000, 2000MHz and 4GB (2x2GB). Under the Viper Series logo, you are going to see that the memory kit is EPP 2.0 ready. When you take a look at the back of the packaging, you'll notice the two memory modules and how bright green they really are. They are arranged in the package so that you are going to be able to see both the front and the back of the modules.
When you open up the package and remove the Patriot DDR3 2000MHz 2x2GB kit, you'll see how light weight and brightly colored they are. They have a very distinctive heatsink installed on both of the sticks. These allow the heat that is generated, while they are in use, to be quickly dissipated away the modules to help prevent overheating. Overheating will ultimately result in burnt up sticks, leaving them dead and useless. The front of the sticks is where you find the Patriot logo printed to show off who makes them. When you flip them over and look at the back, you are going to see the DDR3 badge in the upper right hand corner, and a sticker that gives you vital details about the sticks opposite to the DDR3 logo. This sticker shows the model number and that the sticks are rated at 2000MHz and can run at 9-9-9-24 timings with 2.0V going through them. It also tells you that the total capacity is 4GB in a 2x2GB combination.
The RAM sinks that are installed on the Patriot Viper DDR3 2x2GB 2000MHz kit are very interesting looking. They are colored a very bight and brilliant lime green, allowing you to notice exactly what type of RAM you have installed in your computer. The RAM sinks are installed very tightly and they will not budge when wiggled during removal of the RAM from the motherboard. Taking a look at the way they are attached from the different angles helps explain this. They are attached to the memory modules located on the sticks themselves, which will help with the heat transfer. In addition to the green coloring, the heatsinks use what is called ACC technology. What is that you ask? Well, let me tell you. ACC stands for Aluminum Copper Composite, which means that the heatsinks use copper and aluminum to form an effective heatspreader. The copper is on the inside and carries the heat away from the modules, while the outer layer is made of aluminum and has many small ridges on the outside surface to increase the surface area available and dissipate the heat generated by these modules at 2.0 volts.
Now that we know what the memory looks like, I think it's time to see exactly what they are made up of and what the specifications of these sticks are.
|4GB (2x2GB) Dual Channel|
2.0V @ 2000MHz
|Heat Spreader||Patriot ACC (Aluminum Copper Composite) technology|
- Extreme Performance PC3-16000 (2000MHz)
- Low Latency (9-9-9-24)
- Equipped Patriot Viper Heat Shields with integrated ACC (Aluminum Copper Composite) Technology
- 100% Tested and Verified
- Lifetime Warranty
- RoHS Compliant
- EPP 2.0 Ready
- Tested and compatible with Nvidia 790i
The best way to verify that one set of memory modules is better than another, is to run a series of benchmarks to put down some basic comparison data. When all things are equal, and the only variable is the module being tested, the results are a great way to compare performance, whether good or bad. In order to eliminate the variables, the only settings that will be manipulated are the memory timings and voltages when overclocking. The comparison modules will be run at the manufacturer specified timings and voltages at 1333MHz, the common DDR3 speed. The Patriot Viper 2x2GB kit will be run at stock timings and voltages at 1333MHz, 1600MHz and finally overclocked to the highest frequencies reachable. The G.Skill kit just could not make the 1600MHz mark, so it was excluded from that level of testing.
- CPU: Intel Q9450 Core 2 Quad 333 x 8
- Motherboard: Asus Maximus Extreme
- Memory: Patriot Viper DDR3 2000 2 x 2GB @ 9-9-9-24 2.0V
- Video Card(s): PowerColor HD4870 PCS+
- Power Supply: Mushkin 800watt Modular Power supply
- Hard Drive: Seagate 1 TB 7200.11 SATA
- Opticals: LiteOn DVD-RW
- O/S: Windows Vista Ultimate
- Comparison: Geil Ultra DDR3 1600 2 x 1GB @ 7-7-7-24 1.8V
- Comparison: Aeneon XTune DDR3 1600 2 x 1GB @ 8-8-8-24 1.5V
- Comparison: Aeneon XTune DDR3 1333 2 x 1GB @ 8-8-8-24 1.5V
- Comparison: G.Skill DDR3 1333 2 x 1GB @ 8-8-8-21 1.65V
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 usage and processor usage (%).
- Processor: Intel Q9450 @ 425x7 with 1.368 volts
- Memory: Patriot Viper DDR3 2000 @ 1700MHz @ 9-9-9-24 and 2.0 volts
When it came down to overclocking the Patriot Viper DDR3 kit, I was very disappointed as I was unable to hit the rated 2000MHz on my X38 chipset. However, I was able to reach 1700MHz with the rated voltages as well as the rated timings. I was able to increase the FSB by about 10-15MHz every attempt and run MemTest to make sure that the overclock was stable.
As an enthusiast community, we tend to push our hardware to the max all the time. At OverclockersClub, we do not condone running your hardware outside of the parameters set by the manufacturer and will not be responsible for any damage to your hardware while trying to duplicate the results of our testing. With that out of the way, let the testing begin.
The benchmarks that will be used in this review include the following programs:
- CPU-Z Version 1.45
- Windows Task Manager
- PCMark Vantage
- SiSoft Sandra XII
- Company of Heroes
PCMark Vantage: With this benchmark, I will be running the system suite as well as the memory test suite. The measure for the system suite will be the total score. The measure for memory performance is the total memory score. A comparison will be made of the performance at what the Patriot Viper DDR3 kit can do at 1333MHz, 1600MHz, as well as the highest achievable speeds compared against the scores achieved at stock speeds for the other kits.
SiSoftware Sandra XII: In this program, I will be doing the following benchmarks: Cache and Memory, Memory Bandwidth, and Memory Latency. Again, I'll be comparing the sticks at DDR3 1333MHz, as well as 1600MHz and the highest possible overclock. Higher is better in all tests, except for Memory Latency, where lower is better.
At 1333MHz, the Patriot Viper RAM was able to beat every other kit in its class at the PCMark Vantage tests, however the 9-9-9-24 latencies did not do the Viper RAM any justice at the 1333MHz speeds during the Sandra XII testing. Again, the Patriot Viper DDR3 at 1600MHz was able to beat the other comparison kits when it was tested using PCMark Vantage, but was unable to keep up during the Sandra testing. When the Viper Kit was overclocked to 1700MHz, however, it was able to beat out all of the other kits in every test.
Company of Heroes is a real time strategy game set during World War II. The object is to occupy and control the ground you capture, while forcing the opponents to capitulate. We will use the in-game performance test to measure the performance of the system.
The settings used in this test are listed below:
- All settings to maximum
Higher is Better
The Patriot Viper DDR3 2x2GB kit was able to do quite well in the Company of Heros real life benchmark due to the extra capacity that it has. I was impressed with the results that I was able to get from these sticks when they were overclocked to the 1700MHz. The 9-9-9 latencies definitely hindered performance at the 1333MHz level.
What is there to say about the Patriot Viper DDR3 2000MHz 2x2GB kit of memory? Well, we could start off by talking about the design of the heatspreaders that are installed on the RAM modules. They not only have a very interesting design to them, but they also have a very brilliant color that makes them very distinctive. Of course, this distinctive coloring means one thing: these modules are designed for use in an NF790i chipset and have been certified for use at the 2000MHz level. But not everyone has an NF790i chipset based motherboard, so how will they perform on something other than where they are designed to do their best work? Well, we found out on the X38 based test board that was used in this review. While not able to push the 2000MHz threshhold, we did manage 1700MHz out of these modules. The rated stock speeds of 2000MHz are always a good thing to look for, as this is usually a good sign that they memory sticks will not be the piece of hardware holding up that massive overclock. Dissapaointed is not the word that best describes how I felt about being limited to 1700MHz. This is, after all, a speed of 850MHz on the memory. A slight letdown is more like it. Needing 2.0V to reach the rated timings and speeds seems like a recipe for disaster, at .5 volts above the JEDEC specification, but Patriot has a lifetime warranty on the modules. If there is an issue, they will most certainly make it right. DDR3 memory has come down in price for the lower speed rated modules. That is somewhat true on the high end 2x2GB modules as well. Coming in at just under four hundred bucks for this four gigabyte set, you usually get what you pay for. Pushing the memory speeds with four gigs of memory is a tough task for the northbridge, but these are designed for the 790i chipset and will most likely reach the rated speeds with this type of board. If you are running a motherboard with a 790i or 790i Ultra chipset, you can't go wrong with this set of memory. Featuring an EPP 2.0 profile, 2000MHz capability, effective heatspeaders, and a wicked green color that would look right at home with a neon green water loop, you can't go wrong with Patriot's Viper series for Nvidia.
- Heatsink design
- High stock speeds
- Lifetime warranty
- Stock volts (2.0v)