Patriot Viper 3 8GB 2133MHz Review
Reviewed by: ccokeman
Reviewed on: July 30, 2012
Patriot's latest offering is the Viper 3 line up that brings low cost performance memory to the masses. The Viper series have been the gold standard of Patriot's brand over the years from the early Viper lines that featured an AOC (Aluminum on Copper) heat shield that was effective at removing the thermal load from the modules at the time running upwards of 2.0v. Over the past five years it has gone through several more iterations of the design, using different extruded aluminum designs seen on the Sector 5 and just this year's Division 4 modules using a copper strip across the modules more in line with the earlier AOC design in functionality. The Viper 3 line uses what Patriot calls the Black Mamba design on these modules; this stamped design is lighter yet is tall enough and features enough surface area to shed the thermal loads. The Viper 3 line is hand tested and validated for use on Intel's latest platforms including socket 1155 Core i7 Ivy Bridge processors.
The Viper 3 8GB 2133MHz kit I am looking at today is offered at an unreal $59 and comes with a lifetime warranty. The lineup includes modules that start at speeds of 1600MHz with 2133MHz being the top speed bin. Capacities start at 8GB and rise to 32GB to take advantage of the quad channel capabilities of Intel's socket 2011 X79 chipset. In the past the Viper series modules have always offered up performance, cooling, and excellent overclocking. Let's see if this set lives up to the standard.
The packaging for this set of modules is form-fitted around the internal blister pack that hold the Viper 3 modules. The front of the package has a window that shows off the new look of the modules. The size of the kit (8GB), its configuration (2x4GB), and rated speed (PC3 17000 or 2133Mhz) are on a label beside the window. The Viper name is along the upper end in silver with several attributes below the label including the fact that these modules are hand tested. The back side shows the reverse view of the modules, has the product SKU and part number, along with the warranty discussion in various languages.
As you can see the Viper 3 line has an all new design that deviates from the heritage of the Viper name in terms of looks and heat shield design. The stamped heat shield is slightly taller than the Division or Viper Extreme heat shield putting it up into the airstream flowing into the CPU cooling solution giving the design the ability to efficiently cool the modules. The front side shows the Viper name and the Patriot logo. The back side carries the specifications/warranty tag. On this tag is the unique serial number, the part number PV38G213C1K, capacity of 2x4GB, voltage needed (1.5v), and the memory timings of 11-11-11-27. The new heat shield design is named "Black Mamba" and is a stamped design that measure 41mm in height. At the top are a series of opening used to draw airflow through the modules and release the thermal load. Across the top edge is a decal with the Patriot logo to let the world know you are packing some Patriot heat.
The new look coupled with a black PCB give these modules a sinister look that would look good in just about any build. More so with the red and black themed boards including the ASUS Maximus V Gene used to put these modules from Patriot through their paces.
8GB (2 x 4GB) Kit
240-Pin NON-ECC UDIMM
Intel® 6 & 7 Series
- Capacities from 8GB to 32GB
- Lifetime Warranty
- Hand Tested
- Low Voltage 1.5v
- Black Mamaba Heatshields
All information courtesy of Patriot @ http://www.patriotmemory.com/product/detail.jsp?prodline=5&catid=34&prodgroupid=232&id=1253&type=1
Memory is often hard to separate from one kit to another in gaming, but when it comes to number crunching and computing, some memory provides an extra boost in comparison. To see just what kind of performance this kit has to offer, I will be running the modules through a series of benches to see just how they compare. There will be 8GB, 16GB and 32GB kits ranging in speed from 1866MHz - 2400MHz, tested at native speeds as well as overclocked. Overclocking of course will be dependent on exactly how far the testing rig will allow, but I'll push it as far as I can. The testing setup used for these benchmarks is listed below, where Turbo Boost has been disabled to eliminate uncontrolled clock changes that may skew the results. The CPU will be run with default clock speeds for baseline testing and bumped up to 4.5 GHz or as close as possible to the speed where possible for OC testing. All current updates and patches are installed for Windows 7 Professional 64-bit and the current AMD Catalyst driver of 12.6 is used for the video card.
- Processors: Core i7 3770K
- CPU Cooling: Corsair Hydro Series H100
- Motherboard: ASUS Maximus V Gene
- Memory: Patriot Viper 3 Series 8GB 2133Mhz
- Video Card: XFX HD 7970 Black Edition
- Power Supply: Corsair AX1200
- Hard Drive: Corsair Force GT 240GB SSD
- Optical Drive: Lite-On Blu-ray
- Case: Corsair Obsidian 650D
- OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
CPU-Z: This application visually shows 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.
- Processor: Intel Core i7 3770K 105.3 x 44 4632MHz
- Memory: Patriot Viper 3 Series 11-13-13-28 2527MHz
Putting the Viper 3 modules to the test involved increasing the memory divider, raising the applied voltages, tweaking the memory timings and CPU clock speed to get it all to work together at what turns out to be the highest memory clock speed I have reached with a set of DDR3 modules. Stock latencies on this set of modules are 11-11-11-27 using 1.5v at 2133MHz. Not really awe inspiring to say the least but the modules are rated for 2133MHz. The first test was to see how tight the modules would run using the default 2133MHz clock speed. I used the tight Samsung 2x4GB profile on the M5G and tried to tighten up the timings but 10-11-11-21 was all it would allow using 1.60v.
Where it got interesting is when the XMP profile was applied for the base line timings. Starting with the rated timings I was able to push up to 2400MHz by increasing the voltage to 1.65v on the modules and 1.05 to the memory controller, then tweaking the timings to 11-12-12-28. Every thing checked out so I went for 2600MHz with another tweak to the timings to 11-13-13-31 and voltages to the modules and memory controller to 1.68 and 1.15v. The board would post and open up the OS but was good for only screen shots. Even so there is some potential. Coming back to reality I adjusted the timings back to 11-13-13-28 leaving the voltages at what allowed the 2600MHz test to post. I then adjusted the CPU bclock up until the modules would not pass memtest and tried tweaking some more to no avail. The final clock speed of 2527MHz was reached using the 2400MHz divider (100:133) and a bclock of 105.3MHz using 1.68v. This setting proved stable in all of my stability testing. As a percentage this overclock is just over 18% or 394MHz on top of the 2133MHz top speed bin for this module series. Helping the modules along are the Black Mamba heats shields that effectively shed the thermal load of the modules.
Maximum Memory Speed:
The maximum memory speed for each set of overclocked modules is indicative of how well the modules ran on this test system. As such, your results may differ in either a positive or negative way based on the capabilities of your hardware. In other words, your mileage may vary!
The benchmarks used in this review include the following:
- CPU-Z Version 1.61
- Windows Task Manager
- PCMark Vantage
- PCMark 7
- Geekbench 2.1
- Super Pi 1.5
- SiSoft Sandra 2012
- Metro 2033
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.
PCMark 7 is the latest iteration of Futuremark's popular PCMark system performance tool. This latest version is designed for use on Windows 7 PCs and features a combination of 25 different workloads to accurately measure the performance of all PCs from laptops to desktops.
Higher is Better
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.
Throughout most of this testing the Patriot modules are in the middle of the pack with the exception being the PCMark Vantage suite scoring.
SiSoftware Sandra 2011: 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.
AIDA64 Extreme Edition is a software utility designed to be used for hardware diagnosis and benchmarking. I will be using the Cache and Memory benchmark to test each module’s read, write, and copy bandwidth, as well as the latency test.
Higher is Better
In AIDA64 tests the Patriot Viper 3 modules looser latencies delivered performance on par with the G.Skill 32GB 2133MHz rated kit. In the Sandra testing the Patriot Viper 3 modules offered lower memory bandwidth.
Part first-person shooter, part survival horror, Metro 2033 is based on the novel of the same name, written by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky. You play as Artyom in a post-apocalyptic Moscow, where you'll spend most of your time traversing the metro system, with occasional trips to the surface. Despite the dark atmosphere and bleak future for mankind, the visuals are anything but bleak. Powered by the 4A Engine, with support for DirectX 11, NVIDIA PhysX, and NVIDIA 3D Vision, the tunnels are extremely varied – in your travels, you'll come across human outposts, bandit settlements, and even half-eaten corpses. Ensuring you feel all the tension, there is no map and no health meter. Get lost without enough gas mask filters and adrenaline shots and you may soon wind up as one of those half-eaten corpses, chewed up by some horrifying manner of irradiated beast that hides in the shadows just waiting for some hapless soul to wander by.
- DirectX 11
- DOF= Off
- 4x MSAA
- 16x AF
- Global settings = Very High
- PhysX = Off
Higher = Better
Even with a significant overclock the average FPS in this game test is more limited by the GPU than the memory or CPU speed. Capacity at this point does not show to be an impediment to performance.
To say I was surprised by the overclocking abilities of this $59 set of memory is an understatement. Rated at 2133MHz out of the box with latencies of 11-11-11-27 using 1.5v I was not really sure that overclocking was going to be a strong suit of these modules. How wrong I was! This is so far the highest overclocking set of memory I have tested as far as clock speed is concerned with a maximum speed of 2527MHz using latencies of 11-13-13-28 using 1.68v. These modules would run at over 2600MHz at 12-13-13-28 for screen shots and nothing substantial in the way of testing. As an 8GB kit, the Viper 3 modules are the perfect accessory for the end user running a Z77 series board and third generation Core i7 processor like the 3770K.
Performance wise the looser latencies of the PV38G213C1K kit do not really seem to slow performance down that much, if at all. A side benefit of the looser latencies is the ability to run these modules with only 1.5v applied. Tightening up the sub-timings and CAS latency from those timings set by the XMP profile is possible while using the stock 1.5v to improve responsiveness.
These Patriot Viper 3 series modules are equipped with Patriot's "Black Mamba" heat shield to keep the thermal load in check. This they do quite well even with the close to the 1.7v I had running through them for a time. Airflow is the key to this performance as with most high performance modules. At no time did the modules graduate to what I would call hot. Patriot offers a lifetime warranty on these modules in case you get a little too aggressive with the voltage or even if they just outright fail at stock speeds and voltage.
Each of the Viper 3 modules are hand tested for an additional layer of security as well as a way to ensure compatibility across platforms. Sporting an XMP 1.3 profile, these modules offer a set it and forget it type of option if you do not plan on tweaking the BIOS manually. When run with the XMP 1.3 profile applied, the memory timings and voltages were applied properly and allowed the system to boot up the first time.
Patriot is offering this lineup in capacities from 8GB to 32GB with speed bins from 1600MHz to 2133MHz to cover just about every consumer. What really sets this set of modules apart from the crowd is the rock bottom $59 price tag for this 8GB set of Viper 3 modules. That's right, $59! When you look at what this set has to offer it is hard to go wrong when you have good looks, great overclocking, and a rock bottom price point for 8GB of 2500MHz capable memory.
- Low Voltage
- XMP 1.3
- Lifetime warranty
- Cooling performance
- Good looks
- Stock Latencies