Patriot Viper 3 Intel Extreme Masters Memory 1866MHz 16GB ReviewVideo Cards, Memory
Reviewed by: ccokeman
Reviewed on: September 6, 2012
Patriot is no stranger to putting together special memory to partner with events and companies, as seen with OCC's review of the AMD Performance Edition modules we looked at back in April. Today, the modules we have on review are set to tie in with the Intel Extreme Masters gaming competition. This competition pits pro gamers against each other in Starcraft II and League of Legends. Patriot's Intel Extreme Master modules are based on those using the new Viper 3 cooling package. These modules come in capacities ranging from 8 GB to 32 GB in dual and quad-channel configurations, with speeds from 1600 MHz to 2133 MHz using just 1.5 V. Each kit is hand-tested to work with Intel 6 and 7 series chipsets, is XMP certified, and comes with a lifetime warranty.
Having looked at many of Patriots Viper series modules over the past few years, there has always been a focus on performance as well as cooling when digging into what the modules have to offer the enthusiast user. The limited edition set of Intel Extreme Masters modules in this review is rated for operation at 1866 MHz (PC3-15000) speeds with latencies of 10-11-10-30 at the aforementioned 1.5 V. Pricing on this 16 GB set will run in the neighborhood of $125. Let's take a quick look at the modules and dig into what they have to offer. After seeing what the Viper 3 8GB kit was capable of, I have some high expectations for this set of modules.
The Intel Extreme Masters co-branding is clearly evident on the front side of the retail packaging, especially with the "Limited Edition" script just above the capacity information. A window shows off the Intel Blue modules so you know just what you are getting when picking these up off the shelf. Just about all you need to know about the modules is posted right on the front of the package, with the highlights being Advanced Cooling, a capacity of 16 GB, Intel XMP certification, and that the modules are 100% hand tested before leaving production. On the back side of the package, the window gives another view of the modules, with the basic specifications in 9 languages. Inside the package, the modules are held in a simple plastic clam shell case.
Patriot's Viper 3 Intel Extreme Masters modules are delivered with a blue heat shield using the latest Viper 3 design. The front side of the modules shows off the Intel Extreme Master logo and limited Edition moniker to signify that these are of limited run. The back side is similar, with the Patriot name and specifications listed on the warranty tag. These modules carry part number PVI316G186C0K – in simple terms, it signifies a 16 GB kit consisting of two 8 GB modules running at 1866 MHz. The warranty tag lists the latencies of 10-11-10-30, the voltage requirement of 1.5 V, and the unique serial number of each module. The PCB is deep black in color and offers an excellent contrast to the brilliant blue on the Viper 3 heat shields.
Looks are not everything when it comes to enthusiast-grade parts, as we have seen in the past. Good looks are great, but the functionality has to be there for the product to work. Patriots Viper 3 design does well on both counts with the newly-designed heat sinks. These shields use a stamped aluminum shell that is vented at the top to allow airflow through the modules on its way to the heat sink or out the chassis. Using an applied 1.5 V, the modules are not going to over-work the heat sink in normal use. These modules are 41 mm in height and should not prove to have clearance issues unless you're using a low clearance CPU heat sink.
The Viper 3 modules have already been proven to deliver excellent performance and overclocking potential. With this set rated at 1866 MHz, my guess is they will still offer a bit of headroom over that. Let's see if the stunning good looks – which matches up with many of the blue and black themed motherboards on the market, no less – will be coupled with some Extreme performance.
Intel Extreme Masters
16 GB (2 x 8 GB) Kit
240-Pin NON-ECC UDIMM
PC3-15000 (1866 MHz)
PC3-12800 (1600 MHz)
Intel® 6 & 7 Series
- Capacities from 8 GB to 32 GB
- Lifetime Warranty
- Hand Tested
- Low Voltage 1.5 V
- Viper 3 Heatshields
All information courtesy of Patriot @ http://patriotmemory.com/iem.jsp
Memory is often hard to separate between one kit and another in gaming, though 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 benchmarks. There will be 8 GB, 16 GB and 32 GB kits tested, ranging in speed from 1866 MHz - 2400 MHz, tested at native speeds as well as overclocked. Overclocking, of course, will be dependent on exactly how far the testing rig will allow, though 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 at default clock speeds for baseline testing and bumped up to 4.5 GHz or as close as possible, where possible, for OC testing. All current updates and patches have been installed for Windows 7 Professional 64-bit and the current AMD Catalyst driver version 12.6 will be used for the video card.
- Processors: Core i7 3770K
- CPU Cooling: Corsair Hydro Series H100
- Motherboard: ASUS Maximus V Gene
- Memory: Patriot Viper 3 Intel Extreme Masters Series 16GB 1866MHz
- 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
- G.Skill Ripjaws X 32GB
- G.Skill Trident X 8GB
- Mushkin 997070 2 x 8GB
- Mushkin 994071 4 x 8GB
- Patriot Viper 3 2 x 4GB
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 4515MHz (107.5MHz x 42)
- Memory: Patriot Viper 3 Series 10-11-10-28 2006MHz
Overclocking these Intel Extreme Masters modules proved a little more difficult than I initially thought – they were mainly due to how the Viper 3 modules just kept scaling when voltage was added to the equation. This set of modules did not want to go much over the 2000 MHz plateau, no matter what I tried in terms of voltage and dividers. Increasing the CAS latency did not pay off in higher clock speeds when coupled with voltage increases to 1.6 V and 1.65 V. Setting the divider to 2133 MHz using 13-13-13 latencies and 1.7 V did not allow a successful boot either, so I stayed right with the as-delivered timings, with exception of dropping the TRAS to 28 and scaling the clock speeds up until I reached the limit of the modules. I finally managed to increase the voltage to 1.62 V to reach 2006Mhz, Any higher and the modules would not pass memtest. Reaching over 2000 MHz is a fair accomplishment for these modules and represent just over a 7% bump in frequency.
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.
In the Futuremark scoring, this set of Patriot Extreme Masters modules does quite well.
SiSoftware Sandra 2012: 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 this series of tests, the modules perform in the range that their timings and raw clock speed dictate. As the slowest kit in the field when overclocked at 2006 MHz, the Extreme Masters Modules still perform well. Raw clock speed does not reach a point where it completely makes up for the latency costs.
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
At stock and overclocked speeds, the performance of the video card is the determining factor in the Metro 2033 testing. As a set of memory targeted to gamers, the Extreme Masters modules compare well with a decidedly high-end comparison field.
Patriot has delivered a set of modules in this Intel Extreme Masters Limited Edition that delivers performance, which falls into a specific envelope. Targeted at gamers, Extreme Masters modules do not deliver anything less than performance on par with other modules in the gaming test. The rest of the testing showed the modules performing well, by comparison, to higher-rated modules. At 1866MHz, the modules are a step above 1600MHz modules in terms of raw memory speed. Applications where bandwidth is king will show an increase in performance when comparing modules with similar timings and lower clock speeds.
Using the stock timings of 10-11-10-30, it will take a higher frequency to overcome the latency hit. Bumping the voltage above the specified 1.5V does help when it comes to tightening up the latencies, but not as much when it comes to the overall clock speed of the modules. By bumping the voltage up to 1.65V, I was able to reach just over 2000MHz using the 1866MHz divider. Seeing that Patriot makes a 2133MHz rated set of these modules, I had hoped to reach to at least 2133MHz, but kept getting shot down in my attempts. Slapping a healthy bclock increase on the CPU was the only way to get more memory speed. The modules responded well to this approach at 2006MHz. At an increase of 140MHz, this adds up to around 7% frequency boost for the price of your time.
If tweaking the memory settings in the BIOS is not how you roll, Patriot has you covered with these Intel co-branded modules. Equipped with an XMP profile, setting up the modules is as simple as inserting them and adjusting one setting in the BIOS for a smooth stable clock speed. Setting the XMP Profile on the M5G allowed the board to boot and run successfully with all of the timings and voltages applied correctly. It's really just that easy. In case something ever should go wrong, Patriot warranties the modules for life. You cannot ask for more than that – well you can, but it's a little unrealistic.
Equipped with the latest iteration of Patriot's Viper heat sink package that has evolved over the years – from the original AOC (Aluminum on Copper) design to a stamped aluminum heat shield – these do well in terms of cooling. Even with the higher voltage and increased clock speed, the Viper 3-designed heat sinks kept the thermals in check with just the airflow from the fans on the H100.
Currently priced at $123 from online outlets, the Intel Extreme Master modules look and perform well, fitting right into the theme of many blue and black motherboards on the market. Patriot's Intel Extreme Master Limited Edition modules offer cooling performance coupled with a low voltage requirement and good looks that add up to a package of high capacity at a relatively low price. On top of that, you get some overclocking headroom if you choose to go that route.
- Good Looks
- Lifetime Warranty
- Viper 3 Cooling
- Intel Extreme Masters Branding
- XMP Certified
- 1.5 V
- Lower OC Margin