Patriot Viper Fin DDR3 PC3 12800 2 x 1 GB Reviewccokeman -
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Are you ready for Intel's next wave of processors and chipsets? If you don't have DDR3 memory, then you probably aren't. With the frontside bus speeds moving ever upwards, system memory is having to scale higher and higher to keep up. DDR3 memory has had the same growing pains that DDR2 had on the initial offerings; high latency, higher costs and lower performance than its predecessor in the currently usable range. DDR2 matured quickly with CAS latency dropping from 6 to 5 to 4 and finally some extremely high performance modules are able to run at CAS 3. DDR3 has begun that maturation process quickly as well. There are modules out that are capable of running at timings similar to DDR2 but at an exorbitant cost. DDR3 performance modules are being released with ever increasing speed capabilities to meet the demands of the enthusiast. These enthusiasts are no doubt running Intel processors as AMD is not looking to adopt the use of DDR3 until 2009 or beyond.
The Patriot Viper Fin PC3 12800 memory features low latencies of 7-7-7-18 at 1600MHz and 1.8 volts. While that is .3 volts above DDR3 spec, the modules carry a lifetime warranty from Patriot. The Viper Fin modules also carry a little something extra, an XMP profile on the SPD module. What is XMP, you ask? In a nutshell, it is Intel's answer to EPP memory programming for Nvidia chipset based systems. It is a preprogrammed SPD profile to allow the end user the ability to choose this profile for no fuss performance tuning of the system memory. So just how well does the Viper Fin PC3 12800 perform? Let's find out!
Instead of the normal clamshell, Patriot has chosen to box up the Viper Fin DDR3 series. The front of the package has a window so that the modules can be seen. The rear panel talks about manufacturing, engineering, the free tech support line and the lifetime warranty.
Removing the modules from the box shows that the modules are indeed stored in a clamshell. Included with one of the Patriot modules is a memory installation guide.
The Viper Fin modules are a low latency set of DDR3 modules that are manufactured to run at 7-7-7-18 latencies with 1.8 volts at 800FSB. The Viper Fin series of modules are touted as the Extreme Performance lineup of modules. The Viper Fin name denotes modules that feature the unique heatspreaders designed by Patriot.
The Patriot Viper Fin modules use a specially designed aluminum composite heatspreader. The inner layer of the composite is copper and is mounted against the modules, while the aluminum outer layer sheds the heat generated by the modules.