|Patriot Viper 6GB 1600MHz DDR3 Memory Kit|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Memory|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 26 February 2009|
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Closer Look: Patriot Viper
For anyone not familiar, DDR3 RAM uses a unique 240-pin DIMM (Dual Inline Memory Module) architecture. This new design does not allow for backwards compatibility, and it offers many design differences from the DDR2 predecessor it replaces. First revealed in dual-channel kits for the Intel P35-Express platform, the latest iteration is offered in triple-channel kits for Intel's Core i7 / X58 Platform.
DDR3 isn't much to look at. Sure, you can dress it up with shiny metal heat-spreaders, but it's still just a small printed circuit board with DRAM ICs soldiered to it. But I must admit, Patriot adds an attractive coat of colorful paint to help make their modules stand out as unique and appealing.
Because of the odd number of modules included in a triple-channel DDR3 memory kit, Patriot has decided to package the Viper kit into separate containers. This isn't the most economical packaging system, nor is it very 'green' by today's standards.
Similar to the other Viper-series memory kits they produce, the 6GB Patriot PVT36G1600ELK kit re-uses the baby-blue colored heat-spreader familiar to their dual-channel series. Unlike some of those dual-channel kits, the newer triple-channel kits are much slower in speed and use lower voltage. Patriot most likely selects kits from their inventory that can achieve decent operating speeds with acceptable latency, and adhere to the low-voltage requirements of the Core i7 platform.
Because triple-channel kits use a much lower maximum voltage (to avoid Core i7 processor damage), extreme cooling is unnecessary for these modules. Under stress, the Patriot Viper 6GB 1600MHz Triple-Channel DDR3 was barely warm to the touch. In the next sections, we see if it really makes much difference how fast a triple-channel kit operates... as we compare the PVT36G1600ELK memory kit to several others.