|Patriot Viper 6GB 1600MHz DDR3 Memory Kit|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Memory|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 26 February 2009|
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PVT36G1600ELK Memory Kit Conclusion
I like to begin memory kit conclusions with a summary of performance to help explain my rating for the product. The Patriot Viper 6GB DDR3 1600MHz memory kit may not seem all that great when you hear so much about dual-channel kits reaching 2000MHz, but triple-channel architecture is a different platform altogether. The CL9 latency for the PVT36G1600ELK kit is somewhat high, but the Gigabyte X58 motherboards all have a BIOS that refuses to drop below CL6 anyway. The Patriot Viper 6GB DDR3 1600MHz memory kit worked very well at CL8, and lower latency was available when the memory multiplier was reduced. In the other direction, overclocking this triple-channel DDR3 kit pushed the clock speed from 1600MHz to 1764 while operating at the lower-than-spec latency. Overclocking at the already-maxed 1.65V power rating offered an additional 164 MHz with loose timing, making the Patriot Viper kit the one you'll want for tweaking past the factory specs.
The baby-blue colored Patriot Viper DDR3 kits are eye-catching, and help an otherwise mundane hardware component stand-out in your system. Since 1.65V causes very little heat on the module, excessive cooling measures are pointless and even heat-spreaders become unnecessary. Considering this, I personally think that Patriot has combined equal parts function and fashion, and deliver an appealing product with no sacrifice in performance.
Construction is one key asset Patriot has in their favor. With a Patriot 'Lifetime Warranty' behind all of their Viper-series Triple-Channel memory kits, you can't really go wrong. The permanently secured tall-fin heat-spreader helps protect the DRAM IC modules, so all that remains for concern is static discharge damage. Even then, the warranty has you covered. Patriot Memory also offers live tech support, and a support forum for answers to common questions.
Benchmark Reviews has tested the 6GB Viper-series 1600 MHz Triple-Channel memory kit (PVT36G1600ELK), but Patriot also offers a three-piece 3GB kit (PVT33G1600ELK) kit that is perfect for 32-bit Operating Systems. The higher CL9-9-9-24 (CAS-TRCD-TRP-TRAS) latency is going to offer some of the best overclocking headroom available from any Triple-Channel X58-based kit, so this could yield better performance than a lower-speed lower-latency kit if the overclock is modest enough.
As of March 2009, DDR3 prices have collapsed faster than the American economy. The results are great for consumers, who can pick-up the 6GB Patriot Viper Triple-Channel 1600 MHz DDR3 memory kit for the price of last years DDR2. At the time of this writing, NewEgg sold the PVT36G1600ELK memory kit for $134.99, which was further reduced by Patriot's $25 mail-in rebate (making the price $109.99). Getting 6GB of DDR3 or $109.99 is great, and you can't beat this price! It's an even better price when you consider the flexibility of this memory kit.
Without knowing any better, most enthusiasts would overlook a 1600MHz DDR3 memory kit because of all the marketing hype given to 2000MHz+ kits; but doing so would be at their own loss. Triple-channel X58 motherboards favor low-latency DDR3 memory, and although this Viper DDR3 kit offers higher latency, there's tremendous headroom for overclocking this PC3-12800 kit. Selling the PVT36G1600ELK DDR3 memory kit at a price closer to DDR2 helps make the new platform more affordable, and the extra overclocking headroom improves the overclock for enthusiasts. Gamers need not worry about the clock speed, since latency is going to be the biggest concern of the two variable, and the Patriot Viper DDR3 memory kit did perform well with ample amounts of both. I recommend the Patriot Viper 6GB Triple-Channel 1600 MHz DDR3 as an all-around excellent memory kit to tackle every task it faces, from casual computing to highly-tweaked overclocks. For the price, the Viper 1600MHz kit offers excellent value.
+ Overclocks 164 MHz and drops to CL8 latency
- No additional voltage headroom
Final Score: 8.95 out of 10.
Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award.
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