|6GB Kingston HyperX 2000MHz DDR3 Memory Kit|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Memory|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Friday, 02 April 2010|
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Closer Look: Kingston HyperX DDR3
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.
Kingston's KHX2000C8D3T1K3/6GX memory upgrade kit is comprised of three 256M x 64-bit 2GB (2048MB) DDR3-2000MHz CL8 SDRAM (Synchronous DRAM) memory modules, based on sixteen 128M x 8-bit DDR3 FBGA components per module. Each module kit supports Intel XMP (Extreme Memory Profiles). Each module has been tested to run at DDR3-2000MHz at a low latency timing of 8-8-8 with 1.65 volts. The SPDs are programmed to JEDEC standard latency DDR3-1333MHz timing of 9-9-9 at 1.5V. Each 240-pin DIMM uses gold contact fingers and requires +1.5V.
Basic DDR3 memory modules aren't much to look at naked; just a printed circuit board with DRAM ICs soldiered to it. But by adding a tall heat-spreader heatsink to the memory module, it gives the computer system an exciting look that identifies with PC hardware enthusiasts. The Kingston HyperX DDR3-series fierce looks, and matching function.
Just because triple-channel (X58) DDR3 kits come with an odd number of memory modules, doesn't mean that dual-channel motherboard owners couldn't benefit. Many dual-channel P55-Express motherboards offer six DIMM slots, and buying two of these triple-channel kits will offers enough RAM to fill the system (certain motherboards require single-sided modules). Benchmark Reviews is testing the Kingston HyperX 6GB 2000MHz kit on the ASUS P6X58D-Premium motherboard, so 64-bit users who want 12GB of memory may also consider buying two sets of this triple-channel kit.
Kingston uses a tall anodized aluminum heat-spreader for their HyperX DDR3 series. The KHX2000C8D3T1K3/6GX kit uses a light-blue colored heat-spreader, which is the only differentiating factor separating the appearance of this kit from their other system memory products. Unlike their dual-channel counterparts, triple-channel DDR3 kits are usually slower in speed and/or latency timing because they much use lower operating voltage. Kingston carefully selects modules that can achieve decent operating speeds with acceptable latency, and adhere to the low-voltage requirements of Intel's X58-Express platform.
Because triple-channel kits use a much lower maximum voltage (to avoid Core i7 processor damage), extreme cooling is unnecessary for these modules unless you push them. The Kingston HyperX series is meant to be pushed, and pushed hard, all the way to 2002MHz with 8-8-8-24-1 timings. Under stress and profiled to 2002MHz at 1.65V, the Kingston KHX2000C8D3T1K3 memory modules were barely warm to the touch. After explaining how DDR3 in the next few sections, we test to see how much difference it makes if a triple-channel kit operates at high speed or low latency... as we compare the 2000MHz Kingston HyperX memory kit to several others using the Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition processor.