|Kingston HyperX Genesis 16GB DDR3-2133|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Memory|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Friday, 09 December 2011|
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Kingston HyperX Final Thoughts
A common mistake for enthusiasts to make is to concentrate on only a single aspect of system performance: a fast CPU can be hobbled by a low-end video card, or too little memory or hard drive space. Hard drive prices have skyrocketed in recent months due to the flooding in Thailand, which makes SSDs more attractive (although there's still a huge price differential).
But while hard disk prices are up, memory has become absurdly cheap in the last couple of years, with prices as much as 80% lower than prices just two years ago. This is good news for computer users: it's now possible to buy 16GB of good memory for well under a hundred dollars from top-tier vendors like Corsair and Kingston. In fact Kingston's own 16GB DDR3-1600 memory kit has an MSRP of only $94.00! This is an incredible value by any standard...which makes the HyperX DDR3-2133 16GB kit's MSRP of $318.00 all the more startling. Yes, this would have been an amazing price a couple of years ago, but it's going to be a very tough sell, especially since the real-world performance improvements it buys you are virtually nonexistent.
Modern processors contain megabytes of cache memory. While the Core i7-3960X I used in this test has 15MB of internal cache, even lower-end CPUs will have 2-4M or more. This means that most memory accesses are handled from the processor cache, and continuous accessing of system memory rarely happens except in synthetic benchmarks designed to do just that...which is why you see memory performance differences in these benchmarks, and not in applications.
The whole point behind paying more for high-performance components, be they fast CPUs, killer graphics cards, SSDs, or performance memory, is to see this better performance in your system. While the Kingston HyperX DDR3-2133 memory showed its mettle in benchmark tests, application tests show that there's little of any real-world benefit to be had from this very expensive memory.
HyperX is Kingston's enthusiast memory brand, and all HyperX memory is dressed with heat spreaders. The low-profile anodized aluminum spreaders on this kit look good, but the heat spreader on one of the four DIMMs didn't precisely match the color of the other three.
Construction quality was good; there were no obvious physical flaws on the DIMMs and the performance was reliable.
As of December 2011, the 16GB Kingston HyperX Genesis 2133MHz Quad-Channel DDR3 Memory Kit KHX2133C11D3K4 sold at Amazon for $318.00.
Functionality is excellent: the user can choose to run the memory at 1333MHz, 1866MH, or 2133MHz by selecting the appropriate XMP profile in their computer's BIOS, with no overclocking or guesswork needed. That said, I don't know why you'd ever choose to run this expensive high performance memory at less than its full rated speed. The low profile heat spreaders eliminate the possibility of heat sink interference, which I expect to be a significant problem as Intel X79 Express systems become more popular.
The value proposition for this memory isn't good. It runs reliably at its maximum rated speed and synthetic benchmarks clearly demonstrate the performance improvement over conventional 1333 and 1600MHz memory. However, at more than triple the cost of a visually identical 1600MHz kit from the same vendor, the fact that I couldn't discern any performance improvements at the application level has to bring the rationale for buying this memory into question. Unless you're an overclocker looking to post the absolute highest benchmark scores, there's no reason to pay the substantial premium for this memory.
+ Low-profile heat spreaders won't present cooler clearance problems
- Very expensive enthusiast-level product
Final Score: 8.45 out of 10.
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