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Kingston HyperX Genesis 16GB DDR3-1600 E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Memory
Written by David Ramsey   
Friday, 30 December 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
Kingston HyperX Genesis 16GB DDR3-1600
Closer Look: Kingston HyperX Genesis
Testing and Results
Synthetic Tests
Application Tests
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

HyperX Genesis 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: 16GB of memory for under $100 from top-tier vendors like Corsair and Kingston! It's hard not to like that. But the profit margins in the memory business are razor-thin, and vendors are (understandably) trying to pad their bottom lines with expensive, high-performance memory aimed at overclockers and other enthusiasts who must have the "fastest" and are willing to pay the price. But as our tests at Benchmark Reviews have shown, all this faster memory is really good for is turning in marginally better benchmark scores, with real-world performance improvements that are almost impossible to discern.


Even today, very few consumers will have real need for 16GB of memory. While those editing huge videos or running virtual machines may benefit, right now this much RAM represents "room to grow" more than anything else. Still, at just $89.99 from Newegg or Amazon, there's little reason to go with a smaller kit unless your budget is tight...and if it is, Kingston sells these same memory modules in a two-DIMM, 8GB package for about half this price

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.

KHX1600C9D3K4 Conclusion

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 virtually no real-world benefit to be had from this very expensive memory. For less than one-third the price, you can get the same 16GB capacity, physical appearance, and Kingston lifetime warranty and support with this DDR3-1600 memory kit.

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 won't be visible installed in anything other than an open-air test chassis.

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 1600MHz Quad-Channel DDR3 Memory Kit KHX1600C9D3K4 sold at Newegg and Amazon for $89.99.

Functionality is excellent:the user can choose to run at the default 1333MHz or the XMP-profile 1600Mhz by selecting the desired profile in their computer's BIOS, with no overclocking or guesswork needed. While the 1600MHz speed won't provide much performance improvement over 1333MHz, you're paying for it, so you might as well use it. 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.

This memory hits the sweet spot for price vs. performance: it's faster than DDR3-1066 and DDR3-1333 (besides, there's some subtle enthusiast stigma attached to memory slower than 1600MHz), and provides virtually the same performance as much more expensive "high performance" memory. You get Kingston's lifetime warranty and support in a 16GB kit that's less than $100. Grab this while you can: you never know when some natural disaster will force component prices up!

Pros:Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award

+ Low-profile heat spreaders won't present cooler clearance problems
+ XMP profile makes getting the best performance easy
+ Lifetime warranty
+ Comes in a useful memory storage bin


- None


  • Performance: 9.0
  • Appearance: 9.00
  • Construction: 9.00
  • Functionality: 8.75
  • Value: 9.75

Final Score: 9.1 out of 10.

Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.

Benchmark Reviews invites you to leave constructive feedback below, or ask questions in our Discussion Forum.

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# Overclocking results?Anusha 2011-12-30 03:32
No overclocking results?
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# DITTOkzinti1 2011-12-30 11:00
Where are the overclocking results? Without them this review does nothing more than say that the memory works.
If it cannot be OC'd then the memory is of very low quality, thus, that is how I will think of Kingston Memory from now on. Not overclockable according to Benchmark
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# RE: DITTODavid Ramsey 2011-12-30 14:02
Since even large increases in memory frequency make virtually no real-world performance difference (look at the results for this memory compared to Kingston's own DDR3-2133 memory in the charts in this review), I normally don't bother to overclock memory unless it's specifically targeted at that market-- say, Corsair Dominator memory or Kingston's own HyperX T1 memory.

Memory overclockability was more important back in the days when raising the FSB was the only way to overclock the CPU. These days, Intel processors either have unlocked multipliers or locked-down BCLKs (like Sandy Bridge) and almost all AMD processors allow multiplier overclocking. Granted, X79 does bring back a limited BCLK adjustability, but again, it's just not going to make any real difference. Granted, some people just like to see how high their memory benchmark scores can be...

I also disagree that "if it cannot be OC'd then the memory is of very low quality." Overclocking is never guaranteed and is dependent on the motherboard as well as the memory; just because I could take (for example) this memory to 1800MHz at 9-8-9-22 is no guarantee at all that you could. High quality memory runs at its specs (XMP if so equipped) reliably; there's really no other criterion that makes sense.

If you're interested in real world performance improvements (as opposed to benchmark scores), concentrate on overclocking your CPU and video card.
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# RE: RE: DITTOAnusha 2011-12-30 16:08
what if you are geting them for AMD APU based system? Memory frequency affects the GPU performance significantly.
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# RE: RE: RE: DITTODavid Ramsey 2011-12-30 17:46
Any cites? Unfortunately I don't have an AMD APU-based system to test with...
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: DITTOAnusha 2011-12-30 17:57
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: DITTODavid Ramsey 2011-12-31 13:27
Interesting...I'll keep that in mind, since it appears as though higher memory frequencies can indeed bump the graphics performance of AMD Fusion processors (although it didn't seem to do anything for the integrated GPU in Intel procs).

Note, though, that they were using Corsair Dominator memory, which will typically have more overclocking headroom than this stuff.
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