This won’t be so much a product review than an impromptu christening of my newborn computer, and the memory that helped make it happen. After living somewhat comfortably with the portability of laptops I always had a yearning to have a powerhouse desktop that could handle anything I threw at it, and after a couple weeks with a little help from our friends at Kingston, I was finally able to achieve the dream. Having the right equipment are a given, but one of the most effective means of upgrading usually involves the RAM.
Whether it be coincidence or excellent timing Kingston is also celebrating a milestone of their own, and with the creation of one of our latest rigs we happily took a 16GB kit of their HyperX 10th Anniversary Memory and put it to the test. The system we tested the 1600MHz DDR3 memory was built with higher-end mainstream performance in mind with an Intel Core i7-3770 3.4GHz processor, 2GB AMD HD7870 graphics card, a transplanted 120GB Kingston SSDNow V300 drive, and a Shuttle SZ77R5 Barebone XPC Desktop with a FZ77 Motherboard.
Our review unit came in a 16GB (4GBx4) 1600 MHz package that can also be had in 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB capacities in kits of two or four units, and depending on the motherboard you can have the memory from DDR3-1600, 1866, and up to 2400MHz frequencies.
Looks were deceiving at first glance because of the packaging – there’s no evidence of these memory kits being anything special. This was odd, considering they’re housed in a sealed plastic tray, but after opening it up we were treated to some flashiness that’s a modest step-up from the usual Kingston modules. Raised silver metallic plates decorated with a textured “X” logo decoration on top of a gray heat spreader, and if that wasn’t enough a printed on “HyperX 10 Years” logo on the side helps drive the point home.
The modules are pretty to look at but their true merits lay in performance, and for our tests we looked at current benchmark numbers and general application usage. By default, our machine had throttled the speed frequency to 1333MHz and we had to manually access the BIOS and configure Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) settings to enable its advertised maximum. To record data we used the Cache and Memory Benchmark Tool in the AIDA64 Diagnostic program, and our best results stood at 18118 MB/s read, 19300 MB/s write, 21114 MB/s copy, and a latency of 44.3 ns.
These figures were benchmarked through AIDA64 Professional and matched against other comparably equipped motherboard references such as the Asus Sabertooth Z77 and Intel DX79SI, and Kingston’s power-RAM managed to hold its own in top tier readings, despite non-overclocking and the lack of Quad Channel modes that only Intel X79 platform chipsets are capable of utilizing the optimized feature.
Numbers are one thing but application performance is what we’re most interested in. From hardcore gaming through Steam to running our favorite resource-intensive programs like Photoshop CS5 and Corel Painter, the benefits of having enthusiast-grade memory was like night and day. Lag and program stalling were practically nonexistent even running just about everything at once, and the frequency of my Windows-related crashes were considerably minimized. Even my huge music library cycled through and streamed even faster when using iTunes (a notorious memory hog and one of my least favorite programs in general).
Considering we had enough memory to spare we actually found it difficult to put the modules under virtual stress; for power users this is the best kind of problem to have.
Despite the flair, most will probably do well to consider Kingston as they commemorate their first decade with the attractive HyperX 10th Anniversary Memory kits, and based on reputation alone we believe there are only a few competitors that can match or beat the power and reliability of the HyperX sub-brand. the celebratory livery costs a little more coin but completely worth the investment if you want real long-term performance. Highly recommended.