In what feels like ages ago now, during Computex we saw Apacer show off the new ARES PC3-17066 kit. I've used Apacer RAM in the past, but I couldn't even tell you how long ago it was and while we've seen the company offer quality module after quality module over the years, it's really been in that main stream segment with high end performance not being something they've focused a lot on.
The ARES looks to change that, though. With its mean looking heatsink and strong specifications it looks like Apacer is ready to rock and roll in the high performance memory segment with this new offering. Before we take a closer look at the exact specifications of the new kit, let's take a look at the kit itself.
Looking at the modules, you can see that Apacer have gone for a design that we haven't really seen much of lately. While a lot of companies have gone for lower profile heatsinks, we can see that Apacer are offering us quite a tall module that looks quite normal from the bottom, but of course you can see coming out of the RAM we've got a heatpipe that comes out onto another heatsink.
Both sides are nearly identical with the only difference being that one offers us a sticker that shows the specifications of the modules. Moving in closer, we can have a look at what exactly they are.
As we mentioned, the kit is of course a PC3-17066 one which means that it carries a default clock speed of 2133MHz DDR. On the timings front we've got a CL9 setup that comes in at 9-11-9-27 @ 1.65v.
Not too sure if it's 1T or 2T, so we set the kit to 1T and got up and running without any problems at all. You can see our CPU-Z validation here. Up and running in Windows, it was time to check out the performance we could get.
Under AIDA64 we ended up with Read / Write numbers of 21,127 MB/s / 18,251 MB/s, Copy speed of 22,149 MB/s and latency of 40.4ns.
Like we thought, the performance lines up just as expected. With everything running well at stock, we headed back into the BIOS to see what kind of overclock we could get out of the kit. First we bumped our memory clock up to 2100MHz DDR, but unfortunately we couldn't get the kit to post.
That wasn't too much of a surprise since we're running 1T Command Rate, so we went back into the BIOS and changed that over to 2T and we got up and running with no problem at all. You can see our CPU-Z validation here. Up and running in Windows, it was time to check out the performance we could get.
Under AIDA64 we ended up with Read / Write numbers of 21,474 MB/s / 18,770 MB/s, Copy speed of 22,703 MB/s and latency of 40.0ns.
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You can see that overall we get a slight boost in performance, before we finished up the overclocking side of things, we figured we'd just go back into the BIOS and loosen the timings a little to see if we could get some extra MHz out of the kit.
We didn't want to go too crazy with the loosening of the timings, but we did move from 9-11-9-27-2T to 10-11-10-30-2T and we ended up back in Windows running a cool 2273MHz DDR which is a nice 140MHz DDR increase over the stock clocks. You can see our CPU-Z validation here. Up and running in Windows, it was time to check out the performance we could get.
Under AIDA64 we ended up with Read / Write numbers of 21,917 MB/s / 19,372 MB/s, Copy speed of 23,338 MB/s and latency of 40.4ns.
Overall, we see another little boost in performance when it comes to raw MB/s, but you can see compared to the slightly lower clocked, tighter timing setup the latency is a little higher, lining up with the stock numbers we saw. Before we finish up with everything, as always we head back into the BIOS to crank up our CPU speed and see what kind of performance we're able to get out of our RAM.
We ended up pushing our CPU up to 5.07GHz, but needed to drop the RAM down just a little to 2252MHz DDR @ 10-11-10-30-2T which comes still just over 100MHz DDR higher than the stock clocks.
As you can see above under AIDA64, we ended up with Read / Write numbers of 24,888 MB/s / 25,914 MB/s, Copy speed of 28,090 MB/s and latency of 37.3ns.
Apacer has put together a really nice kit here and it's nice to see them back in the high performance segment with not only a kit that looks good, but offers us some really strong performance. Out of the box we've got a 2133MHz DDR CL9 kit that has no issues running with a 1T Command Rate.
Getting into the overclocking side of things, we can push that speed up to 2100MHz DDR using the same timings except for the Command Rate being moved to 2T. If we loosen the timings up a little more, we're able to break the 1250MHz DDR clock with the highest clock we saw coming in at 2273MHz DDR.
The ARES kit we've got on hand from Apacer is really nice; we've got some good out of the box performance on offer from the 2133MHz DDR CL9 setup and we have some strong overclocking potential at CL9 or CL10 if we choose to loosen them up a bit more.
The biggest issue at the moment for the Apacer ARES kit is that it's just hard to find. If they've taken this dual channel kit to test the water for high performance RAM, they've done a great job. Hopefully we'll see the new ARES series extend into the Quad Channel era that's coming. Throw in a black PCB and these look great on any black PCB motherboard.