We look at a fair bit of Kingston memory and for good reason; they're constantly bringing new models to the market that are faster than the previous ones. Today's a bit different, though; while the kit we're looking at falls into the HyperX category, it doesn't carry the trademark blue heatsink that we're used to seeing, nor does it carry with it clock speeds higher than the previous HyperX kit we looked at.
While still part of the HyperX series, this particular kit carries with it the new LoVo label. If you didn't know or haven't figured out what LoVo stands for, it's Low Voltage. This gives us that feeling it's a more mainstream part; when we see that the massive blue heatsink has been ditched we're pretty much set on the fact it's a mainstream memory kit.
We have to wonder, though; does Low Voltage and HyperX deserve to be in the same category? It seems a little conflicting. HyperX is all about power and Low Voltage is all about taking care of the environment and hugging trees.
Let's hope that this isn't just some normal kit of memory with a new colored heatsink and fancy title. Hopefully we'll discover that the kit deserves to sit in the HyperX series and LoVo is something that we should be interested in.
The Packaging and ModulesThe Package
Looking at the package, there's nothing we haven't seen before from Kingston. You can clearly see all the main details in regards to the kit on the main sticker while also being able to have a good look at the modules themselves.
The first thing we notice is the fact that we're using a green heatsink which seems weird for a Kingston set of modules. The actual design of the heatsink isn't anything new; it's the same one we've seen on older HyperX modules. It's a nice quality heatsink. As for the little sticker, we've got a bit of information, but nothing too informative. Most of the information is seen on the front.
While rated at PC3-15000 or 1866MHz DDR, there are actually two XMP profiles when you dive into the BIOS. The LoVo series as we mentioned stands for Low Voltage. While most of the memory we look at these days is performance stuff carrying with it a 1.65v rating, at 1600MHz 9-9-9-24-1T a small 1.25v is only needed to run the memory. At these settings we didn't have any issues running the memory.
You can see the validation here.
You can see the validation here.
The next profile is the standard 1866MHz 9-9-9-27-1T one. While not as low, this still only requires 1.35v to get up and running. We again didn't have any issue achieving this speed.
You can see the validation here.
Since we didn't know if these modules could run high voltage or not, we decided to move the voltage just to 1.55v to see if we could get some head room out of the modules at the default 9-9-9-27-1T setup. We didn't run into any problems and settled on quite a nice 2035MHz DDR. Really, this is a nice jump from 1866MHz DDR at 1.55v while still keeping the 9-9-9-27-1T setup.
Important Editor Note: Our maximum overclocking result is the best result we managed in our limited time of testing the memory. Due to time constraints we weren't able to tweak the motherboard to the absolute maximum and find the highest possible FSB, as this could take days to find properly. We do however spend at least a few hours overclocking every motherboard to try and find the highest possible overclock in that time frame. You may or may not be able to overclock higher if you spend more time tweaking, or as new BIOS updates are released. "Burn-in" time might also come into play if you believe in that.
Test System Setup and wPrimeTest System Setup
We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASRock, Sapphire, Western Digital, Noctua and Corsair.
Over the coming weeks we'll slowly add more and more memory modules to our graphs as we test more and more memory. For now, though, we'll have a look the Kingston LoVo HyperX kit mainly against itself. We'll also be including the Kingmax Hercules modules we looked at the other week at its stock speeds.
Let's get started!
Important Note: When modules are overclocked we adjust the BCLK which not only lets us fine tune the MHz out of a module, but in turn increases the overall CPU clock speed. While we always make the effort to include the BCLK and CPU Speed in our graphs, please just make sure that you make note of these when looking at the results. In some tests that don't purely test the memory speed the extra MHz on offer from the CPU can increase the result. Of course, it's worth noting that having faster memory gives you the ability to run your CPU at a higher speed.
Version and / or Patch Used: 1.62
Developer Homepage: http://www.wprime.net/
Product Homepage: http://www.wprime.net/
wPrime uses a recursive call of Newton's method for estimating functions, with f(x)=x2-k, where k is the number we're sqrting, until Sgn(f(x)/f'(x)) does not equal that of the previous iteration, starting with an estimation of k/2. It then uses an iterative calling of the estimation method a set amount of times to increase the accuracy of the results. It then confirms that n(k)2=k to ensure the calculation was correct. It repeats this for all numbers from 1 to the requested maximum.
The max OC gives us a nice little bit of headroom on our CPU which makes it come out quick under wPrime. You can see at 1866MHz DDR performance is worse due to the fact that our CPU is slower.
Benchmarks - Everest Ultimate EditionEverest
Version and / or Patch Used: Ultimate Edition
Developer Homepage: http://www.lavalys.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.lavalys.com/products/overview.php?pid=3&ps=UE&lang=en
Buy It Here
EVEREST Ultimate Edition is an industry leading system diagnostics and benchmarking solution for enthusiasts PC users, based on the award-winning EVEREST Technology. During system optimizations and tweaking it provides essential system and overclock information, advanced hardware monitoring and diagnostics capabilities to check the effects of the applied settings. CPU, FPU and memory benchmarks are available to measure the actual system performance and compare it to previous states or other systems. Furthermore, complete software, operating system and security information makes EVEREST Ultimate Edition a comprehensive system diagnostics tool that offers a total of 100 pages of information about your PC.
Looking at read performance, we can see a steady increase as we move up the MHz table. As for write speeds, apart from the 1866MHz clock which goes a bit backwards, we can see a small boost at 2035MHz DDR.
Benchmarks - SiSoft SandraSiSoft Sandra
Version and / or Patch Used: Professional Home
Developer Homepage: http://www.sisoftware.co.uk
Product Homepage: http://sisoftware.jaggedonline.com/index.php?location=home&a=TTA&lang=en
Buy It Here
SiSoft Sandra (System ANalyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) is a synthetic Windows benchmark that features different tests used to evaluate different PC subsystems.
As we increase the MHz of the memory we improve the performance. Here paints a clear picture of the extra bandwidth on offer as we overclock more and more.
Benchmarks - SciencemarkScienceMark 2.0
ScienceMark 2.0 is a mathematical program designed to stress the memory subsystems of both desktop/workstation and server environments to determine the read/write latency as well as the overall memory bandwidth available between the CPU and the memory controller.
Like wPrime Sciencemark loves the CPU clock and we see the 1600MHz DDR performance better than the 1866MHz DDR performance due to the fact that we're at a higher CPU clock.
Benchmarks - Far Cry 2Far Cry 2
Version and / or Patch Used: 1.03
Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long
Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com
Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com
Buy It Here
The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.
Across the board you can see very little difference when it comes to gaming. We've got a slight bit of fluctuation in the minimum department, but it's barely anything.
Total Performance Rating (TPR)Total Performance Rating
The TPR graph is a combination of all our benchmarks in which we test our memory modules with.
The TPR number is a combination of:-
wPrime Benchmark, Everest Ultimate, SiSoft Sandra, Sciencemark 2.0 and Far Cry 2.
Due to the nature of some benchmarks where scores having a lower is better result, we've had to change the way we do the numbers when compared to our video card ones. Far Cry 2, SiSoft Sandra and Everest Ultimate numbers are all combined. In Sciencemark 2.0 and wPrime Benchmark where a lower number is better, we have a base number of 300. The score we get from the kit is then removed off that number. There's a total of 600 base points.
For example; if the wPrime Benchmark score is 193.266 and 6.297 for 1024M and 32M respectively, the number that is added to the graphs is 400. That number is obtained by using the following equation: 600 - 193.266 - 6.297 = 400.437. It's then rounded down to 400 in this case. In the event that the RAM was slower in wPrime, the total would be lower which represents our TPR graphs exactly how we want.
You can clearly see as we add more and more speed to the kit our performance goes up and up. At 2035MHz DDR the kit really does perform very well thanks to its 1T command rate.
Total Value Rating (TVR)Total Value Rating
The TVR graph is the TPR score divided by the price of the memory kit. The price of the memory kit is based on the list price of the model on Newegg.com. In the event the kit isn't listed, it will be based on the U.S. $ MSRP given to us by the manufacturer.
In the event we can't source a price from either, the product will not receive a TVR rating. As with our TPR graph, the amount of memory kits on the list will grow over time and the price of the model won't change from what it was when first reviewed. For this reason the U.S. $ price that the kit is based off will be included next to the name of the model.
In the event you want to find the TVR rating yourself based on the current price, all you have to do is simply divide the TPR number by the list price.
TVR numbers are rounded to the nearest whole number; 100.3 will be 100; 100.8 will be 101 and 100.5 will be rounded down to 100.
Listed at about $200 U.S. at the Kingston website, the kit is well priced and does a good job of offering decent value when we benchmark at both 1866MHz DDR and its max overclock of 2035MHz DDR.
Final ThoughtsFinal Thoughts
Let me just start off by addressing the whole low voltage aspect of the kit. The idea on a whole is great, but in retrospect a difference of .2v or .3v is going to do very little for power draw. You would ultimately buy this kit in a situation where you wanted to build a low power system. You wouldn't buy a high end i7 setup and then buy the LoVo kit thinking that it's magically going to use less power than a standard memory kit that uses 1.5v to 1.65v.
When it came to performance I was legitimately shocked. Due to the whole nature of what the LoVo is for, I didn't expect any headroom in overclocking, especially at the standard timings which included a 1T command rate. I thought if I moved to 2T we might get a performance boost, but since we always test max OC with the default timings I thought the modules wouldn't have any joy at all.
To keep that 1T command rate and achieve over 2000MHz DDR was very impressive. Even more impressive was the fact that we did it at only 1.55v. Since most of our 2000MHz DDR+ kits we look at carry 1.65v as standard and this is the highest Intel recommend, we don't go past it. We might've been able to achieve even more performance out of the kit if we moved another .1v, but what we got out of it at 1.55v was fantastic.
Taking into consideration the overclock we achieved and also the fact that the kit uses a 1T command rate, it was easy to see how this kit would come in under the HyperX series.
It's nice to see something different; we don't always have to see kits that can do 2300MHz DDR+ to be impressed. This is a fantastic little kit for people who want some good timings while at the same time having a bit off headroom when it comes to the OC.
So, the whole low voltage requirement is just a bit of a bonus and means that it will attract another crowd again. Don't be mistaken, though, this isn't just a kit for someone who wants to run a low power office system.
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