Kingston sent the PC3-12800 24GB kit over a few months ago and since then I've tried to organize some things to really take advantage of the large amounts of memory. Having the ability to get suitable programs and what not hasn't been easy, though. Instead I've been using the kit for the last few weeks just to see what I think about it and I've also ran the kit through our normal memory benchmark suite.
It's interesting to see Kingston place the HyperX name on a 24GB memory kit. Considering it's only a PC3-12800 kit, we're not too sure that it should carry the HyperX tag. What has us worried is that Kingston is just slapping the series name on it because it's such a large kit.
We've got our fingers crossed there's more to it than that. It will be interesting to see how our ASRock board handles 24GB of memory and if we're able to overclock the kit.
The Packaging and Modules
Six 4GB modules give us a total of 24GB. The packaging isn't anything fancy. We're not sure if this is how it is in the retail market, but we're not sure you need fancy packaging for this kit anyway.
You can see what we're dealing with and you can have a closer look at the modules and the main details on the little sticker.
Both sides of the kit are almost identical. The only difference is one side has a sticker on it that gives us the main details. As for the heatsink, we can see that Kingston hasn't opted for the big heatsink on this kit. Instead they're using the smaller HyperX heatsink.
Let's jump forward to the next page and have a closer look at the timings and what we're dealing with exactly.
Being a PC3-12800 kit means that we're dealing with a 1600MHz DDR kit. The timings are 9-9-9-27-1T. Now, I'll be honest, when I see that normally it wouldn't really impress, but when you consider we're dealing with not only 4GB modules, but also six of them, it doesn't look bad at all.
You can see the validation here.
Getting that up and running was easy. At 1.65v we got into Windows with no problems and we didn't have an issue running our benchmarks. The question now is, can we overclock? I'll be honest when I say I don't like our chances, but let's see how we go.
You can see the validation here.
What we ended up with was a very surprising 1733MHz DDR while keeping the same 9-9-9-27-1T timings. This is extremely impressive and not only a real testament to the Kingston kit we're dealing with, but also the ASRock motherboard.
What was even more surprising was that we were booting at speeds in excess of 1800MHz DDR. I think if we played with the timings a little more and bumped the voltages we probably could've gone even higher. As always, though, we like to keep everything on an even playing field so we've just found our overclock with the default timings.
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 wPrime
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.
We've tested the Kingston kit against itself in three forms; 24GB at its default timings, 24GB at its maximum overclock and 12GB at the default timings again.
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.
Across the board we see that the extra memory doesn't change wPrime performance. This doesn't come as too much of a surprise, though, since this benchmark focuses more on the CPU than anything else.
Benchmarks - Everest Ultimate Edition
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.
We can see that the Kingston kit in 12GB and 24GB form perform very similar. When we bump the speed up to over 1700MHz DDR we see a bit of extra grunt under Everest.
Benchmarks - SiSoft 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.
Under Sandra we see that at default speeds the 24GB setup performs a little quicker. Upping the clocks again, though, increases our overall performance a nice little chunk.
Benchmarks - Sciencemark
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.
Across the board we can see that all the setups perform very similar to each other.
Benchmarks - Far Cry 2
Far 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.
When overclocked we can see performance is slightly up, but there's not a big difference between all three setups.
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.
Performance across the board is very strong. Even in a situation where some modules are clocked higher or at the same speed with more aggressive timings, the Kingston Hyper 24GB kit manages to really shine.
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.
The cost of the kit just blows our TVR graphs out of the water.
Performance on a whole from the module was very surprising; not only was the kit performing better than some higher clocked modules or ones that carried more aggressive timings, but the overclock we achieved from the modules was surprising to say the least.
At $1199.99 it's far from a cheap kit of memory and really, it caters for very few people. Considering that top 6GB kits can cost upwards of $600, twice the price for four times the memory is impressive, though. Really, 12GB at $600 isn't a bad price at all. The drop in memory as well might mean you see a bit more of an overclock. As I mentioned as well, if you adjust the timings there's a good chance you'll end up with a higher clock rate again.
As I mentioned in the beginning, I've been using the kit myself for the last few weeks in both 12GB and 24GB form. Originally I was running 6GB and when moving to 12GB you notice some extra snappiness in some scenarios. When moving around Windows 7 we don't see too much difference; everything is running nice and smooth. Where the kit begins to shine is when I start firing up Photoshop.
Editing pictures, saving files, adding filters and more is faster than the 6GB setup. Because I'm only dealing with 2D images, jumping up to 24GB doesn't show any more improvement. Once you start getting into 3D editing, though, the extra memory starts to shine even more.
24GB has its use, as does 12GB and 6GB. Depending on the level of computing you do is going to depend on how much value these larger kits hold. What I would suggest is as you climb up to these larger 12GB and 24GB kits you want to move to an SSD setup or at least a fast RAID 0 setup.
Outside of the size, though, it's just amazing what Kingston has managed to do with it. 1T at 1600MHz DDR on 24GB of memory is just fantastic; combine a 100MHz+ DDR overclock and it's just amazing. It really shows the commitment Kingston has to providing quality modules.
It no doubt has to be mentioned just how well the ASRock X58 Extreme3 motherboard handled the kit. I really thought we would run in to a little trouble, but we didn't run into any at all.