We continue to see more and more companies attempt to break speed barriers when it comes to memory. Today we're looking at a PC3-20000 kit from Patriot with a massive default clock of 2500MHz DDR.
It's coming to the point where the speed is just so high that we have to wonder what exactly people are doing with this massive amount of bandwidth. It's been a while since we've seen anything from Patriot and we've got to say our initial impressions have us a little worried if we're going to get the speed promised by the company.
With a cooler that doesn't look too fancy and no active cooling, we're really wondering if the kit is going to be able to achieve 2500MHz DDR with ease. Before we find out if it does, let's take a look at the package and a closer look at the heatsink first.
Once that's done we'll have a closer look at the specifications of the modules and see how we went when it came to clocking the kit. Then it's into some benchmarks to see just what the kit is capable of and how it compares to a couple of other high speed kits from other companies.
The Packaging and ModulesThe Package
Checking out the package, there's not much going on. The thin package tells us no active cooling comes with the kit and with a default speed of 2500MHz DDR we're worried that we might run into some problems.
For such a high speed kit there doesn't seem to be a whole lot going on with the heatsink. It's fairly standard looking and again the lack of active cooling makes us think that getting to the stock 2500MHz DDR speed won't be quite as easy as we're used to.
As for the overall look, there's not much going on with both sides having the Sector 5 logo and one side having the Patriot one while the other has a sticker that gives us a rundown on the kit like its model, speed, timings and more.
The lack of active cooling as we mentioned was an initial concern of ours, because we've seen kits that start heading north of the 2200MHz DDR speed carrying with them active cooling. With that said, I have to say I was extremely surprised when I got into Windows at 2514MHz DDR. What was more surprising was the fact that all our benchmarks completed at this speed, too.
You can see the validation here.
What we ended up with was 2514MHz DDR with a 9-11-9-27-2T setup that ran like a charm. We did have to run 1.7v which is a little more than we're used to, but the kit is rated for that, so we weren't concerned.
Getting more speed wasn't possible; when you think that we couldn't land on 2500MHz DDR exactly because of memory dividers, the fact we got into Windows higher than 2500MHz DDR was a surprise in itself.
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.
We had hoped to be able to run our CPU at 21 x 209, but instead we had to opt for 20 x 209 which pushed our CPU speed down to 4189MHz. Just keep that in mind when comparing the kit to some higher speed modules that carry with it a faster CPU clock.
As for what we compared it against, we saw how the kit went compared to a couple of other high end kits including a 2200MHz DDR Kingmax kit and a 2400MHz DDR Kingston kit.
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.
Due to the CPU speed being a little slower, the performance here isn't as strong when compared to some of the other kits.
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.
Ignoring the CPU speed and getting stuck into the performance of the actual memory kit, you can see the performance is strong here with its read and write performance clearly being ahead of the Kingston and its 2400MHz DDR kit. Compared to the 2200MHz DDR Kingmax kit, you can see the Patriot kit is well ahead.
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.
We again see that compared to the Kingston kit which is running at 2400MHz DDR the kit from Patriot again pulls out a win that can clearly be seen.
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.
Again we see the CPU come back into it and the kits that are running on a 4.2GHz CPU all perform very similar to each other.
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.
Looking at real world performance when it comes to gaming, we don't see any real surprises.
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.
The Patriot kit almost takes top honors; the Kingston kit at 2490MHz DDR manages to just pull out the win, though, thanks to the higher MHz CPU speed.
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.
Value isn't the strongest point of really high end kits. It's not too bad, though. If you have the need for speed it's a worthy kit.
Final ThoughtsFinal Thoughts
The Patriot Sector 5 PC3-20000 kit is a very fast kit; it's a very very fast kit. The problem is that unless you really know what you're doing when it comes to getting down and dirty with the BIOS, you'll have trouble achieving these speeds. We're at a point now with speed that it's not just a matter of changing the memory divider; you really have to start getting into the base clock and for kits like this, we need a base clock in excess of 200.
At $319.99 it's not a cheap kit of RAM and you have to remember we're only dealing with a 4GB kit. It's not like some of the recent kits we've looked at that carry twice that amount. Performance is the name of the game here and we've got to say it plays that game very well.
It would've been nice to see some active cooling with the kit because we're dealing with a 1.7 voltage level, but the bottom line is we didn't need active cooling to get the kit up and running so we're not all that bummed about the lack of a cooling fan being included. It also means that because it's not included a few dollars can be saved on the overall kit. The good news is if you want a cooler you're able to buy one and while Patriot might not have one, other memory companies do that can be bought separately.
Patriot have produced a very fast kit here that people who have the need for speed are going to want and while the kit lacks some of the flair that we see from higher end kits, we're able to get the default clock speeds which is ultimately what we want.
While clearly not for everyone, if you're after a seriously fast kit then the Patriot PC3-20000 one is well worth checking out.
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