Market Positioning

Typically our market position examination is done through Newegg, although an issue comes through that the PV38G240C0K kit we are testing is not actually listed.  The alternative PV38G240C1K kit, a 2400 C11 2x4 GB kit, retails for $92 at Newegg, but our kit being tested today is more expensive than this when we look elsewhere:

Amazon.com: $116.80
NCIX: CAD$100
Amazon.co.uk: £95.92

If we take the Amazon.com pricing list, when comparing to other 2x4 GB 2400 C10 kits, we get the following:

$72: Team Xtreem LV, TXD38G2400HC10QDC01
$81: G.Skill TridentX, F3-2400C10D-8GTX
$88: G.Skill RipjawsZ, F3-2400C10D-8GZH
$88: G.Skill Trident, F3-2400C10D-8GTD
$92: Patriot Viper III, Black Mamba 2400 C11 (PV38G240C1K)
$107: Avexir Core (Blue), AVD3U24001004G-2CI
$117: Patriot Viper III, Black Mamba (PV38G240C0K)

From this list it would seem that a sub-$75 value would undercut memory kits from G.Skill, but at $117 or even $92, it does price itself out of the market somewhat.  $80 would bring it down to $10/GB, whereas $117 means $14.63 per GB.  There are better deals when buying 16 GB memory kits, in terms of cost per GB, although it comes with the added expense.

Test Bed

Processor Intel Core i7-4770K Retail @ 4.0 GHz
4 Cores, 8 Threads, 3.5 GHz (3.9 GHz Turbo)
Motherboards ASRock Z87 OC Formula/AC
Cooling Corsair H80i
Thermalright TRUE Copper
Power Supply Corsair AX1200i Platinum PSU
Memory ADATA XPG V2 DDR3-2400 C11-13-13 1.65V 2x8 GB
Patriot Viper III DDR3-2400 C10-12-12 1.65V 2x4 GB
Memory Settings XMP
Discrete Video Cards AMD HD5970
AMD HD5870
Video Drivers Catalyst 13.6
Hard Drive OCZ Vertex 3 256GB
Optical Drive LG GH22NS50
Case Open Test Bed
Operating System Windows 7 64-bit
USB 3 Testing OCZ Vertex 3 240GB with SATA->USB Adaptor

Many thanks to...

We must thank the following companies for kindly donating hardware for our test bed:

Thank you to OCZ for providing us with 1250W Gold Power Supplies.
Thank you to Corsair for providing us with an AX1200i PSU, and Corsair H80i CLC
Thank you to ASUS for providing us with the AMD GPUs and some IO Testing kit.
Thank you to ECS for providing us with the NVIDIA GPUs.
Thank you to Rosewill for providing us with the 500W Platinum Power Supply for mITX testing, BlackHawk Ultra, and 1600W Hercules PSU for extreme dual CPU + quad GPU testing, and RK-9100 keyboards.
Thank you to ASRock for providing us with the 802.11ac wireless router for testing.

‘Performance Index’

In our Haswell memory overview, I introduced a new concept of ‘Performance Index’ as a quick way to determine where a kit of various speed and command rate would sit relative to others where it may not be so obvious.  As a general interpretation of performance in that review, the performance index (PI) worked well, showing that memory kits with a higher PI performed better than those that a lower PI.  There were a few circumstances where performance was MHz or CL dominated, but the PI held strong for kit comparisons.

The PI calculation and ‘rules’ are fairly simple:

  • Performance Index = MHz divided by CL
  • Assuming the same kit size and installation location are the same, the memory kit with the higher PI will be faster
  • Memory kits similar in PI should be ranked by MHz
  • Any kit 1600 MHz or less is usually bad news.

That final point comes about due to the law of diminishing returns – in several benchmarks in our Haswell memory overview performed very poorly (20% worse or more) with the low end MHz kits.  In that overview, we suggested that an 1866 C9 or 2133 C10 might be the minimum suggestion, whereas 2400 C10 covers the sweetspot should any situation demand good memory.

With this being said, the results for our kits are as follows:

Performance Index

The Patriot kit starts with a very healthy PI of 240, which we mentioned can reach 266 when overclocked.

Overview, Specifications and Visual Inspection IGP Gaming
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  • chekk42 - Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - link

    No, I wasn't expecting 2400 to come in CL7, but thanks for the assistance. My point is really that kits which qualify as low latency like many of those in your list, seem to be in very short supply and/or very expensive today. I don't think this was the case a couple years ago when there was higher availability. Reply
  • Gen-An - Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - link

    The ICs that could run at those latencies comfortably have long since been discontinued. They were mostly 1Gbit chips (128MB) made by Elpida and Powerchips, so the biggest sticks you could get out of them were 2GB. Most memory these days are 4GB and 8GB sticks and the ICs used can't run low latencies at speeds of 1600. Reply
  • djscrew - Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - link

    RAM reviews seem more and more pointless by the day. Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - link

    Honestly I thought that for a long time, too. But Ian's work is extremely technical and thorough, and once you get into the intricacies of it, there's a lot to learn. I've been spending a lot of time delving into the effects of high speed memory and while 90% of the time it's not important, those weird 10% corner cases can be very compelling.

    Playing around with memory can be very interesting in general, and a lot of users swear by high speed memory because it just *seems* smoother. Every build and every system is essentially a game of moving bottlenecks around, and there's some value in being able to take memory speed out of that equation.
    Reply
  • mfenn - Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - link

    And yet the charts show that there is no difference for most use cases. Good data is a great thing to have. However, you shouldn't throw that data out the window and make conclusions based on emotions like you've done in your second paragraph. (Ian is just as guilty of this, so you're in good company.) Reply
  • Gen-An - Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - link

    I don't know why people just don't accept that there is a market for high speed RAM kits that often has very little to do with 24/7 "real world" usage and move on if it doesn't interest them. Reply
  • Ewram - Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - link

    I would have liked an AMD example on IGP performance as well, but oh well... Reply
  • Ewram - Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - link

    Forgot to finish my post with: Great review anyway! Reply
  • johnnyfoxes - Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - link

    This seems like a pretty good option. I've been a custom builder for the last years and I have always thought that it's really painful to keep track of all the different components. I've tried a couple of different solutions like Evernote, but started using a new startup called Unioncy the other day. Found it quite helpful since they track warranties for you. Might be worth a try if you are building a lot like me. Reply
  • Hairs_ - Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - link

    While this review is technically interesting up to a point, it reinforces a view I've had of the tech press for a while now: there is far too much attention on high end halo products which have norelevance to most buyers. In this case, it appears we're embarking on a review of massively expensive options for ram when the existing tests show absolutely no performance difference whatsoever between these high priced kits and ddr3 1333 ones. Triple the price for an extra 1fps? Recommended!

    Any idiot spending hundreds of dollars on ram can afford to replace what he doesn't like. Where are the reviews of budget motherboards, ram kits, processors? The only people who really need to know what the latest $700 processor running on a $400 motherboard with $200 of ram and a $600 graphics card can do can afford to replace what they think isn't good enough and are probably upgrading every 6 months anyway.

    You know who *needs* reviews? The guy replacing a $5-600 build from 3 or 4 years ago with the same price, and is faced with hundreds of choices. He can't afford to buy the wrong part and the parts he's choosing from are far more superficially varied and difficult to evaluate.

    Needless to say, if you want to find out if $500 card x is significantly faster than $500 card y from 6 months ago, a hundred sites will tell you. Comparing a $100 processor? nope.

    The graphs in this article and the last one tell us all we need to know about high end memory: it makes no difference. Please move on!
    Reply

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