The original Corsair Vengeance memory was some seriously quick, fairly good-looking RAM.
Now Corsair have tweaked the Vengeance line and added three low-profile variants, hence the LP. Fans of almost any motherboard colour scheme in the world will be pleased to know that the three options are Red, White and dark Grey, all with different abilities. Today we're looking at the low voltage option which is only available in white.
With a revised heat-spreader guaranteed to fit under any cooler, and some cool colour choices, how does this 8GB kit stack up against some of the more power-hungry options?
As the Vengeance LP has such a low running voltage, a mere 1.35v, it's not surprising to see the timings at a standard 1600@9-9-9-24. Hopefully though this low voltage should enable us to gain some extra performance with a little more tweaking, something that is sorely lacking from most Sandy Bridge based RAM kits.
|Memory Type||240 Pin Dual-Channel DDR3|
All fairly standard stuff. Let's take a closer look.
As you can see the Vengeance LP comes in a nice box, a good change from the standard blister-pack style most RAM comes in.
The modified Vengeance heat-spreader is nearly wholly aesthetic as a 1.35v kit is unlikely to produce much heat. However for those of you who can't get enough white hardware then there is no doubt it's a looker.
As you can see the 'Low Profile' part is definitely true. With so many people running enormous CPU coolers, the Noctua NH-D14 is about the most popular enthusiast cooler on the planet, it's good that the Corsair is no higher than the size of the circuit board. Nipping over to the Corsair website, here are the three designs.
8GB Corsair Vengeance LP @ 1600MHz 9-9-9-24 1.35v
Intel Core i5-2500K @ 4GHz
ASUS Maximus IV Gene
Muskin Joule 1200w
Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Upping the voltage to 1.4v we can reduce the timings from 9-9-9-24 to 8-9-8-24. A further increase to 1.5v can get the delay down to eight so we end up with a much better 8-8-8-24 timing.
If you want to go up to the maximum 1.65v you have a bit of a choice. You can either have 1600@7-8-7-24 or 1866@10-11-10-27. We'd be inclined to take the CAS7 timings ourselves, but either way it's lovely to have a Sandy Bridge kit that can overclock.
Considering that this kit is only running at 1.35v and capable of more performance if you're willing to overclock, the fact it's on a par with the G.Skill Sniper and only just behind the Ripjaws X is good going.
Latency is also good, only a tiny bit off of the 16GB Ripjaws X.
The consistency of the Sandy Bridge memory controller is clearly demonstrated with our three 1600MHz kits, the Vengeance, the 16GB Ripjaws X and the Sniper all at the 21GB/s level.
Cache and Memory Bandwidth
Combining the processor and the memory to give an overall bandwidth level the Vengeance LP performance very well in SiSoft Sandra.
Despite its otherwise good performance the Vengeance LP just lags a little behind in Maxon's CineBench. Not a huge amount for sure and it's worth remembering again that we're only using 1.35v.
Whilst CineBench had the Vengeance LP a little behind, the equally calculation-heavy wPrime has it just ahead of its main rivals. In the 32M test it's the fastest result we've seen in Memory testing on the LGA1155 platform.
PC Mark Vantage
Finally Futuremarks PC Mark Vantage. In the Memory test suite the Vengeance LP once again can hold its head up high, being very much on a par with the other 1600MHz kits but for .3v less. Impressive stuff.
There is a lot to like about the Corsair Vengeance LP.
Aesthetically the revamped heat-spreader looks nicer, if anything, than the original Vengeance design. We're always fans of companies who remember that their product doesn't exist in a vacuum and by switching to the lower profile design it frees up your choice of CPU cooler.
In fact because the heat-spreader is very much a case of form over function due to the 1.35v design, we think there is plenty of potential to release the Vengeance in a range of colours to suit all the modders needs. Although many of us just like to own whatever is the best hardware for our budget, there are a raft of people who limit their choices to the hardware that fits their colour scheme. Although blue and grey variants are available the 1.35v kit we have here is only available in white, which does stand out unless the rest of your internals are similarly bright.
The 1.35v DDR3L JEDEC standard has an array of benefits. If the 1600MHz CAS9 timings are plenty for you then you gain all the power consumption and heat benefits of the low voltage the Corsair Vengeance LP has. For our uses though it means we have plenty of headroom for overclocking. Indeed the Vengeance LP is one of the few Sandy Bridge kits we've come across that can overclock to a noticeable degree. Rather than the tiny timing change here or there, running this kit at 1.65v we could get the timings all the way down to a stunning CAS7. To get more bandwidth in speed terms requires a huge slackening of the timings, but that's more a side-effect of the auto-divider in the Sandy Bridge design meaning that the next rung on the overclocking ladder is a whopping 16% increase. Stick with the reduction in timings.
As if that wasn't enough, the pricing for the 8GB Vengeance LP 1.35v kit is an eye-opening £50. 8GB of good performing, good overclocking, low voltage RAM for a measly £50. Even if white isn't your colour that's a bargain it's hard to pass up.
All in all the Corsair Vengeance LP 1.35v 8GB kit is an easy winner of our OC3D Gold Award. We like it very much indeed.
Thanks to Corsair for supplying the Vengeance LP for review. Discuss in our forums.