For a long time Kingston have been at the forefront of most developments in the memory marketplace. Whether it's providing exceptional speeds or forging the way forwards in capacity, Kingston can always be relied upon to provide an option for everyone.
In fact it's probably fair to say that most of us have owned Kingston RAM in one of our machines at some time or other, so as always we are looking forwards to seeing what is next out of their factory.
Two things about the review today give us reason for excitement. Firstly the big speed number is hard to ignore, 2666MHz is eye-opening in anyone's books. Secondly is the HyperX designator. There are few sacrosanct brand names in the hardware world, one that have been unsullied by under-developed products. HyperX is definitely one of those, and so if Kingston are confident enough to give this Predator kit the blue heatsink then we have to sit up and take notice.
|Heatspreader||Hyper X Predator|
|XMP Timings||2666@11-13-13 @ 1.65v|
2444@11-13-13 @ 1.65v
|Maximum Power||2.4W per module|
|Size LxWxH||133.3mm x 7.2mm x 53.9mm|
RAM is always one of those things that doesn't require much explanation. It's simple and obvious. However we'd be remiss if we didn't mention how gorgeous we think the Predator heatsinks are.
If there is a problem it's that, just as they did with the T1 heatspreader, Kingston have produced a kit that is too tall to fit under double-tower CPU heatsinks. Not a problem with a two stick kit but worth noting if you go for the larger capacity, four stick, kits available under the Predator banner.
8GB Kingston HyperX Predator 2666MHz RAM
Gigabyte Z77X UD5H - F14 BIOS
Intel Core i7-3770K @ 4GHz
Cougar CM1000 PSU
Corsair F80 SSD
Thermalright Silver Arrow
Windows 7 x64
We're going to ignore the 2400MHz XMP profile and focus just upon the 2666MHz XMP1 setting. As you can see, although it's supposed to read 11-13-13-30-2T our sample profile ran at 14 on both the tRCD and tRP. Despite being already at the 1.65v capacity we're sure we can do better than this.
Sure enough with exactly the same voltages it was completely stable at 10-12-12-30-1T timings. Dropping a full CAS latency timing is nothing to be sniffed at, and a sign of why Kingston feel this worthy of the HyperX branding. Because this required no changes other than adjusting the timings manually, this will be the setting we use for today's review.
It's often been said in recent times that the LGA1155 socket is so good at memory bandwidth that, within reason, the actual speed of your memory doesn't make an enormous difference. Here we have a 2666-10 kit against a 2400-9 kit and they are pretty inseparable. Lower timings or faster speed, you pick your poison.
Sandra replicates the results we saw in AIDA, with the faster but looser timed Kingston Predator kit being neck and neck with the tighter timings of the G.Skill Trident 32GB.
When it comes to the Processor and Memory Bandwidth test, the Predator just edges ahead.
Cache and Memory Bandwidth
PC Mark Vantage
If ever a contest was going to be decided on points it looks like it's this one. The Kingston Predator is right at the top of our results, but the G.Skill is matching it blow for blow. If every anyone doubted how solid the IMC is on the i7-3770K, now is the time to dispel those doubts.
We finally have a result in which the extra raw speed of the Predator is making a difference. Both the 32M and 1024M tests of wPrime95 show the Kingston with a healthy lead and the fastest time we've seen from our LGA1155 test bench.
Finishing up with CineBench and the demands that rendering places upon the memory capabilities. Just as we saw from wPrime it's clear that when it comes to rapid fire calculations the 2666MHz speed of the Kingston HyperX Predator comes up trumps.
There are two clear conclusions from today's testing.
The first, and most obvious, is that the Kingston HyperX Predator 2666MHz 8GB kit is quite a performance beast. Not only is it a very good looking set of memory, resplendent in its Kingston blue heatspreaders, but it gives incredibly consistent results throughout our testing.
Given the 2666MHz speed at CAS11, and the fact that the 2400MHz profile is also rated at CAS11, we thought we were being pretty ambitious in trying to squeeze some lower timings out of it. Yet we either have an extraordinary bit of fortune in the silicon lottery (in which case we'll buy a Euro Millions for tonight) or Kingston have been very conservative with their estimates. Without adjusting any voltages at all, with the DIMM naturally remaining at its 1.65v setting, we were able to drop the XMP timings from 11-14-14-30-2T down to 10-12-12-30-1T. That's an excellent improvement in performance for the barest minimum of work.
The second thing is less about the Kingston, and more general proof about the eternal battle between low timings and a fast MegaHertz rating. The only kit that came close to the Predator was the G.Skill Trident which was tested at 2400MHz CAS 10. In nearly every test it was equal to the Predator, and it was only when handling a huge amount of calculations in wPrime95 and CineBench that the Kingston Predator was able to eke ahead.
That does leave us in a bit of a bind when it comes to deciding what to award the Predator though. It's priced at around £120 for this 8GB 2666MHz setup, which is a lot of money given the low price of memory these days, but its actually very well priced for an 8GB 2666 kit when compared to the other brands. So on the one hand you're getting the fastest kit we've tested here at OC3D. Yet on the other you might be better served by going for a slower kit from an array of choices in the Predator range. Finally we do have to knock it slightly for the height of the heatspreader which, if you go for a larger four-stick package will cause problems under either the Silver Arrow, NHD-14 or similar sized CPU heatsinks, if you are running an inclosed water loop or even fully fledged watercooling as these are getting increasing popular then you wont have any problems other than what to look at!
The performance at both stock and lowered timings cannot be overlooked, its on par with other similar kits price wise and it does look the business too, so we're going to award the Kingston HyperX Predator our OC3D Gold award.
Thanks to Kingston for supplying the HyperX Predator 8GB 2666MHz kit for review. Discuss it in the OC3D Forums.