Patriot PDC32G1866LLK PC3-15000 2GB DDR3 Kit Page: 1
Introduction

Back at the beginning of the year, Patriot were kind enough to send us one of their Extreme Performance PC2-8500 kits for review. Managing an extremely respectable overclock and decent overall performance, the kit left with out Editors Choice award and an impressive 92% final score.

Today we're back again, but this time looking at one of Patriot's top-of-the-range DDR3 kits from their "Extreme Performance" lineup. Rated at DDR3-1866 and with reasonably tight timings (for DDR3) of 8-8-8-24, the PDC32G1866LLK modules certainly look the part and are in fact the fastest DDR3 kit out of the box that we've tested to date. However, before we get down and dirty with them, let's find out a little more about Patriot...

With their headquarters based in sunny California, Patriot has been producing high performance memory modules under their parent company PDP Systems for over 20 years. Sale of their modules is on a global scale with distributors throughout North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. It would be fair to say that Patriot is better known by our overclocking buddies over in the USA, but with their reputation for performance building with every new product released, they are certainly making serious headway in the UK.

What Patriot say..

Founded in 1985, a member of JEDEC, PDP Systems has been a value-added global technology solutions provider. PDP manufacturers and distributes DDR2, DDR, SDRAM and Flash memories. PDP's services include worldwide OEM contract manufacturing and private label.

PDP's state-of-the-art Fremont, California, facility is composed of multiple production lines, and a highly skilled production staff. This gives PDP the ability and resources necessary to provide a full line of memory module solutions.


Specifications

Considered by many  as one of the top memory manufacturers in the market, Patriot certainly have a lot of fierce competition on their hands. By taking a quick browse of the specifications available on their website, we should be able to find out what attributes (if any) separate Patriot from the rest of the crowd.

Patriot Extreme Performance (EP) Low Latency line is engineered to expand your gaming options. These modules are designed to operate at 1866MHz at 8-8-8-24 timings and are available in 2GB kit capacities. They are equipped with Patriot Aluminum Bladed Heat Shield Technology?to improve module stability and performance while operating under extreme overclocking conditions. Engineered with quality and Performance in mind, Patriot Extreme Performance line is the ultimate solution for extreme overclockers, gamers, and PC enthusiasts.

• Extreme Performance PC3-15000 (1866MHz)
• Low Latency (8-8-8-24)
• Patriot Aluminum Bladed?Heat Shield Technology to improve module module stability
• 100% Tested and Verified
• Lifetime Warranty
• RoHS Compliant
• Tested and compatible with Intel P35 and X38 chipsets
• Voltage Setting: 1.9v

Patriot PDC32F1866LLK Specifications Sticker

As you'd expect from a top memory manufacturer, Patriot have furnished the PDC32G1866LLK kit with a lifetime warranty. Unfortunately Patriot have not specified if this warranty covers the modules past their stock voltage of 1.9v, and as a result this may deter overclockers who want to put extra voltage through the modules to achieve a higher overclock.

Patriot also state that they have tested the modules on both Intel P35 and X38 chipsets, which is certainly good news considering these are the two main DDR3 chipsets available on the market at the moment.

Normally at this point I'd pop off the heatspreaders and take some snaps of the IC's used on the modules. However, the heatspreaders appeared to be fixed to the modules with a strong adhesive that totally flawed my attempts to prize the modules apart. Based on Patriot's previous preference for Micron IC's I'd hazard a guess and say that this kit is based on D9GTR - but don't quote me on that.


Patriot PDC32G1866LLK PC3-15000 2GB DDR3 Kit Page: 2
Packaging

Nothing really changes when it comes to the packaging used on most manufacturers memory kits. The favourite without doubt, is still the clear moulded plastic blister pack. To be quite honest, this is a pretty unintuitive and unprotective way of packaging something as fragile as a £380 DDR3 kit, but in Patriot's defence, the modules did arrive in pristine condition all the way from the USA.

Patriot PDC32G1866LLK Packaging Patriot PDC32G1866LLK Packaging
 
To help improve the bland aesthetics of the clear plastic blister pack, Patriot have placed a card insert complete with 'spacey' graphics on a plain black background behind the modules. While the card only offers the most basic information about the modules on the outside, Patriot have folded the card into a two page booklet that goes into more detail about the modules and basic information on how to install them.


Appearance

One of the minor gripes back in our review of Patriot's PC2-8500 modules was the use of some rather ugly brown heatspreaders. However, as we can see from the images below, Patriot have gone for a much more appeasing silver finish that will undoubtedly be a lot less offensive to the majority of enthusiasts.

Patriot PDC32G1866LLK Front Patriot PDC32G1866LLK Back

Patriot PDC32G1866LLK Patriot Logo patriot PDC32G1866LLK DDR3 Logo

Putting aside the colour change, Patriot have used the same 'finned' heatspreader design as found on many of their previous Extreme Performance kits. This certainly isn't a bad thing, as fins are known to improve thermal performance by increasing surface area and making better use of any airflow passing over the modules.

Patriot PDC32F1866LLK 
 
Moving on to a birds-eye view of the kit, we can see that the IC's are placed on only one side of the modules. This is pretty standard for a 2GB DDR3 kit, and should mean that with only one bank of IC's and a fairly low operation voltage of 1.9v, the PDC32G1866LLK kit will run pretty cool.


Patriot PDC32G1866LLK PC3-15000 2GB DDR3 Kit Page: 3
Test Setup

With DDR3 speeds ramping up on an almost weekly basis, It's extremely difficult to obtain two or more memory kits with similar specifications to perform any kind of worthwhile comparison. Therefore, the Patriot PC3-15000 kit will be placed up against the recently reviewed OCZ Platinum PC3-12800 kit with it's stock frequency, latencies and voltage changed to match the Patriot kit.

 
Patriot PDC32G1866LLK PC3-15000
OCZ Platinum PC3-12800
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Quad Q6600 "G0" 2.4GHz 2x4MB
Motherboard Asus P5K3 Deluxe
Graphics Card  Sapphire Ultimate X1950 Pro 256mb PCI-E
Hard Disk Hitachi Deskstar 80GB 7K80 SATA2 7200RPM 8mb
CPU Cooling Stock Intel Aluminium Cooler
Operating System Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate (Latest Updates)
Graphics Drivers ATI Catalyst 7.4.44981
Motherboard Drivers Intel INF 8.300.1013

To guarantee a broad range of results, the following benchmark utilities will be used:

Synthetic Memory Subsystem
• Sisoft Sandra XII 2008c
• Lavalys Everest 4.0

File Compression & Encoding
• 7-Zip File Compression
• River Past ViMark

3D / Rendering Benchmarks
• Cinebench 10
• 3DMark05
• 3DMark06

3D Games
• Quake 4
• Bioshock
• F.E.A.R


Test Settings & Overclocking

It is an unfortunate fact that many memory kits tested here at Overclock3D fall at the first hurdle by not being able to run with 100% stability at their advertised stock settings. Therefore the first test for the Patriot PDC32G1866LLK kit was to test their ability to run at 933mhz with 8-8-8-24 timings on 1.9v.

CPU-Z CPU-Z
 
While the screenshots above appear to show the Patriot modules happily running at their stock speeds, we experienced no end of problems getting them to run stable at these settings. ..

On first installing the modules and manually setting the timings and frequencies on our P5K3 testbed, Windows constantly bluescreened during bootup. Remembering some of the settings used to stabilise the previously reviewed OCZ Platinum DDR3 kit, we  switched the modules into DIMM slots A2 and B2 on the board and set the "Relax Level" to 3 in the BIOS.

This time the modules successfully booted into Windows, but on attempting to run any memory intensive benchmarks, the system once again blue screened. Not deterred by this, we switched out the Asus P5K motherboard for an Asus Blitz followed by an Asus Maximus - neither of which could add any further level of stability to the modules.

Finally, we changed back to the P5K3 motherboard and loosened several memory subtimings along with running the modules at a lower-than-rated 1.85v. This added enough stability for us to complete all benchmark tests without any errors but was far from ideal for any kind of 24/7 usage.

Needless to say that Overclocking was totally out of the question, but in the interest of completeness here's how they faired against the OCZ Platinum kit:

Maximum Frequency
 
Despite the OCZ Platinum kit being rated at a much lower speed of PC3-12800, it still managed to leave the higher stock-cloked Patriot kit in it's dust, overclocking a full 96mhz (48mhz in FSB terms) more at 8-8-8-25 timings.


Patriot PDC32G1866LLK PC3-15000 2GB DDR3 Kit Page: 4
Sisoft Sandra

Sisoft Sandra is a synthetic benchmark utility capable of reporting and benchmarking a wide range of system components. For the OCZ Platinum PC3-12800 and Patriot PC3-15000 memory kits we run both the Memory Bandwidth and Memory Latency benchmarks 3 times to ensure accuracy of results.

Sisoft Sandra Memory

Sisoft Sandra memory

Sisoft Sandra Memory

 
Everest

Everest is in many ways similar to Sisoft Sandra. Focusing mainly on Software and Hardware information reporting, Everest also comes with a benchmark utility suitable for testing the read, write and latency performance of the memory subsystem.
 
Lavalys Everest Memory Read

Lavalys Everest Memory Write

Lavalys Everest Memory Latency


Patriot PDC32G1866LLK PC3-15000 2GB DDR3 Kit Page: 5
ViMark

ViMark is the latest addition to the OC3D testing process and a relatively new benchmarking application in general. Designed to take the inaccuracies and guesswork out of measuring the time taken to encode video files, ViMark produces easily comparable and consistent results for encoding Windows Media, Quicktime, AVI and Gif files.

ViMark - Windows Media

ViMark - Apple Quicktime

ViMark - AVI

ViMark - GIF

 
7-Zip

7-Zip is an open source winzip-style file compression utility that has the ability to compress and decompress many file formats including it's own .7z compression scheme. 7-Zip also comes complete with its own benchmarking utility for gauging the compression and decompression speed of the system that it is installed on.
 
7-Zip - Compression

7-Zip - Decompression


Patriot PDC32G1866LLK PC3-15000 2GB DDR3 Kit Page: 6
Cinebench

Cinebench 10 is a benchmarking tool based on the powerful 3D software Cinema 4D. Consequently, the results of tests conducted using Cinebench carry significant weight when analysing a computer’s performance in everyday use.

Cinebench Rendering

Cinebench Rendering

Cinebench OpenGL

 
3DMark053DMark06

3DMark is a popular synthetic gaming benchmark used by many gamers and overclockers to gauge the performance of their PC's. All 3DMark runs were performed 3 times with averages being calculated from each of the results.
 
3DMark05

3DMark06


Patriot PDC32G1866LLK PC3-15000 2GB DDR3 Kit Page: 7
Quake4

Quake 4 is a game built on the Doom 3 engine. Benchmarking was performed using Quake4Bench and a custom timedemo recording along with 0xAA, 0xAF settings at a resolution of 1024x768.

Quake 4

 
F.E.A.R

F.E.A.R. is a game based on the Lithtech Jupiter EX engine. It has volumetric lighting, soft shadows, parallax mapping and particle effects. Included in the game is a benchmark facility that taxes the entire PC system. This benchmark was run 3 times to ensure uniformity of results.
 
F.E.A.R
 

Bioshock

Bioshock is a recent FPS shooter by 2K games. Based on the UT3 engine it has a large amount of advanced DirectX techniques including excellent water rendering and superb lighting and smoke techniques. All results were recorded using F.R.A.P.S with several identical runs through the same area of the game.
 
BioShock


Patriot PDC32G1866LLK PC3-15000 2GB DDR3 Kit Page: 8
Conclusion

With our previous good experience of Patriot memory kits and the mouthwatering promise of PC3-15000 straight out of the box, we had high hopes for the PDC32G1866LLK modules. Unfortunately, no matter what combination of timings, voltages and other BIOS settings we used on the kit, we just couldn't get it 100% stable at it's stock settings. Even swapping between P35 and X38 motherboards along with Quad-Core and Dual-Core CPU's yielded no additional stability.

Whether or not the problems we experienced with the modules was down to an incompatibility with the Asus P5K3, Blitz and Maximus boards we tested them with, or if there was a problem with the kit itself is something that certainly needs to be investigated. But needless to say, the modules in their current state did not respond well to any type of overclocking and actually appeared to lose stability if anything over 1.85v was applied to them.

In terms of performance, the Patriot PDC32G1866LLK managed to keep up with the OCZ Platinum kit (overclocked to PC3-15000) in most of the real-word gaming benchmarks that mattered. However, as some of the memory sub-timings needed to be loosened in order to gain stability, some of the synthetic benchmarks such as Sisoft Sandra and Everest showed a drop in performance when compared to the OCZ kit.

Any responses from Patriot regarding this review along with any further findings or resolutions to the problems we've experienced will be posted at the bottom of this page.

The PDC32G1866LLK kit can be purchased at Gladiator Computers and Aria for around £350-360 (at time of writing), which is a fairly reasonable price for a DDR3 kit of this speed.


The Good
- Lifetime warrenty
- Good looking and effective heatspreaders.
- Competitive price when compared to other DDR3 kits of similar speed.

The Medicore
- Nothing to report

The Bad
- Would not run with 100% stability at stock settings


OC3D Reviewed Award

Thanks to Patriot for making this review possible. Discuss this review in our forums.