RAM speed and quantity continue to increase almost daily as PC power grows like an unstoppable plague………sounds almost scary! Don’t worry, Kingston’s offering of PC4000 memory is rated G for everyone, take a look to see how fast it goes.
Faster and faster, more and more, bigger and better. I’m starting to wonder if they will just keep moving the numbers higher and higher, or if they will take a turn to some other naming convention. DDR 60000 memory anyone? Or maybe it will get a name like “Ludicrous DDR.” Either way you look at it, keeping up with the pace of PC hardware is like running a marathon at a 100 meter dash pace. So, today we get to take a look at Kingston’s DDR500 PC4000 HyperX 1GB memory kit.
Memory this fast is really aimed at P4 users with i865 or i875 chipset motherboards, so I’ll be testing this kit out on an MSI Springdale board – the Neo2-FIS2R. I’m going to see just how high I can overclock my 2.4GHz ‘C’ processor.
First off, let’s take a look at the specs of this memory straight from Kingston’s website and data spec sheet.
- Power supply : Vdd: 2.6V ± 0.1V, Vddq: 2.6V ± 0.1V
- Double-data-rate architecture; two data transfers per clock cycle
- Bidirectional data strobe(DQS)
- Differential clock inputs(CK and CK)
- DLL aligns DQ and DQS transition with CK transition
- Programmable Read latency 3 (clock)
- Programmable Burst length (2, 4, 8)
- Programmable Burst type (sequential & interleave)
- Timing Reference: 3-4-4-8-1 at +2.6V
- Edge aligned data output, center aligned data input
- Auto & Self refresh, 7.8us refresh interval(8K/64ms refresh)
- Serial presence detect with EEPROM
- High Performance Heat Spreader
- PCB : Height 1.200 (30.48mm), double sided component
- Clock Cycle Time (tCK) 5ns (min.) / 10ns (max.)
- Row Cycle Time (tRC) 55ns (min.)
- Refresh Row Cycle Time (tRFC) 70ns (min.)
- Row Active Time (tRAS) 40ns (min.) / 70,000ns (max.)
- Power (IDD0) 4.368 W (operating per module)
- UL Rating 94 V – 0
- Operating Temperature 0o C to 70o C
- Storage Temperature -55o C to +150o C
1GB of RAM? Wow, I can actually remember when I got my first PC, and it had a hard drive that was a whopping 2GB. Now we have gigabytes of RAM, and hundreds of gigabytes of storage. Remember the days of 16MB RAM minimum requirements? You would be lucky to run a spreadsheet with that much today. So here we are, approaching a 512MB average and 2GB or more being the new extreme. Are we RAM overboard or just making sure to stay ahead of the game?
Construction of the memory seems very solid. A strong heat spreader surrounds both modules and provides a cool blue color to spice up the inside of your case. But believe me, that heat spreader is doing more than just looking good; it will help keep those toasty little modules nice and cool when the heat is on.
Installation was basically a breeze – it is RAM afterall. I know most of you have taken the time to install a memory module or two. Using the MSI 865PE Neo2-FIS2R motherboard’s dual channel capabilities, I popped a module in DIMM slot #1 and #3 and got to work.
- MSI 865PE Neo2-FIS2R
- P4 2.4C Processor
- 80GB Western Digital 7200rpm
- Leadtek FX 5900 Ultra 256MB
- Lite-On 52x CD-RW
- Kingwin K-11-BK-WM case
- Allied 500W Aluminum PSU
- Timings of both memory tests were set to 7-3-3-2.5
The first testing I did was at DDR400 (or PC3200) speed. I just wanted to see how well this RAM would run at an ‘official speed.’
SiSoft Sandra 04 Memory Bandwidth
3DMark 03 Build 340
As you can see in these results, Kingston’s 1GB PC4000 kit performs quite well at DDR400.
Pushing the Kit To Its Rated Speed
As bus speeds start rising and enthusiasts get more daring, the ability for the other components to keep up with it all is becoming more and more of an issue. I was hoping for a pretty strong showing from the MSI and Kingston combination, so let’s see how they stacked up together.
I’m not one to dilly dally with small incremental increases in speed. I took one look and went ahead with a jump in front side bus speed up to 235MHz (DDR470). No problems here. No adjustment was needed in any of the voltage settings or memory timings. Very nice to start off with, but still not enough to stop yet. I obviously want to hit DDR500.
I went ahead and bumped it up to a bus of 250MHz, pushing the memory to its rated 500Mhz speed. Well, my hopes were beginning to slowly go back a notch. It was not 100% stable at 250MHz right from the start. I adjusted the processor core voltage, and it seemed to plateau a little bit and begin to be stable, but it was still having issues with locking up and randomly restarting. I could not find just the right combination, but for some crazy reason I bumped the speed down to 249MHz, and the machine ran like a dream. Adding that one MHz to the mix just put it over the edge for some reason. I wasn’t able to get 100% stable beyond that point. No matter the combinations I used of voltage settings, speeds, and timings, I just could not get it over 249MHz bus speed. I guess DDR498 will have to do since the MSI motherboard seems to be holding me back.
Here are some of the numbers I got from my system with the PC overclocked to that level (almost 3GHz).
SiSoft Sandra 04 Memory Bandwidth
Running at nearly DDR500 added a nice boost to performance, which is not surprising. The other tests also showed similar performance increases. It’s nice too see what a little (or big) push to the FSB can gain you.
For grins, I decided to see if this memory would help me overclock my Shuttle SB75G2 a little more than I have had success with. I went ahead and placed the Kingston memory in the Shuttle system and fired it up. I had success getting the Shuttle to more than 2.65GHz in the past with the 2.4C processor and Corsair RAM. With the Kingston memory, I was able to bump that number to almost 2.8GHz. Not a bad increase in speed for just changing the memory around. A delightful extra brought courtesy of the Kingston memory.
So there you have it. Memory is yet another component of the PC that matters more and more these days when looking to get the most bang for your buck. At DDR400, the Kingston kit surpassed the PC3200 Corsair by a nice margin, and the benefits with the newest P4 processors when overclocking are obvious to me. Pushing the most out of your computer takes the fastest and latest gear you can get ahold of.
While you are at it….grab onto your pocketbooks too. This doesn’t come cheap; none of the fastest RAM ever does. Prices hover around the $300 mark for the KHX4000K2/1G from Kingston, which is actually cheaper than some of the competition’s 1GB PC4000 kits. Start saving your dough though if you want to push your PC to the max.
Kingston makes a solid product. They always have and probably always will. You can’t go wrong with purchasing some high quality memory from a company that has produced it for years. I give the Kingston PC4000 1GB memory kit a 9.0 out of 10 and the Bjorn3D Seal of Approval!