I'm sure many of our readers are familiar with . Kingston has a reputation of making quality, and fairly priced ram for a number of years. They are hugely popular with OEMs and OEM resellers, and maintain an impressive inventory for older memory products for those who need it should the OEM no longer supplies it.
As popular as Kingston products are for consumers, they weren't all that popular among users looking to build custom performance PCs. That all changed with the release of the low latency earlier this year. We've looked at the HyperX PC3500 not too long ago, and were quite impressed with Kingston's initial entry into this market.
With the popularity of the Canterwood and Springdale motherboards, due in part to the overclocking ability of the P4 800FSB CPU, Kingston have release their HyperX PC4000 500MHz modules. We'll be looking at their 1GB Dual Channel kit, and see how it stacks up against some of the other PC4000 modules we've tested.
Description: 1GB Kit HyperX DDR 500MHz DIMM, 3-4-4-8-1
Aluminum heat spreader for thermal diffusion
Standard 64M X 64 Non-ECC 500MHz 184-pin Unbuffered DIMM
400mil, TSOP, Single-Sided, Gold
You can read the full specifications on .
The Kingston HyperX PC4000 1GB Memory Kit
Both memory modules arrived in form fitting packaging to protect it during shipping. Kingston has qualified the modules for Dual channel environments, though you do have the option buying individual modules if needed. Here's a bit from their site:
"Kingston's HyperX kits are designed and tested to meet dual channel architecture requirements such as those found on chipsets and motherboards like NVidia's Nforce2, and Intel's Canterwood and Springdale."
We received Unbuffered modules (the blue heatspreaders are the giveaway. Registered modules (black spreaders) are available for Athlon 64FX based systems. The heatspreaders have a nice industrial look to them, and feel pretty solid, so no worrys about them popping off.
It's hard to demonstrate with a picture, but the heatspreaders are attached to the ram via some frag tape. Not the ideal choice if cooling really matters, but it is less costly than individually applying thermal epoxy at the factory.
A closer look at the modules, and we can see the sticker letting you know the some of the specs of that stick of ram. The part number is given, KHX4000K2/1G, which tells us it is PC4000, and one half of a 1GB kit (hence 512MB). The maximum voltage is indicated as 2.6v, which is actually much lower than other modules we've tested which required 2.7v for 500MHz operation. The timings aren't indicated on the module, but according to specifications, the timings are 3-4-4-8-1. These timings aren't extraordinary, but in line with most PC4000 modules that passed through our labs. Never content with specifications, rest assured that we'll be pushing the HyperX kit pretty hard later on.
Overclocking and Stability Testing
Since we're using a 200FSB (800MHz) ABIT IC7-MAX3 motherboard, the first thing I wanted to try was what are the tightest timings I could run the HyperX at at 200FSB. After a bit of tweaking, it seems that 2-3-3-6 is about as low as I can go.
200FSB (400MHz) @ SPD
200FSB (400MHz) @ Tweaked
With that out of the way, I did a double check if the ram can indeed handle the 250FSB at 3-4-4-8. The HyperX performed within spec, and amazingly (given our previous results with other PC4000 modules) it did so at 2.6v.
Next thing we did was to adjust the timings and to see what the TWINX would allow us to tweak to. At 250FSB, the best we managed was…
250FSB (500MHz) @ Tweaked
The ram was completely stable, and passed MemTest without any problems at 2.5-4-3-7. Memory voltage did need a boost to 2.7 though. Keeping the same timings, we pushed the FSB a little more before topping off at 254FSB. This was as high as we could go, even when we pushed the voltage up to 2.9v.
We relaxed the timings back to the HyperX default of 3-4-4-8, and went forward with the FSB once again, adjusting the voltages as required until we settled on our final overclock.
270FSB Max OC
At 1/1 CPU and memory, we settled on a final OC of 270FSB. We did manage 275FSB, but even at 3.0v, the system was not stable. Actually, the system was fairly stable at 271FSB at 3.0v, but occasionally we locked up. 270FSB was rock solid, and we were able to drop our voltage back to a safer 2.8v. Keep in mind that this all voids any warranty, but nothing like living on the edge, eh? For the record, staying at 2.6v, the max OC was 256FSB.
ABIT IC7-MAX3: Pentium 4 2.4C, 2 x 512MB Kingston HyperX PC4000, ATI AIW Radeon 9800 Pro, 120GB Seagate, Windows XP SP1, ATI Catalyst 3.6.
Benchmarks will be presented at 200FSB, 250FSB and maximum OC. Keep in mind that the numbers at maximum OC will be skewed since we're running 1:1 and the CPU's speeds will be different when showing each memory's OC speed. There isn't anything I can do with this since it's impossible to set the memory speeds independently with the CPU FSB unless we go with a lower memory divider.
Test Software for both platforms will be:
Unreal Tournament 2003
Game Accelerator will be configured at Street Racer for 200FSB, and Auto for the rest. Competing sticks will be OCZ's 1GB PC4000 EL Gold, and the Corsair TWINX1024-4000 Pro Series. At 200FSB, all the competing ram kits will be running at 2-3-3-5, and the HyperX at 2-3-3-6. At 250FSB, the ProSeries will be running at 2.5-3-3-6, whereas the other two kits will be at 2.5-4-3-6, since neither could do 2.5-3-3-6. All the ram modules will be running at 3-4-4-8 at their maximum overclocks.
SiSoftware Sandra 2003 Memory - Pentium 4 @ 12x200
Although a synthetic benchmark, it's a popular one, freely available if you wish to make comparison benchmarks. We will be testing the memory speeds only. All memory timings are at 2-3-3-5, with the exception of the HyperX, which will be at 2-3-3-6.
SiSoftware Sandra 2003 Memory - Pentium 4 @ 12x250
At 200 and 250FSB, the HyperX shows some strong numbers. It is beaten by both its competitors at 200FSB by a small margin, but snags the silver at 250FSB.
SiSoftware Sandra 2003 Memory - Pentium 4 @ Maximum OC (HyperX @ 270FSB)
In case you missed it in our last reviews, the TWINX kit is clicking away at 285FSB, and the OCZ EL Gold at 280FSB. Despite the clock disadvantage, the Kingston HyperX does very well, even surpassing the OCZ ram at the Float Buffered benchmark.