Kingston Hyper X Predator RAM Review

DDR3 RAM has pretty much been the standard in system memory since 2007, meaning that if someone managed to take the plunge and pick up quality RAM then they would have managed to luck into not buying any more for six years at this point.

The first computer that I built with DDR3 RAM, four 2-gig chips, I had about a 50% failure rate due to lower quality chips. Needless to say, this is frustrating and a tremendous waste of time and money.  Kingston, as I want to first point out, has the uncanny distinction of being one of the only companies that I have personally never received a product that was dead-on-arrival and their products work in exactly the way that they should.   Their quality control sets them above and beyond most other computer part manufactures and their warranty constantly puts faith into each product they product.

The problem with most of the RAM that is on the market at this moment is that it is of lower quality and cheap.  It is easy to fill a PC with cheap lower quality RAM, kind of like filling up on cheap McDonalds, or you can use a concentrated shot of higher quality stuff, like eating a healthy salad that has a higher pricepoint; it is better in the long run.

DDR3 costs little bit more and has been the industry standard since around 2007.  Kingston consistently delivers the specs that it quotes on the site, as if each piece was hand tested before being sent out like some kind of technology elves.  Keep in mind that all types of memory need be electrically compatible with one another to allow proper installation and usability.

The Hyper X Predator is more of the mid-tier for the high end “gaming” RAM offered.  It comes pre-equipped with heat-sinks on the chips, which I guess is something that comes standard with this level of gear at this point, even though it makes me feel like an old man to remember the first time that I experienced memory like this.  There is also the little understated functionality of the XMP mode that, if supported, allows the RAM to be ideally overclocked for the computer automatically while kept within manufactory warranty; this is something that a handful of years ago sounded like science fiction ideas that you would toss around with friends when making up insane and outrageous computers to buy after winning the lotto and wearing two monocles instead of a pair of glasses.  Also they finally found a reason to have a heat sink on RAM by default.

It isn’t all sunshine and roses for this RAM.  The downside is that the RAM itself is starting to reach that higher price point.  It is true that comparable items that are also pushing the 2400MHz are either the same price or higher, it is hard to look at them in the same breath and think that there is a choice to pick up RAM at 1333MHZ, granted a much slower speed that is half the price.  The other problem is that the XMP mode, while probably the greatest thing that I ever found out about being real by accident in the last couple of months, is not something that most people are going to stop what they are doing and decide to invest new CPU levels of money for especially when only some motherboards support the functionality – Intel and not AMD.

I have been building gaming PC’s for most of my adult life and it has become easy and cheaper to get into and build an impressive unit.  The other hand of that is what Kingston is doing with this RAM; it feels like they snuck away while no one was looking and took a product that seemed boring and goosed it just enough to add something to make it sexy and interesting again, something that no one has said about RAM since we switch over to DDR.  Kingston is making this brand for the enthusiast who wants to know that they are getting something neat, something great, and something better then someone just building an off-the-shelf rig.  For that I applaud them.

Full details here:

Spec Stuff:

Product Reviewed: KHX21C11T2K2/16X

• JEDEC standard 1.5V (1.425V ~ 1.575V) Power Supply
• VDDQ = 1.5V (1.425V ~ 1.575V)
• 667MHz fCK for 1333Mb/sec/pin
• 8 independent internal bank
• Programmable CAS Latency: 9, 8, 7, 6
• Programmable Additive Latency: 0, CL – 2, or CL – 1 clock
• Programmable CAS Write Latency(CWL) = 7 (DDR3-1333)
• 8-bit pre-fetch
• Burst Length: 8 (Interleave without any limit, sequential with starting address “000” only), 4 with tCCD = 4 which does not allow seamless read or write [either on the fly using A12 or MRS]
• Bi-directional Differential Data Strobe
• Internal(self) calibration : Internal self calibration through ZQ pin (RZQ : 240 ohm ± 1%)
• On Die Termination using ODT pin
• Average Refresh Period 7.8us at lower than TCASE 85°C, 3.9us at 85°C < TCASE < 95°C
• Asynchronous Reset
• PCB : Height 2.122” (53.90mm) w/ heatsink, double sided component

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