Kingston HyperX Black 8GB 1600MHz Memory Review
   
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Kingston HyperX Black 8GB 1600MHz Memory Review

May 3rd, 2013 James Leave a comment Go to comments

Overview

 

Kingston have been around since 1987 and we have seen numerous memory modules from them in the past, all of which have performed well. Today I’m taking a look at the new HyperX Black range and this particular kit is the Kingston HyperX Black 8GB 1600MHz (KHX16C9B1BK2/8X) kit. This is in fact the lowest speed kit that we have tested from Kingston at a basic 1600MHz, suggesting that this kit is more about value for money than performance.

The HyperX Black modules are available in 4GB, 8GB & 16GB kits running at either 1333MHz or 1600MHz. This particular 8MB kit consists of x2 4GB modules with a rated speed of 1600MHz and timings of 9-9-9-27 at 1.65v via its eXtreme Memory Profile (XMP) 1.3 profile.

 

Kingston HyperX Black 8GB 1600MHz - packaging Kingston HyperX Black 8GB 1600MHz - part-number

 

As is common for Kingston, the modules are packed into a clear plastic wallet, sealed with a Kingston branded sticker. Always pay particular attention to the part number (especially when purchasing memory) as small variations in part numbers can mean big changes in performance.

 

Kingston HyperX Black 8GB 1600MHz - packaging open

 

Once a small cut is made in the side of the sticker that holds the wallet together, you get to see the HyperX Black modules in all their glory, very smart!

 

Kingston HyperX Black 8GB 1600MHz - contents

 

Also included inside the plastic wallet is a warranty & installation guide. This small leaflet outlines the Kingston Lifetime Warranty and shows a simple guide of how to install memory.

At the time of writing the Kingston HyperX Black 8GB 1600MHz kit is retailing for approximately £55 and comes with a Lifetime Warranty.

 

Specifications/Features

courtesy of Kingston Technology

CL(IDD) 9 cycles
Row Cycle Time (tRCmin) 49.5ns (min.)
Refresh to Active/Refresh Command Time (tRFCmin) 160ns (min.)
Row Active Time (tRASmin) 36ns (min.)
Maximum Operating Power 2.400 W* (per module)
UL Rating 94 V – 0
Operating Temperature 0o C to 85o C
Storage Temperature -55 C to +100 C

* Power will vary depending on the SDRAM used.

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
Posted CAS
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 1.180” (30mm), double sided component

* Additional details available here

 

First Impressions

 

Kingston HyperX Black 8GB 1600MHz

 

First impressions of the Kingston HyperX black modules are very good, not only do they look good, but they’re the right colour (for most builds!) and are of a decent height, i.e. not too tall. A height of only 30mm means that the HyperX Black modules should fit just about anywhere, which is always good to see. I’m personally not a fan of the large heat-sinks found on some modules…

 

Kingston HyperX Black 8GB 1600MHz - front Kingston HyperX Black 8GB 1600MHz - back

 

The front of the modules feature a silver HyperX logo and a white Black logo (hopefully that makes sense!) on a black heat-spreader. The edge of each module is also surrounded with silver, the same silver that’s used in the HyperX logo.

The back of the modules feature a Kingston logo on the right in white and on the left we find a small sticker that shows the technical specifications of the RAM modules. NOTE: WARRANTY VOID IF REMOVED

Overall it’s a very simplistic design but it gives the HyperX black modules an air of elegance, I really rather like…

 

Hardware Installation

 

Kingston HyperX Black - installed (left) Kingston HyperX Black - installed (right)

 

Installation of the Kingston HyperX Black 8GB 1600MHz RAM into My Test Rig was simple enough, but this was helped by the fact that I use a Liquid CPU Cooler (Corsair H100). This type of cooler normally has a very low profile in comparison to a more conventional air cooler.

As the Kingston HyperX Black modules have a relatively low profile, I would say that you are unlikely to run into any interference issues with large CPU Coolers. But please check to the best of your ability first…

My Test Rig booted first time and with my motherboard (ASRock Fatal1ty Z77 Professional) set to Auto the Kingston HyperX Black modules set themselves to 1600MHz (image below left).

Looking at the BIOS/UEFI I could see that the Kingston HyperX Black modules at the Auto setting were using Timings of 11-11-11-28…

 

Kingston HyperX Black - Auto 1600MHz

Kingston HyperX Black - Auto 1600MHz (Timings)

 

By enabling the eXtreme Memory Profile (XMP) Profile 1 via the BIOS/UEFI the memory Timings were set to their optimal setting of 9-9-9-27 (see below images).

 

Kingston HyperX Black - XMP 1600MHz/>

Kingston HyperX Black - XMP 1600MHz (Timings)

 

After a quick reboot I was back into Windows, ready for some testing…

 

Testing Methodology/Setup

 

The Kingston HyperX Black 8GB 1600MHz RAM Kit was tested as part of My Test Rig, using Windows 7 64Bit (Service Pack 1) with all relevant Drivers installed. Prime95 (Blend) was used to test stability and the following benchmarks were also used.

 

Hardware Performance

 

Kingston-HyperX-Black-AIDA64-1600MHz

Kingston HyperX Black 8GB @ 1600MHz

 

AIDA64 Benchmark Results

Memory Read Write Copy Latency
Kingston HyperX Black 8GB 1600MHz (9-9-9-27) 18823 20640 19693 41.6
Kingston HyperX Black 8GB 1600MHz (9-9-9-27) / inc a 2% OC 19149 21041 20048 41.0
Crucial Ballistix Tactical Tracer 8GB 1600MHz (8-8-8-24) / inc a 2% OC 19769 21732 21976 40.8
Kingston HyperX 10th Anniversary Edition 8GB 1866MHz (9-11-9-27) 21545 21851 24020 37.9
Kingston HyperX Predator 16 GB 2133MHz @ 11-12-11-30 21757 22192 25382 38.7
TeamGroup Xtreem LV Series 8GB 2400MHz (11-11-11-28) 23523 22720 26717 35.0
Kingston HyperX Beast 8GB 2400MHz (11-13-13-30) 23536 22626 26879 35.1

 

The first image shows the AIDA64 result for the Kingston HyperX Black 8GB 1600MHz modules running at their XMP setting of 9-9-9-27, this is their highest stock (before any overclocking) speeds. As you can see from the chart above this puts the HyperX Black modules in a pretty underwhelming position. This is somewhat expected though as the kit is only a 1600MHz kit, but what really seems to be letting it down is the loose Timings. Even when compared to the Crucial Ballistix modules when both are utilising a 102MHz (2%) Base Clock, the performance is still rather poor.

What’s also a little odd is the rather high voltage being used here (1.65v) for such a low speed kit, this is really the upper limit for most of today’s RAM modules. Any higher and it’s possible to damage the Memory Controller which is onboard the CPU itself, an Intel Core 17-3770K in my case.

Knowing that the voltage was already high by default I thought that it might be possible to squeeze some more performance from the HyperX Black modules, so I tried 1866MHz!

 

Kingston-HyperX-Black-AIDA64-1866MHz

Kingston HyperX Black 8GB @ 1866MHz

 

Result! The Kingston HyperX Black modules were Prime95 stable at 1866MHz and 9-11-9-27 and have produced a more respectable score too. The HyperX Black modules now best the Crucial Ballistix modules, although not by much. But it still can’t catch Kingston’s own HyperX 10th Anniversary Edition 8GB 1866MHz modules, despite the same Speed and Timings, strange!?

 

Gaming Related Benchmarks

To give us some idea of the effect the increase in memory speed has on Gaming the benchmarks have been run at both 1600MHz and 1866MHz using the Kingston HyperX Black modules. Although I’m sure, from previous testing, what the results are going to show…

Memory 3DMark (Fire Strike) Unigine Heaven Metro 2033
Kingston HyperX Black 8 GB 1600MHz @ 9-9-9-27 7649 973 41.67
Kingston HyperX Black 8 GB 1866MHz@ 9-11-9-27 7652 974 41.67

 

As you can see from the 2 best gaming related benchmarks (Unigine Heaven & Metro 2033), there is no real discernible difference between running the Kingston HyperX Black RAM at 1600MHz and 1866MHz, although with memory we have seen this before. It is not until you hit the higher memory speeds (2133MHz +) that any real difference can be seen in the benchmarks, even then the performance increase is often marginal.

From a Gaming point of view, there’s no compelling reason to push much beyond a good 8GB 1600MHz kit. If on the other hand you want the ultimate in performance (the increase in bandwidth can clearly be seen in the AIDA64 test) or if you have another reason for wanting high memory bandwidth then you may wish to push for higher speed kits.

 

Final Thoughts

 

The Kingston HyperX Black 8GB 1600MHz (KHX16C9B1BK2/8X) modules came well protected in the standard memory wallet type packaging, which is pretty much par for the course for this entry level memory.

The modules themselves are a good size, not being too tall at a height of just 30mm; meaning that the modules are likley to fit in with any Rig build. They look good too, and being mainly black and silver again suggest that these modules will look good in most builds.

From a performance view the HyperX Black are a little disappointing, especially at the stock speeds and timings. Thankfully the HyperX Black overclocked to a stable 1866MHz at 9-11-9-27, which lifted the performance. Unfortunately the performance still couldn’t seem to match that of Kingston’s own HyperX 10th Anniversary Edition 8GB 1866MHz modules.

As we have seen before, the upgrade to high speed RAM has little impact on Gaming and of course the lower the speed the less likely you are to notice the difference. But then the HyperX Black is really a more wallet friendly kit and isn’t really designed to set any speed records.

The main issue with the Kingston HyperX Black 8GB 1600MHz kit is the price, as at approximately £55 at the time of review the modules just don’t offer any more than the competition. Unfortunately others, within the same price range often offer LEDs, higher speeds, lower timings, lower voltage and better performance…

 

Verdict

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Design/Quality pcGameware awards the Kingston HyperX Black 8GB 1600MHz Memory a Bronze
Performance
Value
Overall

Many thanks to Kingston for providing this sample for review

 


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