What's new
  • Please do not post any links until you have 3 posts as they will automatically be rejected to prevent SPAM. Many words are also blocked due to being used in SPAM Messages. Thanks!

Patriot Viper 2x1GB DDR3 PC3-15000 Review

Status
Not open for further replies.

3oh6

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
1,049
Location
Edmonton, AB
<center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/patriot_logo-1.png" alt="">


Patriot Viper 2x1GB DDR3 PC3-15000 Review</center>



Price: $499.99 CND NCIX.com
Availability: Available and regularly stocked
Manufacturer's Part Number: PVS32G1866LLK
Warranty: Lifetime Warranty



<p style="text-align: justify;">Patriot Memory is a long standing company having been founded in 1985 and is actually a branch of PDP Systems Inc.. PDP is a JEDEC member and worldwide contract manufacturer for OEM and private labels. This means they manufacturer products and put other company’s names on them. In a sense, Patriot memory is just another one of their customers who sells PDP products through retail distribution chains under the Patriot logo. PDP Systems just happens to own Patriot memory and is located and run out of the same Fremont California location.

Patriot memory focuses on three main user groups with products for the enthusiast, standard memory user, and the flash memory market. The global distribution network of Patriot products ensures a wide range of availability throughout their product line all over the world. In Canada, Patriot availability seems to be limited to the two main distributors NCIX.com and TigerDirect.ca but can also be found at smaller locations like Canada Computers for certain items.. At the same time, Patriot Memory products are available all over the United States including all the major players like Newegg.com, MWave.com, ClubIT.com and so many more. One particularly easy to find kit of memory in both countries happens to be today's star of the show, the Patriot Viper Extreme PC3-15000 2x1GB kit.

This kit of Viper Extreme memory from Patriot is rated at an industry leading DDR3-1866 or 933MHz at timings of 8-8-8-24 with only 1.9v. When we first heard of the possibility of these specifications we thought it sounded like Patriot may have gone a little far with their expectations but the memory is available and here today for us to look at. With such high rated operating frequency, this memory doesn't leave anything back and it should be pretty interesting to see how these modules shake down.</p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/index-1.jpg"></center>
 

3oh6

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
1,049
Location
Edmonton, AB
Specifications

Specifications:
<p style="text-align: justify;"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/specs-1.png" alt="" style="float: left; margin: 4px 7px 4px 0px";><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/specs-2.png" alt="" style="float: right; margin: 4px 0px 4px 7px";>We have already covered the fact that this Patriot Viper Extreme memory is the highest rated DDR3 for frequency that is available at this time. It shares that title with a kit from Super Talent but those are the only two manufacturers that we are aware of with PC3-15000 modules. What does that mean? Well, it means that the memory is rated for DDR3-1866 (933MHz) as we can see from the graphics on this page. The rated timings for this frequency are 8-8-8-24 but there is no mention of 1N or 2N on the Patriot web site. The voltage that these modules are rated to run this inflated frequency and timings is a rather low 1.9v.

Patriot has also developed a new heat sink for this line of memory and this is where the name Viper Extreme comes from. Patriot refers to the heat sinks as "Viper Heat Shields" integrated with an aluminum copper composite.<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/specs-3.jpg" alt="" style="float: left; margin: 4px 7px 4px 0px";> This last line is something we haven't seen before and caught our attention. We will discuss this a bit further when looking at the modules once we get our hands on this unusual sounding material.

Other tid-bits of information to note are the inclusion of XMP profiles which won't help us on the Asus P5K3-Dlx that we will be testing them on but for X38 users, this is a welcome addition. Intel’s XMP profiles are used to allow the system to automatically adjust the settings in order to run the given module at its rated specifications without any knowledge in overclocking required. This is rather handy for memory like the Patriot Viper Extreme since the only way to run these modules at DDR3-1866 is to have a FSB of 467MHz. This is a rather hefty overclock which is another reason why we are quite surprised to see that Patriot claims that the modules have been tested on P35 and X38 motherboards. For any P35 motherboard users that have pushed memory to the limits, 940MHz~970MHz is where a lot of P35 motherboards run out of stability for the memory. The P5K3-Deluxe we are using for today's review has had no problem running memory up to 950MHz~960MHz with complete stability so we will have no problem meeting spec as long as the memory does.

Unfortunately the method that Patriot uses for securing the new Viper heat sinks to the modules won't allow us to safely remove them and have a peak at the ICs used on this kit. It is probably safe to say that they are Micron D9GTR/GTS simply based on the specifications but there is no guarantee that Patriot hasn't found another IC that can run these frequencies. When contacted, Patriot representatives were un-able to disclose this information as we expected, leaving us to speculate...but it is safe to say it is Micron based.</p>
 

3oh6

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
1,049
Location
Edmonton, AB
Package & Memory Overview

Package & Memory Overview:
<p style="text-align: justify;">The next order of business is to have a quick look at the package and then the modules. This Viper Fin series certainly sounds impressive and quite unique, let's have a closer look.</p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/package-1.jpg" alt=""> <img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/package-2.jpg" alt=""></center><p style="text-align: justify;">This is the second kit of memory in a row that has not shown up in a boring plastic molded case with nothing more than a cardboard insert. It must be our lucky month here at Hardware Canucks, or there is movement away from the boring packaging of ages past. Patriot has decided to create a very nice cardboard package exterior for their memory and has even included a window to show off the fancy new Viper Fin heat sinks. The rear of the package contains simple marketing copy describing the company as well as technical support contact information and a description of the warranty offered by patriot.</p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/package-3.jpg" alt=""> <img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/package-4.jpg" alt=""></center><p style="text-align: justify;">The overall design of the package is very impressive and makes these Viper Fin sticks look very professional before we even pull them out. Once we do get inside the package the professionalism continues. Each module is individually secured in a plastic container protecting the memory during transport. One of the plastic cases contains a small leaflet labeled as the installation guide. This package provides ample security for the memory and much like the G.Skill memory we just reviewed a short while ago, the package brought a little excitement to the memory that has been lost since the molded plastic package became standard. A fancy package is obviously not necessary and has no impact on how the memory performs but it wouldn't cost manufacturers a whole lot more for a package of this kind and the presentation of the memory dramatically increases with this type of design.</p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/package-5.jpg" alt=""></center><p style="text-align: justify;">As mentioned, there is an insert in the Patriot package that provides in rather good detail, handling instructions, installation instructions, and a brief bit of information on timings and how to set them in the BIOS according to specifications. Let's now move on to the modules themselves, these heat sinks are certainly something new and should provide a few decent photos.</p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/modules-1.jpg" alt=""> <img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/modules-2.jpg" alt=""></center><p style="text-align: justify;">Obviously the first thing that is apparent with the Viper Fin heat sinks is the fact that they are taller than the standard size PCB. This extra height is almost standard design these days with recent Super Talent, Corsair, and OCZ modules coming with heat sinks that protrude upwards. Motherboard manufacturers were aware of this trend years ago and in combination with the large CPU heat sinks we see these days, adjust the designs accordingly. Of course there are still certain combinations of CPU heat sink and motherboard that will limit the slots available to us with these modules but we will look at that in the installation section.</p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/modules-3.jpg" alt=""> <img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/modules-4.jpg" alt=""></center><p style="text-align: justify;">Aside from the height of these modules, they don't appear to have any other characteristics that would cause an issue. There is a lot of surface area thanks to the ribs and fence-like peaks but the Viper Fin heat sinks are not overly thick or obtrusive. If your setup will have no height issues, these modules can certainly be used in a four module side by side configuration. In the photo just above to the right, we can really see the integrated copper on the exposed surface of the cooling fins. This must be the aluminum copper composite that Patriot refers to on their web site. It certainly is not something found on any other modules and innovation is always welcome when it comes to cooling.</p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/modules-5.jpg" alt=""> <img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/modules-6.jpg" alt=""></center><p style="text-align: justify;">Moving in for a closer look we have circled the location of where the ICs interface with the Viper Fin heat sinks. If we look closely we can see what appears to be a translucent and very thin film of adhesive. This is obviously what holds the heat sinks to the modules and should act as a very good conductor of heat. The only problem is that 1/3 of the IC isn't making contact with the heat sink as shown in the photo to the right. Obviously the heat sinks can't simply be moved down to cover the entire IC because this would put those bottom fins almost flush with the contacts and the memory would not be able to install in a DIMM slot. If the heat sinks only method for cooling the ICs is through direct contact, it would be desirable to have the entire IC in contact with the heat sink. Based on that logic, it would make more sense if the heat sink went a little further down and covered the entire IC. On the plus side, this tiny bit of exposed IC all but confirms it is Micron with the tell tale markings.</p>
 

3oh6

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
1,049
Location
Edmonton, AB
Memory Installation & Test Setup

Memory Installation & Test Setup:
<p style="text-align: justify;">We are going to start off with a quick test fit in the Asus Maximus Extreme before moving the modules over to the Asus P5K3-Dlx that they will be tested in.</p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/install-1.jpg" alt=""> <img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/install-2.jpg" alt=""></center><p style="text-align: justify;">It is pretty much the same song and dance with these modules as we saw with the Super Talent Project X and like we will see with any other module that has above average height heat sinks. With the Thermalright Ultra-120, or any other large heatsink with a hefty wing span, there may be interference in the first DIMM slot. Of course, with the Ultra-120, all it takes to alleviate this issue is to rotate it and voila; all four slots are usable with the Viper Fin heat sink. This isn't a major issue but something to keep in mind when piecing a system together or upgrading your cooling.</p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/install-3.jpg" alt=""></center><p style="text-align: justify;">The Asus P5K3-Dlx is a little different because the CPU cooler, even the Thermalright Ultra-120, doesn't interfere with the first slot. Instead, it is the Noctua NC-U6 chipset cooler that we have installed for additional cooling of the north bridge. It is a known fact that the black slots on the P5K3-Dlx are designed to clock memory better so losing the orange slots on this machine really is no big deal as we never use them. Obviously with the stock chipset cooling of the P5K3-Dlx, there are no installation issues in either slots unless you have one monster CPU cooler...and they are out there but that is the CPU coolers fault, not the memory's.</p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/spd-1.png" alt=""> <img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/spd-2.png" alt=""></center><p style="text-align: justify;">Looking at the CPU-Z screenshot above to the left, it is obvious that there is no XMP profile listed. This is because we received an early sample of this memory and Patriot hadn't yet began implementing the XMP enabled SPD profiles. Going forward, all Viper Extreme PC3-15000 will come with XMP profiles programmed in the SPD profile. Because we don't have the ability to use the XMP profiles on the Asus P5K3-Dlx even if these modules had them, we have to manually adjust the FSB in order to get this memory to run at specification. The CPU-Z tab to the right shows us that we don't get the full specifications when manually setting the FSB to get the memory running at 934MHz and leaving the timings set to AUTO. This means that we will have to adjust the timings to 8-8-8-24 in the BIOS manually. For those that haven't done these sort of timing adjustments, that little leaflet that Patriot includes goes a long way as it provides enough information to accomplish this task.

<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/setup-1.jpg" style="float: right; margin: 4px 0px 5px 20px">Test Platform:
  • Motherboard: Asus P5K3-Dlx
  • Processor: Intel C2D E6850
  • Processor Cooling: Rosewill RCX-Z775-EX
  • Memory: Patriot Viper Extreme DDR3 PC3-15000
  • Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower 700W
  • Video Card: XFX Alpha Dog 8800GTS 512MB
  • Additional Fans: 120mm AD1212MS-A73GL 2050RPM/80.5CFM
  • Hard Drive: 1 x Seagate 7200.9 80GB SATAII 8MB cache
  • OS: Windows XP SP2 (with recent updates)
<p style="text-align: justify;">This discussion has be avoided for the most part up until this point and that is because we were saving it for its own section. The specified operating frequency of this Patriot Viper Extreme memory is DDR3-1866 or 933MHz at timings of 8-8-8-24 with 1.90v. In order to reach this frequency, the system must be overclocked and the FSB raised to a lofty 467MHz. Not only is this a significant FSB increase but simply running memory at 933MHz is never guaranteed on any motherboard. Many P35 based motherboards may have trouble running memory stable at this frequency. Our P5K3-Dlx used in testing has not been stable above 960MHz with any kit of memory and has shown instability as low as 950MHz with some kits.

It is safe to say that not all motherboards have the ability to run this memory at specifications. This must be kept in mind when purchasing high-end memory like this Patriot kit. We have entered an era where the top DDR3 memory kits available to us today are actually out-running the chipsets, motherboards and CPUs in the system. The Intel X38 chipset is somewhat better but again, there is no guarantee that all motherboards will have the ability to run 467MHz FSB or 933MHz memory. In fact, a lot of quad-core processors have had issues reaching 467MHz FSB, especially the newer 45nm QX9650s. With that said, this kit can still be of great use because running at 8-8-8 for maximum frequency isn't always required and that is why we do our overclock testing at tighter timing sets in conjunction with looser timings like the specifications outline. We will now see if this memory is able to pass our stringent stability testing at stock specifications and how far it will overclock at various timing sets.</p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/setup-2.jpg" alt=""></center>
 

3oh6

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
1,049
Location
Edmonton, AB
Stability Testing & Overclocking

Stability Testing & Overclocking:
<p style="text-align: justify;">Our stability testing methods for memory have been discussed at length in the past, so we are going to simply rely on the explanation from previous reviews. Here is a run-down of what we consider to be proper stability testing.</p>Stability Testing Methodology:<p style="text-align: justify;">Memory stability, what constitutes stable? What is not considered stable? These questions get hotly debated in enthusiast forums all over the internet like little brush fires on the fringe of an inferno that play havoc with forest fire crews. Everyone has their own opinion about stability, especially when it comes to memory stability. For some, stable means they can do whatever it is on their computer without it crashing, blue-screening, or restarting; whether that means gaming or just surfing the internet. To this user, stable means simply using the computer as they normally would.</p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/testing-1.jpg" alt=""></center><p style="text-align: justify;">Of course, that is not what we would call stable and we do a lot more thorough testing before labeling a memory frequency/timing stable. One of the toughest types of programs on a system has been found to be distributed computing projects such as Rosetta@Home, Folding@Home, World Community Grid, and more. Running 24/7 crunching for one of these great causes is a sure way to find holes in a system if there is truly some instability, unfortunately it takes a considerable amount of time to use them for stability testing so we use the list of programs below to all but guarantee the system to be 24/7 distributed computing stable:</p><p style="text-align: justify;">For those use to seeing reviews with a CPU-Z screenshot and a comment that the system was "solid as a rock", you will be quite surprised to see the above testing in the screenshots below. Every overclock of our memory sample listed in this section has gone through this testing. Naturally just because our sample has clocked this well, doesn't mean that every sample will. On the flip side, many samples of this memory will overclock much higher than ours did so it goes both ways.


Specification Stability Testing:

This section was implemented a few reviews back based on the fact that some of the recent memory offerings from manufacturers was having trouble hitting the rated frequencies on the motherboards they outlined it could run on. It seemed that not only did we need to stability test our overclocks but also to thoroughly test the specified ratings at the actual specified voltage. With this Patriot Viper Extreme kit being the absolutely highest rated frequency DDR3 memory we have yet to see here at Hardware Canucks, this section is an absolute must.

It was mentioned previously that we were surprised to see this memory rated for 933MHz operating frequency on P35 motherboards because it has been noted in a number of enthusiast forums that DDR3-1900 is tough to get stable on a number of P35 based motherboards. This doesn't give the folks at Patriot a whole lot of breathing room with this memory. Our particular Asus P5K3-Dlx sample has no problem running memory stable up to 950MHz so it is up to the task, let's see how the Patriot Viper Extreme did at rated frequency/timings/voltage against our stability testing.</p>Click for full size screenshot...
<center><a href="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/stable_spec-1.png"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/stable_spec-1sm.png"></a></center><p style="text-align: justify;">If you noticed in the screenshot, we actually forgot about this kit a couple of times during stability testing. Once when 3DMark 06 was looping as it ran for an extra half hour over normal testing and then again during the last program ran, HCI Memtest. HCI Memtest has proven to usually be the measuring stick for total stability and as seen, this kit has no problem running it for hours on end at the rated frequencies and timings. The other thing we wanted to talk about was the voltages used.

In this and all screenshots we have posted today, Asus AI Suite shows the voltage that is set in the BIOS. For the above testing it was obviously set to 1.85v. This, however, equates to 1.91v actually being supplied to the memory which is what the Viper Extreme are rated for. This is what we mean by actual voltage, designated by (A) in the overclocking section. So again, we don't list the voltage by what is set in the BIOS, but the actual voltage which is measured by a calibrated UEI DM393 digital multi-meter and taken directly from the DIMM slots. All motherboards are different and some may over-volt, some may under-volt what is set in the BIOS, this is why we use a digital multi-meter for measuring as it is the only actual way to tell.</p>
Stability Overclocking:<p style="text-align: justify;">Keeping in mind the fact that all voltages listed are marked with an (A) for actual, let's have a look at the overclocking results.:</p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/ocing-1.png" alt=""></center><p style="text-align: justify;">Right off the top we have to talk about the 8-8-8 results. It is pretty obvious that the motherboard is limiting the overclocking here. There is barely any improvement going from 1.91v(A) to 2.06v(A) and that is a sure sign of the motherboard running out of gas. Previous samples of memory had no problem pushing this P5K3-Dlx to 960MHz stable so it appears it plays favorites with certain memory or is slowing degrading. Either way, this kit potentially has a lot more in it than the P5K3-Dlx is able to provide. We will note that tightening timings up to 8-7-6 or even 8-7-7 didn't have favorable results. Our sample seemed to only like 8-8-8 timings at this high frequency.

As for the 7-7-6 and 6-6-5 overclocking, they are certainly not being limited by the motherboard and this kit of ours really shines, especially at 6-6-5 reaching the magical 800MHz or DDR3-1600 mark. To compare this kind of overclock to DDR2 you would say it is like reaching DDR2-800 at 3-3-3 timings with reasonable voltage. It comes as a bit of a surprise that there haven't been many PC3-12800 6-6-6 kits offered by manufacturers but with modules like these Viper Extreme performing like this at 2.06v, it won't be long until we see more. Reaching DDR3-1844 at 7-7-6 with only 2.06v puts these modules right up there with the big boys from Corsair and Super Talent that are rated for DDR3-1800 at 7-7-7 with 2.0v.</p>Click for full size screenshot...
<center><a href="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/ocing-2.png"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/ocing-2sm.png"></a> <a href="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/ocing-3.png"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/ocing-3sm.png"></a> <a href="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/ocing-4.png"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/ocing-4sm.png"></a></center>
 

3oh6

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
1,049
Location
Edmonton, AB
Benchmark Methodology

Benchmark Methodology:<p style="text-align: justify;">We will now take a look at the performance of the overclocks we just saw in various benchmarks. We have thrown in some results from a DDR2 setup for comparison, here is what that setup consists of for hardware:</p>
  • Motherboard: Abit IP35-Pro
  • Processor: Intel C2D E6850
  • Processor Cooling: Thermalright Ultra 120 w/AD1212MS-A73GL 2050RPM/80.5CFM
  • Memory: Buffalo FireStix 2x1GB PC2-9600
  • Power Supply: Silverstone Zeus ST56ZF
  • Video Card: XFX Alpha Dog 8800GTS 512MB
  • Additional Fans: 120mm AD1212MS-A73GL 2050RPM/80.5CFM
  • Hard Drive: 1 x Seagate 7200.9 80GB SATAII 8MB cache
  • OS: Windows XP SP2 (with recent updates)
<p style="text-align: justify;">The above setup will be shown as the transparent blue bar (2) in all of the benchmark graphs including the sample graph to the right. For recent DDR3 reviews we have seen comparisons to DDR2-1200 5-5-5 and DDR2-1000 4-4-4 on this setup.<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/method-1.png" alt="Just a sample graph outlining where the results will be coming from in the up-coming benchmarks." style="float: right; margin: 4px 0px 4px 7px"> For today's look at the Patriot Viper Extreme kit, we have decided to go with a DDR2-1120 4-4-4-8 comparison as to keep the CPU frequency the same as it is for the specified settings of the Viper Extreme. This is a very hefty overclock for 4-4-4 timings and there aren't a lot of systems out there running memory at 560MHz with timings this tight but we thought we would really put the Patriot memory to the test. It should provide some very interesting comparisons right down the result graphs.

As always, the grey bar in the graphs (1) will indicate the rated frequency and timings of the Patriot Viper Extreme memory. For these grey results, all but the primary memory timings are left on AUTO in the BIOS. This will best simulate the likely settings that an average user will get with this memory. For those that like to tweak their RAM, you will likely be overclocking it past ratings anyway. Of course the FSB has to be increased because of the maximum 1:2 FSB/memory ratio available so the FSB is raised to 467MHz but the CPU multiplier has been lowered to 7X, again, to help keep this set of results as close to stock settings as possible. Plus, on an XMP equipped motherboard, this would be the identical scenario.

The last three red results in the graphs (3 / 4 / 5) are reserved for the overclocked settings we just had a look at. We decided to run the benchmarks at the absolute maximum frequency that each timing set could run stable at. This of course eliminates any head to head comparisons but will give us an idea of what each timing set is fully capable of. For all of the benchmarks, appropriate lengths are taken to ensure an equal comparison through methodical setup, installation, and testing. The following outlines our testing methodology:

<img src="http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/../imagehosting/345473f770fba6d3.png" alt="Memset 3.4 showing Performance Level or tRD" style="float: left; width: 272px; height: 192px; margin: 4px 7px 4px 0px">a/ Windows is installed using a full format.
b/ Intel Chipset drivers and accessory hardware drivers (audio, network, GPU) are installed followed by a defragment and a reboot.
c/ Programs and games are then installed followed by another defragment.
d/ Windows updates are then completed installing all available updates including .NET Framework followed by a defragment.
e/ Benchmarks are each ran three times after a clean reboot for every iteration of the benchmark, the results are then averaged.

We have listed the benchmark versions on each graph as results can vary between updates. We are also sure to receive each set of results from identical systems so all system settings are the same throughout testing.

The only settings that change are the tRD (Performance Level). We just recently decided to adopt a variable tRD timing in the benchmarks with our last memory review. We decided that instead of trying to homogenize results with an equal tRD we would use a tRD that would provide more realistic performance differences as each overclock was likely to be run at a different tRD out in the wild.

In case you don't know already, tRD or Performance level as labeled in Memset, is a chipset timing that can drastically influence benchmark results. A lower tRD tightens the chipset timings and increases performance while a higher tRD loosens timings and lowers performance. Naturally, the lower the tRD, the higher it is to run at higher FSB frequencies. This is why we see the 6-6-5 results with a tRD of 5 and the 8-8-8 results with a tRD of 7. It is likely that most people won't be able to run a tRD of 5 at the FSB required for DDR3-1896 but will be able to at 401MHz FSB which is all that is required for DDR3-1604. So, with all of the boring content out of the way, let's have a look at how the Patriot Viper Extreme perform.</p>
 

3oh6

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
1,049
Location
Edmonton, AB
Memory Benchmarks

Memory Benchmarks:<p style="text-align: justify;">It looks like that time of day again where the various overclocks battle it out in a handful of benchmarks. These particular benchmarks are going to be quite interesting with the various tRD values and the comparison with the high clocked DDR2 setup, let's get started with some bandwidth results.</p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/bench-1.png"> <img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/bench-2.png" style="margin: 108px 0 0 0;"></center><p style="text-align: justify;">As expected, the DDR2 setup put up a heck of a battle and looks to equal the Viper memory at the 6-6-5 clocks except in the Everest Read results where the DDR3 setups walk away. The other interesting results are the comparison between the 7-7-6 and 8-8-8 overclocked results. One of the major differences helping the 7-7-6 results is the tRD value of 6 VS 7 of the 8-8-8 numbers. There just isn't a big enough gap between the clocks at 7-7-6 and 8-8-8 because of the limitations of the P5K3-Dlx motherboard. That and this memory just clocked really well at CL7.</p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/bench-3.png" alt=""> <img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/bench-4.png" alt=""></center><p style="text-align: justify;">The ScienceMark numbers seem to echo what we saw with Sandra and Everest for bandwidth but the PCMark 05 memory suite is a bit different. It seems to favor the Viper kit in all setups and has the higher clocked Viper timing set beating the 7-7-6 timing set. This is likely due to the CPU clock differences which would indicate that PCMark 05 memory suite still bases its results on the CPU power more than the other bandwidth benchmarks ran.</p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/bench-5.png" alt=""></center><p style="text-align: justify;">The latency results are about what we should expect based on the settings and bandwidth results. Again the 7-7-6 setup beats out the 8-8-8 latency and the DDR2 latency is much greater than all the others. For those of you who still think that DDR2 is better because the timings on DDR3 are too high should just have a quick look at the graph above. It doesn't get any clearer than that.</p>
 

3oh6

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
1,049
Location
Edmonton, AB
System Benchmarks

System Benchmarks:<p style="text-align: justify;">We have seen the bandwidth and latency numbers, let's see how that stacks up in memory dependant programs.</p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/bench-6.png"></center><p style="text-align: justify;">It is clear that the DDR3 setups are all superior in WinRAR with the DDR2 setup falling behind but the times really are quite interesting. Here is a benchmark that tests the archiving ability of the system and the bottom three red results are all within four seconds of each other, despite the almost 200MHz gap in CPU frequency. Technically the three overclocked results are about equal here because the gap is so small. This is certainly one benchmark where frequency is not king.</p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/bench-7.png"> <img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/bench-8.png"></center><p style="text-align: justify;">Un-like the WinRAR times we just saw, the SPi results do say that frequency is king. In this case, the CPU frequency is the king and what is driving the results. With only a ten second difference between the 7-7-6 and 8-8-8 results, it is safe to say that the tighter timings would win this battle if the CPU frequencies were the same. The one result where the DDR2 setup bests the stock settings of the Viper Extreme is the 1M bench. SPi 1M tends to lean on pure system power and the DDR2 setup seems to be the slightest bit quicker, not faster, but quicker. That all disappears in the 32M results where DDR3 just can't be touched from what we have seen in review after review.</p>
 

3oh6

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
1,049
Location
Edmonton, AB
3D/Gaming Benchmarks

3D/Gaming Benchmarks:<p style="text-align: justify;">It is game time...well, not gaming time but 3DMark time and a little bit of gaming. History has shown little gains in performance when memory is the only difference but these results have a lot of CPU variance so we should have a bit of fluctuation in the numbers.</p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/bench-9.png"></center><p style="text-align: justify;">It appears that the tiny bit of bright light the DDR2 setup had in some of the previous benchmarks is all but gone in the 3DMark results. The stock timings/frequency of the Viper Extreme out-perform the DDR2 setup in all versions of the popular 3D benchmarking application except in 06 but the difference is covered by the margin for error from slight variations in one run to the next. The rest of the results aren't like the bandwidth numbers we saw because of the CPU difference. This was expected and played out to hold true.</p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/bench-10.png"></center><p style="text-align: justify;">Both Half-Life 2 and Crysis directly mimic what 3DMark says which is again, no surprise. We have seen on a number of occasions that system performance plays a very small role in gaming performance and this is again the case. With the video settings lowered as much as possible (1024x768 / detail settings on low / no AA no AF) and even a 500+ MHz difference in CPU frequency from the top to the bottom of the chart, we see only a 9 FPS difference in results in Crysis. Half-Life 2 offers more of a gap but that is because the Source engine tends to rely a lot more on system performance than other games and why we see such high FPS numbers across the board.

Overall there were not any major surprises in the benchmarks and everything shook out as one would expect. We will now wrap up this review with the conclusion and out final thoughts.</p>
 

3oh6

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
1,049
Location
Edmonton, AB
Conclusion

Conclusion:<p style="text-align: justify;">We had a fun time with this Patriot Viper Extreme memory; from the first time we opened the shipping package and saw this elegant little white box inside to the very last benchmark on the P5K3-Dlx. The Viper Extreme always seemed willing and able to do what we asked. We have had a handful of DDR3 come through the doors here at Hardware Canucks and they have all impressed at some point or another, some more than others and some a little less than the rest. This Patriot kit is sitting near the top but not quite on the crest of the hill.

The fit and finish of these modules is certainly impressive, as is the package with the windowed opening and tasteful design. The Viper Fin heat sinks made from an aluminum copper composite definitely have some elements that we haven't seen before. If we had to sum up the Viper Extreme memory in one word it would have to be...fresh. There is just something about these modules sitting in the test bed that make them seem "so fresh and so clean" as Big Boi would say.</p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/patriot/viperpc3-15000/conclusion-1.jpg" alt=""></center><p style="text-align: justify;">We almost got through a DDR3 review without discussing the cost of this memory but not quite. DDR3 is still on the higher end of the scale when compared to DDR2 but heck, so is a Happy Meal from McDonalds. DDR2 memory is still so bloody cheap right now that it is really hard to justify the cost of DDR3. Patriot has done an amazing job in their pricing of not only these modules but the lower rated PC3-12800 Viper Extreme and we should start to see head way in the coming months as far as prices go. For those that want the absolute most performance though, DDR3 is definitely the way to go.

As for the performance, well, right now there isn't anything out there that can top The Viper Extreme PC3-15000 in rated frequency and we saw some very competitive and impressive overclocking at all timing sets. It would have been nice to see some higher stable frequencies but that is the motherboard limiting things and not so much the memory. Let's be honest though, when the memory is rated for DDR3-1866, how much more does one really need? Well, if your into benchmarking there is never enough so to see these modules do some really exciting overclocking where stability isn't the main focus, join us in the discussion thread. The link can be found below.</p>

Pros:
  • Ridiculously high specifications
  • Our sample had no problems with passing our noted "tough" stability testing at specifications
  • Overclocking at 6-6-5 and 7-7-6 was better than we expected for a highly binned CL8 memory
  • One of the more esthetically pleasing modules and package presentations
  • A solid lifetime warranty backing these modules up

Cons:
  • As much as Patriot has done to price these modules well, DDR3 goodness still requires some $$$
  • DDR3-1833 is pushing the limits of the P35 memory controller in our experience, some users may not reach specified ratings at no fault of the memory

<center>
fourhalf_coins.jpg
</center>

We like to hear feedback here at Hardware Canucks so feel free to bring up any questions or comments in the Discussion thread for the Patriot Viper Extreme 2x1GB PC3-15000 CL8 kit.


Review by: Jody Bailey
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Status
Not open for further replies.

Latest posts

Twitter

Top