ADATA Gaming Series DDR3-2400 8GB RAM Kit Review

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RAM, RAM and more RAM! I love RAM reviews. Pity I haven’t had time to write two of the kits that arrived here. You saw those reviews from Lvcoyote and EarthDog, respectively (thanks for the assist guys!). There was time to review this ADATA DDR3-2400G kit and the results do not disappoint. Let’s get straight to it and dig into this nice looking set of RAM.

Specifications & Product Tour

ADATA has an interesting naming scheme for their RAM. They have “Extreme”, “Plus” and “Gaming” series, but opposite what you may think, “Extreme” is completely a marketing term and that series tops out at DDR3-2133. The “Plus” series is listed as going to DDR3-2200 (granted with a heck of a heatsink), but there is only one model number listed and it’s DDR3-1600. The “Gaming” series are actually the fastest of the ADATA lineup – and this kit sits at the top of the heap.

Model # AX3U2400GC4G10-DG2
Model Name DDR3-2400G
Speed PC3-19200
Timings CL10-12-12-31
Voltage 1.65 V
Warranty Lifetime

As you can see, the DDR3-2400G kit is rated for -what else?- DDR3-2400 with decently tight timings for the current generation of available RAM chips.

Starting off our photo shoot, this kit is presented in a nice clam shell package, perfect for protection if shipped and for display on a store shelf.

ADATA Gaming Series DDR3-2400

ADATA Gaming Series DDR3-2400

ADATA Gaming Series DDR3-2400

ADATA Gaming Series DDR3-2400

Now the RAM itself. It is a good looking kit, without gaudily tall heatsinks and a nice green glow. The PCB is also black to match the heatsinks. The combination makes for a very nice looking set of RAM.

ADATA Gaming Series DDR3-2400

ADATA Gaming Series DDR3-2400

ADATA Gaming Series DDR3-2400

ADATA Gaming Series DDR3-2400

ADATA Gaming Series DDR3-2400

ADATA Gaming Series DDR3-2400

ADATA Gaming Series DDR3-2400

ADATA Gaming Series DDR3-2400

ADATA Gaming Series DDR3-2400

ADATA Gaming Series DDR3-2400

ADATA Gaming Series DDR3-2400

ADATA Gaming Series DDR3-2400

Now we’ll install the kit and put it to work.

Test System

Our test systems vary in motherboard occasionally due to the fact that our writers are spread across the country (sometimes even the world). The board used for the TridentX comparisons was the Maximus V GENE. The Patriot kit was run on an EVGA Z77 FTW and this kit was run on the Maximus V Extreme.

CPU Intel i7 3770K
Motherboard ASUS Maximus V GENE / Maximus V Extreme
RAM G.Skill TridentX 8GB DDR3-2666 / 11-13-13-35
G.Skill TridentX 32GB DDR3-2400 / 10-12-12-31
Patriot Viper 3 DDR3-2133 / 11-11-11-27
ADATA Gaming Series DDR3-2400 / 10-12-12-31
OS Windows 7 Professional x64
ADATA DDR3-2400G Installed

ADATA DDR3-2400G Installed

One interesting quirk about this kit is that the XMP profile appeared to be coded incorrectly. XMP set timings at 10-13-13-31, which is obviously not their rated 10-12-12-31. XMP also sets 2T command rate, when this kit is very much capable of 1T straight out of the box. Thus, the speed, voltage and timings were set manually. It’s hardly a drawback as I do that anyway on my own RAM kits, but those that get this kit should take note, you’ll have to take an extra minute to set your RAM properly rather than relying on XMP to do it for you.

Stability at Rated Speed

Stability was a walk in the park with this kit. At the stock speed, timings, voltage and even 1T command rate, it breezed through SuperPi 32M.

SuperPi 32M Stable

SuperPi 32M Stable

Now, as far as real stability testing we use the R.S.T. Pro 3 PCIe from Ultra-X. If you’ve read my RAM reviews, you’ve seen this blurb before. It still bears repeating so you know what RAM is up against.

Ultra-X has generously supplied their RAM stress tester, the R.S.T. Pro 3 PCI Express. There are only a couple of review sites that have one of these and we are proud to be one of them. It’s not your standard Memtest++ bootable CD. This is a standalone, bootable piece of hardware that plugs into a PCIe x1 slot and, man, does it ever beat on some RAM.

Several manufacturers use this to test their memory before it goes out the door to reduce RMAs. If it passes this test, it is stable and then some. Manufacturers generally run the full memory test for three passes. We’re overclockers though and tend to abuse sticks a little more than other people, so for our purposes five passes sounds good. Running this test on 8 GB of RAM ends up absolutely hammering the RAM for several hours with a load more that it will ever experience in every day use, so that should be sufficient to say whether or not it’s stable.

Now, that said, there was a glitch in testing. Some kits are not read properly for the general RAM test. For some reason, the tester’s general RAM test will occasionally read just 55MB for an obviously much larger kit. I’m inquiring to Ultra-X why that is. Thus, I had to run the ‘multi-core’ test, which is a different but equally strenuous test. Said test takes many hours to run.

Regrettably, when it finishes without errors, it automatically reboots the system from that test. As it takes many hours and usually finishes while I’m in bed, there is no photo of it completing that test. I ran it twice for five passes each, so it passed ten passes of strenuous R.S.T. Pro 3 PCIe testing, there just isn’t photo evidence, so you’ll have to trust me on that one. What happens after the reboot is the R.S.T. Pro 3 reboots back to itself and runs the default test…on 55MB of RAM. Then it stops and waits for you. One of the quirks of the equipment I suppose. Anyway, we do have a picture of that for you.

R.S.T. Pro 3 PCIe Passed

R.S.T. Pro 3 PCIe Passed

Anyway, you can rest assured this RAM is very, very stable; tested twice over with the R.S.T. Pro 3 is more than most kits that go through here are subjected to.

Performance

Before we begin the performance numbers, know one thing – there is very little difference between high-end kits apart from synthetic memory bandwidth/latency testing. What separates these kits is mostly their stability and overclocking ability. So, when you get to the real-world tests below, don’t expect to have your mind blown.

Synthetic Testing

Of course, since they show the biggest difference, let’s start with those synthetic numbers.

AIDA 64 Memory Tests

AIDA 64 Memory Tests

These don’t disappoint at all for the ADATA kit. Latency was as expected, with the G.Skill 2666 kit coming in at the lowest time. The ADATA kit was right on its heels though.

Now, when it comes to bandwidth, timings play a more prominent role. As you can see with copy and read speeds, the lower timings of the ADATA kit trumped the speed of the G.Skill 2666 kit. Only when writing did raw speed come out ahead. As you can see, with the decreased sub-timings associated with this 8GB kit as opposed to the G.Skill 32GB kit, it comes out ahead in every metric. (Sub-timings are often a sacrifice when considering high speed, large capacity kits.)

Compression, Video Conversion and Rendering

Now we get to the real world tests and I’ll just let the graph speak for itself. Above the Patriot Viper 3 kit (which has both lower speed and high timings), the difference between the three higher speed kits is less than one percent in almost every case, with x264 Bench – Pass 1 being the sole exception.

Compression, Rendering & Video Conversion

Compression, Rendering & Video Conversion

Benchmarking

Now to the reason benchmarkers are more concerned with RAM than pretty much anyone – SuperPi and WPrime!

SuperPi 1M & 32M and WPrime 32M & 1024M

SuperPi 1M & 32M and WPrime 32M & 1024M

Things fall where they should all around, with WPrime 1024M showing one exception to the rule.

Overclocking

Now to the FUN part of RAM reviews – overclocking! First off, I wanted to see what the kit would do at stock voltage but with loosened timings. Say, timings identical to the DDR3-2666 kit in our comparison?

DDR3-2600 / 11-13-13-35-2T SuperPi 32M Stable

DDR3-2600 / 11-13-13-35-2T SuperPi 32M Stable

While it’s not quite as fast as the 2666 kit (it’s not binned to be mind you), it’s awfully close by showing the ability to pass SuperPi 32M at DDR3-2600. Remember, this is at stock vDIMM of 1.65 V.

Now let’s see how far it can push 32M with some voltage behind it at those timings.

SuperPi 32M @ DDR3-2674 / 1.73V

SuperPi 32M @ DDR3-2674 / 1.73V

DDR3-2674, not too shabby at all. It required 1.73 V to get there, but that’s not too bad considering how far above rated speed that is. This makes me wonder – how far can it go and still run SuperPi 1M?

SuperPi 1M @ DDR3-2750 / 1.725V

SuperPi 1M @ DDR3-2750 / 1.725V

Well then, that’s impressive. Very much so! A DDR3-2400 kit completing SuperPi 1M at DDR3-2750 with timings only loosened a bit from stock. There’s not a thing to dislike here. How about max CPUz validation?

Max CPUz Validation - DDR3-2859 / 1.75V

Max CPUz Validation – DDR3-2859 / 1.75V

Yes, you read that right. DDR3-2859. That’s a full 229.5 MHz over the rated speed! You don’t see that kind of overclock in DDR3-2400 kits too often; at least not modern ones without extreme cooling.

Final Thoughts & Conclusion

Impressed. That’s the word to describe what this kit has done. It has impressed from start to finish. The only drawback is that the XMP profile doesn’t set the correct RAM timings.  As little effort as that takes, you can hardly take anything away from this kit for that.

What more is there to say really? Does the kit look good? Yup. Is it rock solid stable? Check that too. Does it overclock? Why yes, thank you; extremely well I might add. What about price? That one is more difficult, as I can’t find this kit anywhere. If you can find them though, the MSRP is a cool $89.99, which is amazing for a kit that overclocks like this.  There is nothing to dislike and lots to love. This kit is easily Overclockers Approved.

Click the Approved stamp for an explanation of what it means.

– Jeremy Vaughan (hokiealumnus)

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Discussion
  1. It's all good. Thank you very much for your help..and great website! I'll keep my eyes peeled. You never know, a new mobo firmware might change things. I agree with you that it's probably the mobo or CPU.
    I'm sorry to say I have no idea why it would act like this. The chances of all four sticks being unable to run 2400 are extremely low. That leads me to think it's the board or CPU. Regrettably there isn't any way to find out without alternatives to swap and try. Got any friends with Ivy Bridge CPUs or Z77 motherboards? :shrug:
    1. Last night, I swapped the sticks. Did only a pair. Didn't work.

    2. I changed everything to manual settings - timings 11-13-13-35 2, DRAM Freq. 2400 and lower, voltage 1.65-1.75, vccsa 1.2. Even tried tRFC ~250. Didn't work.

    3. I was fiddling with stuff and I got it to 2100 MHz. What I did was I increased the CPU BLCK from 100 to 105 and chose the DRAM freq. 2100. Voltage was at 1.65, VCCSA at 1.2, timings at 11-13-13-35 2. But for some reason that only stuck a couple of times. When I rebooted the 3rd time it went back down to 2000 MHz. Have no idea why it worked then stop working. Increasing the voltage didn't help.

    I don't know what else to do. Maybe I should just be happy with 2000 MHz and move on. :ty:
    Don't ever trust auto voltages. Set DRAM Voltage to 1.65V and VCCSA to 1.200V. Set timings manually and also set 2N just to be sure. See if that gets you to 2400.

    Also try just two sticks. If you bought them as two different kits, they could have slightly different (not quite matching) ICs, which could lead to inability to run the higher speed. Full DIMMs always puts more strain on an IMC. With Ivy that's not a problem assuming you have matched kits. If you just bought two kits with the same model number there is a slim possibility of differing ICs.
    Attached Image Notes

    nwphoto00: The CR I can only change to "1" or "2"

    nwphoto4: DDR-2000 is currently the max speed I can run at

    nwphoto5: I maxed VCCSA at 1.2 manually but that did not do anything

    Please let me know if you have any suggestions on what settings to try out. I really don't want to RMA the cpu. The DDR3 I bought originally was <http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231589> but I later found out that my mobo (1) does not officially support it (2) only runs at 1333 MHz and I tried to OC it. I did the research after I RMA'd it and found out that ADATA was a much better fit. I actually found this site because I was looking for reviews on the ADATA DDR3 and my Mobo. I can say I am much happier because that 1333 to 2000 MHz jump was a big deal in performance. I want to push further, if possible, like what was achieved in the article.

    Do you think I need to increase the CPU base clock (Host Clock Override - BCLK) for the DDR3 to run faster?
    3770K officially supports DDR3-1600 ;) -> http://ark.intel.com/products/65523/Intel-Core-i7-3770K-Processor-8M-Cache-up-to-3_90-GHz

    But really nearly all cpus should run up to ~2400. If it's not even booting @2133 then I would RMA cpu. Probably support won't make problems at least to check it on other board with different memory.

    Also can try:

    - 1.65V memory voltage

    - 1.1-1.2V VCCIO and VCCSA ( can be VTT, IMC or something like that, I don't really know ASRock Z77 BIOS )

    - Enable Internal PLL

    - check on 1-2 sticks in different memory slots

    - if you make it run in any memory slot with 1-2 sticks then reseat cpu as maybe there is bad pin contact what sometimes also lowers max memory clock
    OK, sounds good. It would be better to see exactly what we're looking at.

    As a side note, some IMC's just can't handle higher frequencies. IIRC, ivy is only officially rated for 2133.
    Voltage is on Auto and it displays that it's at 1.650V. While I was fiddling with the OC'ing, I manually changed it to 1.650V, 1.725V, 1.730V (via dropdown menu selection) and my VCCSA to 1.200 (which is the dropdown's max selection). But these settings appear to not do anything because I still can't go beyond 2000MHz whenever I increase it under the DRAM Frequency dropdown.

    I can provide screenshots of my bios settings when I get home.
    I bought 2 pairs (4 sticks, 16GB total) to use on my ASRock Z77 Extreme4 (Bios P2.8 latest) and Intel Core i7-3770 (non-K). This module is officially supported by the mobo according to the list on their site.

    On my mobo, I couldn't get the memory past 2000MHz. I've tried every single combination that was posted in the article. And the way I overclocked on this board was I just had to change the "DRAM Frequency" to DDR3-2000 in the dropdown menu. Anything above it causes the computer to reboot a few times after saving the change in the bios but the new speed does not stick. Every other option is left on "Auto" during the overclock (like VCCSA, voltage) and the CPU is at stock speed. I did change the "DRAM Configuration" to 11-13-13-35 but I don't know if doing this does anything. I couldn't change the "Command Rate" either (it's 2N default).

    Any thoughts or ideas on how I can go faster with this memory on my setup?
    if you ever wanna sell those i could use a better set of memory hokie :P

    have had weridness with my black momba 2133's since i got them.
    Well most of the TridentX 2400 are single-sided with 4Gbit Samsung ICs so almost anything double-sided will outpace them. That said, ADATA is a compelling option. I should push my 2000 C9 ones more.
    ADATA put there really nice samsungs. Only question is if all are so good or only review sample ... This kit is beating most 2133-2400 Dominator Platinums and all TridentX 2400 that I saw.

    Since most of them are scalling at least up to 1.85V then I bet it will pass 3000 on good IMC ( yours seems good as you made 2850+ on water :) ).