Kingston Hyper X Predator DDR4 16GB 3000 MHz Memory Kit Review

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Oh DDR3… it was real, it was fun, but is hasn’t been really fun. DDR3 has came, saw, kicked some rear, and is now starting to see its way out. While Intel’s mainstream platform and all of AMD still use it, the release of DDR4 spells the eventual end to our close friend. Its time to learn something new folks. DDR4 brings lower voltage requirements, higher densities, and higher speeds. However, the trade off is higher latencies for now. While that might sound like a negative, in the end it doesn’t matter terribly much. In time, just like in the DDR3 life-cycle, we will see speeds increase and the timings go down.

My first dip into the DDR4 arena is reviewing a kit from Kingston. We all should be familiar with their Hyper X Predator line, and that is what we have in our hands. This kit from Kingston comes in a 4×4 GB flavor (since X99 is a quad channel platform) set to 3000 MHz. It has a CL rating of 15 and a base voltage of 1.35 V. It is time to show off the sticks in a photo shoot, put them through my testing suite, and end up with some overclocking!

Meet the Ram – Specifications, Features, and Product Tour

Kingston sent their HX430C15PB2K4/16 kit. When breaking this ‘code’ down, we can discern the following. The “HX” stands for Hyper X, the “4” for DDR4, the “30” for 3000 MHz, the “C15” is the CL rating, “PB” is Predator Black, and the “K4/16” is for a kit of 4 totalling 16GB. The ram I have in hand was still warm from the factory when it landed. So much so in fact that it still had older specifications burned into the JEDEC. Shortly after their arrival, Kingston mentioned to be sure to lower the voltage to 1.35 V instead of the default 1.5 V it boots up to as that is what the retail voltage will be. This was not a problem at all. Rock solid there too. I mentioned all this above for specification reasons of course, but wanted to note that what you see in my pictures will not match what I have described and is on their website. But moving forward, what I have above is the part number. Please do not be too confused as you will not see these differences in the wild. We just happened to get the kit before they made the changes.

Moving on, below is a list of specifications and Features from the Kingston website.

Specifications
CL(IDD)   15 cycles
Row Cycle Time (tRCmin)  46.5ns(min.)

Refresh to Active/Refresh

Command Time (tRFCmin) 

260ns(min.)
Row Active Time (tRASmin)  33ns(min.)
Maximum Operating Power  TBD W*
UL Rating  94 V – 0
Operating Temperature  0c to 85C
Storage Temperature  -55C to 100C
Module Height (w/spreader) 2.166″ (55mm)
XMP Timing Parameters

JEDEC: DDR4 2133 CL 15-15-15 @ 1.2v

XMP #1: DDR4 3000 CL 15-16-16 @ 1.35v

XMP #2: DDR4 2666 CL 14-14-14 @ 1.35v

FEATURES

  • Quad channel available
  • Capacity 16GB (4×4 GB kits)
  • Speeds up to 3000MHz
  • 1.2 & 1.35 voltages for stable overclocking
  • Intel XMP-ready profiles optimized for Intel X99 series motherboards
  • Exceptional clock and latency timing specifications to enhance overall system performance
  • Heat sink design achieves effective maintenance of speed while prolonging memory life-cycle
  • 100-percent factory tested

Below are pictures of CPU-Z and what its Memory and SPD tabs have to show for the kit at its rated speed. Again, the voltage listed is different as the updated retail version runs off 1.35 V in XMP mode.

CPU-Z - SPD tab

CPU-Z – SPD tab

CPU-Z - Memory tab

CPU-Z – Memory tab

Product Tour

We normally start off our product tour by showing you the retail packaging. Due to this kit being hot off the presses from Kingston, we simply have the cardboard box and a label. Note the part number on the label is not correct. Retail versions will see part number HX430C15PB2K4/16. 

After opening the box, we see the kit comes in a form fitting clam-shell style plastic packaging to protect it from movement and damage. Again, retail versions I am sure will have some marketing on it to pretty it up.

Packaging (not retail - just what it was sent in)

Packaging (not retail – just what it was sent in)

Product info (remember this is not correct - see earlier mention)

Product Information (remember this was updated – see earlier mention)

Open Sesame

Open Sesame

Clamshell Packaging

Clam-shell Packaging

Our first look at a stick in the set shows the black Hyper X Predator heatsink that covers the DIMM. I like the look of these, especially in black, but you have to make room for these as they are tall coming in at 55 mm. Be sure you have the clearance to use these! On that note, I am still not sure why memory makers are using these tall heat spreaders. I put 1.5 V through them and even after running Hyper Pi 32M back to back several times, they were barely warm to the touch. I have seen much smaller heatsinks do the same great job and would like to see these shrink as well. If for no other reason, so it doesn’t alienate potential buyers due to the ever growing CPU heatsinks available on the market today.

Outside of that, the only differences you may notice is DDR4’s move to 288 pins as opposed to the 240 found on DDR3.

Again, a great looking set of sticks to me…

Front

Front

Back

Back

Alternate Angle - Front

Alternate Angle – Front

Alternate Angle - Back

Alternate Angle – Back

Close Up of Label

Close Up of Label

Heat Spreader - Side Angle

Heat Spreader – Side Angle

I put all of the sticks together in some odd nerdy guy’s form of art in the gallery below…

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Benchmark Results

Below you will see the results of our usual battery of tests. We have benchmarks from your basic AIDA64 Memory tests showing Latency and bandwidth for Read/Write/Copy, a benchmarker’s delight with Wprime 32M/1024M and Super Pi 1M/32M, and rounding out the performance results are more ‘real world’ benchmarks like compression using x264 (video conversion), and CPU computation/rendering in Cinebench R11.5/R15. Since this is our first crack at at DDR4 we do not have anything to compare to in an apples to apples environment, so we will simply see the results. As we get more kits to test, we can compare them against each other in a graph. Please check out Lvcoyote’s reviews of DDR4 to see some of what else we have reviewed on the DDR4 front!

Before we start though, I have listed out the system that will be used moving forward for memory testing.

Test System

  • i7 5820K
  • MSI X99S Gaming 9 AC
  • Kingston HyperX Predator 4x4GB DDR3 3000 MHz @ 1,35v
  • AMD R9 260x
  • Seasonic 1KW
  • Windows 7 64bit

 

AIDA64

AIDA64

AIDA64

WPrime 32M/1024M

WPrime 32M/1024M

WPrime 32M/1024M

Super Pi 1M/32M

Super Pi 1M

Super Pi 1M

Super Pi 32M

Super Pi 32M

x264

x264

x264

Cinebench R11.5/R15

Cinebench R11.5

Cinebench R11.5

Cinebench R15

Cinebench R15

As I mentioned towards the beginning of this article, we see the blazing speeds of all DDR4 kits, but we also see a big increase in timings to compensate for the bandwidth and low voltage that DDR brings to the table. However it is a function of DDR4 itself from my limited exposure of it. Our very own Memory guru, Woomack, has looked at a couple of kits and has seemingly run into the same thing.

I have an email out to Kingston and we are working together to see if the results I have are in the ballpark or if there is some setting I may have missed to allow for better bandwidth on this specific kit. I will report back with those results. For now though, we can see a lot more bandwidth available on this platform with a lot lower voltage as well.

EDITORS NOTE: After working with Kingston they are not able to reproduce the problem on the same board, so it appears my system and I have some soul searching to do. Though honestly, I have no idea what to even look for as I have done everything I can think of from a fresh OS, to different BIOS to different boards.

Overclocking

This will be a fairly sad section in my world and is of no fault of the sticks. For some reason, I was not able to raise the BCLK past 125, period. I could get to 166 MHz and under 3000 MHz but could not hit the 3334 MHz which would not boot no matter what I did. This made overclocking difficult at best. I have reached out to MSI to see what is going on (and taking a healthy look in the mirror this being a new platform).

That out of the way, we can tighten the timings so that is what I have to show. I was able to drop down to 14-15-15-37 from the stock 15-16-16-39 using stock voltage of 1.35 V and be 32M Hyper Pi stable. I raised the voltage to 1.5 V and kept on tightening the screws. I was able to get 13-14-14-37 and complete the AIDA64 Memory tests, and that was about it as far as stable goes. So, there is room to tighten this kit down, and surely there is MHz headroom too. But as I said, I am likely lacking somewhere on pushing this platform up. I will update this later when I hear back.

3000 MHz - 14-15-15-37 HyperPi 32M stable

3000 MHz – 14-15-15-37 HyperPi 32M stable

AIDA64 - 13-14-14-37

AIDA64 – 13-14-14-37

Conclusion

Its still pretty early in the DDR4 era, so things on the speed and timings front will likely change as time goes on. Still, we have a wicked fast speed already at 3000 MHz out of the box. Remember that all consumers will see the 1.35 V version out of the box and will not have to manually adjust things as I have done. As far as performance goes, things were a bit off but after working with Kingston, they are unable to reproduce it on different brand boards than mine, and then on my board. Others have reviewed this kit and saw better values on different boards so the concern seems to lay somewhere in my system at the moment. I will update the conversation thread with this information as I get it, but at this time assume the issue is internal and not that of Kingston from the evidence we have.

Timings tightened down fairly well and overclocking just hit a wall for me personally. I cannot fault Kingston for this lack of headroom at this moment. But, like with everything in overclocking, what one CPU/GPU/Memory Kit may do, the next one may not.

We know from being new, DDR4 demands a premium on its price. I haven’t seen these pop up at Newegg yet, but at Provantage I am seeing them priced at $334.87 with a list price of $373. When comparing this price to other kits of the same speed/voltage and similar timings at Newegg.com, it is priced on the cheap… big time. Newegg’s cheapest comes in at $499 with slightly tighter timings (15-15-15-xx). I cannot speak well to its overclocking abilities, however the price is surely right being the cheapest available at this moment against similarly spec’d kits. It was rock solid stable at stock timings and the stock voltage of 1.35 V, and that’s all most want to ask for. She’ll tighten down a bit too. This kit is Overclockers.com approved!

Overclockers_clear_approvedClick the stamp for an explanation of what this means.

– Joe Shields (Earthdog)

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Discussion
  1. I don't think we will see DDR4-3200+ on many motherboards. So far all of them have problems with higher memory ratios and not all are fully stable at higher bclk. I just think that when we will see something like DDR4-3600+ on the market then we will already have new platform or manufacturers make miracles with current boards/bioses.
    I agree with the platform differences and errors in comparing and hence made the disclaimer in my statement, but I am still not expecting miracles from slightly higher bandwidth and very high latencies. So we agree on DDR4 not being ready for prime time yet.

    When at least ~3600 CAS 15 is readily available and no higher priced than 3000 CAS15 now, and some of the other issues are sorted, I will look at it again. Just hope that occurs in not too distant future.
    It's not only about latency. CPUs use fast cache to reduce delays and higher clocked memory to improve bandwidth. Also there is different rank/banks config. You can see that comparing single and double sided modules on DDR3 and DDR4 platforms. On DDR4 they're almost the same while on DDR3 single sided modules are up to 20% slower.

    You can compare results in AIDA64 at 2400, even CL15 modules to DDR3 2400 CL10/11 ... but DDR4 needs faster than stock cache on the CPU side. Most work in this case make the cache.

    I was comparing DDR3 to DDR4 at the same clock and timings but cache clock was 3000MHz -> http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showthread.php/750439-DDR3-4930K-vs-DDR4-5820K-comparison in this case DDR4 is slower in most tests while overall results are better because of CPU/cache.

    Simply DDR4 will let you achieve higher bandwidth but not lower latency ( without overclocking ). For optimal results you still have to tweak more options.

    Memory controller and additional factors like cache clock count a lot in this case. Compare 2600k, 3770k and 4770k at the same 2133 in any memory benchmark and you will see similar latency but much different memory bandwidth results.

    I'm not saying that DDR4 is so great but it's just working in a different way and we can't really compare it to the previous generation.

    I think that market is not prepared for DDR4 yet and memory manufacturers made almost no binning. What more , even JEDEC didn't make full specification for DDR4 yet.

    I won't even mention motherboard manufacturers who knew about DDR4 for a long time and all still have problems with memory ratios ( including ASUS ).
    Woomack
    Did you try to set manually cache clock to 3000 or higher ? I see 1500MHz in CPU-Z/AIDA but on my board it was actually read bug and whatever I set, it was 1500 in system ( even though performance was fine ). When I changed to newer BIOS then software was reading it good but performance has dropped ;)

    In general I like design of this memory. Too large etc but on this platform it's not an issue and what's more important , it looks good :) The same as Predators on DDR3 but finally black PCB and black/gray color scheme.

    This motherboard has profiles for Hynix and Micron memory ( I believe there are Hynix chips but I can be wrong ). I would try the one with tighter timings and compare performance. For some reason on my MSI all profiles with more relaxed timings didn't work at all.

    DDR4 is not really slower the same as DDR3 wasn't slower than DDR2. The main issue in all cases are early memory controllers or other things that block max bandwidth. On X99 main issue seems limited cache clock. After raising this clock you may achieve much higher memory bandwidth without even touching any memory settings ( and I mean something like 5-10GB/s better results ).

    When DDR3 was released then we had X48 and X58 platforms. X48 was slow as C2D were not really designed for DDR3 but X58 was great. My 1st DDR3 kit was 1600 7-7-7 1.65V and it was not long after DDR3 premiere.


    memory controller or ram, doesnt really matter, still paying more for slower speed.

    And memory controller aside, I can buy 2x4gb DDR3 2600 CAS 10 for $100 that is 24/7 settings not just benching stable. When X99 first came it highest speed was 3000 CAS 15, and most was 2666 CAS 15, and havent improved that much yet.

    Going by math performance estimates, and ignoring ddr3/ddr4 architectural differences since cant be quantified and not miracles, 2600 CAS 10 would have 7.69 ns nonsequential latency and 10.38 ns sequential latency. 3000 CAS 15 estimate is 10.0 ns nonsequential latency and 12.33 sequential latency.

    So you are saying that 3000 CAS 15 is actually going to perform faster than 2600 CAS 10 if memory controller was equivalent?
    Did you try to set manually cache clock to 3000 or higher ? I see 1500MHz in CPU-Z/AIDA but on my board it was actually read bug and whatever I set, it was 1500 in system ( even though performance was fine ). When I changed to newer BIOS then software was reading it good but performance has dropped ;)

    In general I like design of this memory. Too large etc but on this platform it's not an issue and what's more important , it looks good :) The same as Predators on DDR3 but finally black PCB and black/gray color scheme.

    This motherboard has profiles for Hynix and Micron memory ( I believe there are Hynix chips but I can be wrong ). I would try the one with tighter timings and compare performance. For some reason on my MSI all profiles with more relaxed timings didn't work at all.

    DDR4 is not really slower the same as DDR3 wasn't slower than DDR2. The main issue in all cases are early memory controllers or other things that block max bandwidth. On X99 main issue seems limited cache clock. After raising this clock you may achieve much higher memory bandwidth without even touching any memory settings ( and I mean something like 5-10GB/s better results ).

    When DDR3 was released then we had X48 and X58 platforms. X48 was slow as C2D were not really designed for DDR3 but X58 was great. My 1st DDR3 kit was 1600 7-7-7 1.65V and it was not long after DDR3 premiere.
    Thanks for review. Im still debating whether to switch to E platform in future, but until DDR4 latency/speed matures to where it outperforms DDR3, just not excited about paying more for DDR4 for slower RAM, but that was just like when DDR3 first came out, it was slower than DDR2 because of latency.
    I have been through 3 bios on that board, and also 2 bios on the Asrock X99 Killer Pro with the same results.

    Kingston is sending another set of sticks for testing and I am going to get a set from Lvcoyote so I have another to compare them with. That will figure out if its something on my end or the DIMMs themselves as it doesn't seem to be the motherboard... or if it is the motherboard, it did it across 2 different brand boards and as mentioned, a couple BIOS on each.

    Its just weird.
    Memory is maybe good but motherboard has some serious issues with performance. Results are like on much lower clocked memory. I would check other bioses, even these older or even initial. MSI X99S SLI had the same problems on 3rd bios.