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.
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.
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.
Now we’ll install the kit and put it to work.
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|
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.
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.
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.
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.
Of course, since they show the biggest difference, let’s start with those synthetic numbers.
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.
Now to the reason benchmarkers are more concerned with RAM than pretty much anyone – SuperPi and WPrime!
Things fall where they should all around, with WPrime 1024M showing one exception to the rule.
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?
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.
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?
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?
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.