It’s been 20 years since Corsair first entered the computer component world, and man have they come a long way. From their humble beginnings as a L2 cache module manufacturer, their product offerings have blossomed into a wide range of enthusiast-level components. In fact, other than the motherboard, you can build a wide variety of systems comprised entirely from Corsair products. Today, however, we’re going to concentrate on their entry into the DDR4 market and have a look at their newly released Vengeance LPX DDR4-2800 kit. The kit contains a total of 16 GB in a 4X4 GB configuration. Let’s get started and see what Corsair has up their sleeve!
Here are the specifications for the Vengeance LPX DDR4-2800 kit as plucked from the Corsair product page. As we’re seeing with most DDR4 kits out there, the timings are higher than we’re accustomed to seeing on previous generation memory, but the speeds are higher out of the gate. Also of note here is the extremely low 1.2 V these modules are able to run at. Piece of mind comes in the form of a limited lifetime warranty.
|Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-2800 Specifications|
|Memory Size||16GB (4X4GB)|
|Speed Rating||PC4-22400 (2800MHz)|
|Memory Configuration||Dual / Quad Channel|
|Package Memory Format||DIMM|
|Package Memory Pin||288|
|Performance Profile||XMP 2.0|
If your’re interested in reading a DDR4 white paper that explains the advantages of this new memory standard, Corsair has an excellent write up you should take the time to read. It’ll explain what DDR4 brings to the table in its early stages and what we’re likely to see going forward.
A quick look at a couple BIOS screenshots reveals a couple interesting tidbits. The SPD table actually shows a XMP profile #2 at DDR4-3000 MHz using 1.35 V. I didn’t see where it was a BIOS selectable option; but perhaps if we set those parameters manually, the kit will run at that speed? We’ll be sure to check that out!
Just as we found with a competitor’s set of memory, using the XMP profile will automatically set the strap to 125. At least on the ASUS X99 Deluxe it does. The BCLK frequency is automatically set to 127.3, which lands the memory speed at exactly 2800 MHz. However, a side effect of this XMP profile is that the CPU, Cache, and DMI/PEG frequencies are slightly overclocked too. You end up with 64 MHz CPU, 55 MHz Cache, and 1 MHz DMI/PEG overclocks. Those minor increases shouldn’t require any voltage modifications on the user’s part, but it’s certainly something to be aware of.
The Vengeance LPX memory is available in three different colors. You have your choice between red, blue, or black, which should allow for seamless integration into just about any color scheme.
The pure aluminum heatspreaders are designed for even heat dissipation across the eight-layer memory module. I wouldn’t expect the modules to get very warm at their stock 1.2 V; but if you want to pour the voltage to these things, good heatspreaders and an eight-layer PCB will definitely help keep things cool. I like that the PCB is black as well, which adds a bit of aesthetic value.
Here is the complete features list as provided by Corsair. Other than what we mentioned above, we have a low profile heatspreader design to ensure compatibility with a wide variety of form factor motherboards and extensive testing to ensure compatibility with almost all X99 series motherboards.
Compatibility tested across X99 Series motherboards for reliably fast performance
Part of our exhaustive testing process includes performance and compatibility testing on most every X99 Series motherboard on the market – and a few that aren’t.
Designed for high-performance overclocking
Each Vengeance LPX module is built from an eight-layer PCB and highly-screened memory ICs. The efficient heat spreader provides effective cooling to improve overclocking potential.
Pure aluminum heat spreader for faster heat dissipation and cooler operation
Overclocking overhead is limited by operating temperature. The unique design of the Vengeance LPX heat spreader optimally pulls heat away from the ICs and into your system’s cooling path, so you can push it harder.
The heat spreader doesn’t just allow Vengeance LPX to run better… the aggressive yet refined form factor looks great in showcase systems.
XMP 2.0 support for trouble-free, automatic overclocking
Manually pushing your DRAM frequency can be a fun experiment, but sometimes you just want to get maximum performance without the hassle.
Intel X99-based motherboards support the new XMP 2.0 standard, and Vengeance LPX DRAM does, too. Turn it on, and it will automatically adjust to the fastest safe speed for your Vengeance LPX kit. You’ll get amazing, reliable performance without lockups or other strange behavior.
Low-profile design fits in smaller spaces
When the first Mini-ITX and Micro ATX motherboards for DDR4 are released, Vengeance LPX will be ready. The small form factor makes it ideal for smaller cases or any system where internal space is at a premium.
Available in multiple colors to match your motherboard or your system
The best high-performance systems look as good as they run. Vengeance LPX is available in several colors to match your motherboard, your other components, your case… or just your favorite color.
The Corsair Vengeance kit comes in a small cardboard box with the modules secured in two plastic containers. The printing on the box gives the potential customer a good idea of what they’re buying into. As you can see by the below pictures, we were sent the black version to review.
Below are several images of the Vengeance LPX DDR4-2800 kit. This is a great looking kit in my opinion, and I love the fact Corsair kept the heatspreader size at a minimum. Here are some glamor shots to have a look at before we dive into the testing phase of the review.
Testing for Stability at Rated Speed/Timings
Once we get memory installed in our test bed, we begin our testing phase by checking stability at the kit’s rated speed/timings. We use our UltraX R.S.T. Pro USB RAM tester, which was kindly provided by UltraX. Overclockers is one of just a few select review sites lucky enough to have one of these memory testers, and we’re delighted to be in that group. I seriously doubt you’ll find another tester that beats on memory quite like the R.S.T Pro does. If a memory kit passes our five loop run, it’s stable…. period! The time it takes to complete the five loops will vary depending on the capacity of the memory kit being tested. For the Vengeance LPX kit we’re reviewing today, it took seven hours to complete. After a relentless seven-hour pounding, the Corsair Vengeance LPX kit came up clean with the R.S.T. Pro having recorded no errors.
For in-OS stability, we use HyperPi set to use all available threads. It’s doubtful HyperPi will show any issues after the kit passed a seven-hour run with the R.S.T. Pro, but it’s always good to make sure. No problems encountered here either, so we’ll call the Vengeance LPX kit rock stable at advertised speed/timings/voltage.
Testing was done on three different test systems, so we could compare DDR3 in quad-channel (X79), DDR3 in dual-channel (Z87), and DDR4 in quad-channel (X99). Here is a list of the test beds we used. The CPU was set to default stock speeds on all the test beds.
|DDR3 Dual-Channel||DDR3 Quad Channel
||DDR4 Quad Channel
|Motherboard||ASUS Maximus VI Formula Intel Z87 Chipset||EVGA X79 Dark
Intel X79 Chipset
Intel X99 Chipset
|CPU||i7 4770K Haswell||i7 4960X Ivy Bridge-E||i7 5960X Haswell-E|
|Memory||Various – See Below Comparison Kits||G.Skill TridentX DDR3-2400 MHz 4X4 GB 10-12-12-31||G.Skill Ripjaws4 DDR4-3000 MHz 4X4 GB 15-15-15-35|
|Video Card||EVGA GTX 780 Ti Classified||ASUS HD7970 DCUII TOP||EVGA GTX 780 Ti Classified|
|OS||Windows 7 X64||Win 7 X64||Win7 X64|
|Cooling||Custom Water||Custom Water||Custom Water|
The following table lists the memory kits used for comparison.
|Kingston||HyperX Beast||DDR3 2400||Dual||4×4 GB||11-13-13-30-2T||1.65 V|
|G.SKill||TridentX||DDR3 2666||Dual||2×4 GB||11-13-13-35-2T||1.65 V|
|G.Skill||Ripjaws 4||DDR4 3000||Quad||4×4 GB||15-15-15-35-2T||1.35 V|
|Corsair||Vengeance LPX||DDR4-2800||Quad||4X4 GB||16-18-18-36-2T||1.2 V|
There are a few things to keep in mind when digesting the results below. Benchmarks that are able to take advantage of all available CPU threads are going to favor those systems with the most CPU cores. Hence, the X99-based system will have a distinct advantage here. Also, because the Vengeance LPX system receives a bit of an overclock when the XMP profile is used, it too will show an advantage in most of the testing. So, take these results with a grain of salt, but they do give you an idea of performance at stock settings using XMP profiles.
The graphs below are based off of percentages with the Corsair Vengeance LPX kit being the basis, and therefore, always being 100%. The raw data used to make each graph can be found in the table below each chart. The first set of tests are from AIDA64 Engineer Edition and include the memory read/write/copy/latency benchmarks. The read and write tests show less than a 2% advantage for the Vengeance LPX kit when compared to the 3000 MHz G.Skill kit, which is more than likely due to the CPU and Cache overclock it receives with its XMP profile being used. Still, a pretty impressive showing for the Corsair kit here. The copy test shows a little over 5% better for the Vengeance LPX compared to the G.Skill DDR4 kit, but its slower timings cause it to fall behind in the latency test (lower percentage is better).
|AIDA64 Memory Benchmarks – Raw Data|
|Kingston HyperX Beast DDR3-2400 (DC)||35903||37565||34834||44.7|
|G.Skill TridentX DDR3-2666 (DC)||32966||41505||35597||40.8|
|G.Skill TridentX DDR3-2400 (QC)||56059||41272||55667||65.0|
|G.Skill Ripjaws 4 DDR4-3000 (QC)||58303||46900||53595||64.0|
|Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-2800 (QC)||59046||47684||56632||69.8|
SuperPi and wPrime are timed benchmarks, so keep in mind, lower percentage values in the chart are better. As expected, the systems with a higher CPU clock win out in the single threaded SuperPi test. The wPrime tests show the opposite result with the systems having more CPU cores dominating here. Even though the Vengeance LPX system has a slight CPU MHz advantage, it fell a tad short in the wPrime 1024M test compared to the G.Skill DDR4 kit. It did squeeze out a win over the G.Skill DDR4 kit in the wPrime 32M test.
|SuperPi & wPrime Benchmarks – Raw Data|
||SuperPi 32M||wPrime 32M
|Kingston HyperX Beast DDR3-2400 (DC)||8.955||459.280||5.819||180.694|
|G.Skill TridentX DDR3-2666 (DC)||8.923||462.790||5.881||182.257|
|G.Skill TridentX DDR3-2400 (QC)||9.260||508.142||4.557||134.715|
|G.Skill Ripjaws 4 DDR4-3000 (QC)||10.359||536.894||3.525||103.647|
|Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-2800 (QC)||10.281||529.36||3.527||101.728|
Our last set of benchmarks test rendering, compression, and video encoding. The Cinebench testing shows a slight advantage for the Vengeance LPX kit by less than 2% on both tests. The 7zip results again show an advantage for the Vengeance LPX kit when compared to the G.Skill DDR4 kit. The PoV Ray and x264 test runs again show the Vengeance LPX kit coming out on top by 2% or less.
|7zip, x264 & Cinebench Benchmarks – Raw Data|
||x264 Pass 1||x264 Pass 2|
|Kingston HyperX Beast DDR3-2400 (DC)||31410||8.84||24853||192.47||50.35|
|G.Skill TridentX DDR3-2666 (DC)||31582||8.90||24951||196.67||50.26|
|G.Skill TridentX DDR3 2400 (QC)||35523||11.23||33358||194.01||60.75|
|G.Skill Ripjaws 4 DDR4-3000 (QC)||43884||15.26||42473||204.95||83.42|
|Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-2800 (QC)||44206||15.49||43640||208.17||84.80|
Even though the Vengeance LPX system runs with a little CPU and Cache overclock when its XMP profile is set, it does run 200 MHz slower and has looser timings than the G.Skill DDR4 kit. That being said, you really can’t take anything away from the performance the Vengeance LPX kit showed in these benchmarks. Nothing at all to complain about on the performance front!
Remember when I showed you that a XMP #2 profile showed up in the motherboard BIOS? I just had to check that out. I set the BCLK back down to 125 MHz, used the BIOS selectable DDR4 3000 MHz option, and set the voltage to 1.35 V. I think you know how this is going to turn out… Yep, it booted right into Windows and passed a HyperPi 32M run without even batting an eye. No adjustments to timings or anything else were needed for this to work. Just set it, forget it, and go. Talk about adding value to a memory kit… I’d say so.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t get much of an increase at all from 3000 MHz. The little I was able to get really isn’t worth even showing here. The particlular I7 5960X I have works fantastic up to 3000 MHz memory, but the IMC seems to be unable to cope with anything faster than that. In order to get past that barrier you have to take the IMC out of the picture as much as possible, which requires raising almost all of the third tier timing set. Doing that comes at the expense of a severe performance hit, so it’s really not worth it. However, there’s nothing wrong with the 200 MHz overclock we got by manually applying XMP #2 settings.
So, let’s drop the memory back down to its advertised speed and see what we can do about tightening up the timings a bit. Setting the memory voltage to 1.4 V, I was able to achieve a substantial drop in the major timing set. I ended up at 13-15-15-36-1T, which is a lot better than the stock 16-18-18-36-2T timings.
Corsair will most definitely meet the demands of the enthusiast user with the Vengeance LPX DDR4-2800 kit. It looks great, overclocks nicely, and performs terrific. In all honestly, there is no reason you can’t just set this kit to run at 3000 MHz and go along your merry way. Depending on the CPU and motherboard you use, you may be able to push it even further than our system allowed.
The low profile heatspreaders allow the kit to be used in a wide variety of system configurations without sacrificing aesthetic value. Considering you have three colors to choose from, you should be able to match a set of Vengeance LPX to just about any system’s color scheme. The extensive compatibility testing and the limited lifetime warranty ensure a trouble free experience for as long as you keep the kit in service.
As far as pricing goes, the Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-2800 kit is currently selling for $389 at Newegg. There aren’t many DDR4 2800 MHz kits available at Newegg, but this kit is about the least expensive of the bunch. So, even though DDR4 is an expensive proposition right now, the Vengeance LPX DDR4-2800 kit is priced appropriately.
If you’re jumping on the Haswell-E/X99 bandwagon, the Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR-2800 16 GB memory kit is definitely worth considering for your memory selection. Great performance, good overclocking, and priced as it should be all add up to Overclockers Approved!