ADATA XPG V2 Review: 2x8 GB at DDR3-2400 C11-13-13 1.65 Vby Ian Cutress on November 11, 2013 1:00 PM EST
Memory has an odd part to play in the desktop ecosystem. There is plenty of it from many different manufacturers at various prices, speeds and benefits. Most of the differentiation comes around the product, such that two sets of 8GB DDR3-1600 might differ in warranty and aesthetics alone. With that in mind, we have several memory kits in the office tested, and the first one under analysis is a 2x8 GB DDR3-2400 C11 kit from ADATA’s XPG V2 line.
ADATA XPG V2 2x8GB DDR3-2400 C11 Overview
ADATA’s XPG (Extreme Performance Gear) V2 line is designed to showcase ADATA’s highest memory speed modules, although the range starts at 1600 C9 and extends to 3100 C12, with all speeds in 2x4 GB kits and 2x8 GB up to DDR3-2800. Each memory kit can be found in gold, as the kit today is, or in a tungsten grey. ADATA sent us several XPG V2 memory kits, such as this 2400 kit and a pair of 2800 kits to review.
The 2x8 2400 C11 kit sits in that spot around the sweet spot for memory tests: it escapes the basic failures that slow kits have, yet the specification precludes the price from spiraling out of control in terms of the memory MHz race that many manufacturers are keen to be a part of. While it is debatable if memory requires heatsinks, the gold colored ones on our XPG V2 aesthetically fit well with our ASRock Z87 OC Formula test bed and any similarly colored motherboard.
Overclocking performance at a boosted 1.72 volts gave a nice jump to 2666 11-13-13 stable, and a performance index of ~240 was applicable up to 2666 MHz from an original kit PI of 218. Out of the kits we have in to test, this was actually one of the better results by comparison.
The AX3U2400W8G11-DGV 2x8 GB kit currently retails at $200, or $12.50/GB. There are obviously cheaper kits available if you just need a 2x8GB kit without concern for the memory speed, but unfortunately for ADATA there are kits available at almost one third less, including their own tungsten grey versions at $140, which offers all the benefits just in a different color. As memory has a tendency to go up and down in pricing, it is often best to check on the day.
|Size||2 x 8GB||2 x 8GB||2 x 8GB||2 x 4GB||2 x 8GB||2 x 4GB|
|Voltage||1.35 V||1.65 V||1.65 V||1.65 V||1.65 V||1.65 V|
As this is our first proper memory review on Haswell, we have tested some other kits which are going to be the focus of future reviews, and thus as comparison points we have listed them here to give a scale of comparison. Compared to the G.Skill DDR3-3000 12-14-14 kit that was the focus of the Haswell memory overview, the ADATA kit we are testing today seems to have looser tWR and tFAW timings.
Thankfully ADATA have avoided using annoying plastic packaging that can be a pain to get into – there is a simple tab on the back to help open their XPG V2 line of memory. The packaging is simple enough, just a thin molded plastic to hold the memory in place:
The modules themselves have additional z-height, measured at 13.8mm for a total height of 44mm (1.73 inches).
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Rick83 - Monday, November 11, 2013 - linkSo running memory on a 22nm CPU at 1.65 volts (or more, for the OC) has suddenly become acceptable again? Last I heard everyone clamoring to only get 1.5V memory, so as not to fry the IMC before its time.
At $200, the key point is that by taking a $100 kit and putting those $100 dollars toward more memory or toward extra CPU performance would probably be better. Going with IB-E instead of with Haswell could probably done with that extra money - and you get double the memory channels to play with as a result.
IanCutress - Monday, November 11, 2013 - linkMost DDR3 memory past 1866 C9 is at 1.65 volts. These IMCs are sturdy enough, almost all will take 2x8 GB 2933 C12 without breaking a sweat. When did it ever become unacceptable? I've never seen any issues except taking Sandy above 2400 MHz, because the IMC wasn't particularly built for it. Ivy kicked it up a notch and Haswell accepts most of what I throw at it as long as you're reasonable and the memory itself can handle it.
owan - Monday, November 11, 2013 - linkThere was a LOT of talk when SB released about using 1.5v ram instead of 1.65v due to the IMC supposedly not tolerating higher voltages well. I don't know how true it was, but I thought this was common knowledge.
hoboville - Monday, November 11, 2013 - linkYes, there has been (and still is concern) that over-volting RAM can have a negative impact on the memory controller, because it is on the CPU die. RAM voltages and power do have an impact on the memory controller, of that there is no doubt. In fact, Registered Memory (also known as Fully Buffered or just Buffered Memory) was a design that came about when the IMC had to interface with large amounts of RAM (and power), particularly servers where 8+ slots is not uncommon.
The Von Matrices - Monday, November 11, 2013 - linkWell, according to Intel (http://www.intel.com/support/processors/sb/CS-0299...
"Intel recommends using memory that adheres to the Jedec memory specification for DDR3 memory which is 1.5 volts, plus or minus 5%. Anything more than this voltage can damage the processor or significantly reduce the processor life span."
However, I have not seen anyone who had a processor fail explicitly due to 1.65V memory. Granted, this might be hard to tell because many of the failed processors with 1.65V memory also have core overclocking and overvolting, and separating the actual cause of failure is impossible without an electron microscope.
I run my Hawswell system at 1.65V DDR3-2400, and I am not worried about 1.65V killing the processor. What's more concerning to me is that my Mushkin Blackline memory's XMP profile adjusts the system agent voltage +0.3V, which is far too much for me. I forced it back to default voltage and the memory works fine.
jabber - Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - linkIt may be that Intel's research determined that running at 1.65v could reduce the life of the CPU from 30 years to 28 years.
freedom4556 - Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - linkYeah, I love that there is a huge difference between the statistical and colloquial meaning of the word "significant" that always seems to be abused by marketers and misused by media.
kishorshack - Monday, November 11, 2013 - linkThis is an Anandtech Review
hoboville - Monday, November 11, 2013 - linkA quick suggestion: could you do a ranking of performance index as related to price, displaying performance per dollar?
For gamers, the biggest point is how much time the GPU spends asking the RAM for data. Games that are more heavily CPU bound will probably see some benefit from faster RAM. It is worth noting that Dirt 3 seems to benefit the most from lower timings, as the lowest timings see the highest FPS. Undoubtedly, each GPU is waiting for information from RAM, and in turn, longer RAM latency means that each GPU has to wait for its chunk of data. Better titles will rely less on CPU and more on GPU, maybe Mantle will have some effect on this with reduced draw calls?
Anyway, the price scaling on these "performance" RAM is so large that I couldn't in good conscience ever recommend anyone buying them when they would be better off spending it on a: dGPU, better dGPU, second dGPU.
freedom4556 - Monday, November 11, 2013 - link"Games that are more heavily CPU bound will probably see some benefit from faster RAM."
Not according to nearly every review I've ever read on memory. Most reviews have all results within about 5 fps of each other regardless of game. Only synthetics really benefit. See articles like: