It looks badass, sounds badass and gave us 3000MHz as advertised in testing - what's not to like here?
Kingston Technology has been manufacturing memory for decades and is an established and respected brand. This review kind of fell into place when we had the opportunity to test out the MSI X99S Gaming 7 motherboard and Kingston reached out to us with the chance to test a 16GB (4x4GB) HyperX Predator DDR4 (KHX3000C15D4/4GX) kit. This is a usability based review rather than a highly technical one so be warned if you are looking for scientific comparisons.
The modules do sit pretty high, (the module is 55mm tall including the contacts), due to the heat spreaders but they remained cool throughout our testing and went beyond the written specifications so perhaps they are more practical than decoration. Either way, they look badass and went really well with our Cosmos SE "Beast" RESPAWN LAN showcase build. When you hold the Predator sticks in your hand, you can feel the weight and coolness of the heat spreaders. They are still sensitive memory modules so despite them feeling somewhat bulletproof, take care when installing them.
The specifications for Kingston's HyperX Predator DDR4 (KHX3000C15D4/4GX) are as follows:
- 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: 0 C to +85 C
- Storage Temperature: -55 C to +100 C
- Power Supply: VDD=1.2V Typical
- VDDQ = 1.2V Typical
- VPP - 2.5V Typical
- VDDSPD=2.2V to 3.6V
- Nominal and dynamic on-die termination (ODT) for data, strobe, and mask signals
- Low-power auto self refresh (LPASR)
- Data bus inversion (DBI) for data bus
- On-die VREFDQ generation and calibration
- On-board I2 serial presence-detect (SPD) EEPROM
- 16 internal banks; 4 groups of 4 banks each
- Fixed burst chop (BC) of 4 and burst length (BL) of 8 via the mode register set (MRS)
- Selectable BC4 or BL8 on-the-fly (OTF)
- Fly-by topology
- Terminated control command and address bus
- Height 2.166" (55.00mm), w/ heatsink
As stated earlier, this kit runs at 3000MHz out of the box , which meant that we were able to run our i7-5930K at a base clock of 125MHZ with our overclock. The modules ran at 1.2V without any thermal issues and stayed at around 38 degrees in a closed system. Whilst the modules were hovering just under 40 degrees in our Cosmos SE build, we were using a closed loop water cooler so there wasn't much direct airflow over the heat sinks on the memory. In terms of modding, the memory is all black and I'd be reluctant to remove the fins or paint it. The modules have minimal branding, making them subtle and able to blend in well with all boards currently available.
Our CPU overclock was rock solid and theentire HASWELL-E system was the definition of stable through our testing, general use and a day at RESPAPWN LAN as a demo rig. The overclock was possible without having to mess around with timings, voltages or overclocking with regard to our RAM thanks to the 3000MHz XMP profile. This was a good thing because we did have an alternate kit from another brand, rated at a lower speed of 2133MHz, that was really fiddly to overclock much above it's rated speed. Sure the 3000MHz Predator is more expensive but it's less messing around if you're not super keen on the detail of overclocking but still want to push your system.
The memory was perfectly stable in our concept build and testing whilst remaining what we consider to be luke warm in a closed case at 38 degrees. The heat sink design is aesthetically agnostic in that it's black and not too aggressive - it should suit any X99 series motherboard I've seen. The shape of the fins make the memory look stealthy but special at the same time.
It's also important to check your motherboard compatibility (and capability) if intending to overclock. If you do need lower profile DDR4, check out Kingston's alternative - the HyperX Fury DDR4 which is 20mm lower profile at 34.24mm but your options with that product line top out at 2666MHz.
The 3000MHz kit isn't cheap either - at $389 for a 16GB kit, it's the most expensive 16GB DDR4 kit that Kingston has to offer but if you are sinking your hard earned into a HASWELL-E platform what's an extra $20-30 in the grand scheme of things?
I wouldn't hesitate to use Kingston Predator DDR4 again in the future but would remind system builders to check the height against the compatibility specifications of their CPU cooler prior to making a purchase.
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