Kingston are a brand which anyone will instantly associate with RAM, SSDs and other forums of storage such as MicroSD cards and so on. Since their formation in 1987, they have created many different products which were backed with superb reliability and warranty schemes. They’ve built up a solid consumer base and they are also offering more products than ever before. Kingston provide RAM (and many other solutions such as SSDs etc.) kits from the budgetary ranges and all the way through to the high-end kits.
Today, I am going to be taking a look at the HyperX 10th Anniversary kit. It’s a kit to celebrate the 10th year of “killer performance with a sleek silver heatspreader”. The kit which I have on my test bench happens to be of the 1866MHz variety which runs at 9-11-9 timings at 1.65 volts. It’s not the highest clocked kit, or the tightest timings kit either and the voltages are perhaps a little high. However, will it be a killer performer or is it just another average RAM kit? There’s only one real way to find out; so let’s chuck it into the test system, shall we?
• JEDEC standard 1.5V (1.425V ~ 1.575V) Power Supply
• VDDQ = 1.5V (1.425V ~ 1.575V)
• 667MHz fCK for 1333Mb/sec/pin
• 8 independent internal bank
• Programmable CAS Latency: 9, 8, 7, 6
• Programmable Additive Latency: 0, CL – 2, or CL – 1 clock
• Programmable CAS Write Latency(CWL) = 7 (DDR3-1333)
• 8-bit pre-fetch
• Burst Length: 8 (Interleave without any limit, sequential with
starting address “000” only), 4 with tCCD = 4 which does not
allow seamless read or write [either on the fly using A12 or
• Bi-directional Differential Data Strobe
• Internal(self) calibration : Internal self calibration through ZQ
pin (RZQ : 240 ohm ± 1%)
• On Die Termination using ODT pin
• Average Refresh Period 7.8us at lower than TCASE 85°C,
3.9us at 85°C < TCASE < 95°C
• Asynchronous Reset
• PCB : Height 1.18” (30mm) double sided component
The packaging is a very typical RAM sort of packaging. It’s not over the top and nor does it need to be. Its sole purpose is to get the RAM from the factory and into your hands. RAM isn’t delicate and generally doesn’t need pretty boxes to make it stand out. Some manufacturers do decide to give it a nice box and such but Kingston knows that their products are going to be looked at by the consumer due to things such as their quality and reputation alone.
With that having been said, let’s actually talk about the packaging. From here we can see that the packaging is essentially a plastic container with a see-through top and a black back. The label on the front tells you which kit is, the model number and the specifications but that is pretty much it. Aesthetically speaking, the packaging clearly isn’t the strong point of this product. Hopefully it’ll make up for it in the performance section of this review.
Silver isn’t exactly a colour which many of us instantly think “that’ll go well with this” but it is a colour which Kingston have chosen for their 10th anniversary of high performance products. One thing which instantly made me think about their design was its green PCB. For me, it almost ruins the modules enough to make it a non-signature line. The PCB should have been black and I know a lot of enthusiasts will be turned away from this product purely for that reason.
Either way, that is enough of a rant about a green PCB. Now, the heatspreader design itself. It is celebrating HyperX RAM which makes the big ‘X’ theme quite obvious. The theme is carried out on both sides of the module. Whilst RAM goes largely unnoticed in systems, the design is clearly something which Kingston wished to portray. I’m on the fence as to whether I like the silver and green combination but I am sure there will be a clear decision for those of you whom wish to buy it.
Flipping over the module shows us more of the HyperX celebratory theme and it also gives us a label which contains the model number and serial number(s) of your kit.
With a kit that was aimed at celebrating a high performance line up of products, does the 10th Anniversary kit from Kingston do their previous memory kits any justice? It’s time to round off this review and give you my closing thoughts on this particular kit. Let’s start with the performance…
I had high expectations for this set of RAM due to the fact it is a celebratory kit. Unfortunately, in the overclocking department, it let me down. I remember when the Elpida HyperX kits (some of the first DDR3 memory kits) were the ones to have, you know, those with gigantic blue heatsinks. Everyone in the overclocking community used to rave about them and I was hoping and expecting that these modules would bring some of that legacy back. Unfortunately for me, and possibly those who were thinking the same, it isn’t the case. Any form of free performance gain is always nice to get from your hardware, and a jump from 1866MHz to 2133MHz is a decent jump, even if it wasn’t as much of a leap as I was expecting.
One thing that lets this kit down, apart from its overclocking ability, is its bog-standard green PCB. Enthusiasts have been obsessed with black PCB on literally every main component such as a motherboard or graphics card, and RAM, for years. I think it is a visual perspective that really needs to be taken into consideration as I (personally) associate green PCB with a budget orientated set of RAM rather than a performance set in today’s RAM world. I hope to see that black PCBs become mainstream on every kit soon. It just makes it look so much better.
Unfortunately, due to the RAM not overclocking as expected and also having a green PCB, I feel that I cannot give it either the performance or the design award, even though I actually like the heatsink. If it overclocked better and therefore lived up to the high expectations I had as this is a kit that celebrates Kingston performance memory, I’d have given it a five star award for performance. Equally, if it had a black PCB I would’ve easily given it a five star for design too as I think the black and silver would complement each other very well.
Getting out of the negative mind set, it’s time for a positive from my side to finish off this conclusion. The one award which it does deserve is our value award, and that is because it is outstanding value for money. With the recent price hikes in the DRAM world, this kit still remains around £50 for 8GB of RAM which isn’t fantastic but it is certainly a lot cheaper than kits from other manufacturers for roughly the same speeds. It may not overclock the best or set any world records any time soon, but for people on tight budgets who still want fantastic reliability and warranty on their products, Kingston RAM is what you’re after.
Many thanks to Kingston for providing us with a sample.
Kingston are celebrating 10 years of high performance RAM and they’re doing so with this kit. It did perform as expected and although it didn’t overclock as well as I was hoping and even though it has a green PCB, it is still a great kit and it is still great value for money by today’s standards. If you’re looking for great reliability and relatively cheap memory from a brand such as Kingston, look no further than the HyperX 10th Anniversary kits.