Now that the Intel X99 chipset has been released along with the Intel Haswell-E processor series we have entered the era of DDR4 memory. There are many DDR4 memory kits on the market and right now you can find 16GB to 64GB kits of DDR4 memory ranging in speeds of 2133MHz to 3333MHz. The sheer number of kits on the market for the platform launch is rather impressive and luckily there are a good number of Intel X99 based motherboards that are ready to support DDR4 memory frequencies well beyond the JEDEC standard clock frequency of 2133MHz. Motherboard maker ASUS has claimed that all of their boards are able to support up to 3200MHz and beyond, even with all eight DIMM slots being populated with modules. At the end of the day all this means that if you want to build an X99 platform you can go a little crazy on the memory and get some overclocking memory straight out of the gate. DDR4 memory is very expensive though, so which kit should you get and at what clock speed and timings? We have DDR4 memory kits from Corsair, Crucial, G.Skill and Kingston with more coming from companies like ADATA and Mushkin. The problem is all the kits are various capacities and clock speeds, so it’s hard to do a roundup when prices range from $250 to $600 on the kits. We figured we’d take quick a quick look at the HyperX Predator 16GB 3000MHz DDR4 Memory kit from Kingston Technology Corporation to kick things off.
Kingston sent over an early pre-production sample to Legit Reviews, so you won’t be seeing any retail packaging or labels on the modules that we’ll be looking at today. These bad boys are straight off the production line and were overnighted straight to us just hours ahead of the Intel X99 platform launch. Kingston will be releasing a complete lineup of DDR4 memory modules later this month, but we aren’t sure about what all the corporation will be releasing. From what we understand the HyperX Predator DDR4 memory series will be available in 16GB kits (4x4GB) with frequencies ranging from 2133MHz to 3000MHz. Kingston believes that the high frequency, low voltage and aggressive CAS latencies in the HyperX Predator DDR4 memory kits will give gamers, overclockers and power users the performance they crave. It will be interesting to see how DDR4 memory scales from 2133MHz to the two profiles on this kit (2666MHz and 3000MHz)!
We were not given the full lineup details and pricing hasn’t been set yet, but we were told that the kit we have is the flagship model and will be sold under part number HX430C15PBK4/16. You can break down that model number to meaning:
C15: Cas Latency
K4/16=kit of 4 / 16GB
The HyperX Predator HX430C15PBK4/16 memory kit comes with two Intel XMP 2.0 memory profiles that the motherboard UEFI/BIOS will be able to pickup when it reads the SPD for quick and easy setup. The two profiles that are programmed in this kit
We were a bit shocked that Kingston is running 1.5 Volts on the DDR4 memory to reach these speeds as most other companies are running just 1.20V and are hitting similar speeds just fine. Kingston is using SKhynix DDR4 memory IC’s on these modules and it appears that they need 1.5V to operate properly. We tried the kit at 1.2V on our ASUS X99 Deluxe motherboard and the system would boot into Windows and then blue screen after a few minutes of use, so this kit most definitely needs 1.5V to run with full stability.
09/16/2014 Update: Kingston announced that they are lowering the voltage on this kit to 1.35V and that they will not be selling any kits at 1.5V when they begin shipping them later this month. Our DDR4 kit was a pre-production sample and was the very first DDR4 memory kit that we have reviewed. We tried to get it to work at 1.2V and it wasn’t stable, but didn’t test voltages in-between 1.2-1.5V. We went back and tested this kit today at 1.35V and it was stable. We are glad that Kingston lowered the voltages where needed as less is always better!
The Kingston HyperX Predator DDR4 modules that we are looking at today are unbuffered DDR4 SDRAM in 288-pin DIMMs. Right now Kingston offers just 4GB modules for a maximum of 16GB on standard four-socket Intel X99 motherboards. DDR4 has the ability to scale to 16GB per module and we expect to see the first modules with that density hitting the market in 2015. DDR4 will be around for years to come, so expect to see large 64GB quad-channel kits in the future and we would be shocked to see speeds over 3500MHz and voltages below 1.2V will be seen in the years ahead. We saw low voltage DDR3 memory kits and impressive scaling over the years, so we can only assume that the same will hold true for DDR4 kits.
The Kingston HyperX Predator DDR4 memory series features a very nice looking heat spreader that has a black HyperX logo in the middle on a metal plate that resides on top of actual heat spreader that has a gun metal gray finish. This heat spreader design was used on the HyperX Predator DDR3 memory line, so other than the colors it is a tried and tested design that helps in thermal dissipation for improved reliability and it also helps give the modules a better visual appearance. We’ve run DDR4 memory modules without heat spreaders well beyond 3000MHz without any issues, so just like on DDR, DDR2 and DDR3 the heat spreader is more for looks than functionality and that is true with every brand out there. The HyperX Predator DDR4 module measures 55.25mm in height, which makes it one of the taller memory modules out there and it could be an issue in some systems where someone is using a low profile CPU cooler or something along those lines.
Let’s take a look at the test system and get straight to the benchmark results!