By: Jonathan Kwan
November 8, 2008
When DDR3 RAM was first introduced to the public in 2007, it did not seem to be able to capture much of the consumer and enthusiast market alike. Well, at least that was what the forums I frequented indicated to me. Every time a person mentioned 'DDR3' in their 'I want to build a new computer' thread, the first reply by some enthusiast would be to suggest the user to get a DDR2 based motherboard and corresponding RAM kits instead. There's a good reason for this though, I won't even try to deny it -- when DDR3 debuted in 2007, the asking price was at least $400-$600 for 2x1GB sets -- there was a very limited amount of people that would have been willing to spend so much money on 2GB of RAM for <5% performance gain over its DDR2 counterparts. I'm not saying such people don't exist, but as you will learn in any microeconomics class, the demand shifts left as price increases. Fast forward to November 2008 -- now. DDR3 RAM is much more affordable now; and with pretty much every manufacturer offering a complete range of value-oriented models to high performance DDR3 kits, there must be one for you, if you really wanted to jump to the DDR3 boat. Today, we'll be taking a look at Patriot's Extreme Performance PC3-14400 2x1GB dual channel kit. Stock specifications at DDR3-1800 at 8-8-8-20. It's certainly isn't the best we've seen so far. But here's one thing to note: How much do stock settings matter with Micron's excellent D9GTS DDR3 chips used in this set? (Read: Overclocking!) We'll find out for you today in this review. Also, pretty much all photos in this review is 'Photoshop-enhanced' for your viewing pleasure. Haha.
Our review unit of Patriot's Extreme Performance PC3-14400 2x1GB RAM kit came in one of the smallest shipping boxes we've seen, but came really quickly using FedEx International Priority. Everything arrived here in Calgary safely from Patriot's offices at Fremont, California. When we accidentally destroyed one of our RAM modules (More on this later), they sent us a replacement set quickly using the same method as well.
A small strip of air pockets were placed inside the shipping box to fill in the extra room, and to protect the set of memory modules. The retail package, like common RAM packaging goes, comes in a typical clamshell package. It is quite simple, and held closed together at the top by two friction buttons. No blister pack techniques were used in this case -- which is truly excellent in my opinion. The background insert sheet is black with a white border, and shows the Patriot logo and some contact information. Printed on the back shows some basic technical information under a large printed image. Meanwhile, there's no custom partition molds with the plastic clamshell package; the modules are placed vertically beside each other, and are clipped inside by the edges securely instead.
Before we move on, let's take a look at the specifications of the Patriot Extreme Performance PC3-14400 2x1GB set, as obtained from the manufacturer's website:
• Extreme Performance PC3-14400 (1800MHz)
• Low Latency (8-8-8-20)
• Patriot Aluminum Bladed Heat Shield Technology to improve module module stability
• 100% Tested and Verified
• Lifetime Warranty
• RoHS Compliant
• Tested and compatible with Intel P35, X38 and X48 chipsets
• XMP Ready
• Optimized for Intel Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, and Core 2 Extreme
A screenshot of the memory tab in CPU-Z with the Patriot Extreme Performance PC3-14400 2x1GB. The SPD timings table only read JEDEC based 1.5V specs programmed into the memory. The XMP profiles shows that the Patriot RAM does 8-8-8-20 at 1.9V, but apparently is programmed information shows that latencies can be as good as 7-7-7-20 with the increase of 0.1V. Our test platform's Gigabyte X48T-DQ6 motherboards we've used for testing had no problems automatically recognizing the preset latencies and speed in the BIOS either.