By: Jonathan Kwan
November 30, 2012
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when I say "ESL"? Now I don't know about you, but for me, it would be "English as a Second Language". In fact, Wikipedia has a huge article on this subject if you simply plug "ESL" into the search field. Speaking of ESL, I knew quite a bit of people enrolled in the program back in the days. This is not because they cannot speak English, but because the school gets more funding if they get more students into it. (I, on the other hand, ended up in the high level International Baccalaureate class in high school, despite not being able to speak an English word until Kindergarten.) As Ralph Wiggum in The Simpsons once said, "Me fail grammar? That's unpossible!" Anyway, my focus today is not quite related to ESL in its conventional context; if you can read what I have written so far, I think you are on the right track. What I do want to talk about is for the nerdier among us -- as in, if you figured "ESL" stands for "Electronic Sports League", welcome to the conversation. The Intel Extreme Masters is a series of gaming tournaments hosted by ESL, and as its name suggests, receives major sponsorship from Intel. As Patriot is one of the biggest sponsors as well, it did not take long before this two-way marketing street becomes mutually beneficial for both parties. The Patriot Intel Extreme Masters PC3-17000 2x4GB we have here today is the official RAM of the games. Is it also the RAM for the common man? Read on to find out what we have found!
Our review unit of the Patriot Intel Extreme Masters PC3-17000 2x4GB came in a bubble envelope from the company's headquarters in California, USA. Using USPS and transferred to Canada Post as it crossed the border, everything arrived in perect condition for our review today. Wait... what? Yep, that is a small bubble pack. In the past, stuff from Patriot always arrived in a small brown corrugated cardboard box via UPS Saver, so we are in for a nice change, especially when we usually don't need things in a hurry. They have also included a Patriot EP Pro SDHC 32GB in the same package, in which we have reviewed earlier last month.
Another surprise greets us as we look at the retail box of Patriot's Intel Extreme Masters RAM. More often than not, you will find the modules encased inside a plastic clamshell package. However, this time around, the company decided to take a different approach. As you can see in our photo above, this is actually a retail box. The slick blue gradient background is certainly very appealing to my tastes; a vertical window on the right side shows off the memory module itself with aluminum heatspreaders in the same color. The company's logo is located at the upper right hand corner. Meanwhile, on the left half portion of the box, you will find a label indicating its speed, configuration, and capacity, followed by three feature highlight bullets below. Of course, being the official RAM of Intel Extreme Masters, it probably should not come as a surprise to you when that the Intel logo appears more than a couple of times.
Before we move on, let's take a look at the features and specifications of the Patriot Intel Extreme Masters PC3-17000 2x4GB, as obtained from the manufacturer's website:
- Compatible with Intel 6 & 7 series
- Intel® XMP Certified (Version 1.3)
- 100% Tested and Verified
- Lifetime warranty
- PC3-17000 (2133MHz)
- Timings: 11-11-11-27
- Voltage: 1.5V
A screenshot of the memory tab in CPU-Z with Patriot's Intel Extreme Masters PC3-17000 2x4GB installed. The SPD timings table in CPU-Z reads standard JEDEC specifications programmed into the memory, as well as Intel XMP data for running the memory at DDR3-2000. This is incorrect, because these are DDR3-2133 RAM. Using the latest BIOS revision, our Intel Desktop Board DZ77GA-70K motherboard used for testing had no issues detecting and working with the Patriot kit, but we had to manually set the memory to run at DDR3-2133. In our screenshot provided above, this dual channel kit runs at 11-11-11-27 latencies, which is correct; but the frequency is not. The Patriot Intel Extreme Masters PC3-17000 2x4GB retails for approximately $53 at press time.