Kingston HyperX Beast KHX21C11T3K2/16X 2x8GB Review (Page 2 of 10)

Page 2 - A Closer Look, Installation, Test System

The Kingston HyperX Beast KHX21C11T3K2/16X 2x8GB, being a part of the newest high end performance line from the company, utilizes a set of medium profile heatspreaders. The matte black aluminum pieces are molded with cool looking patterns that resemble more of a metal plate from a robot in sci-fi movie than a beast, but I digress. Aluminum is lightweight, and serves as a decent heat conductor, while the toothed and ventilated heatsink design improves air ventilation for faster heat dissipation (Although it is probably more for style in this particular application). Generally speaking, it is slightly taller than modules with no heatspreaders at all. This may be useful for systems equipped with side mounted CPU heatsink fans adjacent to the memory slots, as the HyperX Beast can piggy-back off the generated airflow. Fortunately, they are quite a bit shorter than the Kingston HyperX Predator we have reviewed last year, so it is still entirely possible for the HyperX beast to fit under a well designed cooler with sufficient clearance room. Whether you like to call it marketing gimmick or whatnot, it is almost impossible nowadays to find performance memory without any form of a heatspreader attached, haha. They do undeniably serve a purpose in dissipating heat, but for most memory modules, unless run at a voltage significantly over designed voltages -- which you won't, special thanks to integrated memory controllers on Intel processors -- this feature is certainly not a requirement. But I will admit they look pretty cool in any windowed chassis.

The heatspreader design of the Kingston HyperX Beast modules is symmetrical, which is fairly logical, because memory ICs reside on both sides of the slick black PCB. Besides functional purposes, it also improves the look. The company's logo and branding is printed directly onto the aluminum surfaces. Meanwhile, a specification label is applied on one side of each module. It lists the brand (Kingston), kit name (KHX21C11T3K2/16X), voltage (1.6V), and assembly location (Taiwan). Occupying the rest of the space is not the usual stuff like frequency and capacity, however. Instead, we can see a whole lot of seemingly random characters and numbers, in which I would assume at least one of them corresponds to its serial number.

As you can see more clearly in our photo above, the Kingston HyperX Beast KHX21C11T3K2/16X 2x8GB has a very nice black PCB. Meanwhile, its heatspreader on top is composed of two separate pieces, which are interlinked by the two outermost teeth at the top. The heatspreader is held to the module itself by a strip of thermally conductive adhesive, and each half part of the heatsink is aligned by a reciprocating teeth. The adhesive force between the two heatspreader and memory ICs is not particularly strong, but if you ever do take them off, keep your hair dryer around for a safer procedure.

From our above photo, it should also be clearer on how the heatspreaders are designed. Each tooth on the heatspreader is curved inwards, and meets its corresponding tooth from the other half piece at the top for a complete symmetrical design. Since the teeth are made from very thin aluminum, it does not hold a lot of heat, therefore dissipating the heat energy relatively quickly into the surrounding environment. Despite using very thin aluminum, the short and simple design makes it quite ample in resisting bending forces. In the end, if you are going to be pushing your system to the limits with high memory voltages, the heatspreaders may be beneficial to improve system stability and overclocking potential (But you probably won't, thanks to Intel as aforementioned). On the other hand, you may need to remove them if it does not clear your processor heatsink, the fact that the RAM will function just fine without the heatspreaders is something to keep in mind.

A closer look at the memory chips on the Kingston HyperX Beast KHX21C11T3K2/16X 2x8GB dual channel memory kit. The photo above should be quite clear -- it says "H5TQ4G83MFR" on each IC. These are SK Hynix manufactured chips, with eight 512MB chips on each side for a total of 8GB on each DIMM. As mentioned on the previous page, these RAM modules run at a frequency of DDR3-2133 with 11-12-11-30 latencies at 2T command rate. They operate at a stock voltage of 1.6V, which is slightly lower than the Core i3/i5/i7 maximum safe limit of 1.65V. Here is a table of specifications for the ICs, as obtained from Hynix's website:

- VDD=VDDQ=1.5V +/- 0.075V
- Fully differential clock inputs (CK, /CK) operation
- Differential Data Strobe (DQS, /DQS)
- On chip DLL align DQ, DQS and /DQS transition with CK transition
- DM masks write data-in at the both rising and falling edges of the data strobe
- All addresses and control inputs except data, data strobes and data masks latched on the rising edges of the clock
- Programmable CAS latency 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11, 13 supported
- Programmable additive latency 0, CL-1, and CL-2 supported
- Programmable CAS Write latency (CWL) = 5, 6, 7, 8
- Programmable burst length 4/8 with both nibble
- sequential and interleave mode
- BL switch on the fly
- 8banks
- Average Refresh Cycle (Tcase of 0c~ 95c) - 7.8 µs at 0c ~ 85c; 3.9 µs at 85c ~ 95c
- JEDEC standard 78ball FBGA(x4/x8), 96ball FBGA (x16)
- Driver strength selected by EMRS
- Dynamic On Die Termination supported
- Asynchronous RESET pin supported
- ZQ calibration supported
- TDQS (Termination Data Strobe) supported (x8 only)
- Write Levelization supported
- 8 bit pre-fetch

Our test configuration as follows:

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K @ 4.6GHz
CPU Cooling: Noctua NH-U14S (2x Noctua NF-A15)
Motherboard: Intel Desktop Board DZ77GA-70K
Graphics: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 760 2GB
Chassis: SilverStone Temjin TJ04-E (Noctua NF-S12A PWM, Noctua NF-P12 PWM)
Storage: OCZ Vector 256GB; OCZ Octane 512GB; Patriot Pyro SE 240GB
Power: Seasonic Platinum 1000W
Sound: Auzentech X-Fi HomeTheater HD
Optical Drive: LiteOn iHAS224-06 24X DVD Writer
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 Professional

Compared Hardware:
- Kingston HyperX Beast KHX21C11T3K2/16X 2x8GB @ DDR3-2133 11-12-11-30
- Kingston HyperX Predator KHX18C9T2K2/16X 2x8GB @ DDR3-1866 9-10-9-27
- G.Skill TridentX F3-2400C10D-8GTX 2x4GB @ DDR3-2400 10-12-12-31
- Patriot Intel Extreme Masters PC3-17000 2x4GB @ DDR3-2133 11-11-11-27

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look, Installation, Test System
3. Benchmark: AIDA64 CPU
4. Benchmark: AIDA64 FPU
5. Benchmark: AIDA64 Memory
6. Benchmark: PCMark 7
7. Benchmark: 3DMark 11
8. Benchmark: PassMark PerformanceTest 7.0
9. Benchmark: SuperPI 1M, Cinebench R11.5
10. Overclocking and Conclusion