Patriot Viper 3 Low Profile PC3-17000 4x8GB Review (Page 2 of 10)

Page 2 - A Closer Look, Installation, Test System

The Patriot Viper 3 Low Profile PC3-17000 4x8GB, being a part of the newest high end performance line from the company, utilizes a set of low profile heatspreaders, as its name suggests. The glossy black aluminum pieces look simple at first glance, but the devil is in the details. Aluminum is lightweight, and serves as a decent heat conductor. A set of vents at the top serve to improve ventilation, and gives its appearance a bit more visual flare. At the bottom, the heatspreader curves outward slightly, and bends in at the center to create a balanced appearance. Generally speaking, the Viper 3 LP is not any taller than modules with no heatspreaders at all. This is useful for systems equipped with side mounted CPU heatsink fans adjacent to the memory slots, as the Viper 3 Low Profile will fit under any 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 Patriot Viper 3 Low Profile modules is symmetrical, which is fairly logical, because memory ICs reside on both sides of the green PCB. Besides functional purposes, it also improves the look. The company's logo and Viper branding can be found on the heatsink itself on top. Meanwhile, a specification label covers over the branding label on the other side. It lists the model number (PVL332G213C1QK), frequency, latencies, bandwidth, voltage, and the module's memory capacity. The Patriot Viper 3 Low Profile PC3-17000 4x8GB quad channel kit is manufactured in Taiwan.

As you can see more clearly in our photo above, the Patriot Viper 3 Low Profile PC3-17000 4x8GB has a traditional green PCB. Meanwhile, its heatspreader on top is composed of two separate pieces, which are bent inwards at a ninety degree angle to meet at the top. They are not physically locked together. The heatspreader is held to the module itself by a strip of thermally conductive adhesive on the ICs, and each half part of the heatsink is aligned by its edge. A series of vents along the face of the aluminum pieces prevent hot air form being trapped inside. The adhesive force between the two heatspreader and memory ICs is pretty strong as always from the company, so if you ever do take them off, keep your hair dryer around.

From our above photo, it should also be clearer on how the heatspreaders are designed. The heatspreaders are bent along the edge at the top, with a physically symmetrical design. Since the pieces are made from fairly thin aluminum, it does not hold a lot of heat, therefore dissipating the heat energy relatively quickly into the surrounding environment. 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). Either way, you will never need to remove them, because it will definitely clear your processor heatsink, regardless of what you have.

A closer look at the memory chips on the Patriot Viper 3 Low Profile PC3-17000 4x8GB 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. These are exactly the same chips used on the Kingston HyperX Beast KHX21C11T3K2/16X 2x8GB; another DDR3-2133 set with 8GB modules. As mentioned on the previous page, these RAM modules run at a frequency of DDR3-2133 with 11-11-11-30 latencies at 2T command rate. They operate at a stock voltage of 1.5V, which is 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:
- Patriot Viper 3 Low Profile PC3-17000 4x8GB @ DDR3-2133 11-11-11-30
- 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