Reviews | Patriot Viper II Sector 5 PC3-12800 2x2GB (Page 2 of 10)

Page 2 - A Closer Look, Installation, Test System

As with all modern day high performance desktop memory, Patriot's Viper II Sector 5 PC3-12800 2x2GB RAM comes with a large heatspreader that completely covers the module's green printed circuit board. Apparently, other models in this line of memory have a black printed circuit board, but not this set. The aluminum heatspreaders are painted black in color, and has a medium height profile that's slightly taller than the G.SKILL Ripjaws, thanks to the array of 'teeth' at the top. Aluminum is lightweight, and serves as a decent heat conductor, while the toothed heatsink design improves air ventilation for faster heat dissipation. This is especially useful for systems equipped with side mounted CPU heatsink fans adjacent to the memory slots, so the Viper II headspreaders can piggy-back off its airflow. Unfortunately, despite being lower profile than the Pi series, the said heatspreaders will still interfere with giganormous heatsinks such as the Noctua NH-D14 we reviewed a few months back. Call it a marketing gimmick and whatnot, but it's 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 most memory modules, unless run at a voltage significantly over designed voltages, won't make this feature a requirement. But hey -- I'll admit they look pretty cool!

The heatspreader design of the Patriot Viper II Sector 5 modules is symmetrical, which is fairly logical because memory ICs reside on both sides of the PCB. Besides functional purposes, it also improves the look. A large label is applied over the flat areas of both sides of the heatspreader; with Patriot's logo near the western edge, and 'Sector 5' branding on the eastern edge, both printed in white on red background. Meanwhile, a specification label is applied over the Patriot logo on one side of each module. It lists the kit's model name (Patriot PVV34G1600LLK), frequency, latencies, voltage, and the module's memory capacity. The serial number underneath the bar code consists of a long string of mainly numeric characters.

The heatspreader on the Patriot Viper II Sector 5 RAM is composed of two completely separate pieces. 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. When I first got this kit, I was afraid it might be like the Patriot Extreme Performance PC3-14400 2x1GB I got a couple years back; with extreme bonding forces strong enough to rip the ICs straight out of the PCB when the user attempts to remove the heatspreaders. Fortunately, the adhesive force between the heatspreaders and memory ICs are not particularly strong, so the user can easily take them off with bare hands without risking any damage to their memory modules.

From our above photo, it should also be clearer on how the heatspreaders are designed. There are a total of fourteen teeth on each memory module, with each half piece of the heatspreaders making up for each side. Each tooth points straight up, and is equal in width; except for the outer two which are slightly wider than the rest. Since the teeth are made from thin but solid feeling 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're 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 other than that, if you need to remove your RAM sinks to install your CPU heatsink, then the Patriot Viper II Sector 5 PC3-12800 would have no problems operating normally either.

Let us take a closer look at the memory ICs used on the Patriot Viper II Sector 5 RAM. Usually, this is quite an easy step -- just plug the part number listed on the chips into Google, and everything an Electrical Engineer would want to know would be there and beyond. Unfortunately, "PE802-15E" returned nothing from our old friend. Therefore, I went a separate route and looked up which company the logo represented (It's not Superman). As it turned out, it was SpecTek; a company fully owned by DRAM giant Micron Technology. Since the company only makes one 256Mx8 DDR3 IC configuration according to their website, it is safe to assume the chips on Patriot's Viper II Sector 5 2x2GB dual channel kit is the SpecTek PRN256M8V69AG8GKF-15E. By default, these ICs runs at DDR3-1333 1.5V, but Patriot managed to overclock it to DDR3-1600 at 8-8-8-24 1.65V.

Our test configuration as follows:

CPU: Intel Core i5-750 @ 4.00 GHz
CPU Cooling: Thermaltake Frio (Noctua NF-P12 @ 1100rpm)
Motherboard: Asus P7P55D-E Premium
Graphics: Gigabyte Radeon 4850 1GB Passive
Chassis: SilverStone KL-02 (Noctua NF-P12 - Front; Noctua NF-S12-1200 - Back)
Power: Seasonic M12II 500W
Sound: Auzentech X-Fi HomeTheater HD
Optical Drive: NEC AD-7170A 18X DVD+/-RW
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue AAKS 500GB
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional x64

Compared Hardware
- G.SKILL Ripjaws F3-12800CL7D-8GBRH 2x4GB @ DDR3-1600 7-8-7-24 2T (Stock frequency @ stock latencies)
- G.SKILL Pi Series F3-17600CL7D-4GBPIS 2x2GB @ DDR3-2000 7-10-10-28 1T (Downclocked 200MHz @ stock latencies)
- Patriot Viper II Sector 5 PC3-12800 2x2GB @ DDR3-1600 8-8-8-24 2T (Stock frequency @ stock latencies)

Page Index
1. Introduction and Specifications
2. A Closer Look, Installation, Test System
3. Benchmark: EVEREST CPU
4. Benchmark: EVEREST FPU
5. Benchmark: EVEREST Memory
6. Benchmark: PCMark Vantage
7. Benchmark: 3DMark06 Professional
8. Benchmark: PassMark PerformanceTest 7.0
9. Benchmark: SuperPI 1M, Cinebench R11.5
10. Overclocking Results and Conclusion