By: Jonathan Kwan
May 9, 2014
A story is told of a person who survived a bear attack with a .380 handgun. Basically, a man was hiking through the woods with his girlfriend. As they traveled down the path, a bear attacked them. The guy, acting cleverly and decisively, quickly pulled out the firearm. He then shot his girlfriend in the leg, and escaped out of the woods, completely unharmed. Another story goes along the line of two engineering students discussing how one got such a nice bike. "I was walking outside yesterday, minding my own business, when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike. She threw the bike to the ground, took off all her clothes and said, 'Take anything you want!'" The second engineering student nodded in approval. "Yeah, the clothes would not have fit anyway." Both of these stories tell us that sometimes, we can miss the point so badly, it actually makes sense... for a completely different reason. In a similar way, back in the days, heatspreaders were used on performance desktop RAM to cool integrated circuit chips (Actually, we can all agree it is mainly marketing, but nevertheless, it still kind of does its job). Soon, companies like Kingston found out it was actually a great idea to slap them on their HyperX for laptops. Later on, people complained the extra thickness caused compatibility issues with some systems, so Kingston and G.Skill resorted to using stickers, like the Ripjaws SODIMM we have reviewed last year. Basically, we went from nothing to having real aluminum heatsinks, and now we down to stickers that carries only the aesthetics offered by heatsinks, but without the (negligible) cooling advantages it offers. Are we completely out of it? Patriot does not think so. Equipped with ultra thin aluminum heatspreaders, we took on a set of Viper SODIMM PC3-12800 2x8GB to see if you can really make sense of both worlds.
Our review unit of the Patriot Viper SODIMM PC3-12800 2x8GB came in a small bubble envelope. Accompanying it on its trip was the Patriot Stellar 64GB my colleague Aaron Lai reviewed last month. After spending three weeks in transit from California, USA, it arrived safely to us here in Calgary, Alberta, Canada for our review today. Canada Post delivered it by jamming the package into our mailbox, but nevertheless, everything inside -- packaging and all -- arrived in absolutely pristine condition for our review today. I am not exactly sure how they pulled it off, but they did. Who am I to complain?
As always, our Patriot Viper SODIMM PC3-12800 2x8GB arrived in retail packaging. At first glance, my impression was, "I have definitely seen this before." Digging through our archive of reviews, I came across the Patriot EP Pro SDHC 32GB I have reviewed in October 2012. Carrying forward the design principles offered in the packaging of the company's flash memory line, there is nothing exquisitely special about it, but I found it entirely appropriate for what it is intended for. It combines a clean black background with "DDR3" text markings and a clear plastic shell that encases the modules themselves. Red highlights in the design ensure the user is aware this is an enthusiast performance product, as shown in our photo above. The usual branding can be seen at the top left corner, while the kit capacity, type, and speed is affixed by a white, silver bordered label adjacent to the Viper logo. This is the same kind of packaging where you can hang it on a store shelf rail, but chances are that it will be locked up in the glass cabinet behind a counter, since they are quite easy to steal, haha.
Before we move on, let's take a look at the specifications of the Patriot Viper SODIMM PC3-12800 2x8GB, as obtained from the manufacturer's website:
Series: Viper SODIMM
Capacity: 16GB (2 x 8GB) Kit
DIMM Type: 240-Pin NON-ECC UDIMM
Tested Frequency: PC3-12800 (1600MHz)
Tested Timings: 9-9-9-24
Base Frequency: PC3-12800 (1600MHz)
Base Timings: 9-9-9-24
A screenshot of the memory tab in CPU-Z with Patriot's Viper SODIMM PC3-12800 2x8GB installed. The SPD timings table in CPU-Z reads standard JEDEC specifications programmed into the memory. Using the BIOS revision 1.22, our older Lenovo ThinkPad T420 laptop equipped with an Intel Core i5-2520M dual core processor used for testing had no issues detecting and working with the Viper SODIMM kit and its intended speed. There were some arguments on various websites on whether or not dual core Sandy Bridge mobile processors will work with DDR3-1600 RAM; Patriot's Viper kit shows us it can do so flawlessly, as we have proven in the past with other DDR3-1600 kits. As you can see in our screenshot provided above, this dual channel kit runs at a frequency of 1600MHz (800MHz actual clock) in conjunction with standard 9-9-9-24 latencies. The Patriot Viper SODIMM PC3-12800 2x8GB kit retails for approximately $175 at press time.
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