After discussing this review with my editor and trying to boost the RAM's speed a little bit (we like to tweak things here at Gideontech!) I remembered that with the DFI Infinity 975X/G (the testbed) the consensus seemed to be that people were having better luck overclocking at 533 bus speeds. This is a result of 533MHz being a 1:1 FSB ratio.
Since 4-4-4-12 was the best I could do at 800MHz, I throttled back the frequency to 533MHz and tightened the timings to 3-3-3-9. Keeping the voltage at 2.0v, I was able to run the sticks at these settings through 24 hours of Memtest86 without any problems. Let's see if lower bandwidth but tighter timings make a difference in testing.
Again, CPU-Z showing the memory section for the timings and the 1:1 FSB:DRAM ratio.
A full PCMark05 test was done, and the memory score was 4758, a decrease of 76 points, while the overall score was 21 points lower than the test at 800Mhz and 5-5-5-15.
In fact, every one of the scores is down slightly.
The difference when testing with 3dMark06, however, was minimal – four points less at the 533MHz speed falls well within the margin of error.
There is almost a 300 point difference between the scores. Unless you plan to do other forms of overclocking, the best results come from running at 800MHz, either with the stock or slightly tighter timings.
The Hyper-X RAM comes with Kingston's lifetime warranty and free tech support if you need it. To make sure that things are stable at 4-4-4-12 timings, you need to set vRAM to 2.0v – bear in mind that my DFI motherboard reverts to 1.9v after a BIOS reset. While that's fine for the SPD setting of 5-5-5-15 @ 667MHz, it doesn't cut it at higher speeds. A limitation in my testing was the inability of the motherboard to run FSBs higher than 800MHz (thus the lack of frequency overclocking). Also, lowering the frequency to 533 to run 1:1 would give more overhead for CPU overclocking, though that wasn't explored here. Despite the issues with the first set not getting along with my motherboard, this issue isn't unique (I had the same problem with some OCZ modules I tested earlier) and these do look nicer than the Value RAM sticks which they are replacing.
Thanks to Kingston for sending out these test samples!