Having successfully competed on the enthusiast memory market for a decade with the HyperX product line, Kingston decided to mark on this achievement by releasing a special memory series. As any decent anniversary, the one of Kingston ended up in some of its participants lying around unconscious on various horizotal surfaces, like the set on our table waiting to be tested.
||HyperX 10th Year Anniversary Edition
||8 GB (2 x 4GB)
||933 MHz (DDR3-1866)
Even though Kingston claim that Anniversary Edition is to be produced in limited numbers, seven months of consistent availability through no less than thirteen different models suggest that this version is not as special as one might initially think.
Furthermore, the specs offered by the Anniversary series do not extend one of the remaining lineup in any way. Case in point, 8GB dual channel kits rated for DDR3-1866 CL9 could be had in Kingston’s execution all the way back in 2010.
However, there is much more to any memory than just the specs, so let us focus on other important aspects, starting with aesthetics…
The Anniversary experience starts with some rather standard packaging.
While the appearance of the Anniversary series is certainly different from Kingston’s trademark blue, grey-plus-bling is another colour scheme from the past having been first seen on the Genesis series a couple of years ago. Still, it makes the modules look rather handsome, in our opinion.
Heatspreaders on the Anniversary series are as simple as it gets. Here, Kingston have followed a proven recipe of adding two strips of thermal tape and two low-profile aluminium heatsinks to each of the modules, and what they got in the end is a construction that is both compact and reasonably efficient.
As is known, makers do not produce the modules from scratch; some components such as memory chips have to be sourced from a couple of large OEMs. Having removed the heatspreaders on our set, we see that Kingston have gone Hynix on the DDR3-1866 CL9 model, using chips of 2Gbit density commonly referred to as CFR.
Same chips can also be frequently found on much higher rated memory but this doesn’t automatically imply that our modules will also be good as overclocking properties of Hynix CFR are known to greatly vary from sample to sample.
The SPD module provides some basic information on the manufacturer, model and the production date of the memory. It also contains four JEDEC profiles that provide compatibility up to DDR3-1333 and a pair of XMP, which can be used to set the memory to either its rated speed or a lower setting of DDR3-1600 with minimal input from the user.
Testing Method & Test Setup
To test the overclocking capabilities of the memory we are going to use Intel’s recently released Haswell platform. As memory overclocks are known to vary between different motherboards, we are going to perform the tests using two different platforms to be sure that our numbers are reliable.
||ASUS Maximus VI Gene (BIOS 0607)
Gigabyte Z87X-OC (BIOS F5s)
||Intel Core i7-4770K ES @ 4.0 GHz
||ASUS GTX 580
||Kingston HyperX 10th Year Anniversary Edition KHX18C9X3K2/8X
||Samsung PM840 Pro
||Seasonic Platinum 660 Watts
||Windows 7, 64 bit SP1
Even though Haswell is very flexible on the memory frequency it is possible can set, very few people actually do base clock (BCLK) overclocking with their daily setups. Therefore, instead of our previous procedure of fixing the voltage and raising the frequency in 10MHz steps we are now going to fix the frequency and minimize the voltage in 0.01V steps.
As usual, our stability method of choice is HCI Memtest. Since we are dealing with a 8 GB kit, we use eight 750 MB instances and call things stable if we see all of them to go past 150% without showing a single error.
Not to get things too complicated, we only set the primary timings, command rate (1T) and the memory voltage by hand while the rest of the settings are left for the motherboard and SPD to agree on.
As predicted a couple of pages back, use of Hynix CFR chips makes more things possible than just the specs. For example, our sample is able to run at DDR3-2133 with 10-11-10-30 and DDR-2400 with 11-13-12-32 without exceeding the psychological voltage barrier of 1.65V.
Of course, anything above specification should be treated as a free gift left for users to discover, but since our kit is
labelled a limited edition of an enthusiast product, one could expect it to produce better than mediocre overclocking results, especially knowing the full potential of Hynix CFR chips in use.
Using Geizhals as a research tool, we see offers for KHX18C9X3K2/8GX starting at 67
Euros excluding shipping across the EU. Such pricing will hardly make this model a bestseller as not only do all of the competitors have better deals in the 8GB DDR3-1866 category, but Kingston themselves offer some DDR3-2400 Beast for 10% less.
Surely, limited edition products need not have friendly pricing, but let us recall what one actually gets for their money with this model. Neither specs nor the overclocking numbers deserve any major attention. Combined with ordinary looks and lack of any special fatures, it seems that the uniqueness of Kingston Anniversary series does not go beyond naming and associated marketing.
For reasons above, the 2x4GB version of DDR3-1866 Kingston 10 Year Anniversary gets an ocaholic rating of 3 stars out of possible 5