Review: Patriot Extreme Masters Viper 3 Limited Edition 2x4GB DDR3-2133 MHz CL11
Category : DDR3
Published by Christian Ney on 22.11.12
As an exclusive memory sponsor of the Intel's Extreme Masters event Patriot had to come up with something special. Therefore in July Patriot memory introduced it's new Intel Extreme Masters Limited Edition DDR3 memory. Built for gamers the kit we are reviewing here is the fastest 8GB one. Let's have a closer look at what they came up with!

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The new memory line features the event's image on the Viper 3 heatspreader, XMP 1.3 and Intel 6 and 7 series support. They arrive in 8, 16 and 32 GB capacity with frequencies up to 2'133 MHz at 1.5v. The kit we will be dealing with today is specced at DDR3-2'133 MHz CL11-11-11-27 and has a total capacity of 8GB (2x4). Below you will find the full specifiations of it.

Manufacturer Patriot
Series Extreme Masters Viper 3 Limited Edition
Part Number PVI38G213C1K
Type DDR3
Capacity 8 GB (2 x 4GB)
Frequency 2'133 MHz
Timings 11-11-11-27
VDIMM 1.5 Volt
Registred/Unbuffered Unbuffered
ECC No
Cooling Passive Heatspreader
Waranty Lifetime warranty
Package Type Boxed




Patriot rated this kit at a low 1.5v. Doing DDR3-2'133 MHz CL11 at 1.5v is more difficult than at 1.65v but it's hardly an achievement given that the majority of DDR3 memory ICs are scaling very well with voltage. Doing so should offer a better overclocking headroom.
The timings are unusual too, CL = tRCD = tRP isn't common at all these days, especially with frequencies above DDR3-1866 MHz. This timing formula combined with the rated voltage tells us that Patriot went for Micron ICs. Still, those are just paper figures, let’s see what these sticks can do under real world conditions.
 

Page 1 - Introduction Page 4 - Results
Page 2 - Closer Look Page 5 - Conclusion
Page 3 - Photo Gallery  


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Closer Look

The Extreme Masters Viper 3 Limited Edition kit arrives safely boxed in a transparent plastic blister which has been put in a small cardboard box. The box features a window that shows one module for better presentation. On the front next to the window you have the capacity of the kit as well as it's rated frequency. No informations about timings and voltage visible. On the back there is also a window that shows the other side of the module with detailed specs and the part number. Next to the window we have some text in several languages. The english is good but the other languages like the french seems translated by some bad online translator from english to taiwanese to russian to spanish back to taiwanese and then to french. But hey it's funny to read!





The design features the logo of Intels Extreme Masters event on the Viper 3 heatspreader. Printed on both sides it shows the event's logo on the backside and is covered by the specs sticker on the frontside.
Unlike the Viper 2 Division 2 heatspreader the heatspreader we have here isn't made of copper. It's made of two aluminium sheets glued to the memory chips. The blue colour on black PCB is very nice tho and will fit a lot or motherboards.



With heatspreaders out of the way we see that Patriot chose to make use of Hynix's CFR PBC memory chips.




The SPD reading tells us more about the memory itself like the capacity, the name of the manufacturer and the JEDEC profiles stored which are in 5 accompanied with one XMP profile. The part number is not displayed, pity. Instead "2133 CL11 Series" is written.
The SPD has been well recognized by the BIOS of our motherboard as well as by CPU-Z.

As said in the introduction timings were unusual. Here it gets even more as we see that the kit is rated at 3T (Command Rate). Usually memory kits are rated 1T or 2T for some kits with big capacities or more than two modules. Here we have only two modules of 4GB so the only explanation would be the lack of binning. Well we will see it's impact on performance and overclocking ability on page 4.




Page 1 - Introduction Page 4 - Results
Page 2 - Closer Look Page 5 - Conclusion
Page 3 - Photo Gallery  


Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]




  









  



Page 1 - Introduction Page 4 - Results
Page 2 - Closer Look Page 5 - Conclusion
Page 3 - Photo Gallery  


Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

Testing Method & Test Setup

Knowing about Hynix CFR's capabilities from recent reviews, we armed ourselves with an Ivy Bridge testing platform that should allow our memory to show every last bit of its overclocking potential.
To make sure that our figures represent the sort of stability safe to use ever day, we are going to run each setting until we get a 150% pass of eight 750MB instances of HCI Memtest that is considered one of the toughest memory stress-tests around.

Motherboard ASUS Maximus V Gene (BIOS 1204)
CPU Intel Core i7-3770K @ 4.0 GHz
Graphic card ASUS GTX 580
Memory Patriot Extreme Masters Viper 3 Limited Edition PVI38G213C1K
HDD Intel SSD 330 120 GB
PSU Seasonic Platinum 1000 Watts
OS Windows 7, 64 bit SP1


Results


Our processor's IMC isn't HCI Memtest stable above 1'330 MHz (DDR3-2660) on the memory. Therefore we stopped the testing at 1'330 MHz.




Firstly, we've seen almost no scaling at all when altering voltages and using “straight” timings like 11-11-11 (what the kit is specced at in fact). This could be partially explained by the fact that most ICs these days have so-called “walls” using certain tRCD and tRP values which stop memory from scaling from voltage with a fixed tCAS value.
Secondly, we notice an emerged pattern that in order to maintain linear scaling from voltage at least up to 1.65V, tRCD must be equal to tCAS+2 and tRP to tCAS+1 which we highlighted in bold on the results’ table. Similar behavior is characteristic for nearly all memory chips currently available, not only Hynix 2Gbit CFR, so it explains the presence of lots of kits with “uneven” timings on the market. We don't understand why Patriot is keeping on using straight timings.
Thirdly and most shockingly, we see that our sample has failed to achieve rated speeds topping out at 1'060MHz (DDR3-2120) using 11-11-11-27 timings at 1.5V.
We had the same issue last time with another Patriot kit, we found that the culprit is the 1T command rate we use. Setting it to 3T instead - as it is prescribed in the XMP - made things stable up to 1080MHz, which can be classified as a specification pass. Still, if memory is barely capable of doing rated speed, it won’t leave much headroom for the annual 2-5MHz overclockability loss caused by normal degradation. In this aspect, Patriot are just begging for high return rates unless they tighten up the binning procedure.

Below two screenshots showing the memory performance difference between CR 1T and 3T. Nothing to worry about.

Qui sotto un paio di screenshot delle differenti performance con il command rate impostato a 1T e 3T, niente di cui preoccuparsi!

 



Page 1 - Introduction Page 4 - Results
Page 2 - Closer Look Page 5 - Conclusion
Page 3 - Photo Gallery  


Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

Conclusion

Using geizhals as our price research tool, we find that offers for 2x4GB sets of 2133C11 Extreme Masters LE Series start at 45 Euros excluding shipping across the EU. Taking a look at similarly clocked kits from other manufacturers shows us that the Patriot is by a few cents the cheapest. Out of twenty kits ten are priced 45 Euros, the rest is priced around 50-56 Euros. For a Limited Edition memory kit that's a very good price tag.

All things considered, we can confirm why Patriot is not in the lead when it comes to producing enthusiast memory at the moment. While product quality is clearly above average, there still are some minor issues with the binning which might serve as a barrier for potential buyers. This memory line is built for gamers thanks to the design and price that's it.

We will try to be fair when handing out a rating. Starting with perfect five, we take away one star for the failure to achieve rated speeds using common manual settings, so the end result is four stars out of five.

Pro:

  • Design
  • Height (4.2cm)
  • Voltage scaling
  • Price
  • Rated voltage (1.5v)


  • Con:
  • Unusual straight timings
  • Command Rate (3T)
  • Fail specs with 1T


  • Rating

    The Patriot Extreme Masters Viper 3 Limited Edition PVI38G213C1K kit receives the rating of 4 out of five stars.



    Page 1 - Introduction Page 4 - Results
    Page 2 - Closer Look Page 5 - Conclusion
    Page 3 - Photo Gallery  


    Discuss this article in the forums

    Author: Christian Ney c.ney@ocaholic.ch