Four sticks of high-speed bliss.
It’s taken a couple of years longer than expected, but DDR4 memory is now finally approaching the same kinds of price points that our humble DDR3 memory retails for… up to a point. If you’re buying the stock standard 2133MHz DDR4 that Intel’s latest platform requires, it’s rather affordable. However, one of the main benefits of DDR4 is its ability to scale much higher in frequency than DDR3, which is why there are much faster kits on the market. Take Corsair’s new LPX DDR4 32GB kit for example, which comes in various flavours all the way up to 4133MHz. We received the 3200MHz version of this kit, and were interested to see the price premium, as well as the performance impacts. Turns out neither are too big.
Before buying this kit, check your motherboard will handle such high-speed memory. Thankfully our Asus Z170 Pro Gaming took this memory in its stride, booting up at 3200MHz the first time we tried. This is thanks to Intel’s XMP 2.0 support, which ensures modules rated to handle this work first time, every time. Obviously the memory timings had to loosen up a little, with the default of 16-18-18-36 being set automatically. With some tweaking this could be tightened a little, or the memory could hit even higher frequencies with looser timings.
So far, so impressive, but what does this 50% boost over the stock DDR4 frequency actually deliver in the real world? To be frank, basically nothing. We tested several games and found zero performance improvements. Ditto with PCMark 8 Home. However, we did notice a slight improvement in video encoding, but nothing more than 5%. When we look at the price of this kit compared to 2133MHz memory, we can see that there’s around a 30% premium, with Corsair’s Vengeance LPX 2133MHz 32GB kit going for $290. One thing we didn’t test though is the performance of the CPU’s integrated GPU, which should get a nice performance increase. But who would buy performance memory and still use an integrated GPU?
As a result, we can really only recommend high-speed DDR4 kits like this to overclockers and those who can guarantee they’ll see sizeable performance increases, whoever they might be.
Corsair LPX DDR4 3200MHz 32GB kit
“… we can really only recommend high-speed DDR4 kits like this to overclockers…”
X4 x 8GB modules • Intel XMP 2.0 compatible • 3200MHz at 16-18-18-36
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