Patriot Viper DDR3-1600 6GB Kit

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Product: Patriot PC3-12800 6GB Tri-Channel Kit
Provided By: Patriot
Price: Click to find lowest price online

 

Introduction:

With the price of DDR3 dropping, it may be time to lay aside that excuse for upgrading your gaming rig.  The Intel Core i7 is a platform that should be around for a few more months and some nice DDR3 will make it scream.  Today we are looking at another 6GB kit of memory, but this time it's from Patriot.  This kit comes clocked in at a very nice 1600MHz with 8-8-8-24 2T timings.  It promises compliance with XMP profiles and price around $100.  At this price, it is possibly one of the cheapest CL8 PC3-12800 6GB kits around and with that in mind let's take a look.

Patriot Box
Patriot Box

As with all 6GB Core i7 kits, the Patriot Viper PC3-12800 kit comes with three 2GB sticks of memory.  As with most DDR3-1600 for the Core i7, Patriot states that it will require 1.65v to keep it stable.

 

First Look:

Once ordered, the memory arrived in about a week and was well packaged in order to protect it.  Inside the package the modules were split up into two separate clamshells.  The single module had become dislodged from its spot but seemed to be undamaged.  The paper backing in the package with two modules also serves as a quick install guide if you're not familiar with installing memory.

Triple Channel
Triple Channel
In The Box
In The Box

 


Memory Info & Features:

Below is some of the information pulled from Patriot's website regarding this kit.  It has been pasted here for your convenience.

Patriot Extreme Performance (EP) line is engineered to expand your gaming options. These modules are designed to operate at 1600MHz and are available in 3GB and 6GB kit capacities. Equipped with Patriot ACC (Aluminum Copper Composite) technology, these modules are designed for maximum performance and stability under extreme overclocking conditions. Engineered with quality and Performance in mind, Patriot Extreme Performance line is the ultimate solution for extreme overclockers, gamers, and PC enthusiasts.
 
Features

  • Extreme Performance PC3-12800 (1600MHz)
  • Low Latency (8-8-8-24)
  • Patriot Viper Heat Shields with integrated ACC (Aluminum Copper Composite) technology
  • 100% Tested and Verified
  • BTT Tested to ensure maximum performance
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • RoHS Compliant
  • XMP Ready
  • Tested and compatible with Intel® X58 chipsets

 


Test Setup:

In this section we will show the setup of the test system for our memory testing. I have provided separate configurations for each of the speeds we have tested 1600MHz CL8 (stock) and the fastest CL8 speed.  This memory was not able to run stable at DDR3-1600 CL7 and we didn't want to clock it slower than it's stock MHz for testing.  It is important to note that in order to achieve some of these speeds we have tested this memory kit at; it required overclocking the FSB, which in turn increases our CPU clock speeds. For all of my testing I used the EVGA X58 motherboard and keyed in specific timings in order to keep everything comparable.  To make things interesting we included the numbers of the Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR3-1600 CL8 kit for reference.

Close Up Sticker
PVT36G1600LLK Module

 

Test System:


Intel Core i7
CPU
Motherboard
Memory
  6GB Patriot Viper DDR3-1600 Kit
Graphics
1x Radeon HD 4870
Cooling
Hard Drives
2x Seagate 200GB HDD RAID 0
Operating System
Windows Vista Ultimate x64 w/SP1
ATI Drivers
9.1 Drivers

 

We only used two main memory settings for testing the Patriot DDR3-1600 memory.  We use the timings on the label - 8-8-8-24 1T at 1.65v as well as the fastest clock speed available at CL8.  Our fastest CL8 speed ended up being DDR3-1772 at 1T.  As previously mentioned we tried to use CL7 timings at 7-7-7-21 2T, but couldn't get the system stable at DDR3-1600 and didn't want to run this memory slower than the advertised clock rate.  I'm sure we could take it higher with a bit more voltage but as this memory is geared for the "average" user, we don't feel that we need to phase-change cool our memory for maximum performance - at least not on a $100 kit.  Either way, we managed to squeeze out an extra 172MHz at stock timings - an 11% overclock.  This kit has proven rock stable at stock speeds, but it didn't have as much overclocking headroom as the Crucial Ballistix Tracer Kit - but it costs about $80 less.

Patriot - SPD
Patriot - SPD
 Patriot - CPU-Z
Patriot - CPU-Z

 

As you can see, the memory comes with several SPD values that should make it work in pretty much any system.  At DDR3-917 it clocks in at CL6, DDR3-1066 is set at CL7 and the XMP Profile of DDR3-1600 is locked in at CL8.  As we've shown above the memory has a bit more to offer though.

 King of the Pile?
King of the Pile?

 

On the next page we'll jump into some benchmarking and see how this memory holds up.



Benchmarking - Everest:

Because there is a lot of system tweaking that goes along with clocking up memory to non-standard speeds, we haven't included any "real-world" benchmarks.  In order to get the memory to run at speeds other than 1066MHz, 1333MHz, 1600MHz or 1866MHz the motherboard bus and CPU must be clocked up in order to achieve these speeds.  As we've shown before the CPU plays a huge roll in benchmark performance and so it's not fair to compare WinRAR compression when the CPU is clocked up 400MHz faster.  Of course the "RAM" will look faster, but in reality the CPU is the one doing the work.

 Installed
Installed

For this reason we use two simply synthetic benchmarks to show memory performance.  How it affects performance in the real-world will depend largely on CPU, motherboard and other hardware bottlenecks so we have to be content with synthetic benchmarks to gain our number metric.  First up is Everest.

Everest
(click for larger chart)

 

At stock speeds of 8-8-8-24 1T, both the Crucial and Patriot DDR3-1600 kits are very close.  The biggest difference is in the "Copy" test and the spread is about 2%.  You'd never notice a difference in any real-world application.  At maximum overclocked speeds, the Crucial kit walks away with the gold however as it is clocked a bit faster (36MHz DDR) and that is enough to edge out the Patriot for fastest performance.

 

Benchmarking - SiSoft Sandra:

If you want to compare your triple-channel DDR3 performance, you can head on over and grab SiSoft Sandra here and compare away.  Please keep in mind that if you are using a dual-channel kit, your performance numbers will look dismal.

 SiSoft Latency
SiSoft Latency
SiSoft Bandwidth
SiSoft Bandwidth

 

SiSoft shows a very similar trend as evidenced in Everest.  At stock speed the performance is near identical, and the slightly faster clock speed of the Crucial kit edges out the Patriot memory.  The fastest numbers that Patriot managed to pull off was at 1772MHz at CL8.  This kit pulled off a theoretical 29.62GB/sec transfer - compared to the best the Crucial DDR3-1600 kit did at DDR3-1808 at CL8 - 30.2GB/sec.  The difference is just over 2% and won't be noticeable.  You may notice the extra $80 in your wallet though if you choose the Patriot Viper kit.

 

Final Thoughts:

Patriot may not always be your first choice when it comes to selecting your new memory kit, but perhaps it should be seriously considered.  While we did manage to get faster clock speeds out of the Crucial Ballistix Tracer 6GB kit, the performance difference between the two kits was ~ 2% - but it will cost you 76% more for that sliver of performance.  If you want the fastest clock speed possible and a little "Bling" to show off, the Crucial kit is an excellent choice.  However, if you're on a bit of budget and still want great RAM that has a bit of headroom, the Patriot Viper kit is the clear winner.  It's hard not to pick the memory that is considerably cheaper and offers very close performance.  In terms of value, this kit scores among the best and really deserves your consideration when going to the Core i7 platform.  Overall, this is a great kit and if you are building a fast system and want rock solid memory, this kit deserves a spot is your DIMM slots.

 



Pros:

  • DDR3-1600 at CL8 Kit
  • Large heat spreaders add some "l33t'n355"
  • XMP profile
  • Runs at 8-8-8-24 1T up to 1772MHz
  • Great value at just over $100 currently.

 

Cons:

  • None.

BCCRating 

 

This is perhaps the best valued kit we've tested and it offers great performance and does exactly what it promises - and a wee bit more.  I'm happy to award the Patriot Viper DDR3-1600 CL8 kit an Editor's Choice award.

Editors Choice

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them in the forum at the "Comments" link below.