Kingston KHX11000D3LLK2

Kingston hardly requires an introduction as a memory manufacturer. As the world's largest memory manufacturer you will find Kingston products available at almost every computer retailer. If a product uses memory then Kingston likely makes such a product. Headquartered in Fountain Valley, California, Kingston has grown from its beginnings with a single product in 1987 to $3.4 Billion in sales last year and an offering of over 2000 memory products. Kingston is by far the world's largest independent memory manufacturer, and it is more than 3 times larger than #2.

Kingston today manufactures memory at four manufacturing locations: US, Malaysia, China, and Taiwan. The four manufacturing plants have more than 35 Surface Mount Technology (SMT) lines for producing virtually every kind of memory available in the world. This includes the DIMMs, SO-DIMMs, and flash memory that are of most interest in the Computer and Digital Imaging markets. Within these product categories, Kingston manufactures a full range of products, from OEM parts to their popular Value RAM series to enthusiast-oriented HyperX products.

While Kingston is one of the first names to pop into mind when anyone mentions memory, it is not the first name most computer enthusiasts might think of when it comes to high-end memory. Yet, Kingston always provides competitive high-end products in their HyperX line, and they are large enough to often be first to market with new memory technology. Today's review of Kingston DDR3-1333+ memory rated at 7-7-7 timings is an example of that.


For memory that is charting new territory the packaging is not really new. You will find the low-latency HyperX DDR3-1333 in the traditional Kingston double kit tray with a clear cover and an adhesive ID label.


The DIMMs themselves are also typical. The only feature that makes them stand out in appearance is the familiar blue heatspreader that identifies this as top-line HyperX memory. Of course the specs begin to tell us that this is the fastest DDR3 we have yet tested with the best timings on the market.

Kingston KHX11000D3LLK2
Memory Specifications
Number of DIMMs & Banks 2 DS
DIMM Size 1GB
Total Memory 2 GB (2 x 1GB)
Rated Timings 7-7-7-20 at DDR3-1375
Rated Voltage 1.7V (Standard 1.5V)

If the specifications look a little strange, recall that DDR3 is lower voltage, higher speed and slower timings than DDR2. The chart below summarizes some of the differences in the official JEDEC DDR2 and DDR3 specifications.

JEDEC Memory Specifications
DDR2 DDR3
Rated Speed 400-800 Mbps 800-1600 Mbps
Vdd/Vddq 1.8V +/- 0.1V 1.5V +/- 0.075V
Internal Banks 4 8
Termination Limited All DQ signals
Topology Conventional T Fly-by
Driver Control OCD Calibration Self Calibration with ZQ
Thermal Sensor No Yes (Optional)

JEDEC specifications are a starting point for enthusiast memory companies. However, since there was never a JEDEC standard for memory faster than DDR-400 then DDR memory running at faster speeds is really overclocked DDR-400. Similarly DDR2 memory faster than DDR2-800 is actually overclocked DDR2-800 since there is currently no official JEDEC spec for DDR2-1066. DDR speeds ran to DDR-400, DDR2 has official specs from 400 to 800, and DDR3 will extend this from 800 to 1600 based on the current JEDEC specification.

The Kingston KHX11000D3LLK2 is the first DDR3 we have tested with a rated 1333 or higher speed. It also offers lower latency than any DDR3 we have seen so far.

Kingston HyperX DDR3-1375 with be available in the 2GB kit we are reviewing here, as well as in a 1GB kit consisting of a matched pair of 512MB DIMMs. Kingston will also sell single 1GB and 512MB DDR3-1375 DIMMs. Kingston will announce this DDR3-1375 low latency memory at Computex on June 5th. As we were finishing this review we asked Kingston when this new DDR3 memory will be available for purchase. They told us distributors have the memory or will be receiving it shortly, and that readers should be able to buy the new low-latency DDR3 on launch day, June 5th.

Pricing for the low-latency DDR3 kits is set by sellers, and it is normally lower than the manufacturer's suggested price. Kingston has set the following MSRP for the new DDR3 low-latency kits:

2GB (2 x 1GB) kit $518
1GB (2 x 512MB) kit $256
Single 1GB DIMM $268
Single 512MB DIMM $134

This HyperX DDR3-1375 7-7-7 memory is Kingston's top-of-the-line product, but Kingston will also be launching DDR3 Value RAM. We don't yet have specifications or pricing for the Value RAM product.

Index Memory Test Configuration
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  • Wesley Fink - Thursday, May 24, 2007 - link

    The Asus P5K3 Deluxe motherboard allows DDR3 to be adjusted to 2.2V in .05V increments from the stock voltage of 1.5V. We ran voltages as high as 1.8V in this review, as Kingston specifies the memory at 1.7V. We gained nothing at voltages higher than 1.8V so we did not use them for testing.

    You seem to forget that enthusiast memory makers often specify higher than stock voltage for modules and they warrant the memory running at those higher specified voltages.

    We do agree you should be careful with higher voltages on memory, but when manufacturers warrant products at higher voltage we are a bit less concerned.
    Reply
  • TA152H - Friday, May 25, 2007 - link

    Wesley,

    You can warrant something all you want, but that doesn't mean running over spec doesn't shorten the lifespan of a product. It will, without a doubt. The only question is, will it lower it significantly enough to matter, meaning during the useful lifespan of the product. Probably not, if they warrant it, but it depends on how long you keep it. Since only the kiddies will buy this junk, and they will replace the machine when the next alien invasion comes from Zargon, in higher resolution, it's probably OK. I doubt any serious machines like servers will have this sub-standard memory.

    But, do they warrant it against additional power use? Do they pay for the electricity it takes? I don't think so. Do they warrant your motherboard against the additional heat? Do they give you additional fans to cool them? Do they pay for the electricity for those fans? Heat and electricity is a big problem, and even if they warranty their part, it stresses other parts too. And just because they'll warranty something doesn't really help that much if it breaks; the big loss isn't the part, but the down time. Do you really think they KNOW how long this part will last anyway? It's not like they can test it for 5 years and say it lasted that long. It's a best guess. The only certainty is they are shortening the life span.

    So, a warranty doesn't cover everything, and there is always a price for running overspec, but that's not even my real point. I remember buying some memory from Kingston, and they had specs listed on it. It was for a mini-ITX, and it didn't have the crazy voltages available (why would it, the whole point was to save power and noise?). Of course, I see 2-2-2-5 and assume, naturally, that this is the timing for it will run at, at spec. Except the voltage you need for this is higher, and it's entirely misleading. I returned it of course, after yelling at them, and am still annoyed that these companies help make a standard, and then disregard it. I mean, if you want to run memory at 2.2 or 2.3 volts, put that into the standard. And it's not like you can say they find out quite a bit later that the standard wasn't realistic. Kingston is breaking it right after it's been made! So why didn't they say in the meeting, let's create the spec for 1.7 volts? Or, create a range. It's absurd they create a spec and the first memory out breaks it. Of course, the other memory makers will do this too, but one of the points of the memory was low power use, so it's a bit conflicting. Also, as they go to PC-1600, and it naturally sucks more juice, how high can you really go with the voltage without creating an enormous amount of heat that can't be ignored? Naturally, they'll be going beyond PC-1600 at some point even though that's the spec, and it'll just get worse. So, being able to make memory with proper voltages will become more and more important.
    Reply
  • bldckstark - Friday, May 25, 2007 - link

    Ummm.. HyperX memory is not marketed to businesses. It is marketed to enthusiasts. Businesses keep using the standard parts, and enthusiasts keep using high performance parts. This would be the same reason that companies don't buy Corvettes for their salesmen to drive. It is not a reasonable business decision for several reasons, some of those being initial cost, maintenance costs, and normal usage costs like gas.

    How come you don't buy servers from Alienware for your company? Do you buy EE processors for your companies desktops? Your argument is similar to that of not having a space program, because we can't use rocket engines on jets.
    Reply
  • TA152H - Friday, May 25, 2007 - link

    Do you have a reading comprehension problem?

    I was saying the same thing. I guess most people are too simple to realize that even though, in a general sense, you are against something, you can make a point for why it exists. I pointed out that only kiddies will buy this memory, and it won't be used for servers, so it's not that bad. You couldn't understand that?

    But the main thing is, why make a standard when you're going to break it.

    Your remark about rocket engines on jets is purely idiotic. It's a terrible analogy, and makes no point at all. But, just so you know, there were in fact rocket propelled airplanes (German ME-163), but jets are a competing technology, you have one or the other. But again, you missed my point, because you naturally assumed everything I was saying was against this over-voltaged memory, but I was giving both sides. I still don't like it though. They should have made the spec 1.7volts, or whatever, if they fully intended to make it at that voltage, which clearly they did.
    Reply
  • menting - Friday, May 25, 2007 - link

    "But the main thing is, why make a standard when you're going to break it. "
    is same as why set a speed limit when people are going to speed.

    standards are there just for a standard. It doesn't say if they are prohibited from doing more. If they sell memory and say it conforms to JEDEC standards, then it means they can run at specced speeds at the specced voltages. They could go faster at higher voltages if they want. If they dont even say they conform to JEDEC standards, they can spec whatever they want and it's up to the user to decide if they want to buy memory that runs at the manufacturer's settings.
    Reply
  • TA152H - Friday, May 25, 2007 - link

    Another bad analogy.

    You can get a ticket for going over the speed limit and get fined. It's proscribed. You do it at your own risk and it's illegal. That's good?

    If they intended to go at higher voltages, why not spec it at that? Or create a range? Why create a spec if everyone breaks it? My big problem is how it's advertised, it's not so clear that the timings are for grossly inflated voltages. You have to look, and unless you know to and not make an assumption that memory is made according the specification, you can be fooled. You don't make a standard to break it, that's just plain asinine. You make a standard for conformity, that's the point of standards.
    Reply
  • rjm55 - Friday, May 25, 2007 - link

    You seem obsessed that Kingston sold you some memory sticks in the past that were rated at higher than JEDEC voltage. You learned that pretty much everyone in the memory industry does this and most people think nothing of it. You really need to get on with your life or seek professional help. Reply
  • PrinceGaz - Sunday, May 27, 2007 - link

    He may perhaps have a point in that the DDR3 standard has only just arrived, and already modules are arriving which are intended to be used well above the rated voltage.

    I run my memory above voltage like most of us, but when a new standard arrives and the recommended voltage has already been exceeded by over 13% almost immediately, it makes a mockery of it.
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Friday, May 25, 2007 - link

    Well, I kind of agree both ways here, but would err on the side of staying with the specification. Just like companies like Asrock releasing a motherboard with supposed SATAII ports, but they do not support NCQ, which is part of the SATAII spec!

    Granted this situation here is a bit different, they added to the spec, but not only did they add voltage capability, they added potetnial heat/overvoltage as well. This has impact on more than just the memory, this could adversely effect a motherbaord as well, and possibly even a PSU(over time).
    Reply
  • bobsmith1492 - Thursday, May 24, 2007 - link

    Why did you not put up some numbers at this speed for comparison? Granted the CPU may be running 35MHz slower, but might the RAM be enough to make up for it? At the very least, the bandwidth numbers would be impressive... assuming the latency affects the bandwidth? Reply

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