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

    We ran a complete test suite at DDR3-1500 7-7-7-15. Not surprisingly ALL of the results were a bit higher than those reported at 1520 9-8-8-22.

    As a result we will be replacing the 1520 results on all performance charts with the higher 1500 7-7-7 results. Give us about 15 minutes to complete the update. Enjoy!
    Reply
  • photoguy99 - Thursday, May 24, 2007 - link

    It would be a good accomplishment for Barcelona to come out and surpass Core2 performance that wowed the world last year.

    But how many of these can Barcelona beat:
    1) Original Core2 Quad at 2.66Mhz (probably what they were aiming for)
    2) Add P35 chipset for 5-10% performance increase
    3) Add DD3 at 1333Mhz or higher with low latencies for 5-10% increase
    4) Add Penryn core for 5-10% performance increase at same clock speed
    5) Penryn releases at 3.2 Ghz, add another 10% increase

    When is the pain gonna stop for AMD?

    It seems by this fall the Intel platform is going to be a lot faster that the original Core2 or Core2 quad releases.
    Reply
  • defter - Friday, May 25, 2007 - link

    quote:

    5) Penryn releases at 3.2 Ghz, add another 10% increase


    Since Intel has already demonstrated air-cooled 3.33GHz Penryn based quad cores, and desktop Penryn based CPUs will use 1333MHz FSB and support half multipliers, I guess that desktop Penryn based quad core CPUs can be launched at least at 3.33-3.5GHz if necessary.
    Reply
  • TA152H - Thursday, May 24, 2007 - link

    OK, this post really irritates me.

    You think AMD started design on the Barcelona last year? How else could you possibly say they were aiming for the 2.66 Core 2 before it was even released if this wasn't true? Good grief, think!

    The P35 most certainly does NOT add 5-10% application performance. Maybe in specific applications you will see something like this, but overall, it's not that high.

    DDR3 at 1333 isn't adding much of anything right now. 5-10%???? Where are you getting these numbers from? In fact, in every gaming benchmark they ran, it was either slower or the same as the DDR2-1066. 5-10% my ass.

    Penryn numbers are also made up, it would be extremely optimistic for 5-10% increase in IPC for most applications. Maybe a few will, but broadly, it's probably not true, and absolutely speculative.

    Hmmmm, going from 3.0 GHz they have out now, to 3.2 GHz is 10%? I think it's more like 6.67%.

    In short, all your assumptions are either, at best speculative, or at worst, just wrong.

    Will DDR3 timings go down? Of course, but so will DDR2 since that's the dominant memory. Considering the changes to the Barcelona memory controller, I think you can expect a pretty substantial improvement there, but we won't know until we see it. A lot of stuff we won't know until we see it.

    The big thing that bothers me is AMD still has not fully implement memory disambiguation, and while the scheduling of loads is improved to P6 levels, I'm not sure if it's enough. I'm also not crazy about their substantial x87 implementation, as it's a deprecated technology and more and more becoming dead weight. It's not even part of x86-64.

    So, I'm not saying Barcelona will be better or worse, we'll see soon enough, but the reasons you give are, at best, specious, and at worst pure nonsense.

    Reply
  • yacoub - Thursday, May 24, 2007 - link

    I would guess they would aim for 20-25% improvement over last year's core2duo so somewhere around 3-4 of your 5 should be the level of Barcelona performance if it works out. In that case since I don't think you won't see all 5 of those combined this year, especially at a competitive price-point I think Barcelona still has a chance. =) Reply
  • Anonymous Freak - Thursday, May 24, 2007 - link

    One of my big gripes with the DDR3 reviews so far, which were the same when DDR2 first came out, is the direct comparison of same-bus-speed results. Of *COURSE* DDR3 at 800 MHz will be slower than DDR2 at 800 MHz. As this review shows, even the best DDR3 timings are slower than the best DDR2 timings.

    But, that's not what DDR3 is designed to do. It's designed to have higher latency in exchange for significantly higher bus speeds, as this test shows. You should be comparing the DDR3-1333 results with the DDR2-800 or 1066 results.

    Just as when DDR2 came out, it had much higher latency than DDR1, but faster bus speeds. Try comparing a top of the line DDR2 rig to a top of the line DDR1 rig now. (Say AMD AM2 vs. 939.) The faster bus speed of the DDR2 rig will just blow away the DDR1 rig, regardless of how good the DDR1 timings are. The same will be true with DDR3. Faster timings will come, as will faster bus speeds. The two will cause DDR3 to completely dominate even the fastest overclocked DDR2. Just look at this review, we have fast, but *within spec* DDR3 performing the same as the ultimate in overclocked DDR2. Just wait until we have the equivalent ultra-high-end DDR3 running at a *fully within spec* 1600 Mhz with 5-3-3 timings; and we'll probably see overclocked settings even higher.
    Reply
  • lopri - Friday, May 25, 2007 - link

    I'm afraid that your assertion is not quite the reality. AM2 CPU's memory controller has never been up to the level of Socket 939 CPU's. Under the same configuration sans memory, Socket 939 rig will always win over Socket AM2 rig. Reply
  • takumsawsherman - Thursday, May 24, 2007 - link

    I doubt you will actually see a significant difference between DDR and DDR2 running on otherwise similar chipsets. It wasn't very difficult to find 2-2-2-5-1 or 2-2-2-6 latencies with DDR memory. Even now, I am finding it hard to consistently source DDR2 for a reasonable price that has a reasonably low latency. But if you were to take 2-2-2-5-1 DDR and 3-4-3-9 DDR2 module pairs and run them with similar chipsets, with the same processors, you may in fact get some victories for DDR in your benchmarks.

    Bandwidth isn't everything. For some tasks, latency is far more important. Therefore, it is vitally important for someone to actually test real world scenarios and publish results. That way, people can save their money for an upgrade that might have a chance at improving their performance.
    Reply
  • bobsmith1492 - Thursday, May 24, 2007 - link

    Don't forget... latency is not just the CAS number; it is a function of the clock speed and the number of cycles of latency. The overall latency time is the important part. DDRII 800MHz at CAS3 will have better latency than DDRI 400MHz at CAS2 (if either of those exist even...) Reply
  • Chunga29 - Thursday, May 24, 2007 - link

    Those both exist as unofficial RAM speeds, though the DDR is harder to find these days. Reply

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