Kingston KVR400X64C3AK2/1G

Kingston's second Value RAM was the most reasonable RAM in our roundup. We found KVR400X64C3AK2/1G available at several Internet dealers for around $100. While we were testing for this roundup, we also saw this Kingston CAS3 Value RAM on sale at one web retailer for $91 for a Gigabyte of memory. This is a high volume, readily available Kingston product that also performs much better than you might expect from the price and specifications.

Kingston KVR400X64C3AK2/1G is supplied as a 1GB kit consisting of 2 512MB double-sided DIMMs. It is designed as a low-cost dual-channel memory kit.

Like the Kingston CAS 2.5 Value RAM, there are no heatspreaders on the DIMM modules. The memory chips are Elpida, which we have seen used in a few other DDR400 memory products.

Specifications

The KVR400X64C3AK2/1G is rated by Kingston at CAS 3 and we found the automatic SPD timings to be 3-3-3-8 at stock voltage. These are not particularly exciting timings - even for a Value RAM.

 Kingston KVR400X64C3AK2/1G (DDR400) Memory Specifications
Number of DIMMs & Banks 2 DS
DIMM Size
Total Memory
512 MB
1GB
Rated Timings 3-3-3 at DDR400
SPD (Auto) Timings 3-3-3-8
Rated Voltage 2.6V

As you will see in our timings below, however, it is definitely worth your effort to set timings manually for this low-priced Kingston Value RAM, as it is capable of decent performance and overclocking, especially considering its value price.

Test Results

Kingston KVR400X64C3AK2/1G (DDR400) - 2 x 512Mb Double-Bank
CPU Ratio at 2.4GHz Memory
Speed
Memory Timings
& Voltage
Quake3
fps
Sandra UNBuffered Sandra Standard
Buffered
Super PI 2M places
(time in sec)
Wolfenstein - Radar - Enemy Territory fps
12x200 400 DDR 2.5-3-3-6
2.6V 1T
530.2 INT 2586
FLT 2748
INT 6057
FLT 6023
83 111.7
11x218 436 DDR 3-3-3-6
2.7V 1T
531.6 INT 2706
FLT 3927
INT 6425
FLT 6354
82 112.0
12x225
(2.83GHz)
Highest CPU/Mem Performance 3-3-3-7
2.9V 1T
580.8 INT 2831
FLT 3023
INT 6772
FLT 6719
74 124.0
To be considered stable for test purposes, Quake3 benchmark, UT2003 Demo, Super PI, Aquamark 3, and Comanche 4 had to complete without incident. Any of these, and in particular Super PI, will crash a less-than stable memory configuration.

The Kingston CAS 3 is significantly cheaper than the CAS 2.5, but it also performed fine at CAS 2.5 at the stock DDR400 at standard voltage. Even more important for some, the KVR400X64C3AK2/1G had excellent head room, as it was able to reach DDR450 at voltages available on many motherboards. At $91 to $100 for a matched pair of 512MB DIMMs, this Kingston kit is an outstanding value.

Aida 32 has been useful in the past in examining read/write performance and memory latency. Aida 32 is now available as Everest Home Edition, a free download from www.lavalys.com.

Kingston KVR400X64C25/512 (DDR400) 2x512Mb Double-Bank
Everest 1.51
CPU Ratio at 2.4GHz Memory Speed Memory Timings
& Voltage
Everest READ
MB/s
Everest WRITE
MB/s
Everest Latency
ns
12x200 400 DDR 2.5-3-3-6
2.6V 1T
5750 1872 47.2
11x218 436 DDR 3-3-3-6
2.7V 1T
6030 1974 48.7
12x225
(2.7GHz)
Highest CPU/Mem Performance 3-3-3-6
2.9V 1T
6370 2083 47.2

With the somewhat limited range of DDR400 to DDR450 you will not see the kinds of memory read and write increases that we see in top-end memory. However, DDR450 represents a CPU clock of 225, or 12.5% over the base 200 speed. This is often fast enough on the Athlon 64 to allow you to reach the highest speed that your A64 CPU might reach at stock multiplier. In this case, we were able to take our 4000+ from a stock 2.4GHz to 2.7GHz with the memory keeping up. If you need to go even higher, memory multipliers can be lowered, but there is a memory performance penalty when dropping from 1:1 to a lower base memory speed.

All-in-all, the Kingston KVR400X64C3AK2/1G is a surprisingly good performer for memory that you can buy for about $100 per Gigabyte. The timings are not the fastest, but gaming performance at DDR400 is just 8% faster with the fastest 2-2-2 that we have tested at DDR400 (Quake 3 at 530.2 to 572.8, RTCW at 111.7 to 120.2). The real difference between this Value RAM and the expensive memory is at the top, where OCZ VX at top memory speeds can outperform this Kingston at top speed by 10% to as much as 21% in Gaming frame rates.

Kingston KVR400X64C25/512 Mushkin EM Series PC3200
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102 Comments

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  • LoneWolf15 - Wednesday, April 13, 2005 - link

    Thanks for a good article. I usually post response for constructive criticism, but I ought to balance that out more. The Value VX OCZ RAM was particularly interesting and worth knowing about. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, April 13, 2005 - link

    #79 - I double-checked the part number on the OCZ "Value BH5" and corrected the Part Number on page 2. Thanks for pointing this out. Reply
  • ericeames - Wednesday, April 13, 2005 - link

    I belive that the idea of this roundup was good but it has some flaws:

    I dont think that getting memories directly from the manufacturer is a good idea. I know that this is how it "works" it makes the result less credible!

    The overclocking possibilities is not THAT important altough it should not be neglected.


    Compairing them with better brands was a good idea, it makes the results relative.

    /
    Eric

    Reply
  • srstudios - Wednesday, April 13, 2005 - link

    Wesley, it seems that the part number is incorrect for the BH-5 OCZ shown on page two.

    http://www.ocztechnology.com/products/memory/ocz_e...

    ELDCGE-K for BH-5 2-2-2

    Nice article though, thanks for all the great work!
    Reply
  • srstudios - Wednesday, April 13, 2005 - link

    Reply
  • xsilver - Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - link

    another thing I have to clear up..... I don't mind extreme voltages used on a "performance" review but this was supposed to be a "VALUE" roundup.... so in this situation extreme voltages may not be warranted

    Reply
  • xsilver - Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - link

    #62 wesley... you continiued analogy is flawed....
    the thing you forget to mention is that the ferrari only smokes the chevy IF and ONLY IF the racing alcohol is used (3.4v) and the racing alchohol is only available to people who buy say brand X tyres (dfi board).... so in essence you cannot separate the dfi board and the vx + bh5 ram.... they must be used together.....
    I stand by my statement that this "review" smells a bit like an advertisment for dfi and ocz

    #74
    I thought it was generally accepted that you can now get the same performance with 1:1 overclocking on loose cas3 timings as a lower mhz with tighter cas 2 timings.... so the need to push the ram to the highest mhz is unnessessary to get the best performance
    Reply
  • JustAnAverageGuy - Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - link

    Poor Wesley.

    The crowds can never be pleased.
    Reply
  • AtaStrumf - Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - link

    ChineseDemocracyGNR's post reminded me of one more thing that is sooooo... wrong with this article. 240MHz is nowhere near enough for 1:1 OC-ing of A64s, because unlike you, we don't have 2,4 GHz (4000+, 939, 12x multiplier) chips which cost a fortune, but rather 1,8/2,0 GHz (3000+/3200+, 939, 9x/10x multiplier) chips which cost much less. So if you do the math that is 2160/2400 MHz, which is not exacly the limit, at least not anymore, now that the 90 nm Venice chips are just around the corner. Reply
  • AtaStrumf - Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - link

    I noticed that typo too Olaf van der Spek, but more importantly this very same Transcend RAM gave me quite a bit of trouble and I would not recommend it to anyone with an A64. I was getting strange errors on my ABIT KV8 K8T800Pro, A64 3200+ S754, 2x512 transend RAM combo, like consistent NERO Identity check failures after a DVD burn. Really annoying!!! There were other stuff too, but the point is after I switched to TwinMOS Twister 3700, PQI OEM 3200, Geil Value 3200, Crucial Ballistix 3200 CL2 (best RAM I tested so far), Corsair XMS 3700 (crap RAM BTW), APACER 4000 (TCCD chips; on A64 won't run with any other stick, eg. 1x512 Ballistix + 1x512 APACER, system only sees 512MB of APACER RAM; checked with many different memories) or any other memory for that matter, everything worked just fine, so there is something really strange wrong with Transcend RAM so I strongly recommend that all A64 users avoid it like a plague.

    I agree that the only good choice in this roundup was a OCZ VX Value. You shouldn't let manufacturers pick the RAM you test. Ask us what we want to see tested, we'll have plenty of ideas. The ones I'd like to see are Corsair Value (which I know is crap, I just want you to show in Anand's recent blog entry AT's much advertised backbone and prove to Corsair that you will not take their BS excuse and will still test their RAM, even if they don't want you to, because we, the readers, come first), then GEIL Value 3200 isn't all that bad, then TwinMOS Speed Premium, PQI 3200 OEM, Geil pc4000 Ultra Platinum isn't that expensive either.

    And please stop at 2,9V, because that is as high as most are willing to go, and don't test more that CAS 2.5 and 1T.
    Reply

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