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
POST A COMMENT

102 Comments

View All Comments

  • Wesley Fink - Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - link

    #52-#55 - There are Part numbers for ALL the memories in the review in the chart on Page 2. OCZ responded in post #44 that the 3-4-4-8 and 2.4-3-3-8 were the same VX memory. The parts are rated at what they can do at standard voltage - not what they can do at 3.0V and above.

    #45 - Continuing your analogy. If a Ferrari (Value VX) were available for the same price as a Chevrolet Cobalt, then I think readers would expect me to include the Ferrari in my review of Value cars - despite the fact the Ferrari might need hard to find racing alcohol (3.0V to 3.5V) to run properly while the Cobalt only needed easy to find unleaded regular gasoline (2.6V).

    Reply
  • adg1034 - Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - link

    Isn't that what he did with the Value VX? Check out the article... Reply
  • Zebo - Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - link

    How bout the real "value" modules which really are cheap and contain same chips as high end ram? Just not speed binnned but who gives a rats ass for that kind of value.

    Some I can think of right off top off head are:

    Crucial's with micron G's = Ballistix for half price.

    TwinMOS with Winbond VX = OCZ VX for less than half price.

    Kingston VR with Hynix BT = All those high end sparkly packaged 4200 modules for half price.

    And so on.

    Meh not what I was expecting.
    Reply
  • Hardtarget - Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - link

    good article except for one thing! I wish you had compared generic Samsung OEM ram.

    I don't know about the US but in Canada right now OEM Samsung game is super cheap. you can get 1gig for 100 bucks canadian. It's incredibly popular.

    Would of been a great starting point to the article and good to see how it compares to non oem versions.
    Reply
  • Ranger123 - Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - link

    I think you need to clear up the issue regarding Corsair not providing memory. Corsair's response indicates why they chose not to supply their Value Select parts, but it doesn't explain why no XMS modules were provided. At least a couple of the XMS kits meet your criteria and I assume that these are the parts they were referring to when they said that OCers should look at their parts that are "geared to performance and overclocking".

    I can see 4 possible reasons for Corsair's refusal to send an XMS kit:
    1. Corsair misread the AT request and thought only the Value Select parts qualified.
    2. Corsair doesn't want anything in their XMS line associated with the phrase "Value RAM".
    3. As others have suggested, Corsair knew their modules wouldn't perform well and decided that no result was better than a bad result.
    4. Corsair is using the same rotating chip trick on these XMS modules that they are on the Value Select, they're just not admitting it.

    Given Corsair's reputation I would assume that it's one of the first two, but if Corsair is resorting to some questionable practices I think the AT community would want to know. Maybe you can contact whoever you deal with at Corsair and get an explanation.
    Reply
  • Crassus - Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - link

    When I saw the headline of the review I expected the review to be somewhat different, to be honest. The tests in itself are not bad at all, but if you still have the samples I ask you both in my name and the names off all the folks complaning about the voltages to perform at least some tests at Voltages around 2.8 - 2.9 Volts to allow us to see how these RAMs perform at other boards (e.g. nForce3+4) and how far they will go in MHz @1T.

    I, too, have to question the ethics of this review in the light of the recent debate. How do we know that the samples you tested are of the same kind as we can buy, if its up to the manufacturer to send you whatever they see fit? Especially when it comes to !value! parts I doubt it will be too much of a problem to recieve them through other channels who will not be as interested in the outcome of the review as the manufacturer (Retail chains or online shops?). You may even consider buying them yourself anonymously to remove any doubt and sell them off lateron. Shouldn't be too hard with a community like this one or an online auction site.

    Cheers,
    Crassus
    Reply
  • Backslider - Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - link

    I'd like to comment on my experince with Value and Special Edition type RAM.

    While recenly building a set of PCs, I was reading articles similar to this one. I was convinced that in order to get a good system with future potential of over clocking I would need to buy the more expensive (non-value) RAM.

    I happly paid approx. 50% more for this "Extreme Memory", thinking it would be perfect for a stable system. However, after I built my pair of systems I ran into trouble.

    One of the two systems failed to install Windows. And to make a long story short, I ended up with a bad pair of RAM. I RMA'ed them to and received yet another faulty set of RAM. Finaly, I sent them to the maufacturer for an RMA. This time I received a set that hardly squeek by at stock speed. Overclocking by even 1% means instant BSOD.

    Since this happened, I've been buying Value RAM. (from a different manufacturer) And havent run into any problems yet.

    I also find it interesting that the manufacturer of the faulty RAM that I received, declined to Anandtech's request for test samples. Also, there reasoning was a bit questionable considering that their out of their "XMS" line, I received 4 (pairs) of modules that all performed VERY differently. (1 great, 2 bad, 1 not worth the RMA)

    Thats just my input, based on my experience and nothing more.

    -Backslider
    Reply
  • Den - Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - link

    #54 (and 52).
    I agree, if you are certain you will never overclock you should just get cheap ram with ok timings at stock speed. Interesting that the timings on the picture that you mention (2.5-3-3-7) match what is in the article here.

    I understand why the articles don't have links to buy it, but it really would help if they would at least include the manufacturer's part/model number, then we could be sure.
    Reply
  • segagenesis - Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - link

    #53 - Actually clicking on the image you can see the ram is marked differently than the newegg page (wtf!) as 2.5-3-3-7 in the picture but 2.5-4-4-8. Ummm...

    Unfortunately I must be somewhat critical when my eyes spin around an article that gives praise to memory for $115 yet doesnt mention *where*. Let alone just a single link to buy it at any price.

    Now granted the Corsair value runs at 2.5-3-3-7 also and likely has little headroom for people who want more out of less, but I consider it a good deal for those like me who dont overclock memory. *takes a breath* With the OCZ being $148 off the same site vs. $87 Corsair, for stock performance its not exactly "value" to me unless you are an overclocker. More like "value if you take the risk". A damn shame Corsair would not submit samples.
    Reply
  • Den - Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - link

    re: #52
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?desc...
    has timings a little closer but you are right, it sure would be nice if they put actual model numbers in the reviews instead of leaving us to guess.
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now