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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  • segagenesis - Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - link

    Meh, I am lost for the life of me here. I dont see what the big fuss is over Value VX when I still cant find it. To save the comments http://tinyurl.com/46vg6 this doesnt look like the memory reviewed in the article being 3-4-4-8.

    Seeing how http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproductdesc.asp?desc... is $87 and I already have some and know it works well... im hard pressed to think I really need to buy "mystery memory".
    Reply
  • Illissius - Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - link

    Finally, is what I can say. However, if you really mean it when say you want to test real life performance, you should test with stuff from the actual standard benchmark suite - Quake 3 might show impressive gains from higher memory bandwidth, but does the same hold true for Doom 3?

    xsilver: While I agree that testing with the insane voltages available on DFIs limits the scope of the article somewhat, and results for lower voltages would've been nice to see (or at least mentioned specifically, it seems they're actually there for the BH5, though not the VX), I'm frankly more annoyed with all the other motherboard manufacturers for not allowing higher voltages (Abit in particular), than I am with AT for going ahead and testing with the only one that does. I wouldn't call it advertisement, more like a fair appraisal of capabilities.
    Reply
  • Den - Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - link

    I thought it was interesting to see in the charts that the Crucial Balistix which are $204 right now ($106 each but 4% off if you buy two and therefore JUST missed the price cutoff for this review) were consistently very good (faster than almost everything in this review) and are the only ones that can be that fast on more normal (non-DFI) voltages. Reply
  • xsilver - Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - link

    Im not saying the dfi is bad or expensive.... its just that if you review with features that only the dfi can provide its not really a review / roundup anymore ..... its called an advertisment.... where's the choice?????
    I expect that dfi shareholders to be laughing really loud right now.... and OCZ too....
    Reply
  • bigtoe36 - Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - link

    Value VX is $115 if you shop around, how does this count it out of a value roundup?

    Should AT have only reviewed value ram that performs poorly?
    Reply
  • OrSin - Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - link

    #40 actually alot people would do just that.
    The DFI mother is not really that expensive.
    Asus and gigabit are the the same price. 6800GT cards are high but if you want the best cards you buy them, to play the games. But how many times have anyone said what type of ram you need to play Doom 3 or HL. No one. If you don't over clock, then $90 ram will slow you system down what 1-2% over $300 ram. I got a A64 3400 and 800XL and kingmax ram. And my system runs alot fat then my friend with with a just 800 and $250 ram.

    Sorry but buying high priced ram are mostly for over clockers and most people don't do that. Alot on these tech sites do, but my guess is even most people that buy $200+ ram don't

    The review was nice to me.
    Reply
  • xsilver - Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - link

    another thing I want to clarify is that you make the assumption that you must be a "mad overclocker" if you buy the dfi because it can do 3.4v and all others that dont have the dfi are just posers..... many people would disagree but you seem to not notice???

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

    wesley
    I understand what you say about making things consistent but arent then you just promoting the dfi board as no other board supports 3.4v? what about people who are going nforce 3 or intel (god forbid :P)
    in trying to maximize the potential of the ram, you are limiting the practical application...

    an analogy would be "in testing a ferrari its performance is great when drive it with brand X of fuel and feed it liquid oxygen".... umm... what about the rest of the people that dont use that?... that's why car reviews talk more about the "feel" & handling of the car, things that can be appriecieated by ALL customers....

    and by specifying that this review was more for "mad overclockers" that may use the dfi then why even review the cheaper solutions that dont even overclock at all... I mean its not exactly fair when you compare the really cheap ram to some OCZ VX values now is it?

    On one hand you try and generalize to the broader market but then on the other you say that you're only catering to the "mad overclockers" that buy the dfi
    your original scientific basis / aim is a little unsound
    Reply
  • bigtoe36 - Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - link

    If your looking for value VX look here.

    http://www.atacom.com/program/print_html_new.cgi?c...

    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?desc...

    Look closely at the part number is has WV which stands for with winbond die, timings are usually 3-4-4-8 or 2.5-3-3-8 buit its all the same stuff.
    Reply
  • adg1034 - Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - link

    Where exactly can you find the Value VX? Do you have a model number? I was going to buy the Corsair Value RAM, but after reading this, I definitely think I'm going OCZ. Reply

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