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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  • wfn - Monday, April 11, 2005 - link

    err, what dvinnen said, i dont see atacom selling the value vx. they dont mention the actual part # anywhere on that page and the pics show 3-4-4-8 modules. Reply
  • wfn - Monday, April 11, 2005 - link

    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Monday, April 11, 2005 - link

    #28 - Corsair delined our request for Value RAM samples. We talk about this on page 2.

    'All the manufacturers supplied one or more samples for testing except Corsair. Corsair emailed us, stating that "Our policy is not to send Value Select parts for review for a variety of reasons. After a quick discussion here we decided to stick with that policy and sit this one out." '
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Monday, April 11, 2005 - link

    Answering several emails: Value BH5 (OCZ PC3200 Gold) is available at Atacom for $194.95.

    http://www.atacom.com/program/print_html_new.cgi?c...
    Reply
  • dannybin1742 - Monday, April 11, 2005 - link

    how come no corsair valueram was done? thats stuff is really cheap too, i use the pc3200 with my a64, runs like a champ and i got it for $92 from new egg (2 512 sticks) Reply
  • Avalon - Monday, April 11, 2005 - link

    Value VX for the win, if you have the voltage and like overclocking... Reply
  • ViRGE - Monday, April 11, 2005 - link

    It was a good article, but can I put in a request? 1GB modules are starting to get popular, even if they're not very OC-friendly at this point, enough so that it makes more sense at this point to pick up a pair of 1GB DIMMs than to fill a board with 512MB DIMMs. As such, can we get a roundup of the different major 1GB modules some time in the future? Reply
  • bobsmith1492 - Monday, April 11, 2005 - link

    Well, it's not that big a deal getting the voltages on the DFI board; they're not that expensive.

    Anyway, is there any chance of a follow-up article, possibly with more ram types and maybe a few retail models?
    Reply
  • xsilver - Monday, April 11, 2005 - link

    Wesley, This "review" was pretty bad due to a number of reasons
    1) you let the memory makers choose what ram you were going to review
    2) You tested memory at voltages that are way above most motherboard's capabilities 3.4 volts? only the DFI can do that .... This is a VALUE roundup.... WTF are you doing with a DFI and 6800 Ultra's?

    after what Anand said about the intergrity of anandtech I feel sorry for anand if he is reading this.....

    how about you actually get some of your own memory from corsair and stop letting them push you around? what about geil? kingmax? and others?
    and test memory at a SANE level of 2.7-2.8v

    Reply
  • Teetu - Monday, April 11, 2005 - link

    I wish they would have done benchmarks with more modern games. I don't think quake 3 is the most practical bench anymore...

    At DDR400, you aren't going to see much difference between value and performance. I think if they did use doom 3, hl2, etc as benchmarks a lot of people would just get value ram (single digit fps increase with performance ram).
    Reply

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