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

  • shoRunner - Monday, April 11, 2005 - link

    when did value ram cost $200 for a gig... Reply
  • dvinnen - Monday, April 11, 2005 - link

    Anyone else finding these Value VX moduals? The link above timeings are 3-4-4-8, not 2.5-3-3-7. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, April 11, 2005 - link

    Please remember that it is rarely feasible for reviewers/sites to go out and buy all the hardware for a roundup. Wes submitted requests to several manufacturers, and this is what *they* felt like sending for testing. Of particular note is the comments from Corsair - they are not alone in rotating chip types on their value RAM. Maybe that is why several companies (i.e. Mushkin) didn't simply send their cheapest RAM.

    Looking around at various resellers and the pricing Engine, there are quite a few other RAM manufacturers/models out there worth considering. Corsair, Crucial, PDP, PQI, G.Skill, and several others have some really good RAM at $150 or less. You can even find PC4000 rated RAM for around $160 now.

    Trust me, it's not practical to try to do a roundup of ALL value RAM. There are just so many models out there, all with different performance characteristics. If you don't want to overclock (at all), most of the $90 to $120 RAM will work well.

    We should also have a "Your Mileage May Vary" clause in the article, as what Wes achieved is by no means a scientific sampling of each product. That would require at least 10 samples of each, and when you take the amount of time required to test OC'ing on *one* DIMM setup, it would take months to complete a scientific sampling of RAM.
    Reply
  • reactor - Monday, April 11, 2005 - link

    quite right tony, was well done and hope to see further editions of the article. paying less and getting more is always good :) Reply
  • bigtoe36 - Monday, April 11, 2005 - link

    Typos's..."seem" is seen, "we" is were...se we all make mistakes. Reply
  • bigtoe36 - Monday, April 11, 2005 - link

    VX runs well with 2-3-2 timings with lower voltage. I have seem 233fsb 2-3-2 at 2.8V or so which is a little faster than 2.5-3-3 at the same fsb ;-).

    Regarding the modules that we not tested, you have to remember there are hundreds of different types of ram, not all can be reviewed in one go, I suspect this review alone took quite some time to complete as the AT LABs are a real busy place...i know Wesley is VERY busy not only reviewing but also pushing manufacturers to get boards overclocking better and pushing the enthusiast movent forward.

    If only you guys had any idea of what Wes has done for the enthusiast over the past 2 years, i do and please take it from me the boards you are seeing at the moment are the fruits of that work.

    Well done Wesley, nice review as always, even with the odd typo in amoungst the 8K words you wrote ;-)

    Reply
  • bobsmith1492 - Monday, April 11, 2005 - link

    Well, anyway, what about the decent Mushkin CAS 2.5 for $84? It seems like a much better deal than the one they tested.

    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?desc...
    Reply
  • reactor - Monday, April 11, 2005 - link

    wouldve like to have seen mushkin blue line and twinmos tmii400, both are supposed to be good comptetitors to the Value VX/BH from OCZ. Reply
  • Cygni - Monday, April 11, 2005 - link

    They reviewed Value ram from the MAJOR mfts, they didnt review no name or OEM pieces, just brand name retail stuff. Reply
  • bobsmith1492 - Monday, April 11, 2005 - link

    Who picked these.... :(

    What about the V-data 3200 CAS 2.5 ram for $70/gig at Newegg or the Mushkin CAS 2.5 for ~80? The ones in the review seem more expensive for slower ratings than most of the stuff at Newegg.

    That said, the $115 VX value sounds pretty sweet.
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now