Even with the advent of the newer Skylake platform from Intel the older and beastly X99 chipset Haswell-E based platform seems impervious even though the former comes with a lot of bling and plethora of new features the latter is well to put it straight straight out powerful in real life performance beating all its completion hands down. But all good things come at a price and the same goes for the X99 platform with the Haswell-E chips still costing a fortune and quad-channel DDR4 memories a far fetched dream for many simply because of their high price tag. But all is not lost.
Kingston a brand whose products are known for its reliable & unmatched performance has yet again come up with something to justify its legacy and this time its in the DDR4 quad-channel flavor bearing the legendary Predator brand name, we are talking about the Kingston HyperX Predator DDR4 memory kit! Kingston was kind enough to provide us with a kit today for review and we have the 16GB variant with us today.
Since Kingston reserves the Predator tag for the highest frequency modules so we can clearly see that the kit we have today is a 3000Mhz kit equipped with two XMP profiles rated at --
2666MHz (14-14-14-36 @ 1.5v)
Leaving it to the user's discretion for pick and use in accordance to his preference and motherboard's compatibility.
Packing and Closer Look
Our sample of the Kingston HyperX Predator came in a plain brown box. Opening it we found the product safely packed in a pair of two kept inside clear clamshell packs. Nothing fancy or fussy over there just clear view of the product that you'll be buying.
The moment you take the stick in your hand you immediately realize that its, Heavy! The HyperX Predator weighs in at 105g per stick in contrast to other kits like the Corsair Vengeance LPX weighing at just 39g/stick. Frankly speaking I like it, I like it a lot! The kit is solid, robust and build to last.
HyperX Predator 16GB kit comes with a model no HX430C15PBK4/16 written on a sticker stuck at the back of the sticks. This model no is standalone informative telling you everything you need to know about the RAM.
HK4= HyperX DDR4
30C15P= 3000Mhz CL15 Predator
BK4/16= Black kit of 4 totaling to 16GB
Kingston has done nothing new with the DDR4 variant of the Predator and it comes in a sand blast paint job on the heat-spreader with the signature “X” insignia is emblazoned on the entire heatspreader in a dark gunmetal shade. The PCB is fully black which is almost customary nowadays. All this keeps the whole premium feel intact and tops it up with an edge of aggression that a kit of this frequency rightly deserves.
One thing that one can notice about the Predator from the get go is its sheer size, its a tall stick measuring at 55mm in height. This makes it one of the tallest memories available in the market today. A tall memory can be troublesome when using air coolers especially big air coolers like the Noctua N-D14 or N-D15 which just won't fit in. A Liquid Cooling setup will work without any issues though & to be true someone aiming for this memory kit is unlikely to go for an air cooler.
The taller heatspreader easily cools down the memory under high loads by efficient flow of air through every cavity and crevice.
Snap the massive heatspreaders open and you'll find Hynix MFR chips powering the RAM at its rated 3000Mhz 15-16-16-38 2T at 1.5V. As per my previous experiences with the Hynix chips already set at 3000Mhz or higher frequencies overclocking is a headache so I'm not expecting too much juice out of this memory on the overclocking side.
Test Setup and Benchmarks
For testing the Predator 16GB DDR4 kit we got a great testbench with components that would not bottleneck the memory at all delivering precise results in all scenarios. The configuration of our test bench is as follows --
CPU: Intel Core i7 5960X 3Ghz octacore processor
Motherboard: GIGABYTE X99 SLI
RAM: Kingston HyperX Predator 16GB DDR4 (4x4) 3000Mhz Memory Kit
Cooler: Corsair H100i GTX 240mm Liquid Cooler
Graphics Card: Asus Strix GTX 980ti 6GB DDR5
Storage: Corsair Neutron GTX 480GB SSD
Power Supply: Corsair AX860i 860W 80+ Platinum
OS: Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
Installing the Kingston HyperX Predator DDR4 memory kit was simple with the product matching perfectly with the black and grey theme of the Gigabyte X99 SLI, the presence of the RAM due to its size surely made our test bench look good!
Upon powering up the system booted up without any issues at 2133Mhz. On enabling the XMP Profile 2 we got 2666Mhz at 14-14-14-36 and booting into Windows was trouble free & all the benchmarks ran flawlessly. Again going into the BIOS and enabling the XMP Profile 2 the memory reached its peak 3000Mhz at 15-16-16-40. Since this is the characteristic of the X99 platform the BCLK is raised to 125Mhz from the default 100Mhz to stabilize the system overclocking the processor a little at the default voltage itself.
Note: Both the XMP profiles require a high 1.5v to function and this is a point of concern since it can cause the kit to heat up under prolonged usage. I cross-checked the details and found out that mine is a pre-production model and now the HyperX Predator DDR4 available in the market comes rated at 1.35v for both the XMP Profiles. This is evident from the CPU Z screenshots aswell since the modules are 2014 manufactured whereas the memory was officially launched in early 2015.
For overclocking no matter what I tried the memory didn't budge anywhere above the 3000Mhz mark and since the voltage was already set at 1.5v I couldn't raise it any further without risking a burnt RAM! Lowering the voltage gave me frozen screens at best and BSOD at worse. In the end I managed to lower the timings of the HyperX Predator at 3000Mhz to 13-15-15-30-2T from the default 15-16-16-40-2T. Its a fine tuning but not to my taste rest the benchmarks can only tell.
AIDA64 Extreme Edition v5.30
AIDA64 implements a set of 64-bit benchmarks to measure how fast the computer performs various data processing tasks and mathematical calculations. Memory and cache benchmarks are available to analyze system RAM bandwidth and latency.
This suite allows you to measure the performance of your computer. The benchmark shows a rating in MIPS (million instructions per second). There are two tests, compression with LZMA method and decompression with LZMA method. Once the total passes reaches 100, the score is taken. Higher the score better is the computer's overall performance.
SuperPi Mod 1.5 1M and 32M
SuperPi is a simple program that utilizes the processing power and memory speed of the system to calculate the value of Pi upto 1 Million or 32 Million decimal point depending upon what you choose. The time is calculated in minutes and seconds so lower the score faster is your computer.
wPrime v2.10 32M and 1024M
wPrime is a leading multithreaded benchmark for x86 processors that tests your processor performance by calculating square roots with a recursive call of Newton’s method for estimating functions. It is influenced by memory timings and frequency.
CINEBENCH is a real-world cross platform test suite that evaluates your computer’s CPU performance. Cinebench is fairly sensitive to changes in memory frequency and timings.
Intel XTU is a utility mainly used to overclock the processor and memory to benchmark the system for its stability and performance. The score obtained is a projection of the computer's true potential signifying its performance in real-life tasks.
Priced at $190 or Rs 18,000 in India the Kingston HyperX Predator is one of the more expensive kits out there but justify the price by its high frequency and robust build quality backed up by a lifetime warranty and a color that goes well with almost all the boards out there in the X99 division. Limited overclocking or almost no overclocking potential on our sample proved to be a deal breaker but on the bright side the blazing fast performance even at its XMP settings put it above its competitors making it an ideal plug and play memory at a lucrative price tag.
I highly recommend the HyperX Predator DDR4 Memory Kit to everyone who wants the absolute best both in terms of performance and looks without shelling a fortune. Unprecedented looks and cool operational temperatures make it an ideal choice for system builder aiming to run their systems around the clock earning the Predator a true value for money enthusiast grade memory's title.
I give it 9/10