Memory is getting increasingly cheaper and faster as manufacturing processes become more refined, to the extent that even lowly office PCs are being shipped with 4GB of memory. The voltage required to drive memory is also decreasing, which has positive ramifications on heat output. With this in mind, we wonder why the market is still saturated by sticks of memory with large physical footprints constricting the use of extravagant CPU air coolers, which provide better returns on performance.
This Kingston kit prefers not to leave the heating issue to chance, allowing itself to measure in at double the height of a standard generic module. Fortunately we still had the Antec Kuhler 920 installed, because there was no way we were getting the NH-D14 on! Naturally, having aggressive heat dissipating fins requires a matching set of mounted fans – you know, just in case. The fan attachment mechanism is made of solid lightning blue aluminium, which matches the DIMMs precisely.
There's four sticks for use in dual-channel configuration, so those using the Sandy Bridge line of processing gear are the target market here. Make no mistake, 2133MHz is pushing some serious clockage, but we decided to take it a little further. With a memory multiplier limit of 21.33x on our trusty Z68X-UD3H-B3, we were forced to push the delicate BCLK up to 103MHz to overclock this memory. That got us to about 2.2GHz, which was the stable limit according to an hour of Prime95, powered by a generous 1.75v. This didn't really do much to improve performance, in fact, it made it slightly worse. Our next option was to tighten the latencies, which faired significantly better. From the default 9-11-9-27-T2, we managed a stable 9-10-9-27-T1, giving a clear gain in wPrime. While we didn't achieve much in the way of overclocking, the stock performance is already quite substantial.
To credit Kingston, the memory did remain cool before and after overclocking, so the fins were doing their job superbly, if not superfluously. For an asking price of $260, the fan bundle definitely sweetens the deal. Regardless, the performance of the memory itself is mighty impressive, so you get what you pay for. On the other hand, 16GB would be a lot tastier...