Market Positioning

As mentioned before, at current prices these modules will have a tough time in the turbulent memory market.  On 11/7, the current prices for similar 2x8GB DDR3-2400 C11 memory kits were as follows (prices taken from Newegg):

$140 Mushkin Enhanced Blackline DDR3-2400 C11 2x8GB, Frostbyte
$140 ADATA XPG V2 DDR3-2400 C11 2x8GB, Tungsten Grey
$148 G.Skill Ripjaws X DDR3-2400 C11 2x8GB
$152 G.Skill Ares DDR3-2400 C11 2x8GB
$155 G.Skill Sniper DDR3-2400 C11 2x8GB
$156 ADATA XPG V2.0 DDR3-2400 C11 2x8GB, Gaming
$170 Silicon Power DDR3-2400 C11 2x8GB
$170 Mushkin Enhanced Blackline DDR3-2400 C11 2x8GB, Ridgeback
$200 ADATA XPG V2 DDR3-2400 C11 2x8GB, Gold

This makes for bleak reading, as these are the most expensive in the land of 2400 C11.  It gets worse, looking at kits with a higher performance index:

$150 Team Xtreem LV DDR3-2400 C10 2x8 GB
$165 G.Skill Trident X DDR3-2400 C10 2x8 GB
$190 Mushkin Enhanced Redline DDR3-2400 C10 2x8GB
$200 ADATA XPG V2 DDR3-2400 C11 2x8GB, Gold

The conclusion from this data is obvious enough: ADATA need to push the price of this kit down to the $140-$150 mark in order to make any headway in sales.

Test Bed

Processor Intel Core i7-4770K Retail @ 4.0 GHz
4 Cores, 8 Threads, 3.5 GHz (3.9 GHz Turbo)
Motherboards ASRock Z87 OC Formula/AC
Cooling Corsair H80i
Power Supply Corsair AX1200i Platinum PSU
Memory ADATA XPG V2 DDR3-2400 C11-13-13 1.65V 2x8 GB
Memory Settings XMP
Discrete Video Cards AMD HD5970
AMD HD5870
Video Drivers Catalyst 13.6
Hard Drive OCZ Vertex 3 256GB
Optical Drive LG GH22NS50
Case Open Test Bed
Operating System Windows 7 64-bit
USB 3 Testing OCZ Vertex 3 240GB with SATA->USB Adaptor

Many thanks to...

We must thank the following companies for kindly donating hardware for our test bed:

Thank you to OCZ for providing us with 1250W Gold Power Supplies.
Thank you to Corsair for providing us with an AX1200i PSU, and Corsair H80i CLC
Thank you to ASUS for providing us with the AMD GPUs and some IO Testing kit.
Thank you to ECS for providing us with the NVIDIA GPUs.
Thank you to Rosewill for providing us with the 500W Platinum Power Supply for mITX testing, BlackHawk Ultra, and 1600W Hercules PSU for extreme dual CPU + quad GPU testing, and RK-9100 keyboards.
Thank you to ASRock for providing us with the 802.11ac wireless router for testing.

‘Performance Index’

In our Haswell memory overview, I introduced a new concept of ‘Performance Index’ as a quick way to determine where a kit of various speed and command rate would sit relative to others where it may not be so obvious.  As a general interpretation of performance in that review, the performance index (PI) worked well, showing that memory kits with a higher PI performed better than those that a lower PI.  There were a few circumstances where performance was MHz or CL dominated, but the PI held strong for kit comparisons.

The PI calculation and ‘rules’ are fairly simple:

  • Performance Index = MHz divided by CL
  • Assuming the same kit size and installation location are the same, the memory kit with the higher PI will be faster
  • Memory kits similar in PI should be ranked by MHz
  • Any kit 1600 MHz or less is usually bad news.

That final point comes about due to our previous testing - in several benchmarks in our Haswell memory overview performed very poorly (20% worse or more) with the low end MHz kits.  In that overview, we suggested that an 1866 C9 or 2133 C10 might be the minimum suggestion; whereas 2400 C10 covers the sweet spot should any situation demand good memory.

With this being said, the results for our kits are as follows:

Performance Index

From the data in our memory overview, it was clear that any kit with a performance index of less than 200 was going to have issues on certain benchmarks.  The ADATA kit has a PI of 218, which seems to be a happy medium around other kits that tend to hit either 200 or 240.

Overview, Specifications and Visual Inspection IGP Gaming
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  • The Von Matrices - Monday, November 11, 2013 - link

    The silly part is that this is marketed as "gaming" memory while its advantages in gaming on a discrete GPU are minimal. It should be marketed as accelerating applications, which would be a much more reasonable statement. I bought 2400MHz memory not because I play games but because I perform encoding and file compression on my PC, and that is a situation where fast memory makes a difference.

    As far as making a recommendation on value, Ian stated (and I agree) that memory prices are very volatile. It's basically impossible to make a lasting value comparison on memory because of this. What is a great deal today could be eclipsed next week by a dramatic price decrease of a faster, better product. I agree with Ian omitting a value comparison because it would be pointless a month after the article is posted. However, the performance comparisons of different memory speeds and timings are still of value.

    I think the general conclusion he stated is still of value - buy something faster than DDR3-1600 but don't spend too much money because the performance increase is minimal beyond that.
  • DanNeely - Monday, November 11, 2013 - link

    Are any of your planned reviews going to look at the impact of timing relaxation needed to run 4 dimms instead of 2? Having bumped off 12GB a few times I'm now running 18 in my aging i7-920 box; and with both my browsers (Opera, FF) having multi-process upgrades forthcoming that will let them expand beyond the 4GB barrier I've decided on 4x8gb for my new system.
  • The Von Matrices - Monday, November 11, 2013 - link

    I don't understand why you're creating a new term "performance index" instead of just using the more standard time to first word (in ns). It would behave exactly in reverse to your "performance index" with lower times being better but otherwise the comparison would be the same.
  • ShieTar - Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - link

    I agree. Its not only more standard, it is also physically more meaningful, and can be adapted to describe the performance of software with known algorithms E.g. if your ramdisk is reading 512-Byte-sectors from memory, its performance will scale with the "time to get a full sector".

    But of course, frequency is also a much more useful parameter to distinguish electromagnetic signal than wavelength, and you still can't get anybody who learned their field on wavelength to give it up. Once people start to think within certain terms, they are very stubborn about changing definitions.
  • whyso - Monday, November 11, 2013 - link

    If you run IGP benchmarks can you please run at something relevant? 11 fps is not relevant.
  • cmdrdredd - Monday, November 11, 2013 - link

    Still with these big heatsinks on the memory? I almost have to use the low profile Samsung stuff because of my Noctua cooler not allowing much clearance.
  • meacupla - Monday, November 11, 2013 - link

    I think these unnecessarily tall RAM heatsinks are still being made, because the manufacturers think people will use CLC CPU coolers instead of a dual tower heatsink.

    or maybe they think the only people who will buy this type of RAM are people with real water cooling loops.
    or maybe they are for LNG overclocking contests or something.

    Either way, if the customer is sensible enough to buy a tower heatsink in the first place, I'm sure they would also be sensible and buy some lower profile, 1600Mhz or 1866Mhz CAS8 or CAS9 RAM, instead of overkill 2400Mhz.
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - link

    giant ramsinks long predate CLCs. For that matter I'm fairly sure they predate tower style heatsinks as well.
  • Hood6558 - Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - link

    Overkill is best, sensible decisions are for Grandma's email machine...
  • Kamus - Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - link

    Some battlefield 4 tests would've been nice... According to corsair, 2400 memory was giving up to 20% better performance than 1333.mbut I've yet to see another test like that one to corroborate.

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