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Pros: I tested the Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (4 x 4GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4-2400 (PC4-19200) memory kit for DDR4 Systems, model CMK16GX4M4A2400C14R. The memory appears to be available in three different colored heat spreaders: red, blue or black. Here is a list of the test system components I used:
Windows 10 Pro Preview, build 9926 (64-bit) OS.
Intel® Core™ i7-5820K CPU @ 3.30GHz/4.0GHz Turbo.
Corsair H80i CPU water cooling Kit w/2x 120mm Fans.
Rosewill Capstone-750W, Intel Haswell Ready, 80 PLUS GOLD, Active PFC Power Supply.
The Corsair Vengeance LPX has some nice features. For one it’s packaged in a simple cardboard box. There are no blister packs to cut open. The solid aluminum heat sink covers are low profile and should not interfere with large CPU coolers. I would suggest that you look at one of Corsair’s water coolers kits, before you invest in a bulky heat sink fan cooler. They do a great job and are very reliable in my experience.
I begin my builds by placing the motherboard on an anti-static mat on my workbench. I first install the CPU and the CPU cooler. For this build I used a Corsair H80i water cooling kit in place of a heat sink fan unit. I next install the memory. Years of experience have taught me to always power test a new CPU/motherboard combination on my bench before installing it into the system case. It’s a lot easier to troubleshoot a new system while it’s outside the case and this eliminates the need to remove and replace an entire motherboard from the case in the event of a new part failure.
After powering on a new system for the first time I go into the BIOS and check the temperature of the CPU and MB. I want to verify the CPU is not over-heating due to poor contact with the CPU cooler. I also verify the power supply voltages are all within ±5% of their stated specs. The next step is to load the optimum BIOS settings, including in this case the XMP-1 memory values. I then reboot and move on to loading the operating system. For this review I was using a Windows 10 Pro preview, build 9926 (64-bit) disk image on a bootable DVD. Windows 10 setup attempted to load, but then spontaneously rebooted itself. This boot-loop would have continued if I had not stopped it. Suspecting a memory timing issue I reset the memory to its rated JEDEC speed of DDR-2133. After this adjustment Windows 10 installed without any further issues.
Cons: While the following are not really Cons, it bares some explanation. This is where the problem comes in for all system builders and reviewers alike. Why won’t the memory run at the rated DDR4-2400 speed? In this case the blame can be any number of factors: Is it the quad memory controller on the i7-5820K CPU sample, or the ASRock motherboard, or the Corsair DDR4 SDRAM sample, or the Window 10 Beta OS being tested? I have even seen similar problems caused by cheap noisy power supplies on customer equipment.
As this is all bleeding edge technology, at the time of testing, I did not have another set of DDR4-2400 SDRAM available to compare with the Corsair SDRAM under test. I also don’t have the luxury of another DDR4 motherboard, or a spare Intel i7 Haswell-E processor to plug-in.
After loading, configuring and making a backup of the OS installation I was free to experiment a little more. I found I could push the memory speed up to DDR-2200 and no faster without the system crashing. I did not try bumping the memory voltage above the rated/recommended 1.2 VDC, as this system was intended for a friend who covered the cost of the CPU and most of the other system parts. I have never been a fan of over-clocking or exceeding voltage specs on parts. For those who do like to over-clock be sure to do a search on “X99 system failures”. One reviewer blew-up $1400 worth of CPU and motherboard kit, just by simply upping an X99 system to XMP-1 mode.
As with any new technology there have been a number of cases where the magic smoke was let out of X99 systems with little or no effort. Some reviewers have suggested that due to the high 80 Ampere plus currents being drawn by the new Haswell-E top-end processors, that perhaps Intel should have specified dual 8-pin power connectors for the motherboard VRM supply.
Other Thoughts: With the Corsair DDR4 memory set at DDR-2200 the system has run stable now for over week and has passed several hours of Burn-In testing without any crashes. This is quite an accomplishment given the beta Windows 10 operating system. So Microsoft seems to be doing a great job on Windows 10 development.
I have achieved my goal of delivering a stable system to my client. The memory and CPU both produced a Windows Experience Index of 8.8 for both devices. This is one of the fastest WEI scores I have ever measured in my shop. I would love to test another memory brand or another X99 motherboard for comparison, but I can’t afford the costs at the moment.
I took one Egg away due to the memory failing to meet its DDR4-2400 XMP spec. It's up for debate if it was the memory sample I received at fault, the CPU sample, the motherboard, or the Windows 10 OS beta OS. With so many variables it will be difficult to determine the exact cause of the speed loss.
I don’t think the problem is with the Corsair memory as other EggExpert testers have been able to run it at the rated DDR-2400 on the same ASRock motherboard. So this leaves the Intel CPU sample, the Windows 10 OS, and or possibly the power supply as restricting the top end memory speed on my test system.
I have read that the speed benefits of DDR4 memory technology really don’t start to impress until you reach DDR4-2666, or faster RAM speeds. This is due to DDR4’s higher initial latency values as compared to the equivalent speed DDR3 memory. If you are on a budget you are probably better off sticking with DDR3 memory technology for now until the cost of DDR4 drops down closer to the current DDR3 price levels. If you want to spend the extra money for DDR4, then I would recommend the Corsair Vengeance LPX product line. Corsair has a long standing excellent reputation for producing and supporting high quality products.
Reviewed By:Mooreman,3/3/2015 10:12:53 AM
This reviewer reports that his/her technical understanding of this type of product is Somewhat High and has owned this product 1 week to 1 month. Did you find this review helpful?
Pros: Have no problems as of yet. Working as intended Ram is running fast and cool in my system.
Cons: None so far.
Other Thoughts: If you are looking for affordable and good quality ram I can recommend this ram to anyone. Upgrading from 8gb to 16 gb could make a huge difference if you are finding yourself using 8gb to its full capacity.
Reviewed By:Dan,3/3/2015 7:37:07 AM
This reviewer reports that his/her technical understanding of this type of product is High and has owned this product 1 month to 1 year. Did you find this review helpful?