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Pros: The LPX brand is the lower end of Corsair’s Vengeance line with low profile aluminum heatsinks and an 8 layer PCB. The heatsinks are red and well attached and totally unremarkable, which is actually nice. If you’re using an air cooler these will probably fit under it. Note this is DDR4 memory and right now it’s only used in Intel’s X99 architecture so if you have any other kind of system then look elsewhere (DDR3 or DDR2).
Pricewise this kind of memory is painful. You can buy a low end motherboard, processor and memory for what this kit costs so consider carefully what you need to accomplish. If you only want to surf the net and use Microsoft Office or download torrents then an X99 system is way too much and way too expensive for you. So if you think X99 is for you then put on your big boy pants and read on.
DDR4 memory starts at 2133 MHZ and goes up to 3000MHZX. What you need to know is the higher the MHZ the more the memory costs. You can find high end DDR4 memory kits that require a second mortgage to get aboard the UPS truck. Compared to them this memory is almost reasonable. It’s still a lot more than DDR3 but part of that is because it’s 4 channel memory so the minimum you need is 16 gigs.
The Corsair Vengeance LPX in this review is rated at 2666MHZ which is maybe halfway up the DDR4 speed ladder. To be honest, in general usage you probably won’t notice much difference between 2133MHZ memory and 3000MHZ. The synthetic benchmarks will show you a great deal of difference but in the general feel and responsiveness of your system, not so much.
Then there’s the esoteric science of memory timings. I don’t pretend to understand these but, unlike MHZ, the lower or tighter the timings the better and the lower the timings the bigger the price. Memory timings are expressed as 4 numbers separated by hyphens. You don’t need to really understand them. All that matters is that the lower the numbers the faster the memory and the more expensive the memory.
My current system has an ASRock X-99 WS board and an i7 5820 6 core processor. It has 16 gigs of Crucial Ballistix DDR4 2400MHZ. The timings are 15-16-16-39. At the time I bought this memory it was the least expensive decent DDR4 with heatsinks. It works flawlessly and to be honest I’m happy with it. I’m sure there are lots of faster memory kits out there but all I use my X99 system for presently is gaming so it’s more than adequate. It’s all I have to compare the Corsair Vengeance LPX against so that is what I plan to do. You work with what you got.
The Corsair Vengeance LPX memory in this review has a faster speed of 2666MHZ but higher or looser timings of 16-18-18-36. This particular memory kit is listed as C16 which indicates the first number in the timing. This is the lower end of the timing ladder unfortunately but Corsair does offer an identical kit of Vengeance LPX 2666MHZ rated at C15 for a few dollars more.
Cons: So you install 1 set of memory and run your tests and then install the other and run the tests again. It’s not brain surgery but again you work with what you have. Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. At the rated MHZ speeds the Corsair memory lost in all benchmarks to the Crucial. It wasn’t a blowout but the Crucial marks were slightly higher. I’m using Passmark and SiSoft Sandra for the benchmarks.
Here we need to talk about the Serial Presence Detect or SPD of memory. SPD is simply a setting in the BIOS of most any enthusiast motherboard that tells it how to set the particular memory MHZ and timings. If you don’t go into the BIOS and set the SPD profile for your particular memory then on the X99 platform you’ll wind up with your memory set to the base frequency of 2133MHZ. This is a real bummer if you’ve paid for better performing memory. THE SPD is baked into the memory modules themselves and is the memory manufacturers way of making sure their product performs at it’s rated speed and timings. You want everybody to know you’re a real newb then simply insert the modules and don’t go into the BIOS and set the SPD.
With the memory speed and timings set by the ASRock motherboards SPD profile 1 (which is the rated MHZ speed on the box) the Crucial memory came out on top by 6% in PassMark and 9% in SiSoft Sandra. This shows that the timings are more important than the actual speed. Let me say here that using the system to play Far Cry 4 and do general computing stuff with either of the memory kits installed was indistinguishable from one another. You couldn’t do a blind taste test and tell the difference. The system was fast and responsive and stable with either the Crucial or the Corsair memory.
I’m not an overclocker but there is a second SPD profile available with the Corsair kit that runs the memory at 1.35 volts instead of 1.2 and ups the frequency to 2800MHZ. The ASRock board was able to set and run the second SPD profile on the Corsair Vengeance LPX kit with no instability or problems. This is as easy as selecting the SPD profile in the BIOS and then restarting the system. This resulted in a healthy 20% bump approximately in both the SiSoft Sandra and PassMark scores. This is a free and easy performance increase but it may work on some motherboards and not on others or it may need a BIOS update to be stable. The downside is the memory will run hotter and may not last as long. Once again it was difficult to sense much of a difference in the speed or responsiveness of the system so I’m not sure it’s worth it but that’s up to you.
Other Thoughts: So I suppose the moral of this story is that the timings of a particular memory kit are sort of important. My experience is that most people don’t pay them much attention; instead they buy according to the MHZ ratings. I’ll admit this was an eye opening experience for me and from now on I’ll consider the memory timings along with the MHZ when I buy memory.
The bottom line is that this is yet another example of an excellent Corsair product. The memory is good looking, works as advertised and won’t break the bank. It offers basically guilt free overclocking that anybody can master. It’s pretty red and fits under most air coolers. If you’re a benchmarking guru or want the ultimate bragging rights then there is DDR4 memory that costs 4 times as much as this and has much tighter timings and higher speed. But for general X99 use the Corsair Vengeance LPX works fine. And the good part is if you want tighter timings you can purchase the C15 kit. I’d say the money would be well spent
Pros: Like most processors it either works or it don't. It works fine. Lightening fast and rock solid reliable. Buying this is a no brainer if you're not planning to run 3 or 4 way SLI.
Cons: More expensive then a Haswell 4790K and to be honest I can't really see a speed difference. You have to buy a new motherboard and memory to use this processor.
Other Thoughts: This is all about bragging rights and don't let anybody tell you different. They go on about their Z97 system and you shut them down utterly when you tell them about X99.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Low profile and the most inexpensive memory with heat spreaders I could find at the time. Working perfectly in my ASRock X99-WS board. XMP identified them correctly and set timings accordingly.
Cons: None so far
Other Thoughts: Went on sale less then a week after I purchased but that's life I suppose.READ FULL REVIEW
Display Name: Patrick H.
Date Joined: 07/18/03
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