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::>RAM > 2014 > 09 > Corsair DDR4-2800

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23-09-2014


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DDR4-2800 Corsair Vengeance LPX CMK16GX4M4A2800C16 (16 GB) memory kit review

Many people expected the announcement of the new high-performance platform Socket LGA2011-v3. In fact, besides the launch of a series of advanced lineup of processors Intel Haswell-E and motherboards based on the flagship chipset Intel X99, the curtain over RAM DDR4 raised. Over time the support of this standard is promised for more affordable versions of CPU. But today the situation is such that only the owners of PC built on a platform Socket LGA2011-v3 can taste all the advantages of a new type of memory.

However before moving on to the practical part of the question, let's look the differences of the standard DDR4from DDR3. We’ll start not with a description of new features but a short excursion into history. This will provide an opportunity to understand what led to the appearance of DDR4 memory.

DDR4-2800 Corsair Vengeance LPX CMK16GX4M4A2800C16

DDR3 standard was announced in 2007 when the market has DDR2 memory with frequencies 800 and 1066 MHz. The same rate initially had modules DDR3. However, due to large delays their performance was slightly lower. At that time, many people asked, "Why do we need a new memory, if it is slower than the old at the same frequencies and is more expensive?" Now after 7 years such statements evokes only smile. The fact that the value of 1066 was the starting position for the standard DDR3, whereas for most modules DDR2 it was the highest possible index. The stores, of course had kits of RAM DDR2 with higher frequencies. In addition, in order to achieve high speed the developers had greatly increase the power supply voltage, sometimes up to 2.5 V. Modules of DDR3 memory are operating at the same frequency at a voltage of 1.5 V. That is, motherboard manufacturers could simplify the design of the power converter.

DDR4-2800 Corsair Vengeance LPX CMK16GX4M4A2800C16

The memory DDR4 has a similar situation, only a couple of standard DDR2-DDR3 was changed to DDR3-DDR4. At the start of sales DDR4 modules are much more expensive, and show slightly worse results on the same frequencies as compared with straps DDR3. And again the same question: "Why should we buy such memory?"

Many readers have probably guessed that the answer would be as in the previous case, the fact that the standard DDR3 has already exhausted its potential. Frequencies above 2400 MHz are very great cost: the most required are choicest chips that come into production in limited quantities, as well as the manipulations around the system to improve such indicators. And sometimes it does not help: a built-in memory controller does not support such speed.

Here standard DDR4 has a new light. For DDR4 memory modules the frequencies 2133/2400 MHz are nominal and they can be easily increased up to 3000 MHz using standard XMP-profiles. And this is not the limit. There are statements about the possibility of reaching a speed as 4266 MHz, which will be the untilled field for enthusiasts competing for setting world records in overclocking.

DDR4-2800 Corsair Vengeance LPX CMK16GX4M4A2800C16

As for the mainstream segment, the manufacturers are quite reserved in their forecasts: even to the end of 2015 any expansion of the new standard on the memory market is not expected. And there are objective reasons: the absence of available platforms that supports memory DDR4, and the high cost of the modules.

Nevertheless, the prospects of the new standard are not bad, because in addition to the large frequency potential it has a number of improvements over its predecessor DDR3. Firstly, it is the reorganization at the structural level (increase of the number of banks and decrease the length of the line) allows to achieve higher performance and memory bandwidth.

DDR4-2800 Corsair Vengeance LPX CMK16GX4M4A2800C16

Secondly, capacity of a single module was increased. The fact that the modules of memory chip DDR3 are collected by the chips with capacity of 4 GB. Microarchitecture DDR4 involves the use of 8-gigabit chips. That is with the same number of chips we will get twice higher amount. That is why a minimum capacity of one module will be 4 GB and the maximum 32 GB. But such a restriction would be effective only for the mass market segment. In practice the volume can be easily build up to a much larger value by using the 16-gigabit chips and multilayer arrangement in one case of DRAM.

DDR4-2800 Corsair Vengeance LPX CMK16GX4M4A2800C16

The latest technology is called Through-silicon Via or TSV. Thanks to it the company SK hynix could create a module of standard DDR4 memory with capacity of 128 GB, and, apparently this is not the limit. However, in the production such modules are very expensive and it is unlikely they will ever get into the market of desktop solutions. They will be used only in high-end servers and computing stations. Another obstacle is the absence of the support of high-capacity modules with modern hardware platforms. For example, even a top processors produced by Intel Haswell-E can operate only with modules up to 16 GB. The same applies to motherboards available on the market today.

Therefore you should not figure on the mass distribution of 16-gigabyte modules. According to the forecasts of Corsair, the market "will grow" to them only in 2015.

DDR4-2800 Corsair Vengeance LPX CMK16GX4M4A2800C16

Following the increase in productivity the energy efficiency of the new memory was increased. Let’s remind that the correct operation of the DDR3 modules at the nominal frequencies requires supply voltage of 1.5 V, and speeds higher 1866 MHz - 1.65 V. The modules of type DDR4 have standard value 1.2 V and 1.35 V in the case of overclocking. This will reduce the load on the power converter on the motherboard, as well as reduce the heat in the chips memory. Furthermore, upgrading also took internal interface of electrical circuits. All this should reduce the amount of energy consumption by about 30%. As part of the PC this value is minuscule, but for mobile devices it may be very important indicator.

DDR4-2800 Corsair Vengeance LPX CMK16GX4M4A2800C16

DDR3

DDR4-2800 Corsair Vengeance LPX CMK16GX4M4A2800C16

DDR4

Another improvement is the introduction of the new connection bus with the memory controller. The standard DDR3 has an interface Multi-Drop Bus with two channels. When using four slots two modules "hang" on the same channel, which has not the best affects to the performance of the memory subsystem.

The standard DDR4 has improved this interface, using a more efficient scheme as one module per channel. A new type of bus is called Point-to-Point Bus. Parallel access to slots is definitely better then sequential as allows more efficient to increase the performance of the entire subsystem. In the future when the amounts of information to be transmitted will be increased it will be quite popular. After all, the same pattern has evolved for video memory GDDR, and the interface PCI Express. Only the use of parallel access made it possible to significantly increase the productivity.

However the bus Point-to-Point Bus imposes certain restrictions on the number of modules. Thus, dual-channel controller can handle only two slots, and four-channel only four.

DDR4-2800 Corsair Vengeance LPX CMK16GX4M4A2800C16

The solution of this problem has pretty simple way, namely by installing a special switch (Digital Switch) between the controller and the memory slots. According to the principle of its action it reminds switch of lines PCI Express. As a result the user will have 4/8 slots (depending on the platform) and all the advantages of bus Point-to-Point Bus.

Other changes in the standard DDR4 are related to the reliability of the memory subsystem. Thus, the new module have a function of detecting and correcting errors associated with parity commands and addresses, as well as the checking before writing data to memory. The controller has an opportunity to test the connection without the use of sequences. Such measures of detection and prevention of errors become indispensable when working at high speeds with large stacks of data.

As you can see, the new standard DDR4 is not just a building of frequencies. Here is realized quite a lot of promising technologies that could theoretically significantly improve system performance. But a lot depends on development of hardware and software. Without their proper support new improvements have a risk to remain in the status of perspective. But let's hope for the best. After all it is possible to take advantage of the same standard DDR3.

DDR4-2800 Corsair Vengeance LPX CMK16GX4M4A2800C16

Thereupon it's time to move from theory to practice. Let’s learn with the new standard on the example of memory DDR4-2800 Corsair Vengeance LPX CMK16GX4M4A2800C16 with capacity 16GB.

Specification:

Producer and model

Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-2800

Module marking

CMK16GX4M4A2800C16

Memory type

DDR4

Form-factor

288-pin DIMM

Quantity of modules

4

Capacity of each module, GB

4

Recommended operation mode

DDR3-2800 16-18-18-36

Nominal power voltage, V

1,2

Customary operation modes

DDR4-2800 16-18-18-36

DDR4-2666 16-18-18-35

DDR4-2400 14-16-16-31

DDR4-2133 13-14-14-28

DDR4-2000 12-13-13-26

DDR4-1866 11-12-12-24

DDR4-1466 9-10-10-19

Extended XMP profiles

DDR4-3000 16-18-18-39 (1,35 В)

Producer website

Corsair

Packaging and design

DDR4-2800 Corsair Vengeance LPX CMK16GX4M4A2800C16

Set DDR4-2800 Corsair Vengeance LPX CMK16GX4M4A2800C16 is shipped in a small cardboard box, which protects its contents against damage. Manufacturer did not stint on quality printing, using traditional black and gray colors for thepackage. The front panel contains an image of the module, as well as basic information about the set of memory: the total volume (16 GB), the number of modules (4 x 4 GB), an effective operating frequency (2800 MHz) and, of course, a note about the standard DDR4.

In the bottom of the box we found a note that tells about the compatibility of the memory module with four-channel processor controller of Intel company, as well as support of technology Intel XMP.

The back side of the package has the promotional information describing the advantages of memory. Note that the set DDR4-2800 Corsair Vengeance LPX CMK16GX4M4A2800C16 has a limited (depending on the region) lifetime warranty.

DDR4-2800 Corsair Vengeance LPX CMK16GX4M4A2800C16

Inside the box there are two blisters with a couple of modules that provide them with additional protection during transportation. Thick plastic serves as a barrier to static electricity.

DDR4-2800 Corsair Vengeance LPX CMK16GX4M4A2800C16

Totally the kit DDR4-2800 Corsair Vengeance LPX CMK16GX4M4A2800C16 includes 4 modules of 4GB each. In sum we get 16 GB. Compared with DDR3-2800 of the same series the appearance of modules was changed. The manufacturer used the lower radiators as heat release of chips was decreased. Such modernization should positively affect the compatibility of the memory modules with overall CPU coolers.

DDR4-2800 Corsair Vengeance LPX CMK16GX4M4A2800C16

If we compare the DDR3 and DDR4 among themselves, visually there is no difference. Both modules have the same length of 133 mm. However, the memory module DDR4 is 1 mm higher (31 mm vs. 30 mm). Naturally, in this case we are talking about only the dimensions of the PCB because due to the use of mounted cooling systems these rates may be increased, as in our case.

We also want to draw attention to the changes in the contact group. The module DDR4 has 288 items to address large amounts of memory. Don’t forget that the module of DDR3 has 240 pins. Also the position of the key was changed. Although, it is rather a precaution and protection from prying experimenters who want to test the new modules on motherboards that do not support standard DDR4.

DDR4-2800 Corsair Vengeance LPX CMK16GX4M4A2800C16

But go back to the set DDR4-2800 Corsair Vengeance LPX CMK16GX4M4A2800C16. Modules are made on black PCB which at the top of two sides cover the radiators of the same color. Cooling system can not boast of enormous dimensions, but the use of aluminum and a large number of edges can provide a rapid removal of heat from the memory chips and the efficiency of its dispersal in space.

It is obvious that in the nominal mode of operation there is no overheating. However, if you want to built a compact configuration with supposedly poor air circulation, in such circumstances additional cooling system will not be excess. In addition, you can easily overclock the memory subsystem without fear of overheating the chips.

DDR4-2800 Corsair Vengeance LPX CMK16GX4M4A2800C16

Each radiator consists of two plates fixed together by clips, so remove it is not too difficult. If you decided to make such an operation, remember that it will automatically lead to guarantee lost. In addition, there is a big risk of damaging the memory chips or pull off them away from the PCB.

DDR4-2800 Corsair Vengeance LPX CMK16GX4M4A2800C16

Close contact of chip and heat sink is provided by a thin strip of thermal paste.

DDR4-2800 Corsair Vengeance LPX CMK16GX4M4A2800C16

Modules DDR4-2800 Corsair Vengeance LPX CMK16GX4M4A2800C16 are one-way, that is the memory chips are placed only on one side. In this case the amount is 8 units. On the other side there is a thermal pad, which apparently, is involved in the process of cooling, removing the heat from the rows on the PCB.

DDR4-2800 Corsair Vengeance LPX CMK16GX4M4A2800C16

Chip manufacturer is well-known company SK hynix. Chips are labeled as SK hynix H5AN4G8NMFR-TFC. Unfortunately, the official web site contains only general information, so we can not tell about some hidden opportunities or laid overclocking potential.

DDR4-2800 Corsair Vengeance LPX CMK16GX4M4A2800C16

The radiator has a sticker with the technical specifications and the folowing necessary information: labeling (CMK16GX4M4A2800C16), the total amount of memory (16 GB), a set of configuration (4 x 4 GB), an effective operating frequency (2800 MHz), the set of delays (16-18-18-36) and the nominal supply voltage (1.2 V).


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