Kingston HyperX Predator 8GB DDR3 2666 Mhz KHX26C11T2K2/8X Review

Posted by on Friday, May 16, 2014 - 6:41pm

Kingston HyperX Predator

Kingston Technology launched the HyperX T1 memory series back in 2008. Soon afterwards, the HyperX T1 became legendary among the enthusiast community and for good reason. HyperX T1 modules featured massive blue heat spreaders that dissipated heat away from the memory chips, a necessity for overclocking. After a four year production run, Kingston to go back to the drawing board and design a new heat spreader with better thermal characteristics. So in 2012, the HyperX Predator was born.

Kingston HyperX Predator 

Introduction

Kingston Technology launched the HyperX T1 memory series back in 2008. Soon afterwards, the HyperX T1 became legendary among the enthusiast community and for good reason. HyperX T1 modules featured massive blue heat spreaders that dissipated heat away from the memory chips, a necessity for overclocking. After a four year production run, Kingston to go back to the drawing board and design a new heat spreader with better thermal characteristics. So in 2012, the HyperX Predator was born.

Featuring a superior heat spreader design and some other notable improvements, HyperX Predator series replaced the HyperX T1 series as the flagship of the HyperX memory line. The Kingston HyperX Predator offers speeds from 1866 MHz all the way up to a staggering 2800 Mhz. They feature very high profile blue aluminum heat spreaders with a total memory module height of 53.9mm. At 2666 Mhz, the HyperX Predator 8GB kit I am reviewing today is at the extreme high end of the memory speed scale. Kingston only offers one other memory hit that is faster than this kit, the HyperX Predator 2800 MHz 8GB.

Another rather unique feature of the HyperX Predators is the use of two different XMP profiles. Profile #1 is at the rated 2666 MHz speed, while Profile #2 is at 2400 MHz. If for some reason a user is not able to boot with profile #1, they can select profile #2 instead. Then the use can fine tune the memory from there. Due to the high speed of this memory kit, there are many low and mid priced motherboards that simply will not be able to run them at all. The very tall aforementioned heat spreader will undoubtedly interfere will many aftermarket air cooler and perhaps some AIO coolers as well.

There is no single thing that is subtle about the Predators. Those super tall blue heat spreaders are definitely hard to not notice. The extreme 2666 MHz rating is about as fast as DDR3 memory comes. Even their name, Predator, makes them sound like they mean business. Do all these parts a truly add up awesome experience? That is what we are here to find out.

Kingston's take on HyperX Predator

Push your system to the max. Kingston® HyperX® Predator takes performance to thrilling new extremes with the fastest speeds, lowest latencies and highest capacities available in HyperX memory. It has a new heat spreader for greater heat dissipation, plus it’s Intel XMP Ready and compatible with all popular brands of motherboards. HyperX Predator is ultra-reliable and 100 per cent factory tested to ensure higher performance, ultra-responsive multitasking and a faster system. HyperX Predator is backed by a lifetime warranty, free technical support and legendary Kingston reliability.

Features 

 

  • Capacities 8GB–16GB (with 8GB and 16GB kits)
  • Speeds up to 2800MHz
  • 1.5V & 1.65 V operating voltages enable stable overclocking
  • Intel XMP Ready; optimised performance settings handpicked and tested by Kingston engineers
  • Dual Channel kit tailored for P55, H67, P67, Z68, H61, Z77, and Z78 Intel chipsets; as well as A75, A87, A88, A89, A78, and E35 (Fusion) AMD chipsets
  • Exceptional clock and latency timing specifications to enhance overall system performance
  • Heat sink design achieves effective maintenance of speed while prolonging the memory lifecycle
  • 100% factory tested
Let's take a look at the product and packaging on the next page.
 

 

Packaging

Kingston HyperX Predator

The memory kit is packaged in a very simple two piece plastic tray. There are no fancy graphics on the package. The memory is also completely visible. Included in the package is a warranty and installation guide, as well as a HyperX case sticker. The packaging is reusable.

Kingston HyperX Predator

A small band around the packaging tray provides all the basic information on what modules are included.

Specifications

 

  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Size: 8GB (2 x 4GB)
  • Performance Profile: XMP Profile #1 and #2
  • Fan Included: No
  • Heat Spreader: Blue Aluminum
  • Memory Configuration: Dual Channel
  • Memory Type: DDR3
  • Package - Memory Pin: 240
  • Package - Memory Format: DIMM
  • Tested Voltage: 1.65
  • SPD Voltage: 1.5
  • Speed Rating: PC3-21300 (2666MHz)
  • SPD Speed: 1600MHz
  • Tested Speed: 2666MHz
  • Tested Latency: 10-11-10-32
  • SPD Latency: 11-11-11-26

 

Closer Look

Kingston HyperX Predator

There are very few memory kits available at speeds higher then 1866MHz. Most of the kits that are available at these higher speeds feature bold designs and Kingston's HyperX Predator is certainly no exception.

Kingston HyperX Predator

The HyperX Predator RAM feature a blue aluminum heatsink, with black "X" pattern accent, white printing, and a machined HyperX logo. The entire HyperX Predator series feature green PCB's.

Kingston HyperX Predator

Standing at 54mm tall, the HyperX Predator definitely have a presence to them.

Kingston HyperX Predator

 

A bit of a size comparison. The Kingston HyperX Predator in the background with the recently reviewed Kingston HyperX Fury in the foreground. The height difference is quite apparent. Let us see how the Predator perform under our testing on the next page.


Configuring The Bios

Configuring the RAM for my Intel based system is as simple as setting the XMP 1 profile in the BIOS. Once selected, the BIOS will automatically configure the correct timings. The HyperX Predator 2666MHz features two XMP profiles. Selecting XMP 1 will set the memory at 2666MHz with timings of 11-13-13-32-2T. Selecting XMP 2 profile will set the memory at 2400MHz with timings of 11-13-13-30-2T. I did not use the XMP 2 profile during testing.

Kingston HyperX Predator

Kingston HyperX Predator

Kingston HyperX Predator  

System Configuration

Testing Hardware

 

  • EVGA Z87 Stinger Motherboard
  • Intel Core i5 4670K Processor
  • Kingston HyperX Predator 8GB 2666MHz
  • ADATA XPG XS900 128GB Solid State Drive
  • Corsair H100 AIO CPU Cooler
  • EVGA Hadron Hydro Case
  • EVGA Hadron Integrated 500W Gold Power Supply
  • EVGA Nvidia GTX 760 Graphic Card

Overclocking

I decided to start at a 2800MHz overclock at the stock voltage of 1.65. The test system booted into Windows and was also able to pass all tests. It however was not completely stable. I loosened the tRAS timing from 32 to 35. At that point, it was rock solid. It was not until I reached a  memory clock speed of 2820MHz, before I had to loosen the timings further. Ultimately, I was able to clock the memory as high as 2871MHz with timings of 12-14-14-35-2T, all while only increasing the voltage 20mv. I increased the voltage further, but was unable to get any more out of the memory clock without stability issues.

Kingston HyperX Predator

The impressive overclock lead to a rather interesting development, it seemed that either my i5 4670K's memory controller was no longer able to keep up with the memory. As a result, the 2871MHz tests scores were almost exactly the same as when the memory was clocked to 2666MHz. Usually, when I do memory testing, I leave my i5 4670K at it's stock clock of 3.4GHz. This allows the testing to better represent what most users will see from the memory tested in their own systems. In this case though, this memory was made with overclockers in mind.

With that thought in mind, I decided to stop further testing at 2871MHz and overclocked the CPU to 4.5GHz. After a bit of testing, I settled with a memory speed of 2733MHz and timings of 11-13-13-35-2T. This seemed to be the settings that offered the best balance between throughput, latency, and stability. I then re-ran all the benchmarks. According to AIDA64 memory copy increased 3%, memory read increased by 2%, memory write increased by 3% and latency decreased by 2%. MaxxMem2 was a little more optimistic, returning a score that was 12% higher. Super Pi showed the most dramatic difference, returning a time that was 16% faster.

With the exception of Super Pi, all of the benchmark scores are very similar to what I received at a CPU clock of 3.5GHz. CPU clock does effect Super Pi performance more then either of the other benchmarks, hence the substantial increase in score. Since I ran all the benchmarks at both 3.5GHz and 4.5GHz, I decided to post the 4.5GHz scores, as I felt they more realistically represents the condition in which a memory kit like this would be used.

Kingston HyperX Predator

 

Benchmarking

AIDA64 Extreme Edition

“FinalWire Ltd. today announced the immediate availability of AIDA64 Extreme Edition 1.50 software, a streamlined diagnostic and benchmarking tool for home users; and the immediate availability of AIDA64 Business Edition 1.50 software, an essential network management solution for small and medium scale enterprises. The new AIDA64 update implements AVX-optimized benchmarks for the upcoming Intel Sandy Bridge processors, adds a brand new video encoding benchmark, and supports the latest AMD and nVIDIA graphics processors.”

Read
Kingston HyperX Predator
*higher is better

 Write
Kingston HyperX Predator
*higher is better

Copy
Kingston HyperX Predator
*higher is better

Latency
Kingston HyperX Predator
*lower is better

Super Pi 

“In August 1995, the calculation of pi up to 4,294,960,000 decimal digits was succeeded by using a supercomputer at the University of Tokyo. The program was written by D.Takahashi in collaboration with Dr.Y.Kanada at the computer center. This record should be the current world record. (Details are shown in the windows help.) This record-breaking program was ported to personal computer environment such as Windows NT and Windows 95. In order to calculate 33.55 million digits, it takes within 3 days with a Pentium 90 MHz, 40 MB main memory and 340 MB available storage.”

So at 2666 Mhz, loop finished at 8 minutes and 9.872 seconds while at 2733 Mhz, loop finished at 7 minutes and 2.417 seconds.

Kingston HyperX Predator
*lower is better

MaxxMEM 2

“Is the *little brother of MaxxPI², it contains the same memory benchmark routine as MaxxPI² does. So your reaced results will be comparable to Memory / Latency benchmarks done by MaxxPI².”

2666 Mhz
Kingston HyperX Predator

2733 Mhz
 Kingston HyperX Predator

Let's wrap this up on the next page with the final thoughts and conclusion.


Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Kingston HyperX Predator 

After much research and communique from an expert, it was confirmed that the issue I had with the performance past 2733MHz was caused by my i5 4670K's memory controller running out of bandwidth at these extreme speeds. The i7 4770K has a higher threshold before memory controller bandwidth becomes an issue. Also, the i7 4770K, combined with the proper motherboard should also be able to achieve a higher overclock as well.

There are only a handful of memory kits on the market that are available with these extreme memory speeds and one of those other kits is faster version of this one. This puts the HyperX Predator is in a rather exclusive club. It is a club that I feel it rightly deserves to be in. The performance of the Predator at it's stock speed of 2666MHz met or exceeded most of my expectations. Adding an additional 66MHz to the memory clock and overclocking the CPU only served to strengthen it's performance further.

The  HyperX Predator's blue heat-spreaders are some of the tallest I have seen. It is that height that makes them a focal point in almost any system with a side window. It is also that height that could cause clearance issues with many aftermarket CPU air coolers. If you are going to be air cooling your CPU with this memory installed, make sure that you take the Predator's 54mm tall heatspreaders into consideration. Chances are though, most individuals that will buy this kit will use a more exotic form of CPU cooling.

The Kingston HyperX Predator series has been on the market for some time now and I think that says something about how truly impressive it is. The HyperX Predator surpassed every other memory kit I have yet to test.  At the time of testing, I was able to find the Kingston HyperX Predator 2x4GB 2666Mhz KHX26C11T2K2/8X kit for $107.99 at Amazon. I think this definitely qualifies it as a best buy. It is that combination of good price, a substantial physical presence and good overclocking potential that have me in awe.

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