Graphics cards should be your first port of call if you've got triple figures burning a hole in your wallet, but as Kingston's HyperX Predator line demonstrates, sometimes a simple memory upgrade will give your system a quick boost for relatively little cash.
Which is lucky, because walking the streets of Bath and giving kerb-crawlers the glad-eye to fund our hardware habit was starting to deaden our souls here in the office.
Whichever way you look at it, £110 for 8GB of 2,600MHz RAM is a great deal, and those latency timings aren't bad. Kingston's heat-dissipating casing doesn't seem to be a half-measure either, and the build quality is up to prolonged overclocking usage.
Once we'd equipped out test rig with a motherboard that supported 2,600MHz clock speeds, we found these 2x 4GB Predator sticks stable under stress.
The RAM comes with two XMP profiles - one boosting the frequency to 2,667MHz with timings of 11-14-14-30, and a second operating at a more conservative 2,401MHz, but with lower latency: 11-13-13-30. This is a helpful touch from Kingston. We found the higher frequency profile reported higher GB/s in our memory bandwidth benchmarks, but in real-world application it was the lower latency profile that yielded higher frames in Batman: AC.
Both are great starting points for keen tweakers, and the size of those radiators says the Predator series modules can handle a bit more pushing than those XMP numbers.
To put this kit's performance into perspective, it blows away the standard 1,600MHz 8GB kit; neither the Corsair 2x 4GB Vengeance Black nor the 2x 4GB LP White RAM could post higher memory bandwidth numbers or Arkham City frame rates, as they can't stretch to operating frequencies much beyond the 1,600MHz they were designed for.
And that makes these HyperX Predator modules easy to get on with, even if it seems like you're paying rather a lot initially.
Memory bandwidth performance
SiSoft Sandra: Gigabytes per second: Higher is better
KINGSTON HYPERX PREDATOR 8GB: 30.2
CORSAIR VENGEANCE BLACK 8GB: 17.7
CORSAIR VENGEANCE WHITE LP 8GB: 17.7
Batman: AC: Frames per second: Higher is better
KINGSTON HYPERX PREDATOR 8GB: 198
CORSAIR VENGEANCE BLACK 8GB: 187
CORSAIR VENGEANCE WHITE LP 8GB: 174
One size fits some
Not every mobo supports RAM speeds of 2,600MHz though - even some hardcore current-gen boards like our trusty Asus Sabertooth Z77. Check your board's manual to make sure you won't be trying to fit a square peg in a round hole (in this analogy, the peg is made of lightning bolts and the hole smells like burning hair).
A word on size, too: those radiators are large. If you're struggling to squeeze RAM in under a massive air cooler, consider a lower profile kit.
If you've upgraded your GPU and are looking for the next shiny thing to plunge into your machine though, the Predator 8GB kit will give it a mighty shot in the arm.