There was once a time when the company was known only for producing solid no-nonsense memory modules with standard timings, and certainly none of that fancy dan overclocked stuff with its over the top cooling. While that remains Kingston's core business, it hasn't let the enthusiast market go unchallenged.
The introduction of the company's HyperX product line in November 2002 saw Kingston dipping its collective toes into the murky world of fast, high performance system memory. With its latest HyperX Beast modules it's like finding out that the little old lady across the street uses a Suzuki Hayabusa to go and collect her pension.
The Beast modules form part of the Predator range in the HyperX extended family, which is aimed at both power users and enthusiasts. The new modules range from DDR3 1,600MHz up to 2,400MHz, and come in 8, 16, 32 or 64GB kits made up of two, four or eight modules, with CAS9, 10 or 11 latencies at 1.5 to 1.65V.
Kingston sent us a 32GB, four-module kit of DDR3 2,400MHz to test for this review. And it's a bit quick.
Unleash the Beast
The memory supports two Intel XMP profiles. Allowing our Asus test motherboard to auto detect the memory, it defaulted to 1,333MHz, but by switching to the XMP profiling we got DDR3-2401 11-13-13-32 2N with XMP Profile 1 and DDR3-2133 11-13-13-30 2N with Profile 2.
We tested both profiles, then pushed the modules a little further to see what we could get out of them. Switching to auto mode and choosing the next speed offered by the mobo's BIOS (2,600MHz) resulted in the system not booting, so a little more in-depth tinkering was needed. Adjusting the BCLK to 104MHz resulted in a stable 2,496MHz, with a latency of 11-13-13-30 at 1.65v, and the memory kept its stability while running through all of the benchmarks.
Memory bandwidth performance
Sisoft Sandra: Gigabytes per second: Higher is better
HYPERX BEAST 2,400MHZ: 29
HYPERX BEAST 2,532MHZ: 27
TACTICAL LP 2,133MHZ: 28
Video rendering performance
x264 HD: Frames per second: Higher is better
HYPERX BEAST 2,400MHZ: 41
HYPERX BEAST 2,532MHZ: 55
TACTICAL LP 2,133MHZ: 41
Batman: AC: Frames per second: Higher is better
HYPERX BEAST 2,400MHZ: 135
HYPERX BEAST 2,532MHZ: 138
TACTICAL LP 2,133MHZ: 126
The best stable clock speed we could get out of the memory was 2,532MHz using a BCLK speed of 105.5MHz with timings of 11-13-13-30 at 1.65V. We didn't want to push the memory voltage past 1.65V, but some extra attention to the platform cooling could enable you to push it that little bit.
Even so, achieving a 130MHz improvement over what is already fast RAM out of the box, without stressing it too much, shows just how good the HyperX Beast modules are.
The Beast modules are no shrinking violets though; the heatsinks on them are huge and black, with a seriously aggressive design. Well, that's what Kingston reckons anyway. The modules are some 40mm tall and 7mm at the widest point, so you'll have to get a ruler out to double-check clearances if you're using a large CPU cooler that overhangs the first DIMM slot.
With a closed loop water cooler to support your overclocking endeavours, that wont matter. You're sacrificing latency for frequency, but the Beast modules will ably support you getting the most out of your overclocked CPU with its impressively high frequencies.