Corsair's Vengeance Pro memory is made to cash in on folks wanting to upgrade their systems wholesale to the new Intel 4th Generation Core platform (Haswell). We checked out the 2,400MHz Vengeance Pro kit last month and here we've got the less extreme, though still very effective, 1,866MHz kit.
Again, it's a hefty 16GB kit, comprising two 8GB modules for dual-channel shenanigans. So what's new about this range?
The Pro modules have a couple of extra layers making up their PCB - eight instead of six - reducing electrical noise. This, together with the specially selected RAM ICs, should make for easier and more stable overclocking.
Pursuant to this, Corsair's latest series also features a new design of heatsink. At 44mm/1.75in high, it's actually a shade lower than the heatsink of the standard Vengeance modules, but you may still want to have a quick look at your CPU cooler and the space left over for your memory modules below.
The heatsink is designed in two pieces, with each side held to the memory modules by thermal tape. The heat sink features a removable clip, which comes in black, red, blue, silver or gold. So if color-coordinating your memory and motherboard is of vital importance to you, Corsair has you covered.
As we mentioned in the review of the 2,400MHz modules last month, the new Vengeance Pro family doesn't just give you color options - there are some 15 varieties of kit, in a multitude of capacities, speeds and number of modules. In accordance with its position alongside the Haswell chips, Corsair has a single flagship 2,933MHz kit only accessible via the 4th Generation Core chips.
Typically for Corsair, the build quality is excellent and is backed up with a lifetime guarantee. But what of the actual performance? The module's SPD is set at 1,333MHz (9-9-9-24) by default if the motherboard is left in its automatic memory state. Ignore the XMP settings and you'll wonder what all the fuss is about. A quick delve into the BIOS to change the setting from to XMP brings the required 1,866MHz CAS9 (9-10-9-27 2T) speed. Now, that's much more like it.
The next step up the XMP frequency ladder is set at 2,133MHz, but our review modules wouldn't boot at the stock 1.5V. Again though, a quick BIOS tweak is all it needs to push the voltage up to 1.55V and at that increased setting our test system booted without a problem.
We then pushed the memory to see how high it would go. The best we could get out of it - in terms of booting and running the benchmarks without complaining - was 2,200MHz. However, that did require another tweak to the voltage, up to 1.6V - to get it to run stably, the memory timings had to be relaxed a little to 11-11-11-31-1T, as well.
Memory bandwidth performance
Sisoft Sandra: Gigabytes per second: Higher is better
Corsair Vengeance Pro 1,866MHZ: 24
Corsair Vengeance Pro 1,866MHZ @ 2,200MHZ: 28
Corsair Vengeance Pro 2,400MHZ: 30
Kingston HyperX Beast 2,400MHZ: 29
Crucial Tactical LP 2,133MHZ: 28
Batman: AC: Frames per second: Higher is better
Corsair Vengeance Pro 1,866MHZ: 126
Corsair Vengeance Pro 1,866MHZ @ 2,200MHZ: 131
Corsair Vengeance Pro 2,400MHZ: 133
Kingston HyperX Beast 2,400MHZ: 135
Crucial Tactical LP 2,133MHZ: 126
The fact the Vengeance Pro range is such an overclocking-happy series is backed up by this impressive kit. Sure, the price is pretty high, and you can of course find much cheaper 16GB kits, but finding ones that'll happily push beyond 2,000MHz is going to be much harder.