Friday, May 2, 2014

[Gadget] Bought A-Data XPG V2 2400MHz CL11 2x8GB kit

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In the previous post I wrote how I finally managed to sell the old Corsair Vengeance RAM. I sold them to a total of JPY12,000. Before sending the sticks to the buyer, I had to buy new sticks for my rig.

I've written this before as well - RAM prices have skyrocketed in the past few months. So my options were pretty small. I originally wanted to get the ones with the shortest heatsinks. The shortest kit available was the Crucial Ballistix Tactical LP 1600MHz one, but the prices of it had almost doubled in the last few months and now were selling for a whopping JPY25,000 or more. They used to be around JPY14,000 few months back - ironically the cheapest kit back then. Current prices made it a no buy for me.

The other regular height RAMs were all around JPY20,000 or more, unless I went for the 1600MHz CL10 sticks which were available for around JPY16,000. Of course I didn't want to go for slower RAM than what I had before. So those options had to be cut from the list.

There were some A-DATA XPG V1 1600MHz CL9 ones for JPY16,000 or so. And then the XPG V1 2133 ones for JPY19,000 or so. But my eyes got locked to the 2400MHz CL11 XPG V2 sticks which were going for JPY18,817 at Amazon. Only thing was that they were a bit too tall. Not as tall as the Vengeance sticks that I had before but still, taller than  regular DIMMs. When I read the Kitguru review (for 2800MHz version of these sticks), I found out that the heatsink can be removed but they didn't go into detail on how to do that. But the possibility gave me hope. Not sure if I would really go so far. Removal of heatsinks will definitely void warranty, and these sticks have lifetime warranty.

Disgusted by the prices of the low profile RAM, I ordered the A-Data kit from Amazon and it arrived the next day. (Funny thing is that ever since I bought these sticks, the prices at Amazon has gone up by JPY1,500!!!)

The package looked nice but it was not a reusable package. You have to tear it open to get to the DIMMs. The packaging of the Corsair RAM was much better. You could easily repackage them up the way they came and give it to someone else. The seal is broken of course.

There's nothing much to say about the sticks other than that they look nice and futuristic. They don't match with the color scheme of my motherboard at all. Hey, it's already a mess anyways, so now big deal. When/if I manage to make a mini-ITX rig, I might choose a case that you cannot see inside of.

When I tried to install them, at first I felt that they might not fit in the DIMM channel 0 with the CPU cooler. But I gave it a shot anyways and they went in fine. There is a very small gap between the RAM heatsink and the CPU cooler and you might even think that they are touching each other. Hey, as long as the actual circuit is not getting short circuited, I'm fine.

So this is how they look after installing them in the PC.

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I booted the PC and went straight into UEFI. I had configured the RAM settings as AUTO before switching the RAM sticks. The RAM were automatically running at 1333MHz even though the XMP timings were enabled. I then changed the RAM speed to 2400MHz and it booted fine without a hiccup. When I went into the desktop, I ran Prime 95's 1344K test but it failed after few minutes. The culprit was the CPU, not the RAM though. Perhaps I have to increase some of the voltages to make the CPU stable with such high speed RAM. I/O voltages I believe. It is also a known fact that your CPU overclocks will be hindered by faster RAM. I don't understand why that should be the case though. Isn't the memory controller and the CPU two different things? Well, let's just say that I have to change something to make the CPU stable again. Haswell is weird.

But before doing that, I wanted to see if the RAM would overclock higher than XMP clocks. I changed the clock speed to 2666MHz keeping the timings as they were but sadly the system failed to boot. I don't know what caused the boot failure - whether it was the RAM or the CPU. Maybe I should change the CPU clocks back to default and try again. But I don't really see the point of overclocking the RAM. However, I should say that I felt the FPS in Crysis was more stable than before but it could well be in my mind as i was expecting that something should be better with the 50% faster RAM.

Anyways, even though now I can finally keep using 16GB with the potential mini-ITX build, now there is another new problem. I cannot keep my Silver Arrow SB-E Extreme cooler. I will have to sell it and go back to a closed loop water cooler. They are apparently the most compatible coolers out there. I'm looking at 240mm radiator though. That of course hinders my case options but I would go for a slightly bigger case instead of a toasty operating environment.

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