Kingston is the second company to provide factory overclocked RAM for this budget memory comparison, but unlike low-cost competitors, Kingston doesn’t offer this feature as an added value at a basic price. Instead, its KHX8500AD2K2/4 G dual-channel memory kit comes at a full PC2-8500 (DDR2-1066) price.
Buyers expect to take a slight hit in the wallet for parts that have a “guaranteed stable” overclock speed, but what they might not expect is that these performance modules are also rated at rather slow 7-7-7-20 timings. Even the SPD values are rather meek, at 6-6-6-18 latencies for DDR2-800 speed.
Kingston does not provide EPP extensions, so all owners must configure every performance setting manually in order to achieve the rated performance of its KHX8500AD2K2/4 G module set. On the other hand, Kingston does offer a lifetime warranty to the original purchaser of its DRAM products.
Mushkin EM2-6400 996557
Mushkin’s 996557 PC2-6400 dual-channel kit comes dressed up as performance parts, with heat spreaders that provide a little extra surface area at the top. The added cooling capability might come in handy during our overclock tests, but ordinary CAS 5 latency ratings otherwise put these in the standard-performance category.
SPD timings of 5-5-5-18 at DDR2-800 speed mean that users need not enter BIOS to configure Mushkin 996557 parts, as even the rated voltage is bone-stock 1.80 volts. This could give the 996557 kit a slight advantage over similarly-rated Corsair components, since the competitor requires a slight voltage increase to assure stability.
With no “factory overclock” rating, Mushkin didn’t have to bother with EPP extensions. All motherboards recognize standard SPD values.
Mushkin provides a lifetime warranty for the original purchaser of its DRAM products.
Patriot Viper Series DDR2, 4 GB, PC2-6400, Low Latency, dual-channel Kit uses tall finned sinks to provide extra cooling and stability under demanding operating conditions. Low Latency refers to the memory’s CAS 4 rated timings.
Patriot guarantees operation at DDR2-800 (PC2-6400) speed and 4-4-4-12 latencies, but requires 2.10 V to assure stability at these settings. Users with EPP-capable motherboards can take the shortcut of choosing Profile 1 to adjust everything in one step.
All Patriot DRAM products carry a lifetime limited warranty.