Kingston HyperX KHX8500D2K2-4G
Kingston is one of the larger memory vendors and has long offered upgrade kits and enthusiast memory, along with related products such as flash memory devices. When we called for a 4 GB DDR2 memory kit, we received a HyperX kit with two 2 GB DDR2 DIMMs called KHX8500D2K2-4G, from which you can already tell these are PC2-8500 DIMMs (DDR2-1066 speed). The HyperX family is Kingston’s product line for enthusiasts, and there are DDR, DDR2 and DDR3 memory kits available. However, Kingston does not belong to the group of memory vendors that races for maximum clock speeds. This isn’t really a bad thing. In fact, Kingston is actually the only memory company that provides a truly solid technical specification sheet. You can get information on Kingston products on the corporate website www.kingston.com, while there is a microsite to deal with the HyperX line.
Believe it or not, we really liked the way Kingston boxed its memory. Both DIMMs fit into an anti-static plastic box with a clear cover, which is sealed with the product specifications. That’s not as fancy as a huge color box, but it’s as much as you really need to box a pair of memory modules. Both DIMMs are inserted in such a way that prospective buyers can examine the product stickers. These tell you about the part number and the voltage specification (2.2 V in the case of our test samples), but they don’t tell you anything about memory latencies. Only CL5-5-5-15 timings are supported, at 1.8 V default voltage or at 2.2 V maximum voltage. The SPD ROM is programmed to run the memory at DDR2-800 speed, 1.8 V and CL5-5-5-15 timings, which are the default values.
When we tried to find the best prices for the Kingston KHX8500 4 GB kit, we instantly found a great deal on shop.kingston.com, where the regular $150 price was discounted to $135—not bad for a 2 x 2 GB memory kit. You may also go for a product version that is based on 4 x 1 GB modules, but the 2 x 2 GB kit we reviewed was temporarily out of stock when we checked.
We started our overclocking attempts at the default DDR2-1066 voltage of 2.2 V, which didn’t take us much further than the default speed. However, a slight increase to 2.3 V helped to reach DDR2-1130 reliably. Any faster speed would result in the system becoming unstable.
Kingston provides an amazingly attractive price for performance within the expected range. If you can live with the fact that it doesn’t overclock much, this product provides an excellent value and receives our Recommended Buy Award.