Famous for extravagant features, Corsair gets back to the basics with its Vengeance LPX series. That is, if your definition of the basics is to strip out whatever doesn’t make a product faster. Vengeance LPX doesn’t have RGB or old-school activity lights that made Corsair famous with the case mod crowd, but it does include the firm’s old-school fan and red/blue/silver trim kit.
The modules themselves are covered in nothing more than stamped aluminum heat spreaders, lacking any of the fancy heat pipes and electrical connectors that Corsair once used to monitor heat and adjust fans externally.
And talk about kicking it old school, these DDR4-4600 modules require DDR3-level voltages simply to get to their rated data rate and timings. If you thought the 1.35V signal limit to Intel’s memory controller has been in place since Skylake, you’d be mostly right.
Intel’s stated voltage limit was intended to reduce the component degradation (such as electromigration) that occurs more quickly as components are shrunk or the voltage difference is increased, but overclockers found that increasing the memory controller voltage allowed them to likewise increase DIMM voltage without overstressing the memory controller. User forums were tossing around the notion that the difference between the memory controller and DIMM signal should be no more than 150mV, and it turns out that certain motherboards will respond to a high DIMM voltage by increasing that of the memory controller. That’s just one of several things Corsair likely considers when recommending a board from which to evaluate its 1.50V DDR4.
Apart from the CPU core voltage that we set, the voltage levels pictured above are how this motherboard responded to the 1.50V requirement of Corsair’s DDR4-4600 XMP. Other optimizations for testing memory of such high data rate were that the CPU be nearly perfect, that the motherboard have only one slot per channel (to reduce possible noise), and that the pathways connecting that slot to the CPU be both short and well optimized. The motherboard is MSI’s recently reviewed Z370I Gaming Pro Carbon AC.
We moved straight from our Z370I Gaming Pro Carbon AC review to this Vengeance LPX DDR4-4600 evaluation, leaving the fixed 4.80 GHz CPU clock at 1.30V in place. The entire test configuration can be seen in our Z370I Gaming Pro Carbon AC Review. Comparison modules were chosen for a specific purpose: G.Skill’s DDR4-3866 and Super Talent’s DDR4-3733 for their high data rates, and Super Talent’s DDR4-3000 for its dual-rank organization. Yes, single-vs-dual rank is still a compelling performance factor.
The G.Skill modules are readily available at a middling price, but the Project X DDR4-3733 can only be ordered directly from Super Talent’s distributor, Ma Labs, by those who have set up an account. Meanwhile, its F3000UX16G can be found “on the street,” but only by purchasing two of the individual F3000UB8G modules that comprise this dual-channel kit.
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