Overclocking, Optimization, Performance And Evaluation
One of the reasons I kept G.Skill's 8GB kit in today's 16GB comparison chart is that it has reached the highest data rate. It sets the bar for overclocking cheaper and/or higher density kits, since either of those factors can impact overclocking. Patriot's PV416G340C6K is both cheaper and higher density.
Surprisingly, the 16GB Patriot Viper 4 DDR4-3400 kit and the 8GB G.Skill Trident Z 8GB kit produced the same maximum data rate. This could be a limit of the motherboard, or the CPU’s integrated memory controller. It's also possible that I limited G.Skill's overclock by setting the motherboard to 1.33V, which resulted in a 1.35V output. I have previously theorized that the DDR4-4000 memory might require the extra voltage that motherboard manufacturers try to sneak in, in order to reach its rating.
|Lowest Stable Timings at 1.35V (Max) on Gigabyte Z170X-Gaming G1 (BIOS F5i)|
|Patriot Viper 4 16GB PV416G340C6K||16-16-16-32 (1T)||13-13-13-28 (1T)||11-11-11-28 (1T)|
|G.Skill Ripjaws V 16GB F4-3600C17Q-16GVK||15-16-16-32 (1T)||13-14-14-28 (1T)||11-11-11-28 (1T)|
|Corsair Vengeance LPX CMK16GX4M4B3200C16||16-16-16-32 (1T)||14-14-14-28 (1T)||11-11-11-28 (1T)|
|Crucial Ballistix Sport BLS4K4G4D240FSA||Not Capable||Not Capable||12-12-12-28 (1T)|
|G.Skill Trident Z 8GB F4-4000C19D-8GTZ||15-15-15-30 (1T)||13-13-13-28 (1T)||10-11-11-28 (1T)|
Rated at DDR4-3400 CAS 16, the Viper 4 kit wasn't able to stabilize a lower CAS setting at DDR4-3200. Viper 4 DDR4-3400 was stable with reductions in tRCD, tRP, and tRAS, but these didn't catch up to the Trident Z DDR4-4000's low timings.
This specific motherboard becomes unstable at tRAS settings of less than 28 cycles.
|Autodesk 3ds Max 2013||Version 15.0 x64: Space Flyby Mentalray, 248 Frames, 1440x1080|
|WinRAR||Version 5.0: THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to RAR, command line switches "winrar a -r -m3"|
|Grid 2||Steam Version, In-Game Test, High Quality, No AA|
|Battlefield 4||DirectX 11, 100-sec. Fraps "Tashgar", High Quality|
|SiSoftware Sandra||Version 2014.02.20.10, Memory Bandwidth, Cache & Memory Latency Benchmarks|
Sandra shows big bandwidth gains when all four memory slots are populated, though real-world benchmarks fail to make that differentiation. That means Patriot's 16GB kit competes most-directly against G.Skill's 8GB kit in this specific benchmark. Patriot's DDR4-3400 falls only slightly behind G.Skll's DDR4-4000 using "Optimized Timings" at lower data rates: Platform instability hindered bandwidth measurement at the DDR4-4000 kit's "rated settings."
Patriot's Viper 4 didn't excel in Sandra Memory Latency either, though this could be due to numerous factors such as module organization/density or motherboard-directed secondary/tertiary timing increases. Since it's not a direct match for any of the preceding kits, we'll have to lean even harder on real-world benchmarks to further our understanding of its capabilities.
Viper 4 performs very well in memory-sensitive Grid 2, taking second place behind Crucial's cheap stuff. High performance for those cheap Ballistix modules could be tied to enhanced timings in the advanced section, which would also explain why it overclocks so poorly.
Everyone stumbles somewhere in Battlefield 4, though the results of each product average out fairly close to the class average.
One-second differences in timed benchmarks are usually an exaggeration, since a few milliseconds can affect rounding. Still, the average score favors the expensive 8GB Trident Z kit.
Patriot's 2-DIMM 16GB kit falls behind G.Skill's 4-DIMM 16GB kit in WinRAR, which isn't a very fair comparison if you're shopping specifically for 2-DIMM kits. The good news for Patriot is that it beats the other 2-DIMM kit, though that one is only 8GB.
What all this means is that if you want high data rates in a mid-priced kit, you'll want the Patriot Viper 4 DDR4-3400 set. And, if you're not so concerned with data rates, you can save money on the Ballistix kit.
G.Skills Trident Z DDR4-4000 has fallen in price since its review, but this 8GB memory kit is still more expensive than any of the 16GB kits we've tested on this platform. Comparing the capacity of each kit to the previous value chart makes Patriot's DDR4-3400 look like an even better overclocking value, even as Crucial's cheap kit looks like a superb value for non-overclockers.