Overclocking, Optimization And Performance
Back when one of Corsair's competitors sold manufacturer-overclocked RAM that wasn't stable at stock voltage and marketed it well enough that buyers blamed their motherboards, motherboard manufacturers started adding an extra 5-15mV to their baselines. Memory companies took note, and some began relying on those extra millivolts to market "faster" RAM. Motherboard manufacturers played along, hoping to win memory overclocking comparisons. While PC hardware trends come and go, my voltmeter is the one thing that remains reliable.
The motherboard used in this test adds around 25-30mV to whatever is set in firmware, so I set it to 1.325V rather than rely on its "XMP-based voltage setting." These modules are rated at 1.35V after all, and I just want to keep all the players honest. Unfortunately, while Corsair's DDR4-3200 was stable at an actual 1.35V, there was no room left for overclocking (without further voltage increases). For achievable data rate, it's roughly tied with Corsair's own premium-priced DDR4-2800-rated Dominator Platinum.
|Lowest Stable Timings at 1.35V (Max)|
|Corsair Vengeance LPX CMK16GX4M4B3200C16||15-15-15-30 (1T)||12-12-12-24 (1T)||11-11-11-22 (1T)|
|G.Skill Ripjaws 4 16GB F4-3000C15Q-16GRR||14-15-14-28 (1T)||11-11-11-22 (1T)||10-10-10-20 (1T)|
|Kingston HyperX Predator HX430C15PB2K4/16||15-15-15-30 (1T)||12-12-12-24 (1T)||11-11-11-22 (1T)|
|Mushkin Redline Frostbyte 994206F (16GB)||15-15-15-30 (1T)||12-12-12-24 (1T)||11-11-11-22 (1T)|
|Corsair Dominator Platinum CMD16GX4M4A2800C16||15-15-15-30 (1T)||12-12-12-24 (1T)||11-11-11-22 (1T)|
|Corsair Vengeance LPX CMK16GX4M4A2666C15R||15-15-14-30 (1T)||12-12-12-24 (1T)||11-11-10-22 (1T)|
Remembering that this is a value priced DDR4-3200 kit, it's unremarkable to see it reaching the same best-timings as other "performance mainstream" kits.
Sandra Memory Bandwidth is where Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 begins to separate itself from the crowd, reaching the highest levels we've seen at any price. Corsair obviously put some thought into secondary timings, which isn't apparent in the above-list of best-capable primary timings.
When memory timings affect the bandwidth benchmark, we see the results repeated in Sandra Memory Latency. Indeed, Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 has the best latency of any DDR4 quad-channel kit we've tested to date.
The most memory-latency-impacted game in our test set, Grid 2 shows the benefit of using Corsair's Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 instead of competing models. Then again, the low game settings that produce this difference also produce hundreds of frames-per-second, so your monitor can't actually display the benefits shown in this chart. Battlefield 4 presents a closer-to-real-world scenario, but also shows little to no difference attributable to memory timings or data rate.
Timed applications show the Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 as the most consistent high performer, with larger than expected gains in 3ds Max.
A 1 to 2 percent performance lead blends with a class-average price to produce 1 to 2 percent better-than-average value scores. Unfortunately, Corsair's own DDR4-2666 (bottom of the chart) is cheap enough to steal all of the value glory from the DDR4-3200 at the top of the chart.
Given that the 3200 MHz max data rate is matched by lower-rated parts, yet better default timings provided a slight overall performance lead, how can we rate the value of Corsair's Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 CAS 16? Remembering that the included fans actually cost more than the price difference between it and the cheapest samples in today's test, it's only a good value if you really want those fans.
An edge in overall performance puts Corsair's CMK16GX4M4B3200C16 at the top of our list, while its lack of overclocking capability at a true 1.35V setting should probably exclude it from our highest award. The next award level down is for value, where it's a better value only to those specific buyers who really want the included fans. A general stamp of approval is easier to justify without that consideration, so that's exactly what it gets.