Patriot bucks the trend of pairing cosmetic features with mainstream DRAM ICs, instead pushing data rates up to 4,133 megahertz (MHz) on its Viper RGB. This DDR4-3600 kit is only $10 more than the white-LED version and several dollars cheaper than competing products with similar latency. That makes it a great value at this speed, though slower kits have greater pricing advantages.
The kit includes two single-rank 8GB DIMMs, which would have put it at a competitive disadvantage against dual-rank DIMMs of the same capacity. But dual-rank DIMMs require twice as many chips, and those less-dense ICs have been out of production for around two years. Buyers who can’t afford 32GB are stuck with single-rank DIMMs with today’s 8GB ranks.
Patriot’s part number PVR416G360C6K requires the Intel-developed extreme memory profile (XMP) mode to get past DDR4-2133, which in turn requires an XMP-compatible motherboard. While some competing modules have DDR4-2400 or even DDR4-2666, non-XMP programming as a backup plan, anyone paying extra for DDR4-3600 should be well-informed to not need a backup plan.
The single XMP value of DDR4-3600 comes at excellent 16-18-18-36 timings, edging out our performance-memory standard of one latency cycle for every 200MHz data rate. That standard is derived from simple math, since DDR-400 CAS 2, DDR2-800 CAS 4, DDR3-1600 CAS 8 and DDR4-3200 CAS 16 all have the same latency time. Lower is better.
Compatible with motherboard-supplied RGB software from Asus, ASRock, Gigabyte and MSI, Patriot also offers customers their own control software. Besides offering more lighting modes than MSI Mystic, it’s also compatible with boards that don’t have an RGB suite.
Test & Comparison Hardware
Latency Tuning, Overclocking & Benchmarks
Spoiler: The Viper LED reached at least DDR4-4000 according to our latency tuning table. Before we get to the overclocking chart, we’d like to point out that it reached that high speed at a mere 18-19-19-38 timing set. Noting that Thaiphoon Burner lists the IC’s as “K4A8G085W?-BCPB," we treated the question mark as a “B,” as in Samsung B-die. Doing so saved several hours in our search for the lowest stable timings at various data rates. Patriot’s Viper RGB DDR4-3600 had the lowest stable timings across the gamut compared to our other DDR4-3200 to DDR4-3600 kits.
|Lowest Stable Timings at 1.35V (Max) on MSI Z370 Godlike Gaming (BIOS A.40)|
|Patriot Viper RGB 16GB PVR416G360C6K (2x 8GB single-rank)||18-19-19-38 (2T)||16-17-17-34 (2T)||14-14-14-28 (2T)||12-12-12-28 (1T)||11-11-11-28 (1T)|
|G.Skill Sniper X 16GB F4-3600C19D-16GSXF (2x 8GB single-rank)||✗||19-20-20-40 (2T)||16-17-17-34 (1T)||13-14-14-28 (1T)||12-13-13-28 (1T)|
|Patriot Viper LED 16GB PVLW416G360C6K (2x 8GB single-rank)||✗||18-19-19-38 (2T)||15-16-16-32 (1T)||✗||✗|
|G.Skill Ripjaws V 16GB F4-3200C16D-16GVKB (2x 8GB single-rank)||✗||✗||15-16-16-32 (1T)||13-13-13-28 (1T)||11-11-11-28 (1T)|
We’ve reached DDR4-4040 several times with higher rated parts, but putting Patriot Viper RGB within the perspective of similarly rated parts makes it appear a master of the overclocking arena.
Viper RGB also runs the board in Sandra when using custom-tuned timings. Viper RGB and the Viper LED are identically rated and have similar XMP values, and both Patriot kits showed a consistent lead over the competing brand at all settings.
Our F1 2015 and 7-Zip tests represent the truly rare example of programs that scale upward with memory at any performance level, while Blender CPU Render and Metro LL Redux represent a wider variety of programs which are hampered with really poor memory configurations (think single-channel or below DDR4-2400 data rates). As such, the custom-tuned Viper RGB surges ahead of the competition in F1 2015 and 7-Zip.
Given the high cost of RAM, it’s tough to imagine that a $10 price difference could put Patriot’s high-flying Viper RGB noticeably behind the Viper LED in performance-per-dollar; however, that $10 savings make the Viper LED the DDR4-3600 Value Champ.
On the other hand, G.Skill’s DDR4-3200 has a $90 price advantage. That’s enough to wipe out its performance loss in the value chart. Those who can’t afford DDR4-3600 will want to consider this.
For those willing to pay an extra $10, Patriot Viper RGB’s overclocking and latency tuning wins over its own monochromatic LED counterpart make this product a supreme value. And for those who would rather have any lighting features rather than none, both Patriot kits--this RGB model and the LED version--outrank G.Skill's Sniper X DDR4-3600.
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