ADATA XPG DDR3 2133MHz 16GB Memory Kit Review

Like we’ve seen with a number of memory manufacturers, ADATA isn’t a brand that immediately springs to mind when it comes down to performance kits, but little do some know XPG is ADATA’s performance division and they have memory and SSDs ready to fight the performance battles. When we look at the kit, it doesn’t scream out performance with outrageous heat sink designs or pack designs, but more goes with the trend of clean and simple, hopefully letting the figures do the talking.

The red heat spreader design with metal embossing on the surface is becoming more and more common and with red generally the colour of choice for users and manufacturers alike when it comes to performance gaming systems, its a good decision to make.

Test system:

  • Asus Maximus V Formula
  • Intel Core i7 3770k
  • AMD Radeon HD 7970
  • Antec Kuhler 920
  • Corsahir HX1050W
  • Kingston HyperX 240GB SSD
  • Lian Li T60
  • AOC E2795VH

Clocked at 2133MHz at stock, this particular kit comes with stock timings of 10-11-11-30 with a command rate of 2T and an operating voltage that ranges from 1.2V up to 1.65V. We’ve seen many times before that kits that come with a stock higher clock don’t necessarily overclock in the same ratio that other kits of lower speeds do, but always keeping an open mind, ready to get a surprise lets have a look at how this 16GB kit does.

After CPU-Z had confirmed our settings had been applied, we fired up AIDA64 to check the stock performance of the memory on our Z77 motherboard.

Stock performance on this 2x8GB kit is not bad at all, especially given the timings of 10-11-11-30, resulting in a read speed of 20355MB/s, write of 18517MB/s and copy of 22212MB/s at 37.6ns.

With the memory controller opened up, we found that the kit easily moved to the 2200MHz diveder, although at stock timings we couldn’t move on through dividers alone. Moving over to the base clock, we were able to squeeze a little extra out resulting in a memory timing of 2220MHz at stock timings.

As expected, we can see the kits bandwidth has gone up and this is especially noticeable on the write speeds. Overall we have achieved a gain of 3253MB/s bringing the read speed to 23588MB/s, 4632MB/s extra on the write and 4274MB/s extra on the copy speeds. The kits latency also has dropped by a good margin down to 34.1ns.

We know that typically kits over 2133Mhz stock don’t tend to overclock that much further in scale of lower rated kits. This is reflected by the overclock we go when allowing the motherboard to take hold of the timings itself.  After trying to raise the base clock with the memory divider at 2200MHz and only achieving 102MHz we decided to return the divider to 2133MHz and try from there to see if the kit would go any higher.

After a little bit of increasing and testing bit by bit, we ended up with a BLCK of 107.5MHz which in turn gave us a memory frequency of 2286MHz overall at a timing of 11-13-13-35.

With the memory at a higher frequency we did find that unlike before, the gains in speed were not as significant with only marginal differences to be had, mostly due to the slower timings that have to be enforced on the ICs to keep the kit stable overall.

Kits that don’t shout performance typically have something under their covers that give a surprise when we get them on to the test benches and push them a little further and yet again we have not been disappointed. Raising the memory multiplier on the motherboard unleashed a whole heap of speed that had a noticeable impact on the test bench as a whole – especially when loading windows.

Having such a a gain in bandwidth may seem like only a set of numbers for some, but when it comes to certain tasks such as image editing in Photoshop or rendering a video, the bandwidth that these kits can give has a substantial impact on the speed and fluidity of work overall. What makes this kit even more appealing is that it doesn’t have an attention seeking set of heat spreaders, leaving a compact build that has refined looks and price to go with it that is well placed in respect.

I get asked a lot as to how much memory is right for X application, and one the most part 8GB is generally the answer, when gaming for example. When it comes to more intensive tasks such as the aforementioned Photoshop, then more is better and given that the pricing on memory has turned in favour of larger kits, making the price point even more lucrative. On the most part 4x4GB kits are still the best way to go, but when we also take into consideration that compact powerhouse systems are become popular once again, we find systems utilising mini-ITX boards which only have two DIMM slots on them. This means that a 4x4GB kit is out of question and kits like the one we’ve looked at today are right there and perfect for the job.

Bottom line, if you’re in the market for a fast, high capacity dual-channel memory kit, then consider getting this, giving it a light overclock to unleash the hidden extra performance and you’re on to a winner.