Meta 2 Development Kit Revealed

The Meta is known for being the forefront of augmented reality. Much like virtual reality, Augmented reality is based on the user seeing virtual objects but instead of it being on an isolated screen, augmented reality lets you bring virtual objects to life. That dream of an Iron Man experience is one step closer thanks to the Meta 2 Development Kit.

The new development kit contains all you need to start programming your augmented reality programs. Included with the Meta 2 headset you will get the source development kit (SDK) and the Meta operating environment while the Meta headset itself contains some impressive specs.

The resolution the “screens” displayed at is 2560×1440, being captured through a 720p camera that will give you a whole new level of detail in your interactions and visual manifestations of your dreams.

Four speakers and a 6-axis measurement unit mean that your whole experience will respond with the sensors to track your hands, giving you everything you need to see, hear and interact with your minority report like Minority Report like wall of screens.

At $949 the Meta 2 Kit is not for those who are looking for a quick thrill, but for those who are interested in the experience and developing for augmented reality, the product ships in the third quarter of this year.

EKWB Predator AIO Now AMD Compatible with new Upgrade Kit

EK Water Blocks Predator AIO is probably one of the best AIO cooling solutions you can get at the moment despite the minor hiccup that resulted in full callback a few months ago. However, so far they have been limited to Intel users as that were the only CPU sockets supported by the mounting brackets. AMD users also want liquid cooling, especially those that run the high TDP processors and there is good news for them.

EK Water Blocks released a new EK-XLC Predator AMD Upgrade Kit that will fix this and allow pretty much any AMD CPU user to install the Predator AIO cooling solution in their system. The EK-XLC Predator AMD Upgrade Kit is a set of mounting plates with backplate and screws that will work with every EK-XLC Predator revision 1.1. After upgrading the Predator AIO with the new mounting brackets, it will be fully compatible with AMD Sockets 939, 754, 940, AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2, and FM2+, which covers pretty much any AMD CPU.

The new AMD upgrade kit is available now and early pre-orders should be on route and arrive very shortly. This isn’t a free upgrade, but won’t cost you a whole lot either, but the EK-XLC Predator Upgrade Kit will set you back €6.95.

Overall the Predator AIO is one of the most expensive AIO solutions, but it’s also one of the best as previously mentioned. With the quick disconnect feature you’re able to expand the loop with extra units such as pre-filled graphics card blocks and have a system that comes very close to a custom loop setup, but with a lot less hassle when upgrading, maintaining, or just fiddling with your system.

What’s your take on AIO cooling solutions and especially EKWB’s Predator? Do you love it or would you rather go for a custom loop despite the added workload? Let us know in the comments.

Aerocool Dream Box Chassis Kit Review

Introduction


What will your next chassis be? I’m sure you’ve asked yourself a few times when you’re planning a build. Do you go for the big and expensive one that’s going to look great and offer lots of space, or do you save on costs and get something more reserved, allowing you more budget for that graphics card you like? How about the Aerocool Dream Box? I can assure you, you’ve likely never thought of having this chassis in your build list, but given that this can be virtually any  shape, size or configuration you desire, it’s certainly one of the most interesting chassis we’ve ever seen land here at eTeknix HQ.

From mini-ITX to E-ATX, the Dream Box can hold any of them. The idea is that you take this “chassis” and built it how you want it. I use the word “chassis” in quotes, because a chassis isn’t exactly what you’re buying here. What this really looks like to me is a several hundred piece Meccano set with a few screw holes to put on a motherboard and PSU, and well, that’s because that’s exactly what it is. Free from the box-like constraints of most chassis, you don’t even have to build a chassis from this, you can build whatever you want. We’ve seen people build helicopters, bridges and more. Today though, we’ll be building a PC case, that’s what we want to see.

“Dream Box” is a revolutionary DIY kit created by Aerocool to give you the flexibility to build a computer case like no other! Furthermore, you can make anything you want out of this DIY kit. The creation can be a table, a lamp, a cup holder, a coat hanger, a toy and the list goes on and on. There are NO LIMITATIONS!! THE ONLY LIMITATION IS YOUR IMAGINATION!! Have fun with “Dream Box” DIY kit!! Make your own creations and make your dreams come true. BE UNIQUE! BE COOL! BE AEROCOOL!

Aerocool provides a guide to building a tower from the parts, but that’s a little boring, so we’re just going to let you watch this video then we’ll move on and “try” make something of our own doing.

The box gives us a few examples on the front, such as a full-tower chassis, a helicopter style mini-ITX build and a headphone stand. I love the bright yellow box too, it certainly stands out.

On the back, another set of random examples of what you can do; a cup holder and a hat and coat stand!

There’s a run down of the components too and well, there are a LOT of components. We’ve got a grand total of 118 parts and around 500 screws; this build isn’t going to be quick, that’s for sure!

Opening the box, you’ll find that every single component is carefully packed in protective foam. This not only keeps the parts safe but also makes them incredibly easy to find while building your system, almost like a custom tool drawer.

All the components come in four of these trays and as you can see, there’s really not much in terms of a chassis here, at least not yet.

All of the components are of a fantastic quality, all aluminium tubing and a gorgeous matte black paint job that gives everything a premium look and feel. Here you can see the longest and shortest poles, as well as the two sizes of mounting plates (used for motherboards and other hardware).

The two mid-size poles, as well as some joint caps and the angle bracket.

More joint adaptors here, offering a wide range of installation options, as well as the ATX PSU support bracket.

Extra fittings allow you to extended poles, angle brackets are self-explanatory, and those C rings are used for mounting virtually anything to the poles; hard drives, fans, motherboards, radiators, you name it.

Finally, we have the I/O panel, a frighteningly empty instruction book and about five hundred screws!

The I/O panel is quite nicely designed, with a thick braided cable keeping all the important stuff neat and tidy, there are four USB ports, HD audio jacks and a nicely designed power and reset button arrangement. so that’s all the basics covered, let’s try to build something!

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB (4x8GB) Quad Channel DDR4 Memory Kit Review

Introduction


In today’s market, memory, RAM, Random Access Memory, whichever you like to call it, plays a major factor in the way we determine our computers cost effectiveness. A general PC store will tout just the good numbers which is normally just the quantity of RAM rather than the specification or even branding; while a reputable enthusiast store or self-builder will focus on areas such as timings and speed rather than the quantity or capacity.

In the latest iteration of the highly popular DDR format is DDR4. It’s by no means new, but with the recent release of Intel Skylake and the Z170 chipset, DDR4 memory has been pushed into the limelight of mainstream computer builders. This brings with it two benefits, more demand means more production and thus lower purchase costs and higher speeds for the end users compared to DDR3(L).

The kit we have in today is the Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB DDR4 2666MHz. This is currently the highest clocked memory modules that Crucial produce, which is lower than what the likes of Kingston offer, but let’s see if this Elite 2666MHz kit has what it takes to compete with the big hitters.

Specifications

Packaging and Accessories

We won’t dwell on the packaging too much as it is very plain and simple: four modules neatly packed into a small rectangular clamshell box. This kit is a quad-channel variety so each module is 8GB in size.

A Closer Look

The Crucial Elite range is all very similar, but the transition from DDR3 to DDR4 has seen the fins removed from the top of the heatsink; A lower profile makes room for a bigger CPU heatsink and better airflow around the case.

Crucial Ballistix Sport 2400MHz 32GB (4x8GB) Quad Channel Memory Kit Review

Introduction


When purchasing a computer, RAM generally is the last component that you tend to think about and when you do come to think of it; quantity is the only real factor you tend to consider. That is if you don’t have a colour scheme or a limited amount of DIMM slots to accommodate RAM. Since the early days of computing, RAM has come a long way, the most recent format DDR has seen four iterations. The latest being DDR4, which has surpassed DDR3 as the new mainstream RAM type and has introduced memory speeds up to and surpassing 3333+MHz.

Crucial are one of the big players in the RAM game, providing us with a solid performance at a more affordable price. Today’s kit is the Ballistix Sport 2400MHz, one of Crucial’s cheaper options on the market, providing us with minimal heat spreader size and design and the base unit to adopt the use of black PCB. Let’s see how this set compares in today’s review.

Specifications

Packaging and Accessories

The packaging is almost exactly the same design as the rest of the current Crucial RAM range. A basic clamshell style case with small amounts of information on the single sticker on the front; allowing for maximum exposure for the DIMM’s within.

A Closer Look

Something that the Ballistix Sport range is understated. The black PCB and gold fingers are a nice contrast with a rather small silver heat sink on either side of the DIMM; Personally, I think a splash of gold could have been added to the corners and the logos.

RAM is an often overlooked part of the system, but it’s always nice to see how it looks when installed into a motherboard. Here is the set installed into our base motherboard, the ASUS RAMPAGE V X99. The Ballistix Sport kit fits in well with the colour scheme of our base motherboard.

Cooler Master MasterCase Pro 5 Chassis Review

Introduction


I wonder how many of you have noticed how Cooler Master stopped launching new products for quite a while? It’s been ages since they brought out a new chassis, a new power supply, a new peripheral. If you didn’t notice, we certainly did and it wasn’t until Computex 2015 when we finally found out why the team at CM had gone so quiet; they were cooking up something big, very big! 2015 marks the year when Cooler Master take the PC component market by storm with their Maker concept. They’ve re-tooled everything they do, getting back to their core concepts of design, function and a whole lot more.

Why have one chassis when you can have all the chassis you need in one? The Maker series is moddable by its very nature, need it for NAS, need it for a gaming system, HTPC, LAN rig, office rig, rendering station, its really up to you. Cooler Master will provide you with the parts and configuration options you need to achieve a more personal build all by yourself and really make your rig yours. At least, that’s the promise, but we’ll find out today just how much of this has been achieved.

Cooler master said they channeled their MAKER SPIRIT to design a case that:

1. Gives absolute control over how a case looks and functions through a flexible, modular system.
2. Introduces an eco-system of accessories and add-ons that provide the ability to Customize. Adjust. Upgrade.
3. Was designed in collaboration with a community of makers and power users to inspire self-expression.
4. Redefines the way PCs are designed, made, bought, and used

There’s three editions of this chassis, each with their own unique features and of course, the ability to upgrade any of the lower models to the higher models by buying the extra bits.

Brace yourself, specification overload is coming! The MasterCase 5, Pro 5 and no doubt the TBD Maker 5, come with support for extensive water cooling, air cooling, motherboard sizes, lots of storage, long graphics cards, dust filters and more!


Check out the very interesting video below for more information on how “Maker” works.

We have in our hands today the MasterCase Pro 5, which means we have the same core chassis as the 5, but with the Pro parts pre-fitted. That’s right, you can buy the base model and upgrade anytime! Or you can jump right in and buy the Pro. Of course, the whole concept here is that you can tweak either of them to suit your needs and make the MasterCase into whatever you like.

First impressions of the chassis are very promising and despite the design featuring a lot of strong angles, the chassis still manages to look smart and sleek. There’s a huge side panel window on the left side, perfect for showing off your build.

The right side panel is just a blank panel, but just like the left panel, it is mounted with a pair of easy access thumb screws.

The angular design of the front panel looks really nice, still fresh and modern, but still unmistakably a Cooler Master design. There’s a pair of 5.25″ drive bays, as well as a huge ventilated section for any front mounted cooling.

Around the back, you’ll see a handle section at the top, matching the one near the front of the top panel; should make carrying you rig to LAN events a lot easier! This is an ATX chassis, so you’ll also find 7 expansion slots on offer; more than enough room for a multi-GPU configuration.

There is a 120/140mm fan mount at the back, with height adjustable mounting and a 140mm fan pre-installed.

There’s a removable bracket at the back to help with mounting the PSU from the rear of the chassis,

As well as a slide out dust filter, which will help provide your PSU with clean air.

The top panel is very sleek-looking and slopes gently towards the back of the chassis. There’s a huge amount of ventilation here and that’ll be great for any top mounted cooling, or removing heat from your system passively.

The front panel is nicely laid out with an almost symmetrical appearance. There’s a pair of USB 3.0 ports, but there’s also quite a lot of space here that could have been put to use; more USB ports perhaps?

The underside features two extra-large and full-width feet, which means the Master Case feels very stable overall. It’s helped even further by four tough rubber strips; two on each of the feet.

The PSU dust filter is a good size and fits in pretty snug. It’s washable too, so maintenance of the filter will be nice and easy.

Netis PL7500 Kit AV500 Powerline Adapter Kit Review

Introduction and Specifications


Powerline Network adapter are an amazing invention that can help you bring network to corners of your compound that otherwise wouldn’t be possible and today I’m taking a closer look at Netis’ PL7500 Kit containing two PL7500 AV500 Powerline adapters.

You might be living in a rented place where you aren’t allowed to drill holes through all the walls to lay down wired network cables and wireless signals might not be able to penetrate everywhere. That is where Powerline adapters come into play as they extend your local network by using the wiring in your electrical installation.

The Netis PL7500 adapters don’t require any configuration and work right out of the box. They’re also compatible with other Home Plug AV compatible products. The protocol in itself can achieve a connection with 500Mbps, but the adapters only come with 100Mbps RJ45 LAN ports creating a natural limit there.

There are both EU and UK versions available and the one I’ve tested here is the one with UK plugs. The installation couldn’t be any simpler as you just have to plug-in the two connectors and connect the LAN ports to the systems or switches that need to be connected.

With a range of up to 300 meters, there shouldn’t be many places within your home that you can’t reach and connect with these adapters.

Netis has created some very stylish and pretty small units, and they didn’t even get very hot under use. You could feel the heat, but nothing that would be worrying for such a device. The almost egg-shaped adapters will blend in well in any home and you’ll forget that you even own them once set up.


The big button on the front can be used for quick and easy encryption of the connection. Press a button for 2 seconds and do the same to the next adapter and the connection is established and secured with 128-bit AES encryption.

Netis also made sure that the units won’t use more power than needed as they’ll enter a power saving mode if no data has passed through it for a while and only wake again when needed.

Features and Specifications

Packaging

The Netis PL7500 Kit comes in a good-looking and colorful package that already displays all the vital information on the front. The rear provides more details information on both functions and layout.

Within the package, you’ll find two ethernet cables, a quick-installation guide, and a manual and tool disk. If you shouldn’t have an optical drive at your disposal, then you can also download the tool and manual from Netis website.

How Much Ram Does Your PC Have? Why Not Get The New 128GB DDR4 Kit?

RAM. One of the many pieces that people compare when buying new PC’s or laptops. With SSD’s, USB 3.1 and the latest generation of processors looking to speed up everything from your facebook browsing machine to your ultra-high gaming rig, it’s always nice to have a little more memory, be it your new hard drive or your latest RAM upgrade. So why not look at Corsairs new 128GB DDR4 Kit? Well the price may put a lot off of them.

DDR4 was introduced to the public last year, promising higher speed and memory while using less power, basically it was going to improve on everything that DDR3 was starting to slow in terms of progress. With the starter model in the Dominator line allowing you to own 128GB of RAM (8 sticks of 16GB RAM running at 2400MHZ) for the little price of £989.99 while the higher up model will set you back a whopping £1059.99. With other companies like Kingston also announcing their version, offering up to DDR4/3000 in terms of speed, but with no sign of a price tag yet.

With each kit costing the same as a high-end graphics card or even an entire PC, how many people think they will be upgrading their home machines with a little extra RAM in the near future? How much RAM does your machine have and is it enough for what you do?

Thanks to PCWorld and Corsair for the information.

Image courtesy of Corsair.

G.Skill Announce High Speed DDR4 Memory Kit

The extreme performance memory giant, G.Skill, proudly announced yet another extreme speed DDR4 memory kit. We’ve recently seen memory manufacturers hit over 3000MHz in consumer memory kits; G.Skill then took it up a notch, up to 3666MHz at only 1.35v. This is a first of its kind memory kit; high-speed, 16GB (4x4GB) using premium class Samsung 4GB IC chips.

 This speed was validated on a Gigabyte X99 SOC Champion motherboard, the Ripjaws 4 DDR4-3666MHz memory kit pushes the high-end X99 chipset to new levels of performance.
DDR4 has come a very long way since release back in August 2014. We all know that the limiting factor of the Intel X99 CPU and motherboards are the other components; this new 3666MHz speed has given a glimpse of what that platform can really do. This speed means you can have the ultimate gaming system of workstation with the ability to run smoother than ever before. 

The G.Skill 3666MHz memory kit is equipped with the latest Intel XMP 2.0; a standard that was developed for the X99 platform. This means enthusiasts and overclockers can overclock this memory kit to boost their system with 100% stability with ease.

Like all of the G.Skill memory kit range, this kit includes G.Skill’s limited lifetime warranty; with support via online forums, emails and telephone.

Are you looking to upgrade your memory? Are you waiting for Intel Skylake before you take the plunge? Let us know in the comments.

Valve Announced That Its SteamVR Headset Will Be Free for Developers

Since Valve and HTC teamed up to make their VR headset, nobody but them could toy around with it. Now it seems that Valve and HTC are planning to offer the development kit for the HTC Vive for free to developers.

Valve’s Dough Lombardi has stated that the dev kits will be free in the early stages of the hardware’s life cycle and that developers of every size will be able to sign up for the kits very soon. The dev kits are said to start shipping this spring, having a retail release expected at the end of the year.

The move seems a bit awkward, but it does make sense from two perspectives. One is that it will prevent curious consumers from purchasing the dev kit for recreational purposes and the other could indicate that Valve and HTC will not hint at a retail price for the VR headset based on its development kit price. However, it remains to be seen how many dev kits will actually ship and how many developers will receive the VR headset.

In the end, this is great news for existing virtual reality developers since they could get their hands on the HTC Vive without any additional cost. This might also mean that a lot of games or demos might be popping up by the end of the year that have support for the VR headset.

Thank you Polygon for providing us with this information

Apple Alter their Health App Privacy Policy

Apple has recently changed it’s privacy guidelines for developers wishing to utilize its own HealthKit framework. Some are taking this change as another sign that Apple’s iWatch release may be coming sooner rather than later. This update addresses how health apps handle user data when developed through HealthKit.

HealthKit is set for release with iOS8, being quoted on the official site as “An entirely new way to use your health and fitness information.” This service will act as a hub for all data tracked by third-party fitness and health applications – with this information then being passed to Apple’s Health App. The Health App analyzes and breaked down the data, presenting it to you in an easy to read format.

Mashable helped us understand what these new guidelines entail:

“…developers can’t “sell an end-user’s health information collected through the HealthKit API to advertising platforms, data brokers or information resellers,” developers can’t “sell an end-user’s health information collected through the HealthKit API to advertising platforms, data brokers or information resellers,” according to the report. What’s more, developers cannot use HealthKit’s API or its information “for any purpose other than providing health and/or fitness services.”

Once again, this privacy policy is being linked to the so-called impending release of the iWatch. HealthKit and the Health app are said to be a big part of the smartwatches functionality, acting as a ‘middle man’ to tie everything together – apps, phones, watches and services. As competitor products such as Fitbit and Jawbone are becoming a much more popular addition any ‘fitness freaks’ arsenal, it’s only logical that Apple want a part of this market share.

Alongside the growth of fitness technology devices themselves, Flurry Insights reported that fitness applications are growing 87% faster than any other app available on the store – alongside a massive 117% growth of apps downloaded as a whole.

Image courtesy of Tech Crunch

Indiegogo Project Aims to Detect and Cure Malaria in Indonesia Using an iPhone Kit

A project found on Indiegogo, the crowd-funding website for startup projects, states that malaria can be found and cured in Bangka, an island in Indonesia, using an iPhone-based malaria diagnostics kit.

The researchers believe that if the disease can be found and treated in time, it could lead to its complete eradication from the island. They even believe that, if the project proves to be a success, it can be rolled out on a large-scale in Africa as well.

“We want to prove that we can have a significant effect on malaria case management throughout one of these regions. The first study of this kind will take place on Bangka Island in Indonesia. With this study, we have set ourselves the goal of eradicating malaria from the entirety of Bangka Island during malaria high season.” the team of researchers state.

The kit itself is called IanXen RAPID and consists of a iPhone, a portable microscope attached to it, blood slides and lancet pen.

The process seems simple enough too. A blood drop is placed on the slide, having it be examined through the microscope by an app. The results are then said to be given out in a matter of seconds.

The team of researchers believe that this method could be a great solution for a much wider deployment by enabling diagnosis to be carried out with a fully portable kit and at a much lower cost than conventional equipment.

On Indiegogo, the project asks for small donation fee of just £5 / $8.50, stating that it will help fund the project and can even get your name mentioned on the project’s Twitter feed. Also, people feeling generous can even opt for one of the higher donation levels available on the website.

Thank you 9to5 Mac for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of 9to5 Mac

Kickstarter Project Leads To Word’s Cheapest 3D Printer Tagged at Under $200

The 3D printer hype has not burt out yet, and yes, the 3D revolution is still making substantial progress. The problem was that, unlike the LEGO version, no 3D printer was cheap enough for everyone to afford. The solution however may have presented itself.

A Kickstarter project claimed the title of the world’s cheapest 3D printer. The printer is called QU-DB, short for Quintessential Universal Building Device, and it costs only $199. Initially, the project started with a target of raising $9,000 in order to get the company up and running smoothly. Surprisingly, the project received more than expected.

With over 1,400 backers, the QU-DB raised over $400,000 in the crowd-funding campaign and has even made a few other versions of the 3D printer kit. Currently, the small company based in Little Rock, Arkansas, is dealing with shipping the printers to the crowd-funding backers while preparing to take new orders and hopefully start delivering them next month.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHWldIz86oM[/youtube]

The company stated that the key for keeping the price down is that the printer comes unassembled. This is not a huge drawback and moreover, it also makes room for modifications of the basic unit, including a heated bed, increased production area and the addition of ‘pretty bright colors’ to the frame.

This is quite a big step in a fairly small amount of time to go from a family owned company to a manufacturer of a low-cost, ready-to-assemble home 3D printer company. However, 3D printer enthusiasts might be overjoyed over the fact that they can now own their own personal 3D printer for as low as $199.

Thank you GizMag for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of GizMag

ARM-Based CPU and Development Platform Announced By AMD, To Arrive This Quarter

AMD recently announced an interesting development platform for its first 64-bit ARM-based server CPU based on 28 nm architecture. AMD also announced that it will reveal the AMD Opteron A1100 Series ARM-based CPUs, and a development platform, which includes an evaluation board and software suite. AMD announced that it would be contributing to the Open Compute Project a new micro-server design using the AMD Opteron A-Series as part of the common slot architecture specification for motherboards named “Group Hug.”

The “Seattle” codenamed AMD Operon A-Series CPUs will be revealed this quarter along with a development platform that is reportedly going to make software design on the industry’s premier ARM-based server CPU quick and easy. AMD is collaborating with industry leaders to enable a robust 64-bit software ecosystem for ARM-based designs from compilers and simulators to hypervisors, operating systems and application software, in order to address key workloads in Web-tier and storage data center environments. The AMD Opteron A-Series development platform should be supported by a broad set of tools and software including a standard UEFI boot and Linux environment based on the Fedora Project, a Red Hat-sponsored, community-driven Linux distribution.

“The needs of the data center are changing. A one-size-fits-all approach typically limits efficiency and results in higher-cost solutions,” said Suresh Gopalakrishnan, corporate vice president and general manager of the AMD server business unit. “The new ARM-based AMD Opteron A-Series processor brings the experience and technology portfolio of an established server processor vendor to the ARM ecosystem and provides the ideal complement to our established AMD Opteron x86 server processors.”

The AMD Operon A1100 Series is said to sport a 4 or 8 core ARM Cortex-A57 having up to 4 MB of shared L2 and 8 MB of shared L3 cache. It should support configurable dual DDR3 or DDR4 memory channels with ECC at up to 1866 MT/second for up to 4 SODIMM, UDIMM or RDIMMs modules, 8 lanes of PCI-Express Gen 3 I/O, 8 Serial ATA 3 ports, 2 x 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports, ARM TrustZone technology for enhanced security and Crypto and data compression co-processors.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information

Kingston HyperX Beast DDR3 2400MHz 8GB Memory Kit Review

Late last year we had a look at the then latest addition to the HyperX lineup of memory kits with the Predator 8GB 2666MHz kit with top end speeds and kits that ranged right up to 32GB in capacity and in their latest addition, Kingston have got a new line of kits to add to the collection, but they’re not quite what we’d call new under the surface.  Whilst the Beast kits bear a new suit of black heat spreaders, the memory that lies underneath is taken from the Predator kits, however these kits only range up to 2400MHz whilst packing capacities right up to 64GB and lies upon a black PCB the match the heat spreaders.

The new Beast kit lies in between the Genesis and Predator kits in grand scheme of things now giving nine different memory types to choose from and this is the next to top end kit to chose from the entire lineup so I’m looking to see some good performance figures from the kit as I work to put it through its paces.

The black heat spreaders do extend above the PCB which is something that is only seen otherwise on the Predator Hyper X kit and this can cause some compatibility issues with some heat sinks, but with more people moving towards closed loop water cooling options and heat sink manufacturers, addressing the compatibility with items that now clear more kits, this is less of a problem that it once used to be.

Test system:

  • Asus Maximus V Formula
  • Intel Core i7 3770k
  • AMD Radeon HD 7970
  • Corsair H100i
  • Corsair HX1050W
  • Kingston HyperX 240GB SSD
  • Lian Li T60
  • AOC E2795VH

Enabling the X.M.P. profile we can see the Hyper X beast uses an average set of timings at 11-13-13-30 with a moderate 2T command rate whilst running at the top specified sped of 2400MHz.

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.

At stock the HyperX beast gives a rather average set of bandwidth results of 21209MBs/ read, 18800MB/s write and 23173MB/s copy with a good latency of 35.3ns. We’ve seen before that overclocking does have a good impact on memory write speeds so there is good scope for unleashing some hidden performance with minimal effort.

Keeping the kit at its stock timings to start, the first step is to overclock the CPU to 4.5GHz to open up some extra headroom within the memory controller and allow the memory to overclock more freely. From there the next step is to raise the memory divider to 2600MHz and with a successful boot the next divider 2666Mz resulted in a series of boot loops – not too surprising considering this speed is getting to the limits of what our CPU can handle. Working on the 2600Mz divider, the BCLK was the next port of call, however with the memory restricted to stock timings, there was no extra speed to be found.

As expected from overclocking,  the write speed sees the greatest improvement in bandwidth, rising up to 21305MB/s. The read speed also sees a reasonable gain up to 23495MB/s whilst the copy stays fairly close to stock at 23238MB/s. There’s also a good drop in latency down to 32.5ns.

Following a good overclock at stock timings, its time to let the motherboard take the leash on the timings as we see how far this kit really can go. Once again the 266Mz divider was tested just to see if there was a boot possibility, but once again this was a restriction by the CPU. Working on the BCLK, an extra 21Mz was there to be played with and with the timings fairly close to stock at 11-13-13-35 2T the memory should see some significant gains.

Given the ever so slight overclock, there is a good gain all round in performance, with read speeds rising to 24673MB/s write to 23352MB/s and copy up to 24610MB/s. Yet again there is also a good drop in latency, right down to 30.9ns.

Pushing just over the 2600MHz barrier seems to have a considerable effect on the kits performance and even when booting Windows, this extra performance is clearly noticeable, especially with the drop in latency from 35.3ns to 30.9ns.

Priced at around £80, the HyperX Beast kits are certainly not a budget option, but what they do offer is top level performance for a price that is only a fraction below that of the Predator kit of that same speed and capacity. Whilst there is a minimal difference in price I’d say this is the better kit to go for, both in terms of performance, but to me they look far superior to the top level kits with their black PCB’s and more well designed heat spreaders. For anyone that’s in the market for a well priced, high performance kit, considering this is capable of speeds in excess of 2600MHz with minimal effort and with great results, Kingston’s HyperX Beast is one animal of a kit.