ADATA announced that they have set a new world record in the air-cooled DDR4 segment using their XPG memory modules and an MSI X99A XPOWER AC motherboard. Not only did ADATA set this impressive new overclocking record, but this is also the first time we get to see the new XPG Z2 DDR4 modules pictured, or rather rendered.
The MSI X99A XPOWER AC has been used to break a lot of records lately and as such isn’t a surprise to be involved in yet another one. To achieve this, they used the XPG Z2 DDR4 3400MHz modules and managed to push it all the way to 4034MHz.
“In cooperation with motherboard manufacturers, ADATA strives to achieve the best performance in DDR4 memory compliant with the Intel® X99 architecture. The XPG Z2 DDR4 3400 breaks the record with extremely high clock frequency of 4034MHz, impressing both gamers and standard CPU clock users alike with outstanding sustained performance, cooling and stability!”
I really like the design choice with the black PCB and simple yet elegant large heatsink and wouldn’t mind having a full set of them in my own system. The normal 3400MHz CL timings for these modules are 16-16-16 at 1.35V.
The new ADATA XPG Z2 modules will be demonstrated in running systems at Computex next week from June 2nd to 6th in Taipei, where fans can check them out and see the performance with their own eyes.
As our tour of Computex comes to an end, we still have a few highlights to show you from the ADATA stand. Recently we took a look at their new line of DDR4 memory which is scheduled to become available possibly towards the end of this year. Coming down to a current level and looking at what they have in the DDR3 range, we find an In-Win D-Frame chassis sat on its side with a few ADATA storage goodies tucked inside.
Gaming orientated memory is what is pushing much of the consumer market forward, even though DDR4 is on the door-step. In ADATA’s case we are looking at the XPG line of products, with a third generation of their memory on show here. Running at 2933MHz in this 16GB demo setup, these modules are available in a variety of colours to suit the tastes of any enthusiast user when building a new colour coordinated rig.
Taking a closer peek at the Gigabyte board which is driving this setup we find an M.2 drive hidden away. If you recall from our coverage at CES, we found this drive on show in its prototype stage with a heatsink attached to the drive controller to keep it cool under the collar. As we can now see, ADATA have managed to tame the SP900’s thermals. Available in capacities ranging from 128GB and up to 512GB, the SP900 with its SandForce controller is capable of delivering read and write speeds of up to 550MB/s and 530MB/s respectively. Stay tuned as I’m looking to get one of these new drives in for review in the coming weeks.
Taking a look back at our ADATA coverage from this years CES once again, you may recall that we saw both of the drive below that were then in their Prototype stages. Available in capacities of up to 1TB on the SP910 and 2TB on the SX930, ADATA are one of the industries leaders when it comes to taking SSD storage to the next level. As we see the M.2 era come more and more into play, there is hope that the cost of SATA based SSDs on the higher end of the capacity scale will start to drop down in price, much like drives up to 512GB have done over the last few months.
Over recent years, mSATA drives have typically been a component that has not been on the forefront of the consumer market, seen only really by OEM manufacturers or by those who opened up their systems. With the market shifting towards smaller and smaller systems, and advances in technology allowing for denser storage and computing power as a whole, we are now seeing mSATA drive appear on the consumer market in greater numbers and more importantly, bigger capacities.
This is not the first time I’ve looked at an mSATA drive, a few months back I had a look at one of ADATA’s smaller capacity drives, the SP300 24GB – aimed more for SSD caching and small OS footprints that require little read and write speeds such as POS systems.
With speeds and capacities now at a level that most users would deem acceptable for day to day use, and the number of systems and motherboards that support them such as laptops and ASUS’ ROG motherboards growing and more importantly the introductions of Intel’s Next Unit of Computing (NUC), seeing what is out there in the mSATA market is something very worth while.
As a manufacturer, ADATA need little to no introduction as they are known to be one of today’s leading manufacturers with products ranging from flash drives to system memory for both the desktop and server markets, as well as SSDs in many different forms plus much more. Having spent such a long time in this field of engineering, ADATA knows what it takes to build a quality product, both on the performance side, as well as the pricing side of things as well.
Moving over to today’s product in hand, the SX300 256GB mSATA SSD, those who took a out NUC review a couple of moths back with recognise this as one of our third party components that we used to test these next generation systems out. and from the outside, the performance that we experienced from the drive didn’t seem all that bad. What’s important though is getting a more in-depth feel of how well these drives perform – mainly against their full blown 2.5″ counterparts that now dominate the consumer storage market.
Like memory, there is nothing included with the drive as it is an as-is product that requires no additional parts or accessories to be included so sliding the drive out of its case, its a quick installation process with only a couple of screws needed in some cases to hold it in place.
ADATA have been exhibiting a lot of SSDs at Computex 2013, we’ve already seen the SX1000 and SX2000 series but now its time to have a quick look at their XPG S920 series SSDs that they also showed us. These will be based off a Marvell made controller and hence there is no over-provisioning of capacity like on many Sandforce controllers. This means there are capacities of 128GB, 256GB and 512GB. The drives uses a SATA III 6Gbps interface giving speeds of 530MB/s read and 480MB/s write with up to 80,000K IOPS on 4K random writes.
The XPG S920 series of SSDs pack 19nm MLC NAND flash and use a very slim profile 7mm design in the usual 2.5 inch SSD form factor. ADATA is backing these consumer SSDs with a 3 year warranty and they feature SMART, TRIM and NCQ support.
ADATA’s XPG series of DDR3 modules is becoming quite popular among gamers for the aggressive styling, attractive price points and wide choice of speeds, kit sizes and styles. Yet that hasn’t stopped ADATA of making something pretty quirky by anyone’s standards. ADATA have churned out some “Chameleon” style DDR3 XPG memory modules especially for Computex and I’ve got to admit they certainly put a smile on my face and look pretty nifty.
As far as the specs go they do nothing out of the ordinary with an Intel XMP profile of 1600MHz with 9-9-9-24 timings and 1.5 volts. They come in 8GB modules only. I’ve got to admit I love the whole “Chameleon” idea in concept in practice but I certainly wouldn’t want to put these into my system, maybe that’s just my personal phobia of green PCBs coming into play. What do you think about these ADATA Chameleon XPG modules?
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.
Asus Maximus V Formula
Intel Core i7 3770k
AMD Radeon HD 7970
Antec Kuhler 920
Kingston HyperX 240GB SSD
Lian Li T60
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.