Our quad-channel memory coverage continues with our review of the Patriot Viper Extreme Division 4 kit. This particular kit is clocked at 1600 MHz, with low latency timings of 8-9-8-24. So far, this is the lowest latency memory quad kit we’ve reviewed, although the voltage is relatively high, at 1.65v. This won’t leave much headroom for overclocking, in all likelihood.
The thing that stands out the most about this kit compared to the others we’ve reviewed this month is the price. This 1600 MHz low latency kit is priced at just $95 at Newegg, and that includes a free 8GB flash card. So far, it’s the cheapest 16 GB quad kit we’ve reviewed, which is pretty impressive considering the low latency timings!
Viper Extreme Review – Packaging
Our favourite quad channel packaing was the Kingston HyperX Genesis box, and our least favourite was the clamshell you have to cut open yourself used by the Crucial Ballistix Elite kit (which has since been discontinued). The Patriot Viper Extreme falls somewhere in between the two:
The Viper Extreme Division 4 kit comes in a nice package with labels clearly indicating the specs. Inside the box are a pair of crush rivet packages, each with a pair of DIMM modules. This isn’t the worst packaging, but it’s not the best. Instead of fumbling around with four individual packages, you deal with two. At least you have somewhere to put your modules when you’re done with them!
As far as aesthetics go, the Viper Extreme on one hand exhibits some interesting artifacts from the past – namely the exposed copper plate that takes us back to when copper heatsinks were all the rage. However, I absolutely love the slotted design of the heatsinks, particularly the chrome effect on the stripes.
However, as good as they look, they suffer from “tall heatsink syndrome” which means they will get in the way of large heatsinks such as the Noctua NH-D14. They aren’t as tall as the heatsinks found on the Crucial Ballistix Elite or Corsair Vengeance, but considering how pointless large heatsinks are, it is still bothersome, and worth mentioning.
Viper Extreme Review – Overclocking
Since this kit already comes with low CAS 8 latency timings, and is already running at the 1.65v maximum we’d want to run Sandy Bridge-E on a daily basis, overclocking will likely be quite limited. The first step is to attempt to lower the latency at default speed, then increase the latency and see if we can clock it higher.
Just as I had predicted, the latency timings would not budge from the already low 8-9-8-24 settings. It should be noted that so far the only quad channel kit we’ve seen his this mark is the Crucial Ballistix Elite – and it hits the mark at 1866 MHz which is very impressive. The problem is that the kit costs almost $70 more than this one, which is probably not worth the minuscule benefit in real world performance.
I’ll admit that I was greedy with the first attempt, simply leaving the latency and voltage at stock, and going straight for 1866 MHz. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. Increasing the CAS to 9 didn’t help either, or even 10. At this point, you just have to accept that this particular kit is only going to run at 1600 MHz, and with the already low latency setting of CAS 8. Considering the price, there’s not too much to complain about, but keep in mind that your mileage may vary with overclocking.
Viper Extreme Review – Performance
Since this kit wouldn’t budge an inch in terms of overclocking, we’re just going to run it at stock speed, and quickly look at how it performs compared to the other 16 GB quad channel kits we’ve reviewed so far.
Well as you can see, the Viper Extreme Division 4 kit performs pretty much exactly as you’d expect, based on the specs.
Although this Patriot Viper Extreme Division 4 kit didn’t overclock at all, it still has some things going for it. First of all the price – at just $95 (plus you get an 8GB flash card) this is the cheapest 16 GB quad channel kit we’ve reviewed so far that is clocked at 1600 MHz or above. And yet it still comes with impressive specs and a lifetime warranty.
And even though it didn’t overclock, that’s not exactly something to base your purchasing decision on when it comes to memory. After all, the jump from 1600 MHz to 1866 MHz doesn’t exactly yield a huge leap in real world performance, even with 4 channels going to the CPU. Besides, it is already clocked with low CAS 8 latency timings.
The only thing really holding this kit back for me are the large heatsinks, which I obviously am not a big fan of. I have just run into too many problems with large heatsinks getting in the way, and considering that you are only ever going to run memory like this at 1.65v or lower, there really is no need for huge heatsinks in the first place.
All that being said, I think the Patriot Viper Extreme Division 4 1600 MHz kit deserves a Recommended Buy award in the Mid-Range Hardware category. If you are looking for a 16 GB memory kit – quad channel or otherwise – this kit is highly recommended.