Patriot Viper Extreme PC3-16000 CL9 1.65 V DDR3 8

Patriot Viper Extreme PC3-16000 CL9 1.65 V DDR3 Review

Installation & Setup »

A Closer Look

I really cannot stress this enough...these sticks are heavy. After I pulled them out of the packaging, I noticed they're heavy right away, due to the copper and aluminum that wraps around the DIMMs. On one side we find the label, with timings and voltage listed, and on the other side is the "Viper Xtreme" logo. It's a very simple, yet flashy aesthetic design that I personally love, especially with the six-gram copper "cores" sticking out from the anodized-black aluminum. In the third image above you can see just how thick these heatspreaders are, standing out a fair distance from the DIMM's 8-layer PCB.

With a module on its own, it seems as though perhaps the heatspreaders are identical on either side, and that the label is covering the logo on the side it's affixed to. Again I've got sticks here that show the label on the side that faces away from the socket on Intel rigs, and towards the socket on AMD rigs; not something I prefer, but a minor issue that's more about personal preference than anything else. The heatspreader extends so low on the DIMMs that it very nearly reaches the DIMM socket itself, leaving almost the entire PCB hidden from sight, with just a few SMD components peeking out from the bottom edge, really helping the design stand out.

Looking at the PX538G2000ELK DIMM from the top and bottom really helps highlight how seamless the visual appearance of the heatspreader really is, even with the copper sticking out a bit. The copper core itself is made up of two three-gram copper shims that sit between the memory ICs, and the aluminum cover. Those that are into thermo-dynamcs know that copper is best for heat absorption, but aluminum is better to shed that heat, so this design makes perfect sense, and makes it easy to agree with Patriot's claim that this leads to lower temperatures. The little bits of exposed copper will aid in cooling too, provided there is sufficient case airflow.

The third image above shows the PX538G2000ELK DIMM's label, with the module's part number right up top, and speed, timing and voltage ratings found below that. It's nice to see that there is a claim to being "RoHS Compliant", meaning that "green" manufacturing processes and parts are used in assembly, which may not seem like a big deal to some, but to me, this is something I myself specifically look for on all parts I use in my own rigs.

In the two images above you can sneak a peek under the heatspreaders, and perhaps catch a glimpse of the ICs used, as well as notice the copper shim I just talked about. I didn't dare to try to remove the covers, but physical dimensions and design hints that these modules may very well carry the same Hynix "BFR" memory ICs that were also found on the G.Skill kit we reviewed several weeks ago. These ICs are known to be very flexible with timing adjustments, as well as offering some frequencies that many other ICs just cannot reach. Of course, testing can easily confirm or deny such as well, so let's get on with it.
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