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Kingston had a fairly bad time in our memory round-up during the summer, so there was an air of apprehension when some time later when we received some replacement HyperX 1333MHz DDR3 in the mail. The specification hadn't changed, which was something of a worry, but on the upside we noticed that the heat spreaders had been updated and the new modules looked very smart.
We're well aware that a change to the aluminium covers on a module of memory is a minor matter that satisfies you just as long as it takes to install the memory. Out of sight is quite literally out of mind, but the new Kingston modules look very good indeed. The aluminium covers have been anodized blue and then machined to create a mirrored portion, which makes them a bit of a sod to photograph as you can't see the finely patterned machining marks but hopefully you get the idea.
The problem is that I haven't been all that impressed by the fast DDR3 I've reviewed over the past month or two as though the clock speeds can be quite astronomical yet it doesn't result in a great deal of performance. The proof lies in the Asus Maximus Extreme, which runs DDR3 but achieves the same performance from the DDR2 Maximus Formula SE.
So imagine our joy when another package arrived in the mail from Kingston. This time it was a set of HyperX DDR2 KHX9600D2K2/2G modules, rated as PC2-9600 with a maximum effective clock speed of 1,200MHz. That's fast enough to satisfy the most extreme Core 2 overclocker and happily for us the new DDR2 has the same swanky heat spreaders as the DDR3.
Kingston has gradually increased the speed of its HyperX DDR2 products beyond JEDEC DDR2-800 with latency timings of 5-5-5-15 across the range. The speeds go up in steps through PC2-7200 (900MHz), PC2-8000 (1,000MHz), PC2-8500 (1,066MHz), PC2-9200 (1,150MHz) and finally to PC2-9600 at a maximum speed of 1,200MHz. It's clear that the 1200MHz memory is only relevant to the hardcore overclocker who feels that he is restricted by 1,150MHz RAM, but who exactly is this mystery individual?
We plugged the Kingston into an Abit IP35 Pro with a Core 2 Duo E6750 running on a 1,333MHz front-side bus. Abit dynamically overclocks the front-side bus so the true speed is 340MHz and the KHX9600 defaulted to 816MHz, which is a true speed of 408MHz.