With AMD finally stepped up its game with the release of its Ryzen CPU(s), we now have more choices of DDR4 memory kit ranging from the basic 2133MHz to insanely high 4600MHz, which is way much better compared to the time when Intel first release its X99 chipset based motherboard.
We managed to get our hands on one of Patriot’s DDR4 kit months ago, the Viper RGB DDR4 3200MHz with white-colored heatsink for today’s review. It comes available in 2 choices of color – black and white, with tested speed of up to 4133MHz for the black-colored kit and 3200MHz for the white-colored kit. Let’s see how well will it perform in both overclocking and gaming with Intel CPU, and both the AMD Ryzen CPU and APU.
|Product Name||Extreme Performance / Viper RGB|
|Capacity||16GB ( 2 x 8GB )|
|Unit Dimension||45.4mm (H) x 135.7mm (W) x 8.2mm (L)|
At the front of the box, the first thing we notice here is the type of supported ‘RGB technology’ for the more common brands i.e ASUS, Gigabyte, ASRock and MSI. Then again, we’re not really a fan of these fancy RGB lighting stuff, but most of you would probably appreciate the extra bling which can be added to your system.
Next, you’ll find the label that states the color, capacity and specifications of the kit itself. According to the information on Patriot’s website, the kit comes available in black or white colored heatsink. Other than the difference in color, the model with black heatsink seems to offer a much higher speed kit with up to 4133MHz instead of just 3200MHz.
Although the Viper RGB DDR4 doesn’t seems to have any ‘AMD Ryzen Compatible’ icon on its box, but there’s nothing to worry about as we’ve tested it on both the latest AMD 2nd-gen Ryzen 7 2700X CPU and the Raven Ridge Ryzen 5 2400G APU – we’ll take about that later.
As for the content, there’s a pair of viper stickers which you can stick onto something you like, and of course, the Viper RGB DDR4 kit.
The Viper RGB DDR4 kit we have here is a 16GB kit (2 x 8GB) with white colored heatsink and rated speed of up to 3200MHz with timings of 16-18-18-36.
From the top, you can see the frosted light bar(?) with the ‘VIPER’ logo on top. Since the Viper head is pretty much out of ordinary sight once it’s installed into a PC case, here’s another on at the top jsut to show it to your friends that you’re actually using a pair of Patriot Viper RGB kit. Something you can brag about, I guess?
RGB Lighting Software
The Viper RGB DDR4 has its own proprietary software for the RGB lighting controls i.e lighting mode, LED brightness(?) and LED speed. The list of modes you can choose from includes:
- Breathing – the default mode
For those who is not really into all the fancy RGB lights, you can actually disable the RGB lighting by choosing the Dark mode from the light effect list.
Test System Setup
For our test, we are using 3 different CPU (Intel CPU, AMD CPU, AMD APU) to see what kind of impact it has to gaming performance with different memory speed – base frequency of 2133MHz against tested frequency of 3200MHz.
|CPU||Intel i7 8700K / AMD Ryzen 5 2400G / AMD Ryzen 7 2700X|
|CPU Cooler||Raijintek Orcus 240 / AMD Wraith Max RGB|
|Motherboard||ROG Maximus X Apex / Gigabyte B450 AORUS M|
|Memory Kit||Patriot Viper RGB DDR4|
|GPU||GALAX GeForce GTX 1070 Ti HOF|
|Chassis||Cooler Master Test Bench V1.0|
|Power Supply||Cooler Master V1200 Platinum|
|Storage||Apacer AS340 Panther 240GB|
Overclocking Test – Intel
We started our overclocking test on our Intel system, with the Intel i7 8700K slightly overclocked to 5.0GHz. With XMP enabled, the Viper RGB DDR4 can reach 3200MHz with ease, at the timing of 16-18-18-36 2T.
No extra voltage adjustment is required at this point, and the kit managed to survive through few sets of run with Realbench stress test without any instability issue – 1 hour and 16GB memory for each set.
The highest achievable frequency we can get for this kit is 3866MHz at timing 21-23-23-45 2T, but that’s pretty much it. Booting into the OS is possible at most case, but it doesn’t stand a chance even for the slightest task – not even starting CPU-Z. We managed to settle down with 3600MHz at timing 18-19-19-39 2T, since we’re facing the same issue with 3733MHz as well.
At this frequency and timing, the Viper RGB DDR4 survived through a few sets of Realbench stress test with similar configuration as the previous 3200MHz does. It does take quite an effort to get it running stable at 3600MHz even on the ROG Maximus X Apex with BIOS version 1602.
Overclocking Test – AMD CPU / APU
After we’re done with Intel, we moved the Viper RGB DDR4 to our AMD test system to continue our test. The motherboard used for this test is the AMD B450 chipset based Gigabyte B450 AORUS M, with BIOS version F2.
Enabling Direct Overclock Profile (DOCP) on this AMD B450 chipset motherboard too will enable the Viper RGB DDR4 to run at 3200MHz with timing 16-18-18-36 1T as well. Since it also managed to survive the same set of stress test, we went a little further with the frequency at 3333MHz. For this frequency, 1.4V on the DRAM voltage is required in order for the kit to run stably throughout the stress test.
The highest frequency we managed to achieve with the Viper RGB DDR4 on the B450 chipset motherboard is 3466MHz with timing 18-19-19-38 1T. While it did managed to survive through the same Realbench stress test from the previous set, it somewhat failed during some of our gaming test, especially on Tom Clancy’s The Division.
Loosening the timing doesn’t seems to help much, as the game still crashes randomly during the test. For this AMD B450 test system, we’d say 3333MHz is the highest frequency we managed to achieve, that is actually stable enough for all of our tests.
The Viper RGB DDR4 kit seems to be using Samsung B-dies IC, but it isn’t really the CL14 3200MHz kit that we’re familiar with. Based on our past experience with other DDR4 kits with Samsung B-dies, the overclocking result for the Viper RGB DDR4 somewhat not up to our expectation.
Moving on to the gaming test, we know that some of you might have been misinformed where the memory frequency doesn’t really make too much of a difference when it comes to gaming as compared to both the CPU and GPU of your system. In this test, we are using 3 different CPU/APU clocked the following frequency:
- Intel i7 8700K running at 5.0GHz
- AMD Ryzen R5 2400G running at 3.9GHz
- AMD Ryzen R7 2700X running at 4.2GHz
As for the result, here’s some numbers from the games we’ve tested for you to refer to:
For Just Cause 3, you can actually see that it does makes some difference if we compare the numbers side by side for both Intel and AMD test system – 2133MHz vs. 3200MHz. You definitely won’t see ridiculous gaps like 20-30 FPS difference, but that small difference of 6-9 FPS can really make a difference if your average FPS is somewhere below 60 FPS.
For Rise of the Tomb Raider, there isn’t much difference between 2133MHz and 3200MHz when it’s tested on the AMD Ryzen R7 2700X test system. The difference is way more significant on the Intel i7 8700K test system, we’re getting an increase of average FPS by 10 when the memory is set to 3200MHz via XMP compared to 2133MHz.
For Watch Dogs 2, the result is pretty obvious – both Intel and AMD test system is showing a pretty significant increase in the average FPS. It might not be that significant to some, but if you’re pretty sensitive to minor stutters in game, you’ll definitely notice the difference here.
For Overwatch, we have configured 2 different settings for the system with dedicated graphics and the one with integrated graphics to see the impact of memory frequency on the games – Epic settings for systems with dedicated graphics and ultra settings for system with integrated graphics.
For system with dedicated graphics, while the Intel i7 8700K does shows a round 11 FPS difference, but the AMD Ryzen R7 2700X doesn’t really shows much difference in average FPS. The AMD Ryzen R5 2400G however, is the one that really benefits from the increase in FPS.
Just so you know, this is exactly the data that we’ve captured during our test. While the minimum FPS for the Intel system appears to be insanely low, but here’s what making that difference that will somehow affect your overall gaming experience – the increase in minimum FPS. That slight raise in minimum FPS is what makes your lowest FPS slightly higher, which contributes to less stutters during the chaotic scenes in game i.e explosions, pursuit by enemy vehicles and shootings, etc.
In Rise of the Tomb Raider, you will experience different kind of environment as you progress in-game and the extra effect from the environmental changes, vegetation and other elements is part of that cause of that minor stutters. With the increase in memory frequency, you can actually see that the minimum FPS has increased as well.
Similar to Watch Dogs, playing Watch Dogs 2 can be pretty frustrating as well with the micro stutters while you’re moving around in a vehicle, taking down gangs and mobs, etc. The difference isn’t huge for the Intel test system, which we still somewhat suffers from the micro stutters in game. The overall experience is slightly better with the AMD test system, where that 6 FPS increase in minimum FPS does really improve the gameplay by a little.
For Overwatch, we’re a little surprised as the increase in memory frequency doesn’t seems to be affecting the AMD Ryzen R7 2700X system much at all. The increase from 2133MHz to 3200MHz did however improved our gameplay for both Intel i7 8700K and AMD Ryzen R5 2400G system a lot. With almost 50% increase in the minimum FPS, the micro stutters we’ve experience during chaotic scenes is greatly reduced.
Appearance wise, the Viper RGB DDR4 isn’t something that we consider as awesome looking, but it still has that aesthetic elements that is good enough for most of the users who is into decorating their system with RGB lighting. The kit has been tested with the RGB effect with both ASUS AURA Sync and Gigabyte RGB Fusion, and the result seems pretty okay to us. For those who is not into RGB lighting, you’re given the choice to disable it via the software that comes with your motherboard, or the software which can be downloaded from Patriot’s website.
Although the overclocking headroom isn’t as much as we hoped for, the Patriot Viper RGB DDR4 3200MHz 16GB kit we have here still isn’t half bad for the price of RM 789. Apart from being compatible with both Intel and AMD Ryzen CPU(s), we managed to pull off a 3600MHz with the kit at timing 18-19-19-38 2T on Intel and 3466MHz at timing 3333MHz that is able to run stable for our tests. Going beyond 3600MHz on Intel seems to be possible, but it’s taking too much effort even on a ROG Maximus X Apex, which we don’t really recommend spending that much time trying to push this kit – Technically, it’s using lower binned Samung B-die ICs that isn’t as good as those that cost probably 2 times of the price if this kit. If overclocking memory kit isn’t your thing, you’ll still can stick to its XMP profile at 3200MHz.
- Pretty decent XMP performance
- Uses Samsung B-die ICs
- Compatible with both Intel and AMD Ryzen CPU(s)
- Customizable RGB lighting effect, can be disabled as well
- Limited life-time warranty from Patriot Memory
- Reasonable price
- Limited overclocking headroom due to lower binned Samsung B-die ICs