Articles and Reviews

OCZ Reaper HPC 2GB PC3-10666 (1333MHz) DDR3 Memory Kit

OCZ Technology is a relatively young company. In business for less than 10 years so far, OCZ's birth not too long ago was welcomed by the computer enthusiast community. At the time, there were few other high performance memory companies. Coming back to present time, OCZ is still alive and kicking. It's now a much bigger company and even though it now has a more diversified product portfolio, memory is still its #1 game.

OCZ Reaper HPC 2x1GB DDR3-1333 Memory Kit (OCZ3RPR13332GK)

Today we'll be taking a look at one product in OCZ's product portfolio that attempts to live up the company's heritage as a high speed memory company. The kit we'll be examining is from OCZ's DDR3 lineup, the 2GB Reaper HPC PC3-10666 (DDR3-1333MHz) memory kit. It's a dual channel kit comprised of 2x1GB DIMMS. The DIMMs are rated to run at 1333MHz with 6-6-6-18 timings at 1.75v. They feature OCZ's lifetime warranty (with voltage support of up to 1.8v) and a radical cooling design.

After receiving and opening our Reaper memory kit from OCZ, one thing immediately came to mind: these are the heaviest memory modules I've ever held. Most high performance memory kits on the market have aluminum heatspreaders, but OCZ went much further with it's Reaper series.

Kingston DataTraveler HyperX USB Flash Drive 4GB (DTHX/4GB)

Kingston is a company that needs no introduction. We've already reviewed many of their products here at circuitREMIX, and overall found them to be pretty good. Today we're going to be looking at a product from Kingston's performance oriented line of products, HyperX. No, it's not RAM, but a USB flash drive. Kingston's DataTraveler HyperX is the fastest USB flash drive series that Kingston currently offers, and we'll see how it stacks up to the competition. It is offered in 2, 4 and 8GB capacities, and we're going to be playing with the 4GB variety.

Thermal Compound Roundup

Thermal compound is very important when it comes to running a cool computer. It helps to facilitate the dissipation of heat from the processor to the heatsink. Without thermal compound, it doesn't matter whether you're using stock cooling, high end air cooling, water cooling or above, cooling performance will be dismal. In the past few years, thermal compounds have undergone an evolution. I'm sure many are familiar with the basic silicon based thermal compound, also known as white goop. This quickly evolved into metal based thermal compounds, which by its namesake have a composition of metal particles. This improved the thermal conductivity, but also had the problem of being electrically conductive.

Now we are at a stage where performance thermal compounds are ceramics based. Thermal conductivity has been improved even more, and don't have the problem of being electrically conductive. Most of the thermal compounds we are looking at today are ceramics based.

The thermal compounds we are looking at in our mini-roundup are the Stars-700, Noctua's HT-N1, Arctic Silver's Ceramique, Tuniq's TX-2 and OCZ's Freeze.

Overclocking Intel's Core 2 Duo E8400 Xeon Counterpart, the E3110

I'm sure all of our readers have seen all seen the online reviews of Intel's new Core 2 Duo E8400 and E8500 dual-core processors. They're big news. These new processors codenamed Wolfdale benefit from a die shrink from 65nm to 45nm, and improved architecture which results in better clock for clock performance compared to the Conroes. As well, L2 cache has been increased from 4MB to 6MB, and the bus speed bumped from 1066MHz to 1333MHz (quad-pumped). Initial reports from around the web place the E8000 series Wolfdales as great overclockers. Looking at many review websites and user experiences from forums, the E8400’s and E8500’s are hitting upwards of 4GHz with air cooling without much voltage increase. Adding this performance with a retail value of around $200US, the E8400 is a great value.

The current problem with the E8000 series is availability. There aren’t many stores, if any, which have the E8400 or E8500 in stock. These processors are high in demand, and so far supply from Intel hasn’t been able to keep up.

Crucial Ballistix 2GB PC3-12800 (1600MHz) DDR3 Memory Kit

Crucial is the only memory upgrade supplier that is owned by a major DRAM manufacturer, Micron Techonology. The Crucial name is synonymous with consumers for memory upgrades and accessories such as flash cards and drives. Branching out from its bread and butter of standard memory products, Crucial developed a branding called Ballistix. It is with its Ballistix brand that Crucial reaches out to overclocking and performance crowd. At circuitREMIX, we've already tested DDR2 from Crucial's Ballistix line of memory products and we came away impressed. Now we will be taking our first look at our first Ballistix DDR3 product.

Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2x1GB) PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory Kit (BL2KIT12864BA1608)

Crucial's Ballistix line of DDR2 and DDR3 memory all bear the same resemblance. They share the same aluminum heatspreaders, with the standard Ballistix burnt orange and the Tracers black. The Ballistix, Crucial and Micron logos are silkscreened on the heatspreaders. There is no clear indication as to the specifications of the memory other than looking up the model number off the stickers on the memory.

OCZ Vendetta CPU Cooler

The word vendetta makes me think of the recent movie, V for Vendetta. It makes me think of a challenge and rebellious behaviour against the establishment. So what does this mean in regards to OCZ's Vendetta CPU Cooler? I'm guessing it refers to OCZ's fight against the heat eminated within from processors: OCZ's Vendetta against heat! Sounds corny? Yes it does. BUT did OCZ win the bitter feud? Let's find out.

OCZ Vendetta CPU Cooler

OCZ's Vendetta CPU cooler is a heatsink with the tried and effective heat pipe and fin design. The fins are aluminum, the heat pipe is copper, and the fan is 92mm. Together, this creates a light weight cooling package.

Kingston HyperX 2x1GB 1375MHz CL7 DDR3 Kit (KHX11000D3LLK2/2G)

Kingston is a market leader in the memory market, and it wasn't luck that got it to that point. As we've seen in our past reviews, Kingston has good quality products that perform well. It's HyperX line of products exemplifies this, as the HyperX portfolio contains some of Kingston's highest performing products. In our series of upcoming DDR3 memory kit reviews, I thought I would start off first with our Kingston 1375MHz rated kit. Its rated speed of DDR3-1375 is the lowest of the kits we have lined up to review, so we'll if it has anything up its sleeve.

Kingston's KHX11000D3LLK2/2G DDR3 Memory Kit

For those familiar with Kingston's HyperX memory series, the sight of the blue anodized aluminum heatspreaders on this model should not be a surprise. Both sides of the heatspreaders are held together with a combination of silver colour clips and adhesive thermal pads.

The front of Kingston DDR3 DIMMs

Corsair VX550 550w Power Supply

Corsair has a great reputation for being one the leading performance memory module companies in the industry. They are the providers of some of the fastest memory around, and it is no surprise that when they made the foray into the power supply market, they offered high performance units in the HX-series. Continuing the HX-series legacy, Corsair now offers the VX-series. Touting the VX-series as having "the industry's most efficient power management" and "rock solid performance", we'll see if Corsair can live up to these claims with the VX550 550w power supply.

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