Kingston HyperX Memory Review

by Reads (40,772)
Editor's Rating

Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

    • Performance
    • 9
    • Price/Value Rating
    • 6
    • Total Score:
    • 7.50
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10


  • Pros

    • First "Sandy Bridge Ready" Memory Modules
    • Faster frequencies than the competition
    • Plug and play simplicity
  • Cons

    • Doesn't give a massive performance boost
    • More expensive than slower RAM

Kingston recently announced the availability of its new HyperX Plug and Play High Performance Memory for notebooks. The industry’s first memory modules with “Sandy Bridge Ready Frequencies” for Intel’s latest generation of processors, the HyperX Plug and Play Memory uses JEDEC-compliant 1600MHz and 1866MHz values. We decided to take a closer look at this high-performance RAM to see what a typical laptop user can expect if they simply “plug and play.”

Kingston HyperX Plug and Play DDR3 1600MHz, 1866MHz Notebook RAM Specifications

Part Number Capacity and Specs MSRP (U.S. only)
KHX1600C9S3P1K2/8G 8GB 1600MHz Non-ECC SODIMM @1.5v (kit of 2) CL9-9-9 $122.00
KHX1600C9S3P1K2/4G 4GB 1600MHz Non-ECC SODIMM @1.5v (kit of 2) CL9-9-9 $67.00
KHX1866CC11S3P1K2/8G 8GB 1866MHz Non-ECC SODIMM @1.5v (kit of 2) CL11-11-11 $163.00
KHX1866CC11S3P1K2/4G 4GB 1866MHz Non-ECC SODIMM @1.5v (kit of 2) CL11-11-11 $88.00

Many PC gamers are already familiar with the HyperX brand of high-performance memory but this latest generation of RAM from Kingston represents the first memory modules to reach the higher frequencies of the second generation Intel Core i5 and i7 CPUs. This memory is programmed with the faster frequencies and when you “plug” the modules into a system using the Intel “Sandy Bridge” chipset they will automatically “play” at either 1600MHz or 1866MHz inside the notebook.

Since your laptop automatically recognizes the faster memory speed there is no further BIOS setting required. Kingston says users will notice performance gains as the “overclocking is automatic” with the HyperX modules. In addition, these modules are backwards compatible with older DDR3-based notebooks and netbooks already on the market.

Testing Procedure
Now comes the fun part. There are numerous benchmark tests that we can run as well as exhaustive analysis of the maximum clock speed and CAS latency of the RAM. However, that’s not the market that Kingston is targeting here. As the name suggests, HyperX Plug and Play High Performance Memory is designed so that you can simply plug it into your notebook and immediately experience the benefits of this faster, higher-capacity RAM.

To that end, we’re not going to run this RAM through multiple overclocking applications to see how far we can push it. We simply want to answer the question, “What kind of a performance boost will I see from upgrading my notebook with this memory?”

Kingston was kind enough to supply us with two 8GB kits of the 1866MHz HyperX memory (KHX1866CC11S3P1K2/8G). For our lab tests we used two new notebooks equipped with the Intel Sandy Bridge chipset; the Lenovo ThinkPad W520 and the Toshiba Satellite A665-S5176. The ThinkPad W520 uses the latest and greatest Intel Core i7-2920XM quad-core CPU which, in theory, should be capable of pushing the Kingston HyperX memory to the limit. We upgraded the W520 from the 8GB that came from the factory to 16GB of HyperX memory.

The Toshiba Satellite A665-S5176 uses the more modest Intel Core i3-2310M processor. While the Toshiba laptop doesn’t come close to maxing out the performance of the HyperX memory, it should serve as a baseline for the type of performance boost a typical laptop owner will experience when upgrading the RAM. We upgraded the Satellite A665 from its original 4GB of RAM to 8GB of HyperX memory.



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