With DDR4 being the next big thing in the world of desktop memory, it is safe to say that the days of high-end DDR3 are coming to an end. Therefore, we thought it could be a good idea to pause and look back at the best that outgoing technology has had to offer.
If you look at the peak end of the DDR3 frequency spectrum, you will notice that it is dominated by one particular name: Avexir. Whereas all the big competitors ran out of ideas around DDR3-3100, this relatively new player was able to stretch their specs beyond that mark and offered models rated at DDR3-3150 and DDR3-3200. Taking the frequency crown on paper is surely a thing that we respect, but backing these numbers up with the actual quality is a totally different ballgame. If Avexir have managed to pull it off then they certainly have the know-how to be one of the feared players on the upcoming DDR4 battlegrounds.
|Capacity||8 GB (2 x 4GB)|
|Frequency||1550 MHz (DDR3-3100)|
The subject of our today's inspection is an 8GB dual-channel kit that belongs to the Blitz1.1 series. With rated frequency of DDR3-3100 it is one of the fastest DDR3 models ever made. However, such numbers come at a price of very loose timings so practical relevance of such a kit might not be immediately apparent.
Being anything but conservative, Avexir applied a fair bit of customization to the Blitz lineup. Depending on your mood and motherboard model, there are as many as eight style variations to choose from, there is even one to match the look of ECS boards.
As should be the norm with high-end memory products, the Blitz are shipped in a very presentable cardboard box. Usually, the kits of this caliber are supplied with additional fan assemblies but it seems that Avexir either don't want to spoil the looks and/or are confident enough to guarantee the specs without any additional cooling.
Each version of the Blitz is finished in a mixture of black with some other colour. In the case of ECS L337 Gold version this second colour is, obviously, gold which resembles one used by ECS on their high-end motherboards.
A special feature that is present on all Avexir's mid- and high-end memory products are the light bars that stretch across the top of each module. Spreading the light generated by four sets of orange/gold LEDs soldered to the top of PCB, the light bars create pulsating illumination in the memory area.
What comes down to the job of cooling, Avexir have kept things simple by using a pair of stamped aluminium sheets. This construction has proven to be sufficient on other kits numerous times in the past, but it is still odd to see such a cheap solution on a highly expensive model.
Judging by information posted on official product page, taking the modules apart is not prohibited by Avexir. And it is not hard to see why, doing this in real life has proven to be very easy.
The heatsinks attach to the modules by the means of sticky thermal pads along with two pairs of screws that also hold the light bars in place. Underneath, we found the modules to be based on Hynix H5TQ4G83MFR memory chips of 4Gbit density in a single-sided configuration. Despite Hynix MFR being the only feasible choice for DDR3-2800+ rated kits, we would like to point out that, for technical reasons, single-sided modules are slower than dual-sided counterparts at same frequency and timings thus the actual performance of the Blitz might be lower than one could possibly expect.
Judging by the original Hynix markings, the chips on our particular sample have been manufactured on fourth week of 2013, more than one and a half years before the kit has left the Avexir factory. Such a difference in production dates is normally a good sign as it shows that Avexir must have had access to a wide range of chip batches to assemble their top sets and were in no rush with making our 3100C12 sample in particular.
Each of the memory modules carries an SPD chip which provides basic information about its manufacturer and its model name. It also contains six JEDEC profiles that are designed for backwards compatibility with DDR3-1066, -1333 and -1600 supporting platforms.
Finally, there is an XMP profile, loading which the BIOS will automatically set the memory to its rated frequency, timings and voltage. The full list of 3100C12's default settings can be observed on a screenshot below. Note that running memory at DDR3-3100 requires reference clock (BCLK) value of 105.7 MHz, which not all platforms might be comfortable with.