Over the last decade, the IT industry has made substantial progress in terms of compactness and mobility. These changes have also affected the field of computer hardware, where high-performance notebooks, all-in-one and mini-ITX systems became a norm. Naturally, these changes gave rise to a number of product classes that would previously be considered irrational.
Take SODIMM memory as an example. Up until recently, its only area of use were laptops. But now, thanks to its small form factor, this type of memory is finding its way in new applications where performance is no longer a factor of tertiary interest.
Responding to this new demand, Kingston's HyperX division has launched a brand new SODIMM memory lineup, which they named Impact after a popular series of high-end ITX motherboards by ASUS ROG. In its current shape, the Impact lineup consists of 4GB and 8GB modules (and their pairs) with specs ranging from DDR3-1600 CL9 up to DDR3-2133 CL11.
8GB (2 x 4GB)
1066 MHz (DDR3-2133)
1.35V or 1.5V
(Limited to 10 years in Austria and Germany)
The subject of our today's testing is a pair of DDR3-2133 CL11 versions, each of which comes as a dual-channel 8GB kit. The only technical difference between the two are the rated timings, which have been loosened from 11-11-11 to 11-12-13 for the newer HX321LS11IB2K2/8 model.
The Impact modules are served in a transparent plastic tray that does not contain any additional accessories.
Even though SODIMM modules are intended to fit in tight spaces where they can hardly be seen, Kingston have still taken care about the appearance and used black PCB instead of the standard green.
Because of compactness being the top priority, the modules are not equipped with any heatsinks. This simplifies the job of chip detection to peeling off any of the stickers.
Some of the markings on the pictures above are not very clear but the seasoned memory experts inside us have immediately identified the chips to be Hynix H5TC4G83MFR for the HX321LS11IBK2/8 model and H5TC4G83BFR for the HX321LS11IB2K2/8 model. In both cases, the chips in use are of 4Gbit (or 512MB) capacity, hence it takes eight memory chips to build each 4GB module.
The same chip models are also employed by Kingston and some of their competitors for the full-sized DIMM modules, so we are looking forward to seeing what the overclocking difference between similar DIMM and SODIMM modules is going to be.
Each of the memory modules is flashed with an SPD, which contains information on its manufacturer, model, production date and internal serial number. The SPD also features several JEDEC setting presets that are primarily intended for backwards compatibility.
The detailed settings that either of the kits is defaulted to upon insertion can be observed below.