AMD Performance Edition 8GB/16GB Memory Review (built by Patriot)

Today we are looking at the latest AMD ‘Performance Edition’ memory, created in partnership with enthusiast favourite, Patriot. This AMD gaming memory is set to target the wide audience of gamers who are looking for compatible, high performance memory for a new system build.
Many enthusiast users are still running with generic 1333mhz memory, so today we will see the gains you can achieve with the new memory. To round out the review, we move the memory to an ultra high end Intel system in a QUAD channel configuration, to test the ultimate performance.
AMD have said that these modules are optimised for AMD platforms, although the details of what they have changed haven’t been made available. Regardless, we already know that Patriot produce a quality product so we are already confident that they will work well across a variety of systems.
We have been told that AMD have worked with Patriot to ensure compatibility with the Intel Platform, although we aren’t sure that an Intel user will want memory with AMD branding on the heatspreaders. Regardless, at the end of the review we will test this on a class leading ASUS Rampage IV Extreme motherboard, which is in my humble opinion the finest X79 motherboard on the market.
We received two boxes of AMD performance memory, in 8GB configurations (2x4GB per box). The branding is very clear on the front of the box, and it would be impossible to tell that Patriot were actually involved in the product.
There is no bundle with the memory, just two sticks encased inside a tough plastic container.
Each stick has a low profile heatspreader, heavily branded by AMD. We like the low profile heatspreader design as they do not interfere with any of the latest, supersized CPU coolers. There really is no need anymore for high profile memory cooling solutions, they only get in the way of a system build.
AMD told us that the sticks have been carefully selected using high quality pre-screened IC’s. They undergo a strict testing policy before selection and are backed up with a lifetime warranty. You can’t ask for more than that.
The memory is set to timings of 8-9-8-24 at 1.65V. These aren’t the tightest timings we have seen, but they are much better than the majority of 1,600mhz rated modules currently available on the market. On the rear of each stick is an AMD memory sticker with ‘built by Patriot’ clearly marked top right.
They are listed as AP38G1608U2K part number. It may be difficult to see in the images above, but the heatspreaders are significantly thicker than any we have seen recently and are crafted from aluminum. The red and black shading looks great too. We couldn’t remove them from the PCB underneath as they appeared to be glued to the memory modules.
On this page we present some super high resolution images of the product taken with the 24.5MP Nikon D3X camera and 24-70mm ED lens. These will take much longer to open due to the dimensions, especially on slower connections. If you use these pictures on another site or publication, please credit as the owner/source.
Today we are using an ASRock 890GX Extreme 4 Rev 2.0 motherboard paired up with a Phenom II X4 980 4 core processor. We tested the memory with many AMD motherboards and it always posted first time, without any issue.
We found that the ASRock board set the timings to 9-9-9-24, instead of 8-9-8-24 but this was easily changed either manually, or via the profile.
For the review today we are comparing against bargain basement 1,333mhz Crucial DDR3 with 9-9-9-24 timings. Validation of the system at these default settings is available here.
The AMD Performance Edition 8GB memory is configured to 1,600mhz at 8-9-8-24 1T timings.
Main System:
CPU: Phenom II X4 980 4 Core.
Cooler: AMD Liquid Cooler (Asetek).
Motherboard: ASRock 890GX Extreme 4 Rev 2.0
Graphics: AMD HD7770
Chassis: Thermaltake Level 10 GT
Operating System: Windows 7 64 Bit Enterprise Edition
Monitor: Dell U2410
Comparison Memory:
4GB 1333mhz Crucial 9-9-9-24 2T.
SiSoft Sandra.
PcMark 7.
3D Studio Max 2011.
MaxxMem 2.
SiSoftware Sandra (the System ANalyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) is an information & diagnostic utility. It should provide most of the information (including undocumented) you need to know about your hardware, software and other devices whether hardware or software.
Sandra is a (girl’s) name of Greek origin that means “defender”, “helper of mankind”. We think that’s quite fitting.
It works along the lines of other Windows utilities, however it tries to go beyond them and show you more of what’s really going on. Giving the user the ability to draw comparisons at both a high and low-level. You can get information about the CPU, chipset, video adapter, ports, printers, sound card, memory, network, Windows internals, AGP, PCI, PCI-X, PCIe (PCI Express), database, USB, USB2, 1394/Firewire, etc.
Native ports for all major operating systems are available:
  • Windows XP, 2003/R2, Vista, 7, 2008/R2 (x86)
  • Windows XP, 2003/R2, Vista, 7, 2008/R2 (x64)
  • Windows 2003/R2, 2008/R2* (IA64)
  • Windows Mobile 5.x (ARM CE 5.01)
  • Windows Mobile 6.x (ARM CE 5.02)
All major technologies are supported and taken advantage of:
  • SMP – Multi-Processor
  • MC – Multi-Core
  • SMT/HT – Hyper-Threading
  • MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE 4.1, SSE 4.2, AVX, FMA – Multi-Media instructions
  • GPGPU, DirectX, OpenGL – Graphics
  • NUMA – Non-Uniform Memory Access
  • AMD64/EM64T/x64 – 64-bit extensions to x86
  • IA64 – Intel* Itanium 64-bit
The AMD Performance Edition memory is a big step up from the 1,333mhz rated memory. A score of 14 GB/s is very healthy for this AMD oriented platform.
PCMark 7 includes 7 PC tests for Windows 7, combining more than 25 individual workloads covering storage, computation, image and video manipulation, web browsing and gaming. Specifically designed to cover the full range of PC hardware from netbooks and tablets to notebooks and desktops, PCMark 7 offers complete PC performance testing for Windows 7 for home and business use.
PC Mark 7 doesn’t generate huge performance variables between these memory settings, although the AMD Performance memory scores 10 points more.
V2011 is the first release of 3DStudio Max to fully support the Windows 7 operating system. This is a professional level tool that many people use for work purposes and our test will show any possible differences between board design today.
Autodesk 3ds Max Design 2011 software offers compelling new techniques to help bring designs to life by aggregating data, iterating ideas, and presenting the results.
Streamlined, more intelligent data exchange workflows and innovative new modeling and visualization tools help significantly increase designers’ creativity and productivity, enabling them to better explore, validate, and communicate the stories behind their designs.
Major new features:
  • Slate: A node based material editor.
  • Quicksilver: Hardware renderer with multithreaded rendering engine that utilizes both CPU and GPU.
  • Extended Graphite Modeling Toolset
  • 3ds Max Composite: A HDRI-capable compositor based on Autodesk Toxik.
  • Viewport Canvas toolset for 3D and 2D texture painting directly in the viewport
  • Object Painting: use 3D geometry as ‘brushes’ on other geometry
  • Character Animation Toolkit (CAT): now integrated as part of the base package
  • Autodesk Material Library: Over 1200 new photometrically accurate shaders
  • Additional file format support: includes native support for Sketchup, Inventor
  • FBX file linking
  • Save to Previous Release (2010)
We created a 4200×2200 scene and recorded the time for the hardware to finalise the render.
The AMD Performance memory removes 6 seconds from the final render time, finishing in 5 minutes and 25 seconds, compared to 5 minutes and 31 seconds from the 1,333mhz memory. This might seem like a small amount, but over the course of a day, it could mean the difference of about an hour.
MaxxMem2 PreView is a handy, free program to rate memory performance. It can be downloaded over here.
MaxMemm2 highlights clear performance benefits from the AMD Performance memory, scoring 7.83 GB/s compared to 7.61 GB/s.
AMD and Patriot claim that the AMD Performance Edition memory is fully compatible with Intel systems, so we decided to put their claims to the test, and opened another 8GB kit. It was also a good opportunity to try overclock the memory to see how far we could push it in a Quad Channel Configuration.
Test System:
CPU: Intel Core i7 3960X Extreme Edition.
Cooler: Antec H20 920.
Graphics: Nvidia GTX590.
Motherboard: Asus Rampage IV Extreme.
Chassis: Lian Li PC-A77FR Aluminium Red Full Tower Case.
Power Supply: Enermax Platimax 1200W.
Boot Drive: Patriot WildFire 120GB.
Secondary Drive:
 1TB Samsung.
We selected the 1866mhz profile and loosened the AMD Performance Edition memory timings until we achieved complete stability, verified over several hours of loop testing.
We did manage to tighten the DRAM RAS to CAS Delay to 9, but it would flag a minor error in our testing suite, every 5 minutes or so. Increasing voltage to 1.67 didn’t help either, we had reached the limit.
System validation is available over here at 1866mhz in QUAD Channel.
So how did this impact performance?
42 GB/s of memory bandwidth, which is an exceptional result. 2,400mhz rated memory scores around 50 GB/s in this test on this particular ultra high end system.
We also tested the memory with a variety of P67/Z68 motherboards and it booted fine with all of them.
The AMD Performance Edition kit may appear as a gimmick to many, but it is actually very high grade memory manufactured by Patriot which worked perfectly with every board we tested, on both AMD and Intel platforms.
If you are building your first high grade system but want to keep costs to a minimum in such a tough economic climate then an AMD oriented build can make financial sense. A Bulldozer FX-4 Quad Core 4100 Black Edition can be picked up for only £89.99 in the United Kingdom and will be more than enough for 1080p gaming and general enthusiast demands. An AMD HD7770, much like the one we used today costs around £110 inc vat.
AMD Performance Edition is a quality memory kit that can run at 1866mhz with slightly relaxed timings and is supplied with low profile, thick aluminum heatspreaders for maximum heat dissipation. An 8GB kit is only £41 inc vat at Amazon in the United Kingdom. Adding a motherboard like the Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3 for £79.99 inc vat means you have the foundation for an inexpensive, but nippy system … for just over £300.
The AMD Performance Edition memory also worked well on all the Intel systems in our offices and we published results on the previous page when running the memory in a QUAD Channel configuration on X79. It never caused a problem, so AMD’s claims of complete compatibility with the Intel platform seem accurate.
For only £80, you could populate your new system with 16GB of AMD Performance Edition memory. It seems like a very good deal to us.
  • Great heatspreader design.
  • High level of compatibility.
  • Good performance for a 1600mhz kit, hits 1866mhz with relaxed timings.
  • Great price for an 8GB kit.
  • Low profile.
  • works well with Intel systems.
  • 42GB/s bandwidth in Quad channel with X79 @ 1866mhz.
  • A lot of competition from the likes of G.Skill around the £40 price point.
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