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HyperX Predator DDR4-2933 RGB (32GB) - An Infrared Lightshow

By Christopher Coke on May 22, 2018 | Hardware Reviews | Comments

HyperX Predator DDR4-2933 RGB (32GB) - An Infrared Lightshow

It’s never been so easy to build an eye-catching PC. Thanks to trends like tempered glass side panels and case designs that showcase your components like never before, building a showcase tower is within even the average builder’s reach. For the gamer who doesn’t want to sacrifice performance for bling, HyperX may just have the solution.This is our review of the HyperX Predator DDR4 RGB DRAM.

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Specifications

  • MSRP: $513 (range: $129 - $513)
  • Density: 8GB modules available, available in 1 - 4 piece kits
  • Speed: DDR4-2933 with X.M.P. (DDR4-2400 default)
  • Voltage: 1.35V (1.2V @ DDR4-2400)
  • Latency: 15-17-17
  • Dimensions: 42.2mm (H) x 133.35mm (W) x 8.0mm (D)
  • Illumination: Yes, RGB
  • Software control: Motherboard only
  • Warranty: Limited Lifetime

The kit we’re looking at today is an interesting one. As you can tell from the pictures above, they look fantastic, so it’s hard to imagine a system not being elevated with a set of these installed. RGB RAM is nothing new, but what makes these special is what HyperX refers to as “infrared sync.” In essence, within 18mm (or one memory slot), these modules will pick up on exactly where each hue is being displayed on the next nearest module and syncopate. This leads to a beautiful, perfectly synced lighting scheme. Here’s how it looks right after installing it:

While it might be tempting to write this off to marketing hype, you can actually test its effectiveness for yourself simply by blocking the line of sight between the DIMMs. Almost immediately, they lose sink, as you can see about a minute into the video below:

This does mean that the modules have to be slotted next to each other. Motherboards that separate memory slots to either side of the CPU socket will operate blind and unable to sync, which is important to be aware of.

Another point of consideration is that these DIMMs don’t come with any software of their own. All of your lighting is controlled through your motherboard, so you’ll need to make sure you have a system capable of supporting them. In my test period, I used them in both an ASUS Z370 Maximus X Hero (Intel) and with an MSI X370 Gaming Pro Carbon (Ryzen Gen1). While the ASUS picked up on the modules right away, the MSI board wouldn’t at all, despite featuring their Mystic Light RGB customization.

Given how frequent BIOS updates were with Ryzen Gen 1 motherboards, it’s likely that a BIOS update would fix this problem - the memory kit is supported by Mystic Light according to the documentation - but it’s still something you should be aware of. It’s also for this reason that I hope HyperX adds customization support in future release of the NGenuity software. Still, one less piece of software cluttering up my system tray is a good thing in my book.

When they’re running, though, they really do look good. Underneath the hefty, aggressive-looking heatsinks are eight bright RGB LEDs that light up a thick diffuser bar at the top. Cutouts on the side work to illuminate the area around the modules, too. If you’re looking at these, it’s likely you have other RGB lighting in your case. I definitely do and found that these added seamlessly to the overall “glow.”

It’s not all lighting, though. These sticks come in at 2933MHz, which is a respectable speed for any gaming rig. They’re not the fastest on the market; in fact, the non-RGB Predators go up to 3600MHz, so it’s a little puzzling that the RGB variant is only available at the single speed currently (I would be surprised if this doesn’t change to include more speeds). That slower clock speed allowed HyperX to tighten the latency timings, however, down to 15-17-17, which should theoretically help to close the gap to between higher frequencies. Modules are currently available in 8GB capacities and are sold in 8-32GB kits.

Let’s see how it did in our performance testing.

Performance Testing

Test system: i7-7700k at 4.5GHz, MSI Z270 Gaming M7 Motherboard, GTX-1080Ti (SLI), 500GB Samsung 960 EVO, 12TB HDD Mass Storage, Corsair HX-1050 1050-watt PSU

Memory kits compared: 64GB Ballistix Elite DDR4-3200, 16GB G.Skill RipJaws V  DDR4-3200, 32GB Ballistix Tactical Tracer DDR4-2666 RGB, 32GB HyperX Predator DDR4-2933 RGB.

In order to test our memory, we run through a number of benchmarks. These include PCMark 8’s Conventional and Express tests, AIDA64, and SuperPi. While these benchmarks (excepting AIDA64) also benchmark the CPU, RAM performance is a key factor in the scores being rendered. We also do in-game benchmark testing, though we’ll save that for discussion following the presented charts. For our purposes, we’re comparing our Tracer kit against the data from our last two DRAM test runs in our benchmarking system.

Our assessments are not “point for point” in that we’re looking at different capacities and DRAM speeds between the different kits. The Predator RGB kit we’re looking at today comes in at 32GB, which, along with the Ballistix Tactical Tracer kit we looked at a couple weeks ago, falls in between our other capacities, while also featuring a performance speed of 2993 MHz. Notably, it also features the fastest CAS latency we’ve tested so far, coming in at 15-17-17 versus the 16-18-18 of our other test kits.

AIDA64 benchmarks memory speeds and latencies, as well as cache speeds related to your CPU. NBe aware that we’re looking at GB/s. After several runs to test consistency, we found that the HyperX Predator kit has quite fast read times, coming in at 42.3 GB/s but lags ever so slightly in writes, coming in a 42.8 GB/s.

PC Mark is a whole system benchmark that looks at reasonably low intensity tasks compared to high-end gaming. Office use, web browsing… things that you wouldn’t necessarily tax a gaming system. As a result, it emphasizes memory speed over capacity. The results line up almost exactly as you would expect with scores that put it behind the 3200 MHz kits being compared and ahead of the Ballistix Tactical Tracer which runs at 2666 MHz. That said, these scores are remarkably close.

The SuperPi test looks at how fast a system can render the digits of Pi. In our case, we’re set to render up to 32 million digits. This is more holistic test in that it is also impacted by your CPU and mainboard. The kits all performed remarkably similar here, but we do see our Predator kit edge out our Ballistix Tactical and G.Skill RipJaws V.

In-Game Testing and Performance Conclusions

We tested each of these kits in more than half a dozen MMORPGs as well as a several AAA non-MMO titles, including Battlefield 1, Kingdom Come: Deliverance, Far Cry 5, and Assassin’s Creed: Origins. As in our last memory kit review, we found that our framerates at 1080p, 1440p, and 4K resolutions were extremely close. As a result of the faster timings, the Predator kit did seem to have an edge, usually garnering 1-5 FPS more on average; however, considered more broadly, the results remain very close.

In our testing, the HyperX Predator fell expectedly between the comparison kits. The latency timings certainly helped, as did the slightly faster 2933MHz clock speed. When comparing DRAM with such close speeds the differences will be minor, so final decisions are more likely to be swayed by elements like looks which is really where this memory kit pulls ahead.

Overall, I am extremely pleased with the HyperX Predator DDR4 RGB kit. It offers respectable performance with faster CAS timings than much of the higher clocked competition and manages to look fantastic while doing it. If you’re in the market for RGB memory and have a recent motherboard, it’s an easy way to take your performance and looks to the next level.

Pros

  • Infrared sync ensures seamless RGB flow across multiple modules
  • Faster 15-17-17 CAS timings
  • Not inordinately expensive
  • Offers excellent performance in games and synthetic tests

Cons

  • No HyperX software support
  • Module height of 41mm is fairly high profile - be aware if air cooling

The product discussed in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purposes of review.

Christopher Coke / Chris has been a fan of MMOs since the mid-1990s when he cut his teeth on MUDs. These days he scours the internet for the latest and greatest multiplayer gaming experiences.