At PAX West I got my first look at HyperX’s Predator RGB RAM kit and was blown away by it’s vibrance, style and infrared synchronization technology. Couple that with a variety of speeds from 2933 to 4000 and we are looking at a serious competitor in the RGB RAM market. In this review we’ll take a closer look at the real world performance to see if the HyperX Predator DDR4 Kit is the right fit for your next build or upgrade.
- MSRP: $362.99 ($129 - $530)
- Form Factor: UDIMM
- Pins: 288
- XMP Ready: Yes
- Speeds: 2933, 3200, 3600, 4000
- CAS Latencies: 15, 16, 17, 19
- Timings (32GB 3200 Kit):
- Voltage: 1.35V
- Module Capacities: 8GB
- Kit Configurations: Dual or Quad Channel
- Operating Temp: 0c to 70c
- PCB Color: Black
- Head Spreader Color: Black
- HyperX Infrared Sync Technology
- Illumination: RGB
- Software Control: Motherboard Only
- Dimensions: 133.35mm x 42.2mm x 8.3mm
- Lifetime Warranty
Test system: AMD Ryzen 5 2600x 4.4Ghz OC, MSI X470 Gaming M7 AC, EVGA GTX 1080Ti FTW3, 256 GB Samsung 850 Evo, Kingston A1000 500GB, 2TB RAID-0, ThermalTake 800W PSU and RAM being reviewed: HyperX Predator 3200Mhz RGB DDR4 32GB Kit (8x4)
There may be a lot of people out there that are waiting for the RGB craze to go off and die somewhere but I am definitely not one of them. So after seeing the HyperX Predator RGB DDR4 in action at PAX West I jumped on the opportunity to review the kit when it presented itself. HyperX isn’t reinventing the wheel in any real way with their RAM - it features 8 LEDs housed beneath a diffusing opaque bar that expertly bleeds the lights together - but they do bring a feature to the table that hasn’t been seen before.
Dubbed HyperX Infrared Sync Technology it was explained to me at PAX that this feature allows each individual stick to stay in perfectly RGB synchrony with the other modules next to it. Embedded in each housing is a small infrared sensor that is constantly sending and receiving RGB information to make sure that you RAM is always performing a perfect, synchronous light dance - straight into your retinas. If you check out the video below you can see that interrupting this communication will quickly cause the sticks to go out of sync but they fix themselves once infrared line of sight is restored. It’s really quite the unique feature I would love to see make its way into more RGB accessories. Check out the YouTube video below from BTNHD at 1:17 for an example of this in action.
When it comes to controlling the LEDs on the modules I have to admit I was left a little disappointed. Coming from using G. Skill Trident Z RGB and the software that allowed direct control over the modules - making the switch to using motherboard software feels lackluster and underwhelming. This is largely me being the victim of MSI’s Mystic Light - a control system that falls short compared to other motherboard manufacturers in my opinion - and I think it would be a good move for HyperX to at least provide the option to use their own dedicated software. I would love to see the ability to individually change the lighting on individual sticks of RAM instead of the all or nothing approach you are left with using Mystic Light.
For a while the only Predator RGB kit that was available for purchase was the 2933Mhz kit so it’s nice to see some higher speeds finally available, especially since the original non-RGB predator line had a large variety of speeds all the way up to 4000Mhz standing at the ready. Testing memory can be tricky as a lot of the programs are simultaneously used to test the CPU, the scores can be affected by the RAM in rather large ways - something you’ll see when it comes to the charts. In addition to testing an array of MMORPGs and currently popular titles, here at MMORPG.com we utilize PCMark 8, AIDA64, and SuperPI for our RAM testing.
AIDA64 is the first up and will benchmark our memory speeds and latencies primarily with numbers being reported in GB/s. One thing I want to point out is the HyperX Predator kit has faster timings than some other mainstream kits on the market, in particular its CAS latency. CAS Latency, or CL, is that the time from when the RAM receives a signal from the memory controller to access a particular memory column and the time it is available on the output pin. In theory, two RAM kits with the same speed but different CAS latencies should see different performance outputs. We possibly see that in play when we see the difference between the G.Skill TridentZ and HyperX kits at 3200Mhz. This particular G.Skill kit has a CL of 16 while, as we know from our tech specs, HyperX comes with a CL of 15. The difference isn’t huge when you look purely at the numbers but it is present nonetheless.
PC Mark is used to test the whole system, in particular lower intensity tasks. It’s not something that a lot of people with higher end gaming PCs think about but you do run MS Office, browse the web, etc. These low intensity tasks are typically affected more by RAM speed over RAM capacity. The graph visuals blow it out of proportion a little bit when you look at the scores but it does well to illustrate the difference the speed can make in your ram kit when it comes to general performance of your system. HyperX wins out though the score difference is easily within the acceptable margin of error, or it may be the CL timing at play again.
The last test is SuperPi, which is an interesting test when it comes to RAM. SuperPi tests how fast a system can calculate the digits of Pi, up to the 32 million digits for MMORPG.com, and is impacted by your CPU and mainboard. The program will calculate Pi to 32 million digits then iterate over the calculate 24 times for accuracy.
In-Game/Real World Testing and Conclusion
I spent the better part of two weeks playing a variety of games that included MMOs like ESO, WoW, GW2, and even Amazon’s New World alpha as well as many popular triple-A titles like Fortnite, PUBG, Far Cry 5, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. All around frame-times and frame-rates remained unchanged between kits. Loading times may have been improved but the change was so marginal it was hard to actually be aware of. The big money maker came from running typically RAM intensive programs like Video Editing software. The change was much more tangible with faster response times and faster all around loading times.
Overall I’m really impressed with the HyperX Predator RGB DDR4 kit. I’ve owned G.Skill, Corsair and Ballistrix in the past but this is the first time I have no intention of changing out my RAM for the foreseeable future - unless we’re looking at DDR5 UDIMM modules for some crazy reason. HyperX maintains reasonable RAM pricing for the speeds and latencies despite the addition of RGB which makes it an attractive option for people who enjoy the customization options that come with RGB but don’t enjoy the ridiculous premium that comes with it. If you have a recent motherboard that supports RGB lighting and DDR4 you can’t go wrong with the HyperX Predator RGB DDR4 kit because remember, you don’t have make them puke rainbows like everyone else - sometimes a pure white led strip can look really attractive - and HyperX doesn’t sacrifice performance for looks.
- Infrared Sync keep RGB modules synced perfectly
- Faster CAS latencies than most competitor kits
- Good performance and aesthetics
- Relies on motherboard lighting, which can be lackluster
- Heavily stylized heat-spreader may be too much for some
The product discussed in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purposes of review.