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Avexir, established in 2006, might be a somewhat unfamiliar name to many of the hardware enthusiasts reading this review. And, while they've only started building their own brand name this past year, they aren't exactly newcomers to the DRAM industry. Their OEM manufacturing is widely used in OCZ, UMAX, Teamgroup, Geil, Apacer, and even Mushkin DRAM. Not only that, but many of the executives carrying Avexir's own brand have jumped ship from consumer established organizations like Adata and Teamgroup. Avexir's leadership and experience in the industry couldn't come at a better time. While memory prices have somewhat settled, they are still ludicrously high, especially with the solid state rush and current economic stagnation. Fortunately, many of Avexir's current products on the market have been priced much lower than the competition, while offering substantially more quality. Today, we are going to look at one such Avexir product; that of their currently unreleased Avexir Standard Series 12GB (3 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 kit (AVD3U16000904G-3S). A memory product that looks to be both a solid budget choice and even a quality overclocking option - two features that are usually hard to find in one particular product.
Specifications / Features:
• 1600MHz DDR3
• SPD Programmed at 9-9-9-24 (CAS-TRCD-TRP-TRAS)
• Unbuffered Long DIMM
• Avexir Manufacture Lifetime Warranty
• Rated Working Voltage at 1.65V
• 240 Pin DDR3 Memory Modules
Avexir's Home Page
MSRP: TBA, Other Models @ mwave
The Packaging / Inside the Packaging:
While there really isn't much to packaging something as small as ram, Avexir's retail kit is nicely assembled in a (thankfully) scissor free, plastic blister clamshell. The background graphic on the printout is a nice touch and isn't especially overbearing. And, Avexir's brand name is nicely "print" embossed in chrome. Underneath their brand is a product sticker that denotes the particular Standard Series kit being sold (4GB X3). It looks somewhat off, but I'm sure that it saves Avexir money, which, in turn, saves the consumer money.
On the back of the package (still part of the same printout), Avexir definitely mentions a few comforting bits of information. All Avexir products carry a lifetime "word wide warranty". According to the manual, if your product, purchased directly from an authorized reseller, "is damaged naturally" and has not been damaged from "improper installation...un-authorized disassembly, repair or modification", Avexir "will not stop supporting and servicing as long as specific raw material, components" are not phased out; which essentially means that Avexir will cover you as long as they stay in the DRAM business. It's also extremely refreshing to see that, according to the packaging, Avexir pre-screens for the best memory components and even tests (through burn-in) all of their memory modules in multiple systems at each specific module's rated settings. It's beyond frustrating to order a memory kit off of the internet and end up with two out of three sticks faulty (RMA'ing hardware is painful). Besides that, the only other noteworthy item on the packaging is Avexir's 101% service guarantee; possibly a typo, but definitely 100% hilarious.
The Avexir Standard Series Itself:
The ram sticks are composed of a stylish black circuit board, with Avexir's Standard Series passive ramsinks (they are different for their "gaming" series). The ramsinks are designed in a subtle fashion and have a gray color gradient reminiscent of carbon fiber that allows them to blend into almost any component configuration without looking overly showy (see bright red ramsinks). The ramsinks themselves are attached to the ram sticks not via clips, but through thick "thermal" tape. Unfortunately, the ramsinks are incredibly thin and flimsy, and one of the ram sticks had thermal tape that was beginning to lose its adhesive qualities. In all honesty, however, the ramsinks won't do much and even with the increased surface area (for dissipation) might actually make the ram modules run warmer. So, if you're serious about overclocking, and you aren't installing an aftermarket solution, running the ram sticks "naked" might be a good idea.
Unlike with most memory products, Avexir's modules are actually factory branded; which is understandable, because they are a large OEM DRAM manufacturer. While I am unable to determine any information about the modules from their serial numbers, Steven Kuo, Avexir's incredibly helpful representative, explained to me that they are using the Elpida A die 256 x8 modules. These modules are purportedly amazing for overclocking and should be able to work wonders with an X58 system.
Fortunately, the small ramsinks mean that there will be absolutely no problems using these triple channel sticks in conjunction with a large air cooler (I, however, am using a Corsair H50). Also, most of the memory products in this performance range are absolutely frustrating to configure in a small case (like my Micro-ATX). With these, however, there are absolutely no issues. I will have to note that if you intend to run these sticks in a triple channel configuration, you will need to use the correct sockets. In the pictures above I am using the white sockets. The correct configuration, however, is to use the blue RAM sockets.
For testing, I used the latest version of Sandra to compare the Avexir memory against several other common configurations. By default, most motherboards won't properly configure that memory to run at its rated configuration. So, I changed the voltage from 1.5V to the standard 1.65V. Also, to ensure fair testing, I set the memory to run at its rated speed of 1600MHz. The CAS settings (9-9-9-24) are automatically detected. And, while those are slightly high latency settings, most products with similar kit configurations are C9, and anything lower is enormously expensive. My test system is configured as shown below:
Intel i7 920 D0 HT
Western Digital 500 GB Black
Asus Rampage Gene II
HT Omega Claro Plus
Nvidia GTX 275
The orange configured system is the absolute high-end, with Corsair DDR3-2000 and C8 memory (extremely expensive). The red system is the test system with the Avexir memory. And, the other systems are mid-range to entry-level. For memory latency, the lower results are the best, and the Avexir kit is second to first in ranking, decently below the Corsair kit, but better than the other modules.
This next benchmark from Sandra displays the memory bandwidth, with larger numbers being better. From the benchmark, it is clear that the Avexir kit absolutely leaves the similarly clocked G.Skill kit in the dust, while not straying too far away from Corsair's 2000MHz rated kit.
And, to wrap up the benchmark section, I'd like to discuss overclocking performance. Having memory that is rated at a high frequency is incredibly good for overclocking, because it allows for more headroom when altering your processor's multipliers. If you, however, are intending to push the Avexir Standard Series and not your processor, you can still expect solid results. I was able to overclock the memory to 1800MHz at standard voltage with my i7 at stock frequencies. Where this kit especially shined, however, is stable overclocking. Before, on my 1333MHz triple channel Crucial configuration, it was basically impossible to reach 4.0GHz. I was able to easily push my voltage hungry D0 i7 to 4.0GHz with 1.4125V, a multiplier of 20, and a bclk of 200 (the memory ran at 1603MHz @ 1.65V). I stability tested both the processor and memory in OCCT for an hour and was impressed by how well Avexir's memory handles overclocking. I even left HT, turbo, load line calibration, and speedstep on (OCCT forced the CPU out of speedstep) - settings that normally hamper stability. I was even able to reach 4.2GHz with the memory underclocked to 1264MHz, an impressive feat for my stubborn i7. And, one thing is for sure, these results directly show that Avexir did a fantastic job picking and pre-testing the components of this kit!
Extrapolating from Avexir's usual retail trends, it can be directly inferred that if Avexir releases this memory kit at the company's traditional discounted price point, hardware enthusiasts are in for an absolute treat. This memory is speedy, stable, and can take a whole lot of overclocking without too much configuration. The only downside is the CAS latency, but all things considered, a CAS# of 9 CL is mostly standard. And, while I didn't mess around with timings, I wouldn't be surprised if the kit could handle 7 CL. Overall, however, it is clear that Avexir is going to be a major force in the enthusiast memory market, and I look forward to seeing Avexir gain the market share that they deserve.
Solidly built and tested by Avexir
Amazing X58 overclocking performance
Lack of market presence and retail availability
Default latency timings are a bit high
Thanks go to Avexir and Steven Kuo for the opportunity to take a look at their Standard Series DRAM!