Topower Gold Vapour Injection-HD DDR3 1866MHz 8GB Memory Kit Review
Andy Ruffell / 2 years ago
When you start working with new brands in the market place, you’ll find that for a site like ours, they don’t want to go full steam ahead and offer you the latest kits, but instead want to test the water a bit by offering you a simple product to see how you get on.
With this in mind, we all know that the latest rage is quad channel memory, but with dual channel soon to make a big stir again with the upcoming Z77 launch, Topower Memory have supplied us with their Gold VIHD 8GB 1866MHz kit to see how they fair.
Straight away, we can see that this dual channel set of modules sports a high-rise set of gold heatspreaders for the extreme overclocker and Topower have this in mind as they offer a lifetime warranty which also covers overclocking and overvolting and the range includes dual, tri and quad-channel kits up to 2133MHz with aclaimed 2500MHz overclock speeds.
Taking a closer look at the heatspreaders, you’ll find a bright gold heatspreader which is custom vapor-deposited and includes heat-dispersant compounds to give the very best heat disippation properties when needed the most, including when overclocking.
Taking a look at the sticker upon the modules, you can see that we have a 1866MHz 8GB capacity kit comprising of two 4GB modules. The timings aren’t fantastic but still offer some nice figures at 9-11-9-28 with a voltage of 1.65V, but remember we will be pushing these modules a lot further and we will see what can be done with the speed and timings.
Enough of the looks, as the pictures do the talking for this memory, so lets get straight into testing at stock, and then lets see how far we can really push them.
- Asus Rampage IV Extreme
- Intel Core i7 3960
- Gigabyte GeForce GTX 580 SOC
- Corsair H80
- Corsahir HX1050W
- Kingston V+100 128GB SSD
- Lian Li T60
- 3 x AOC E2795VH
XMP is supported by these modules, but a quick look in the BIOS reveals that the only profile available with these modules is actually 1600MHz with timings of 8-9-8-24 at 1.65V. A little extra tinkering is involved to get this memory to even run at stock speeds of 1866MHz.
After some further configuration, we found that booting at stock speeds revealed that our Asus Maximus IV Extreme-Z was able to cope with its modest speeds and mediocre timings of 9-11-9-28 at 1T and below shows our CPU-Z screenshot to validate the stock speeds.
We then went straight into AID64 so that we could take a look at the stock performance of these modules, which works as a starting point for when we want to push things further and overclock this past their limits, and it’s nice knowing that we’re covered by a warranty, no matter what.
Now this is where things get interesting as inside AID64, stock performance gave us an impressive 20888MB/s read, 20176MB/s write, 23016MB/s copy and a low latency factor of 42.1ns. When we look back at other similar kits, this simply blows them out of the water with its stock performance.
Once we had our stock results, we continued into BIOS to see what we could change to squeeze some extra performance out of these modules and started first and foremost with simply upping the divider to see if 2133MHz was obtainable at stock timings.
First things first, we wanted to see if a simple bump up to the next divider of 2133MHz was possible but we weren’t hopeful considering we’d never taken a look at Topower memory before.
Trying straight in at 2133MHz with stock timings revealed a boot loop, so we then continued to adjust the timings to a lot looser 12-12-12-36 to see if that could assist in getting the system into Windows.
Sadly we were greeted with a similar story and the system refused to boot again. Due to this, we knew that we’d have to take a look at things from a slightly different approach with regards to keeping the divider at 1866MHz and manually adjusting the BCLK instead.
Being a Sandybridge based system however, we know that BCLK overclocking can be quite restrictive, but we knew we had a few MHz to play around with. With this in mind, we started to ramp things up bit by bit and managed to find that 106.2MHz was the sweet spot with no other adjustments assisting any further increases.
We could then look at tightening the timings back up nearer to stock levels and actually managed to get the system booted at 1981.6MHz at 10-11-10-31 @ 1T which is quite an achievement in its own right.
Not content on being beaten there, we went straight back into the BIOS to tighten the timings up even more, but found that any tighter timings revealed a degradation in read, write and copy speeds and saw quite substantially lower speeds than previously received through our testing.
Going back to our original overclock of 1981.6MHz at 1-11-10-31 @1T, we decided to run AID64 again to see what increases we got over stock.
We were again given impressive figures with a 21932MB/s read, 21312MB/s write, 24755MB/s copy and a latency of 41.1ns, with obviously some form of assistance from the slightly overclocked speed of the processor at 4.1GHz.
Overall, some impressive results at both stock and while overclocked, though it did take quite some hassle to get to where we got to with quite a lot of tinkering being involved.
With this in mind, please don’t expect a quick overclock with these modules as they make you work for that extra performance, but you won’t be disappointed once you get there as we saw with our fantastic results.
Being the first kit that we’ve received from Topower, we can’t help but have mixed feelings about it. It seems that they have lost focus slightly and forgotten about the little things, such as getting stock performance 100% correct in terms of XMP support.
Don’t get me wrong, the stock performance results are some of the best we’ve seen in our labs, but having no XMP profile for 1866MHz and only including one for 1600MHz leaves me wondering if this was once a lesser kit that has simply had a rebrand, but I guess we will never know.
While we managed to get ample overclocks, the memory did show some fighting spirit, but with the price of 16GB kits dropping rapidly, we can’t help but wonder why someone would still buy an 8GB kit, especially one that is gold and has some of the ugliest heatspreaders around, but at least the performance is top notch, at stock.
Overall, it’s a bit of a Marmite set of memory modules that some people will love, and some will hate, and while we enjoyed the performance at stock and once overclocked, we can’t help but feel that other modules from better known brands will pull on the heartstrings of the consumer, and these will sadly take a bit of a back seat.