Kingston HyperX PC2-8500 4GB KHX8500D2T1K2/4G

Aron Schatz
February 23, 2009
Kingston HyperX PC2-8500 4GB KHX8500D2T1K2/4G
The Kingston KHX8500D2T1K2/4G kit provides excellent performance with a brand new heat-spreader design. DDR2 is still mainstream and very cost effective.

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The majority of publications that review enthusiast computer hardware have all but forgotten DDR2. Even though DDR3 is the new technology in the spotlight, DDR2 still commands a majority of the market. Kingston heavily focuses on where the market is at a given point in time. To this end, the company has released new enthusiast DDR2 kits with the brand new T1 heat-spreader design. The KHX8500D2T1K2/4G kit is one of the higher end DDR2 kits equipped with 4GB of memory. DDR2 is the memory of the mainstream market.



Kingston started shipping RAM in new packaging that protects the modules better than the retail casing did. Inside, the modules are in individual compartments of the ESD bag.


This is a bit of a humorous point when you receive the modules. The sticker on the box says "VOID IF OPEN," but how can you use the modules? Either way, there is no need to pay attention to this sticker.


Each modules is wrapped in a separate cell of the single ESD bag. It is made for triple channel kits since it has three cells.



The T1 heat-spreaders make these new modules very massive compared to normal heat-spreaders. ASE Labs is not convinced of the benefit of having humongous heat-spreaders on RAM other than for the look. That being said, the look of these will certain turns heads if placed in a case with a window. There is no need for the extra expense of the new heat-spreader if the kit isn't going to be paired with a case that shows the components of the system.

Kingston retains the traditional blue coloring for this new design along with the Kingston head on the left. The modules are a bit heavier than normal due to the extensive use of extra metal.


Kingston still doesn't place the timing of the modules on the sticker. It is useful information that should be contained on the modules themselves without having to lookup elsewhere. Other than the timings, the speed and voltage are given (8500 is 1066MHz). This RAM is rated to run at 2.2 to 2.3V (website specifications) at 5-5-5-15-2T. This is a 4GB kit and timings are usually slower at this speed. This is also why the command rate is specified at 2T.


The heatsinks are bonded to the modules. In the past, clips were used to hold the heat-spreaders on the chips and were easily removed. No more can you easily take these heatsinks off. Doing so will also void your warranty. That would not be wise with Kingston's lifetime warranty.


As a comparison, the DDR3 modules from Kingston sports the normal heat-spreader. The T1 heatsinks are quite a bit larger than the DDR3 stick as a comparison. Yes, it enhances the look over the older generation heat-spreaders. This kit provides no support for SLI or XMP profiles. The SPD is set for 800MHz (JEDEC) at 5-5-5-18 running at the standard 1.8V to ensure that the RAM boots with a fresh system. Too often do RAM manufactures set the default SPD way to high for default voltage.

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ASE Labs views stability a bit differently from most publications. At ASE Labs, RAM is only stable if it passes Memtest86+ and a plethora of memory intensive applications for a few hours like mprime and doing continuous compiling of specific programs. Just because the memory POSTs and runs doesn't mean that it is stable. Linux users may find memory errors by having errors in compiling (very common) to errors in tar as well as segfaults. Windows users can expect program faults and BSODs. Memory stability is very important. When we say that a specific specification of RAM is stable, we mean it!

Using an Asus P5N-T Deluxe, the RAM refused to worked correctly at the rated 1066MHz 5-5-5-15 at any voltage. It was a suggestion by Kingston to try moving the RAM to the black slots. This made the RAM work flawlessly at the rated speed and voltage (2.2v). Why the board refuses to work correctly with the other dual channel banks is beyond reason. Someone purchasing the P5N-T would have probably felt much frustration at this. What if they purchased 4 stick of RAM? It isn't Kingston's fault that the board doesn't work correctly. Either way, once the quirkiness passed, the modules were completely stable.


Previous memory articles have shown that benchmarking memory is not a proper thing to do since the system will be running at different speeds on different components. At ASE Labs, we believe that a baseline should be kept consistent with testing and it is improper to give overclocked memory scores in comparison with anything. If the components elsewhere in the system are running at different speeds, the test is invalid.


What we do focus on for memory reviews is overclocking. Needless to say, there wasn't much expectation of a high overclock from this kit due to the speed that it was rated for. 1066MHz is extremely fast for a 4GB kit of DDR2. No matter what was tried, the modules would not run at a command rate of 1T. At the normal timings of 5-5-5-15-2T, the maximum stable overclock was 1084MHz at the same 2.2v. This is a fairly minor overclock, but the memory is speedy to begin with.


This 4GB kit is retailing for just under $100. Even though DDR3 prices have fallen to about the same price as the same speed DDR2, the majority of systems still use DDR2 (including all AMD systems, for now). The KHX8500D2T1K2/4G provides excellent looks with performance to match. DDR2 is still mainstream and Kingston manages to deliver with this latest kit.

While most enthusiasts have jumped to the Core i7 platform along with DDR3, the majority of builds just under the bleeding edge are using DDR2. This kit would be a perfect fit for a new DDR2 build. Make sure you seriously consider a 64-bit OS to go along with memory over 3GB.

ASE Labs would like to thank the team at Kingston for making this review possible.


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