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Kingston HyperX KHX9600D2K2/2G

Manufacturer: Kingston
UK Price (as reviewed): £125 (inc. VAT)
US Price (as reviewed): $218 (ex. Tax)

Kingston, long time manufacturer of branded memory back to the days of SIMMs in '87, has a reputation for producing quality memory and is the world's largest memory manufacturer by some distance. While the company doesn't have a reputation for being the cheapest, its modules usually never have compatibility problems with new products - this is simply because of its significance in the market.

The company produces a range of products, not just the usual value and performance memory but also system specific memory and various flash products as well. This is understandable as flash is an easy market to produce for, for memory manufacturers, and it's also very lucrative with many consumer electronics products using it.

Today we are looking at the company's flagship DDR2 memory, which comes clocked at a lofty 1200MHz. At this speed, the memory is 50MHz shy of Corsair's PC2-10000 Dominator memory that we reviewed recently, of which there are very few available though. In comparison, Kingston sells its PC2-9600 memory through a couple of official distributors in sufficient quantities to keep even those with farms of machines happy.

Kingston HyperX PC2-9600 KHX9600D2K2/2G

Kit: 2 x 240-pin DDR2 Double Sided DIMM
Module Size: 2GB Dual Channel Kit (2 x 1GB)
Module Code: KHX9600D2K2/2G
Rated Speed: 1200MHz DDR2
Rated Timings: 5-5-5-15
Rated Voltage: 2.3-2.35V
Memory Chips: Micron D9GKX (B6-25E)
EPP: No

Kingston HyperX KHX9600D2K2/2G Kingston HyperX PC2-9600 KHX9600D2K2/2G

The blue heat-spreaders are small and exactly the same as we've seen from the days of DDR. They may be smaller and less extravagant than Corsair Dominator or OCZ FlexXLC/Reaper modules, but the blue aluminium anodised looks pretty good all the same. The compact size means the modules can fit into low profile or space restricted environments, so you can still use high performance memory without having to have a huge case.

Kingston HyperX KHX9600D2K2/2G Kingston HyperX PC2-9600 KHX9600D2K2/2G Kingston HyperX KHX9600D2K2/2G Kingston HyperX PC2-9600 KHX9600D2K2/2G

During testing, at 2.3-2.35V the modules did run far hotter than we've seen from other performance memory products, and we'd recommend you do supply some airflow over them to keep them stable at high speeds and voltages. Ideally Kingston should address this to perhaps provide a fan array at the top, for example, but then you'd lose the standard DIMM height.

With memory like this you will want a motherboard that can do at least a 1200MHz memory bus speed, so you'll be looking at something based on either Nvidia's nForce 680i (LT) SLI, AMD's RD600 or Intel's P35 chipset. The memory lacks EPP, but this doesn't stop you just inputting the timings and voltages manually, although you need to know what you're doing to do so.

The modules use the very popular Micron D9 memory chips, although they aren't specifically hand picked like Corsair uses, however each module pair is fully tested to run at 1200MHz.