I must admit I have been getting increasingly annoyed with the noise regarding the Hynix MFR-based memory kits. As you know, the latest memory overclocking results - everything over DDR3-4000- were all achieved with a very specific memory IC: Hynix MFR. Now although I love seeing these insane memory frequencies, as an overclocker I do want people to understand that the highest clocks do not represent the highest level of performance. The highly clocked MFR-based kits are not slower because of the memory timings, but mainly because they are single sided. That means, only one side of the memory stick has ICs. So unlike with spending USD $1000 on a GTX Titan or a Core i7 3970X, spending money on the highest priced memory kit will not get you the best performance. Hynix MFR is for memory what the AMD FX-9590 is for processors. Have you seen any positive review, 90%+, or highly recommended award for that CPU?
Since Computex many reviews of Hynix MFR based memory appeared online. I must say most of them are very disappointing, as most kits get awards for these horribly priced underwhelming performance memory kits. The performance of MFR-based memory is very low. Have a look at this performance chart from TechpowerUP on the right.
As you can see, a DDR3-2933C11 MFR memory kit is slower than a DDR3-2400C11(!) kit. That is nothing short of sad.
That is the main reason why I would like to highlight the review over at Overclockers.com. They also reviewed an MFR-based memory kit, but did not give a review or any other "recommended,” "must have" or "this is amazing" award or paragraph. They said exactly how things are. To quote,
... and I take my hat off. For your information, I did link our partner G.SKILL to this review and they were pleased to see a media outlet being honest and correct about the memory kit.
The 8 GB G.Skill TridentX DDR3-2600 kit used for comparison here is $139.99 on Newegg. That’s 37.8% of the price of this DDR3-2933 kit. Not nearly 40% less than the price of the kit being reviewed, it is under 40% of its price. Oh, and it performs better. So for anyone out there that wants memory currently on the market for performance, go for that kit. G.Skill will be happy; they’ll still be getting your money, just not as much of it.
That’s not the whole story though. For a subset of a subset of overclockers that really enjoy memory overclocking (of which yours truly is one), this kit is tailor made for you. If you find yourself in that subset that is willing to spend a good sum of money purely for the fun of overclocking your memory to DDR3-3000 and beyond – well beyond – this kit has your name written all over it. Believe me it is A. Lot. Of. Fun. Fun in spades. This is a memory geek’s dream at half the price of those DDR3-3000 kits. For the rest of you, those that value performance over frequency numbers, have a look at the frequencies this kit can achieve. Then say “Ooohh” and “Aaaahhh”. Then go buy a cheaper kit.
Because this kit does what it says it will do and it can overclock to the moon – with regard to frequency only – as designed, I will not give it a “meh.” However, because it fails to do the one thing that higher-priced, higher-spec’ed memory should do – out-perform its cheaper-by-a-long-shot little brother – it doesn’t get to be Overclockers Approved either. Sorry G.Skill – and all the other manufacturers putting out these crazy high frequency Hynix MFR kits like Corsair, Avexir, Adata, etc – you’ve got to bring the performance to go with the MHz. Without it, your kit is dead in the water aside from those that are either really into memory overclocking (see: subset of a subset) or those that are compensating for something else.
I realize I might not be making a lot of friends with this news post as it seems that most of the media, journalists and marketing teams would rather have people be quiet about the performance of MFR-based memory. However, right is right and wrong is wrong. Anyone can put Hynix MFR on a memory kit and get to DDR3-3400 with a slight voltage boost, the right timings, and a good CPU. In fact, creating a highly clocked memory kit is not rocket science, it is only a matter of binning as much ICs as possible. That is exactly why they are so pricey - it takes a lot of man-hours to go through 30,000 ICs to find those that can to DDR3-3000 at 1.65V.
Honestly speaking, there are only two things I find impressive about MFR-based kits. One, getting the highest frequency record, something mostly (only) extreme overclockers are interested in. Two, having the highest clocked mass-production memory kit available in the market. None of that exclusive one-kit press release or incredibly limited sample stuff. Looking at Newegg, I only see G.SKILL having DDR3-2800+ memory kits in stock. At the Geizhals price comparison site, I find one Avexir and a couple G.SKILL sticks in stock. Others are unlisted or unavailable. Great work, both companies deserve an award for the work.