Team Xtreem Vulcan DDR3L Review
Low voltage kits are one of the cool technological drips down from the ever improving high end. Like so many things in life, as the premium improves so the performance of the average item increases. To a certain degree it's the side-effect of Moore's Law. It doesn't seem that long ago that a 1600MHz CAS9 kit was the stuff of dreams, and now we're able to have them running at a low 1.35v.
This low voltage is important to us for a few reasons, but the main ones are the obvious cost reductions in lower-power items and the headroom available for overclocking. As computer power improves and you can edit high-definition video, render work that would make the early Pixar shorts seem antiquated, or even just help whatever @Home distributed computing project you choose, so our systems are on for increasing amounts of time, and often without user input. Being able to lessen the power draw has huge advantages to your own electricity bill and, more importantly, the planet as a whole.
Such are the capabilities of the Xtreem Vulcan DDR3L kit that you're not giving up a lot of blazing performance to achieve that low power goal. Of course in absolute bandwidth it will always come second to a premium arrangement, but as our benchmarks showed in the majority of cases the differences are negligible and outweighed by the advantages.
We wouldn't be Overclock3D without using the available headroom for overclocking though, and with a decent 2200MHz@CAS11 the performance was excellent. There was a noticeable improvement in most of our tests from the higher speed, although some of the more calculation intensive benchmarks neatly demonstrated that low latency can be the equal of pure bandwidth.
Finally there is no denying that the Xtreem kit with its Vulcan heat-spreader looks the business. The dark red, that would pass for Bordeaux in some circles, really looks good, and the choice of laser-cut logo rather than just a screen-printed affair really sets it off nicely. Pricing is unknown at time of press, but we've seen the 16GB version of our test kit going for a measly £66, so it's fair to assume that this wont bust the budget.
As the highest performing low-voltage kit we've yet tested, and with some good overclocking potential, we have to award the Team Group Xtreem Vulcan DDR3L kit our OC3D Gold Award. We can't wait to try out some of their more enthusiast speed stuff.