We at Computers and More believe in evenness & hence we test and review every brand's product no matter how big or small they are, giving them an equal chance to showcase their sheer performance. Those who've been with us for long are already aware of this fact considering some of our past reviews.
Today we're looking at one such product, the Zion Blaze DDR4 Memory kit! Founded in the year 1997 in India Zion specializes in memory module manufacturing and supply. Based out of Mumbai it has a rich heritage of over two decades now in this field now so our expectations from the Zion Blaze are a bit high.
Coming in at around Rs 5000 for a 8GB stick with out of the box frequency of 2400Mhz the RAM is available in capacities of 8GB and 16GB sticks backed up by an astounding 3+2 Years warranty. Well that's what the manufacturer has to say, so we did a little in depth analysis of the product to find some more details.
As we can see that the RAM is manufactured by Hyundai Electronics with part number HMA41G56AFR8N-TF and uses Hynix Memory chips. So the OEM is Hyundai Electronics and Zion is re-branding it for India under their own name with some tweaks to suit their needs.
Packing and Closer Look
Zion Blaze comes in a clear clam-shell packing with the product name boldly printed in a fashionable style. Not much details but a neat and clear packing.
At the back its a whole different story with a product description occupying most of the real estate, a QR Code for warranty registration purpose along with links to Zion RAM social media pages.
Looking at the RAM itself we see that its a full black PCB underneath a black aluminum heat-spreader with trims of red. The heat-spreader is thin and open from the top but not at all flimsy imparting a Batarang kind of look to the product!
The back is identical to the front with a hologram and product label pasted on either side of the Zion Blaze logo which is in the center.
We have today with us a kit of two 8GB sticks which look really sleek and nice when kept together making them a perfect choice for a red and black theme system which is the color combination of most of the motherboards in the market today.
Benchmarks and Overclocking
Installing the Zion Blaze Memory kit into our system was easy and our MSI Z270 Gaming Pro Carbon immediately took the default 2400Mhz frequency booting into Windows successfully.
For the benchmarks we used the following test setup configuration --
CPU: Intel Core i7 7700K 4.2Ghz
Motherboard: MSI Z270 Gaming Pro Carbon
RAM: Zion Blaze 16GB 2400Mhz Memory Kit
Cooler: Corsair H100i GTX (Push Pull Configuration)
Graphics Card: Asus ROG STRIX GTX 1050Ti OC 4GB GDDR5
Storage: Corsair Neutron GTX 480GB SSD
Power Supply: Corsair AX860i 860W 80+ Platinum
OS: Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
GPU Driver: ForceWare 375.70
The default frequency of the Blaze is 2400Mhz CL17 at 1.2v and we saw it perfectly once we booted into Windows. Running the test on this frequency was easy and we faced no issues at all.
For overclocking I kept the i7 7700K at 5Ghz and the best frequency-timing combination we could manage on the memory was a whooping 3200Mhz CL16 at 1.45v which is very good for a memory rated at 2400Mhz CL17.
For the benchmarks we'd be using the default and overclocked frequency of the Zion Blaze along with the Adata XPG Dazzle 2400Mhz Memory kit OC at 3000Mhz CL16 for comparison as apart from Blaze that's the only kit we've tested so far on the Kaby Lake Platform.
AIDA64 Cache & Memory Benchmark
AIDA64 Extreme Edition is a great tool to bench your CPU and RAM in terms of their read-write-copy abilities. We can see that the Blaze is beating the Dazzle by a large margin in raw speed, this might not matter in real life usage but would be visible if one indulges in semi-professional graphical/rendering work.
The Intel XTU utility not only helps one to overclock and test the system stability all in one place but also can be used to benchmark the processor in terms of comparative score.
Cinebench R15 & Cinebench R11.5
Cinebench uses Maxon's Cinema 4D engine to render a photo-realistic scene of some shiny balls and weird things (we miss the motorbike). The scene is highly complex, with reflections, ambient occlusion and procedural shaders so it gives a CPU a tough workout.
As Cinema 4D is a real-world application - used on films such as Spider-Man and Star Wars - Cinebench can be viewed as a real-world benchmark.
wPrime is a leading multithreaded benchmark for x86 processors that tests your processor performance by calculating square roots with a recursive call of Newton’s method for estimating functions.
SuperPi Mod v1.5
SuperPi is a simple program that utilizes the processing power and memory speed of the system to calculate the value of Pi upto 1 Million or 32 Million decimal point depending upon what you choose. The time is calculated in minutes and seconds, we'll take them both in seconds, so lower the score faster is your computer.
3D Mark Fire Strike
Fire Strike by 3D Mark is a test suit that plays a cinematic scene to determine the FPS, GPU temperature and CPU temperature scaling everything via a cumulative score. It is a great tool to benchmark your GPU since the render is GPU dependent.
I can't start gaming benchmarks without running my all time favorites Crysis 3 but its a game that no system loves! The CryEngine 3 behind this scenic beauty can bring down any system to its knees and I mean any system. I set everything to Ultra at 1920x1080 resolution with MSAA 4X and motion blur high.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
The latest installation of Lara Croft in the spectacular Rise of the Tomb Raider 2016 with stunning graphics and rich location makes it a great game to benchmark with while enjoying in the due course! We used DX12 and settings were at Ultimate on full HD resolution.
Batman Arkham Knight
Since the game is powered by Epic's Unreal Engine 3 and supports DX11 tessellation so playing this game on 1920x1080 resolution with all settings maxed out can be any modern system's 'worst nightmare'!
Finally we've introduced this much awaited titled to our benchmarks! Developed by ID Software Doom or popularly written as DOOM is a reboot of the older Doom series. Its fast and scary with more than enough variety of guns that you can ever imagine or even use!
Its OpenGL and quality is set to Ultra.
The reason for choosing the above games is simply the fact that they've been proven to benefit from memory frequency and latency. So slight changes can be witnessed in the above gaming benchmarks with the Zion Blaze benefiting from the extra 200Mhz that it has over its competitor.
Synthetic benchmarks even show variations especially graphic intensive suits like 3D Mark where performance is greatly affected by the memory.
My VerdictZion Blaze is quite an interesting product to be honest. Its looks are not something out of the box and might look ordinary to a majority of customers but its performance is at par or even beyond in some cases to that of many international brands.
The out of the box 2400Mhz CL17 is not the best for sure so people looking for default performance might not be very impressed but when it comes to overclocking the memory shows its true colors! A whopping 3200Mhz is an 800Mhz increase over the stock speeds of the kit & yields out some impressive results for sure. Its compatibility with the Kaby Lake CPUs & a massive 3+2 Yeas warranty period do earn it some brownie points aswell.
All in all I recommend the Zion Blaze to every gamer & PC enthusiast out there who values performance over looks & want a memory kit that sails through even the most demanding of tasks!
I give it 7.5/10 earning our Gold Award.