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Geil Black Dragon DDR3 Gaming Series PC3 12800 2x2GB Review

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The Geil Black Dragon Gaming series memory is a good looking set of memory with a black and gold theme that goes hand in hand with some of the best looking motherboards out there. However, good looks can only take you so far. Performance is the other half of the equation. One thing you will notice right away is that the modules do not have a heatspreader on them to help dissipate heat from the memory ICs when cranking up the volts. Though with a voltage specification of 1.60 volts, if used at the rated speed, timing and voltage, do you really need them? Even so, the Black Dragon modules are tested with Geil's Die Hard Burn in Technology that takes up to 1000 modules and subjects them to a torture test at temperatures up to 100 degrees Celsius. So if heat is gonna kill them they have most likely gone through a tougher test than the end user will ever put them through. Hence the slogan on the packaging,"Tough on Performance Tougher on Reliability." When it came to performance, the one test that the Black Dragon Modules showed an advantage was PCMark Vantage, where the memory score eclipsed that of the other modules tested. The rest of the testing showed performance right where it should be by comparison. The one beef I have with this set is that the modules would not budge above the rated 1600MHz threshold on two P55 boards that are on the qualified motherboard list. I updated the BIOS on both boards to the latest publicly available BIOS and still no luck in overclocking the modules. I figured I had seen this before on another P55 board so I swapped the modules to my X58 based MSI Eclipse SLI board (also on the QML) and was able to run the Black Dragon modules all the way up to 1934MHz (967MHz), a significant improvement with the voltage kept at 1.65v and bumping the timings up to 9-9-9-28, a much better result. The Black Dragon modules offer good looks, flashy LEDs, a lifetime warranty and some nice overclocking with a price that is pretty reasonable at $107.



  • Performance
  • Overclocking
  • Low voltage clocks
  • DBT tested
  • Good looks



  • Motherboard compatibility


OCC Silver

  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Specifications & Features
  3. Testing: Setup
  4. Testing: PCMark Vantage, SiSoft Sandra
  5. Testing: Left 4 Dead
  6. Conclusion
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