G.Skill F3-12800CL8T-6GBHK ReviewRHKCommander959 -
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With the release of i7 processors, DDR3's popularity greatly increased. Also, due to the triple channel nature of the CPU architecture, memory has been bundled in groups of three. The average speed of memory targeting the i7 is generally 1600MHz, with value memory at 1333MHz and performance memory above 1866+MHz. Intel suggests a maximum of 1.65V for operation with JEDEC voltage at 1.5. Most kits are using intricately designed heat spreaders nowadays since DDR3 runs fairly cool. Being reviewed today is a triplet of blue and silver memory from GSkill that operates at 1600Mhz with tight 8-8-8-21 timings at 1.6V. These modules are labeled F3-12800CL8T-6GBHK. They should provide great performance at 1600MHz and will most likely overclock well since there is some head room on the voltage and timings. This 6GB of memory also comes in handy with 64-bit operating systems!
Opening the shipping box, mixed in with the packing peanuts, I find a petite little clamshell package with some beautiful blue and silver GSkill memory. The insert is dark and smoky with a beam of white across the top on both sides. The red Gskill logo is present in the top right corner of both sides as well, with the rated memory settings visible directly on the memory with their stickers. The front itself only states that these are for Intel i7 systems. Rotating to the back, a paragraph summarizes the qualities of the memory inside, as well as the company that created them. Near the bottom is a white box with detailed information similar to what is found on the memory stickers, along with contact information for GSkill, and RoHS compliance badge.
The memory has a deep blue radiance to it, the silver parts are lines that reflect light and color well while scrambling images. The sticker noting the memory speed, timings, and other information is an off-white or grayish color. The heat spreader design is almost entirely cosmetic, but will still dissipate some heat. The green PCB is considered outdated to some, but personally I think it looks good. The other side is entirely the same, minus the sticker and the notch being shifted.
The GSkill sticks have a small footprint with their basic heat spreaders. The design looks great and these modules likely run very cool at their rated speed of 1600MHz, and thus they do not require larger heat spreaders to dissipate heat. This kit is definitely flashy thanks to the reflective silver and glowing anodized blue heat spreaders.
These sticks of memory are thin enough to fit side by side on motherboards, while some memory cannot due to larger heat spreaders. The top is clean and rounded. The heat spreaders are attached with thermal tape, snapped together at the top and raised along the silver design. The PCB layers are fairly visible with a keen eye.
With the GSkill memory examined, let's get a good look at their features and then see how they overclock!