G.Skill Flare F3-16000CL7D-4GBFLS Memory Reviewajmatson -
In these times, you can never have enough memory. I remember not so long ago when 512MB of RAM was a luxury. Now, with the fast pace and high graphics, having 4GB of RAM is a minimum. Every enthusiast wants to have the latest and greatest, pushing the boundaries of speed and winning benchmarks. To do that, you need the highest quality components with the best features available. When you design a system, there are many components that you spend a lot of time searching and weighing the pros and cons for - processors, motherboards, graphics cards, and, of course, the ever important system memory all come into play during the hardware planning stage.
When you think of G.Skill, you think of high speed, enthusiast-class memory. G.Skill is bringing its expertise out even more by designing a high end kit for the AMD lovers in the crowd. The new G.Skill Flare line is designed with the AMD Athlon II and Phenom II processors in mind by tailoring it to run at blistering speeds right alongside your overclocked CPU. Today, we are going to be looking at the G.Skill Flare F3-16000CL7D-4GBFLS kit, which is 4GB of DDR3 clocked in at a scorching 2000MHz.
The G.Skill Flare kit comes packaged nicely in a thick cardboard box. This keeps the memory and accessories protected well from damage when being moved around during shipment. On the front of the package, you will see that the Flare line is designed for the Phenom II X6 processor. At the moment, there are not many AMD-based motherboards that will support 2000MHz memory, so they list the compatibility on the front. At the time of this writing, there were four boards certified compatible, which are the ASUS M4A89TD Pro, ASUS M4A89GTD Pro, M4A88TD-V Evo, and, not listed but also supported, is the ASUS Crosshair IV Formula.
The G.Skill Flare is a high end set of memory. They are clocked at 2,000MHz with timings of 7-9-7-24 and a low voltage of 1.65 volts. G.Skill has specified that these modules are for Phenom II X6 processors only. They come with large aluminum heatspreaders for maximum dissipation of the heat generated during operation and overclocking. To go with the Flare name, the heatspreaders have a unique black and red design, which kind of resembles flames shooting from the top. There are tunnels between the heatspreaders which allow the airflow to travel through, grabbing as much heat as it can. It would have been awesome if G.Skill would have included a black PC Board to continue the motif. The heatspreaders stand quite tall, which might cause some problems if you are using a CPU heatsink that crosses over into the RAM area.
G.Skill has included an active cooling solution for the Flare memory. This will keep your RAM running cool and efficient while pushing those top speeds, especially if you overclock them further. There are two 50mm blue LED fans that provide the airflow for cooling the RAM. The fans are manufactured by a company called Young Lin and, after a bit of digging, I found that they run at 3,500RPM and have an airflow of 8.6CFM with a static air pressure of 1.6mmH2O. The noise level on these fans is very low as well at only 22dBA.
Now that we have had a good look at the memory and the cooler, we can get to the testing.