G.SKILL Pi Series F3-12800CL7T-6GBP Tri Channel 6GB Reviewccokeman - April 11, 2010
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In the world of computing, you can never have too much memory. With 64-bit operating systems and drivers that support the hardware for them, more and more gamers, enthusiasts, and technology lovers alike are packing their computers with as much memory as they can afford. The Intel i7 series introduced a new technology trend for us with their supporting X58 motherboards which was triple channel memory. This design allows us to run even more memory with less cost by adding another channel to populate with lower cost memory. The design also broke the 32-bit barrier since most users populate each channel with at least 2GB stick of memory. Each channel at 2GB brings us to a memory sweet spot of 6GB. There have been many companies that have developed triple channel memory for this platform, one of which is G.Skill. The particular set we are going to be looking at today is the G.SKill Pi series. It is a three module set of 2GB sticks designed to run at enhanced latencies and low voltages to give your system the boost it needs. The Pi series also uses a unique heat spreader design to keep them cool, which we will take a look at a little later in the review.
The G.Skill Pi Series Tri-Channel memory comes packaged in a blister pack which makes examining the modules easy without having to remove them from the packaging. The front of the package proudly displays the three memory modules with the Pi Series heat sinks. On the back of the blister pack is the model number which shows F3-12800CL7T-6GBP. There is also a bit about the design of the G.Skill memory made for Intel i7 processors with the triple channel design for maximum performance. On the top of the back is the G.Skill memory logo which states "Where Speed Is, Extreme Speed, Extreme Power".
This set of G.Skill Pi memory is rated to run at 1600Mhz DDR3 with timings of 7-8-7-24-2T with a low voltage of 1.5v which is under the max 1.65v for an i7 processor. The Pi series uses a unique black aluminum heat spreader which uses curved fins to allow the airflow from the case to pass not only over them, but between them as well. This maximizes the cooling effect and keeps your memory running longer and more efficiently. If you notice at the end of the heat spreader, there is a tunnel that is created by the curves of the design that funnels airflow down inside the heatsink. This provides even more cooling closer to the base of the heat spreader where the critical parts of the board are.
Now that the memory is un-packaged, we can test them to see how they perform.