G.Skill RipjawsX PC3-14900 Cas 9 Review

ajmatson - 2011-06-27 19:35:00 in Memory
Category: Memory
Reviewed by: ajmatson   
Reviewed on: August 21, 2011
Price: $69.99


Computer memory is constantly becoming faster and more efficient. With every speed boost of new processors and storage, capacities and frequencies of memory have needed to keep up as well. Not too long ago, memory frequencies of 1000MHz were considered the fastest you could buy. Now, we are surpassing speeds in excess of 2000MHz, as if there are no limits to how far they can go. When it comes to capacity, 4GB was the sweet spot years ago, but with newer operating systems and increased demand for memory, it seems like 8GB has become a common capacity for power users. One of the most popular memory manufacturers is G.Skill, a company that offers a wide range of modules for every need. Today, we will be taking a look at a set from their premium RipjawsX series. They are designed for gamers and power users who want superior speed, capacity, and low latency for their cutting edge systems.

With model number F3-14900CL9D-8GBXL, the set we have on review is rated for 1866MHz speeds in a dual channel configuration, with latency timings of 9-10-9-28. Each module contains a capacity of 4GB, making for a total memory of 8GB when both are added to your system. To allow for easier setup, there are XMP profiles embedded into the memory for Intel users. If you like to get down and dirty, manual control is always an option. Appearance-wise, they have heat spreaders that look to aggressively tear through the competition, hence the RipjawsX name. More than just for “bling” factor, the heat spreaders are designed to efficiently pull heat from the modules and away by means of natural chassis airflow or memory cooling fans. Let’s take a nice look at the modules up close and then see how they perform!


Closer Look:

The G.Skill RipjawsX comes packed in a nice blister pack designed to keep the memory safe in transport. The transparent packing allows you to clearly see the memory before even taking it out. At the top of the package, you will find the RipjawsX logo and, of course, the G.Skill logo prominently showing you who you’re dealing with. The back of the packaging reveals a bit of information on the features of the RipjawsX memory and the lifetime warranty that accompanies them.




With the modules out of the package, you will really see why they have been given the name, RipjawsX – they look like fierce teeth, like that of a shark, designed to rip the heads off of their opponents. The RipjawsX series comes in several DDR3 frequencies, capacities, and color schemes – either red or blue. Today, our review set features a red color scheme, a frequency of DDR3 1866MHz, timings of 9-10-9-28, and a voltage of 1.5V. This particular set is designed with X.M.P. profiles in mind, for use on Intel P67 platforms. In conjunction with its low voltage, they should make overclocking easier for novice users. However, the modules should always work at these specifications as long as they are supported by board.


The heat spreaders on the G.Skill RipjawsX are made of aluminum, which will evenly spread and dissipate heat away from critical parts of the memory. The teeth on the top allow air to easily pass between them for maximum cooling efficiency. While these particular spreaders are more low-profile than others, caution should still be made in ensuring that they will not interfere with your processor heat sinks, clearance-wise. When paired with a RAM cooling fan, such as the G.Skill Turbulence II, you should be able to push your memory to the limit while still remaining nice and stable.


Now that we have seen the memory up close, how about we begin testing these beasts?


System Type:
M/B Chipset:
Intel P67, Intel Z68
CAS Latency:
9-10-9-28 2N
8GB (4GB x 2)
DDR3-1866MHz (PC3-14900)
Test Voltage:
1.5 Volts
40 mm / 1.58 inch
Registered / Unbuffered:
Error Checking:
240-pin DIMM
Intel XMP (Extreme Memory Profile) Ready


All information courtesy of G.Skill @ http://www.gskill.com/


To test the G.Skill RipjawsX modules, I will be putting them through a test regiment consisting of several benchmarks that are designed to put the memory through its paces. To keep every result as fair as possible without interference from other variables, all untested hardware will be kept at the same speeds, timings, and latencies throughout every run. For the same reason, each set of memory will be run at their rated speed and latency. They will then be raised to their maximum frequencies to show how they differ on overclocking abilities.


Testing Setup:


Comparison Modules:


CPU-Z: This application displays the settings that we have chosen in the BIOS. Items shown in this application include CPU speed and bus settings, motherboard manufacturer, BIOS revisions, memory timings, and SPD chip information.



Task Manager: We use this utility to show physical memory, kernel memory, page file, and processor usage.

Task Manager




G.Skill Overclocked settings:

The stock clock speed rating on these G.Skill modules is 1866MHz. To overclock them, I played with the reference clock to raise the memory speed and also kept the CPU speed as close to stock as possible - this is to ensure that added performance is due to the memory rather than the system as a whole. My goal was to increase the memory frequency as much as I could while keeping the latency timings low. In my efforts, I was able to push this set to 2000MHz before receiving errors in Memtest86+ and losing stability. I did attempt to loosen the timings to 10-10-10-28 and push higher than 2000MHz, but it resulted in dropped performance. Thus, the overclocked tests were run with these modules at 2000MHz with stock latency timings.


The maximum overclocked memory speed for each set of modules is only indicative of our results while running on this test system. Results may differ based on the capabilities of your own hardware. Therefore, your mileage may vary!


The benchmarks used in this review include the following:


PCMark Vantage: With this benchmark, I will be running the system and memory test suite. The measurements for the system suite and memory performance will be the total and memory score, respectively.



















Geekbench 2.1: This provides a comprehensive set of benchmarks, engineered to quickly and accurately measure processor and memory performance. Designed to make benchmarks easy to run and easy to understand, Geekbench takes the guesswork out of producing robust and reliable benchmark results.



Super PI Mod 1.5: Designed to calculate Pi up to the 32nd millionth digit after the decimal, this program is used as both a benchmarking utility and simple stress test to check your overclock before moving forward with more rigorous testing. World records for this benchmark utility are hotly contested.



In the PCMark Vantage testing, the RipjawsX started off by falling short of the bunch. The same result was seen in the Geekbench stock score, though the modules pulled ahead in the Geekbench overclocked scores. When it came to Super PI, the RipjawsX memory scored in the middle of the pack.


SiSoftware Sandra 2011: In this program, I will be running the following benchmarks: Cache and Memory, Memory Bandwidth, and Memory Latency. Higher is better in all tests, except for Memory Latency, where lower is better.
















With the exception of the stock Cache & Memory results, the G.Skill RipjawsX memory had the best scores in all tests.


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In the Batman tests, the results went back and forth but performance differences were close enough to be negligible.


The G.Skill RipjawsX F3-14900CL9D-8GBXL DDR3-1866MHz memory is a decent set for anyone needing to upgrade their speed and capacity. Offering a large 8GB memory capacity at faster 1866MHz speeds, it gives the edge you need to get the most out of your system. One thing that really helps it stand out is the lower latencies of 9-10-9-28 – we normally see this for memory in the 1600MHz range. They also come equipped with aggressively-designed, all-aluminum heat spreaders that are designed to pull heat away from the modules and efficiently transfer it to the case airflow.

When it came to overclocking, I was able to push a little more juice past the stock speed, though not as much as I would have liked. The ceiling I hit was 2000MHz – while decent, it was not as high as my efforts with the G.Skill Flare. I tried loosening the timings to increase the frequency, but the resulting performance was negatively impacted when compared its capabilities with timings at 9-10-9-28. In the end, I was able to reach a stable 2000MHz at stock latencies. It is a small bump – considering it is only an extra 134MHz – but it did help overall performance, as the scores show.

Overall, this set is a killer deal. At an average price of $69.99 for 8GB of this high-speed memory, it means you can finally have enough RAM for all of your needs. For the price, however, why stop at 8GB when you can install a whopping 16GB of the G.Skill RipjawsX memory for just a bit over $100? In any case, you will really put some speed into your system with these modules.