G.Skill Ripjaws X F3 2133C9Q-32GXH Reviewccokeman - March 29, 2012
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To find out just what kind of performance this kit of memory will deliver, I will be running it through a series of benchmarks to see how they compare. 16 GB and 32 GB kits that range in speed from 1600 MHz to 2400 MHz will be tested at their native speeds as well as overclocked as far as the test platform and CPU will allow. Overclocking on the Intel's X79 series platform is much like that on P67 and Z68, with strict multiplier and bclock limits. However, the option to use the gear stepping of the Socket 2011 platform allows for some interesting combinations. The test setup used for this evaluation is listed below. Turbo Boost has been disabled to eliminate an uncontrolled clock speed increase that may skew the results. The CPU will be run at the default clock speed for the baseline testing and then bumped as close to 4.5 GHz as possible for overclocked testing. The operating system is Windows 7 Pro 64-bit with all current patches installed at the time of testing. The graphics driver is AMD Catalyst 11.12.
- Processors: Core i7 3960X @ 3.4 GHz and 4.5 GHz
- Motherboard: ASUS Rampage IV Extreme
- CPU Cooling: Corsair Hydro Series H100
- Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X F3 2133C9Q-32GXH
- Video Card: XFX Radeon HD6970
- Power Supply: Corsair AX1200
- Hard Drive: 1 x Seagate 1 TB SATA
- Optical Drive: Lite-On Blu-Ray
- Case: Corsair Obsidian 650D
- OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
- Comparison Module #1: Mushkin Redline (4 x 4 GB) 993997 9-11-10-28 2133 MHz 1.65 V
- Comparison Module #2: Corsair Vengeance LP (4 x 4 GB) CML16GX3M4X1600C8 8-8-8-24 1600 MHz 1.5 V
- Comparison Module #3: G.Skill RipjawsZ (4 x 4 GB) F3-17000CL9D-8GBXLQ 9-11-10-28 2133 GHz 1.65 V
- Comparison Module #4: Corsair (8 x 2 GB) CMGTX8 PC3-19200 10-12-10-27 2400 GHz 1.5 V
- Comparison Module #5: Patriot Division 4 (4 x 4 GB) PXQ316G1600LLQK 8-9-8-24 1600 MHz 1.65 V
- Comparison Module #6: Corsair Vengeance (4 x 4 GB) CMZ16GX3M4X1866C9R 9-10-9-27 1866 MHz 1.5 V
CPU-Z: This application shows us 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.
Corsair Overclocked settings:
- Processor: Intel Core i7 3960X 105.2 x 44
- Memory: Gskill Ripjaws X F3 2133C9Q-32GXH 2245Mhz
When it came to overclocking I was not able to get as much headroom out of this set as I would have liked after pushing the Ripjaws Z 16GB 2133MHz modules to just over 2400Mhz. To overclock on the Sandy Bridge platform, be it socket 1155 or 2011, you have the same constraints when it comes time to reach for more clock speed. There are defined memory multipliers that limit how for the memory will go in pretty narrow envelope around the divider. The X79 platform opens up a few more wrinkles with the Gear Multiplier for the bclock, but you still have the same narrow bands for memory clock speed. There are just more options on the X79 platform when it comes to memory speeds. Any which way I tried from voltage to loosening the latencies and gear multipliers, I could not get the modules up or above around 2250Mhz. Adjusting the memory ratio to the 2400MHz step resulted in no post. Adjusting the gear step on the CPU to the 125MHz strap to net just over 2300Mhz also was a no-post. Memory controller voltages were tried up to 1.45v with Dram voltages up to 1.70v. To reach the 2245Mhz clock speed I raised the CPU bclock to 105Mhz and adjusted in .1MHz increments until the system would not post. 105.2Mhz or 2245Mhz was the limit on the overclocking. This is 112MHz over the rated 2133MHz or a margin of about 5.5%. All things considered the memory has headroom as long as your CPU has the bclock capability and the memory controller to handle the high density modules. I have a feeling with this 32GB kit I am knocking on the limits of the controller's capabilities.
The maximum memory speed for each set of overclocked modules is indicative of how well the modules ran on this test system. As such, your results may differ in either a positive or negative way based on the capabilities of your hardware. That said, your mileage may vary!
The benchmarks used in this review include the following:
- CPU-Z Version 1.58
- Windows Task Manager
- PCMark 7
- PCMark Vantage
- Geekbench 2.1
- Super Pi 1.5
- SiSoft Sandra 2012
- Aida 64
- Battlefield Bad Company 2