G.Skill Ripjaws X F3 2133C9Q-32GXH Review

ccokeman - 2012-03-14 20:00:10 in Memory
Category: Memory
Reviewed by: ccokeman   
Reviewed on: March 29, 2012
Price: $399


Having recently looked at a set of G.SkillsRipjaws Z 16GB 2133MHz rated Quad channel memory kit, which showed excellent overclocking potential, I was excited to see how their latest quad channel kit (Dual Channel for Intel 6 series boards) would perform. This kit features higher density modules that drives the capacity up to 32GB using four 8GB modules. Rated at 2133Mhz Cas 9 using 1.6V, this kit at 32GB has the tightest latencies out of G.Skills catalogue for 8GB modules at 9-11-11-31, again only using 1.6v to get there. Designed for use with Intel's "Second Generation" Core series processors, this kit is targeted at the dual channel socket 1155 6 series motherboards as shown by the qualified motherboard listing on the product page for this set of memory. There are no X79 motherboards on this listing, strangely enough. Even so, operation with Intel's Sandy Bridge Extreme socket 2011 motherboards seems like the natural choice based on the ability to use these modules in a quad channel configuration, to take advantage of the capacity and bandwidth offered by the X79 platform and this set of G.Skill Ripjaws X series modules. After seeing the overclocking potential of the Ripjaws Z 16GB 2133Mhz rated kit was capable of, I am looking forward to putting the screws to this kit to find the limits. Thankfully G.Skill looks after the enthusiast crowd with a lifetime warranty on these modules so pushing them harder than intended comes with a backup plan. Let's see what the Ripjaws X F3 2133C9Q-32GXH modules have to offer.

Closer Look:

Packed into the standard retail clam shell packaging, this high density set of modules offers the same view from the front and rear face of the packaging. Information on the front side of the advertising card inside the shell states that the Ripjaws X F3 2133C9Q-32GXH kit is designed for use with Intel Second Generation Core series processors and motherboards using the Intel P67 or Z68 chipest. Again strangely the X79 chipset is not mentioned. The back side has a sticker with the pertinent information for this kit. PC3 17000 or DDR3 2133MHz speeds with latencies of 9-11-11-31 using 1.6v. Packed inside is a small case badge that can be used to show your brand loyalty.











Ripjaws X part number F3 2133C9Q-32GXH is a four DIMM set of modules designed for use with Intel P67 and Z68 motherboard running in dual channel mode. This kit features four 8GB modules rated to run at DDR3 2133Mhz speeds using a Cas latency of 9 (9-11-11-31) with a low 1.6v applied. All this is stretched over an 8 layer PCB for improved reliability and voltage tolerance. The front side of the DIMMs shows the G.Skill Ripjaws X branding against a backdrop of lightning bolts. The opposite side has a sticker with the specifications of the modules and that the 6GB modules are indeed Intel XMP certified for operation at this high level. The black-on-black theme is attractive and would look good in just about any build. Peeking out from under the heat shields is a sticker that states G.Skill Warranty and is in a spot normally not seen. The label on the side identifies the modules and the rated timing and speed bin as well as the voltage that should be applied to these modules to allow them to run the rated speeds.




The Ripjaws X modules use the X series heat shields to manage the thermal load form these modules. Pushing 1.6v you would be hard pressed to overwhelm the cooling of these modules unless the chassis you are working with just no airflow to keep the modules cool. Stacked in a four DIMM configuration on a P67 or Z68 motherboard and in the four DIMM slots heat can build up a bit but the X series of modules should handle the thermal load up to 1.7v. The heat sink design uses large fins and convective cooling to keep the modules cool under load.



32GB of memory is just a massive quantity of memory for use in a system, but there are added things you can do with it, such as putting together a RAM disk to increase the performance of the system. Let's see if this 32GB kit can deliver excellent performance to go with the added capacity above that of the 16GB and 32GB kits I have looked at so far.


Model Number
System Type
Main Board
M/B Chipset
P67 / Z68
32GB (8GBx4)
Multi-Channel Kit
Dual Channel kit
Tested Speed
DDR3-2133 MHz (PC3-17000)
Tested Latency
9-11-11 2N
Tested Voltage
Error Checking
240-pin DIMM
SPD Speed
1333 MHz
SPD Voltage
Fan lncluded
Intel XMP (Extreme Momery Profile)Ready



Qualified Motherboard List:

Maximus IV Extreme
P67A-GD65 (Bios Ver 1.B)
P67A-GD55 (Bios Ver 1.B)
P67A-GD53 (Bios Ver 1.B)
Fatal1ty Z68 Professional
Z68 Extreme4
Fatal1ty P67 Professional
P67 Extreme 6
P67 Extreme 4




All information courtesy of G.Skill @  http://www.gskill.com/products.php?index=503


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.

Testing Setup:


Comparison Modules:


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.

Task Manager



Corsair Overclocked settings:

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:



PCMark Vantage: With this benchmark, I will be running the system suite, as well as the memory test suite. The measurement for the system suite will be the total score. The measurement for memory performance is the total memory score.
















PCMark 7 is the latest iteration of Futuremark's popular PCMark system performance tool. This latest version is designed for use on Windows 7 PCs and features a combination of 25 different workloads to accurately measure the performance of all PCs from laptops to desktops.


Higher is Better


Geekbench 2.1 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: is a program designed to calculate Pi up to the 32nd millionth digit after the decimal and is used as both a benchmarking utility and simple stress test to check your overclock before moving forward with more rigorous testing. The world records for this benchmark utility are hotly contested.



In the PCMark Vantage testing the Ripjaws X F3 2133C9Q-32GXH kit delivered the highest overall results in both tests stock and overclocked. In the PCMark 7 test the results are not as significant but the kits performance is similar to other kits on the market. In the GeekBench testing the results are roughly the same as the rest of the kits tested in many of the tests. In SuperPi the latencies do not seem to be a huge barrier to performance.


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.
















AIDA64 Extreme Edition: is a software utility designed to be used for hardware diagnosis and benchmarking. I will be using the Cache and Memory benchmark to test each module’s read, write, and copy bandwidth, as well as the latency test.


Higher is Better

In the Sandra testing, the G.Skill Ripjaws X modules deliver a higher level of performance than other 2133MHz rated kits in all tests save for the memory latency test where the 9-11-11-31 latencies hamper this kit. In the Aida testing, the 32GB kits is right in the middle of the pack for the most part with the exception being the latency test, much like the Sandra testing.


Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is a first-person shooter developed by EA Digital Illusions CE (DICE) and published by Electronic Arts for Windows, PS3, and Xbox 360. This game is part of the Battlefield franchise and uses the Frostbite 1.5 Engine, allowing for destructible environments. You can play the single-player campaign or multiplayer, the latter with five different game modes. Released in March 2010, it has sold in excess of six million copies so far.














When it came to the game testing it looks like adjusting the frequency and timings had little effect on game play performance. The maximum differential in performance is two FPS in the stock 1680 x 1050 testing with the balance of the testing varying by a single FPS from top to bottom.


32GB of system memory is a lot of memory for any system today. However, the advent of Intel's Sandy Bridge Extreme processors and X79 chipset brought along with it quad channel memory support and the ability to run or use up to 64GB of memory on a desktop platform motherboard. Whether you can use that much or not is a matter of program usage and the capacity to drive that much memory capacity. Photo editing and re-stitching programs can utilize 32GB of capacity to reduce the completion time of picture, clean-up and resizing. Using the added capacity the end user can employ the use of a RAM cache or working as a drive cache for improved hard drive performance. The G.Skill Ripjaws X F3 2133C9Q-32GXH have looser latencies than just about all of the comparison modules. When compared to other modules in the test system the G.Skill modules delivered excellent performance across the board leading as many tests as it was not - a pleasant surprise indeed based on just the latencies alone. The X Series heat shields do an excellent job of dissipating the thermal load of these modules. Not that there is a significant thermal load when running at 1.6v, but they are there for the times you want to get a bit adventurous with the voltages and overclocking. Overclocking margins are not what I was looking for, but nevertheless, I was able to pull an extra 100+ MHz or 5.5% out of the modules that generated a nice boost in performance across the test suite. The modules look great and will "fit" into just about any build. In the end, this set of memory from G.Skill offers excellent performance, a bit of overclocking headroom, reasonable pricing at $399, great looks and enough capacity for the masses to get the job done whatever it is, all with the comfort of a lifetime warranty should something go wrong.