G.Skill Trident X 2400MHz Reviewccokeman - May 29, 2012
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As memory capacities and speeds increase, the ability of memory controllers to keep up is the challenge facing the enthusiast. Luckily, this set is targeted for use with Intel's latest socket 1155 Third Generation Core series processors and motherboards equipped with Intel's Z77 chipset. One thing proven so far has been that the Ivy Bridge processors seem to be equipped with incredible memory controllers that are allowing new world records for memory clock speed almost daily. To meet this need, G.Skill has put together a full line of modules based on its Trident X design. Starting at 2400MHz and going up to 2800MHz with capacities of up to 32GB, the Trident X line is ready to take advantage of the improved memory controller architecture on the Ivy Bridge processor. The set I will be looking at today is a 2400MHz 2x4GB kit designed to use latencies of 10-12-12-31 with 1.65v. What sets the Trident X line-up apart from the Ripjaws Z and X modules are the extruded heat shields and removable heat sink. The heat sink can be removed by removing two screws and then sliding the assembly off for some extreme cooling — somewhat similar to what Corsair employs with its Dominator GTX modules. Let's look a little deeper at these modules, available from the e-tailers for a modest price of $99 — much lower than one would expect for a 2400MHz-rated set of modules with added features.
The G.Skill Trident X modules come in a standard blister pack retail package. Inside the package are the Trident X modules, a case badge, and a sales sheet that fits the theme of the modules. The red background is visually appealing, allowing it to stand out in the crowd. The back view of the package has the Trident X logo on top, a brief synopsis of what type of system the modules are designed for, and that the modules are meant for use by "Overclockers and PC Enthusiasts". The G.Skill part number, product description. and SKU are on a tag at the bottom of the sales card.
This set of modules from G.Skill is part of its Trident X line-up, which includes DDR3 modules from 2400MHz to 2800MHz in capacities ranging from 8 to 32GB. The set I am looking at is the F3-2400C10D-8GTX 2x4GB 2400MHz kit. It is designed to run in systems using Intel Third Generation Core series processors and motherboards equipped with an Intel Z77 chipset. This Trident X kit runs at 2400MHz, using latencies of 10-12-12-31 at 1.65v. The label on the modules points out this information if the original packaging is lost or you just don't want to spend the time to look it up on the web. A unique serial number is also on the label for warranty purposes in case you cook the modules. The label serves as the warranty tag, yet there is another warranty device to prevent tampering with the heat shields. The black PCB goes well with the black heat shields, providing a contrast to the red heat sinks on top of the modules.
What really sets the Trident X modules apart, besides the targeting of the Z77 platform, is the unique heat sink design. It's a radical departure from where G.Skill normally is in terms of heat shield design. The heat shield is a large aluminum plate on each side of the module, with a removable red heat sink that slides off the top of the heat shields. The heat sink is held in place by a pair of screws and fiber washers, one on each end of the heat sink. By removing the heat sink, the top of the module can be covered with cooling "pot" for use with LN2 or dry ice, if regular air cooling is not enough. Both methods are used to chill the memory for massive memory clock speeds and are used in tandem with a similar cooling solution for the CPU. That's at the upper end of the enthusiast spectrum, but G.Skill is looking for that top end customer. This time with a rock bottom price.
If looks were the only criteria for a bitchin' set of memory, the Trident X fits the bill. Unfortunately, looks are not all that we need, so we'll have to see if the raw clock speed of a 2400MHz set of memory can deliver excellent performance characteristics to go along with the stunning looks.