G.Skill Trident Z DDR4-3400 16GB Memory Reviewccokeman -
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G.Skill Trident Z DDR4-3400 16GB Introduction:
G.Skill has been making high performance DRAM for the enthusiast community for quite some time now. My first experience with G.Skill was when I had a set of OPB tweaked kits for my A64 system. It's been a while since then, but I have had the opportunity to look at modules from G.Skill over the years. Most recently was a set of RipJaws 4 modules released when Haswell-E hit the market late in 2014. This first iteration of DDR4 modules showed that G.Skill delivered speed bins at the high end of the spectrum with tight timings, albeit with a price premium. Additionally the kits were tuned for the X99 chipset platform and Haswell-E processors. The introduction last year of Intel's mainstream Z170 chipset based motherboards and 6th generation Core series processors helped drop the price point of DDR4 modules as speed bins increased even further.
Today I am looking at one of the latest kits from G.Skill, the Trident Z F4-3400C16D-GTZ. This 2x8GB set of modules runs at 3400MHz using 1.35v with timings of 16-18-18-38 for a modest $135. Where the RipJaws modules had a stamped aluminum heat sink, the Trident Z has a much nicer setup. The bi-color kit features a thick brushed black anodized aluminum body with an aggressive fin design that incorporates a color bar sporting G.SKILL across the vertical and horizontal surfaces. Modestly priced with an aggressive look, these modules should do well. Let's find out.
G.Skill Trident Z DDR4-3400 16GB Closer Look:
The front view of the package is big on the visuals, showing off a pair of Trident Z DIMMs against a set of spotlights shining onto the modules. All this with a large 'Z' behind the left module. At the top there is no mistaking which series of G.Skill modules you are looking at. The Intel logo shows that this DDR4 set of modules are used to support Intel's 6th generation Core series processors running on the Z170 platform. The back side lists what should be the mission statement for these modules, showing that they are built for the extreme performance enthusiast and gamers. The decals at the bottom right show that this set of modules are part number F4-3400C16D-16GTZ. That corresponds to a 16GB set of Trident Z modules running at 3400MHz with timings of 16-18-18-38. The modules slide out and are encased in a two piece plastic shell that keeps the modules in place. A small red case badge is included if you choose to use it.
Available in DDR4 capacities of up to 64GB and speed bins up to 4266MHz, G.Skill offers a set of modules for just about every system capable of using DDR4, be it Haswell-E or Skylake. This set, part number F4-3400C16D-GTZ, is a 16GB kit running at 3400MHz with timings of 16-18-18-38 at 1.35v and comes equipped with an XMP 2.0 profile that can assign these settings in the BIOS. To ensure that its Trident Z line up performs as intended, G.Skill uses specially binned memory ICs. The Trident Z series of modules uses a new, aggressive looking two-tone heat sink design. The color bar is removable if you want to be an enterprising sort and color them to match your build. Not everyone will want a brilliant red, but for those who do it's a great look when paired with the brushed aluminum finish on the heat sinks.
Looking at the heat sink from the side, you can see just how robust the cooling is for these modules. When comparing the heat sink on the RipJaws 4 modules and this Trident Z kit, the cooling capacity of the Trident Z cooling package is the far superior design. If you look closely at the PCB you can see that G.Skill puts the capacity and speed bin on the black PCB so you can make sure you have the right speed bin and DIMM capacity. In this case each DIMM is 8GB and runs at 3400MHz.
If these modules perform as good as they look, the results should prove out G.Skill's promise of performance.