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G.Skill TridentX F3-1600C7D-16GTX Review

ccokeman    -   October 15, 2013
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G.Skill TridentX F3-1600C7D-16GTX Testing:

Memory is often hard to separate from one kit to another in gaming, but when it comes to number crunching and computing, some memory provides an extra boost in comparison. To see just what kind of performance this kit has to offer, I will be running the modules through a series of benches to see just how they compare. There will be 8GB and 16GB kits ranging in speed from 2133MHz to 2400MHz, tested at native speeds as well as overclocked. Overclocking of course will be dependent on exactly how far the testing rig will allow, but I'll push it as far as I can. The testing setup used for these benchmarks is listed below, where Turbo Boost has been disabled to eliminate uncontrolled clock changes that may skew the results. The CPU will be run with default Boost clock speed of 3.9GHz for baseline testing and bumped up to 4.2GHz for OC testing (or as close as possible to that speed). All current updates and patches are installed for Windows 7 Professional 64-bit and the latest driver for the NVIDIA GTX 770 will be used.

 

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Modules:

 

CPU-Z: This application visually shows 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.

CPU-Z

 

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

Task Manager

 

Overclocking:

Overclocking on Intel Haswell processors is quite a bit different from what we are used to in the last few generations, where the CPU clock speeds did not influence the clock speed the memory controller could handle. Entry to Haswell memory overclocking 101 shows that while the CPU may handle a nice overclock of 4.7GHz to 5.0GHz, the memory may not scale up past 1866MHz or 2133MHz at those CPU clock speeds, even though the memory modules are rated much higher. What I found on both of my CPUs was that anything greater than around 4250MHz on the CPU would not run the memory at 2600MHz or higher. That being said, keeping the CPU as close to 4200MHz was imperative for pushing the limits on the memory I am testing.

This TridentX kit from G.Skill is rated at 1600MHz or around 800MHz slower than the rest of the kits I have looked at so far from various manufacturers. The question is how much of that differential can I make up without losing performance. As it turns out, I was able to push these modules up almost another 300MHz while still keeping the timings reasonable at 8-9-9-24. Reaching any higher on the clock speed with voltage or timings resulted in a failure to post on the Max6E. Kind of disappointing, but free speed with good timings is like free money when you look at the costs associated with higher speed bins. To reach 1895MHz, I raised the system agent voltage to 1.20v (up to 1.35v was tested) and the DRAM voltage to 1.65v, and adjusted the timings and bclk to find the best combination of timings and clock speed. In the end, the 1866MHz divider and a bclk of 101.5 was used to reach the 295MHz overclock. On a percentage basis, this amounts to an 18.5% boost in clock speed. During testing, the large TridentX heat sinks do the job expected of them by shedding the thermal load off the memory ICs. Using a large heatsink with four of these modules in an Intel socket 115X board will present some fitting challenges with large CPU cooling solutions just due to the height of the modules. With water cooling or any of the all-in-one liquid cooling solutions, you will want to make sure that you have at least some air flow over the modules when pushing the voltage. At the rated 1.5v, it's a non issue. Overall the modules delivered excellent overclocking for the speed bin on this TridentX kit.

 

 

Maximum Memory Speed:

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. In other words, your mileage may vary!

 

The benchmarks used in this review include the following:

Benchmarks:

  • PCMark 8
  • Geekbench 2.1
  • Hyper  Pi 0.99
  • SiSoft Sandra 2013
  • X.264 
  • AIDA64
  • Metro: Last Light



  1. G.Skill TridentX F3-1600C7D-16GTX: Introduction & Closer Look
  2. G.Skill TridentX F3-1600C7D-16GTX: Specifications & Features
  3. G.Skill TridentX F3-1600C7D-16GTX Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  4. G.Skill TridentX F3-1600C7D-16GTX Testing: PCMark 8, Geekbench, Hyper Pi
  5. G.Skill TridentX F3-1600C7D-16GTX Testing: Sandra 2013, X.264, AIDA64
  6. G.Skill TridentX F3-1600C7D-16GTX Testing: Metro: Last Light
  7. G.Skill TridentX F3-1600C7D-16GTX Conclusion
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