G Skill Ram RIPJAWS Z 16GB Review

By Muhammad Faisal 0 comments
G Skill Ram RIPJAWS Z 16GB ReviewCan Intel's new X79 PC platform claim to be a true desktop solution? Or is it a thinly disguised server platform? The answer could be critical when mulling over the latest X79-compatible RAM kits, such as G Skill Ram RipjawsZ 1,600MHz 16GB.

There are two key issues at stake. The first is raw memory bandwidth. In standard trim, Intel's outgoing X58 platform sported three channels of relatively lowly clocked DDR3 memory. If anything, it pumped out more memory bandwidth than was strictly necessary. In that context, the X79 and its quad-channel controlled fed by higher clocked DDR3 DIMMs looks borderline ludicrous. The reason it exists, of course, is to ensure Intel's closely related server systems have the bandwidth they need.

G Skill RamMeanwhile, arguably the best thing about the new Sandy Bridge E processors that slot into the X79 platform is their immense overclocking ability. Making the most of that requires decent memory. With all that in mind, what should you make of the G Skill Ram Ripjaws Z1,600MHz 16GB RAM?

G Skill Ram Stability licked

The G Skill Ram RipJaws Z kit isn't exactly cheap, but it does offer decent value for money. Intel's new Sandy Bridge E Core i7 processors aren't cheap either. Neither are the motherboards with the obligatory X79 chipset. If you want the best, you're going to have to pay for it. But is this nattily named kt really a winner?

For starters, each kit is hand tested. It's also XMP 1.3 ready, which means it's not just any old quartet of DDR3 1,600MHz DIMMs. It's specilly developed for the X79 platform. If that's so much digital doublespeak to you, XMP or Extreme Memory Profile is a user-friendly way of cranking up various memory settings and timings without the need for hand tuning. The latest 1.3 standard generally tightens things over 1.2, allowing better performance and stability.

As for the specifics, this RipJaws Z RAM nominally clocks at 1,600MHz with 9-9-9-24 timings at 1.5V. Oh, and it's 4GB per DIMM, making for a mildly monumental 16GB overall. If that sounds like plenty, G.Skill actually does kits all the way up to 32GB. That's 8GP per stick.

We used the G Skill Ram kit for Core i7-3960X and they ran rock solid all the way from the 3960X's nominal 3.33GHz clockspeed through 4.8GHz without a blip. The X79 may be a new platform, but G Skill Ram has the question of stability licked.

As for raw performance and the question of whether you actually need four channels, we re-ran several of our benchmarks with just two of the four DIMMs inserted. The highly threaded benchmarks came back identical, while World in Conflict averaged just a single frame per second slower. In other words, not a big enough difference to rule out testing error.

But it's still early days for both the new X79 platform and XMP 1.3, so it's hard to be too emphatic about the RipJawsZ's performance. The biggest problem is that in desktop performance terms there's little need for four channels. Very few will benefit from the 16GB capacity, either.

Vital Statistics
Price G Skill Ram $124 approx.
Manufacturer G.Skill
Web www.gskill.com
SKU F3-12800CL9Q-16GBZL
RAM type DDR3
Capacity 16GB
Clockspeed 1,600MHz
Configuration 4x 4GB, Quad-channel
Latencies 9-9-9-24

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