Memory, also known as RAM, is at the core of every modern day PC. Starting from the days of DDR RAM, we have come a long way due to continuous technological advancements and R&D work. Nowadays there is a lot of focus on extracting the highest speeds (performance) from PC hardware. There were days when, in the RAM market, 333 MHz was considered a fantastic speed, but now in early 2017 we seen memory breaking the 4333 MHz mark straight from the factory, courtesy of G.SKILL.
The PC DRAM market is now a very competitive field with the top manufacturers including G.SKILL, Corsair and Kingston. This market is not yet saturated as we are seeing more entrants in this segment with new designs and what not. DRAM manufacturers have now been touched by last year’s RGB fever which took over the industry at large. Geil introduced their EVO X with RGB lighting implemented on it. G.SKILL and Corsair did not fall behind. Corsair introduced their Vengeance RGB which was released earlier this year. Similarly, G.SKILL introduced the RGB version of their Trident Z. Trident Z is a remarkable design from G.SKILL and it truly stands out of the competition when it comes to the heat spreader design over the DRAM. It has won us over the Corsair Dominator Platinums which are breed of their own and quite popular among the enthusiasts.
Our todays review will, cover G.SKILL Ripjaws V DDR4 8GB kits (two kits each of 1x8GB module). The kits have a rated speed of 2400MHz with a CL (cas latency) of 15. The heat spreader is in dark red metallic color with a bold design. The heat spreader has curved edges with a perfectly straight center.
|Tested Latency||15-15-15-35 2N|
|Warranty||Limited Life Time|
|Features||Intel XMP 2.0 Ready|
The RAM comes in a simple yet attractive packing . We have a single plastic container with information printed card placed inside the plastic container. G.SKILL's name and logo are printed on the top left corner. RIPJAWS V is printed on the top right corner. RAM module is safely inserted in the grooved parts. G.Skill sticker badge is also provided.
One the backside of it, we have RIPJAWS V printed on the top right corner. Here is company’s take on the RAM: “Each Ripjaws V memory kit is constructed with hand-screened ICs and rigorously tested under G.Skill’s extensive suite of testing software to ensure complete reliability and stability."
Part No label is printed on the bottom right side whereas the company’s contact info is on the bottom left side.
Nowadays, DRAM manufacturers are focused on providing eye-catching and aesthetic heat spreader designs. Corsair’s Dominator Platinums are quite popular in this regard. G.Skill Trident Z with their amazing new heat spreader design have quickly made inroads among the enthusiasts. Similarly, ROG Tesla from Avixer is another bold design. While the functionality and performance of the given kit very much relies upon the ICs and their implementation, heat spreaders have become yet another buying criteria when it comes to color match and coordinate the overall build’s color theme.
We have a very bold and daring heat spreader design on the Ripjaws V. These kits are offered in 5 different colors and capacity up to 128GB. Our test kit is in red color. Heat spreader has curves on both sides. RAM measures the height of 32mm from the tip of the edges. Maximum height point is 42mm. This solution would allow these kits to be used in space constrained cases.
On the front, G.Skill logo and name are printed on the black color label. RIPJAWS V is printed on the right of this label. DDR4 is mentioned on the top of the V. G.Skill has provided a black PCB for the kit which really adds to the color scheme. Notice the implementation of the 288 pins. They are not linear or in line. From the middle cutout, there is more height of the pins up till the point when they take a slight upward design. This is on the both sides of the middle cutout. This scheme has been implemented across all the DDR4. Notice the cutouts on various points on the heat spreader. These help ensure the air flow.
The backside of the kit has a specification label in white color background. Part no is printed on the top left side. Barcode label is printed right below to it. Moth of manufacturing is printed on the left side of the label. We have the speed, capacity and serial no printed under the bar code label. DDR4 2400, timings, voltage and Intel XMP 2.0 ready are printed on the bottom of the label sticker. Removing this label would void the warranty.
The top side of the RAM has G.SKILL printed on the center of the heat spreader. We have up to four cutouts along the surface for heat dissipation. The uni design of the heat spreader is quite remarkable and does look good once installed on the motherboard.
To test the performance of the kit, following test bench was used: -
• ASUS Maximus IX Code
• Intel 7700k
• G.SKILL Ripjaws V 2x8GB @ 2400MHz
• Corsair H100i V2 with Corsair HD120 RGB Fans
• ZOTAC T400 120GB SSD
• ThermalTake Tough Power DPS-G RGB 750W PSU
Following software were used for the testing:
• AIDA64 Extreme
• SiSoft Sandra
• 3dMark Time Spy
CPU was left on stock clock of 4.2GHz with the Turbo boost of the 4.5GHz. Memory kits were first tested at 2133MHz which is a JEDEC standard specification and frequency above 2133MHz is not guaranteed by either JEDEC or Intel. Though, this is on paper and in real life, we have kits ranging up to 4333MHz and still being supported by the Intel’s CPUs.
Next, XMP profile 2.0 was loaded and timings were manually checked for correctness. Timings of the memory kits are 15-15-15-35 2N. Similarly DRAM Voltage was checked for 1.20V. Performance tests were run again on 2400MHz using XMP.
Next, overclocking was done on the memory kits. My kits did not respond well to the timing adjustments so I focused more on the frequency overclocking. Both kits managed to post with 2800MHz at 1.350V but except AIDA64 Extreme’s Memory testing, it failed on the SiSoft Sandra and Time Spy. Hence, it was established that 2800MHz was not a stable overclock. I settled for 2700MHz for both the kits.
During all these tests, CPU was not overclocked and I did not change the FSB or the multiplier. Only DRAM Frequency and DRAM voltages were used to overclock the DRAM. I’m certain that by changing the multiplier and a bit more aggressive voltage, these kits could have hit more frequencies but unfortunately, it was hard to match settings on both as one kit was stable on 2800MHz while the other was not. Hence, it is again emphasized to buy a single kit of desired capacity configuration modules. CPU VCCIO and System Agent Voltages were set at 1.250V to achieve system stability. These two are critical voltages when overclocking.
When it comes to the memory kit, besides desired capacity, there are two important factors to consider, speed and CAS Latency or timing. Speeds are mentioned in MHz (Mega Hertz) or equivalent GHz (Giga Hertz). For example, 3200MHz speed would mean 3.2GHz. Timings are more complex to understand and are usually mentioned as 15-15-15-35 with first digit being referred to the CL or tCL. Time would simple mean the actual response from the memory to any given Read/Write operation. Timings are measured as clock cycles and generally the lower number is better.
Let’s have a look at the results.
AIDA64 Memory bandwidth test includes total 4 tests to measure the performance of the given RAM. It was run on multiple frequencies to check for the improvement in the memory throughput and latencies. Measurement unit is MB/s for the Read, Write and Copy operations. The higher the number, the better. Latency is measured in ns. The lower the number, the better.
SiSoft Sandra is a very comprehensive application suite to test and measure the performance of the given PC and its components. Its Memory Controller benchmark focuses on the memory and its sub-components like cache, chipset, memory modules to measure the performance. Sandra benchmark measures the sustained memory bandwidth not peak or burst. Sandra’s approach is different as it uses the dynamic data range which is 40-60% of the physical system RAM.
3dMark Time Spy was used to observe the improvement in CPU score if any coming from overclocking of the memory kits. CPU Score and FPS are mentioned in the below graph.
A marginal improvement is there which is negligible. A 3.4% improvement can be seen from tested speed of the 2400MHz to the overclocked speed of 2700MHz.
G.SKILL is among the top memory manufacturers in the industry especially in the gaming segment. G.SKILL is known for breaking all the fastest memory overclocking records, as well as providing great value for money. They are less expensive yet equally reliable as the competitive offerings. I’ve reviewed their memory kit from the Ripjaws V line up and the memory kits have lived up to their name. The price of a kit is $55.99 / PKR 7400 for a single kit of 1x8GB. Corsair 1x8GB kit of Vengeance lineup is costing around PKR 7500 but with CL16 which makes the G.SKILL offer much better.
Design wise, G.SKILL has put up a bold, unorthodox design on their Ripjaws V series. We have the black PCB and different color heat spreaders on them. These do look good and aesthetically pleasing once inside the system. By adopting a curvy edges design on Ripjaws V, G.SKILL has provided an added solution to the space constrained chassis.
Performance wise, there is an improvement in the throughput of the memory when overclocked and at tested speed of 2400MHz though not substantial. We were able to achieve 2700MHz overclocked frequency without manipulating the multiplier. With more tweaking and higher voltage, these memory kits can be overclocked further. Though, I did not attempt any further above the 1.350V.
The G.SKILL Ripjaws V F-2400C15S-8GVR come highly recommended from our side.
Review Credit: Mr. Nauman Siddique
Cover Picture Credit: Mr. Martin Katler aka "SKRiPT"