P67 memory has come in so thick and fast that it's not even funny, and over the coming weeks you'll see a heap of memory reviews from us covering all the major brands.
Already we've looked at a couple of kits from Corsair. Today, though, it's time to see what G.Skill can offer us with the new high performance Ripjaws-X series. I saw an ad for this kit on TweakTown actually and admired how great it looked. I was embarrassed, though, to ask G.Skill for a sample to then find out it was sent weeks ago and already in my hot little hands. Really, that's how much memory I have at the moment; if only I could install some into my brain and improve its memory.
Anyway, on to the RAM. As far as the package goes we've got nothing except the modules themselves included. G.Skill hasn't included any fancy cooling etc. - Most of the time we find we don't need it and if the modules run perfectly without it, we're happy not to have it.
The overall profile of the modules isn't that high and the design isn't really anything we haven't seen before with it being identical to the standard Ripjaws modules. In this case, though, we've got a black heat spreader and blue Ripjaws-X labelling which looks great.
The F3-17066CL7D-4GBXH is a PC3-17066 kit which translates to 2133MHz DDR. As you may have guessed from the naming, it's a 4GB kit. What makes it really stand out is the timings, though, at these speeds.
Out of the packet we've got a 7-10-7-27-1T @ 1.65v setup which is more aggressive than other P67 kits we've looked at, but with slightly more voltage as well. Saying that, 1.65v isn't a worrying number at all, as it's what we've been used to seeing over the last few years with high performance DDR3 memory kits.
To get the kit to run at its default speeds we set the XMP to profile one and booted into Windows. We're not sure which side of the XMP profile doesn't play nice with P67 at the moment (if it's RAM, chipset or motherboard), but the timings we got were 9-10-10-27-1T. It's not the first kit to do this and we're sure it won't be the last, so we went back into the BIOS and set them manually.
With that sorted, we got back into Windows, checked CPU-Z again and discovered everything was looking right. You can see that CPU-Z validation here. So with that running all good, it was time to see how the modules performed in some of our memory benchmarks.
Under AIDA64 we ended up with Read / Write numbers of 21,562 MB/s / 18,224 MB/s, Copy speed of 22,446 MB/s and latency of 39.1ns. Looking at SiSoftware Sandra, our memory bandwidth numbers are 27,740 MB/s for Integer and 27,760 MB/s for Float. These are impressive numbers.
As we've mentioned a number of times, overclocking RAM is really quite limited on the P67 platform. We did, however, try to bump up the BCLK a few MHz and see what we could get. What we ended up with was getting into Windows at a 103 BCLK which pushed our RAM to 2198MHz DDR at the same timings.
You can see that CPU-Z validation here. Since we managed to get a bit of an overclock, it was now time to see what happened in our benchmarks.
Under AIDA64 we ended up with Read / Write numbers of 22,218 MB/s / 18,737 MB/s, Copy speed of 23,362 MB/s and latency of 37.9ns. Looking at SiSoftware Sandra, our memory bandwidth numbers are 28,550 MB/s for Integer and 28,580 MB/s for Float - More impressive numbers across the board.
I was actually talking to G.Skill and they said if we pushed the CPU up it would help boost memory performance even further due to how well the P67 handles memory. Since I know our i7 2600k is good for around 4.7GHz, I left the BCLK at 103 and moved to a 45 divider.
We ended up at just over 4.6GHz and the same memory speed as above; 2098MHz DDR. We then fired up AIDA64 and you can see our Read / Write numbers are 25,199 MB/s / 23,942 MB/s.
This is a great kit of memory that managed to achieve some fantastic speeds without the need for any extra cooling. While the 1.65v default is a little higher than some newer low voltage P67 kits, as we mentioned it's a number we've been dealing with for a long time, so we don't have any issue running our RAM with this voltage.
Throw in the fact that you can nab this kit for $139.99 USD with the Turbulence II Fan which we didn't have here, and this is a fantastic kit of memory for P67 enthusiast users.
G.Skill is normally aggressive with their pricing, but this is just ridiculous considering the super tight timings they're offering us at 2133 MHz DDR. This is going to be a kit that you should keep an eye out for.