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G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4-3600 16GB Dual-Channel Memory Kit Review

G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4-3600 16GB Dual-Channel Memory Kit Review
G.SKILL's TridentZ DDR4-3600 16GB dual-channel RAM kit goes under the spotlight today. Does raw speed always mean more performance? Let's find out.
By: Chad Sebring | DDR-4 Memory in RAM | Posted: May 13, 2016 5:47 pm
TweakTown Rating: 82%Manufacturer: G.SKILL

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While we have already had a look at an average set of the TridentZ memory and loved everything it had to offer, G.SKILL is on a new path. Until we saw this kit of DDR4, the best speed we could find with 15-15-15-35 timings were speed capped at 3200MHz. Well, today, G.SKILL is proving that fact does not always have to be the case. So not only do you get those aesthetically awesome sticks to look at but with a generous boost in speed and relatively low timings, they are performers as well as stunners.

 

In the last set of TridentZ memory to hit the lab, we were very pleased with the XMP performance, and it left a lot to be gained with overclocking as well. At the same time, we could not achieve the speed this new kit offers, nor could we do it with timings close to what you see in this latest sample. To even get close to what this kit has to offer, we had to raise the voltage and used 16-18-18-38 2N timings. So even within their camp, this new kit of TridentZ memory is very much worth the investment of time to see what they bring forth to DDR4 users.

 

This new set of TridentZ DDR4 is made for Intel Z170 motherboards, being designed in a dual-channel configuration. Currently, there is only one density kit to choose from, and to keep gamers and multi-taskers happy, and they have started with a 16GB kit, not needing to drop density to obtain performance, which we have seen before from other companies. Today we are looking at a speed of 3600MHz with 15-15-15-35 2N timings, using the top end of the XMP voltage scale, at 1.35V. While you will have to pay a premium to obtain the Trident Z F4-3600C15D-116GTZ kit, it is quite possible that they are worth every penny.

 

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The packaging is brilliant with a black background, blue spotlights at the top shining down on the memory below, and a huge Z found at the left denoting that this is a G.SKILL top tier set of DDR4 memory.

 

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Inside of the box, you will find a case badge along with these beautiful, dual-colored heat spreaders, and a bold red accent at the top sporting the G.SKILL name. As if coming gray on one side and black on the other wasn't enough, there is also a fine hair-line texture found here that offers a bit more elegance to the design as well.

 

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To prove we weren't bluffing about what G.SKILL delivered, the holograph G.SKILL product sticker shows everything we have said is true. This is indeed the F4-3600C15D-16GTZ kit with 15-15-15-35 2N timings, all configured with an XMP2.0 profile which uses 1.35V to achieve.

 

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We always like to show off the top edge of the memory design, and here, with three layers of aggressive looking fins to either side of the cross-over red accent stripe, these TridentZ sticks are designed to fit right into any red and black themed build and look amazing at the same time.

 

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Booting with the XMP 2.0 profile is no issue at all. We found this kit booted right to the 3600MHz we were promised, and the timings are right on point with it. We did also look at Typhoon Burner for the IC change, but G.SKILL left that part of the SPD blank, and removing the spreader is nearly impossible, so confirmation of the new die has been hidden from us.

 

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GO TO TOP OF THE NEXT COLUMN ^

 

Next, we raised the VDIMM to 1.45 to see what sort of timings we could lower the memory to. With this set of TridentZ memory already being binned so tightly, it was not a surprise to see that we couldn't go very far. However, running 3600MHz at 14-13-13-35 2N is still impressive.

 

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Moving back to the XMP timings offered with this 16GB kit, we then tried pressing our luck with memory straps and moving the BCLK. The first strap up failed right out of the gate, so we were left to adjust the BCLK, and here we could only take it to 101.3MHz, taking the TridentZ memory to 3770MHz. Not the most headroom we have seen to date, but again, considering the binning, we like that there is any movement at all.

 

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Testing with the XMP 2.0 profile was a bit surprising. The Dragon's with higher latency, the other TridentZ kit in the list, and a slower set of Viper 4 memory all come very close. If you do plan to clock this kit a bit, that is where it seemed to shine, overtaking the top spot from any kit here.

 

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Again, using the sticks as they are intended, we find the overall performance to be good, but it again is bested by six other kits this time. Even with our best run with the timings lowered, five of those six kits still offer higher performance.

 

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The same holds true when it came to testing with RealBench. We found performance increases when adjusting the kit away from the XMP profile, but there are slower kits on the chart that overpower what this set of TridentZ memory has to offer.

 

Overall, there is a snappy feel to the OS, and we do love the way that these TridentZ kits look, but in this instance, it seems that lower timings aren't always king when it comes to performance. We have changed the BIOS revision for this kit, but we also traveled back and found results were all within the margin of error from run to run. It could be quite possible that the motherboard just did not care for this arrangement of ICs, but we have never had major issues with Samsung based kits in the past. While our results were good, there is no denying the overall view, where this set of TridentZ memory seemed to fall behind.

 

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They have stunning appeal, as the image above shows off, but that alone is not worth the premium pricing that G.SKILL is asking when it comes to grabbing a kit of TridentZ memory. There has to be, at the bottom of everything, a performance boost to warrant swapping from even the CAS16 3200 MHZ TridentZ memory we saw before, and we just did not find it with this set from G.SKILL. So whether they cost the $180 or so we are seeing them listed at, is irrelevant, as we cannot justify the move in the first place. This is one time that we have found that higher speeds and lower timings do not win the day, and are sad to have to bring this forward.

 

Of course, this could be a fluke as we did expect much more from the F4-3600C15D-16GTZ kit we just tested. We did notice a huge jump in the tRFC timing to 630, and the tertiary timings were also relaxed, so maybe that is enough to explain it. However, the bottom line is, that right now, we are left with a very sexy set of memory. With all signs pointing to great things, in the end, we feel there are many kits out there, better suited to those looking for the best of the best in what DDR4 has to offer right now.

 

 

 

Chad's DDR4 Dual-Channel Test System Specifications

 

Product Summary Breakdown

Performance (including Overclocking)73%
Quality including Design and Build89%
General Features88%
Bundle and Packaging90%
Value for Money70%
Overall TweakTown Rating82%

The Bottom Line: Looks aside, the G.SKILL Trident Z F4-3600C15D-16GTZ offer very little to make us want to upgrade to this set of DDR4. Yes, the look amazing, but unless that is all that matters in your near $200 investment, we would have to pass on this kit.

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