G.Skill Ripjaws PC3-12800 (1600MHz) 8GB Kit

We check out a fresh Ripjaws kit from G.Skill on our new testbed setup. This time it's a meatier 8GB one. Let's find out how it goes in our testbed.

Manufacturer: G.Skill
8 minutes & 29 seconds read time

Introduction, Packaging and Modules


G.Skill Ripjaws PC3-12800 (1600MHz) 8GB Kit 02

Over the past few months we've seen memory companies offer us some fairly large kits. We saw Kingston offer us a massive 24GB kit not too long ago and more recently recently looked at a 12GB kit from SuperTalent as well as an 8GB kit from ADATA. Today G.Skill will be joining the ranks of big kits with a new Ripjaws series offering.

The Ripjaws kit isn't anything new to us; we've seen the series before from G.Skill and we've been impressed by it, too. Larger models tend to come at the cost of more relaxed timings, though, and today we'll figure out if that's a trade-off we're happy to accept.

Before we get stuck into the performance of the kit, let's check out the package first and the actual modules themselves. Once that's done we'll get stuck into the good stuff.

The Package

G.Skill Ripjaws PC3-12800 (1600MHz) 8GB Kit 03

G.Skill Ripjaws PC3-12800 (1600MHz) 8GB Kit 04

The package that G.Skill has put together is fairly standard with nothing out of the ordinary. We can see the modules on the front, while if we turn over we've a little bit of a run down on G.Skill as a company. In the bottom right corner we've got a sticker that gives us the main information regarding the kit.

The Modules

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G.Skill Ripjaws PC3-12800 (1600MHz) 8GB Kit 06

The kit itself isn't anything new as we've looked at the Ripjaws series in the past. The heatsink design is a little different, but nothing too wild. Both sides of the stick are near identical with both showing the G.Skill logo. And while both also have the Ripjaws tag, on one side we have a sticker that covers most of it again, giving us a rundown of all the important information.


Being a PC3-12800 kit means that we're dealing with a 1600MHz DDR one, which isn't all that quick by today's standards and is fairly usual when it comes to these larger 4GB modules. For the same reason as the lower speed, we also have more relaxed timings. In this case they rest at 9-9-9-24-2T. What's interesting is that G.Skill has achieved this with only 1.5v, which is much lower than the 1.65v we're used to seeing.

G.Skill Ripjaws PC3-12800 (1600MHz) 8GB Kit 01

You can see the validation here.

Getting to that speed wasn't an issue, as we expected; we've seen our P55 test bed push capable memory much higher. Due to the low voltage, though, our hopes were high when it came to overclocking.

G.Skill Ripjaws PC3-12800 (1600MHz) 8GB Kit 500

You can see the validation here.

With the voltage bumped up to the standard 1.65v that we're used to seeing and keeping the timings at the same 9-9-9-24-2T setup, we managed to squeeze a 200MHz DDR overclock out of the kit that resulted in a final clock speed of 1800MHz DDR.

The only problem we ran into was that we needed to move our memory divider and in turn ended up with a CPU speed a fair bit slower than the same kit at 1600MHz DDR. This was to no fault of G.Skills, or anyone else really; it's just that when using the same divider we couldn't achieve the 230+ BCLK we needed to get the CPU speed even higher without instability issues taking place.

Important Editor Note: Our maximum overclocking result is the best result we managed in our limited time of testing the memory. Due to time constraints we weren't able to tweak the motherboard to the absolute maximum and find the highest possible FSB, as this could take days to find properly. We do however spend at least a few hours overclocking every motherboard to try and find the highest possible overclock in that time frame. You may or may not be able to overclock higher if you spend more time tweaking, or as new BIOS updates are released.

Test System Setup and PCMark Vantage

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We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASRock, MSI, Kingston, Noctua, Mittoni and Corsair.

Today we'll be looking at the G.Skill kit against the Kingston kit we recently looked at. Of course, we'll be including the G.Skill kit at its default speed and its overclocked one. Make note, though, that at 1800MHz DDR the CPU is running only at 3784MHz.

Due to the lower CPU speed when the memory is overclocked, what I've done is drop the multiplier on the CPU to 20x and just increase the BCLK a little to keep us around the 4.2GHz mark. And while we won't have as high a clock speed on the RAM, we do have 1676MHz DDR at 4189MHz.

G.Skill Ripjaws PC3-12800 (1600MHz) 8GB Kit 501

You can see the validation here.

Let's get started!

Important Note: When modules are overclocked we adjust the BCLK which not only lets us fine tune the MHz out of a module, but in turn increases the overall CPU clock speed. While we always make the effort to include the BCLK and CPU Speed in our graphs, please just make sure that you make note of these when looking at the results. In some tests that don't purely test the memory speed the extra MHz on offer from the CPU can increase the result. Of course, it's worth noting that having faster memory gives you the ability to run your CPU at a higher speed.

PCMark Vantage

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.1
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/benchmarks/pcmarkvantage/introduction
Buy It Here

PCMark Vantage is a PC benchmark suite designed for Windows Vista offering one-click simplicity for casual users and detailed, professional grade testing for industry, press and enthusiasts.

A PCMark score is a measure of your computer's performance across a variety of common tasks such as viewing and editing photos, video, music and other media, gaming, communications, productivity and security.

From desktops and laptops to workstations and gaming rigs, by comparing your PCMark Vantage score with other similar systems you can find the hardware and software bottlenecks that stop you getting more from your PC.

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You can see that when we moved to 1800MHz DDR, because the CPU clock was so much lower, the overall speed isn't there from the kit. In the memory benchmark bit, though, we don't see a huge change in performance.

Benchmarks - wPrime


Version and / or Patch Used: 1.62
Developer Homepage: http://www.wprime.net/
Product Homepage: http://www.wprime.net/

wPrime uses a recursive call of Newton's method for estimating functions, with f(x)=x2-k, where k is the number we're sqrting, until Sgn(f(x)/f'(x)) does not equal that of the previous iteration, starting with an estimation of k/2. It then uses an iterative calling of the estimation method a set amount of times to increase the accuracy of the results. It then confirms that n(k)2=k to ensure the calculation was correct. It repeats this for all numbers from 1 to the requested maximum.

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At around 4.2GHz the G.Skill kit is performing as we would expect. At 1800MHz DDR, though, we again see because the CPU speed is quite low and the fact that wPrime does benefit from the raw CPU MHz, it does fall back.

Benchmarks - Everest Ultimate Edition


Version and / or Patch Used: Ultimate Edition
Developer Homepage: http://www.lavalys.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.lavalys.com/products/overview.php?pid=3&ps=UE&lang=en
Buy It Here

EVEREST Ultimate Edition is an industry leading system diagnostics and benchmarking solution for enthusiasts PC users, based on the award-winning EVEREST Technology. During system optimizations and tweaking it provides essential system and overclock information, advanced hardware monitoring and diagnostics capabilities to check the effects of the applied settings. CPU, FPU and memory benchmarks are available to measure the actual system performance and compare it to previous states or other systems. Furthermore, complete software, operating system and security information makes EVEREST Ultimate Edition a comprehensive system diagnostics tool that offers a total of 100 pages of information about your PC.

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Looking at actual memory performance, the kit performs strong, especially at default when our CPU is at 4.2GHz.

Benchmarks - SiSoft Sandra

SiSoft Sandra

Version and / or Patch Used: Professional Home
Developer Homepage: http://www.sisoftware.co.uk
Product Homepage: http://sisoftware.jaggedonline.com/index.php?location=home&a=TTA&lang=en
Buy It Here

SiSoft Sandra (System ANalyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) is a synthetic Windows benchmark that features different tests used to evaluate different PC subsystems.

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Under Sandra which concentrates on just the memory, we can see even though the CPU is a lot slower, the extra MHz on the kit really shows, helping boost overall performance.

Benchmarks - Super PI

Super PI

Super PI is a computer program that calculates pi to a specified number of digits after the decimal point - up to a maximum of 32 million. It uses Gauss-Legendre algorithm and is a Windows port of the program used by Yasumasa Kanada in 1995 to compute Pi to 232 digits

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Super PI performance is as we would expect. Again the kit lags a little when it's at 1800MHz DDR due to the lack of CPU speed.

Benchmarks - 3DMark Vantage

3DMark Vantage

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.1
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmarkvantage/
Buy It Here

3DMark Vantage is the new industry standard PC gaming performance benchmark from Futuremark, newly designed for Windows Vista and DirectX10. It includes two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, and support for the latest hardware.

3DMark Vantage is based on a completely new rendering engine, developed specifically to take full advantage of DirectX10, the new graphics API from Microsoft.

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Vantage performance across the board is where we would expect it to be.

Total Performance Rating (TPR)

Total Performance Rating

The TPR graph is a combination of all our benchmarks in which we test our memory modules with.

The TPR number is a combination of:-

PCMark Vantage, Everest Ultimate, SiSoft Sandra, and 3DMark Vantage.

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Overall performance from the kit is good; the relaxed timings mean that it doesn't blow anything out of the water and instead it just lines up with most of the other setups.

Total Value Rating (TVR) & Final Thoughts

Total Value Rating

The TVR graph is the TPR score divided by the price of the memory kit. The price of the memory kit is based on the list price of the model on Newegg.com. In the event the kit isn't listed, it will be based on the U.S. $ MSRP given to us by the manufacturer.

In the event we can't source a price from either, the product will not receive a TVR rating. As with our TPR graph, the amount of memory kits on the list will grow over time and the price of the model won't change from what it was when first reviewed. For this reason the U.S. $ price that the kit is based off will be included next to the name of the model.

In the event you want to find the TVR rating yourself based on the current price, all you have to do is simply divide the TPR number by the list price.

TVR numbers are rounded to the nearest whole number; 100.3 will be 100; 100.8 will be 101 and 100.5 will be rounded down to 100.

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Due to the benchmarks not making real use of that extra memory, we see with the price increase the overall value from a benchmarking/performance perspective is quite poor. Of course, it should be mentioned that you don't buy 4GB modules for benchmarking.

Final Thoughts

Priced at just under $200 US ($199.99 to be exact), the G.Skill Ripjaws kit is a really nice kit for the P55 user that's looking for more memory than the norm. The timings aren't great and the fact that it's a 2T kit versus 1T one means that when it comes to looking at raw memory performance, it's not as strong. What you don't see here, though, is the faster loading times that are associated with an 8GB kit versus a 4GB one.

We've been impressed with the Ripjaws kits in the past and this is another great addition to the series. It's not super high speed, nor are the timings as aggressive as other kits; but it's well priced and being a kit of two 4GB modules means it serves a purpose outside of benchmarking.

This is a nice kit for users who don't want to fill up all the banks on their P55 motherboard and don't need the aggressive timings associated with high end 4GB ones. For most an 8GB CL9 kit is going to offer a better computing experience than a 4GB CL7 one.

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Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

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