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G.Skill RipjawsZ PC3-17000 Quad Channel 16GB Kit Review

We start checking out Quad Channel RAM like it's going out of fashion. Let's see what the latest RipjawsZ from G.Skill offer us.
By Shawn Baker from Nov 18, 2011 @ 1:14 CST
TweakTown Rating: 90%Manufacturer: G.Skill

We were fortunate enough to show off the new RipjawsZ kit the other week in a news post. Today, though, we really get a chance to look closer at them and see what the kit is all about.

The first thing to probably cover is the name, though. On the Sandy Bridge platform we saw the RipjawsX carry with it the most aggressive clocks and timings. The new Sandy Bridge-E platform has brought with it a new series in the form of the RipjawsZ which at launch consists of a few models.

Today we'll be looking at the F3-17000CL9Q-16GBZHD kit which is of course a PC3-17000 kit as the name would suggest. Of course, supporting the new Sandy Bridge-E platform, the first thing we notice is that the kit consists of four modules so they can be ran in Quad Channel on our ASUS Rampage IV Extreme today.


Looking at the kit, the heatsink design is a little different to the last Ripjaw modules we saw from G.Skill, but it isn't too different. There are just some subtle changes. On one side you can see we've got the new RipjawsZ logo which looks awesome in blue against the black PCB and heatsink, while the other side gives us a run down on the main details.


Moving in closer to the modules, we can get a better idea of what exactly is going on with the speed and the timings of the kit. Of course, we know that PC3-17000 translates to 2133MHz DDR and this is probably going to be one of the more popular numbers for the new quad channel kits with 2133MHz DDR hitting that performance point we love to see without carrying with it 2400MHz DDR prices.


On the timings front the kit looks pretty strong with a 9-11-9-28 setup @ 1.65V. We weren't too sure on the Command Rate, so we set that to 1T and we didn't have any problems when running at the stock speeds. As for the size of the modules, we're dealing with four modules as we've already mentioned. What we haven't mentioned, though, is that each module is 4GB, making for a 16GB kit.


Before we look at the performance side of things, we did of course do some overclocking on the kit to see what kind of performance we're able to get. Moving to a 2T command rate, but leaving the kit running at 9-11-9-28, we managed to get the kit up and running at 2210MHz DDR.


We also loosened up the timings a bit to 10-11-10-28 and we ended up getting the kit up and running in Windows at 2342MHz DDR. We actually got as high as 2400MHz DDR and while we did manage to run AIDA64 with that, the system fell over during Sandra. 2342MHz DDR is a really strong overclock, though, from the stock speeds and the 2210MHz DDR clock.


If you looked at our Corsair Dominator GTX8 Review you'd know we've changed our RAM testing up a little bit due to the way Quad Channel testing is working at the moment in AIDA64. While we do check performance out under AIDA64 still, we fire up SiSoft Sandra and PassMark PerformanceTest as well.


We can see under our benchmarks we've got some good performance from the kit, especially when compared to a 1600MHz DDR one. As we move to 2210MHz DDR we see a nice boost in performance, but the best is seen when we move over 2300MHz DDR and take our CPU to almost 4.7GHz.

It really comes as no surprise that G.Skill have got a really nice kit here and the introduction of the new RipjawsZ is going to be popular as we can see from the kit today how much performance we're able to get out of it. Having a look at some of the other RipjawsZ kits as well, we can see that G.Skill are already jumping on the 2400MHz DDR bandwagon with kits coming in with aggressive CL9 timings for those who want to spend the big bucks.

At the moment we don't have the price on the "HD" kit we're testing. If you hit up Newegg you'll see a 9-11-10-28 kit from G.Skill that comes in at $179.99 US. We've been told by G.Skill that this kit should be around the $250 USD mark.

In asking why the huge price jump for the 9-11-9-28 kit we tested here today over the "ZH" 9-11-10-28 kit listed on Newegg at the moment, we were told that the kit we've got here today is a lot more overclocking friendly. Considering the 2300MHz DDR+ clocks we managed to achieve today, that doesn't come as a shock.

The new G.Skill RipjawsZ kit we're looking at today really hits the spot for those performance users. We've got 16GB of memory on hand across the four modules and the 2133MHz DDR clock isn't going to bring with it the super high price tag we see on some 2400MHz kits like the CL9 G.Skill kit which carries a $649 USD price tag.

All in all, we end up with a really nice, well rounded kit from G.Skill that is going to look great on a black PCB board and perform well. If you're not too worried about overclocking higher than 2133MHz, the "ZH" kit available now looks to be a great option. If you want to get some serious speed, though, the "HD" kit we've got here today is fantastic.



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