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G.Skill RipjawsZ PC3-14900 16GB Kit Review

Want to grab a 16GB Quad Channel kit that's not going to break the bank while still performing well? - Let's look at this PC3-14900 RipjawsZ kit!
By Shawn Baker from Dec 8, 2011 @ 8:42 CST
TweakTown Rating: 95%Manufacturer: G.Skill

I really liked the new G.Skil RipjawsZ PC3-17000 16GB Kit we looked at during the launch of the new X79 platform from Intel. Priced at $179.99 US, it also hits at a pretty good price point, if you're looking at trying to keep it under the $150 US mark, though, and you figure that you don't need RAM that goes into the 2000MHz+ DDR realm, we might have the G.Skill kit for you today.

Carrying the RipjawsZ name, we're not unfamiliar with what the Ripjaws series are all about. G.Skill clearly use the name to focus on performance and the new Z series indicates that it's a X79 ready Quad Channel kit.

The first thing we notice about this kit over the previously looked at RipjawsZ module is that it carries with it a red heatsink instead of the black one. We also see that the color scheme is more red / black versus black / blue on the PC3-17000 kit.


As for the heatsink design, that hasn't changed and just like the PC-17000 kit we've got that awesome black PCB on the modules. These days with the heatsink you don't see heaps of the PCB, but when you really look at the modules, the black blends so much nicer than some bright green one.


Moving in a bit closer, we get a better idea of what's going on with the modules on each side while at the same time we get a better look at that black PCB that G.Skill have opted to use. You can see on one side we've got the new G.Skill RipjawsZ logo while the other side gives us all the main details on the kit we're dealing with.

Moving in, you can see we're dealing with a PC3-14900 kit which as you can see below, the model number translates to 1866MHz DDR. Next to that we can see the timings come in at 9-10-9-28-1T using the lower voltage option of 1.5v.


As for the amount of RAM we're dealing with, you can also see on the same sticker that the Quad Channel kit consists of four 4GB modules to give us a grand total of 16GB. Considering we've had absolutely no issue dealing with RAM that exceeded 2400MHz DDR, we knew that getting the RipjawsZ 1866MHz DDR kit up and running wasn't going to be an issue.

You can see our CPU-Z validation here. Up and running in Windows, it was time to check out the performance we could get.

Under AIDA64 we ended up with Read / Write numbers of 18,969 MB/s / 15,150 MB/s, Copy speed of 17,072 MB/s and latency of 49.1ns.

With stock performance out of the way, it was time to see what we could do with the overclocking side of things. The first thing we tried to do was move to a 2T setup, push the voltage to 1.65v and switch up to the 2133MHz DDR divider. Unfortunately our system didn't want to play nice, so it was time to go back into the BIOS.

The next thing we tried was move to a 10-10-10-28-2T setup to see if we could boot off slightly more relaxed timings. That was again a no go, so it was time to head back into the BIOS, set a 125 BCLK strap which in turn gave us the option for a 2000MHz DDR divider. At 9-10-9-28-1T we could boot, but unfortunately couldn't get into Windows. Moving to 2T let us go a little further, but ultimately it didn't want to let us in.

Sticking with the 125 BCLK strap, we decided to clock the BCLK down slightly and we ended up finally being able to settle on a 123.4 BCLK which brought our memory in at 1974MHz DDR, or just over an extra 100MHz DDR. On the timing side, we ended up in Windows at 9-10-9-28-2T.


You can see our CPU-Z validation here. Up and running in Windows, it was time to check out the performance we could get.

Under AIDA64 we ended up with Read / Write numbers of 20,508 MB/s / 17,203 MB/s, Copy speed of 19,121 MB/s and latency of 46.5ns.

You can see over the stock numbers we've got quite a nice increase in performance. With that working fine, though, I thought we'd just venture back into the BIOS to see if we could get in Windows with a 1T Command Rate instead of the 2T one we used above. Surprisingly we didn't run into any problems and we fired up AIDA64 again to see what kind of performance this gave when compared directly to the 2T Command Rate at exactly the same speed.

Under AIDA64 we ended up with Read / Write numbers of 20,751 MB/s / 17,147 MB/s, Copy speed of 18,983 MB/s and latency of 45.4ns.

Looking at performance between the 2T and 1T setup is quite surprising; you can see for the most part when it comes to MB/s, both setups perform near identical with nothing more than a little fluctuation being seen. You can see the main difference comes in the form of the latency which is really consistent.

With that all chugging along with no issue, we ventured back into the BIOS to crank up our CPU for one last AIDA64 run. Staying at the same 123.4 BCLK, we move our multiplier up to 39x which brings us in at just over 4.8GHz as you can see in the below image. This keeps our RAM running at 1974MHz DDR at 9-10-9-28-1T.


Under AIDA64 we ended up with Read / Write numbers of 21,561 MB/s / 18,576 MB/s, Copy speed of 20,151 MB/s and latency of 44.4ns.

At $134.99 US the G.Skill RipjawsZ PC3-14900 kit hits at an awesome price point. Considering it's also an 1866MHz DDR kit that carries a CL9 setup, there's little that you can complain about. On top of all that, there's also a bit of overclocking potential with the kit showing us some really nice headroom.

For people who are looking for a 16GB kit that comes in under that important $150 US mark, this is an attractive option, not just in performance and price, but overall looks with that killer RipjawsZ heatsink.



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