At the lowest end of our testing, we have a 16GB DDR3-1333 9-9-9 kit on hand.  When DDR3 was first released, the main speed available was DDR3-800, but enough time has passed that this has phased out and now 1333 MHz is the new ‘minimum’.  With the prices of memory as they are, this kit from G.Skill currently retails for $75, meaning that a massive amount of memory is available for all at a reasonable level.  To put this into contrast, I remember spending ~$240 on a 2x2 GB Kit of DDR2-800 5-5-5 about 5-6 years ago – we can now get four times the capacity for less than a third of the price.

DDR3-1333 sits at the bottom end, but within months we can imagine DDR3-1600 taking that spot – as we will see with the next kit, for $5 more we get a faster product.

Visual Inspection

Our first kit features G.Skill’s Ares branding – the Ares kits that G.Skill sell are essentially meant to be the lower profile but colored heatsinks.  These heatsinks in all honesty may not be entirely necessary for cooling, but they are firmly bonded to the memory modules and removing them would be a large task and more than likely damage the module.  I have seen horror stories of chips being removed along with the heatsink, making the memory unusable.  As a result we cannot directly observe which ICs are being used in our kits for this review.  A quick word in the ear of G.Skill and they will not tell us the information, under the guise that it is classified and if the competition wants to know what G.Skill are using, they will have to buy a kit and break it themselves.  Given how small the margins are in memory sales (as well as potential market stagnation after the credit crisis), I’m not surprised with the level of secrecy.

Anyway, back to the kit:

The standard packaging at G.Skill is a rather efficient plastic container holding each of the modules.  The packaging is easy enough to open, though I also found it fairly brittle, meaning small shards could break off and be easily lodged in feet.  Inside the box itself is a piece of card to advertise the kit and protect the modules from each other.  We also get a small G.Skill sticker for the computer case.

JEDEC + XMP Settings

Kit Speed 1333 1600 1866 2133 2400
Subtimings 9-9-9-24 2T 9-9-9-24 2T 9-10-9-28 2T 9-11-10-28 2T 10-12-12-31 2T
Price $75 $80 $95 $130 $145
XMP No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Size 4 x 4 GB 4 x 4 GB 4 x 4 GB 4 x 4 GB 4 x 4 GB

MHz 1333 1600 1867 2134 2401
Voltage 1.500 1.500 1.500 1.650 1.650
tCL 9 9 9 9 10
tRCD 9 9 10 11 12
tRP 9 9 9 10 12
tRAS 24 24 28 28 31
tRC 33 33 37 38 43
tWR 10 12 14 16 16
tRRD 4 5 5 6 7/6
tRFC 107 128 150 171 313
tWTR 5 6 8/7 9/8 10/9
tRTP 5 6 8/7 9/8 10/9
tFAW 20 24 24 25 26
tCWL - 7 7 7 7
CR - 2 2 2 2


Memory In A Nutshell F3-12800CL9Q-16GBXL: 4 x 4 GB G.Skill RipjawsX Kit


View All Comments

  • Tchamber - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    Back in 2009 I picked up a 3x2GB kit of Mushkin DDR3 1600 with timings of 6-7-6-18. Why don't we see low latency like that any more? Reply
  • IanCutress - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    Those were linked to different types of memory chips at the time - the Elpida 'Hyper' ICs ( Nice speeds, but high fail rates and low yields. They have been replaced by chips that are slightly slower, but a lot more reliable. Also to note that those Elpida Hyper kits worked great with Clarkdale and Nehalem, but are poor with Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge.

  • CherryBOMB - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    Can you explain why you say Hyper' IC's are " are poor with Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge."
    As I stated "I have 16gb of the fastest money could buy around that era running on x79 @ 1666 6-6-6-18-1t right now."

    This was a tri channel run >

    post #1054
  • IanCutress - Saturday, October 20, 2012 - link

    Because Hyper ICs fell out of favor, motherboard manufacturers are now reluctant to spend time in optimizing the Hyper IC kits to work with their systems. Thus the kits often have to fall back onto default settings, and they sometimes do not work. As one set of ICs is phased out, and new ICs come in, the newer ICs get priority.

    PS. You'll find me on the HWBot team :)
  • CherryBOMB - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    I have 16gb of the fastest money could buy around that era running on x79 @ 1666 6-6-6-18-1t right now.
    well over $1000 invested. Each 6gb kit was over $450 - bought the extra to future proof to quad lanes today.
    2x CMT6GX3M3A1600C6
    1x CMT4GX3M2A1600C6
  • saturn85 - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    how about adding a folding on cpu benchmark with different memory speed? Reply
  • RayvinAzn - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    You got a Core 2 Duo E6400 back in '05? That's rather impressive.

    Typo aside, good article, gives me quite a bit to think about as I plan to migrate to IB after a solid 6-year run on my P965/Q6600 setup. I'll definitely be sticking with a DDR3 1600 C9 kit after seeing these results, as anything faster doesn't really seem to affect most of the things I do.
  • mapesdhs - Saturday, October 20, 2012 - link

    I just bought 64GB of DDR3/2400 more to make it easier to achieve the desired 2133 target
    speed with a CPU oc rather than any expected performance gain from using 2400. Although
    CL10 at 2400, it should be CL9 at 2300 (GSkill TridentX). It's for a system running After Effects,
    3930K, ASUS P9X79 WS. Quadro 4000, RAID, SSDs, etc. Plus, the price was basically identical
    to 2133 kits, so I figured what the heck, why not.

  • Senti - Saturday, October 20, 2012 - link

    From the beginning it looked like great article, but then it become less and less meaningful.

    First of all, who in sane mind will get 4x4 for dual channel 1155 cpu when there are 8x2 kits available? If you want to test 4x4 so badly – use 4 channel 2011 cpu (but there is no igp there, duh).

    Second major problem is overclocking tests. Even if we put aside that Linpack is no memory stability test (for example Prime95 is far better for this), rising frequency without adjusting timings is completely meaningless if module already can't handle more aggressive timings at the same frequency.

    What would be really interesting is can we run DDR3-1600 9-9-9-24 module at DDR3-1866 9-10-9-28? Or at least DDR3-1866 10-10-10-28 and what is the difference to base settings and module that officially rated DDR3-1866.
  • IanCutress - Saturday, October 20, 2012 - link

    -With 2x8GB kits, you often pay a premium (the next kit up for review is a 2x8GB kit). 4x4 GB kits apply both to 1155 and 2011, and represent the bulk of the kits advertised on Newegg, hence their inclusion here.

    - OCCT has a version of Linpack specifically for memory that requires high memory usage (as stated in the review, but I'm sure you read that). The overclocking tests are designed to show if the kits were higher binned parts rated lower - and in some circumstances they were. For example, the TridentX kits are getting rave reviews on overclocking websites, and the kits I have in all seem to easily push up another memory strap on Ivy Bridge. As always with overclocking, your mileage may vary. I could spend a week overclocking each kit, dealing with voltages and sub-timings then testing thoroughly for stability. But the truth of the matter is there is little point baring in mind the severity of not even applying XMP among gamers, and going by the actual improvements you see moving up from 1866C9 and beyond (unless you are an extreme overclocker looking for a higher number in a synthetic benchmark).

    Don't forget this is a review of the kits themselves more than just looking at what different speed memory does. I rarely run any memory kit out of specifications - only if the kit is not that compatible with the board I am using do I bump voltages, or competitive overclocking when I want a higher number. Everything else is XMP.


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