A Closer Look
With all the modules out of the packaging, we can see them all clearly, and noticed that although the appearance of each side of the DIMMs is different at first glance; this is just due to the sticker with the module specifications on one side. With the modules inserted into the slot, the sticker is on the hidden side that faces the CPU socket itself, allowing the blue and black "Ripjaws Z" logo to be seen unobstructed.
A close look at an individual module reveals that the black heatspreader with slots in the top covers nearly the entire DIMM from end to end, wrapping over the top and sides over the DIMM's black PCB. The fins at the edge of each DIMM continue down the front of the module in a pattern that highlights the logo. Flipping the DIMM over we can see the specifications sticker more clearly, and that the heatspeader on this side of the module is a perfect match for what's found on the opposite side. Looking closely at the sticker, we can see an assembly date of October, 2011, along with the specified timings, voltage, a line that indicates the module is part of a 4x 4 GB kit, a UPC bar code, and at the bottom, the module's individual serial number.
Looking up at the DIMM's connector edge, we can see that the heatspeader dips closer to the PCB near the connector, for easy installation. From the top, we can see the few fins used to help convective cooling, aided by airflow around the socket. With so few cooling fins, it seems like this module doesn't really need a lot of cooling.
Looking at the side of the DIMM shows the rounded corners and how the heatspreader itself covers nearly every part of the DIMM possible, with the indentations to secure the DIMM in the slot barely peeking out from under the heatspeader. We did attempt to have a peek under the heatspreader to see what type of ICs are contained below, but the glue used to attach the heatspreaders is extremely tacky, making the heatspreaders nearly impossible to remove. Although we were unable to remove the heatspreader, we did notice some physical characteristics that indicate there is some form of the Hynix "BFR" ICs on our DIMMs, made obvious by the number of solder balls each IC attaches with, as well as the shape of the IC itself. It's widely known in extreme overclocking circles that the Hynix "BFR" IC is quite flexible, and offers significant headroom not seen in other 4 GB DIMMs. As always, OEMs can change the chips mid-production, so while our sticks contain Hynix "BFR", that is no guarantee that all kits will have Hynix ICs, nor that they will overclock as well as our particular sample does, but typically if you can get modules from the same batch, users can expect similar performance. Let's take a look.