With memory prices continuing to plummet, now is a great time to be looking for memory upgrades as there is competition from both Intel and AMD, and the Red brand has thoroughly fixed the memory issues of generations past. No longer do users have to worry about memory compatibility or shopping for expensive AMD-branded kits. With 3200 MHz natively supported on the new Ryzen platform, options for enthusiasts have never been more open.
Team Group is a Taiwan-based manufacturer largely rooted in the manufacture of flash memory products. The brand is not as well known here in North America, but has been gaining a lot of ground over the past few years with its gaming-centric "T-Force" product line. T-Force offers a whole roster of gaming memory with a focus on striking designs and high performance. While most of the T-Force brand has as its focus the current trend of large, bright RGB LED light bars, the brand has not forgotten the virtues of simplicity and efficiency. The Team Group T-Force Dark Z is a call back to a simpler time when bold colors were all the rage before the LED revolution. The Team Group T-Force Dark Z comes in speeds of up to 3600 MHz and capacities of up to 16 GB (2 x 8 GB). The stamped aluminium heat spreaders come anodized in one of two colors: red and gray.
The Team Group T-Force Dark Z kit I have for testing today is Team Group's top spec model: 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) 3600 MHz at 18-22-22-42 and 1.35 V. With the 3600 MHz sweet spot for the new Ryzen processors, this top spec is of particular note to new AMD adopters. How will the Team Group T-Force Dark Z perform?
|Tested Capacity:||16 GB (8 GB x2)|
|Tested Voltage:||1.35 V|
|PCB Type:||8 layers|
|Form Factor:||288-pin DIMM|
The Team Group T-Force Dark Z packaging is a classic molded clamshell. The cardboard backing has a dark background with "T-Force" "DDR4 Gaming" and "Dark Z" across the top. A specification sticker sits in the bottom right. The back features a paragraph about the T-Force brand as well as a list of features for the Dark Z.
The memory sticks are held firmly and kept quite safe from all but the most careless handling.
A Closer Look
The Team Group T-Force Dark Z sticks feature a classic T-Force-winged profile, with details stamped into the heat spreader to produce an association with knight armor.
My Team Group T-Force Dark Z sample has a deep red aluminium heatsink; it is also available in gray.
"Dark Z" is printed in a silvery white font on the front-right side. Except for the specification sticker in the center, the back of the sticks are unadorned.
The specifications on the Team Group T-Force Dark Z are a 3600 MHz XMP profile at 18-22-22-42 and 1.35 V, which is great for new AMD adopters.
The T-Force logo sits front and center, finished in a mirror silver, a great contrast to the metallic red of the heatspreader. The top of each stick also has "T-Force" printed in silver white.
The Team Group T-Force Dark Z sticks are single-sided.
The markings on the ICs seem to be Team Group specific, although Thaiphoon shows that these are Hynix CJR chips.
I like to weigh a stick from each kit I get as the difference in mass can be pretty drastic between kits. Mass is not the best indicator of cooling efficiency because material can matter, and of course, heat dissipation is reliant on surface area, not volume or mass. That said, it is still interesting to compare.
The Team Group T-Force Dark Z comes in at 40.34 g on my scale. For height, the Team Group T-Force Dark Z comes in at just over 43.44 mm with my calipers, a little below the average 45–50 mm range.
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