G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 MHz DDR3 CL9 8 GB 20

G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 MHz DDR3 CL9 8 GB Review

Value & Conclusion »

Test Setup

Test System
CPU:Intel Core i7 930
2.8 GHz, 2 MB Cache
Cooling:Prolimatech Super Mega & Vortex 140 mm Fan
Motherboard:Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD7
Kindly supplied by Gigabyte
Video Card:Sapphire Radeon 4350 256MB
Kindly supplied by OCZ Technology
Power Supply:Jersey Power 550W Modular Edition
Kindly supplied by Jersey Power
Case:DimasTech Bench Table Easy V2.5
Kindly supplied by DimasTech
Software:Windows 7, Catalyst 10.11

As you can see, the modules are a bit taller due to the "Ripjaws", so you better make sure that your CPU cooler won't get in the way. I have to admit, the metallic red should look good on mainboards with a red/black color theme. In my case, using a Gigabyte board, blue would have been the perfect choice and G.Skill offers slightly faster kits with such a paint job for those who have the same opinion.

Performance & Overclocking

Before diving into the benchmarking process, CPU-Z was fired up to check the SPD programming. G.Skill has done a good job and all looks to be in order.

Starting out the memory was set to 1600 MHz CL9 and 1.5 V, with which the system worked flawlessly. Next the memory was pushed, and pushed and pushed. At 1.5V 2050 MHz was the end of the line, additionally that was the most I was able to tickle out of our test bench too, so the memory may be capable of a tad bit more as voltage does seem to help out a bit. Still a 550 MHz increase is huge and I do have some doubts if every Ripjaw kit can manage this speed - but hey, that may even be the case.

The next step meant dropping the latency as far down as possible, starting with CL5-5-5-15. With this setting the Ripjaws were not able to boot, so on to CL6-6-6-18 it was. At this point doing 1333 MHz worked flawlessly right at the JEDEC Voltage setting and I was able to push them to a very respectable 1460 MHz without changing any settings. Pushing the voltage higher did yield some better overclockability with a maximum of 1540 MHz at CL6. Next, with CL7-7-7-21, the 1600 MHz milestone was easily conquered with a mere 1.5 V once more and pushing things further, 1680 MHz was the end of the line with this configuration. Once again, raising the voltage did yield more headroom up to 1770 MHz. At this point it is safe to say that an increase in voltage does help out, but only to a certain point. Over 1.7 volts, the memory did not allow me to push further.

Next, using CL8-8-8-24, the Ripjaws blew past 1800 MHz, but the end of the line was reached once more with 1.7 V at 1870 MHz. So it seems additional voltage always yields around 70-90 MHz more. As mentioned before, with CL9 the kit ran past 2000 MHz and pushed the limit of our testing rig - impressive for a high-capacity kit. The end of the line was 1025 MHz across the board - no matter which voltage was applied. This seems to be the most we could tickle out of the kit with our X58 board and the limiting factor could very well be our system, not the memory.

Voltage Scaling

As you can see, the memory does not scale well. This seems to be the new trend with all Intel CPUs listing specification to keep within. While our kit does scale a bit up to 1.7 or 1.8V, that seems to be the end. This time around I have actually tried the memory with the Gigabyte Board, and spot tested it with P55 and X58 Asus mainboards and three different CPUs - all with very similar results
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