G.Skill RipjawsX F3-2133C9Q-32GXH 32 GB PC3-17000 1.6 V DDR3 15

G.Skill RipjawsX F3-2133C9Q-32GXH 32 GB PC3-17000 1.6 V DDR3 Review

A Closer Look »


The F3-2133C9Q-32GXH kit was overnighted to us from G.Skill's head office, and I must admit, when I opened the package, I was left a bit puzzled. The F3-2133C9Q-32GXH kit is clad in a standard plastic clamshell that is clearly designed to hold modules of different shapes, a small thing that helps G.Skill save in the production of packaging, and helps keep costs down. Flipping the container over, we find two modules on each side, all four of which are packaged with the labels viewable to potential buyers, and I clearly saw a case badge loose inside the packaging. Yet why was I surprised?

With the package open, and the inner cardboard removed, we can see all four modules together, labels deftly hidden on the other side, and it's very clear that these modules use the standard RipjawsX heatsink, a sleek mix of a black and blue on a sticker affixed to a black aluminum metal wrapper. I was confused...a staggering eight-gigabyte-per-module density, but for P67, and Z68?? I removed all the modules from the plastic, and the case badge too, as you can see in the second image above, placed them on the table, and quickly looked for a product page on G.Skill's website. Doing so confirmed that this $100-a-stick kit WAS for P67 and Z68, and had a listing of several motherboards that this kit was qualified for, but at the same time, I also found a similar kit intended for the test platform we always use, based on Intel's X79 Express platform. Still, I found listings for ASRock, ASUS, Gigabyte, and MSI motherboards, but at the very bottom was this little disclaimer:

*G.Skill guarantees 2 Dimms dual channel operation would reach announced specification.

Wait...a 32 GB kit, based on four sticks, but only guaranteed for operation with two DIMMs at the rated speed? This deserves a much closer look, for sure, as it seems contradictory to sell four sticks together in the same package, but not guarantee they'll work together once installed. Having spent well over a year playing with the LGA 1155 chipsets, I was more than familar with the issues that can arise trying to clock memory on those platforms, with many 8 GB 2133 MHz kits not working fully at rated speeds on all board products, mainly due to BIOS incompatibilities. This knowledge made me immediately dismiss G.Skill's disclaimer, as clearly this was just the defacto "cover our butt" warning for those who just like to "plug and play". Those outstanding issues with 4 GB DIMMs in the back of my mind, I turned on the Macro mode of my camera, and snapped more pictures, looking for something to explain what's up with the F3-2133C9Q-32GXH kit.
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