Whilst 4GB was once considered a phenomenal amount of RAM, and to a large extent is still not a small amount, nonetheless the combination of Windows, and a virus killer/firewall/messenger etc can quickly take up a lot of precious Memory.
As games and applications become equally more complex, they too need ever larger amounts of this finite resource, and so it is a good time to look at increasing the base amount of RAM in your system.
Enter G.Skill. A company who've provided a huge array of Memory solutions for every format under the sun. Today we have to hand an 8GB kit, the G.Skill Ripjaws X. However don't think that the increase in base capacity from 4GB to 8GB has led to a reduction in quality or speed. No Sir. This is a 2133MHz CAS9 kit, so you can be quick, and capable.
A quick trip to the always useful G.Skill website reveals the specifications for this particular kit. 9-11-9-28-2T @ 2133MHz, 1.65v. Although the qualified vendors list appears small, it's been a long time since any manufacturer has released a board that is very picky about its RAM. Any one from the major companies will be just fine.
8GB (4GB x2)
|Speed||DDR3-2133 (PC3 17000)|
|Test Voltage||1.5 Volts|
|ASUS||Maximus IV Extreme|
|ASRock||P67 Extreme 6|
|MSI||P67-GD65 (Bios Ver 1.B)|
|MSI||P67-GD55 (Bios Ver 1.B)|
|MSI||P67-GD53 (Bios Ver 1.B)|
The Ripjaws X come in a standard G.Skill box, which is reserved for their models with included fan. There is no chance to mistake what is contained as we have three stickers replete with the same information.
Sure enough upon opening we have a RAM cooler, should your system require it, or if you just want the flash and flair factor.
The sticks themselves are in a gorgeous metallic blood red which shows up better in the picture below than here.
This is a much closer approximation to the actual colour of the heatspreaders. Despite being a little bigger than the standard DIMM size they still nicely fit under any giant cooler you can imagine. Certainly neither the Silver Arrow nor NH-D14 present a problem, which is more than can be said for many heatspreader designs.
They certainly are gorgeous. Imagine a case in this colour. Very nice we'll sure you'll agree.
8GB G.Skill Ripjaws X 2133MHz
Gigabyte Z68X UD5 B3
Intel Core i5-2500K @ 4.4 GHz
Be Quiet Dark Power Pro
Windows 7 64 Bit SP1
Overclocking Memory is no longer as easy as it once was, thanks to the methodology employed by the LGA1155 platform. There isn't a choice to go any higher than 2133MHz so we're limited to timing changes.
The Ripjaws X are already at the 1.65v limit so we weren't expecting much as we can't pump some extra voltage through them for stability.
However, we did manage to slightly tighten things from 9-11-9-28-2N to 9-10-9-27-1N, and that will be the basis for our testing today.
Starting with the latest version of AIDA64, the memory speeds reported for the G.Skill Ripjaws X are as good as we've seen. The Copy speed in particular is huge.
The memory latency is the second lowest in our graph, at a swift 37.4ns. Although nanoseconds are so tiny that barring a really abhorrent result, the slight variances give negligible difference in actual use.
Sandra Memory Bandwidth
SiSoft's Sandra uses a slightly different method to test than AIDA64, so it's always good to get a breadth of results. Here the Ripjaws X perform right up there with the G.Skill Trident, and just below the Kingston Genesis.
Sandra Cache and Memory
The Cache and Memory bandwidth test combines the CPU and Memory to give a general indication of the bandwidth available to the system as a whole. Once again the Ripjaws X demonstrate that just because you need a lot of capacity, doesn't mean you have to compromise on speed.
Rendering always stresses the entire system very hard indeed. The Ripjaws X 8GB kit is certainly up to the task though, just shy of the Kingston Genesis.
Whilst the 32M test is almost over before it's begun, and therefore less demonstrative of performance inequality, the 1 Billion place test really highlights and slender gains that are to be had and the G.Skill Ripjaws X just edges to the top of our graph.
PC Mark Vantage
Finally the Memory suite in PC Mark Vantage has the Ripjaws X just shaded by the Genesis, but by no means disgraced at all.
The G.Skill Ripjaws X 2133MHz 8GB kit certainly has a lot going for it.
On the plus side it's blazingly fast. 8GB 2133 MHz kits aren't a segment of the marketplace where there is a huge choice and so to see one of the few available kits being pushed hard and at good timings shows G.Skills commitment to producing a great product. It would be very easy of them to have realised there were in a niche and just throw any old product out, but the Ripjaws X isn't any old product.
The heatspreader is gorgeous. It looks fantastic in design terms and being able to fit underneath even the largest of coolers will always score big points for us. The colour is a real star of the show. A seriously rich metallic red just aches to have a case painted in a matching colour, and will also blend in nicely with the majority of motherboards without clashing with those alternate colour ones.
The provided cooler is a little curious. Firstly the Ripjaws X doesn't get very hot in use anyway, but also G.Skill have chosen to use blue LEDs in the fans, which really is an odd choice given the red colour scheme of the kit itself. Thankfully despite the diminutive size of the fans they aren't that loud so if you do choose to use them you wont become that deaf.
No matter what tests are thrown at it the G.Skill Ripjaws X handles the task without trouble, given the benefits of the big 8GB capacity and also the ragingly fast 2133MHz CAS9 timings.
Available for just shy of £150 it's good value too, especially when you compare it to standard 1600MHz kits. In fact the only problem we can find with it is the relatively limited availability of G.Skills products when compared to the market saturation of other manufacturers.
It's definitely worth seeking out though as it has the looks, performance, and the excellent G.Skill warranty. An undeniable OC3D Gold Award winner.
Thanks to G.Skill for providing the Ripjaws X for review. Discuss in our forums.