G.Skill Pi Series 17600 4GB Kit
Most of you will be used to memory coming in a blister pack or some similar piece of vacuum formed plastic. The G.Skill Pi comes in a very sturdy cardboard box, the reasons for which will be clear on the next page, or above if you pay attention.
Subtlety is absolutely the watchword here. So often manufacturers, especially with memory, like to shout their product loud and proud with glossy images and big numbers. For a product that is among the fastest DDR3 kits on the planet, G.Skill have wisely decided the product speaks loud enough without needing to over-egg the pudding. A quiet G.Skill logo in one corner and a small detail sticker in the top right are the only elements visible.
Turning the box to the side we can see the obligatory specifications. Once again though this is done with class and subtlety, G.Skill solely replicating the stickers that appear on the DIMMs themselves. Although your average user wont have a clue what these numbers mean this is most definitely not the kind of kit you'll find on the shelves of your local hardware emporium. It's wonderful to see a company accept that enthusiast products are just that, and we already know the benefits of latencies and the like.
The close-up of the sticker leaves no doubt the target audience for the G.Skill Pi.
Taking the DIMMs out of the box and their protective foam wrapping we can see the truly immense heat-spreader they come with. It's nearly as tall as the sticks themselves and should ensure that even at the blistering 2200MHz they are rated at, they will remain cool.
Flipping of them over reveals the Pi Series logo. Having seen a huge amount of black and red hardware recently it's nice to see G.Skill separating the Pi series from their other high-end RAM such as the Ripjaw, buy giving the Pi a blue hue. Slightly disappointing is the use of a green board, but thankfully once installed it's all covered up. Still for such a premium product it would be nice to see RAM boards follow the motherboard trend and switch to black for their extreme products.
The heat-spreader itself is a unique design. Most companies choose to have vertical fins to obtain the surface area necessary for good heat dissipation, but G.Skill have gone for a very nice infinity/figure-eight look. This has the dual-benefit of making the sticks stand out from the crowd, but also due to their hollow nature there is plenty of room for air-flow.
A couple of comparison shots between the size of a standard stick of RAM and the Pi Series demonstrate how much extra surface area is available to cool these super-fast chips. At 597mm tall it's no shrinking violet but due to the subdued hues it's also not in-your-face loud and proud either.
Finally you can see how well the design gives a lovely balance between the equally important surface area and air-flow.
Time to see why this comes in a big box, rather than the de rigueur plastic package.