G.Skill Trident Extreme Performance F3-16000CL9 DDR3 Kit

Test Setup

Test Setup

For today's testing we will be using the Gigabyte EX-58 UD5, a mid-range Core i7 motherboard from Gigabyte that will allow us to push the memory on test to its absolute limit. Here's a breakdown of the rest of the components:
 
Processor
Intel Core i7 920 'Nehalem' @ 2.66Ghz

Motherboard
Gigabyte EX58-UD5

Memory

GSkill Trident CL9 2000MHz 9-9-9-24 3x2GB kit (CPU @2711MHz)

OCZ Blade Series CL7 2000MHz 7-8-7-20 3x2GB kit (CPU @ 2711Mhz)
Corsair Dominator GT CL7 1866MHz 7-8-7-20 3x2GB kit
Crucial Ballistix Tracer CL8 1600MHZ 8-8-8-24 3x2GB kit
Mushkin XP CL7 1600MHz 7-8-7-20 3x2GB kit
Patriot Viper CL8 1600MHz 8-8-8-24 3x2GB kit
Corsair Dominator CL8 1600MHz 8-8-8-24 3x2GB kit


Graphics Card
Nvidia 280GTX

Drivers
GeForce 180.60

PSU
Gigabyte Odin 1200w

Operating System
Windows Vista Ultimate 64bit SP1 + Updates
 
For testing the memory we used a number of synthetic benchmarks and games:
 
Synthetic Benchmarks
  • Lavalys Everest 4.10
  • SuperPI mod_1.5
  • Sisoft Sandra 2009
3D Benchmarks
  • 3DMark Vantage
  • Far Cry 2
 
For the run of benchmarks, we will be comparing the G.Skill Trident kit to all the other memory kits we have tested to date for the X58 i7 platform. Consideration needs to be given to the fact that the CPU was mildly overclocked to 2717MHz (see below), 51MHz above stock speed to attain the 2000MHz stock speed when viewing the results overleaf.
 
 
Overclocking
 
Starting from scratch we disabled on the settings that may affect the overclocked settings such as Intel Speed Step as well as disabling the C-State settings which may also affect some of the results in the benchmark testing phase of the review. Here's how the sticks look at stock speed:

CPU 
 
SPD 
 
Overclocking DDR3 that is already running at an Ultra high speed was never going to be easy as most manufacturers will have already determined what the fastest attainable bandwidth and latency is. Therefore I didn't hold out much hope of the G.Skill kit clocking much higher than the levels already set.
 
 OC
 
As you can see from the shot above, all I could manage was a miserly 26MHz over stock. While I didn't fully determine stability it passed SuperPI and 3DMark06 at this speed. However when the bandwidth was pushed any higher sporadic BSOD began to appear. Lowering the latency had an even worse effect with anything lower than CAS 9 resulting in the Gigabyte motherboard failing to POST, even lowering the bandwidth down to 1866MHz and raising the Vdimm to 1.7v had no effect and the setup still refused to come to life. While I am disappointed with the overclocking experience of the GSkill Trident kit, one has to remember that when a kit is preset to it's absolute limit, anything extra is a bonus. Sadly this is one area where I would not expect the GSkill to thrill the end user.
 
Returning the settings back to the advertised 2000MHz with a latency of CAS9-9-9-24 @ 1.65v I began to run our suite of memory benchmarks.
 
Let's see how I got on...
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Most Recent Comments

03-08-2009, 15:22:01

JN
"2000MHz kits are becoming more and more popular now that memory prices are dropping. Does the G.Skill Trident kit have what it takes to find it's way onto your i7 setup? Find out inside..." - by w3bbo

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...110136963s.jpg

G.Skill Trident Extreme Performance F3-16000CL9 DDR3 Kit

03-08-2009, 15:25:16

FarFarAway
Hmm not much of an overclocker, but green PCB aside they look lush. Great price too

03-08-2009, 15:29:21

Rastalovich
Quick reaction, but this seems a pretty damn good 2nd to the OCZ Blades and I'd have to check the prices but it's a load cheaper aint it ?

03-08-2009, 15:49:21

tinytomlogan
Nice review, Id consider them tbh.

03-08-2009, 16:08:50

VonBlade
Amazing performance for the price. Word I'm not allowed to use ridiculously good.

03-08-2009, 16:39:25

w3bbo
To be fair to the OCZ, the Blade have dropped too although nowhere near the level of the GSKill. Price is very much based on latency these days and the OCZ is CAS7 vs the CAS9 of the GSkill so the chips used on the OCZ are alot more expensive.

Hard to justify the cost though when the benchmarks don't show such a big difference in performance.

Thanks for the kind comments as always guys.

06-08-2009, 18:04:46

Bungral
Very good value that there... I just wish manufacturers would make some black memory with electric blue or something rather than the red that seems to turning up all over the place.

Nice review Rich... With all this Asus hunting going on, I realised you've been writing reviews for a little over a year now! How time flies!

09-08-2009, 15:51:36

w3bbo
Cheers m8. Jim got me a nice bottle of Glenmorangie which wasn't expected but very welcome! Whatta guy

10-08-2009, 17:31:21

Bungral
Well ya deserve it... To regularly keep churning out reviews of a high standard and keep them interesting is quality. Also to keep motivated yourself is quite impressive... So yeah anyway... well done that man!

11-08-2009, 08:16:10

mayhem
well done and a nice tipple to supp on the long nights of hammering out over clock's and testing equipment .

11-08-2009, 12:46:19

w3bbo
Sadly the Glen was been drunk dry some time ago. Got a nice 12yr old malt here though so here's to another year!

Edit: Dammit - now everyone knows where the spelling mistakes come from - Pished while writing reviews!

11-08-2009, 13:51:36

mayhem
Lol ...

16-09-2009, 04:24:17

Johnbear
Quick reaction, but this seems a pretty damn good 2nd to the OCZ Blades...

-

16-09-2009, 07:43:10

w3bbo
...and so they are. If the latencies were tightened then the kit could well be better if priced lower than the Blades.

17-09-2009, 10:14:02

Freak
From the testing that you have done you think that the larger heatsinks dont yield much of an improvement on overclocking, compared to those that are smaller?

17-09-2009, 12:24:21

w3bbo
I wouldn't say they gave much gain at all tbh. They perhaps prevent errors through overheating when pushed to the limit. What the sinks most likely do is lengthen the lifespan of modules.
Reply
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