To meet the demands of the new Ivy Bridge-based processors and satisfy overclockers, Taiwanese brand G.Skill has released a series of DDR3 memory modules which are XMP 1.3 compliant. Overclockers know this brand caters to their needs while still providing reasonable prices, and will be pleased to learn the Trident X series memory modules have been breaking frequency and efficiency records.
Design and Function
The G.Skill Trident X Series modules are offered in dual-channel kits, both 8GB or 16GB total memory, for the Ivy Bridge platform. Running a Sandy Bridge-E processor? Not a problem. They are also offering 16GB or 32GB quad-channel kits. What makes the design perfect for overclockers? The heatsink design, of course. It features the main black heatspreader attached directly to the RAM chips, and also a red heatsink that slides right on top of the black heatspreader. This works well only in cases that have vertical clearance over the RAM slots.
This heatsink design is nothing new – Corsair's Dominator GT models work in exactly the same way, even featuring the same colors. The difference is in how the additional heatsink is attached. Where the Corsair models require screws to hold it in place, G.Skill's slides easily in place. You still need to put a couple of screws on either end to assure it doesn't slide around, but getting it in place is a snap.
The 2400MHz modules run at 10-12-12-31T with 1.65V, two 4GB modules create the 8GB dual channel kit. An Asus P8Z77-V Deluxe board to test the kit out. The memory frequency was adjusted to 2400MHz DDR and the Command Rate adjusted to 1T versus the 2T it is rated for. No problems whatsoever were noted upon system boot. Once it was found to run smoothly (read/write numbers of 21,887 MB/s / 19,724 MB/s, copy speed of 23,925 MB/s, latency of 35.5ns), it was time to test the Trident X's overclocking ability. Going with a 11-13-13-2T setup and adjusting memory frequency to 2600 MHz, the machine booted with no trouble. Adjusting even further to 2666MHz DDR, there were still no problems, with a read/write of 21,282 MB/s /19,941 MB/s, copy of 23,893 MB/s, and latency of 35.0ns.
Not much change is noted, but only because of the loose timing. What happens when the multiplier is adjusted on the CPU and both RAM and CPU are overclocked? Well, after changing the multipllier to 45x and properly adjusting voltages to assure system stability, the machine booted and the 3770k was running at 4489MHz, with the TridentX kit at 2661MHz DDR. Read/Write jumped to 22,612 MB/s / 23,742 MB/s and copy to 27,163 MB/s. Latency decreased to 32.8ns, which is a bonus for performance.
This is a high quality memory kit, and if you are thinking of upgrading your processor to the new Z77 Ivy Bridge and need or want new RAM and happen to be an overclocking enthusiast, this is a great move. For the price of $99.99, you just can't go wrong.