G.Skill Trident Z 16GB DDR4-3200 C16 Memory Review

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G.Skill continues to release new DDR4 memory kits for Intel Skylake platform and of course we are happy about this fact. After a great Ripjaws V series we have a chance to test Trident Z whose design is simply exceptional. In this review we will present probably one of the most interesting memory kits for computer enthusiasts and gamers, the Trident Z 2x8GB DDR4-3200 CL16. Stay with us to find out how much you can expect from this memory and why it’s one of the best options on the market.

Specifications and Features

At the beginning one quote from G.Skill:

Building on the strong success of G.SKILL Trident series, Trident Z series represents one of the world’s highest performance DDR4 memory designed for the latest 6th generation Intel® Core™ processor on the Z170 series chipset.


G.Skill Trident Z has been designed for 6th Gen Intel® Core™ processor and Z170 chipset. Height of the modules is 44mm / 1.73 inch. It’s more than standard height but still shouldn’t interfere with large air cooling solutions. I would still advise one to check if you have enough clearance. The Trident Z memory has one XMP profile and additional SPD profiles which you can see on the table below. XMP profile is working without issues on ASUS Maximus VIII Hero and MSI Z170I Gaming Pro AC motherboards.

Trident Z 2x8GB DDR4-3200 CL16 SPD/XMP

Trident Z 2x8GB DDR4-3200 CL16 SPD/XMP

Below you can read about other Trident Z features which were pointed out by G.Skill.

Newest Generation of Extreme Performance DDR4 is Here!

Building on the strong success of G.SKILL Trident series, Trident Z series represents one of the world’s highest performance DDR4 memory designed for the latest 6th generation Intel® Core™ processor on the Z170 series chipset. Using only the best-in-class components and featuring dual-color construction aluminum heat-spreaders, Trident Z series is the state-of-the-art DDR4 solution that combines performance and beauty for PC enthusiasts and extreme overclockers to build an ultra-fast PC or achieve new overclocking records.

The New Level of Ultimate Performance

Designed for PC enthusiasts, overclockers, and extreme gamers, the Trident Z series DDR4 is built with specially screened ICs qualified under the legendary G.SKILL selection process, and rigorously tested for reliability, compatibility, and performance across a wide range of Z170 motherboards.

First DDR4 Memory to Reach 4000MHz XMP Speed

With wide range of available specs starting from DDR4-2800MHz all the way up to an extreme frequency of DDR4-4000MHz on first launch, Trident Z provides the fastest overclocking speed the world has ever seen.

Feel the Luxury

Trident Z series maintains the aggressive fin design for highly efficient heat dissipation, while introducing an innovative dual-color heatspreader construction and a luxurious hair-line finish. Look no further for a memory that combines performance and beauty for building a stylish, modern PC!

Up to 64GB Ultra Capacity

No compromises! These extreme speed memory kits not only come in kits of 4GB and 8GB modules, a series of ultra high speed 16GB modules are available in Trident Z series too. Build your dream supercomputer with up to DDR4 64GB (16GBx4) of ultra-capacity at ultra-high frequencies!

Developed for the Ultimate Compatibility and Reliability

All Trident Z DDR4 memory kits are tested with G.SKILL’s rigorous validation process on major performance motherboard brands to ensure the best-in-class reliability and compatibility across the widest selection of motherboards.



Product Photos

G.Skill Trident Z has been delivered in its retail packaging, which in this case, is a box. Inside that box is a clamshell offering more protection for the memory modules. Except memory itself, we can also find well known G.Skill sticker. The same sticker we can find in any other G.Skill memory kit.

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The memory modules look great. Brushed aluminum heatsinks are black on one side and silver on the other, which gives them a pretty unique look. On the top there is a red plastic part which can be removed. I hope that G.Skill releases additional colors like blue, orange or maybe even yellow for ASRock OC Formula fans.

The 8-layer PCB has additional markings such as S.A or 8G 3200 what tell us that modules are original. Even if you can’t read label, then you know what to expect under the heatsinks.

The PCB is black which is quite common already. Red, blue or orange would be nice change.

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Stability at Rated Speed

Stability at rated speed has been tested using popular software, AIDA64. The built-in memory stability test is one of the best memory stress tests available. Additionally the software can test all other computer components but for our needs memory and cache tests were enough. G.Skill TridentZ 2x8GB DDR4-3200 memory kit had no problems to pass over five hours of tests at nearly full memory load.

G.Skill TridentZ 16GB DDR4-3200 - AIDA64 Memory and Cache stability test

G.Skill TridentZ 16GB DDR4-3200 – AIDA64 Memory and Cache stability test

Aside from AIDA64, the memory kit was also tested in many other tests and benchmarks. We had no problems with stability regardless what test we were performing on TridentZ memory kit.

G.Skill TridentZ 16GB DDR4-3200

G.Skill TridentZ 16GB DDR4-3200



Synthetic Memory Bandwidth and Calculation Tests


As usual, I’m starting with AIDA64 as it provides one of the best memory and cache benchmarks. AIDA64 is also performing tests in multi-threaded environment what is perfect to measure memory bandwidth on new platforms.

G.Skill Trident Z DDR4-3200 memory kit is performing well. We can see it’s not much slower than the DDR4-3333 memory kit which is also in our comparison. What is worth mentioning, if anyone missed it, the G.Skill memory kit is based on higher capacity modules. Motherboard manufacturers are generally testing higher capacity memory modules like 8GB or 16GB up to DDR4-3200 speed. This is also most popular limit for guaranteed stable frequency due to memory controller limitations.


MaxxMem Preview is a bit dated but still good memory benchmark. It’s also testing memory in single threaded operations. As we see Intel Skylake is really fast comparing to previous generations. MaxxMem is showing us that even lower frequency memory is fast on this platform. However AIDA64 is showing us results closer to daily work because of load balance and multithreading capabilities in new applications.

Benchmark results are similar to what we see in AIDA64. G.Skill memory is about as fast as the Geil kit which is at a higher frequency. It tells us that XMP profile in Trident Z has been prepared well and tuned for higher performance.


HyperPi 32M is showing similar results. This application is mainly used for competitive benchmarking and it clearly shows that higher capacity modules, like G.Skill Trident Z in our comparison, are good for overclockers. Lower capacity memory kits will be still more popular for competitive overclocking due to lower price but if you wish to buy one memory kit for everything then 2x8GB is a good option.

Rendering and Tests Based on Daily Usage


Now it is time for the second part of performance tests. I will start with Cinebench R15, the latest version of the popular rendering benchmark.

Memory is not affecting this benchmark as much as the aforementioned tests, but we can clearly see differences in memory frequency what matches our previous results in other benchmarks like AIDA64. Also here we can see that G.Skill memory is about as fast as higher frequency Geil. Simply a good result, particularly because higher capacity memory kits usually have more relaxed sub-timings.


Next in queue are Futuremark benchmarks. First will be 3DMark, which has since has several newer versions released, but the version from 2013 is still a good indicator of performance.

3D tests were performed on a GTX980 graphics card so base results are high. We can barely see difference in memory kits. There is bigger difference in physics calculations where higher frequency memory kits are better (Physics are run on the CPU in these benchmarks). However if it was a game then we would barely see any difference. Simply higher capacity memory wins over higher frequency if you are looking for a memory kit for gaming only.


The PCMark 8 results are not too different. Even though we can see that higher frequency memory kits are better then all, results are similar. It’s related to already high speed of Intel Skylake platform where fast cache is helping to keep good access time to data.

Overall in all tests G.Skill Trident Z 2x8GB DDR4-3200 is performing great. There were also no problems with stability or performance in any test.

Now let’s move to the next part of this review – Overclocking, which will show how much you can still improve already high performance of G.Skill Trident Z memory.


Overclocking is never guaranteed so the presented results may vary from results on other memory kits. I am not recommending overclocking if you do not know what are you doing. High voltages may damage hardware and it will not be covered by warranty.

G.Skill Trident Z DDR4-3200 memory is based on Samsung IC and it overclocks well without any special settings. However a lot depends on the motherboard and its BIOS version. I was quite surprised to find out that ASUS Maximus VIII Hero with 1001 BIOS (the latest available) couldn’t run above DDR4-3333 but I could still keep CL 16-16-16 main timings. Good result but not really as good as I was expecting, so I decided to check how the Trident Z memory is acting on a different motherboard.

Below result has been achieved on MSI Z170I Gaming Pro AC motherboard. MSI designed this motherboard for gamers and it’s in ITX format so no one would expect it will overclock so well. As you can see I was able to set quite stable DDR4-3600 17-18-18-36 and command rate 1N. Voltage was set slightly above 1.45V so not really too high.

Results below are on a different motherboard and an i5 6600K CPU so you can’t really compare HyperPI 32M to previous results in this review but you can compare it at home to your i5 6600K or i7 6700K with Hyper-Threading disabled.

Processor the same as in all other tests in this review has been set to 4.2GHz and its cache also at 4.2GHz.

Trident Z 2x8GB DDR4-3200 @ 3600 17-18-18-36 1N 1.45V

Trident Z 2x8GB DDR4-3200 @ 3600 17-18-18-36 1N 1.45V

DDR4-3600 for 2x8GB kit is a great result but if you wish to know what else you can expect from Trident Z 16GB kit then check out the table below.


All settings passed a couple of benchmarks including HyperPi 32M, PCMark 8 and 3DMark 2013. DDR4-3200, 3466 and 3600 results were also stable while playing games.


Trident Z 2x8GB DDR4-3200 is one more great memory kit released by G.Skill. First thing which makes it exceptional are of course the new heatsinks. The memory looks simply amazing on new, dark motherboards like ASUS Maximus or MSI Gaming series.

Performance is great and what’s more important is that we had no issues with stability or compatibility which often happens on Skylake with many other series (mainly from other manufacturers). XMP profile works well on ASUS and MSI motherboards on which I had chance to test it. The only weird thing is that overclocking potential is actually higher on MSI Gaming motherboard than on the board designed for overclocking, the ASUS Maximus Hero. I guess it’s all related to BIOS and soon we will see better results as updates are made available.

Now a couple of words about price and availability. We can find Trident Z in many online stores without problems. Available are memory kits up to DDR4-4200 but only in 2x4GB kits. If we wish to buy 2x8GB kit then we are limited to about DDR4-3400. However not all motherboards will support that frequency so better look at tested memory list on your motherboard’s manufacturer website. Tested in this review 2x8GB DDR4-3200 memory kit should work on all motherboards. It’s also not so expensive as we would think – about $140, which is reasonable considering it’s the highest available DDR4 memory series on the market. The same as all other G.Skill memory kits, also Trident Z has lifetime limited warranty and free support. Of course we all wish not need to use it but it’s always good to have that assurance.

G.Skill Trident Z 2x8GB DDR4-3200 memory kit has all we could expect from high-end memory series designed for most demanding users. It offers great looks, high performance, high overclocking potential, and is also inexpensive so it’s really hard not to recommend it. Simply one of the best options on the market if you are looking for an exceptional memory kit.


Click the stamp for an explanation of what this means

~ Bartosz Waluk (Woomack)

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  1. Both Ripjaws V and Trident Z are overclocking good. If there are any issues with overclocking then I suggest to check BIOS. In most cases it's the limiting factor for Samsung based kits. I will only say that on old BIOS ASUS M8 Hero couldn't run above ~3333 on 2x8GB kit. After next updates reached 3466 on the same kit while on last beta it's working stable @3600 on 4x8GB Trident Z.
    I bought the V version and yes they were on sale. It still seemed odd to me that they released a new version, granted with new colors, with looser timings then put the slightly older version with tighter timings on sale. Usually these companies charge more for "higher performance" even if we all know it is a simple setting change.

    I was just curious if it was a new ic or something like that which Woomack answered above. I couldn't resist the $99 deal on 2x8g pc3200 but I also didn't want to miss out on a new version that might do better in the long run.
    I think he might have bought a Ripjaws 4 too: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231808

    (When he says older, he might be referring to the R4's)

    By the way, I've been using my 3000mhz TridentZ's with XMP after the BIOS fix, indeed the extra temps, issues were all BIOS related, after the fix, the CPU acts the same with/without XMP, also even with 1.35V fed to the RAM's, the RAM temps are always at in-case-ambient - so you guys were right, in optimal circumstances
    I think it's the delivery date. 3200 16-18-18 were available earlier in stores. Last time when I was checking then 16-16-16 cost ~$20 more.

    3200 16-16-16 are kits after additional binning. Even though all are on the same Samsung IC, not all will work at 3200 16-16-16. It's pretty tight for Samsung at 1.35V.

    I had a chance to test both kits, 2x8GB 3200 16-16-16 and 16-18-18. 16-16-16 is overclocking slightly better but both kits ( 32GB in total ) on Z170 motherboard are working stable @3600 17-18-18.
    Woomack, the newer GSkill release sets have the same speeds but higher timing yet cost more. For example, I just picked up a 2x8 PC3200 16,16,16 for $99.00 but the other sets with 16,18,18 were $134.00 Did they change something or is it just demand driving the price up on newer releases? Why not the older sets too?
    All higher G.Skills are based on similar Samsung IC. Just the bin in some series is better. Ripjaws V and Trident Z have only different heatsinks but Trident Z is avilable also in higher frequency. Up to ~3466 nothing is really different but only Trident Z are available above 3600.

    Simply both series have a chance to run at the same maximum frequency but only Trident Z was tested above 3600 and is guaranteed to run higher ( depends from memory kit you have ).

    Trident Z also looks much better ;)
    I'm confused about the difference between the Ripjaw V series and the Trident Z series. The voltages are generally the same for a given speed. The Tridents seem to top out a little higher in speed, but in the middle of the range (say, DDR4-3000), they offer both Ripjaw V and Trident Z kits with the same timings, same voltages, etc. Is it just the heatspreader that's different?

    I'm no expert, but the prices seem very close too, there are mentions online that they use the same IC's too

    It could be that the TridentZ IC's are binned a bit better, but it's most probably just the heat spreaders and minor differences

    (I've also ran my TridentZ at some lower-timing/lower-voltage settings, like the 1.25V 2666/2800's etc. - it seemed to work without issues - a bit off topic but related)

    Just checked the photos, the PCB's seem much different, so there is probably differences that aren't advertised
    I'm confused about the difference between the Ripjaw V series and the Trident Z series. The voltages are generally the same for a given speed. The Tridents seem to top out a little higher in speed, but in the middle of the range (say, DDR4-3000), they offer both Ripjaw V and Trident Z kits with the same timings, same voltages, etc. Is it just the heatspreader that's different?
    I've seen there is official 1.30 version for Z170I Gaming Pro AC and I have 1.34 beta but I simply had no time to check any of them. Right now I have only ASUS Maximus VIII Hero set for tests for reviews which also got new BIOS and so far it works great as you see on the screenshot in my last post. Earlier BIOS couldn't run with the same memory above DDR4-3466 while new is fully stable at DDR4-3600 with all 32GB.
    Thanks for all the information, very useful, good to know

    Can't wait to retry ram clocking myself after MSI releases the new BIOS for the Z170I
    Auto voltage on a CPU is a terrible idea anyway, unless you're running stock...

    The vast majority of RAM is designed to operate up to 85°C, so you have plenty of room there.

    Manufacturers are running <1% on RAM RMA rates.


    Why would there be a motherboard VRM section dedicated to the system RAM if it was being run through the CPU?

    The answer is, because it isn't routed through the CPU.

    I've been unable to find this for Skylake yet, but here's the Haswell pin map. Page 115 starts this information.

    I have yet to find any pins that reference DRAM voltage.

    RAM voltage has nothing to do with CPU or anything else. It affects RAM and nothing else.

    Memory manufacturers calculated that 1.35V or even 1.4V is safe limit for memory at which it won't fail even after long work. No one would give lifetime warranty on a product which can fail even in 3-4 years. The same made almost all memory manufacturers on the market. Kingston even set 1.5V for their early Predator kits.

    Temperature between 1.2V and 1.35V is like 3-4*C difference tops ( you can check it on many modules with thermal sensors ). During long work DDR4 is reaching about 40*C max while max safe for most consumer grade modules is 80-85*C. At this voltage range what may cause failure or fast degradation is temperature which is far from safe limit even after overclocking.

    Simply there is no difference if memory will work at 1.20, 1.25, 1.35 or even 1.40V.

    It's not recommended to set high voltage on DDR4 at all but there is no clear rule what voltage is max safe. It's not only related to Skylake. No one will recommend to run memory at 1.5V or more when it was designed to work at about 1.3V ( JEDEC general specs is 1.275V max ). Additional tests and better PCB may help in stabilizing memory at higher voltages and keep it safe. That's why most good manufacturers are using better components to guarantee stable work at higher than standard settings.

    Good example can be G.Skill which is offering Trident Z kits up to 1.4V with lifetime warranty and additional support. So far I haven't seen problems with their memory kits and many overclockers were pushing them above 1.7V.

    Like ATM already said, right now the only issue may cause badly designed XMP and motherboard BIOS. So far I see mainly issues with Corsair DDR4-3000+ modules and Gigabyte motherboards. Most other motherboard manufacturers updated their BIOS and there are barely any issues with memory kits designed for Skylake. However there can be issues with some kits designed for X99 because of slightly different timing tables.

    Back to reviewed Trident Z 3200 memory, I was able to stabilize it at DDR4-3466 17-18-18 1.35V and DDR4-3600 at the same timings using 1.45V. About the same results on both my motherboards so MSI Z170I Gaming Pro AC and ASUS Maximus VIII Hero. On both it required higher VCCSA and VCCIO voltages ( about 1.25V ).

    Here is 4x8GB Trident Z DDR4-3200 16-16-16 + 16-18-18 @ 3600 16-18-18 at 1.55V after 2h 95% memory load in AIDA64. At these settings this memory is working for a week now.
    I'm using my CPU at 1.20V for example, can get the same performance compared to Auto voltages, with much less than 5% performance loss, while Auto voltages push 160W's, with this voltage limitation the CPU is around 80W's at most

    Similarly a cooler RAM is in my opinion better, if it can roughly provide the same performance at lower temperatures, I would prefer the lower voltage/temperature

    It also doesn't matter if the RAM producers give lifetime warranties or not, they have a better look at the economical situation, they could be easily affording a 5% failure rate for example, I wouldn't want my system to fail with 5% probability, but they can easily afford it

    You seem to be very interested in refuting my voltage choices but you are doing a weak job at this imo, you can refute it strongly with some solid information, if the 1.35V never touches the CPU for example it would be a strong refutal, but since there are warnings against running 1.5V Ram's with Skylake CPU's, the DRAM voltage obviously plays a role in stability, lower is better in my opinion
    How, exactly, is 1.25V safer than 1.35V if neither of them cause any issues?

    You're being given a lifetime warranty on the RAM at that voltage, the CPU is rated for it, and the board is rated for it...

    Most of the XMP issues I've been seeing aren't voltage related, they're BIOS and/or new technology related.
    Yes 1.35V is safe, but it's the limit


    The Rated Memory XMP limits are not safe tho, these modules are sold like they are supported by every 6th gen cpu out there, while in reality the situation is opposite

    I don't get why you have a problem with me deeming 1.25V safer than 1.35V, low voltage, less wattage, cooler system, less issues

    If you also look at any online forum, it's filled with people experiencing issues with XMP, I didn't even make a universal statement like "everyone should aim for < 1.35V" - personally I will aim for the lowest voltage I can get as I've been burnt too much
    If you don't want to believe us that it's safe, go right ahead with your own thoughts.

    The manufacturers of the CPU, motherboard, and RAM all say that 1.35V for the DRAM is safe though.