What’s black, red and goes really fast? Well, fast for an inanimate object anyway. Why, G.Skill’s TridentX F3-2400C10Q-32GTX, 32GB, DDR3-2400 memory kit of course!
Specifications & Product Tour
The specifications for this kit are nothing short of impressive for a 32GB memory kit. Running at DDR3-2400 with very reasonable primary timings of 10-12-12-31, you’ll be hard pressed to find a faster 32GB kit. In fact, there aren’t any faster 32GB kits on Newegg.
|Multi-Channel Kit||Dual Channel kit|
|Tested Speed||DDR3-2400 MHz (PC3-19200)|
|Tested Latency||10-12-12-31 2N|
|SPD Speed||1333 MHz|
|Height||54mm / 2.13 inch|
|Features||Intel XMP (Extreme Momery Profile)Ready
Removable Top Fin
If you know much about memory, you know there are compromises to be made when running this much memory at this kind of frequency – namely timings. The primary timings are very good on this kit. When running the XMP profile (where this kit was benched for comparison), the secondary and tertiary timings are where the compromise is made.
The secondary and tertiary timings are definitely looser than smaller kits, which is necessary to remain stable at this kind of speed…but does it impact performance? We’ll find out a little later. First, let’s take a look at the kit itself.
There isn’t any fan included with this kit; it would be unnecessary anyway as they only get warm under excessive stability testing (which, of course, we do for you!). The memory comes in a clam-shell plastic case, with two sticks on each side. It’s enough to keep the memory still and protected yet blissfully easy to open.
Pulling the memory out, I’m again impressed by the looks of TridentX memory. They just released this design when the Ivy Bridge CPUs came out. As memory goes, I think they look great. The heatsinks actually do serve a purpose too. Under normal operation the kit stays nice and cool but when you put it under heavy stress loads, they can get quite warm. These heatsinks do a good job of drawing that heat away from the chips.
Anyway, on to the photos! I picked out a few (ok, half-a-dozen) favorites. Then there are quite a few more if you feel like clicking through them.
Ok fine, two more. You knew they were coming, didn’t you?
Like the TridentX DDR3-2666 kit we already reviewed, the top fin on the heatspreader is removable. If you need them to be more low-profile or if you want to run them with an LN2 pot on top, you can do it with ease.
So far we have a great looking, versatile kit with solid specifications. Let’s put them to work.
Our memory test system remains the same as before, with an Ivy Bridge CPU (you need that strong memory controller for memory like this) and an ASUS Maximus V GENE motherboard.
|CPU||Intel i7 3770K|
|Motherboard||ASUS Maximus V GENE|
|RAM||G.Skill RipjawsX 8GB DDR3-2133 / 9-11-9-28
G.Skill TridentX 8GB DDR3-2666 / 11-13-13-35
G.Skill TridentX 32GB DDR3-2400 / 10-12-12-31
|GPU||Varies (no GPU tests performed)|
|OS||Windows 7 Professional x64|
The TridentX memory looks right at home combined with the ASUS ROG series’ red and black color scheme.
Stability at Rated Speed
Before performance testing, it’s always good to look at stability, especially in a kit rated for such high speeds. Ultra-X has generously supplied their RAM stress tester, the R.S.T. Pro 3 PCI Express. There are only a couple of review sites that have one of these and we are proud to be one of them. It’s not your standard Memtest++ bootable CD. This is a standalone, bootable piece of hardware that plugs into a PCIe x1 slot and, man, does it ever beat on some RAM. This alone makes the heatspreaders worth having.
Several manufacturers use this to test their memory before it goes out the door to reduce RMAs. If it passes this test, it is stable and then some. Manufacturers generally run the full memory test for three passes. We’re overclockers though and tend to abuse sticks a little more than other people, so for our purposes five passes sounds good. Running this test on 32 GB of RAM ended up absolutely hammering the RAM for an insane thirty-four hours with a load more that it will ever experience in every day use, so that should be more than sufficient to say whether or not it’s stable.
After passing that without issue, there isn’t a need for other testing, but for good measure I ran HyperPi for a quick in-OS stability test.
Ok, now that we see the kit is absolutely stable at its rated speed and timings, we’ll take a look at performance.
Before getting started, always remember there isn’t a huge amount of difference between kits at these high speeds. From 2133 and up, the biggest differences you’ll see are in synthetic RAM benchmarks. Aside from that, there will be very little difference.
Speaking of synthetic tests, AIDA 64′s memory tests are up first.
Latency is right where you’d expect it to be – between the two comparison kits. Surprisingly, memory copy came out ahead of both of the other kits. Write & Read were right in the middle as expected. What surprised me about this kit was that the secondary and tertiary timings didn’t seem to have as big of an effect as I thought they might. Those relatively tight primary timings do well for this kit.
Compression, Video Conversion & Rendering
As mentioned, there is very little difference in the real world tests. The total performance spread from the slowest to the fastest memory ranges from a mere 0.5% difference all the way to a whopping 1.5%.
For the most part, everything is as expected here, with this kit performing in between the other two.
Like the other tests, there isn’t a huge spread for benchmarks either. If you benchmark competitively part time but need the capacity this kit offers, pay attention to SuperPi 32M to see where this kit falls for benchmarking.
Every test result falls precisely where it should, with this kit right in between the other two. Benchmarkers take note that in SuperPi 32M, the 2666 kit beat the 2133 kit by over three seconds; however it only beats this one by ~1.5 seconds. This is definitely a good alternative for benchmarkers if you need the capacity for other tasks.
This kit really surprised me at its rated voltage of 1.65vDIMM / 1.25vVCCIO. For quick-and-dirty testing, SuperPi 32M is a good indicator of stability. It’s not as good as 8-threaded HyperPi or the R.S.T. Pro 3, but this is a decent indication of where you should be able to expect one of these kits to reach for 24/7 overclocking.
First up, I dropped the memory divider by one and ran DDR3-2200. Then I tightened the timings to a pretty impressive 9-11-11-28. Much to my surprise, the kit passed SuperPi 32M without any other changes.
Tight timings? Check. What about frequency at rated timings with only 1.65vDIMM?
That’s right, this kit passed SP32M at DDr3-2520 with no voltage changes. That’s much stronger than anticipated and a definite win for 24/7 considerations.
Now let’s push a bit more voltage and see what it gets us. With the timings tightened back down to 9-11-11-28, I bumped voltage to 1.7vDIMM. At that voltage, it was able to complete SuperPi 32M at an impressive DDR3-2300. However it wouldn’t quite make it to DDR3-2400 with those timings for 32M at reasonable voltages. It did manage to pass the less intense SuperPi 1M at DDR3-2400 and 9-11-11-28 with 1.725vDIMM.
Now we’ll go the other direction, loosening up the timings to see if we can gain frequency. In this example, timings were 11-13-13-35. The highest frequency it would run and pass SuperPi 32M was DDR3-2550. That’s not bad at all considering all four DIMM slots are populated running 32GB of memory!
Last, I went for max overclock to run MaxxMEM and it was surpringly close to the max SuperPi 32M frequency. The sticks topped out at DDR3-2560 at their rated timings and only 1.7vDIMM. Loosening the timings didn’t do any good when looking for high frequency. Raising voltage to 1.75vDIMM didn’t help either.
Lastly, I wanted to see how far the sticks could go when there were just two of them instead of all four. With a quick n’ dirty highest clock test, running 1.75V at the rated 10-12-12-31 timings, they validated at a maximum DDR3-2612, which is none too shabby.
Overall, the overcocking ability of such a huge kit with high-density sticks was rather impressive. Two thumbs up for overclocking this kit!
Disclaimer – Running voltages like these run the risk of damaging your IMC and/or your RAM. If you choose to run these voltages, you do so at your own risk.
Final Thoughts & Conclusion
Ok, first let’s get the elephant in the room out in the open – the price for 32GB worth of G.Skill’s TridentX DDR3-2400 memory is $399.99. Now that we got that out of our system and the slight shell shock has worn off, let’s talk about what you get. First, you get the fastest 32GB kit available on Newegg. As you can see, it performs exactly where it should relative to other kits at stock speeds.
On top of that, it overclocks quite well at its rated voltage. When you give it a little extra voltage, it responds by giving you some more versatility too. There certainly isn’t anything to complain about in the overclocking department. If you have a CPU with a strong IMC (Ivy Bridge mostly, but a strong Sandy Bridge-E or Bulldozer chip will do well too), it looks like this kit will treat you quite well.
So now let’s be realistic. There aren’t a ton of people that actually need 32GB of memory. However, more and more people are choosing 16GB of memory for future-proofing their systems. That quantity is plenty for the average overclocker / gamer. Thus, while you’ve seen how this beautiful, yet expensive, kit performs, if you don’t need this kind of capacity, you have an alternative. There is a 16GB (2x8GB) kit that shares this kit’s DNA, rated for the same speed, timings and voltages, model # F3-2400C10D-16GTX – and that one is available for an easier to swallow $204.99.
Thus, if you don’t need 32GB worth of memory, but want to do a little future proofing and go for 16GB, you can do that and that kit should be just as capable as this one.
However, should you be in the need for a bunch of capacity that operates at high speed, this great TridentX kit with thirty two massive gigabytes of RAM goodness will treat you very well.