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G.Skill brings high expectations with each new product release. Computer enthusiasts and overclockers connect the G.SKill brand to the highest quality memory. Today, we once again have a chance to find out if G.Skill is worth being called the best memory manufacturer. This memory review is based on the latest Ripjaws 4 series designed for the only DDR4 desktop platform – Haswell-E. On Overclockers.com. we can already see DDR4-2666 and DDR4-3000 Ripjaws 4 reviews. Now it’s time for the memory kit marked as F4-2800C16Q-16GRK (16GB of DDR4-2800 CL16), which requires standard DDR4 voltage of 1.2V.
Let’s not make this introduction any longer as I assume you all wish to find out how much this G.Skill Ripjaws 4 DDR4-2800 kit has to offer.
Specifications and Features
The specifications and features of the G.Skill Ripjaws 4 DDR4-2800 are not much different than other Ripjaws 4 kits, except for declared speed. Also here we can find the same high quality memory modules protected by the already well known Ripjaws 4 heatsinks.
Below are the general specifications, which we can also see on the G.Skill website.
G.Skill Ripjaws 4 DDR4-2800, the same as all other G.Skill DDR4 memory kits, has only one XMP profile. I think it’s enough for this memory as all who wish to run it at declared speed will use SPD or XMP profile, which is already fast. Enthusiasts and overclockers can try their luck with manual settings. Below we can see how profiles look in popular diagnostic software like ASUS Mem TweakIt, AIDA64 and CPU-Z.
ASUS Mem Tweak It is showing us a more detailed memory timing list. It’s really helpful if you decide to set memory timings manually. Less helpful if you are using SPD/XMP profiles.
CPU-Z shows the standard profiles programmed into Ripjaws 4 memory. We can also see product number of our memory kit, which not all programs show.
AIDA64 is additionally showing us voltage at which memory is currently working. The motherboard is slightly over-volting the memory at 1.21V.
- Extreme performance DDR4 memory designed for gaming and PC enthusiasts
- Optimized compatibility with Intel X99 system
- Stylish aluminum heat spreader design to keep the memory cool
- 1.2V ultra low voltage
- Intel XMP 2.0 Support
The G.Skill Ripjaws 4 memory arrived in the usual retail package, which is plastic blister with a cardboard insert inside. Outside is a large sticker telling us that this memory is compatible with motherboards based on the Intel X99 chipset. It would be hard to make it compatible with any other desktop platforms as it’s the only DDR4 desktop chipset on the market right now. Later this year we should see the premiere of Intel’s dual channel DDR4 platform.
Memory looks great in black aluminum heatsinks. Heatsinks are not much taller than the memory PCB itself, so they shouldn’t cause any issues during installation, even with really large CPU coolers.
The label on the memory modules suggests that inside we can find Samsung IC. Most users aren’t interested what memory chips they find under the heatsinks, but enthusiasts and overclockers find it important. Later in this review we will see how the Ripjaws 4 DDR4-2800 memory overclocks.
Some more photos as there are never enough:
Stability at Rated Speed
Popular Memtest86+ couldn’t run at multicore load on this platform, so after couple of passes I decided to move to Windows tests. Stability has been tested using AIDA64 memory and cache stability test. Since memory stability depends also on cache, I’ve added this test too.
Results we can see below. Over six hours of full load is enough to tell that the memory is stable at declared settings. Additionally, we had no problems during our other tests that took a couple more hours.
Test setup is based on popular components like Intel i7 5820K CPU and ASUS Rampage V Extreme. Additionally, to have better performance comparison, processor clock has been raised to 4.2GHz and cache clock to 3.5GHz. These values are easy to achieve on every possible X99 motherboard. If anyone wishes to compare, they shouldn’t have any problem duplicating these settings on their own PC.
Synthetic Memory Bandwidth and Calculation Tests
I will start with the AIDA64 benchmark, which is one of the best tools to compare memory bandwidth and latency. It’s also one of my favorite benchmarks and a really handy diagnostic software.
We can see that with higher memory clock comes higher memory bandwidth, but difference between G.Skill DDR4-2800 and Kingston DDR4-3000 is not so big. G.Skill is even faster in memory write bandwidth, which usually relies on CPU speed.
To check single thread performance, I’ve used MaxxMem Preview v1.99. It’s definitely not a new benchmark, but still good and popular.
Here the situation looks similar to AIDA64, but we can see that memory timings help more in single threaded performance. Ripjaws 4 DDR4-2800 memory was fast, but Ripjaws4 DDR4-2666 CL15 memory showed better performance in memory read and write.
I think that numbers in both memory bandwidth benchmarks are clear enough and don’t need further explanation. I can only add that differences would be lower if we used standard CPU cache clock.
HyperPi 32M is our next benchmark, which reacts pretty good on memory performance. In this test, we can see that performance of G.Skill DDR4-2666 at CL15 is slightly better than DDR4-2800 CL16. Looks like lower latency helps more than higher memory clock in this test. Of course, it’s best if we have both as the Kingston DDR4-3000 memory results show.
In rendering benchmarks like presented below with Cinebench R15, performance of Ripjaws 4 DDR4-2800 is really good. Difference between memory kits isn’t really big, but we clearly see that there are no performance drops and it’s scales good compared to other memory kits.
PCMark8 is based on popular applications and games. It’s showing us the general performance of our computer where we can see how big of a difference memory makes. It’s hard to say if we notice any special difference between DDR4-2666 or higher memory kits in our comparison, but for sure there is some improvement at each higher memory clock.
As we see on the above table, memory performance is affecting mainly tests where physics calculations are present. Once again, the difference between DDR4-2666 or higher memory kits isn’t big, and we barely see any difference during the test. At the same time, we can tell that Ripjaws 4 DDR4-2800 is performing well and achieved results that are about as high as DDR4-3000 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.
Expectations regarding overclocking potential are raising when we think about G.Skill. This brand is always proving that their memory is well-selected and tested. In each of G.Skill’s memory kits, I find some headroom for additional improvement. Let’s take a look what we were able to achieve on the Ripjaws 4 DDR4-2800 memory.
All overclocking results were performed on the ASUS Rampage V Extreme motherboard and i7 5820K CPU.
At the beginning, one more look at our memory kit. Serial number is suggesting to us that inside we will find Samsung memory IC. Most users won’t care about it, but overclockers do as it affects our overclocking results and may help to pick right memory timings or voltages. Our memory is based on Samsung memory chips, but you can also find SK Hynix in DDR4-2666 or higher clocked Ripjaws 4 memory kits.
I’ve started from settings at the default voltage of 1.2V. At this voltage I wasn’t able to set much higher clock than the DDR4-2800, but I could tighten the timings for better performance. Performance at DDR4-2800 CL15-16-16 1.2V looks good as the screenshot with this result shows.
Next step will be the highest possible clock while keeping stability. At this point I was able to set DDR4-3200 CL16-17-17-36 at 1.35V, which is pretty good result. On the screenshot below we can see that bandwidth raised, latency is much lower, and time in HyperPi 32M has improved.
Best performance was possible at DDR4-3000 CL13-16-16-32 settings, but to make it I had to raise voltage to 1.50V. This voltage can be already too high for many users and probably isn’t safe for long term use. Since DDR4 memory is still quite new, we aren’t sure how high the maximum safe voltage is, but for sure it will vary depending on the memory ICs used.
Maximum achieved clock is pretty amazing – 1882.1 MHz / DDR4-3764. Maybe not stable and only on one memory stick, but still counts and shows high overclocking potential of this memory.
G.Skill once again proved that their memory kits are the best that computer enthusiasts and overclockers can find. Ripjaws 4 DDR4-2800 is a top quality memory kit worth recommending to all users. I found a couple of online stores, including Newegg that are selling Ripjaws 4 16GB DDR4-2800 kit for about $240. Not cheap, as all DDR4 is still new and expensive, but it’s really a reasonable price for this memory kit.
Going back to the memory kit itself. G.Skill used great looking black heatsinks and a black PCB, which should present perfectly on most available motherboards. Heatsinks are not really required for cooling as low-votage modules are not getting very hot, but the protect memory chips and are giving an additional touch that all computer modders can appreciate.
Overclocking the Ripjaws 4 DDR4-2800 is great. We were able to achieve the highest DDR4 memory clock so far of 3764MHz using nothing but standard cooling. Fully stable results are maybe not so impressive, but I think that is still really good. After some tuning of the memory timings, we were able to set a pretty stable DDR4-3200. It’s of course not guaranteed, but if we could make it then there is high chance that our readers can too.
Regardless if you pick DDR4-2133 or DDR4-3200 Ripjaws 4 memory kits, they all offer the same high quality design and top performance in its class. The G.Skill DDR4-2800 memory kit is one of the best options if you are looking for high performance memory that works at low voltage. Great looks, great support, and a reasonable price are also important additions to this top performing memory kit.
It’s hard not to recommend G.Skill Ripjaws 4 16GB DDR4-2800 memory kit. Ripjaws 4 series can add one more award to its collection!