Memory modules are one of the most critical part of the system as stability and performance are dependent on availability of stable and responsive memory. However getting high-end memory isn’t known to be a major performance booster. But enthusiasts who look towards squeezing out every bit of performance from their pc’s often look towards higher and better matched memory pairs that will give them the maximum performance possible.
With the release of the Nehalem Architecture on the 1366 Socket, came the memory leap from DDR2 to DDR3. Along with this, the memory channels were upgraded from Dual to Triple Channel, thus boosting the memory bandwidth by a huge margin. The 1366 socket is Intel’s flagship, but along with the performance gains, come the cost increase, creating problems for the budget buyer who also wanted performance and overclocking headroom. As a solution to this issue, the 1156 Socket comes to the rescue, providing support for the Nehalem at much reduced prices. However, “affordability” also has its drawbacks, namely shifting from the new Triple Channel configuration to the already prevalent Dual Channel Configuration, but on DDR3.
The major differences in the two are not only limited to the channels. The Triple Chanel RAM is found in pairs of 3 sticks, while the dual channel sticks to the popular 2-stick configuration. Popular memory sizes in DDR3 go from 3GB and 6GB to 2GB and 4GB, like DDR2.
Also, one of the major differences is the memory voltage, which is 1.5V for the 1156 Dual Channel while 1.9V is used for the Triple Channel 1366 Socket.
G.Skill Ripjaws 4GB DDR3-1600
We were provided the G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2GB pair of High performance DDR3 RAM, aimed towards gamers and overclockers. Specifications of the RAM pair are as follows:
- Model: F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM
- Brand: G.SKILL
- Series: Ripjaws Series
- Model: F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM
- Type: 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM
- Compatibility: Intel Core i5 and Core i7
- Chipset: Intel P55 motherboard
- Capacity: 4GB (2 x 2GB)
- Speed: DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
- Voltage: 1.6V
- ECC: No
- Buffered/Registered: Unbuffered
- Multi-channel Kit: Dual Channel Kit
- Heat Spreader: Yes
Established in 1989 by enthusiast, is a leading memory manufacturer based in Taipei, Taiwan. The company’s top priority is Quality.
A closer Look on the RipJaws
The RAM pair comes neatly packed in a transparent Clamshell packing, and even before opening, gives the look of a mean looking piece of hardware.
The bright blue Heat spreader is uniquely designed, and as the name suggests, looks like Teeth from the jaws of a Jurassic Park© Raptor or T-Rex! The green colored PCB is evident from the sides, but might have looked better if it was black or dark blue, in my opinion. None the less, they look attractive and pose a good first impression!
Installing them was easy as any other RAM pair, and their profile is similar to other RAM’s with heatspreaders, just the right size to avoid any cpu cooler my a decent margin.
The system used to test is as follows:
- CPU: Intel Core i7-860 (Stock Clock 2.8GHz)
- Motherboard: Asus P7P55D
- Graphics Card: EVGA GTX-285 1GB (Stock clocks)
- Operating System: Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
Softwares Used in the Test:
The testing included the following software:
- CPU-Z Version 1.53.1
- Everest Ultimate Edition
- PassMark Performance Scores
The ASUS P7P55D motherboard is a popular LGA1156 board that is extremely user-friendly and capable of decent overclocking. Voltage increments in fine increments and other OC options meant easier and simple to advanced overclocking support. Also, its recovery from unstable overclocks also proved that eventhough its not a extreme performance board, it still is a joy to work with.
Although the default ratings are DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) The ram pair were pushed up to their maximum stable limits going to a maximum of 1867MHz (FSB 155.5) at a mere increment of 1.61 volts and a timing of 9-9-9-24!
This is roughly a 17% performance increase with the overclock, providing excellent headroom for enthusiasts and overclockers to push their systems to the extreme. Brilliant performance from these pair of ram’s, shows that GSkill has really created a product more than justifying its price tag, and making it a very attractive option for overclockers!
Everest Ultimate Edition
Lavalys EVEREST is a system diagnostics and benchmarking utility that provides system and overclock information, advanced hardware monitoring and diagnostics capabilities, including tests for the memory subsystem. Here the utility runs the benchmark and records the read and write bandwidths, as well as the latency.
The difference between different Bus speeds is evidently not much, however, the overall impact on the system on higher clocked memory is a certain responsive feel to the system. The latency of the higher FSB Ripjaws drops by 6.8ns.
Everest memory Scores show the jump in FSB really affects the Read , write and Copy scores however, there is an anomaly in the data which shows less scores for 1600FSB as compared to 1333FSB of the Kingston Valuselect RAM’s, although not by much. Reasons for this are being investigated , and will be updated as soon as possible.
PassMark Performance Tests:
PassMark PerformanceTest is an award winning PC hardware benchmark utility that allows everybody to quickly assess the performance of their computer and compare it to a number of standard ‘baseline’ computer systems. The Advanced Memory Test is part of the PerformanceTest application, and it is designed to test several factors which affect the speed of which data is accessed in PC memory, and was thus used in this review.
The scores are clearly showing a linear trend as the FSB increases, with a decent amount of jump when the overclock is at maximum.
Premium priced memory modules offer enthusiasts an opportunity play around with minute details such as memory timings and speeds, and the GSkill RipJaws proved exceptionally easy for such endeavors. Asthetically pleasing and attractive, the RipJaws proved to be quite stable for different clocking speeds, and were easily pushed beyond their stock FSB limit. They also offered good bit of headroom when going beyond their 1600MHz rated speeds with a 17% overclock at a small amount of voltage increase showing good quality memory build. All in all, it was a total joy to work with, giving overclockers exactly what they are paying for!