Teamgroup T-Force Nighthawk 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) 3000 MHz CL16 DDR4 Memory Kit Review
Teamgroup T-Force Nighthawk 16 GB 3000 MHz DDR4 Memory KitOctober 2016
Teamgroup is the creator of some of the most high quality memory products for the PC industry. They have come a long way since their inception in 1997 and went on to become one of the fastest growing product manufacturers and a leading brand around the globe.
Since the arrival of DDR4 memory in the mainstream market, Teamgroup started a separate line of DIMM kits under their new T-Force brand. The T-Force brand is the more enthusiast and gamer aimed memory series with sheer focus towards quality and performance. Today, we will be testing one of T-Force's new Nighthawk series memory kit to see how it holds up in against similar priced and similar spec'd memory kits.
Teamgroup sent me a Nighthawk DDR4 memory kit for this review which I would like to thank them for!
Teamgroup T-Force Nighthawk 16 GB DDR4 Memory Kit Specifications
The Teamgroup T-Force Nighthawk 16 GB DDR4 memory kit rocks decent specs for its price. The kit we received is optimized at a clock speed of 3000 MHz (PC4-24000). The memory kit consists of dual 8 GB DIMMs which make up a total of 16 GB in capacity. Some features of the T-Force Nighthawk series are listed below:
- Hawk wings symmetric type heat spreader
- Unique hawkeyes light guide panel design
- High-efficiency aluminum heat spreader
- LED breathing light
- 10 layers of circuit board
- Selected high quality IC chips
- 1.2V~1.4V ultra low working voltage
- Supports XMP2.0 one click overclocking technology
- QVL approved by mainstream motherboard manufactures in the market
- Lifetime warranty
The memory kit has a tested latency spec of CL16 and the timings are 16-18-18-38-2N for this specific kit. Voltage set at reference is 1.35V and the memory kit comes in an unbuffered package with non-ECC (Error Correction) design. The memory kit is fully compliant with Intel's XMP 2.0 and can be easily set to its rated clock speeds through the BIOS shipped on the latest Intel motherboards.
Memory compatibility differs from motherboard to motherboard so make sure that your board is high-end and rated to support high clock speed memory sticks.
Teamgroup offers a limited lifetime warranty with their T-Force Nighthawk series memory kits. These are some of the most heaviest memory sticks that I have held in my hand and the heatsink is made of pure aluminum which means much better cooling potential. The PCB itself is made of 10 layers and using high quality memory chips, we can expect some decent overclocking potential too.
Teamgroup T-Force Nighthawk 16 GB 3000 MHz Memory Kit Specifications
|Series||Teamgroup T-Force Nighthawk|
|Multi-Channel Kit||Dual Channel Kit|
|Features||Intel XMP 2.0 (Extreme Memory Profile) Ready|
Teamgroup T-Force Nighthawk 16 GB DDR4 Memory Kit Unboxing and Close Up
The T-Force Nighthawk series comes in a nicely designed box shaped package. It has red and black accents all over. The front of the box has the name and specifications sticker along with a picture of the DDR4 stick with the main focus over its LED "Breathing Light" effect. The DIMM has also been rewarded a design award and it really looks stunning as we will see later on.
The back of the box lists down a brief overview of the T-Force brand along with detailed features of the T-Force Night Hawk series memory. The product label and contact details for Teamgroup are also provided. It's mentioned that the kit comes with a lifetime warranty which is another plus for users building new DDR4 setups.
Opening the box, I am met with a large plastic container which firmly holds the two DIMM sticks. I also noted that these are some pretty heavy DIMMs when compared to the ones we have used earlier. This could be due to many things which we will tell in a bit.
Removing the plastic cover, I put my sights upon some of the most impressive designed DDR4 memory to date. The design looks a bit aggressive but it's done so nicely, that if I had to rate these, they would get a 10/10 in the sexiness department.
There's also a "User Installation Manual" inside the plastic casing. Although installing memory isn't a big deal but it's still nice that companies like Teamgroup focus towards educating the general consumers of how to install PC hardware properly, even if they aren't doing it for the first time.
The matte black coating for the shroud and an acrylic window for the LEDs looks great. The T-Force and Team Group logos are etched in the middle and on the sides in white. The whole stick looks like the wings of a hawk and I guess that's where the name "Night Hawk" comes from.
Now for the weight, yes these are very heavy memory sticks and I am surprised by the reason. Not only are the DIMMs using top of the line ICs on a high-end PCB, the shroud is all aluminum based. This increases the overall cooling capacity on the specific modules and also prevent the memory from external forces such as pressure, air and dust. The LED Lights are embedded on the upper section of the memory and look absolutely great when lit up.
Teamgroup T-Force Nighthawk 16 GB DDR4 Memory Kit Test Setup
For testing, we used the latest Intel Core i7 7700K processor which is fully compatible with higher speed memory like the Teamgroup Nighthawk. The motherboard used was a GIGABYTE AORUS Z270X-Gaming 8 and we booted the memory without any issues. The XMP profile to enable the 3000 MHz frequency had to be set from the BIOS which wasn't a hard task. The new 200-series motherboards are fully compatible with the fast DDR4 DIMMs.
Teamgroup T-Force Nighthawk 16 GB Memory Test Setup:
|Processor||Intel Core i7-7700K|
|Motherboard:||Gigabyte AORUS Z270X-Gaming 8 w/Core i7-7700K|
|Power Supply:||Corsair RM 750X Gold Plus|
|Solid State Drive:||Samsung SSD 960 EVO M.2 (512 GB)|
|Hard Disk:||Seagate Barracuda 1 TB 7200.12|
|Memory:||Teamgroup T-Force Nighthawk 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) CL16 3000 MHz
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) CL15 3000 MHz
G.SKILL Trident Z Series 16GB (2 X 8GB) CL16 3200 MHz
Geil Evo X Dual 16 GB (8 GB x 2) CL15 3000 MHz
|Case:||Corsair Graphite Series 780T Full Tower|
|Video Cards:||MSI GeForce GTX 1070 ARMOR OC|
|Cooling Solutions:||Cryorig R1 Ultimate|
|OS:||Windows 10 64-bit Anniversary Edition|
The memory kit comprises of 2 DIMMs that operate in dual channel mode. Since we were running a Z270 platform, the memory was operating in dual channel mode. The memory is clocked at 3000 MHz and will run at 2600 MHz be default when XMP profile is not enabled since that is the JEDEC standard clock speed . Clock timing is set at 16 and the capacity is 16 GB for this specific kit.
Teamgroup T-Force Nighthawk Dark Installation and Lighting Gallery:
Teamgroup T-Force Nighthawk 16 GB DDR4 Memory Kit Performance Tests
I have separated the performance tests into two sections. The first section consists of pure synthetic and general workload tests while the second section would be focusing on gaming performance and how different games are affected by higher clocked memory sticks.
Synthetic Benchmarks and Workload Performance Tests
Gaming Performance Tests
Gaming applications generally don't see huge gains with different memory kits but DDR4 has enabled a huge gain in memory frequency which can impact gaming performance. Moving from the stock 2600 MHz to 3200 MHz is a big clock jump so we are eager to see what kind of general and gaming performance differences we get to see with that increase.
Furthermore, while 8 GB has become the standard for gaming PCs, modern applications such as editing software and multi-tasking users can benefit hugely from 16 GB and 32 GB kits which have become more common in the gaming market over the last couple of years.
This review took me way long to complete but I am glad that I am writing my final words about my experience with Teamgroup's latest memory kit for consumers. The T-Force Nighthawk memory is impressive in looks but moreover, it's relatively lower priced when compared to other brands. Just priced at $119.99 US (lower in other markets), the T-Force Nighthawk Dark series is a cheaper high end DDR4 kit option. So that's a really good start as this kit is compatible with both Intel and AMD based systems.
The other plus point for this memory kit is its superb design. It comes with a unique design set that I haven't seen on any other memory kit and it looks very well made. The color scheme is a well match for several desktop systems and the whole built is very solid. The heatsink that covers the PCB is solid aluminum based which means you can stop worrying about high temperatures while the shroud on the top isn't a whole lot tall, allowing you to select from a range of air coolers.
Then comes the lighting system. The LED Lights on the T-Force Nighthawk aren't a complete disco show as the G.Skill Trident Z RGB series, which although looks fantastic does comes as at a high price, but Nighthawk comes with a modest, one color (RED) lighting system that features a simple breathing effect. It looks great and you don't have to tinker into complicated settings associated with RGB setups. If you are into RGB, then you should know that Teamgroup also offers the Night Hawk in RGB flavors for a slightly higher price point.
The PCB is made up of high quality ICs and the DRAM used on the Nighthawk can squeeze in some extra clocks. Timings side, it begins to show its sensitive side as you can't configure them much but at 3000 MHz, this kit handles all gaming and general workloads with ample speed. The duo channel design is very optimized for Intel Z270 and AMD Ryzen motherboards which is a great thing for the general consumer.
For the ending note, I would say that Teamgroup's T-Force Nighthawk Dark is a splendid piece of work by the memory manufacturer. T-Force Nighthawk supports a unique and beautiful design, features impressive performance results and in terms of pricing, has value written all over it. This memory kit makes you spend less while looking top-notch and performing great.
T-Force Nighthawk supports a unique and beautiful design, features impressive performance results and in terms of pricing, has value written all over it.
- Bang for buck in the 16 GB department at current tier
- Solid Memory Coupled With Unique Design
- LED Lighting (Red color) is a plus that looks great
- Default Breathing Effects Looks Gorgeous
- Top-Notch Performance With 3000 MHz Speed
- 16 GB Capacity is more than enough for gamers
- Solid Heatsink Design With Multi-Layer PCB
- Intel XMP Compatible - Runs at high speeds without issue
- Solid DRAMs For Higher Stability and Overclocking
- Lifetime Warranty
- LED colors cannot be changed
- Tall height may interfere with coolers
- Timings and clocks are hard to adjust