At the lowest end of our testing, we have a 16GB DDR3-1333 9-9-9 kit on hand.  When DDR3 was first released, the main speed available was DDR3-800, but enough time has passed that this has phased out and now 1333 MHz is the new ‘minimum’.  With the prices of memory as they are, this kit from G.Skill currently retails for $75, meaning that a massive amount of memory is available for all at a reasonable level.  To put this into contrast, I remember spending ~$240 on a 2x2 GB Kit of DDR2-800 5-5-5 about 5-6 years ago – we can now get four times the capacity for less than a third of the price.

DDR3-1333 sits at the bottom end, but within months we can imagine DDR3-1600 taking that spot – as we will see with the next kit, for $5 more we get a faster product.

Visual Inspection

Our first kit features G.Skill’s Ares branding – the Ares kits that G.Skill sell are essentially meant to be the lower profile but colored heatsinks.  These heatsinks in all honesty may not be entirely necessary for cooling, but they are firmly bonded to the memory modules and removing them would be a large task and more than likely damage the module.  I have seen horror stories of chips being removed along with the heatsink, making the memory unusable.  As a result we cannot directly observe which ICs are being used in our kits for this review.  A quick word in the ear of G.Skill and they will not tell us the information, under the guise that it is classified and if the competition wants to know what G.Skill are using, they will have to buy a kit and break it themselves.  Given how small the margins are in memory sales (as well as potential market stagnation after the credit crisis), I’m not surprised with the level of secrecy.

Anyway, back to the kit:

The standard packaging at G.Skill is a rather efficient plastic container holding each of the modules.  The packaging is easy enough to open, though I also found it fairly brittle, meaning small shards could break off and be easily lodged in feet.  Inside the box itself is a piece of card to advertise the kit and protect the modules from each other.  We also get a small G.Skill sticker for the computer case.

JEDEC + XMP Settings

G.Skill
Kit Speed 1333 1600 1866 2133 2400
Subtimings 9-9-9-24 2T 9-9-9-24 2T 9-10-9-28 2T 9-11-10-28 2T 10-12-12-31 2T
Price $75 $80 $95 $130 $145
XMP No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Size 4 x 4 GB 4 x 4 GB 4 x 4 GB 4 x 4 GB 4 x 4 GB

MHz 1333 1600 1867 2134 2401
Voltage 1.500 1.500 1.500 1.650 1.650
tCL 9 9 9 9 10
tRCD 9 9 10 11 12
tRP 9 9 9 10 12
tRAS 24 24 28 28 31
tRC 33 33 37 38 43
tWR 10 12 14 16 16
tRRD 4 5 5 6 7/6
tRFC 107 128 150 171 313
tWTR 5 6 8/7 9/8 10/9
tRTP 5 6 8/7 9/8 10/9
tFAW 20 24 24 25 26
tCWL - 7 7 7 7
CR - 2 2 2 2

 

Memory In A Nutshell F3-12800CL9Q-16GBXL: 4 x 4 GB G.Skill RipjawsX Kit
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  • ssj4Gogeta - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    That's what I was thinking as well.
    I'm hoping for another article using Trinity. :)
    Reply
  • Calin - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    I'm not sure A10 supports DDR3-2400 (DDR3-1866 was the fastest memory supported) Reply
  • Medallish - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    The A10 has AMP profiles(Like XMP on Intel) up to 2133MHz, however, there's always overclocking, I'm pretty sure Ivy Bridge doesn't suppoort 2400+MHz memory natively either. I'm looking at an FM2 board by Asrock which they claim can support 2600MHz memory. Reply
  • IanCutress - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    My A10-5800K sort of liked DDR3-2400, then it didn't like it. Had to go back one to 2133 for the testing. Even with bumped voltages and everything else, the CPU memory controller couldn't take it. Perhaps the sample I have is a dud, but that was my experience.

    Ian
    Reply
  • tim851 - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    I concur.

    Pointless review anyway. The summary should have read: High-Clocked Memory only needed if your primary usage is either competitive benchmarking or WinRAR compression.
    Reply
  • IanCutress - Saturday, October 20, 2012 - link

    Did you know that before you read the article though? This is Anandtech, and I like to think I test things thoroughly enough to make reasoned opinions and suggestions :) Having a one sentence summary wouldn't have helped anyone in the slightest.

    Ian
    Reply
  • Mitch101 - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    Love this article first time I ever commented on one. I believe you see little improvement past 1600/1866 because the Intel chips on die cache do a good job of keeping the CPU fed. Meaning the bottleneck on an Intel chip is the CPU itself not the memory or cache.

    Can you do this with an AMD chip also as I believe we would see a bigger improvement with their chips because the on die cache cant keep up with the chip and faster external memory would give bigger performance jumps for AMD chips. Well maybe 2 generations ago AMD but lets see your pockets are deeper than mine.

    Hope I said that right I'm a little droopy eyed from lack of caffeine.
    Reply
  • Jjoshua2 - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    Just bought RipjawsZ from Newegg for $90 after coupon! I feel vindicated in my choice now :) Reply
  • ludikraut - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    I thought the performance difference would be less than it was. Has me rethinking whether I need to update my old OCZ DDR3-1333 chips. I haven't yet, as I'm probably giving away 5-10% performance in my OC alone. I targeted efficiency, not absolute speed - at 4GHz my i7-920 D0 consumes 80W less @ idle than the default settings of my mobo - go figure.

    l8r)
    Reply
  • Beenthere - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    For typical desktop use with RAM frequencies of 1333 MHz. and higher there is no tangible gains in SYSTEM performance to justify paying a premium for higher RAM frequency, increased capacity above 4 GB. or lower latencies - with APUs being the minor exception.

    In real apps, not synthetic benches, there is simply nothing of significance to be gained in system performance above 1333 MHz. as DDR3 running at 1333 MHz. is not a system bottleneck. Synthetic benches exaggerate any real gains so they are quite misleading and should be ignored.
    Reply

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