As mentioned in the DDR3-1600 kit, as processors develop the manufacturers raise the minimum speed to which those processors and memory controllers are rated.  This means that higher speed memory kits are guaranteed, and as such the market has to adjust – with the high end Trinity processors supporting DDR3-1866 out of the box, the rest of the spectrum will rise to cover this.  As a result, the memory manufacturers have to argue for better deals over their ICs, and make sure the design of the ICs will secure higher yields of the faster stuff which they can sell on to the users.  Our leap from DDR3-1600 to DDR3-1866 is a leap from an $80 kit to a $95 kit, or an increase in ~19% in the price.

Visual Inspection

The Sniper kits are the oddest of G.Skill’s lineup.  As we can see in the images below, the heatsink is shaped like a rifle.  Bonus points if you can tell us what rifle it is meant to be.  The benefits of having a rifle as a heatsink may point towards building a Gigabyte G-series system or MSI Big Bang XPower rig, both of which take designs using weapons as part of the standard.  Apart from this, there is not much benefit to a stylized heatsink such as this – heat dissipation will be similar to the other kits in this review, and the main reason for this heatsink is to protect the user and competition from knowing what ICs are under the hood.

As with the RipjawsX kit, I placed a module of the kit in our system with the TRUE Copper, just to see the effect of having a large air cooler would have on the nearest memory module on a motherboard:

Again due to the height of the module, large air coolers that impinge on the memory slots will cause the Sniper kits to be placed at an angle.

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

 

F3-12800CL9Q-16GBXL: 4 x 4 GB G.Skill RipjawsX Kit F3-17000CL9Q-16GBZH: 4 x 4 GB G.Skill RipjawsZ Kit
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  • crackedwiseman - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    OK, just one question: why in the hell are the IGP memory tests done on an i7? The results would be much more meaningful if the tests were on an AMD A10 or similar - it has a beefier IGP, and thus would be more bandwidth-bound. Reply
  • creed3020 - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    100% Agree. Doing these tests against a Trinity APU would have been much more interesting from a iGPU point of view. It it well known that AMD APUs benefit from increased memory bandwidth, AT has yet to test Trinity for this yet they did it for Llano. Reply
  • silverblue - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    It makes sense to test; HD 4000 is far superior to HD 3000 and it is worth knowing if that extra power is bandwidth limited. Generally, it is a little, though nowhere near as much as AMD's equivalents are. Reply
  • JonnyDough - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    Not to mention, it's surprising to me that AMD wasn't mentioned as a company trying to match memory to motherboard. AMD started making their own memory modules, an interesting fact I think. Reply
  • hp79 - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    Maybe because more people use intel? I agree that it would have stood out more if it was AMD's IGP, but doing the test on intel IGP is also okay and gives an idea of what to expect. I think the article is fine. Besides, do people really play games with IGP? If I am playing demanding games, I want the frame rates to be minimum 60 fps. That's why I use a dedicated graphics card. This might change when AMD's IGP gets even more powerful, but for now I think it's still not there yet. Reply
  • zcat - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    > Besides, do people really play games with IGP?

    Some of us do. My miniitx i7 is primarily for work & everyday use, but its HD4000 is fast enough for Portal 2 and Diablo 3 to be very playable @ 1920x1080p with AA off.

    However, I know the limits of IGP, and intend on upgrading to an overclocked GeForce GTX 650 Ti very soon in order to play some more demanding games this winter.
    Reply
  • sking.tech - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    you may want to reconsider your choice of video "upgrade"
    nvidia's 2nd number is more significant than the first as far as overall gaming graphics power goes... You'd do better going for a 560 TI than a 650 for approx the same cost
    Reply
  • Dirk Broer - Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - link

    You should first look at what chip actually powers the card -and it's capabilities- before staring yourself blind on the last two digits. Besides that, a GTX 560 Ti is more expensive than a GTX 650. Reply
  • ssj4Gogeta - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    "Besides, do people really play games with IGP?"

    They're definitely more likely to play games on a more powerful IGP like AMD's. I thought the whole point of AMD's Fusion lineup was that you could do light gaming on the IGP itself.
    Reply
  • Boogaloo - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    There are already plenty of benchmarks out there for memory scaling on AMD's APUs. This is the first time I've seen an in-depth look at how memory speed affects Intel's IGP performance. Reply

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