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G.Skill Trident 6GB PC3-16000 CL9 Tri Channel Memory Kit Review

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MAC

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G.Skill Trident 6GB PC3-16000 CL9
DDR3 Memory Kit Review




Price: $160+ CDN Price Comparison
Manufacturer Product Page: G.Skill
Manufacturer's Part Number: F3-16000CL9T-6GBTD
Warranty: Lifetime warranty



G.Skill International Enterprise was founded in 1989 in Taipei, Taiwan by a group of devoted computer enthusiasts, origins which would eventually shine through. While the company originally manufactured mainstream PC memory, flash cards and USB flash drives, in 2003 they sowed the seeds to their own success by debuting a line of high-quality, high-end overclocking-friendly memory kits. Since then, in a short 5-6 year span G.Skill has leapt to the forefront of the memory industry by catering to the needs and wants of the enthusiasts community while bolstering consumer confidence with their popular lifetime warranty. Building upon the success of their memory kits and wisely seeking to diversify, the company announced its first SATA II 2.5" solid state drives (SSDs) in May 2008, which we had the exclusive pleasure of reviewing. This was then followed up by a bigger, bolder and better model that won us over with its excellent performance and value.

When the Core i7 processors were launched in November, DDR3 memory prices were still very much out of the price range of your average consumer. This is one of the reasons that we were so taken aback when we received the G.Skill F3-12800CL9T-6GBNQ memory kit in January. Here we had a triple-channel 6GB DDR3-1600 product for $200CDN flat. This was not only the cheapest 6GB DDR3-1600 kit on the market, but it was cheaper then most 4GB DDR3-1066/1333 memory kits at the time. Heck, it was half the price and three times the size of most DDR3 kits available a mere one year prior. All this to say that the increasing standardization of DDR3 was slowly beginning to benefit consumers. With the better than expected adoption of the Core i7 platform, the surprising popularity of AMD's AM3 processors and the imminent arrival of Lynnfield / P55, DDR3 choices have expanded while priced have dropped and continue to do so.

With this in mind, we have seen some new products hit the market that would not have been feasible a mere 3-4 months ago. Case in point: the G.Skill Trident F3-16000CL9T-6GBTD model that we will be reviewing today. This is a triple-channel 6GB DDR3-2000 9-9-9-24 memory kit, featuring a low 1.65V default voltage and a price that will make you do a double-take: $160CDN. Want to know more? Keep reading.

 
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MAC

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Package & Memory Overview

Package & Memory Overview


A little attention to packaging and design goes a long way towards creating a positive impression of a product, so let's see what G.Skill have done with this triple-channel DDR3 memory kit.


Click on image to enlarge

G.Skill have packaged the F3-16000CL9T-6GBTD in a standard plastic clamshell with a cardboard insert, which is the usual packaging method for most mainstream memory kits. We used to be wary to see this type of packaging because modules can occasionally become loose, but these modules were mounted snugly with no wiggle room. Thankfully, the plastic packaging can be opened / pulled apart by hand and it does not require a knife or scissors to open, which means that it is also resealable.


Click on image to enlarge

For the new Trident series, G.Skill have rolled out a brand new, eye-catching heatspreader design. This heatspreader is more extravagant than past G.Skill designs and they look great in our eyes, especially when matched with the similarly black & red Rampage II Extreme. We would have liked to see a colour-coordinated PCB though, since the green look is way past its prime.

These heatspreaders are made of one fairly substantial piece of aluminium and an aluminium backplate. Despite its impressive design, this is still a traditional finned heatsink design so there are no heatpipes or other convection elements. Nevertheless, when you hold these modules in your hand you can feel that these are top-notch heatspreaders by any measure.


Click on image to enlarge

As you can see, there are no clips or bolts holding the heatsink together. G.Skill have instead opted for a particularly adhesive type of thermal tape. It was so sticky in fact that we chickened out in our attempt to remove the heatspreaders and reveal the ICs. Having said that, based on our overclocking experiences and various forum posts, we can state with a great deal of certainty that our sample featured Elpida J1108<b>BBSE</b>-DJ-F ICs, which are effectively the little brother to the world-renowned Elpida Hyper J1108<b>BASE</b>-MNH-E.

As you can see in the last image, the heatspreader is approximately 2.25" tall and makes perfect contact with the memory chips.
 
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MAC

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Specifications

Specifications


Now that he have taken a closer look at the memory, let's examine the specifications.

<div style="float:left;margin:8px;">
</div>As mentioned previously, the G.Skill F3-16000CL9T-6GBTD is a 6GB PC3-16000/DDR3-2000 memory kit rated for 9-9-9-24 timings at 1.65 volts. This new low memory voltage requirement is a direct result of the integrated memory controller (IMC) that is a key feature of the new Intel Core i7 processors. Although the technical and performance benefits of an IMC are undeniable, the end-result is nevertheless a processor design that is more susceptible to failure when high vDIMM is utilized without proper precautions. Although we do not adhere to our own wisdom, we highly recommend that users abide by the recommended 1.65V memory voltage limit just to avoid accidental damage to these pricey new quad-core processors.

The memory kit we are reviewing is the 6GB (3 x 2GB) version of these modules but as we can see on the left, G.Skill do offer a 3GB (3 x 1GB) kit with identical specifications, part # F3-16000CL9T-3GBTD, and which can be found for a remarkably low $97CDN.

<div style="float:right;margin:14px;">
</div>Those planning on making the leap to Core i7 will obviously need to purchase an Intel X58 Express-based motherboard and this particular kit has been tested with some of the best and most popular models on the market. We can personally attest that this memory kit works flawlessly on the ASUS Rampage II Extreme and we have no reason to believe that it would have any compatibilities / stability issues with the Gigabyte EX58-UD5, etc.


CPU-Z allows us to see the various timings that have been set in the SPD. On our test platform, the Rampage II Extreme correctly recognized the memory's XMP profile, which is great since it automatically gets the system running at the rated settings without any user input.
 
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MAC

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Memory Installation

Memory Installation


As pictured in the prior section, this Trident memory kit has relatively tall heatspreaders so we shall see whether clearance is an issue on an ASUS Rampage II Extreme outfitted with a Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme 1366 RT heatsink, installed in both East/West and North/South orientations.


Click on image to enlarge

Placed in the usual East/West orientation, there is quite a bit of space between the heatsink and the first DIMM slot. Even when we use Thermalright's thick 120mm fan folder, there is no overhang of the first memory slot. As a result, you can install six of these modules should you need a full 12GB of system memory.


Click on image to enlarge

On the other hand, when placed in the North/South orientation, the situation is quite predictable. The TRUE heatsink does overhang the first memory slot and comes within a few millimeters of the module in the second slot.
 
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MAC

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Test Setup & Methodologies

Test Setup & Methodologies



Click on image to enlarge


Test Platform:


Testing will occur on a Highspeed PC Standard Top Deck Tech Station, and not in a traditional case. This allows easier access to the motherboard for the constant poking and prodding that is required during the reviewing process. The setup remained as pictured during the duration of the benchmarking and stability overclocking process.

Keep in mind that not all processors are going to be able to handle running memory at DDR3-2000, even despite the slightly loose 9-9-9 timings. This is because Core i7 processors feature an integrated memory controller (IMC), and that component will ultimately dictate how high your memory modules can reach and at what timings.


Overclocking Methodology



Although the F3-16000CL9T-6GBTD already comes very highly clocked we are definitely going to find out what this triple-channel DDR3 memory kit is truly capable of. The overclocking section is the part of our reviews that we take the most pride in, and we spend an excessive number of hours testing, tweaking, failing, and succeeding in order to give you the best possible insight into each product's overclocking capabilities. After all, if you are anything like us, the overclocking section is the first (and often last!) part that you read when checking out a product review.

For the purposes of this review, our overclocking efforts will primarily focus on four different timings configurations (6-7-6/7-8-7/8-9-8/9-9-9) and three different voltage settings (1.55V-1.65V-1.70V). The QPI/DRAM voltage was increased up to a relatively high 1.53750V BIOS (1.50V measured) in order to ensure as best as possible that the integrated memory controller would not be a bottleneck. The CPU frequency was kept as close as possible to the stock 2660Mhz, the Uncore was twice the memory frequency, and QPI Link was kept near 4800-5000Mhz.

During our overclocking adventures we put an emphasis on stability. While the question “What is stable?” could be debated endlessly, we have devised a methodology that combines a wide range of programs that test the stability of the entire system.

Here is the suite of applications that will be run in order to validate each of the overclocks:

  • Eight 32MB instances of SuperPi (ran at the same time) via HyperPi 0.99b
  • 3+ hours of Eight-Threaded Prime 95 v25.9 using the Stress Testing Blend
  • 3+ hours of Quad HCI MemTest in Windows using all available memory
  • Multiple loops of 3DMark Vantage (30 minutes of looping the full tests each)
  • 1 hour of game play in Left 4 Dead & World in Conflict @ 1680x1050

Altogether, the above suite should provide enough stress testing to ensure a completely stable overclock, however we are always up for new suggestions. As always, no two systems are ever alike, so your results may vary. Also, <b>overclock at your own risk!</b> The Core i7 platform is brand new, and if you try to mimic our results there is always the possibility that you could damage any and all of your components. If you aren’t fully confident in what you are doing, feel free to stop by our forums and our helpful community will be glad to offer some assistance.



Benchmark Methodology


For this review, our benchmarking section will focus solely on the G.Skill kit, in stock and overclocked configurations. The reasoning behind this approach is that there is an infinitesimal clock-for-clock performance difference between two memory kits that are equally-clocked and with identical timings, thus declaring one product a winner based on a 1% performance advantages seems pointless to us. Since the Core i7 platform and triple-channel memory kits are somewhat new, we have decided to test the memory at various clock speeds and timings in order to demonstrate the effect they have on overall system performance.


We have outlined the three benchmarked configurations in the sample graph above. These particular memory speeds and timings were chosen to demonstrate this memory kit's flexibility, and because we are confident that most samples of this particular memory kit will be able to achieve similar results. The glowing red results will indicate the performance at the default timings. For the DDR3-1600 6-7-6 and DDR3-1866 7-8-7 configurations, the CPU is running at stock 2.66Ghz (20 x 133), with a 4800Mhz QPI Link. By default, the Uncore frequency is twice the memory frequency, so it was set to 3200Mhz and 3733Mhz respectively. For the DDR3-2000 9-9-9 configuration, the CPU is clocked at a slightly elevated 2.72Ghz (19 x 143), with a 5148Mhz QPI Link, and we used the 2:14 memory multiplier to achieve the high DDR3-2000 memory speed. At this memory speed, the Uncore is running at 4000Mhz. To further review the specifics of each benchmarked configuration, click on the thumbnails below:


Click on image to enlarge

As was mentioned in the overclocking section, we used Everest bandwidth benchmarks and a few other performance tests to determine which settings were ultimately faster, not just higher. For all of the benchmarks, appropriate lengths are taken to ensure an equal comparison through methodical setup, installation, and testing. The following outlines our testing methodology:

A) Windows is installed using a full format.

B) Intel Chipset drivers and accessory hardware drivers (audio, network, GPU) are installed followed by a defragment and a reboot.

C) Programs and games are then installed followed by another defragment.

D) Windows updates are then completed installing all available updates followed by a defragment.

E) Benchmarks are each ran three times after a clean reboot for every iteration of the benchmark unless otherwise stated, the results are then averaged.

We have listed the benchmark versions on each graph as results can vary between updates. That is about all you need to know methodology wise, so let's see what kind of numbers this memory kit has achieved in our overclocking section and benchmarking suite.
 
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MAC

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Overclocking Results

Overclocking Results


For our overclocking tests we are interested in two main elements: how well the memory scales with additional voltage and how versatile it is at overclocking with different timings. As mentioned in the methodology, our overclocking efforts will primarily focus on four basic timing configurations (6-7-6 / 7-8-7 / 8-9-8 / 9-9-9) and three different voltage settings (1.55V / 1.65V / 1.70V). The QPI/DRAM voltage was kept at a high 1.50V (BIOS)/1.47V (measured via digital multimeter) throughout our tests in order to ensure (as best as possible) that the integrated memory controller would not bottleneck our memory overclocks. The IMC is without a doubt the determining factor in achieving high memory clocks, and every single Core i7 processor will have different headroom when it comes to the memory clocks and timings it can achieve.

With the pleasantries out of the way, let's get to the fun stuff.


Now those of you who are familiar with our memory reviews will likely notice that we limited the memory voltage to 1.70V, instead of our usual 1.75V. The simple reason for this change is that was we didn't actually gain any usable <u>stable</u> Mhz when increasing vDimm above 1.70V. We have seen some Trident kits scale successfully with up to 1.77V, but that simply wasn't the case for our sample. Nevertheless, as you can see above, the results were very strong across the board.

Starting off with the default 9-9-9 timings, this memory kit showed a lot of potential. Not only were we almost able to hit the stock DDR3-2000 at a mere 1.55V (it was stable at 1.57V), but this kit scaled up to the 2100 mark with a mere 1.70V. At that point, our CPU's integrated memory controller was holding us back, which as we've mentioned above is likely to be the bottleneck in most instances.

When dropping down to CAS 8, overall memory clocks did not decrease much. We almost managed to hit DDR3-2000 8-9-8 at this model's stock 1.65V, which is definitely a very strong result. Perhaps most impressively though, a mere 0.05V increase allowed us to achieve DDR3-2043 8-9-8, a huge 45Mhz increase in memory clocks. Clearly, the ICs that G.Skill have selected for this Trident kit scale well with additional voltage (up to 1.70V anyways), which is something that we did not see in our review of the G.Skill F3-12800CL9T-6GBNQ.

However, the excitement started to get a little muted once we dropped below CAS 8. As you can see in the above chart, the memory clocks really started taking a nosedive once we tightened up the primary timings and additional voltage was not making as much of an impact as previously. Once we hit the CAS 6 level, the memory clocks just fell off a cliff. At 6-7-6, not only did we lose an eye-watering 300Mhz (DDR) when compared to 7-8-7, but voltage scaling stopped at the 1.65V mark. We were even able to decrease QPI/DRAM voltage from 1.53750V (BIOS) to 1.43750V (BIOS) since the IMC was not being stressed, the modules simply came to a screeching halt on their own.

Assuming we are correct, these BBSE ICs are not much of a threat to the record-setting Elpida Hyper BASE chips which have a shocking capacity to achieve the highest of memory clocks with the tightest of timings. Having said that, let's put things into perspective. We would never compare a $168CDN+ memory kit to one costing upwards of $300, which is the bare minimum for any Hyper BASE-equipped kit. Instead, what we do have here is a memory kit that is powerful enough to never limit you in any of your overclocking endeavours, but flexible enough to allow you to use tight timings at popular memory frequencies (1600 / 1866 / 2000). If you are an overclocker and you don't have an unlimited budget, the Trident F3-16000CL9T-6GBTD is pretty much as good a kit as you will find right now.


Since we like to provide our readers with ample evidence of our overclocking achievements, feel free to check out the four screenshots below:

<table align="center" bgcolor="#666666" cellpadding="10" cellspacing="1" width="90%"><tbody><tr><td colspan="4" align="center"><b>Highest Stable Overclocks</b></td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" valign="top" width="50%">6-7-6
click for full size...

</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" valign="top" width="50%">7-8-7
click for full size...
</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" valign="top" width="50%">8-9-8
click for full size...
</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" valign="top" width="50%">9-9-9
click for full size...
</td></tr></table>

Now that we have tested this memory kit's overclocking prowess, and revealed that it can handle a wide range of speeds and timings, we have to see how it actually performs. Specifically, when it comes to pure performance what is the best option? Is the stock DDR3-2000 9-9-9 the fastest setting, or can you use the timings flexibility to eek some even better performance? That is what we will be examining next in our benchmarking section. Double check our Benchmark Methodology for the specifics.
 
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MAC

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Memory Benchmarks

Memory Benchmarks


Lavalys Everest Ultimate v5.00

Everest Ultimate is the most useful tool for any and all benchmarkers or overclockers. With the ability to pick up most voltage, temperature, and fan sensors on almost every motherboard available, Everest provides the ability to customize the outputs in a number of forms on your desktop. In addition to this, the memory benchmarking utility provides a useful tool of measuring the changes to your memory sub-system.


In the Everest Bandwidth test it should come as no surprise that the DDR3-2000 setting leads the way, especially given the fact that it benefits from the highest Uncore/Integrated Memory Controller (IMC) frequency (4000Mhz vs. 3733Mhz vs. 3200Mhz). While the memory read speeds are fairly static across the board, we do see a 15% increase in write speeds and a 22% boost in copy speeds. The results from this benchmark were effectively a no-brainer, but let's see what happens on the latency front.



Surprise, surprise. DDR3-2000 9-9-9 produces lower latency results than DDR3-1600 6-7-6. Why? Well once again the faster Uncore/IMC frequency comes into play. Simply put, if you want to achieve the very best results in memory benchmarks, your primary focus should be the IMC frequency since it can make or break your results.


ScienceMark v2.0

Although last updated almost 3 years ago, and despite its rudimentary interface, ScienceMark v2.0 remains a favorite for accurately calculating bandwidth on even the newest chipsets.



In ScienceMark, we see a very linear bandwidth increase across the board with the DDR3-2000 9-9-9 configuration leading the way once more. These synthetic benchmarks do suggest that the higher memory clocks the better, irrespective of the looser timings required, but does this actually translate into faster real-life performance? That is what we are going to find out next.
 
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MAC

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System Benchmarks

System Benchmarks


SuperPi Mod v1.5

When running the SuperPI 32MB benchmark, we are calculating Pi to 32 million digits and timing the process. Obviously more CPU power helps in this intense calculation, but the memory sub-system also plays an important role, as does the operating system.


An enthusiast favourite, SuperPi excels at revealing how the processing and memory sub-systems are performing and it can demonstrate the slightest performance variances. In this case, the default DDR3-2000 memory speed is the fastest, but only by a mere 1.4 to 2.5%, and some of that can be attributed to the 50Mhz CPU core clock advantage. Memory bandwidth plays a huge factor in SuperPi 32M, but clearly the if you tighten the timings enough you can offset much of the lack of bandwidth.


PCMark Vantage x64

The latest iteration of the popular system benchmark is PCMark Vantage from the Futuremark crew. The PCMark series has always been a great way to either test specific areas of a system or to get a general overview of how your system is performing. For our results, we simply run the basic benchmark suite which consists of a wide range of tests involving all the sub-systems of the computer.


Here we see that a 4% performance gain is achieved in PCMark Vantage, which is respectable since it represents an improvement in <i>overall</i> system performance. Although this benchmark tests all important sub-systems, it is evident that nearly all the gains are isolated to the Memories Score and CPU-intensive Communication and Productivity sections.


Cinebench R10

Developed by MAXON, creators of Cinema 4D, Cinebench 10 is designed using the popular Cinema software and created to compare system performance in 3D Animation and Photo applications. There are two parts to the test; the first stresses only the primary CPU or Core, the second, makes use of up to 16 CPUs/Cores. Both are done rendering a realistic photo while utilizing various CPU-intensive features such as reflection, ambient occlusion, area lights and procedural shaders.


Cinebench is a phenomenal CPU benchmark and the Intel Core i7 absolutely dominates in this test, but as this chart indicates the memory sub-system had truly minimal impact on the results, in the sub-1% range.


x264 HD Benchmark

Tech Arp's recent development of the x264 HD Benchmark takes a 30 second HD video clip and encodes it into the x264 codec with the intention of little to no quality loss. The test is measured using the average frames per second achieved during encoding, which scales with processor speed and efficiency. The benchmark also allows the use of multi-core processors so it gives a very accurate depiction of what to expect when using encoding application on a typical full length video.


As with Cinebench, the x264 HD benchmark is highly CPU dependent, and while the DDR3-2000 setting takes the lead, the difference between the three results is a mere 2%.


Lame Front End

Unlike the DivX conversion program we just looked at, Lame Front End is not multi-threaded and only utilizes a single processor core. This will obviously limit performance but we should still achieve significant time savings going from the stock to the overclocked settings. We will be encoding a WAV rip of Santana’s Supernatural album and converting it to MP3 using the VBR 0 quality preset.


A statistical dead heat, LFE does not exhibit any performance boost from the higher memory clocks, nor variations in timings.


Photoshop CS3

For the image editing portion of this review, we will use Photoshop CS3 in coordination with Driver Heaven’s Photoshop Benchmark V3, which is an excellent test of CPU power and memory bandwidth. This is a scripted benchmark that individually applies 15 different filters to a 109MB JPEG, and uses Photoshop’s built-in timing feature to provide a result at each test stage. Then it’s simply a matter of adding up the 15 results to reach the final figure.


Continuing the trend, Photoshop demonstates only a 2.5% minimal performance variation between the slowest and fastest results. The 6-7-6 configuration manages to ever so slightly surpass the 7-8-7 setting, but not by a statistically significant amount.


WinRAR 3.8.0

The last of our real-life tests will be with the highly popular & multi-threaded WinRAR 3.8.0 tool, in which we take a 1GB batch of assorted files and archive them, timing the task until completion.


Although WinRAR compression is a heavily memory bandwidth bound workload, the Core i7 processor's triple memory interface provides so much memory bandwidth that the difference between the slowest and fastest results is a minor 3%, with memory latencies not having a noteworthy difference on performance.
 
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MAC

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Gaming Benchmarks

Gaming Benchmarks


Futuremark 3DMark06

The Futuremark 3DMark series has been a part of the backbone in computer and hardware reviews since its conception. The trend continues today as 3DMark06 provides consumers with a solid synthetic benchmark geared for performance and comparison in the 3D gaming realm. This remains one of the most sought after statistics, as well as an excellent tool for accurate CPU comparison, and it will undoubtedly be used for years to come.


In 3DMark06, the results are effectively identical, so it's clear that the additional bandwidth provided by the DDR3-2000 9-9-9 setting is offset by the DDR3-1600 configuration's faster 6-7-6 timings. Let's see if these results are as prominent in Futuremark's latest gaming benchmark...


Futuremark 3DMark Vantage

You asked for it, so we have finally included 3DMark Vantage, Futuremark’s latest release in their renowned line of 3D benchmarking software. This latest DX10-only 3DMark comes with a variety of presets, but for our tests will be use the standard Performance preset which is suitable for a much greater range of system specifications than the other more demanding presets.


Predictably, Vantage, which is even less susceptible to memory sub-system changes than 06, demonstrates effectively no performance differences between the three results. The DDR3-2000 configuration has a slightly higher CPU score than the other results, but that is obviously a result of the 50Mhz CPU core clock advantage.

Can we expect similar results in actual games? Let's find out...


Far Cry 2

Far Cry 2 is the hot new new first-person shooter from Ubisoft's Montreal studio, and the first game to utilize the new visually stunning Dunia Engine, which will undoubtedly be used by numerous future games. Using the included Benchmarking Tool, we ran the Long Ranch demo in DX10 mode at 1680x1050 with all settings set to very high.


Finally, here we see some noteworthy gains, namely a 6% performance improvement in minimum frame rate between the DDR3-1600 6-7-6 and DDR3-2000 9-9-9 results. There is also a 2.7% increase in the average frame rate, which equates to a minor 2FPS improvement.

By the way, no we can't explain the unusually high maximum frame rate of the DDR3-1600 6-7-6 configuration. We re-ran the benchmark three times, and it was always 20FPS higher than the other results. It is simply one of those inexplicable benchmarking anomalies.


World in Conflict

One of the most visually stunning real-time strategy games in recent history, World in Conflict can really push systems to the brink, which is what we attempt by running the game in DirectX 10 mode at 1680x1050 with all settings maxed out. For this test we used the in-game benchmarking tool.


Identical results across the board, nothing to report here.


Left 4 Dead

Left 4 Dead is the latest disorienting, fast-paced zombie apocalypse mega-hit from Valve. L4D uses the latest version of the Source engine with enhancements such as multi-core processor support and physics-based animation. We test here at 1680x1050 with in-game details set to their highest levels, with MSAA 4X and AA 8X. For benching, we used a pre-recorded 20 minute timedemo taken on the No Mercy campaign during The Apartments mission.


In Left 4 Dead there is a precedence on high bandwidth over low latencies, and we noticed a 7% performance improvement going from DDR3-1600 6-7-6 to either the DDR3-1866 or DDR3-2000 configuration. This equates to a roughly 8FPS gain in average the average frame rate, which is a pretty respectable gain.
 
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MAC

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Conclusion

Conclusion


The first triple-channel DDR3 memory kit that we reviewed was a G.Skill PC3-12800 9-9-9 model that we praised largely for being one of the very least expensive on the market at that time while still offering respectable overclocking potential. While our expectations have grown markedly since that initial review, the Trident kit that we have reviewed today is reminiscent of that first kit in that it offers market-leading Bang for the Buck, but this time with truly impressive overclockability. The Trident F3-16000CL9T-6GBTD is not necessarily the cheapest triple-channel PC3-16000 kit on the market as there are a few kits that undercut it by $5-10, but I can guarantee you that those kits do not perform, nor overclock as well as this one does. Those kits also don't have nearly as nice a heatspreader either, even though that's a matter of personal preference. G.Skill's lifetime warranty is just the icing on an already very tempting cake.


Now keep in mind that PC3-16000 modules aren't for everybody. They are for enthusiast users who enjoy overclocking, messing around with system settings and who want to be able to push their systems to the max without having to worry about their memory holding them back. As we have explained a few times throughout this article, not every processor can even run at such high memory clocks. So what if your particular processor can't handle the DDR3-2000 9-9-9 memory frequency? No big loss. With this model you can simply downclock the memory frequency a bit and make use of the Trident's impressive timings flexibility. Frankly, unless you are attempting to break some benchmarking world records, we can't think of any reason why you would need to spend more for an enthusiast-oriented memory kit than this G.Skill Trident model. Simply speaking, there is currently nothing in this price range that comes close and we can wholeheartedly recommend this product.



Pros
  • Fantastic price.
  • Excellent default performance.
  • Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) support.
  • Attractive & effective heatspreader design.
  • Terrific overclocking potential & timings flexibility.
  • Lifetime warranty.


Cons
  • Tall heatspreaders may interfere with some CPU coolers.



Thanks to G.Skill for making this review possible!

G.Skill Trident 6GB PC3-16000 9-9-9 DDR3 Memory Kit Review Comment Thread
 
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