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HARDWARE

G.Skill Tridentx 3,000MHZ 2013

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Is there a place for professional memory in your home PC?

We’re good at making rods for our own backs here at PC Format. This latest rod is in the shape of a pair of resplendent red DIMMs from memory maestro G.Skill. “What’s the problem with that?” I hear you ask…

Well, memory – particularly high-performance memory – is tricky to test, but whenever we spy some emergent hardware, no matter whether it’s a new GPU, SSD memory controller, motherboard chipset or optical mouse sensor, we want to see what it does and what the new tech could mean for you, our dear readers.

And so here it is, the highest-clocked RAM that has ever sat And so here it is, the highest-clocked RAM that has ever sat in one of our test machines. And we can’t help but feel a little disappointed.


We’re good at making rods for our own backs here at PC Format.

When we plugged in that octo-core Xeon E5-2687WS CPU, a chip capable of running happily in a standard X79 motherboard, we understood it wasn’t something any sane person would actually put in their rig, but was a good demonstration of what an eight-core Intel chip could do. Yes, it cost $2.31574 but it was demonstrably quicker than anything else we’ve tested.

This $661.40+ memory kit sits in the same sort of ballpark as that Xeon – it’s top-tier tech that no-one would expect a non-professional PC owner to jam into their rig – but we wanted to see what sort of difference such high speed memory could offer us.

Small change

The answer is surprisingly little. Given that DDR4 is set to tip up with much higher frequencies and capacities compared with DDR3, it’s got to be a bit of a worry for memory manufacturers that it has so little bearing upon general PC performance these days. Like no other component, the memory most of us have in our machines is good enough – your RAM is not the bottleneck in your system.

G.Skill has been pretty honest about this, explaining that this is kit designed for pro use, and that us PC gaming types shouldn’t expect to see any real advantage from it. We were hoping for something a little more tangible in the CPU and RAM benchmarks though. Y’know, something we could look forward to in the eventual trickle down effect from high-performance technology.


G.Skill has been pretty honest about this, explaining that this is kit designed for pro use, and that us PC gaming types shouldn’t expect to see any real advantage from it.

Our biggest disappointment is the bandwidth. At just 22.55GB/s the G.Skill kit is only slightly faster than the 1,600MHz Crucial Ballistix RAM, and it’s almost twice the operating frequency.

In the real-world tests, there was a difference between the top G.Skill kits and the Corsair and Crucial modules. The 3,000MHz kit has a lower latency than the other two, which gives it a slight edge in games. The CPU tests are a little misleading though, because to hit the 3,000MHz speed, the XMP profile overclocks the CPU base-clock from 100MHz to 102.3MHz.

In the end, the difference between the $205 Corsair Dominator at 2,133MHz and the $704.6 G.Skill TridentX at 3,000MHz is minimal unless you’re an audiovisual engineer or a pro-overclocker. They love this G.Skill stuff – the top OC is on a pair of these modules at 4,400MHz. For the rest of us, this sort of memory doesn’t make sense.


the top OC is on a pair of these modules at 4,400MHz. For the rest of us, this sort of memory doesn’t make sense.

 

 

Vital Statistics

 

·         Price: $704.6

·         Manufacturer: G.Skill

·         Frequency: 3,000MHz

·         Memory type: DDR3

·         Channels: Dual

·         Modules: 2x 4GB

·         Latency: 12-14-14-35

·         Voltage: 1.65V

 

 

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