G.Skill Trident Z RGB
SUPPLIER www.cclonline.com / MODEL NUMBER F4-3200C14D-16GTZR
When we last saw G.Skill’s Trident Z RGB dual-channel, 3200MHz DDR4 memory kit (see Issue 169, p19), it cost just £169 inc VAT, but since then, as with all DDR4 memory, prices have shot up and it now retails for a wallet-smashing price of £258 inc VAT. All of which brings us to two questions. Firstly, is G.Skill’s premium memory still worth buying after this £89 price increase? Secondly, newer, cheaper kids on the block, such as ADATA’s XPG Spectrix D40 (see p43), now offer better value.
We love several aspects of G.Skill’s Trident Z RGB memory. It just looks fantastic, with black and gunmetal grey heatsinks that, despite looking imposing, only reach to a height of 44mm, making them the shortest modules on test this month. The flattened, S-shaped opaque acrylic inserts also look great, as well as providing an important diffuser for the RGB LED lighting, so there are no glaring points of light.
The effect is a marked difference to the clearly visible individual LEDs in the ADATA kit. The Trident Z RGB’s lighting is easily the best on test, and while two other kits also sport five individually controllable RGB LEDs in each module, the diffusing tops light up brilliantly, making it merge between LEDs in vivid smooth blocks of colour.
G.Skill was one of the first companies to offer decent software and lighting control for memory, and while it originally relied on Asus’ Aura software, its own software now works on modern motherboards. It’s compatible with RGB software from Asus, Gigabyte and MSI, which are all able to control the modules too.
If you like tight timings, then the 14-14-1434 out-of-the-box specification at the rated 3200MHz for the Samsung B-die memory chips is the lowest you’ll see of any RGB memory. However, as you’ll see in our performance graphs on p51, the performance benefit is minimal, only making a noticeable difference in our heavy multi-tasking test.
In addition, our AMD Ryzen PC was happy to run at a 3200MHz memory frequency with these timings too. We managed to hit a maximum frequency of 3466MHz with the modules using a DDR voltage of 1.4V too, but at 3500MHz, our system crashed before we entered Windows. Even so, this figure is the joint highest result of any kit on test. Conclusion The high price tag will likely put many enthusiasts off G.Skill’s Trident Z RGB memory kit, which is a shame, as they’re easily the best-looking modules on test. The heatsinks, build quality, lighting effects and colours all score top marks and the software is laden with tweaks for its numerous individually controllable LEDs and works without issue too. As a bonus, it overclocks well and is compatible with all popular thirdparty motherboard RGB software.
The Team Group Night Hawk RGB sports a similar lighting show and build quality, but the company’s software has issues. Meanwhile, both Corsair and ADATA’s offerings this month offer a simpler light show for less cash, but if you want the best of all worlds, G.Skill’s Trident Z RGB kits are still the best available. If you’re happy to have looser timings, there are also cheaper 16GB 3200MHz Trident Z RGB kits available, with a C16 kit costing just £211 inc VAT from www.ebuyer.com
The flattened opaque acrylic inserts look great