G.Skill Tri­dent Z RGB

SUP­PLIER www.cclon­line.com / MODEL NUM­BER F4-3200C14D-16GTZR

Custom PC - - CONTENTS -

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

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