G.Skill Trident Z F4-3200C16D-16GTZ 2x8GB Review (Page 2 of 10)

Page 2 - A Closer Look, Test System

The G.Skill Trident Z F4-3200C16D-16GTZ 2x8GB, being a part of the newest flagship performance DDR4 line from the company, utilizes a set of medium profile heatspreaders. It is designed to draw attention with its black, silver, and red color scheme, but the overall design is very clean and modern in my opinion. The Trident Z's aluminum pieces are distinctively shaped and molded to give it an aggressive stance. Aluminum is lightweight, and serves as a decent heat conductor, while the ventilated heatsink design at the top improves air ventilation for faster heat dissipation (Although it is probably more for style in this particular application). The Trident Z is only about one centimeter taller than modules with no heatspreaders at all. This is useful for systems equipped with side mounted CPU heatsink fans adjacent to the memory slots, as it can piggy-back off the generated airflow. Since the heatspreaders height is relatively moderate, it is still entirely possible for the Trident Z to fit under a well-designed cooler with sufficient clearance room. Whether you like to call it marketing gimmick or whatnot, it is almost impossible nowadays to find performance memory without any form of a heatspreader attached, haha. They do undeniably serve a purpose in dissipating heat, but for most memory modules, unless run at a voltage significantly over designed voltages -- which you will not, special thanks to integrated memory controllers on Intel processors -- this feature is certainly not a requirement. But I will admit they look pretty cool in any windowed chassis.

The heatspreader design of the G.Skill Trident Z modules is asymmetrical when looked at straight on, but is symmetrical between sides, which is fairly logical, because memory ICs reside on both sides of the slick black PCB. Besides functional purposes, it also improves the look. The company's logo is printed directly onto the red plastic piece at the top, while the "Trident Z" branding is on the heatsink itself. Meanwhile, a specification label is placed on one side of each module. It lists the kit name (F4-3200C16D-16GTZ), frequency, latencies, bandwidth, voltage, and the module's memory capacity. The serial number underneath the bar consists of a long string of numeric characters; the last digit is consecutive to the value listed on the other module to indicate that they come from the same box. Our particular unit was manufactured in August 2015.

As you can see more clearly in our photo above, the G.Skill Trident Z F4-3200C16D-16GTZ 2x8GB has a very nice black PCB. Meanwhile, its heatspreader is composed of two separate metal components, which are aligned by the red plastic piece at the top. The heatspreader is held to the module itself by a strip of thermally conductive adhesive. The adhesive force between the two heatspreader and memory ICs is not particularly strong, but if you ever do take them off, keep your hair dryer around for a safer procedure.

From our above photo, it should also be clearer on how the heatspreaders are designed. The top edge is straight and simple with three rows of extended aluminum fins on one end, and meets its corresponding section from the other half piece at the top for a complete mirror image. This way, a full length of extended fins will be formed when assembled. Since the pieces are made from thin aluminum -- but thicker than most heatspreaders I have seen, so it feels solid in the hand -- it does not hold a lot of heat, therefore dissipating the heat energy relatively quickly into the surrounding environment. In the end, if you are going to be pushing your system to the limits with high memory voltages, the heatspreaders may be beneficial to improve system stability and overclocking potential (But you probably will not, thanks to Intel as aforementioned). On the other hand, you may need to remove them if it does not clear your processor heatsink, the fact that the RAM will function just fine without the heatspreaders is something to keep in mind.

A closer look at the memory chips on the G.Skill Trident Z F4-3200C16D-16GTZ 2x8GB dual channel memory kit. The photo above should be quite clear -- it says "K4A4G085WD" on each IC. These are Samsung manufactured chips, with eight 512MB chips on each side for a total of 8GB on each DIMM. As mentioned on the previous page, these RAM modules run at a frequency of DDR4-3200 with 16-16-16-36 latencies. They operate at a stock voltage of 1.35V, which is right at the Core i3/i5/i7 maximum safe limit of 1.35V. Here is a table of specifications for the ICs, as obtained from Samsung's website:

Production Status: Mass Production
Density: 4Gb
Organization: 512Mx8
Speed: PB, RC
Power: C
Package: 78FBGA
Application: Smart TV, Digital Still/Video Cameras, Set Top Box, Gaming Console

Our test configuration as follows:

CPU: Intel Core i5-6600K
CPU Cooling: Noctua NH-U14S (Dual fan)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z170X-UD5
Graphics: Gigabyte G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 960 4GB
Chassis: Danger Den Torture Rack
Storage: Kingston HyperX Predator PCIe 480GB
Power: FSP AURUM CM Gold 650W
Sound: Integrated
Optical Drive: None
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 x64

Compared Hardware:
- G.Skill Trident Z F4-3200C16D-16GTZ 2x8GB @ DDR4-3200 16-16-16-36
- G.Skill Ripjaws V F4-3000C15D-16GVR 2x8GB @ DDR4-3000 15-15-15-35
- Kingston HyperX Fury HX426C15FBK4/32 4x8GB @ DDR4-2666 15-17-17-35
- Patriot Viper 4 PC4-22400 2x8GB @ DDR4-2800 16-18-18-36

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look, Test System
3. Benchmark: AIDA64 CPU
4. Benchmark: AIDA64 FPU
5. Benchmark: AIDA64 Memory
6. Benchmark: PCMark 8
7. Benchmark: 3DMark
8. Benchmark: PassMark PerformanceTest 8.0
9. Benchmark: SuperPI 1M, Cinebench R15
10. Overclocking and Conclusion