G.SKILL Ripjaws F3-12800CL7D-8GBRH 2x4GB Review (Page 2 of 10)

Page 2 - A Closer Look, Installation, Test System

As with all modern day high performance desktop memory, G.SKILL's Ripjaws F3-12800CL7D-8GBRH 2x4GB (Which I'll refer to G.SKILL Ripjaws for short from now on) RAM comes with a large heatspreader that completely covers the module's green printed circuit board. The aluminum heatspreaders are painted black in color, and has a medium height profile, thanks to the array of 'teeth' at the top. Aluminum is lightweight, and serves as a decent heat conductor, while the toothed heatsink design improves air ventilation for faster heat dissipation. This is especially useful for systems equipped with side mounted CPU heatsink fans adjacent to the memory slots, so the G.SKILL Ripjaws headspreaders can piggy-back off its airflow. Fortunately, it is lower profile than the company's Pi series, and it actually fits nicely under giganormous heatsinks such as the Noctua NH-D14 we reviewed a few months back. Call it a marketing gimmick and whatnot, but it's 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 most memory modules, unless run at a voltage significantly over designed voltages, won't make this feature a requirement. But hey -- I'll admit they look pretty cool!

The heatspreader design of the G.SKILL Ripjaws modules is symmetrical, which is fairly logical because memory ICs reside on both sides of the PCB. Besides functional purposes, it also improves the look. A large label is applied over the flat areas of both sides of the heatspreader; with G.SKILL's logo near the western edge, and 'Ripjaws' branding on the eastern edge, both printed in red. Streaks of red and gray gradients can be found across the surface. Meanwhile, a specification label covers over the 'Ripjaws' branding on one side of each module. It lists the kit name (G.SKILL F3-12800CL7D-8GBRH), 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.

The heatspreader on the G.SKILL Ripjaws RAM is composed of two separate pieces, which are interlinked by the two outermost teeth at the top. The heatspreader is held to the module itself by a strip of thermally conductive adhesive, and each half part of the heatsink is aligned by a reciprocating teeth. The adhesive force between the two heatspreader and memory ICs are not particularly strong, so the user can easily take them off with bare hands without risking any damage to their memory modules.

From our above photo, it should also be clearer on how the heatspreaders are designed. Each tooth on the heatspreader is curved inwards, and meets its corresponding tooth from the other half piece at the top for a complete symmetrical design. Since the teeth are made from very thin aluminum, it does not hold a lot of heat, therefore dissipating the heat energy relatively quickly into the surrounding environment. Despite using very thin aluminum, the short and simple design makes it quite ample in resisting bending forces. In the end, if you're 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 other than that, if you need to remove your RAM sinks to install your CPU heatsink, then the Ripjaws F3-12800CL7D-8GBRH would have no problems operating normally either.

A closer look at the memory chips on the G.SKILL Ripjaws F3-12800CL7D-8GBRH 2x4GB dual channel memory kit. If you can't read the numbers clearly, it says "H5TQ2G83BFR" on each IC. These are Micron manufactured chips, with eight 256MB chips on each side for a total of 4GB on each DIMM. As mentioned on the previous page, these RAM modules run at a frequency of DDR3-1600 with 7-8-7-24 at 2T command rate. Since these RAM are designed for Core i5/i7 processors, they operate at a stock voltage of 1.6V. A pair of 4GB DDR3-1600 DIMMs running at CAS 7 latencies is pretty much as good as it could get. We will cover overclocking right after our regular set of benchmarks in this review.

Our test configuration as follows:

CPU: Intel Core i5-750 @ 4.00 GHz
CPU Cooling: Thermaltake Frio (Noctua NF-P12 @ 1100rpm)
Motherboard: Asus P7P55D-E Premium
Graphics: Gigabyte Radeon 4850 1GB Passive
Chassis: SilverStone KL-02 (Noctua NF-P12 - Front; Noctua NF-S12-1200 - Back)
Power: Seasonic M12II 500W
Sound: Auzentech X-Fi HomeTheater HD
Optical Drive: NEC AD-7170A 18X DVD+/-RW
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue AAKS 500GB
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional x64

Compared Hardware
- G.SKILL Ripjaws F3-12800CL7D-8GBRH 2x4GB @ DDR3-1600 7-8-7-24 2T (Stock frequency @ stock latencies)
- G.SKILL Pi Series F3-17600CL7D-4GBPIS 2x2GB @ DDR3-2000 7-10-10-28 1T (Downclocked 200MHz @ stock latencies)
- Patriot Viper II Sector 5 PC3-12800 2x2GB @ DDR3-1600 8-8-8-24 2T (Stock frequency @ stock latencies)

Page Index
1. Introduction and Specifications
2. A Closer Look, Installation, Test System
3. Benchmark: EVEREST CPU
4. Benchmark: EVEREST FPU
5. Benchmark: EVEREST Memory
6. Benchmark: PCMark Vantage
7. Benchmark: 3DMark06 Professional
8. Benchmark: PassMark PerformanceTest 7.0
9. Benchmark: SuperPI 1M, Cinebench R11.5
10. Overclocking Results and Conclusion