G.Skill Ripjaws F3-1600C9D-16GRSL 2x8GB Review (Page 2 of 10)

Page 2 - A Closer Look, Installation, Test System

At first glance, the G.Skill Ripjaws F3-1600C9D-16GRSL 2x8GB RAM appears to be using a low profile, aluminum heatspreader, just like earlier revisions of the Kingston HyperX PnP KHX16S9P1K2/16 2x8GB DDR3-1600 SODIMM kit. Obviously, I would like to say the usage of heatspreaders in laptop memory is purely a marketing gimmick; while they do undeniably serve a purpose in dissipating heat, no SODIMM specified at 1.35V like the Ripjaws can generate enough heat to actually make use of this in a beneficial manner -- considering you can't even overclock your laptop in the first place. That said, I am a sucker for cool looking RAM, and so are a lot of people. Unfortunately, for suckers like you and I, the G.Skill Ripjaws F3-1600C9D-16GRSL 2x8GB SODIMMs do not actually have a heatspreader. What you are seeing in the photo above is a well designed sticker over the memory integrated circuit chips, which is quite a bummer in my opinion. Of course, newer revisions of Kingston HyperX PnP SODIMMs are no different; they are doing this citing compatibility concerns. Personally, I never had a problem with compatibility in my laptop, but for those who do, then this may actually be a point to rejoice about. At least I am not aware of anyone who owns a laptop with a windowed chassis, haha.

Back to what we have, the size of the stickers on the G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3L-1600 2x8GB laptop modules is the same for both sides, but the design is not. This makes sense, because memory ICs reside on both sides of the PCB, and for pure appearance purposes, you will want to cover all of them. On one side of the module, we have G.Skill's Ripjaws branding in a cool printed metallic look covering virtually the entire surface. On the other side of the module, the silver, black, white, and red pattern is reduced to make room a specifications area with a white background, as you can see in our photo above. It lists information such as the kit name (KHX16S9P1K2/16), assembly location (Taiwan), and manufacturing month (September 2013). Occupying the rest of the space is the usual stuff frequency, capacity, and serial number. As always for memory in the same dual channel kit, the modules in our kit have consecutive serial numbers.

Each 8GB module of the G.Skill Ripjaws F3-1600C9D-16GRSL 2x8GB kit features a slick black PCB with a total of eight 1024MB integrated chips on both sides -- four on each side of the board -- for maximum capacity. G.Skill's modules are programmed to run at 1.35V, 800MHz actual clock (DDR3-1600/PC3-12800) with 9-9-9-28 latencies. The 1.35V complies with the latest DDR3L specification. If you have an older laptop designed for 1.5V RAM, you should not experience any problems. Either you RAM will operate at 1.35V if your laptop is new enough, or it will just supply 1.5V to the modules, which is also acceptable. These are pretty standard specifications for laptop memory operating at this speed.

If you've never installed laptop memory before, it is quite a simple job. For those who are experienced, you will understand that every laptop is designed differently, therefore the procedure for memory installation may also vary from a thirty second job to... well, a five minute job at most. My previous Lenovo ThinkPad T400's memory modules were located underneath the palm rest; requiring the removal of four screws at the bottom of the laptop. This is probably as hard as it gets. Meanwhile, the Lenovo ThinkPad T420 I am using for testing today has one memory behind a cover at the bottom; with the second module located underneath the keyboard. This simple procedure required only two screws to be removed in total, and it takes no more than two minutes. The rest of the procedure involves unlatching the clips and removing the old SODIMMS, and installation is simply done by sliding the new RAM into their slot until it locks. Since the G.Skill Ripjaws SODIMM has stickers rather than true heatspreaders, unless you are trying to fit them into something design for DDR2, it is quite literally impossible for you to experience any fitment issues. As uneventful as my installation went, let us fire up some benchmarks for the tests.

For our benchmarks, our test system is configured as follows:

Laptop Model: Lenovo ThinkPad T420 (BIOS Revision 1.22)
CPU: Intel Core i5-2520M (Sandy Bridge 2.50GHz, Turbo Boost 3.00GHz, 3MB L3, 1333MHz FSB)
Chipset: Intel QM67
Display: 14" AUO LED backlit LCD @ 1600x900
Graphics: NVIDIA Quadro NVS 4200M 1GB with Optimus
Storage: Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB
Wireless: Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 AGN
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1

Compared Hardware:
- G.Skill Ripjaws F3-1600C9D-16GRSL 2x8GB (DDR3L-1600) @ 9-9-9-28
- G.Skill F3-10666CL9D-8GBSQ 2x4GB (DDR3-1333) @ 9-9-9-24
- G.Skill F3-8500CL7D-8GBSQ 2x4GB (DDR3-1066) @ 7-7-7-20
- Kingston HyperX PnP KHX1600C9S3P1K2/8G 2x4GB (DDR3-1600) @ 9-9-9-27
- Kingston HyperX PnP KHX16S9P1K2/16 2x8GB (DDR3-1600) @ 9-9-9-27

All tests were run with the NVIDIA Quadro NVS 4200M 1GB dedicated graphics card active, and the laptop's power scheme set to "High Performance" to obtain the most accurate benchmark scores.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look, Installation, Test System
3. Benchmark: AIDA64 CPU
4. Benchmark: AIDA64 FPU
5. Benchmark: AIDA64 Memory
6. Benchmark: PCMark 7
7. Benchmark: 3DMark 11
8. Benchmark: PassMark PerformanceTest 7.0
9. Benchmark: SuperPI 1M, Cinebench R11.5
10. Conclusion