Gigabyte AORUS RGB Memory DDR4-3200 2x8GB Review (Page 2 of 10)

Page 2 - A Closer Look, Test System

Gigabyte has not been a player in the memory market until last year. However, this kit is from their gaming lineup of AORUS DDR4 memory, utilizing a set of medium profile heatspreaders. The silver look is really clean with the brushed aluminum plates and the few accent marks. A few diagonal marks are located on one edge of the memory with the plastic light diffuser peaking through these slices. Aluminum is a lightweight metal that serves as a decent heat conductor, while the ventilated heatsink design is for heat dissipation. The Gigabyte AORUS RGB kit are only about a centimeter taller than modules with no heatspreaders at all, which is useful for systems with CPU heatsink fans adjacent the memory slots, as they can take advantage of the generated airflow in this area. Since the height is still pretty low, the Gigabyte AORUS RGB Memory should be able to fit under a well-designed cooler with sufficient clearance room. While it may be a gimmick, it is nigh impossible to find performance memory without any heatspreader attached. In a theoretical circumstance, they still have a purpose to dissipate heat, but for most memory modules, this will only be needed when you run at a voltage significantly above the intended levels. This situation is quite unlikely due to the integrated memory controllers on Intel processors. Even so, the aluminum and translucent plastic diffusers look pretty slick in a windowed case.

The heatspreader design of the Gigabyte AORUS RGB modules is symmetrical when looked at straight on between the two sides, which is logical because memory can be installed in different directions, depending on your motherboard manufacturer and design. Other than the functional purpose, they also look pretty good. The AORUS bird logo is printed on the bottom edge of the sticks. A specifications label can be found on the left side. It lists the model number (GP-AR32C16S8K2HU416RD), frequency, CAS latency, and voltage. The Gigabyte AORUS RGB Memory DDR4-3200 2x8GB's assembly location is Mexico. As for the dummy modules, the heatspreader look practically the same as the real memory modules with its aluminum design and the plastic top. One way you can tell there is a difference is by the pin connections, as the RGB modules only have pin contacts at one side of the edge.

As you can see more clearly in our photo above, the Gigabyte AORUS RGB Memory DDR4-3200 2x8GB has a black PCB. Ten LEDs are placed on the main PCB itself with five on each side, and you can control them using Gigabyte's RGB Fusion software. The LED color, effects, brightness, and variation speeds can be configured. Meanwhile, its heatspreader on top is composed of three separate pieces. The two heatspreaders are held to the module itself by a strip of thermally conductive adhesive and are not physically locked together. The adhesive force between the two heatspreaders and memory ICs is pretty strong, so if you ever do take them off, keep your hair dryer around. The third piece is a plastic translucent bar that has some stylized patterns at the top. This translucency allows the aforementioned LEDs to shine through for a smoother color spread.

From our above photo, it should also be clearer on how the heatspreaders are designed. The heatspreaders are mirror images of each other. The removable plastic lighting diffuser slides in between and is locked in by five plastic notches on each side. Since the pieces are made from thin aluminum -- but thick enough to resist easy bending, 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. Either way, you will probably never remove the heatspreaders, and most aftermarket CPU heatsinks should easily accommodate memory modules of various height profiles in the last little while.

A closer look at the memory chips on the Gigabyte AORUS RGB DDR4-3200 2x8GB dual channel memory kit. The photo above should be pretty clear, and it reads "1G832C" and "19W09" on each IC. Despite its Gigabyte marking, these are actually SK Hynix manufactured chips, identified as H5AN8G8NCJR decoded from the FBGA inscription, with eight 1GB chips on only one side for a total of 8GB on each DIMM. As mentioned previously, these RAM modules run at a frequency of DDR4-3200 with 16-18-18-38 latencies. They operate at a stock voltage of 1.35V, which is at the Intel maximum safe limit. Here is the list of features for the ICs, as obtained from SK Hynix's website:

• VDD=VDDQ=1.2V +/- 0.06V
• Fully differential clock inputs (CK, CK) operation
• Differential Data Strobe (DQS, DQS)
• On chip DLL align DQ, DQS and DQS transition with CK
• DM masks write data-in at the both rising and falling edges of the data strobe
• All addresses and control inputs except data, data strobes and data masks latched on the rising edges of the clock
• Programmable CAS latency 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20 supported
• Programmable additive latency 0, CL-1, and CL-2 supported (x4/x8 only)
• Programmable CAS Write latency (CWL) = 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18
• Programmable burst length 4/8 with both nibble sequential and interleave mode
• BL switch on the fly
• 16banks
• Average Refresh Cycle (Tcase of 0 oC~ 95 oC)
- 7.8 μs at 0oC ~ 85 oC
- 3.9 μs at 85oC ~ 95 oC
• JEDEC standard 78ball FBGA(x4/x8), 96ball FBGA(x16)
• Driver strength selected by MRS
• Dynamic On Die Termination supported
• Two Termination States such as RTT_PARK and RTT_NOM switchable by ODT pin
• Asynchronous RESET pin supported
• ZQ calibration supported
• TDQS (Termination Data Strobe) supported (x8 only)
• Write Levelization supported
• 8 bit pre-fetch
• This product in compliance with the RoHS directive.
• Internal Vref DQ level generation is available
• Write CRC is supported at all speed grades
• Maximum Power Saving Mode is supported
• TCAR(Temperature Controlled Auto Refresh) mode is supported
• LP ASR(Low Power Auto Self Refresh) mode is supported
• Fine Granularity Refresh is supported
• Per DRAM Addressability is supported
• Geardown Mode(1/2 rate, 1/4 rate) is supported
• Programable Preamble for read and write is supported
• Self Refresh Abort is supported
• CA parity (Command/Address Parity) mode is supported
• Bank Grouping is applied, and CAS to CAS latency (tCCD_L, tCCD_S) for the banks in the same or different bank group accesses are available
• DBI(Data Bus Inversion) is supported(x8)

Our test configuration as follows:

CPU: Intel Core i5-6600K @ Stock
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z170N-Gaming 5
Graphics: EVGA GeForce GTX 760 2GB
Chassis: NZXT H200i
Storage: Gigabyte UD PRO 256GB
Power: Seasonic PRIME 600 Titanium Fanless 600W
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Pro

Compared Hardware:
- Gigabyte AORUS RGB Memory DDR4-3200 2x8GB @ DDR4-3200 16-18-18-38
- Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB PC4-24000 2x8GB @ DDR4-3000 16-18-18-38
- Patriot Viper Elite PC4-24000 2x8GB @ DDR4-3000 16-16-16-36

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 10
7. Benchmark: 3DMark
8. Benchmark: PassMark PerformanceTest 9.0
9. Benchmark: SuperPI 1M, Cinebench R20
10. Overclocking and Conclusion