Today we are reviewing another quad channel memory kit – the G.Skill Ripjaws Z 1866 MHz. With latency timings at 9-10-9-28, and a voltage of 1.50v, it is one of the faster low-voltage quad channel kits we’ve reviewed so far.
The actual model # for this kit is F3-14900CL9Q-16GBZL, and it sells for $110 online right now. That makes this the cheapest 1866 16GB kit we’ve reviewed. Considering it still has a lifetime warranty and runs at a low voltage, and the timings are low, this is quite impressive.
Ripjaws Z Review – Packaging
So far, of all the quad channel memory kits we’ve reviewed, Kingston has been the best, and Crucial the worst (although they have since improved upon that design). The Ripjaws Z package sits somewhere in between the two; not as convenient as Kingston’s package, but not horrible either.
The clamshell package opens up fully, and half the sticks are installed into one side, and the other two are in the other side. This is a good compromise to packaging four modules in one package. Rather than use multiple clamshells like Patriot and Corsair did, it is an all in one package that makes it pretty convenient to access during installation.
Interestingly, G.Skill went with red heatsinks on this Intel oriented kit. While the red certainly looks cool, in our experience most X79 and Z77 motherboards have a blue theme. There are some exceptions of course, and depending on your motherboard choice, these may fit in perfectly, or stand out like a sore thumb. Or maybe you just don’t care to show off the internals of your PC, in which case it doesn’t matter.
At 40mm, the heatsinks are tall, but not ridiculously tall like some others we have reviewed. According to the Noctua NH-D14 compatibility page, this kit works with that cooler. If it fits works with that cooler, it should be suitable for many others. Yey! I don’t have to do my “big memory heatsink” rant this time!
Ripjaws Z Review – Overclocking
Since it is already clocked at a high 1866 MHz setting, there may not be much headroom left in terms of frequency overclocking. But if we increase the voltage from the default 1.50v to 1.65v (as high as you want to go with an Intel CPU), we may be able to take it somewhere. At the very least, we might be able to tighten the timings a bit.
With the voltage set to 1.65v, we were able to get it to run stable with the timings set to 8-10-9-27. This isn’t a significant increase, but if you were looking to hit that CL8 threshold, there you go. We were also able to take the voltage back down a bit, to 1.6v, but that was as low as we could get the latency at 1866 MHz and even 1600 MHz.
Unfortunately even with the latency opened up to 12, and the voltage set to 1.65, this kit would not boot at 2133 MHz. So far, none of the 1600 or 1866 MHz kits we’ve reviewed have been able to do that.
Ripjaws Z Review – Performance
To get an overview of how memory modules perform in contrast to each other, we try to run them in a ‘best case scenario’. This will ‘exaggerate’ performance differences a bit, but if there is any performance to be found, this is where we’ll find it. We use SiSoft Sandra to determine the maximum bandwidth and latency of each kit, and put it through a PCMark 7 test, running on a Core i7 Extreme 3960X system. The latter test will give us some idea of how the kits perform differently in a more real world scenario, since PCMark 7 uses actual programs that we use every day.
As you can see, the Ripjaws Z kit we reviewed today outperforms all other 16 GB kits we’ve reviewed thus far. It’s not a wide margin, but it is there to find.
There is really nothing to complain about with the G.Skill Ripjaws Z 1866 MHz 16GB kit. It performs great out of the box, so even though it didn’t overclock amazingly well, it still gives as much performance as you’d expect from a memory kit with its specifications.
Aside from that, it has heatsinks that don’t get into the way too much (I’d still prefer them to be even lower), and a lifetime warranty. The kicker for most people is that it is one of the cheaper 1866 MHz 16GB kits out there. The combination of low price, low latency, and low voltage makes this an easy-to-recommend 16GB kit, whether you are using quad channel or not.