Articles: Memory

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G.Skill is a leading brand on the system memory market. When the crisis came to this industry, G.Skill didn’t switch to other fields and didn’t try to diversify its business but instead made every effort to make its products as attractive as possible – and quite successfully so. Flexibility was key to the company’s success. G.Skill offers an incredibly variegated range of DDR3 SDRAM products from inexpensive memory modules to flagship one-of-a-kind solutions. It is easy to get lost among so many attractive variants, so we limited ourselves to one product of each speed, trying to take them from different series.

Thus, in this review we will cover the following 32GB memory kits consisting of four 8GB modules:

All of them are formally compatible with second- and third-generation Intel Core processors but G.Skill focuses on the Intel Z77 Express chipset in the first place. It is the target platform for the memory kits we are about to discuss.

Now let’s have a closer look at each of them.

G.Skill Ares F3-1333C9Q-32GAO

Memory kits like the Ares F3-1333C9Q-32GAO may look odd at first sight. They seem to be overclocker-friendly products but their specs are no different from ordinary memory because the Ares F3-1333C9Q-32GAO consists of four 8GB modules that comply with the DDR3-1333 SDRAM standard. It has its particular advantages, though. Equipped with branded heatsinks, it looks cool and may have higher overclocking potential. And it comes with a lifetime warranty, too. Unlike most overclocker-friendly products, the G.Skill Ares series is fitted with compact heatsinks that do not increase the height of the memory modules above the standard 33 millimeters.

The G.Skill Ares F3-1333C9Q-32GAO kit is shipped in a plastic blister wrap. This kind of packaging is popular among memory makers. Since we’re dealing with a 4-piece kit, the blister wrap is dual-sided.

There’s nothing extraordinary about the appearance of these memory modules. They are covered by molded aluminum bars with orange anodizing and pressed-out decorations. There are small notches and cuts in these bars to facilitate heat dissipation. The overall impression from this 4-piece DDR3-1333 memory kit from the Ares series is that it’s a well-made overclocker-targeted product which is compatible with bulky CPU coolers. Large coolers that hang above memory slots won’t conflict with the Ares modules since they are not very tall.

On the other hand, the simple heatsinks aren’t the best choice in terms of cooling efficiency while these modules may get very hot at work. When overclocked, their temperature was up to 62°C during our tests.

Besides the shape and configuration of the heatsinks, this is also caused by the hardware components employed. The G.Skill Ares F3-1333C9Q-32GAO kit uses chips from SpecTek, a Micron subsidiary. Not a widespread variety of memory chips, they have no overclocking reputation and work at their rated frequency in these memory modules. However, the PCB (manufactured by BrainPower) is designed for DDR3-1600 mode, which suggests certain overclocking potential.

Here are the official specifications of this dual-channel 32GB memory kit:

  • 32 GB Dual-channel kit consists of four memory modules, 8 GB each;
  • Nominal frequency: 1333 MHz;
  • Timings: 9-9-9-24-2T;
  • Voltage: 1.5 V.

Besides a low rated frequency, the G.Skill Ares F3-1333C9Q-32GAO has a rather weak selection of timings. This kit lacks XMP profiles because all necessary settings can be easily stored in a standard SPD profile.

It also means that the G.Skill Ares F3-1333C9Q-32GAO is not going to have any compatibility issues as is confirmed by the extensive list of supported mainboards which includes not only Intel Z77-based models but also mainboards with other Intel chipsets of series 7 and 6.

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