G.Skill [TridentX] F3-2933C12D-8GTXDG
Before we move on to our tests, we’d like to tell you about the memory modules we used to prepare this review. To get a full picture of how performance depended on memory parameters, we needed a DDR3 SDRAM kit with maximum speed. Such products are flexible in the sense that you don’t have to run them at the specified top clock rate, yet their manufacturers choose best-quality chips for them to ensure stability across different settings. Considering that the Haswell’s memory controller supports clock rates up to DDR3-2933, that’s the memory we needed for our tests.
DDR3-2933 SDRAM is currently offered by a limited number of brands including ADATA, Corsair, GeIL and G.Skill. It is the latter company that was kind to offer us its flagship product - the G.Skill TridentX F3-2933C12D-8GTXDG memory kit consisting of two 4GB modules. Rated for 2933 MHz with timings of 12-14-14-35-2N, it turned out to be able to work at Command Rate = 1N, too.
Here’re the official specs of this product:
- Dual-channel memory kit consisting of two 4GB modules
- Rated frequency: 2933 MHz
- Timings: 12-14-14-35-2N
- Voltage: 1.65 volts
The modules in this kit are equipped with exclusive black-and-red aluminum TridentX heatsinks which feature transformable design. G.Skill listened to user complaints that tall heatsinks had poor compatibility with massive CPU coolers, so the top (red) part of the heatsink can be removed by unfastening two screws. As a result, the total height of a TridentX module is decreased from 54 to only 39 mm. In their shortened version, the TridentX modules won't conflict with regular large-size CPU coolers but their heatsinks remain large enough to cool the memory chips.
To facilitate their installation and configuring, the G.Skill TridentX F3-2933C12D-8GTXDG modules support XMP 1.3. The only predefined XMP profile contains the specified frequency and timings. Considering the setup flexibility of the Haswell’s memory controller, it is extremely easy to make this memory run at 2933 MHz. You just plug the modules in and enjoy. It is even unlikely that you’ll have to additionally increase any voltage. The modules’ SPD describes a DDR3-1333 configuration for the sake of maximum compatibility, though.
This high-speed G.Skill product is based on Hynix H5TQ4G83MFR chips, which are very popular among overclockers. The chips are mounted on a specially designed 8-layer PCB, which ensures excellent overclocking potential and low heat dissipation. A practical test on our LGA1150 platform proved that the G.Skill TridentX F3-2933C12D-8GTXDG kit could work easily at 2933 MHz with timings of 12-14-14-35-1N.
It must be noted that this memory kit is designed for Haswell processors and Z87-based mainboards. It is only on such platforms that you can enable the DDR3-2933MHz mode. The kit comes with a long compatibility list, so it doesn’t restrict your mainboard choices. Most midrange and top-end mainboards from the leading brands are going to be compatible with the G.Skill TridentX F3-2933C12D-8GTXDG, which is an important advantage.
Thus, the only real downside of high-speed DDR3 SDRAM, like the one we're discussing, is its high price. The G.Skill TridentX F3-2933C12D-8GTXDG costs several times as much as a dual-channel DDR3-1866 kit, for example. It is hardly the best choice for price-conscious users. Such memory is an exclusive offer for enthusiasts who want maximum performance whatever the price.