G.Skill F3-16000CL7D-4GBFLS: DDR3-2000 for Socket AM3
Looking through the products offered by the leading makers of overclocker-friendly memory modules, one can come to the conclusion that Socket AM3-optimised DDR3-2000 is quite exotic. This makes the G.Skill F3-16000CL7D-4GBFLS the more interesting as there are but few alternatives available. G.Skill thus enters the elite club of Socket AM3 supporters which includes such famous brands as Corsair, Kingston and GeIL.
The exclusive nature of the F3-16000CL7D-4GBFLS kit doesn’t show up in its exterior or accessories. Moreover, this memory comes in an inconspicuous box made from processed cardboard which is strikingly different from blister packs with gaudy ads that other memory makers parcel their products in. The stickers on the box make it clear that this memory is meant for Phenom II X6 processors and compatible mainboards. The list of mainboards is far from complete and shouldn't mislead you as to the capabilities of the product.
Besides the modules, the box contains a cooler that consists of a frame with two 50mm fans. The frame is secured on the latches of DIMM slots. Unfortunately, these fans are supposed to be connected directly to the computer’s PSU, which means they cannot be controlled or monitored. The fans rotate at a constant speed of 3500 RPM but are quiet and have nice-looking blue highlighting.
By the way, even though the cooler is included into the box, you don't really have to use it. These memory modules prove to be not very hot even without such cooling. This is especially good as you may find it difficult or impossible to install those extra fans on your Socket AM3 mainboard because the CPU cooler will get in the way.
G.Skill engineers must have thought about that possibility and equipped their F3-16000CL7D-4GBFLS modules with massive Flare series heatsinks which should cool them well enough.
Each module is covered with aluminum plates from both sides. The finned top of the plates is shaped and colored in such a way as to resemble tongues of flame. They are fastened with screws and contact with the memory chips via a thermal interface. The modules with heatsinks are 58 millimeters tall and may have problems with CPU coolers that hang above the mainboard’s DIMM slots.
The heatsinks have pretty labels and stickers with the G.Skill F3-16000CL7D-4GBFLS product marking and specs. Here they are:
- Dual-channel kit includes two DIMM modules 2 GB each;
- Nominal frequency: 2000 MHz;
- Timings: 7-9-7-24-1T;
- Voltage: 1.65 V;
- The modules are guaranteed to work with their default settings only in AMD Leo platform.
Although the modules are designed for Socket AM3 systems as their specs suggest, they also have XMP profiles which contain ordinary enough parameters.
Considering that these modules are rather special and can work at a clock rate of 2 GHz on the Socket AM3 platform (something which most high-speed overclocker-friendly memory kits cannot do), we are interested in what chips they are based on. G.Skill must have anticipated our curiosity, so we can only see chips with erased markings beneath the heatsinks.
However, there are some reasons for us to suppose that these chips are from Powerchip Technology. That's not a major manufacturer in the industry, which may be the reason for high-speed Socket AM3-oriented memory to be so scarce. Overclocker-friendly DDR3 modules are mostly based on chips from Elpida and Micron which seem to do not quite well with Phenom II X6 processors.
As for G.Skill F3-16000CL7D-4GBFLS, this memory easily worked at 2000 MHz in our Phenom II X6 system at our first attempt.
However, the modules were not absolutely stable with the timings of 7-9-7-24-1T you can find in their specs. We had to increase the RAS# Precharge parameter to 8 to achieve stability. With the memory timings of 7-9-8-24-1T we had no problems at all.
Now that we’ve got high-speed memory on our Socket AM3 platform, we are going to check out its performance benefits in practical applications.