G.Skill has been a brand very well known for its perfect combination of styling and performance that delivers time and again after every new release. Its products are so aggressively designed and tightly tuned that if you spot a memory kit that looks both edgy and drops a bang for performance then you won't regret by making G.Skill as your first guess.
Riding on the success of its highly appreciated RipJaws V for the Z170 chipset and the RipJaws 4 for the X99 chipset G.Skill has rolled out another product and this time its the G.Skill Trident Z 16GB 3400Mhz DDR4 Memory Kit.
The Trident series has always been the flag-bearer for the brand in various categories and so is it this time, the Trident Z kits are aimed at the latest Z170 chipset boards and not only do these kits perform but they look stunning -- like no other ever *period*
These kits are rated at a blistering speed of 3400Mhz with latency of 16-18-18-38 which is not very high considering the frequency that it works upon at just 1.35V and above all we have the G.Skill Life Time Warranty so in case you messed things up a lot of RMAs are available though you won't be needing any since the memory itself is build like a tank!
Packing and Closer Look
The kit comes in a beautiful cardboard box, thank god its not a plain blister pack, that is designed in an aggressive manner with a picture of the two RAM sticks showcased like a weapon and are backed up by a big 'Z' in the background that signifies the new "Performance for the Truly Extreme" motto of these kits.
Inside you'll find the sticks securely resting in a clear clamshell packing along with a case badge from G.Skill so that you can boast the beast that your system will have to the onlookers.
Looking at the sticks themselves our eyes got glued to the perfection that this kit brings with it. Undoubtedly this is the best looking memory stick we've ever seen, the entire front fascia is grey brushed aluminum with light reflecting perfectly out of every stroke and line.
The Trident marking is perfectly cut and printed on the surface giving it a top notch premium feel. G.Skill logo is printed upon a red plastic strip that crosses path with the fins of the heat spreader on the top. Its a removable strip so one can expect swapable strips in various colors in near future to match the needs of every setup.
The back is matte black and symmetrical to the front but has the sticker enlisting all the vital details placed at one corner. You can clearly see the model no printed on our kits as F4-3400C16D-16GTZ indicating that its a 3400Mhz stick with CL16 and part of a 16GB memory kit of the G.Skill Trident Z family a simple yet effective nomenclature. The all black 8-layer PCB has additional markings such as S.A or 8G 3400 what tell us that modules are original. Even if you can’t read label, then you know what to expect under the heatsinks. The PCB is a dual sided Samsung die unlike the single sided that we are used to in the DDR4 division increasing my expectations from the kit manifold!
The black side on one side and grey on the other with a red strip leaves absolutely no room for a color mismatch with any motherboard in the market today!
Trident Z series maintains the aggressive fin design for highly efficient heat dissipation, while introducing an innovative dual-color heatspreader construction and a luxurious hair-line finish. This is unlike anything we have seen before but is a welcome step since the effect it leaves in person is just pleasantly uplifting.
The zig-zag placement of the fins actually channelizes air flow and keeps these powerful memories well withing the safe temperature ranges. The only issues that this design has is the height that it adds on to the PCB making the entire unit stand at 44mm which can be an issue with some massive air coolers but then people looking at this kit might not resort to anything else but a liquid cooler in the first place!
Test Setup and BenchmarksFirst things first, the G.Skill Trident Z is a memory that most of the motherboards might not be able to handle at all at its rated XMP settings of 3400Mhz since most of the Z170 boards out there barely keep up to 3200Mhz kits so make sure you have a board that meets the requirements. Also the CPU's memory controller will play a vital role not only when you'll over-clock this beastly memory but also in barely keeping up with it at default timings and frequency!
Our test bench consisted of the following --
CPU: Intel i7 6700K quad core 4Ghz LGA 1151
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z170X SOC Force
RAM: G.Skill TridentZ 16GB (8x2) 3400Mhz DDR4
Graphics Card: Gigabyte GTX 950 OC 2GB DDR5
Cooler: Corsair H110 280mm
Storage: Corsair Neutron GTX 480GB SSD
PSU: Corsair AX860i 860W 80+ Platinum
OS: Windows 8.1
Once in the BIOS enabling the XMP profiles put the memory at their rated frequencies and timings and we booted into Windows without any issue.
For overclocking my experiences with Z170 boards has not been good so far due to the platform's premature state for the upcoming memories of higher frequencies, so I had my own doubts this time.
As per me the best approach is to firstly overclock the processor to something above average and then work on the memory of such octane, so I set the i7 6700K at 4.5Ghz and managed to overclock the G.Skill TridentZ to 3600Mhz with 1.45V at 17-18-18-38-2T which is an excellent increase of 200Mhz on an already 3400Mhz memory!
Another approach that we took was to tighten the timings and bring down the frequency which led us to a stable over clock of 3200Mhz with 1.45V at 14-15-15-38-1T. This is truly impressive since the memory shows colors of true flexibility in approach to overclocking.
AIDA64 Extreme Edition 5.60 Cache & Memory Benchmark
My VerdictG.Skill has a reputation of giving some of the best memories that are their in the market today and the Trident Z justifies the title just right. With the memory working at 3400Mhz right out of the box and having some impressive headroom for overclocking, it is an ideal kit for those who are looking at extracting ground breaking performance and even for those who want hassle free performance without much tweaking.
The looks of the Trident Z 3400Mhz DDR4 are simply mesmerizing and match any and every system setups out there. Selling at $160 and backed up by slicking looks and robust build & performance the G.Skill Trident Z 16GB DDR4 3400Mhz memory kit leaves us with nothing to complain about, the product is perfect in ever aspect ticking all the right boxes making it the best memory kit out there today! Just a suggestion from a reviser's point of view for G.Skill is to include temperature monitoring sensors on these kits since they are aimed at high over-clocking where high temperature is the arch nemesis also by doing so we can actually come to know how efficient the new heat spreader design is.
I give it 10/10