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Thursday, 3 August 2017


G.Skill Trident Z RGB 16GB 3200Mhz Review

The Trident dons RGB but is it enough to slice through the competition!?

RGB is the new buzz word and you'll find the PC market flooded with components that boast RGB in their own unique implementations depending upon manufacturers, some are entirely new products while others are just the same with some RGB seasoning! Some hate it while some are just all over it, either way its something that slowly became a deciding factor in a products success from being just  a matter of aesthetics.
G.Skill brought out their all new Trident Z RGB DDR4 Memory Kits to the market and boy these kits are impressive in every way possible taking performance and looks to a whole new level. Fortunately today I have one of these kits on my table for review so lets see quickly what all this kit has to offer.

Coming in at $165 or Rs 13000 in India the G.Skill Trident Z RGB 16GB 3200Mhz is the direct successor to the Trident Z DDR4 with a RGB strip on top. The memory being a premium product comes in a wide range of frequencies starting from as low as 2400Mhz and going all the way upto a 4266Mhz, gulp!

What's in the Box!?

G.Skill brings the Trident Z RGB in a familiar packing style as that of the previous Trident Z with a splash of color on top. Its a slim cardboard box with a window on top giving you a peek into the actual product sitting inside while the bottom half is occupied mainly the product image in all its RGB glory. Product name and its compatibility with Intel platforms and Aura Sync are printed at the bottom. All in all its a tidy and informative pack to look at.

Inside you'll find the sticks resting securely in a clam shell packing which is good enough to protect these marvelously designed memory kits. Content wise you don't get anything complicated but just the modules and a decal since the memory is extremely simple to use in a plug and play fashion in spite of all those LEDs

Look Close!

The sticks are a sheer beauty in their bare form with one side being completely black while the other being grey. Its a brushed aluminum finish on top which covers the entire real estate of the heatsink ensuring even heat dissipation.
Ours is model number F4-3200C16D-16GTZR which is a 16GB kit rated at 3200Mhz running at 16-18-18-38 on 1.35v. The PCB is an eight layered PCB populated by Hynix memory ICs for optimum overclocking experience, which I'll be putting to test in the benchmarking section.

The Trident Z RGB is approximately 41mm tall which is the same height as that of the older Trident Z. This is something very commendable since G.Skill managed to squeeze in all those RGB and their dedicated circuitry into the same frame without increasing the height or width.
The LED strip on top is identical to the simple plastic strip on the Trident Z and makes me feel as if the Trident Z was destined to get RGB and G.Skill kept it all under a wrap for the entire time!

A five stage RGB LED strip sits atop the Trident Z RGB which can be easily controlled by the user either via the G.Skill Trident Z RGB Lighting control software or by Asus Aura utility which offers full control over the memory kit. The RGB lights are highly diffused and look extremely pleasing even at default, by far its one of the best implementations of RGB I've seen in a while on any PC component.

While the G.Skill Trident Z RGB Lighting Control offers significant control over the memory kit and can be used to customize the lighting patters in a number of ways including assigning a particular color to one of the five segments on the strip and even controlling the speed of certain effects, it does have a few compatibility issues.
Major ones being its lack of support for X370 and X299 PCH as of now along with conflicting behaviors with other lighting control utilities such as ASUS Aura, Gigabyte Fusion, MSI Command Center/Mystic Light, NZXT CAM, etc. However my biggest complaint with the software apart from the fact that you can't control brightness of the LEDs is the fact that you can't assign different colors to individual sticks and the color scheme is implemented across all the sticks on the motherboard as a whole.
Hope that we see these issues fixed with future releases since the software is still in Beta stages.

Benchmarks and Overclocking

Installing the G.Skill Trident Z RGB was fuss free and the RGB lighting came to life the moment our system went past the POST. By default you do get the slow wave like effect that keeps switching between different colors & can obviously be customized using the provided software.
For the benchmarks we used the following test setup configuration --

CPU: Intel Core i7 7800X
Motherboard: MSI X299 SLI Plus
RAM: G.Skill Trident Z RGB 16GB 3200Mhz
Cooler: Cooler Master MasterLiquid Pro 280
Graphics Card: Gigabyte GTX 1050Ti G1 Gaming OC
Storage: Corsair Neutron GTX 480 480GB
Secondary Storage: ADATA XPG SX8000 256GB M.2 SSD
Power Supply: Cooler Master MasterWatt Lite 700
OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
GPU Driver: ForceWare 375.70
BIOS: 1.20

Booting into Windows we found the memory to be working flawlessly at the rated XMP 2.0 settings of 3200Mhz at 16-18-18-38 with 1.35v. CPUZ was not able to report the correct timings due to the BIOS issues which are still maturing for the X299 platform but other suits such as AIDA64 CPUID reported everything perfectly.

When it comes to overclocking DDR4 memory I follow one rule only, that is not to exceed the 1.5v barrier and try to stay below that as much as possible to deliver results that are safe for real world usage and can be implemented on a 24x7 basis. For overclocking the G.Skill Trident Z RGB I did face some issues since the memory is a bit stubborn to accept any higher clock speeds or lower latency but I finally managed a stable 3466Mhz on 18-18-18-38 with 1.5v which is not at all bad. I did use the Corsair Vengeance Airflow cooler while overclocking so temperatures on the memory were within the safe limits. Anything above this frequency was not at all possible and I did not want to increase the voltages any further for precautionary purposes.
Our benchmarks would be done at the default 3200Mhz and 3466Mhz overclocked frequency along with the Intel i7 7800X at 4.5Ghz to avoid any kind of bottleneck.

AIDA64 Cache & Memory Benchmark

AIDA64 Extreme Edition is a great tool to bench your CPU and RAM in terms of their read-write-copy abilities. Its clear that the G.Skill Trident Z RGB is offering similar to better performance than competing memory kits, the only competition is from the Corsair Vengeance LPX kit but that's a 3600Mhz kit.


7zip is a compression and decompression program that utilizes the processing power of the CPU alone. It is a synthetic benchmark that gives results very close to real life scores. A similar result can be seen over here aswell.

wPrime v2.10

wPrime is a leading multithreaded benchmark for x86 processors that tests your processor performance by calculating square roots with a recursive call of Newton’s method for estimating functions.

SuperPi Mod v1.5

SuperPi is a simple program that utilizes the processing power and memory speed of the system to calculate the value of Pi upto 1 Million or 32 Million decimal point depending upon what you choose. The time is calculated in minutes and seconds, we'll take them both in seconds, so lower the score faster is your computer.

Cinebench R11.5 & Cinebench R15

Cinebench uses Maxon's Cinema 4D engine to render a photo-realistic scene of some shiny balls and weird things (we miss the motorbike). The scene is highly complex, with reflections, ambient occlusion and procedural shaders so it gives a CPU a tough workout.
As Cinema 4D is a real-world application - used on films such as Spider-Man and Star Wars - Cinebench can be viewed as a real-world benchmark.

3DMark Fire Strike

Fire Strike by 3D Mark is a test suit that plays a cinematic scene to determine the FPS, GPU temperature and CPU temperature scaling everything via a cumulative score. It is a great tool to benchmark your GPU since the render is GPU dependent & gives a fair idea about real world gaming performance aswell.


Let's test it on Ryzen!

On popular demand we've tested the G.Skill Trident Z RGB on our newly build AMD Ryzen platform to give all of you an idea of how this memory performs when coupled with a Ryzen CPU, which is quite a logical question indeed considering how successful and impressive the AMD Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 5 Platforms have been.
Our test bench for this part of the review is as follows -

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 1700
Motherboard: Asus X370 Crosshair VI Hero
RAM: G.Skill Trident Z RGB 16GB 3200Mhz
Cooler: Cooler Master MasterLiquid Pro 280
Graphics Card: Gigabyte GTX 1050Ti G1 Gaming OC
Storage: Corsair Neutron GTX 480 480GB
Secondary Storage: ADATA XPG SX8000 256GB M.2 SSD
Power Supply: Cooler Master MasterWatt Lite 700
OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
GPU Driver: ForceWare 375.70
BIOS: 1403

We all are already aware of the memory frequency issue that Ryzen platforms have as of now but my Asus X370 Crosshair VI Hero with its latest BIOS update managed to get the memory kit at 3200Mhz at 16-16-1-6-39 at 1.35v which is better than the rated timings for the XMP settings! The system was perfectly stable and I kept the AMD Ryzen 7 1700 at 3.8Ghz to avoid any bottlenecks in performance.

Even upon AMD Ryzen the G.Skill Trident Z RGB shows impressive performance which rubs shoulder with Intel at even lower frequencies indicating towards a similar to better real world performance especially with newer BIOS updates that keep rolling out every month!

My Verdict

Those who know me know this that I don't ponder over RGB or go gaga when i see something that has bling but the G.Skill Trident Z RGB is a whole different breed altogether & probably the only thing that I'm in love with even though its loaded with RGB!
G.Skill as a brand is established as a trustworthy memory module manufacturer & with the Trident Z and now the Trident Z RGB it has solidified that notion once again. The 16GB kit we reviewed today has impressed us thoroughly with its out of the box 3200Mhz performance and even its overclocking potential that is 6.7% higher than the base frequency. Gaming might not be something that you'll feel the difference in when using this kit but when it comes to rendering and content creation the memory over shines others in its category.
I love how G.Skill kept the entire package similar to the much more familiar and widely trusted Trident Z and implemented the RGB lights in a matriculate fashion with infinite customization options to bring out the best possible package for almost everyone out there.
"Coming in a wide range of frequencies the Trident Z RGB is something that delivers exactly what it promises with impressive performance, unmatched looks and a plethora of customization options to woo in people from all categories, adding the much needed final piece to your all RGB PC heaven!"
Pros - 
  • Available in a wide range of frequencies 
  • Works on AMD Ryzen at rated frequency of 3200Mhz 
  • High compatibility with various platforms
  • Great performance out of the box
  • Excellent implementation of RGB
  • Overclocks well
  • Infinite customization options & easy to configure 
Cons - 
  • Lighting controls only compatible with Asus Aura
I give it a 8/10 earning our Gold Award

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