G.SKILL TridentZ Extreme DDR4 Memory Review

DDR4 memory prices have fallen significantly over the past year and prices are expected to decline even further in 2016. This is due to weak demand for DDR4 in the PC market that is causing an oversupply and to top it off the memory makers are shifting from DDR3 to DDR4 production causing an even larger supply glut. The rather large stockpile of DDR4 memory ICs has caused 4Gb DDR4 DRAM chips to drop in price by nearly 40% between June 2015 and October 2015 alone and over 50% this year. The excess supply of DDR4 memory has significantly driven memory kit pricing down and that is great news for anyone for anyone looking to build a new PC on the Intel X99 or Intel Z170 platforms. G.SKILL TridentZ Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3000 (PC4 24000) Intel Z170 Platform / Intel X99 Platform Desktop Memory Model F4-3000C15D-8GTZB (1) compare G.SKILL TridentZ Series 8GB DDR4 Memory KitG.Skill has one of the largest and most respected DDR4 memory kit lineups on the market and they are always trying to develop and release faster memory kits for enthusiasts. The G.Skill Trident Z series of memory was designed specifically to offer extreme performance applications and feature the best Samsung DDR4 ICs that G.Skill could purchase. G.Skill than sorted/binned all the Samsung IC's that they purchased and came up with 11 different speed grades ranging from 2800 MHz to 4266 MHz with regards to 8GB (2 x 4GB) dual-channel DDR4 memory kits that we are going to be focusing on today. The Trident Z 8GB (2x4GB) DDR4 dual-channel memory kits currently start out in price at $65 and go all the way up to $400. The kits all feature the same PCB, Samsung DDR4 IC's, heat spreaders and lifetime warranty. The only real difference between the kits is how they have been sorted and had the SPD programmed for operation. G.Skill TridentZ Series 8GB (2 x4GB) DDR4 Memory Kits
Part Number Density Speed Latency Voltage Bandwidth Price
F4-2800C15D-8GTZB 8GB Kit (2x4GB)   2800MHz  15-16-16  1.25V  PC4-22400  $64.99
F4-3000C15D-8GTZB 8GB Kit (2x4GB)   3000MHz  15-16-16  1.35V  PC4-24000  $64.99
F4-3000C15D-8GTZ 8GB Kit (2x4GB)   3000MHz  15-15-15  1.35V  PC4-24000  $69.99
F4-3200C16D-8GTZB 8GB Kit (2x4GB)   3200MHz  16-18-18  1.35V  PC4-25600  $69.99
F4-3200C16D-8GTZ 8GB Kit (2x4GB)   3200MHz  16-16-16  1.35V  PC4-25600  $70.99
F4-3466C16D-8GTZ 8GB Kit (2x4GB)   3466MHz  16-18-18  1.35V  PC4-27700  $89.99
F4-3600C17D-8GTZ 8GB Kit (2x4GB)   3600MHz  17-18-18  1.35V  PC4-28800  $99.99
F4-3733C17D-8GTZ 8GB Kit (2x4GB)   3733MHz  17-19-19  1.35V  PC4-29800  $124.99
F4-3866C18D-8GTZ 8GB Kit (2x4GB)   3866MHz  18-22-22  1.35V  PC4-30900  $159.99
F4-4000C19D-8GTZ 8GB Kit (2x4GB)   4000MHz  19-21-21  1.35V  PC4-32000  $209.99
F4-4133C19D-8GTZ 8GB Kit (2x4GB)   4133MHz  19-25-25  1.4V  PC4-33000  $299.99
F4-4200C19D-8GTZ 8GB Kit (2x4GB)   4200MHz  19-26-26  1.4V  PC4-33600  $369.99
F4-4266C19D-8GTZ 8GB Kit (2x4GB)   4266MHz  19-26-26  1.4V  PC4-34100  $399.99
With that many speed grades available it basically forces the enthusiast to purchase a memory kit by the price of the kit as most of the sorting fun was done at the factory. If you can only afford a $100 memory kit then you are looking at a 3600MHz kit, but if you don't have any budget you can purchase a 4266MHz kit if you really wanted to. We were sent the G.Skill Trident Z 4000MHz 8GB (2x4GB) memory kit to review that is sold under part number F4-4000C19D-8GTZ for $209.99 shipped. This kit, like all the other Trident Z kits, come with the latest Intel XMP 2.0 overclocking profiles and the new aggressive looking bi-colored heat spreaders with red accents. G.SKILL TridentZ Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3000 (PC4 24000) Intel Z170 Platform / Intel X99 Platform Desktop Memory Model F4-3000C15D-8GTZB (1) compare G.SKILL TridentZ Series 8GB 4000MHz DDR4 Memory Kit The F4-4000C19D-8GTZ memory kit operates at 4000 MHz (PC4-32000) with 19-21-21-41 timings and 1.35 Volts. The tRFC isn't really advertised, but it is set to run at 525 clocks in the SPD programming. These memory modules are fairly tall at 44mm in height, so be sure that they won't interfere with your CPU cooler. G.SKILL TridentZ Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3000 (PC4 24000) Intel Z170 Platform / Intel X99 Platform Desktop Memory Model F4-3000C15D-8GTZB (1) compare G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 Heat Spreader Here is a quick video overview on the G.Skill Trident Z DDR4 memory series. https://youtu.be/K1dSXNMtHzQ   Let's move along and take a look at the test system and then the performance of this kit!

The DDR4 Test System

Before we look at the numbers, let's take a brief look at the test system that was used. We overclocked our Intel Core i7-6700K Skylake quad-core processor to 4.6GHz (46 x 100MHz) on our test bed and only adjusted the memory divider and never touched the baseclock speed on our processor. This will help ensure that any performance differences we see are due to the memory subsystem and not the overall clock frequency of our processor.

uefi-z170

Rather than just running each benchmark or application once, we took the average from running each test several times. All testing was done on a fresh install of Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit and benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running. We will use an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti reference card for discrete gaming performance tests.

test-system The Intel Z170 platform that we used to test the the G.Skill Trident Z memory kit was running the ASUS Z170 Deluxe motherboard with BIOS 1302 that came out on 11/09/2015. The Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSD uses 19nm NAND and was using M311 firmware. aida-4000 We weren't able to overclock the G.Skill Trident Z 4000MHz 8GB (2x4GB) memory kit beyond 4000MHz on our test platform, but we were able to tighten up the timings from 19-21-21 to 19-19-19. We opted to test our memory kit at these tighter timings and found that it was rock solid with these timings on our ASUS Z180 Deluxe motherboard. Let's get on to the testing!

AIDA64 Extreme Edition 5.30 Beta

AIDA64 Extreme Edition 5.30 software (websiteis an excellent benchmarking tool for looking at memory performance on any desktop PC. This version of AIDA64 implements full support for the upcoming Intel Skylake processors, adds advanced support for Microsoft Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016 operating systems, and supports the latest graphics and GPGPU computing technologies by both AMD and nVIDIA. AIDA64 Extreme 5.30 software is free to try with limited features or $39.95 to buy with 1-year of free updates. 

aida-read

Benchmark Results: On the ASUS Z170-Deluxe motherboard with the Intel Core i7-6700K processor overclocked to 4.6GHz we saw the memory bandwidth on the G.SKILL Trident Z memory kit was 53,791 MB/s read and 58,856 MB/s when averaged for three benchmark runs. This is a nice performance improvement over the lower clocked kits!

aida-copy-gskill

Benchmark Results: Similar performance gains were seen on the AIDA64 v5.30 copy test. We averaged 44,500 MB/s with a DDR4 clock frequency of 3466 MHz and ended up at 50,334 MB/s when we topped out at 4000 MHz. This is the first time that we have broken the 50,000 MB/s mark with a retail dual-channel DDR4 memory kit!

aida-latency-gskill

Benchmark Results: The latency of the memory decreased as the DDR4 DRAM clock speed increased despite having to loosen the timings in the UEFI along the way. At DDR4-4000 we averaged 39.5ns!

3DMark Sky Diver and Handbrake

Futuremark 3DMark Sky Diver

3dmark-sky-diver-hero-wide
3DMark Sky Driver is the latest test in the world’s most popular benchmark for measuring the 3D graphics performance of gaming PCs. We'll be using the Physics test to look at memory performance. The Physics test introduces a new approach that extends the performance range for which the test is relevant. The test runs through four levels of work starting with the lightest and continuing to the heaviest unless the frame rate drops below a minimum threshold. The GPU load is kept as low as possible to ensure that only the CPU is stressed. The test uses the Bullet Open Source Physics Library.
3dmark-gskill
Results: The Physics score on 3DMark Sky Diver was 48.25 FPS, which is a new record for us on our DDR4 memory test system, but this is also the fastest clock frequency that we have ever tested. 

Handbrake

handbrake-gui HandBrake is an open-source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded video transcoder, available for MacOS X, Linux and Windows. It is popular today as it allows you to transcode multiple input video formats to h.264 output format and is highly multithreaded.
Big_buck_bunny
We used Big Buck Bunny as our input file, which has become one of the world standards for video benchmarks. The 1080P clip was used in the MP4 format and the workload is encoded into h.264 output format using the preset - high profile. This benchmark test was setup to give you an idea of how these processors can take a 1080p BD rip and turn it into a 1080p H.264. HandBrake version 0.9.9 was used for benchmarking and we highly encourage you to download this MP4 clip and compare your system to ours with Handbrake!

handbrake-gskill

Benchmark Results: HandBrake version 0.10.1 showed that performance was pretty flat across the board, but performance on the 4000MHz G.Skill Trident Z memory kit was leading the way.  

Final Thoughts & Conclusions

G.SKILL TridentZ Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3000 (PC4 24000) Intel Z170 Platform / Intel X99 Platform Desktop Memory Model F4-3000C15D-8GTZB (1) compare G.SKILL TridentZ Series 8GB DDR4 Memory Kit The G.Skill Trident Z 4000MHz 8GB (2x4GB) memory kit (part number F4-4000C19D-8GTZ) that we reviewed today pushed out ASUS Z170 Deluxe motherboard and Intel Core i7-6700K processor farther than we ever have with regards to memory clock speeds. This is the first time we've been able to run a dual-channel DDR4 memory kit at 4000MHz and it was very simple to do. We opted to manually setup the memory kit in the UEFI of the ASUS Z170 Deluxe motherboard in order to get tighter timings, but the Intel XMP 2.0 settings for this kit also worked flawlessly and allows you to run this kit at 4GHz speeds with just a couple mouse clicks. sandra-4000 Performance was excellent and the aggregate memory performance in SiSoftware Sandara 2015 showed that we were just shy of 40GB/s of memory bandwidth! That is gobs of bandwidth for a dual-channel memory kit! When it comes to pricing the G.Skill Trident Z 4000MHz 8GB (2x4GB) dual-channel memory kit runs $209.99 shipped at Newegg. That price tag makes it more than double the 3466MHz kit that we compared it to in the performance charts on the low end. Is it worth paying $120 more for a 4000MHz memory kit over a 3466MHz memory kit? More than likely not, but telling your friends that you have a 4000MHz or 4GHz memory kit sure is easier to say than 3466MHz.
Part Number Density Speed Latency Voltage Bandwidth Price
F4-2800C15D-8GTZB 8GB Kit (2x4GB)   2800MHz  15-16-16  1.25V  PC4-22400  $64.99
F4-3000C15D-8GTZB 8GB Kit (2x4GB)   3000MHz  15-16-16  1.35V  PC4-24000  $64.99
F4-3000C15D-8GTZ 8GB Kit (2x4GB)   3000MHz  15-15-15  1.35V  PC4-24000  $69.99
F4-3200C16D-8GTZB 8GB Kit (2x4GB)   3200MHz  16-18-18  1.35V  PC4-25600  $69.99
F4-3200C16D-8GTZ 8GB Kit (2x4GB)   3200MHz  16-16-16  1.35V  PC4-25600  $70.99
F4-3466C16D-8GTZ 8GB Kit (2x4GB)   3466MHz  16-18-18  1.35V  PC4-27700  $89.99
F4-3600C17D-8GTZ 8GB Kit (2x4GB)   3600MHz  17-18-18  1.35V  PC4-28800  $99.99
F4-3733C17D-8GTZ 8GB Kit (2x4GB)   3733MHz  17-19-19  1.35V  PC4-29800  $124.99
F4-3866C18D-8GTZ 8GB Kit (2x4GB)   3866MHz  18-22-22  1.35V  PC4-30900  $159.99
F4-4000C19D-8GTZ 8GB Kit (2x4GB)   4000MHz  19-21-21  1.35V  PC4-32000  $209.99
F4-4133C19D-8GTZ 8GB Kit (2x4GB)   4133MHz  19-25-25  1.4V  PC4-33000  $299.99
F4-4200C19D-8GTZ 8GB Kit (2x4GB)   4200MHz  19-26-26  1.4V  PC4-33600  $369.99
F4-4266C19D-8GTZ 8GB Kit (2x4GB)   4266MHz  19-26-26  1.4V  PC4-34100  $399.99
The G.Skill Trident Z DDR4 memory kits have you covered when it comes to extreme performance memory kits. With 11 different speeds to pick from you'll easily be able to find one that is able to push your Intel Z170 platform to the bleeding edge. The 4000 MHz memory kit that we played around with wasn't able to run any faster than that on our platform, so we could be limited by the memory controller on the Intel Skylake processor, our Intel Z170 motherboard or possibly even the memory kit. We aren't going to fuss about not being able to overclock it beyond 4000MHz as don't feel like the memory is limiting system performance at all! LR Recommended Award
Legit Bottom Line: The G.Skill Trident Z 4000MHz 8GB (2x4GB) memory kit looks great and was able to run at 4000MHz with tighter timings than it was rated for!