It is unlikely that anyone expected that AMD would again become a technological leader from catching up. Intel for sure. But as a rule, users only benefit from fierce competition, both due to progress and by reducing the cost of end devices. Now, vendors have begun to pay more and more attention to the AMD platform: boards based on the latest X570 chipset are equipped with Wi-Fi modules supporting the 802.11ax standard, NVMe drives with PCI Express 4.0 have appeared, and memory manufacturers are increasingly optimizing their solutions for Ryzen processors. It is with a set of such RAM that we will get acquainted in this review.
G.Skill Trident Z Neo F4-3600C16D-16GTZN
The Trident Z Neo kit, well-known among enthusiasts and overlockers from G.Skill, came to us for testing. We have already reviewed a representative of the Trident Z series earlier, we have used other models more than once in our test benches, and they always showed themselves from an excellent side. Throughout the existence of this line, the design of solutions has not undergone major changes, the manufacturer has only experimented with the colors of the plastic insert and the anodization of aluminum radiators, reaching its apogee with «gold» and «silver» in the Trident Z Royal models and adding RGB backlight with a diffuser in the form of precious stones. For lovers of the “classics”, the Trident Z RGB series was still intended. With the release of the third generation Ryzen processors, G.Skill introduced the Trident Z Neo memory series, just optimized, according to the company, for the AMD platform. And, of course, I added RGB lighting, now you can’t do without it!
|Model||G.Skill Trident Z Neo F4-3600C16D-16GTZN|
|Official product page||gskill.com|
|Volume, GB||16 (2×8 GB)|
|Operating voltage, V||1,35|
|Height with radiator, mm||43,5|
|Retail price, $||160–220 (260)*|
* — the average price in the Ukrainian market is indicated in brackets
Trident Z Neo F4-3600C16D-16GTZN memory comes in a standard box for this series, with a cutout through which you can see the purchased product. To protect the planks during transportation, they are additionally packed in a plastic blister.
The set under consideration is two-channel, i.e. consists of a couple of modules, it also comes with a small sticker with the G.Skill logo.
Outwardly, the slats have changed slightly, although their concept has remained the same. These are the same modules with original brushed aluminum heatsinks and a plastic insert, which now plays the role of a light guide-diffuser, but each half of the heatsink has a silver element that separates the module at an angle.
The inserts have a rough texture and are glued on each side of the radiator, the ribs of which, by the way, now have chamfers at the ends. Luckily, aluminum is not so sharp and strong that it cuts the user’s delicate fingers.
The halves are attached to the memory chips on one side of the slats with the help of «thermal stickies», and on the other side, instead of them, there is a gasket made of porous material.
Each module has eight Samsung K4A8G085WB-BCPB chips, which are designed for a frequency of 2133 MHz with timings of 15-15-15. We have already seen such chips on solutions with a frequency of 3600 MHz. The backlight, consisting of 10 LEDs, is controlled by the ENE 6K5830UA0 controller.
The backlight is devoid of synchronization technology between the modules and after a while, after the system is turned on, it “breaks down” and one of the bars begins to shimmer with a delay.
In principle, there is nothing critical in this. Yes, and if there is a motherboard with support for ASRock Polychrome Sync, ASUS Aura Sync, Gigabyte RGB Fusion or MSI Mystic Light, the user will be able to adjust the palette or lighting effect himself. In addition, G.Skill offers its own Trident Z Lighting Control software, which allows you to control the lighting as well as the capabilities of the above technologies allow.
Each module has a sticker that indicates the kit model, memory type, effective frequency, main timings, operating voltage and volume.
By default, at system startup, the motherboard sets the operating frequency at 2133 MHz and timings 15-15-15-36-2T with a voltage of 1.2 V. To make the memory work with its nominal characteristics, you will have to activate the XMP profile or set all the parameters manually in UEFI «motherboards».
With the XMP profile on a board with an Intel chipset, the memory operates at a frequency of 3600 MHz with timings of 16-16-16-36-2T and a supply voltage of 1.35 V. Installing the kit on an AMD platform will reduce the Command Rate to 1. As you can see, CAS Latency and the rest of the delays here do not exceed 16 units, which will be very important for processors of the Ryzen family.
SPD dump attached.
The memory was overclocked on a system with the following configuration:
- processor: Intel Core i5-8600K (4.3 GHz);
- motherboard: ASUS Maximus X Apex (Intel Z370, UEFI 2203);
- video card: GeForce GTX 1080;
- Cooler: Prolimatech Megahalems;
- storage: Kingston SSDNow UV400 480GB (480GB, SATA 6Gb/s);
- power supply: Seasonic X-650 (650 W).
Testing was carried out in the Windows 10 x64 environment. To check the stability of the overclocking of the modules, the LinX 0.7.3 program was used for 15 minutes, the amount of memory in which was set at 6144 MB. The computational cores of the processor worked at a frequency of 4000 MHz, the cache — 4000 MHz. The SA and IO voltages were set at 1.25 and 1.225 V, respectively.
Considering the AMD platform gaining popularity every day, we decided to add to our testing and overclocking the memory on a system that looked like this:
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X (4.4 GHz);
- motherboard: Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 7 WiFi (UEFI F50);
- video card: GeForce GTX 2080;
- cooler: NZXT Kraken X62;
- storage: Corsair MP600 NVMe Gen4 M.2 2TB (2TB, PCI-E 3.0);
- power supply: Chieftronic PowerPlay GPU-650FC (650 W).
Testing was carried out in the Windows 10 x64 environment. To check the stability of overclocking modules, the LinX 0.7.0 AMD Edition program was used for 15 minutes, the amount of memory in which was set at 6144 MB. The processing cores of the processor worked at the default frequency, the voltage on the SoC was set at 1.1 V. At all frequencies, the memory worked with a Command Rate of 1.
And although the Trident Z Neo series is primarily designed for the AMD platform, nothing prevents us from putting it on a system with an Intel processor. Here, the kit in question repeats the capabilities of the older model from the same line with CL14, demonstrating the ability to work at 3600 MHz with timings 14-15-15-32 and a voltage of 1.45 V, while CR was reduced to 1. If there is no desire to raise the voltage, then you can set the timings a little more aggressive than 16-16-16-36 at the same frequency. But with the latest memory, it worked without problems at 3900 MHz, for this it was not even necessary to raise the voltage. Further increase in frequency was already dependent on raising delays and voltage, eventually reaching 4500 MHz from 17-18-18-39 at 1.45 V.
Now let’s look at the AMD platform.
So, the first thing that interests us is the result at 14-14-14-14-28, and it was only 3466 MHz at 1.45 V. Raising all timings, except for CAS Latency, allowed us to increase this figure by another 200 MHz. Here you can limit yourself to 3533 MHz, if the supply voltage is left at 1.4 V. If experiments with settings are not alien, and 1.49 V is not scary, then with timings of 14-16-16-16-30 you can easily reach 3800 MHz, which will be a real gift for supporters of the 1:1 Infinity Fabric bus. Those who are confused by this voltage should raise CL to 16 and set 1.4 V, leaving the frequency at the same level.
G.Skill continues to delight enthusiasts with its products, and it is rightfully considered one of the best memory manufacturers for overclocking. And she is one of the few who organizes various overclocking competitions with a good prize fund, and this, after all, means something! But let’s reduce the degree of chanting praises and return to the subject of our review. The reviewed memory kit F4-3600C16D-16GTZN of the new Trident Z Neo series boasts an updated design and good features that are not available to many competitors on the market. Its excellent potential will be revealed by any processor, whether it be Intel or AMD, although it is positioned for use on the AM4 platform with 3rd generation Ryzen. The presence of RGB lighting can confuse conservative users, but, fortunately, proprietary software allows you to turn it off. The only thing that upsets is the cost of the G.Skill Trident Z Neo F4-3600C16D-16GTZN, which in our market reaches $250–260, while memory can be found on Western Internet sites at a price of $160–220. Users on a tight budget can also look at cheaper kits in this series and the same frequency, but there the performance will already be a little worse.