At the lowest end of our testing, we have a 16GB DDR3-1333 9-9-9 kit on hand.  When DDR3 was first released, the main speed available was DDR3-800, but enough time has passed that this has phased out and now 1333 MHz is the new ‘minimum’.  With the prices of memory as they are, this kit from G.Skill currently retails for $75, meaning that a massive amount of memory is available for all at a reasonable level.  To put this into contrast, I remember spending ~$240 on a 2x2 GB Kit of DDR2-800 5-5-5 about 5-6 years ago – we can now get four times the capacity for less than a third of the price.

DDR3-1333 sits at the bottom end, but within months we can imagine DDR3-1600 taking that spot – as we will see with the next kit, for $5 more we get a faster product.

Visual Inspection

Our first kit features G.Skill’s Ares branding – the Ares kits that G.Skill sell are essentially meant to be the lower profile but colored heatsinks.  These heatsinks in all honesty may not be entirely necessary for cooling, but they are firmly bonded to the memory modules and removing them would be a large task and more than likely damage the module.  I have seen horror stories of chips being removed along with the heatsink, making the memory unusable.  As a result we cannot directly observe which ICs are being used in our kits for this review.  A quick word in the ear of G.Skill and they will not tell us the information, under the guise that it is classified and if the competition wants to know what G.Skill are using, they will have to buy a kit and break it themselves.  Given how small the margins are in memory sales (as well as potential market stagnation after the credit crisis), I’m not surprised with the level of secrecy.

Anyway, back to the kit:

The standard packaging at G.Skill is a rather efficient plastic container holding each of the modules.  The packaging is easy enough to open, though I also found it fairly brittle, meaning small shards could break off and be easily lodged in feet.  Inside the box itself is a piece of card to advertise the kit and protect the modules from each other.  We also get a small G.Skill sticker for the computer case.

JEDEC + XMP Settings

Kit Speed 1333 1600 1866 2133 2400
Subtimings 9-9-9-24 2T 9-9-9-24 2T 9-10-9-28 2T 9-11-10-28 2T 10-12-12-31 2T
Price $75 $80 $95 $130 $145
XMP No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Size 4 x 4 GB 4 x 4 GB 4 x 4 GB 4 x 4 GB 4 x 4 GB

MHz 1333 1600 1867 2134 2401
Voltage 1.500 1.500 1.500 1.650 1.650
tCL 9 9 9 9 10
tRCD 9 9 10 11 12
tRP 9 9 9 10 12
tRAS 24 24 28 28 31
tRC 33 33 37 38 43
tWR 10 12 14 16 16
tRRD 4 5 5 6 7/6
tRFC 107 128 150 171 313
tWTR 5 6 8/7 9/8 10/9
tRTP 5 6 8/7 9/8 10/9
tFAW 20 24 24 25 26
tCWL - 7 7 7 7
CR - 2 2 2 2


Memory In A Nutshell F3-12800CL9Q-16GBXL: 4 x 4 GB G.Skill RipjawsX Kit
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  • svdb - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    This article is pointless and debating is futile. Everybody knows that ORANGE memory modules are always faster than BLACK one, but not as fast as RED ones! Duh...
    The same with cars...
  • jonjonjonj - Friday, October 26, 2012 - link

    you keep saying that a big part of the heat sinks are too "prevent the competition from knowing what ICs are under the hood". do you really think if a competitor or anyone for that matter who wanted to know what ICs were being used are going to say damn we cant find out what the ICs are because the $45 memory has a heat sink? im pretty sure they are going to buy a kit and rip them apart.
  • editorsorgtfo - Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - link

    Sean, what a willie-brained banger-spanker you are! You probably still piss in your shorts when you discover that someone you've irked has smeared buggers on the screen of your monitor. "No one gives a shit about APU you moron......these are desktop tests!" I, for one, give a shit about APUs, you lummox, since I am building a top-quality box around an A10 7850K and a G1.Sniper A88X. Gamers who yank a joystick with one hand and wank off with the other aren't the only people that want a kickin' computer. My entire life isn't geared toward FPS, RTS or T, or MMORPG pursuits, nor do I do anything else that is graphics-processing intensive, like video editing, rendering, Bitcoin mining, etc., etc., so I don't need high-powered graphics, beyond what AMD's Dual Graphics with a Radeon R7 250 will achieve. My intent is to use my new APU machine for audio recording, and I'd like to be able to get a really good overall picture of how a Kaveri system will behave using 16 or 32GB of various brands of DDR3 1866 or 2133 CL8 or 9 @ 1.5V or under SDRAM, possibly using AMD's RAMDisk software, with a very good (250GB or larger Samsung 840 EVO or better SSD), and preferably using audio-oriented real and synthetic benchmarks, because Intel has the computer-video-game-playing world by the goolies, and to most gamers, winning is everything, so they go with Intel, never once thinking about how less than 2 decades ago, there was a third big player in the processor world: VIA! They got squeezed out of the desktop competition by Intel and AMD, and we are the worse for it. Anyway, this is not to disparage Ian's testing and write-up for this review (good on yer, mate!), because he used what he had on hand. But you, Sean -- why don't you just keep your witless gob shut if you don't have something interesting, enlighting, thought-provoking, useful, helpful, amusing... i.e., POSITIVE! to contribute? "AMD is a decade behind Intel, in processor technology and instructions, it really doesn't matter what AMD attempts to do...." For f*ck's sake -- get an effing life, kid! Then, maybe you'd finally get laid, and someday, even have a girlfriend and a car, instead of Five-Finger Mary and a skateboard!
  • exodius - Monday, February 2, 2015 - link

    You got one of the calculations wrong:
    DDR3-1866 11-11-11 has a Cycle Time of 1.07 ns and a Bit Time of 0.536 ns
    The time to read one word should be 1.08 * 11 = 11.88 ns (not 11.79)
    The time to read eight words should be 11.88 + 7 * 0.536 = 15.632 ns (not 15.54)
    Unless i'm missing something

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