G.Skill F4-3200C16Q-16GTZ Review

The time has now come for us to perform our usual overclock-testing of the test sample. Even if you are not planning to overclock your memory, knowing its spec headroom and overclocking capabilities can serve as a good assessment of manufacturer's quality control. We conduct our experiments using a test platform based on Intel's latest generation of CPUs, which is commonly known as Skylake.

 CPU  Intel Core i7-6700K (ES)
 Motherboard  ASUS ROG Maximus VIII Hero (BIOS 0040)
 Memory  G.Skill TridentZ F4-3200C16Q-16GTZ
 Graphics card  Zotac AMP GTX280
 Storage  Samsung SSD 850 Pro 256GB
 Power supply  Seasonic Platinum 1200W
 Operating System  Windows 7 SP1, 64-bit

There are many ways to test stability of the memory system and our procedure is as follows. We first lay a baseline with Memtest86+, which works independent of OS and is highly reliable at detecting errors. Then, we verify the stability of each setting combination in Windows 7 by using a series of memory-dependent benchmarks such as SuperPi 32M, Intel Burn Test and XTU. Sometimes, we also double check with HCI Memtest or Prime for daily stable settings. Our test platform has a very wide range of memory clockspeeds to choose from, but to keep things simple we will only concentrate on the common memory dividers from DDR4-3200 and up, leaving the lower and some of the intermediate options out as potentially irrelevant. Once we select the memory frequency, we seek for optimal combinations of primary timings, for which we minimise the stable voltage in 0.01V increments. Thanks to our previous experience with Samsung DDR4, it did not take us long to figure out the main overclocking characteristics of our test sample. Similar to K4A4G085WD (4Gbit D-die), K4A4G085WE (E-die) works best when the CAS latency is significantly lower than second and third primary timings, tRCD and tRP. The exact disproportion depends on memory clockspeed and used voltage since increasing the latter allows for a bigger drop of CAS in contrast to tRCD and tRP. The last of the primary timings, tRAS, was easily stable at the minimal BIOS value of 28 throughout the entire testing range up to DDR4-4000. Similarly, Samsung 4Gbit E-die can operate at relatively low values of tRFC, which can be dropped to 300-320 in contrast to 500+ that is usually generated by Auto values. Below you can see the list of stable configurations that we were able to achieve with our test sample, the DDR4-4000 results were done with two sticks due to the board and IMC limits.

1600MHz (DDR4-3200)
1666MHz (DDR4-3333)
1733MHz (DDR4-3466)
 CL11
Not relevant
Not relevant
Not relevant
 CL12
12-15-15-28 @ 1.52V
Not relevant
Not relevant
 CL13
13-15-15-28 @ 1.41V
13-16-16-28 @ 1.46V
13-17-17-28 @ 1.52V
 CL14
14-15-15-28 @ 1.35V
14-16-16-28 @ 1.40V
14-17-17-28 @ 1.42V
 CL15
15-16-16-28 @ 1.29V
15-16-16-28 @ 1.33V
15-17-17-28 @ 1.36V
 CL16
16-16-16-36 @ 1.23V
16-16-16-28 @ 1.27V
16-17-17-28 @ 1.32V
 
1800MHz (DDR4-3600)
1866MHz (DDR4-3733)
2000MHz (DDR4-4000)
 CL12
12-18-18-28 @ 1.70V
12-18-18-28 @ 1.80V
12-19-19-28 2T @ 1.85V
 CL13
13-18-18-28 @ 1.57V
13-18-18-28 @ 1.66V
13-19-19-28 2T @ 1.75V
 CL14
14-18-18-28 @ 1.48V
14-18-18-28 @ 1.58V
Not tested
 CL15
15-18-18-28 @ 1.42V
Not relevant
15-20-20-28 @ 1.65V
 CL16
16-18-18-28 @ 1.36V
Not relevant
Not tested
 CL17
17-18-18-28 @ 1.32V
Not relevant
Not tested

Kicking off at the kit's rated settings, we were able to decrease the memory voltage to 1.23V without any loss of system stability. Setting the memory voltage back to 1.35V enabled us to drop the primary timings from 16-16-16 to 14-15-15 at DDR4-3200 or to bump the memory frequency up by one divider to DDR4-3333. All of this is a good indicator that quality control is not an issue at G.Skill and that the current batches of 3200C16 TridentX are easily able to deliver the numbers printed on their stickers. Pushing on, we were able to achieve full stability at DDR4-3600 with a wide range of CL and voltage combinations, including 12-18-18 at 1.70V. The setting range was greatly reduced once we went to DDR4-3733 and beyond with only a few combinations being even bootable. Most likely, this is a result of unresolved technical issues on motherboard side of things, so we are looking forward for the upcoming BIOS updates to give this kit a proper revisit. Still, it would be silly to demand for more than what we have already achieved as overclockability of these kits is nothing short of excellent. To conclude the testing, below we present some benchmark results, which should give you an idea of the performance gains associated with memory overclocking. Note that we don't optimise any of the subtimings (which is where the real gains are achieved) as we assume that an average consumer will keep those mostly at default values.

F4-3200C16Q-16GTZ_3200C15 F4-3200C16Q-16GTZ_3600C12 F4-3200C16Q-16GTZ_3733C13

Leave a comment

 

  1. I love this Site. Good work Websmile !

    I can`t hardly wait for Trident Z DDR4 3200MHz CL14 (4x16GB)
    CL14-14-14-35 low

  2. Thanks, the mems were strong, IMC limit and some issues lead to test at DDR4-4000 to be done with two sticks btw, but generally this kit was able to run 3866 full slots at high IMC and Dram voltage on the Hero

  3. Nice review Websmile, only hw-db includes all info true memory addicts go crazy trying to find…..
    IC used-check
    Overclocking results w/ voltage at 1.85-check
    Super Pi 32m and Intel XTU results-check