G.Skill DDR4-4600 C18 TridentZ RGB

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websmile
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G.Skill DDR4-4600 C18 TridentZ RGB

Postby websmile » Thu 8. Nov 2018, 22:25

Hi and welcome to my short review of the 2x8GB G.Skill TridentZ DDR4-4600 C18-22-22-42 RGB memory kit.

1. Optics and specifications
The G.Skill F4-4600C18D-16GTZR come in the classic cardboard box G.Skill uses for its DDR4-premium series, the two 8GB modules are packed in a matching memory tray inside. Apart from a sticker with the part-number and specifications, you can also see that the RGB series won several awards, that this specific kit is optimized for Intel systems and that several software suites like RGB fusion as well as the Asus, Asrock and MSI RGB software tools support ways to customize and control the light effects. These are at the moment the highest rated retail kit available in Europe, cheapest shop price is around 510 Euros.
https://www.gskill.com/en/product/F4-4600C18D-16GTZR/

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The sticks themselves use classic brushed aluminium heatsinks we all know from the DDR4 TridentZ series, one side is gray and the other one black, the top is white and transparent to let the RGB light effects shine. The PCB is black, a quick look with Taiphoon burner shows us it is 8-layer as well as the fact that the chips used are manufactured by Samsung, the so called B-die ICs, eight pieces used on one side of the PCB which is a standard configuration nowadays of 8GB sticks of higher bin. Visual inspection tells then that a so called short trace PCB, also known as A2-layout, is used, this means that the gap in the middle between chip 4 and 5 is wider than on older classic layout A1 is wider. This is more and more common today and meant to optimize low voltage for high frequency. On the benefits and disadvantages of this we will make a notice later in this test.
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2. Tests and overclocking

Method and test systems

The kit was tested using Geekbench3, Intel XTU benchmark and Superpi 32m in windows, apart from this all settings that are OK for daily use had to pass DOS memtest which shows errors independent from cpu or other hardware or software influences, checks the whole amount of Ram and is first choice to check the memory itself. We used 64bit operating systems, no maxmem (limited use of memory) set.

Hardware
Asus Maximus Apex X Z370 BIOS 1704
Intel Corei5-8600K
2x8GB G.Skill TridentZ DDR4-4600C18-22-22-42 1,5v (F4-4600C18D-16GTZR)
Seasonic Focus 1050W

For the low timing pro benchmark tests, we used windows xp 32 for SuperPi 32m with waza and Windows 8 or 10x64 with maxmem set to 4000MB, this is necessary because at higher voltage and low main timings.

Hardware2
Asrock Z170M OC Formula BIOS 7.21B
Intel Corei5-7600K
2x8GB G.Skill TridentZ DDR4-4600C18-22-22-42 1,5v(F4-4600C18D-16GTZR)
Seasonic Focus 1050W


Results for the Asus Apex X system

First of all, we had to upgrade the BIOS to latest version to make the XMP work, then this was easy. Timings of 18-22-22-42 2T at DDR4-4600 were set, voltage was 1,5v BIOS. We made several check, resulting in the lowest voltage for these settings to be at 1.40v.
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We then went up with the frequency, but had to accept that 4600c18 was already very close to the limit of our IMC on air, so we had to loosen the timings to run a stable 4700 19-26-26-45 2T at 1,4v, we then were able to boot and go to win at same settings but could not reach stability, with IMC voltages already at 1,4v+ and same for DMI voltage, we accepted the imc limits and went on to fid sweetspot settings for 24/7.
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With a memory kit rated like the G.Skill TridentZ DDR4-4600, you do not want to gift away performance. Having this in mind, we used one of the predefined memory profiles of our board (Raja 4133 1,4v profile) because there is no need to reinvent the wheel when experts did the job, with tightened secondary and tertiary timings for optimal performance and started to vary this and work our way up. After the profile worked easily, we tightened timings again, went up from 4133 16-16 to 4200 to 4300 17-17-17-42-360 and ended up at DDR4-4300 16-16-16-38 360 rockstable at 1,5v, not minimized. All these results are only values to show the potential, your mileage may vary and please take in that the Apex X for me was unable to run 1T at 4000 and above stable with any memory kit at low voltage daily settings with BIOS 1704. On the second systems, I made crosschecks and there it worked flawless with KBL up to 4133, highest divider.
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Results for Z170M OC Formula system

Now, let´s go to the benchmark tests for competitive use. We had to do all of these on our Test-system #2, for a simple reason. Due to the layout, a well known problem showed up on the Apex X, about which we already have confirmed information that it also hits Apex IX – the memory kit, no matter how good it is, with the A2 PCB layout will not post above DDR4-3866C12, lots of kits already fail 3800, and for our kit 3866c12 was end of the road as well. Of course I was not satisfied with this, for me it was clear that the first tests showed that this kit has a lot of benching potential, so I moved on to the Z170 system. After a quick Post test for DDR4-4000 12-11-11-28 1T, which easily worked, I simply moved on to DDR4-4133 12-11-11-28-220 1T and started to move up with Geekbench 3 and XTU. Finally I opted out, due to imc limit, near DDR4-4220 12-11-11-28 tight settings around 2,05v, not minimized or maxed out, set in BIOS. I also checked the kit for the capability to run the famous copy waza tweak, which creates enormous pressure on the ram, at using old windows xp, and 4133 12-11-11-28 220 tight worked easily, with 2v set, not minimized and lots of headroom left.

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Conclusion and final thoughts

After I finished my test suite, the performance of the G.Skill F4-4600GTZR completely convinced me. These are not only the highest rated retail kit available at the moment in Europe, but also extremely well selected and made an excellent job at various settings I tested for daily overclocking and performance optimization. A small annoyance was the fact, that after the necessary BIOS update on the Asus Apex X, I had problems with RTLs and IOLs being quite loose, but this was tested to be on all kits I used for comparison to confirm this. Might be a price to pay for extremely high frequency now, and we all learned that frequency on new systems is one of the most important performance factors.
I saw gains at all benchmarks, especially at Geekbench 3 memory performance when optimizing at 4133-4300 C16 to C18 at below 1.35-1,5v, and stability was excellent. This was extremely important for me because 4600 needed very high memory controller and dmi voltage to work. Second annoyance was the compability problem with the memory layout and the Apex, I will do no fingerpointing here, but the fact that the A2-Layout is used for years now by nearly all leading manufacturers of oc memory and that pro overclocking at 4000c12 works on Z170 boards for example raises some questions for me, especially when influential members of the industry emphasize A2 is becoming more and more of a standard. I will not include this in the pros and cons, this is not a mainboard review.

Now let´s see my pros and cons.
Pro
Excellent performance, IMC is the limit
Good capability to run tighter timings at high frequency at daily useable voltage
Scalable RGB lighting for modders and performance enthusiasts
Awesome pro benching capabilities
Limited life long manufacturer warranty

Cons
High price
4600+ needs high board and imc voltages – this is a problem for all kits rated this high

Thanks for reading
My thanks go to http://www.gskill.com/en/ for the support and the sample.

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joe_cool
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Re: G.Skill DDR4-4600 C18 TridentZ RGB

Postby joe_cool » Thu 8. Nov 2018, 22:42

As always great review Michael, thx for your commitment :shock: :!:

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Freakezoit
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Re: G.Skill DDR4-4600 C18 TridentZ RGB

Postby Freakezoit » Fri 9. Nov 2018, 11:53

Good Job Michael ;)

Damn you did not upload that 2400mhz @ hwbot for points :?
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websmile
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Re: G.Skill DDR4-4600 C18 TridentZ RGB

Postby websmile » Fri 9. Nov 2018, 21:33

Thanks guys, I am really happy that you like my modest test :) - cheers

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Freakezoit
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Re: G.Skill DDR4-4600 C18 TridentZ RGB

Postby Freakezoit » Fri 9. Nov 2018, 22:11

can you show me your timing settings (subs) for 2400 Michael . That would be nice ;) :D
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