Does High-Speed DDR3 Help AMD's FX? Four 8 GB Kits, Reviewed

G.Skill Ripjaws X F3-17000CL9D-8GBXM

An artifact of the war between DDR SDRAM and RDRAM, G.Skill still uses bandwidth (rather than data rate) in its memory model designations. The rest of the part number for these CL9, dual-channel, 8 GB Ripjaws X kits is almost self-explanatory.

CPU-Z often has trouble reading the SPD information from XMP-equipped modules on non-XMP-compatible motherboards, so we looked to the motherboard itself to see how all of today’s modules are programmed. Officially rated for up to DDR3-2133, these modules sport an aggressive (for the data rate) CAS 9 timing paired with far more moderate 11-cycle RAS-to-CAS delay. Users unable to reach DDR3-2133 with their platforms will also find handy DDR3-2000 CAS 8 settings.

Anyone not willing to manually configure their RAM ends up stuck with super-slow DDR3-1600 CAS 11 performance, since the rated specifications for all non-standard RAM requires overclocking tricks. We would have preferred to see the kit default to DDR3-1600 CAS 9, though G.Skill may have experienced support issues on previous models that included tighter timings.

Available for as little as $70, this pair of 4 GB modules comes with G.Skill’s limited lifetime warranty.

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