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G.Skill Trident Z RGB Royal DDR4-3200 C16 Review: More Bling

Christopher Coke Posted: Feb 28, 2019 2:00 PM
Category:
Hardware Reviews 0

It’s never been so easy to build a showpiece computer system. With the rise of RGB and tempered glass cases, you can completely customize your setup to become the centerpiece of a whole room. Today, we’re looking at one of the most eye-catching memory sets we’ve ever encountered with the G.Skill Trident Z RGB Royal. They’re gorgeous but does the performance warrant the extra spend? Find out in our official review.

Specifications

  • Current Pricing: $179.99
  • Series: Trident Z Royal
  • Memory Type: DDR4
  • Capacity: 16GB (8GBx2)
  • Multi-Channel Kit: Dual Channel Kit
  • Tested Speed: 3200MHz
  • Tested Latency: 16-18-18-38
  • Tested Voltage: 1.35v
  • Registered/Unbuffered: Unbuffered
  • Error Checking: Non-ECC
  • SPD Speed: 2133MHz
  • SPD Voltage: 1.20v
  • Fan lncluded: No
  • Height: 44 mm / 1.73 inch
  • Warranty: Limited Lifetime
  • Features: Intel XMP 2.0 (Extreme Memory Profile) Ready
  • Additional Notes: Rated XMP frequency & stability depends on MB & CPU capability.

G.Skill has been one of the biggest names in the enthusiast memory business for some time. Their Trident Z line is their high-end offering, delivering consistent speeds that often have solid headroom for overclocking performance. The Royal series is their latest release and offers a beautiful crystalline RGB diffuser and your choice of silver of gold colored plating on the aluminum heat spreader on top of other upgrades.

Kits are available in a wide range of capacities, speeds, and CAS latencies. We’re looking at a 16GB density kit here running at 3200MHz with C16 timings. Our kit is also available in an impressive C14 timing. Depending on how much you’re willing to spend, you can pick up kits anywhere from 16-128GB with speeds that extend all the way to 4600MHz with an equally impressive 18-22-22-42 timing.

Have a look at these beauties. G.Skill ships them in what amounts to a jewelry box for the full presentation effect. I chose to receive our sample in silver to better reflect the lighting throughout the rest of the case. As you’ll soon see, it’s very effective.

Do note that these memory sticks are fairly tall at 44mm. This allows for better heat dissipation but may stand in the way of large air coolers. Be sure to check your clearances if you’re running a large dual or triple spire setup.

The diffusers on the top really steal the show. They’re plastic (part of my expected them to be glass by the look of them), but are cut in facets like gemstones. Even out of the box, this makes them some of the prettiest DIMMs we’ve ever had in for testing, but once their lit up they produce quite an effect.

Lighting Customization

The Trident Z RGB Royals feature upgraded RGB lighting. Each DIMM not features eight customizable LEDs allowing them to produce a brighter light show inside your case. They also feature a new and improved RGB controller which allows lighting animations to flow smoothly and look fantastic. The facets on the diffuser also cause a neat fragmentation effect throughout the case, which is quite unique.

The Royals are compatible with most major motherboard RGB software but G.Skill also provides their own software package with more than a dozen RGB effects. Included here are your expected rainbow, color cycle, and breathing effects, as well as several others that are more unique. Most of these can also be customized for the speed of the effect also.

Benchmark Testing

Test system: i7-7700k at 4.2GHz, MSI Z270 Gaming M7 Motherboard, GTX-1080Ti (SLI), 500GB Samsung 960 EVO, 12TB HDD Mass Storage, Corsair HX-1050 1050-watt PSU

In order to test our memory, we run through a series of benchmarks in order to tease out performance highlights and shortcomings. The tests include PCMark 8’s Conventional and Express tests, AIDA64, wPrime, and SuperPi. With the exception of AIDA64, these tests also account for the the CPU which is why we’re keeping a consistent scenario for testing. In each of the tests, DRAM performance is a key factor in the scores rendered. We also do in-game benchmark testing, though we’ll save that for discussion following the presented charts.

The results we’re sharing today represent different capacities, speeds, and latencies across the sample kits. The Trident Z Royal kit we’re testing today bears identical specs on paper to the RipJaws V kit we’ve tested previously, including a tested speed of 3200MHz and CAS latency of 16-18-18-38.

Our first benchmark is AIDA64. AIDA64 is a good test for us because it provides direct read, write, and copy tests.The Trident Z Royals performed very well here. They performed second place overall, but easily outperformed the other 3200MHz kits in this test, including the same-specced RipJaws V kit.

PCMark 8 is a whole system assessment that runs your PC through a simulation of relatively low intensity tasks. As a result, it emphasizes memory speed over memory capacity (after a certain point). Similar to the last test, the Royals took second overall, again showing very respectable performance on these DIMMs.

SuperPi is a processing intensive task that challenges a system to calculate out a specific amount of digits of Pi. Here, we’re pushing 32 million digits so memory frequency has a larger impact. Compared to the other 3200MHz kits, the Trident Z Royal kits did very well but the higher speed XCalibur kit from T-Force wins the day.

Finally, we have wPrime. This benchmark tasks your system with the production of square roots and is again based upon the whole system but largely dependent on system memory. Here the Royals fall in the middle of the pack in the 32M results but win out in the 1024M assessment.

Performance Discussion and Conclusions

There’s no question that the G.Skill Trident Z Royals are a gorgeous set of RAM, but these results show that there’s more here than pure looks. Even compared to the RipJaws V kit which was the same capacity, frequency, and CAS latency, it performed higher in our tests. The kit we had on hand for testing isn’t the fastest that G.Skill currently offers in the Royal format but they did come out on top against the other 3200MHz kits we’ve had in for testing. Perhaps in a future review, we’ll be able to take a closer look at some of those higher frequency kits as the results here leave us excited to see how the rest of the stack lines up.

A brief note on overclocking. I’m no memory overclocker. In fact, I’m fairly new at it, so in this review I didn’t push voltages. Instead, I was curious what speeds the RAM would be able to achieve in the simplest way possible: simply setting a new speed in the BIOS. Amateur hour, I know, but even then I was able to run a stable 3333MHz speed without tweaking anything. Dropping them in my new Ryzen R7 2700X system (which you’ll see in a feature this weekend), I was able to push them all the way to 3466 MHz in the exact same way. If you’re willing to play around with voltages, it’s likely your kit will have solid headroom to push speeds and tighten latencies.

The benefits you’ll see in gaming really depend on the memory kit you’re coming from. If you’re currently using a 2133MHz kit, you will definitely see a performance uplift. If you’re running a 2933MHz, probably not so much. Making the jump to speeds will, of course, offer a few frames of improvement but at a fairly steep price premium above the 3200MHz price point across most brands.

Which brings us to the price. There is no question, the Trident Z Royals come at a hefty premium over other memory kits. Compare the $179.99 price point of the silver kit we reviewed here to the $109.99 set of RipJaws V we compared against. The real world performance difference in games is imperceptible. So clearly, these are a statement piece. They’re not intended for every PC builder, they’re for display PCs and gamers whose computers are status symbols. If you’re someone who likes to show their PC off or simply feels good looking at something beautiful you’ve built up for yourself, they’re a good option. If you’re looking for pure performance for the cheapest amount possible, we recommend looking elsewhere in G.Skill’s line.

Pros

  • Gorgeous, jewelry-like aesthetic
  • Bright, customizable LEDs
  • Solid performance compared to other 3200MHz kits
  • Wide compatibility with good overclocking potential

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Heatspreaders pick up fingerprints terribly - use the polish cloth!

The product discussed in this review was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.


GameByNight

Christopher Coke

Chris cut his teeth on MMOs in the late 90s with text-based MUDs. He’s written about video games for many different sites but has made MMORPG his home since 2013. Today, he acts as Hardware and Technology Editor, lead tech reviewer, and continues to love and write about games every chance he gets. Follow him on Twitter: @GameByNight