Installation and Overclocking
Installing the G.Skill TridentX memory kit is very simple. RAM is typically the easiest component to install, and the TridentX memory is no exception. Open your RAM clips on the board, correctly line up the spacings on the gold finger, and then push with sufficient force to close the RAM clips.
One thing I will say is that the TridentX heat spreaders feel rather sharp, so I wouldn’t recommend pushing on the corners or pointed areas when installing.
The modules are 2.13” tall, making CPU heatsink installation rather tricky if you have a larger aftermarket cooler. You can of course remove the red part of the heatspreader, reducing the size of the modules and making clearance easier. As previously mentioned, with the red stylized heatspreader removed, the TridentX modules measure up at 1.54” tall.
We will be installing these modules in one of our Z77 system, which is comprised of the following components.
CPU: Intel Core i5 3570k (@ 4.5ghz)
Memory: G.Skill TridentX 2x4GB.
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme6
Graphics Card: Sparkle Calibre GTX x480
Storage: Plextor M3 128GB SSD
Cooling: Thermaltake WATER2.0 Performer
Power Supply: OCZ ZX 850
Case: NZXT Switch 810 SE
First things first let’s open up CPU-Z and get a look at the timings.
Honestly, going into this review, I wasn’t expecting to get much more out of these modules. With a kit clocked so high, and already at 1.65v, there would be very little headroom. I wasn’t wrong, but I wasn’t exactly right either.
The 3570k’s memory controller has been widely reported that some models simply will not hit higher than 2500Mhz, and it seems my chip has the same problem. When setting BIOS speeds to 2666Mhz, or 2600Mhz, I wouldn’t boot. Even if I completely relaxed timings to CL15, no POST. There is no other option between 2400 and 2600, so, I was restricted to BCLK overclocks. The Z77/1155 platform doesn’t allow much for FSB tuning, and really overclocking with BCLK on Z77 is just there for getting that “last bit” out of your components. It doesn’t work the same way as it does on X79 where you can adjust the “strap” of the FSB to get some crazy speeds.
With numerous testings and voltage re-jigs, I was able to get the RAM to boot stable at 2496Mhz (2400Mhz with 103 BCLK.) Attempting to go higher, even with relaxed timings, caused a failed POST. I’m sure there is more headroom in this kit, but it doesn’t seem to be achievable for the 3570k. Still, 2496Mhz is ludicrously fast, and it didn’t require any relaxed timings. Based on my results here, I feel I could perhaps get a higher overclock if I were using a 3770k.
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