G.Skill ARES 16GB 2133mhz Memory Kit Review (9-11-10-28)

G.Skill have been actively targeting the enthusiast user now for the last year, with a constant stream of quality products aimed at a wide audience … from gamers to hardcore overclockers. Today we are looking at the latest ‘ARES’ branded low profile DDR3 kit aimed at the ever growing audience who use oversized CPU coolers.
Several years ago it was popular for a manufacturer to release DDR3 memory with giant, oversized heatspreaders -  they looked great in the marketing brochures. But as the time has passed people are learning that these can often cause fitting problems with the latest CPU coolers. When many people bought the gargantuan Noctua NH D14 cooler they found that they either had to remove the heatspreaders completely, or buy new low profile memory.
It therefore makes sense for G.Skill to adopt low profile heatspreaders on the ARES memory, with two colours available: Blue and Orange.

Frequency Timing Available Capacity Voltage Color Model name
1333MHz CL 9-9-9-24 8GB(4Gx2)/16GB(4GBx4)(8GBx2)/32GB(8GBx4) 1.5V Orange AO
1600MHz CL10-10-10-30 16GB(8GBx2)/32GB(8GBx4) 1.5V Orange AO
1600MHz CL 9-9-9-24 8GB(4GBx2)/16GB(4GBx4) 1.5V Orange/Blue AO/AB
1600MHz CL 8-8-8-24 8GB(4GBx2)/16GB(4GBx4) 1.5V Blue AB
1866MHz CL 9-10-9-28 8GB(4GBx2)/16GB(4GBx4) 1.5V Blue AB
1866MHz CL10-11-10-30 16GB(8GBx2)/32GB(8GBx4) 1.5V Blue AB
2133MHz CL11-11-11-31 8GB(4GBx2)/16GB(4GBx4) 1.6V Orange AO
2133MHz CL9-11-10-28 8GB(4GBx2)/16GB(4GBx4) 1.65V Blue AB

We received the blue 16GB ARES kit from G.Skill which looks very nice indeed. They are shipped in a sturdy blister pack which will work well in a retail store environment.

This kit is the DDR3-2133-PC3-17000 4GBx4 with XMP timings CL9-11-10 @ 1.65 volts. G.Skill also sell other variants with looser, lower performance timings.

The heatspreaders are lovely, a shiny metallic blue cooler and the trademark G.Skill curves at the top and bottom.

We carefully prised the heatspreader apart to get a closer look at the OEM partner. G.Skill are using high grade HYNIX memory – H5TQ2G83CFR. These are CMOS Double Data Rate III (DDR3) Synchronous DRAM, ideally suited for applications which require large memory density and high bandwidth.
On this page we present some super high resolution images of the product taken with the 24.5MP Nikon D3X camera and 24-70mm ED lens. These will take much longer to open due to the dimensions, especially on slower connections. If you use these pictures on another site or publication, please credit Kitguru.net as the owner/source.

To test today we are using the class leading Asus Rampage IV Extreme Motherboard which has one of the best bios configurations on the market.

Setting the memory is as easy as a one step process, the XMP profile allowed the motherboard to correctly set up the memory for 2,133mhz at 9-11-10 timings.

Overclocking this memory was extremely straightforward. We only needed to change the memory frequency setting to 2,400mhz and then slightly loosen the timings to 10-12-11-28 for complete stability.

System validation @2,400 mhz is available over here.
Today we will test the ARES memory at:
2133mhz @ 9-11-10-28 1T and
2400mhz @ 10-12-11-28 2T.
Processor: Intel i7 3960X EE @ 4.4ghz
Motherboard: Asus Rampage IV Extreme
Cooler: Antec H20 920
Memory: Kingston HyperX 2400mhz
Graphics Card: Nvidia GTX590
Power Supply: Enermax Platimax 1200W
Optical Drive: Asus BluRay Drive
Chassis: Lian Li PC-A77FR Aluminium Red Full Tower Case
Monitors: Dell U3011, 3x Ilyama ProLite E2472HDD
Boot Drive: Patriot WildFire 120GB
Secondary Drive: 1TB Samsung
Comparison memory:
8GB Kingston HyperX 2,400mhz
16GB G.Skill 2400mhz
8GB Corsair Dominator GT 2400mhz
16GB GSkill Ripjaws Z 2133mhz
32GB Corsair Vengeance 1600mhz
SiSoft Sandra
PcMark 7
3D Studio Max 2011
MaxxMem 2
SiSoftware Sandra (the System ANalyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) is an information & diagnostic utility. It should provide most of the information (including undocumented) you need to know about your hardware, software and other devices whether hardware or software.
Sandra is a (girl’s) name of Greek origin that means “defender”, “helper of mankind”. We think that’s quite fitting.
It works along the lines of other Windows utilities, however it tries to go beyond them and show you more of what’s really going on. Giving the user the ability to draw comparisons at both a high and low-level. You can get information about the CPU, chipset, video adapter, ports, printers, sound card, memory, network, Windows internals, AGP, PCI, PCI-X, PCIe (PCI Express), database, USB, USB2, 1394/Firewire, etc.
Native ports for all major operating systems are available:
  • Windows XP, 2003/R2, Vista, 7, 2008/R2 (x86)
  • Windows XP, 2003/R2, Vista, 7, 2008/R2 (x64)
  • Windows 2003/R2, 2008/R2* (IA64)
  • Windows Mobile 5.x (ARM CE 5.01)
  • Windows Mobile 6.x (ARM CE 5.02)
All major technologies are supported and taken advantage of:
  • SMP – Multi-Processor
  • MC – Multi-Core
  • SMT/HT – Hyper-Threading
  • MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE 4.1, SSE 4.2, AVX, FMA – Multi-Media instructions
  • GPGPU, DirectX, OpenGL – Graphics
  • NUMA – Non-Uniform Memory Access
  • AMD64/EM64T/x64 – 64-bit extensions to x86
  • IA64 – Intel* Itanium 64-bit

The G.Skill ARES memory performs really well at 2,133mhz, achieving almost 49 GB/s of bandwidth. When manually overclocked to 2,400mhz however this score increases noticeably, claiming the top spot with 51.5GB/s of bandwidth.
PCMark 7 includes 7 PC tests for Windows 7, combining more than 25 individual workloads covering storage, computation, image and video manipulation, web browsing and gaming. Specifically designed to cover the full range of PC hardware from netbooks and tablets to notebooks and desktops, PCMark 7 offers complete PC performance testing for Windows 7 for home and business use.

The overall score is much as we would expect from the system, at 5,784 points.
V2011 is the first release of 3DStudio Max to fully support the Windows 7 operating system. This is a professional level tool that many people use for work purposes and our test will show any possible differences between board design today.
Autodesk 3ds Max Design 2011 software offers compelling new techniques to help bring designs to life by aggregating data, iterating ideas, and presenting the results.
Streamlined, more intelligent data exchange workflows and innovative new modeling and visualization tools help significantly increase designers’ creativity and productivity, enabling them to better explore, validate, and communicate the stories behind their designs.
Major new features:
  • Slate: A node based material editor.
  • Quicksilver: Hardware renderer with multithreaded rendering engine that utilizes both CPU and GPU.
  • Extended Graphite Modeling Toolset
  • 3ds Max Composite: A HDRI-capable compositor based on Autodesk Toxik.
  • Viewport Canvas toolset for 3D and 2D texture painting directly in the viewport
  • Object Painting: use 3D geometry as ‘brushes’ on other geometry
  • Character Animation Toolkit (CAT): now integrated as part of the base package
  • Autodesk Material Library: Over 1200 new photometrically accurate shaders
  • Additional file format support: includes native support for Sketchup, Inventor
  • FBX file linking
  • Save to Previous Release (2010)
We created a new 8200×3200 scene and recorded the time for the hardware to finalise the render.

Memory plays a small part in the overall performance of this software. The G. Skill memory manages to take the top performance spot alongside the RipjawsZ 2,400mhz kit which we reviewed a short time ago.
MaxxMem2 PreView is a handy, free program to rate memory performance. It can be downloaded over here.

The G.Skill ARES memory leads the performance pack in MaxMem2.
Throughout the last year we have been continually impressed with the G.Skill memory we have received for review. Even though they consistently produce memory that performs right at the top of the performance chart, their pricing has been extremely competitive.
The G.Skill 2,133mhz ARES memory is available in two flavours. In the United Kingdom they are selling a 16GB Orange headspreader version of this kit for £115.92, but the timings are looser @ 11-11-11-31 2T. The blue heatspreader kit we tested today offers much tighter 9-11-10 1T timings @ 2,133mhz. It is worth double checking these figures before a purchase.
The 2,133mhz 9-11-10-28 1T ARES memory can overclock to 2,400mhz with slightly looser timings of 10-12-11 @ 2T. We doubt the Gold branded kit will overclock any further due to the very loose initial timings @ 2,133mhz.
Overclocking the ARES memory from 2,133mhz to 2,400mhz produces a slight performance increase, most noticeable in SiSoft Sandra, which reported almost 3 GB/s of additional bandwidth.
Unfortunately we can’t find the 2,133mhz 9-11-10 ARES memory anywhere in the United Kingdom right now, but you can expect to pay a little more than the retail price of the Orange version. If we get confirmed pricing in the coming week, we will update this page.
If you are in the market for a new memory upgrade, then this kit would be right at the top of our shortlist. The low profile design means it will work perfectly with the largest CPU coolers available today. It offers unparalleled performance and can overclock to 2,400mhz for additional bandwidth, without much effort.
  • low profile.
  • great ‘out of the box’ performance characteristics.
  • can overclock to 2,400mhz.
  • G.Skill are always priced competitively.
  • Watch for the ‘orange’ version with looser timings, it is slower.
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