Topower Black-X DDR3 1600Mhz Memory Review

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Our reply from Topower Tech Support instructed us to use timings of 9-9-9-24 and a command rate of 2T and to try those settings anywhere from 1.5v to 1.65v. Being that we are testing this Topower Black-X kit on the Sandy Bridge platform we decided to give the 1.5v setting a try. While 1.65v memory should run without issues on the Sandy Bridge platform it’s well documented that the best option is a 1.5v kit. To further push the envelope we set the command rate to 1T instead of the recommended 2T. At these settings the Topower Black-X BD316008GK16 kit had no problem running all the benchmarks we could throw at it as well as completing an hour of Prime95 blend test. It appears that Topower underestimated the potential of the memory at 1.5v in there response to us, but this is great news!

We pulled a few G.Skill memory kits from the on-hand inventory to compare against the Topower kit we are reviewing today. Two of the G.SKill kits are rated for DDR3 2000 speeds and are of the 2X2Gb variety. The other G.Skill kit is DDR3 1867 and a 8Gb kit. We set all of the kits at 1600Mhz during the benchmarking runs for a fair comparison. Here are the kits tested for this review:

  • Topower Black-X DDR3 1600Mhz (BD316008GK16) 9-9-9-24 1T 2X4Gb
  • G.Skill Ripjaw-X DDR3 1867Mhz (F3-14900-CL9-8GBXL) 9-10-9-28 1T 2X4Gb
  • G.SKill Ripjaws DDR3 2000Mhz (F3-16000CL9-4GBRH) 9-9-9-27 1T 2X2Gb
  • G.SKill Trident DDR3 2000Mhz (F3-16000CL9D-4GBTD) 9-9-9-27 1T 2X2Gb

The rest of the testing system was comprised of the following:

  • EVGA P67 FTW Motherboard
  • i7 2600K Overclocked to 4.5Ghz
  • OCZ Vertex 2 240Gb SSD
  • Corsair TX850W Power Supply

We’ll start off the benchmarks with some compression and rendering tests using WinRar and Cinebench 11.5. As we weave our way through all the benchmark results you will find that the G.Skill Trident memory will perform better in most of the tests we are running today, but that comes at a much steeper price (50% or more) than the other kits. The Topower kit, the G.SKill Ripjaw-X and the G.Skill Ripjaws are all priced pretty close to each other, so keep this in mind as you review the results. As you navigate through the test results, click on any image to get a larger view.

The WinRar compression test clearly shows the Topower Black-X kit can hold it’s own against the G.Skill kits priced similarly and actually beat out both of those. The Trident kit was ahead of the pack, but only by a slight margin. The Cinebench 11.5 OpenGL test showed very little difference between all four kits and the same can be said for the Cinebench CPU test, with all four kits scoring in the 56 range.

Next up is a run of wPrime 32M and 1024M. In the 32M test the Trident just barely beat out the Topower kit but not near enough to justify the price difference! In the wPrime 1024M test the Topower actually beat the Trident kit lending even more credence to it’s value.

SuperPI 1M and 32M testing was next on the list and as expected the Topower kit showed very good results. There was very little difference here between all four of the kits we tested with less than a half of a second between them all in the 1M test. In the 32M test the Topower Black-X beat out both comparably priced kits and fell just short of the Trident kit. Another great showing by the Black-X!

Our final set of tests include AIDA64 and MaxxMex. These two benchmarks will test the memory copy, read, write and latency performance. First let’s have a look at the MaxxMem results. The memory write test is where the Topower Black-X shined the most, beating the Trident by a substantial margin. The rest of the MaxxMem tests were as expected with little difference between the four kits and the Topower Black-X holding it’s own against the competition.

The AIDA64 set of memory tests will again test the read, write, copy and latency performance. Again the Topower Black-X kit shows a lot of strength in these tests. The Topower Black-X kit beat the Ripjaw-X kit in all four tests here and was almost identical to the Ripjaw kit. While the Trident kit scored a tad better the margin was extremely thin in all tests.

Something worth noting during this benchmark testing is that only one other G.SKill kit is also a 2X4Gb kit like the Black-X, that being the Ripjaw-X kit. If you truly want to compare apples to apples, then looking at the two 2X4Gb kit shows the Topower Black-X kit coming out on top in almost every test we ran.

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