G.Skill Trident Z5 RGB 2×16 GB DDR5-6400 CL32 Review

DDR5 memory has come a long way from its rocky start.

When DDR5 was released with 12th generation Intel processors, it was practically unavailable worldwide. And if you could buy it, the price was prohibitive. Now, this has changed. The biggest supply issues are behind us, and DDR5 kits are plentiful. Even the highest performing ones. Prices are still too high compared to DDR4 and price parity is still a long way off, but DDR5 is more affordable than at the beginning of the year. However, high-end kits still cost more, and the G.Skill Trident Z5 RGB DDR5-6400 2x 16GB kit is definitely a quick deal. This is not the first 6400MHz kit on the market, but we believe it is the first with only 32 CAS latency and one of the very few kits at any speed with such a low CL.

To put it bluntly, this G.Skill RAM is the highest spec DDR5 memory kit on the market right now.

If high-speed memory is on your shopping list, you should look into this kit, although be prepared to empty your wallet as it costs $569 (£555, AU$1,079). One disadvantage of DDR5 is the relatively high latency. This is one of the reasons why a good Samsung-based DDR4-3600 memory kit with short timings is still a viable gaming option. The G.Skill Trident Z5 DDR5-6400 kit with 32-39-39-102 timings helps to minimize this deficit. However, latency is just one measure of performance. There’s also all that raw bandwidth you get from a kit at that speed.

The kit comes in 2x 16GB capacity with XMP 3.0 support and 1.40V operating voltage.

It uses SK Hynix chips which are known to perform well at high speeds with most motherboards, especially after a BIOS update. However, you need to check your motherboard’s QVL to make sure the kit is supported. If it’s not listed, look for other DDR5-6400 kits. If they are supported, you should be ready to go.

Specifications Trident Z5

Model name: G.Skill F5-6400J3239G16GX2-TZ5RK
Memory type: Unbuffered DDR5 memory
Capacity: 32 GB (2x 16 GB)
Rated speed: 6400 MHz
Rated Delay: 32-39-39-102
Tested voltage: 1.40 V
Warranty: Limited service life
XMP: Support for Intel XMP 3.0
Price: $569 | £555 | 1079 Australian dollars

Earlier we reviewed the G.Skill DDR5-6000 C36 kit that came with a silver heatsink.

The 6400 C32 kit we have is black and we think it looks even better. Black is easier to mix with more assemblies. Of course, it supports RGB and looks great. Some kits may be too bright or have exposed LEDs, but G.Skill’s more opaque coating and diffused light look really stylish. The RGB lighting can be controlled using the Trident Z Lighting Control app by G.Skill. It is a simple and lightweight program weighing only 6 MB. Our quick play with this app didn’t cause any problems. However, if you already have a motherboard RGB control app, G.Skill says the kit should integrate with Asus, Gigabyte, MSI and Asrock RGB control software.

We know typing is fast on paper, looks good, and is widely available, but how does it work?

This brings us to one of the oldest questions PC builders have. Is it worth spending money on a very fast memory kit? The answer is not a simple yes or no. It depends on the applications you run and the system you link them to. Sometimes it’s worth it, other times a quick kit can be within the margin of error of a standard DDR5-4800 kit.

IDDR5 memory benchmarks

Test setup

CPU: Intel Core i9 12900K
Motherboard: Asus ROG Maximus Z690 Apex (DDR5)
GP: Amplifier Zotac RTX 3080 Ti Extreme Holo
SSD: Seagate FireCuda 530 2TB
BP: Corsair AX1000
Chassis: Thermal core P8
Cooler: Cooler Master PL360 Flux
OPERATING SYSTEMS: Windows 11 build 22800.282

File compression and video encoding are two benchmarks that showed decent gains.

The G.Skill kit is the fastest of all the kits tested, though since it’s the fastest kit on paper, this isn’t surprising. Even less surprising are the brilliant AIDA64 synthetic results, which show the G.Skill kit in the lead. The result of the delay is also fantastic.

Games tend to prefer low latency, although it varies from game to game. Civilization VI is showing little progress. Metro Exodus Enhanced also shows a slight boost, but what’s interesting about this benchmark is that its GPU-limited. The benefits are more obvious in CPU-limited scenarios, such as when you’re looking for high frame rates with a high refresh rate screen.

In summary, buying very fast DDR5 memory only makes sense if you have the right system.

If you happen to have a 12900K and an RTX 3080 Ti in your system, then you owe it to yourself to match it with a fast memory kit to get the most out of it. For almost everyone else, the kit in the frequency range from 5200 to 6000 MHz will provide quite acceptable performance in real scenarios.G.Skill Trident Z5 RGB DDR5-6400 Memory Kit

Now that the Z690 boards have only been on the market for a few months, it’s clear that BIOSes have come a long way. Our Asus Maximus Z690 Apex has really improved and overclocking is much better than in the early days. SK Hynix kits are known to overclock well, but we think our processor is at its limit.

We were able to reach DDR5-6667 with no RAM voltage adjustment at all, but we had to raise the IMC voltages to levels we wouldn’t be comfortable with 24/7. If you don’t mind that and have a good IMC, 7000 MHz is not out of the question. There is no doubt that overclockers have used this kit to set memory world records.G.Skill Trident Z5 DDR5-6400 Memory Kit

If you want the best set you can get, love to customize

Plan on using it for a generation or two, then you’ll get a lot of satisfaction out of it. G.Skill memory rarely disappoints, and its latest Trident Z5 DDR5-6400 CL32 kit is about as good as you can find at the moment. But is it worth buying? Honestly? No, unless you have a very powerful system. If you’re on a budget, you’ll get more value by buying a cheaper kit and channeling your money into a faster CPU or GPU. This will give a noticeable performance gain.

The G.Skill DDR5-6400 C32 kit is the fastest kid I’ve ever reviewed. There is no doubt that this is very expensive and impossible to recommend to the mass buyer, but if you want the best kit you can get, you will get great satisfaction from it. It’s one of those halos that we want to own, even if we don’t really need it.

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