Despite all the benefits that DDR5 brings to the fore, the new memory standard didn’t get off to a good start. The thing is, DDR5 debuted amidst a global shortage of semiconductors, which hampered its rate of adoption due to inflated prices. However, DDR5 memory kit prices have improved, but there is still a long way to go before they are competitive with DDR4 prices; therefore, consumers are reluctant to jump on the bandwagon. Moreover, DDR5 is still wet behind the ears and struggles to compete with high-end DDR4. However, it’s getting there slowly, and G.Skill’s recent Trident Z5 RGB DDR5-6400 C32 memory kit is testimony that DDR5 is moving in the right direction.
G.Skill’s Trident Z5 RGB memory is one of the best looking DDR5 kits on the market. Memory comes in two flavors: metallic silver or matte black. On this occasion, we take a look at the latter. Unlike the metallic silver variant which features silver and black tones, the matte black version sports an all-black aluminum heat sink.
The heat sink with the translucent RGB light bar on the Trident Z5 RGB isn’t offensively large; however, the memory module is 42 mm (1.65 inches) high, so you should check for compatibility issues in both cases. You can adjust the lighting using G.Skill’s lightweight Trident Z Lighting Control software or your motherboard. The compatibility list includes Asus Aura Sync, Gigabyte RGB Fusion 2.0, MSI Mystic Light Sync and ASRock Polychrome Sync.
Trident Z5 RGB DDR5-6400 memory modules incorporate SK hynix’s H5CG48MEBDX014 (M-die) integrated circuits (ICs). Also, the power management IC (PMIC) is marked “0D=8M 24A”. After dumping the SPD from memory via CPU-Z software, we discovered that Richtek was the manufacturer of this unit.
Like any overclocked DDR5, G.Skill’s memory kit will default to DDR5-4800 with 40-40-40-76 timings. The XMP 3.0 profile configures the data rate up to DDR5-6400, timings up to 32-39-39-102, and applies 1.4V to the DRAM voltage. See our PC Memory 101 feature and How to Buy RAM article for more on timing and frequency considerations.
|memory kit||Article number||Ability||Data rate||Primary Timings||Tension||guarantee|
|G.Skill Trident Z5 RGB||F5-6400J3239G16GX2-TZ5RK||2 x 16 GB||DDR5-6400 (XMP)||32-39-39-102 (2T)||1.40||Lifetime|
|G.Skill Trident Z5 RGB||F5-6000U3636E16GX2-TZ5RS||2 x 16 GB||DDR5-6000 (XMP)||36-36-36-76 (2T)||1h30||Lifetime|
|TeamGroup T-Force Delta RGB||FF3D516G6000HC40ABK||2 x 16 GB||DDR5-6000 (XMP)||40-40-40-80 (2T)||1.35||Lifetime|
|Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR5||CMT32GX5M2B5200C38||2 x 16 GB||DDR5-5200 (XMP)||38-38-38-84 (2T)||1.25||Lifetime|
|Kingston’s Furious Beast||KF552C40BBK2-32||2 x 16 GB||DDR5-5200 (XMP)||40-40-40-80 (2T)||1.25||Lifetime|
|Crucial||CT2K8G48C40U5||2 x 8 GB||DDR5-4800||40-39-39-77 (2T)||1.10||Lifetime|
Our DDR5 test system leverages the Intel Core i9-12900K processor with Corsair’s CUE H100i Elite LCD liquid cooler supporting cooling. The flagship Alder Lake chip resides on the MSI MEG Z690 Unify-X motherboard, running firmware 7D32vH0. Meanwhile, the MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Gaming Trio is responsible for our gaming RAM benchmarks.
Our Windows 11 install, benchmarking software, and games are stored on Crucial’s MX500 SSDs, while the RM650x powers our entire system with needed juice. Finally, the open Streacom BC1 table houses all our equipment.
|Intel® DDR5 System|
|Processor||Intel Core i9-12900K|
|Motherboard||MSI MEG Z690 Unify-X|
|Graphic card||MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Gaming X Trio|
|Storage||Crucial MX500 500GB, 2TB|
|Cooling||Corsair iCUE H100i Elite LCD Display|
|Power source||Corsair RM650x 650W|
G.Skill’s memory kit showed excellent performance, landing the top spot in our application performance chart. The Trident Z5 RGB DDR5-6400 C32 excelled in most benchmarks with the exception of Cinebench R23, where it came fourth.
DDR5 speeds don’t make a huge difference in gaming performance. Nonetheless, the Trident Z5 RGB was only second to G.Skill’s own Trident Z5 RGB DDR5-6000 C36.
Overclocking and latency tuning
When using hardware outside of the manufacturer’s specifications, there is always a potential risk of damage. This is the standard caveat with overclocking any hardware, not just memory. We have already contacted SK hynix to inquire about the maximum safe voltage for its ICs, but have received no feedback on safe voltages for overclocking. However, after speaking with various memory vendors, they agreed that 1.4V is the maximum voltage you would want to pump into DDR5 for an extended period of time.
Since the Trident Z5 RGB DDR5-6400 C32 already runs on 1.4V, we upped it to 1.45V for some headroom. However, the SK hynix M-die ICs were easy to overclock, and we got the memory kit for DDR5-6600 with the exact advertised timings (32-39-39-102) for DDR5-6400.
Lowest stable timings
|memory kit||DDR5-5200 (1.4V)||DDR5-5400 (1.4V)||DDR5-6000 (1.4V)||DDR5-6200 (1.4V)||DDR5-6400 (1.4V)||DDR5-6400 (1.45V)||DDR5-6600 (1.45V)|
|G.Skill Trident Z5 RGB DDR5-6400 C32||N / A||N / A||N / A||N / A||N / A||32-37-37-97 (2T)||32-39-39-102 (2T)|
|G.Skill Trident Z5 RGB DDR5-6000 C36||N / A||N / A||36-33-33-73 (2T)||36-36-36-76 (2T)||N / A||N / A||N / A|
|TeamGroup T-Force Delta RGB DDR5-6000 C40||N / A||N / A||38-38-38-78 (2T)||N / A||40-40-40-82 (2T)||N / A||N / A|
|Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR5-5200 C38||34-37-37-77 (2T)||40-40-40-76 (2T)||N / A||N / A||N / A||N / A||N / A|
|Kingston Fury Beast DDR5-5200 C40||36-37-37-78 (2T)||38-38-38-78 (2T)||N / A||N / A||N / A||N / A||N / A|
|Crucial DDR5-4800 C40||N / A||40-40-40-77 (2T)||N / A||N / A||N / A||N / A||N / A|
The Trident Z5 RGB memory kit has high CAS latency (32); however, his other schedules require some work. Unfortunately, there was not a considerable optimization margin. Even at 1.45V we only reduced tRCD, tRP and tRAS from 39-39-102 to 37-37-97.
G.Skill’s Trident Z5 RGB DDR5-6400 C32 Memory Kit is fast, there’s no doubt about it. The memory would look great in any build and offers headroom for free performance if you like overclocking or don’t mind running the memory kit at a higher voltage. So, the bigger question is whether the memory kit is worth the high price tag.
The Trident Z5 RGB DDR5-6400 C32 is currently selling for $449.99. The Trident Z5 RGB DDR5-6000 C36, which retailed for $489.99, has dropped to $399.99. So the Trident Z5 RGB DDR5-6400 C32 won’t let you down if you’re looking for the fastest and most capable DDR5 memory kit yet. But if top-tier performance isn’t a priority in your book, then the Trident Z5 RGB DDR5-6000 C36 is still a more sensible alternative.