G.skill ARES DDR3 2133MHz 8GB Kit

5/7/2012 6:03:16 PM
Sometimes it’s good to get more than you bargained for.

While hard drive prices have soared recently, memory is really cheap. Because of that, where really high quality memory used to be a luxury, it’s now well worth spending a little extra to get something special.

Take the new Ares series from G.Skill. They’re around $105 for two 4GB sticks, giving you 8GB on any system running a 64-bit operating system. In addition they’re specified to work at CL9-11-10 timings, on a 2133MHz clock, or PC3-17000 as memory makers like to designate this speed. Given that the baseline memory clocks are 1333MHz, that’s 60% higher if your board allows you to set the system up to achieve those levels.

The problem is that to use all that extra memory headroom usually involves some manual tweaking, although G.Skill has included XMP (eXtreme Memory Profile) in the SPD tables, so if your motherboard understands those then your laughing.

Description: G.skill Ares DDR3 2133MHz 8GB Kit

G.skill Ares DDR3 2133MHz 8GB Kit


But I’m fudging the issue here, because there is only one real purpose to these modules and that’s overclocking. Being able to set the memory configuration to 1333MHz gives you aoverclocking potential on the memory of 60% before you exceed G.Skill’s operating range. A CPU that can do that without some exotic cooling will be doing very well, but it show the potential in here.

Actually, to confuse matters further, I delved into the SPD table that G.Skill had placed on the Ares, to see what options it came pre-programmed with. There are eight different settings, six of which are JEDEC and two XMP.

The maximum JEDEC is 838MHz, clock doubled to 1676MHz at CL11. Those liking tighter timings could punt for a 900MHz mode at CL6, but it’s the XMP options that really interested me. They both offered CL9 timings and need 1.65V. One offers 1107MHz or 2214MHz clock doubled, and the other was for 1133MHz, equivalent to 2266MHz. 2133MHz mode was nowhere to be seen, and the AMD Bulldozer system I used it on looked at these and then chose a 3:10 ratio on a 668.9MHz base to arrive at a 2207.4MHz working speed.

So based on all that, the PC3-17000 rating is something of an undersell, as it’s probably closer to PC3-18000, all things considered.

Those wanting to pay slightly less might want to consider the orange variant (the review ones are blue), as these are marginally cheaper for CL11 timings but the same 2133MHz clock. All Ares sticks are tested as being compatible with a range of Intel P67 and Z68 motherboard, although I’m sure they’ll also work wonderfully on other Intel systems and AMD too. The only requirement is that the board supports 1.65V for these in XMP modes, and 1.5V for JEDEC timings.

Overall, these are great. The specification is top notch, the price most competitive and the heatsinks make the modules low enough to fit under the shadow of an oversized CPU cooler. What mode could you want?


Price: $105 (

Manufacture: G.Skill


Required spec: System that takes dual-channel 240-pin DDR3, ideally P67 or Z68 based

Product code: ARES F3-2133C9D-8GAB



Model Number: F3-2133C9D-8GAB

Series: Ares

System: Desktop

System Type: DDR3

Main Board: Intel

M/B Chipset: P67 / Z68

Capacity: 8GB (4GBx2)

Multi-channel Kit: Dual-channel kit

Tested Speed: DDR3-2133 MHz (PC33-17000)

Tested Latency: 9-11-10 2N

Tested Voltage: 1.65V

Registered/Unbuffered: Unbuffered

Error Checking: Non-ECC

Type: 240-pin DIMM

SPD Speed: 1600 MHz

SPD Voltage: 1.5V

Warranty: Lifetime

Fan Included: No

Features: Intel XMP (Extreme Memory Profile) Ready







Quality: 9

Value: 8

Overall: 9


Very high performance memory at a bargain price

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