TEAMGROUP RIPPED EDITION DDR4-3600 CL14 Review

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We’ve covered a couple of different DDR4-3600 kits lately, and now it’s time for the third. TEAMGROUP 8Pack RIPPED EDITION DDR4-3600 14-15-15 is a high-end, high-performance kit that uses Samsung B-die and high voltage to achieve extra-tight timings. By keeping speed at DDR4-3600, this memory aims to provide maximum Ryzen 3000 and 5000 series performance without having to tweak beyond applying XMP. Maximum performance comes with a hefty price, however, and while this kit was once available for under £120 it has since climbed to an extreme £229.99 on Overclockers UK.

In this review we’ll be comparing TEAMGROUP’s kit to a field including two DDR4-3600 peers – albeit ones with a much lower price. Firstly, a Crucial Ballistix RGB 2x8GB DDR4-3600 kit, which uses Micron e-die. Secondly, an offering from SK Hynix’s in-house brand – a KLEVV CRAS X DDR4-3600 RGB kit. The KLEVV kit costs £92.49 on Amazon UK, and Crucial list the Ballistix RGB DDR4-3600 2x8GB kit for £88.79 on their store (though DRAM prices seem to be rising and this may increase).

I’ll be blunt here. I picked up this TEAMGROUP kit for £112.99 on the 8th of September 2020. I bought it out my own pocket because when I’m not writing for Play3r, I’m a competitive overclocker. Getting strong scores needs strong RAM, and back at £112.99 this kit looked ideal. It’s now priced at almost £230. Being more than twice as expensive as the other kits in this comparison is not a comfortable position when it comes to value.

TEAMGROUP RIPPED EDITION DDR4-3600 CL14 (2x8GB) Specifications & Features

Model TEAMGROUP Dark Pro RIPPED EDITION TDPPD416G3600HC14CDC01
Kit Configuration 2x8GB
SPD Speed DDR4-2400
SPD Timings 16-16-16-39
XMP Speed DDR4-3600
XMP Timings 14-15-15-35
XMP Voltage 1.45V
XMP #2 Speed n/a
XMP #2 Timings n/a
XMP #2 Voltage n/a
Cooling Aluminium Heatspreader
Special Features Addressable RGB
Memory IC 8Gbit Samsung B-die
IC Guaranteed? Yes – XMP only possible with B-die
Ranks Single Rank
PCB Layout A2
Warranty 10 Years

It’s worth noting that the product page on Overclockers UK specifies a DDR4-2133 SPD speed, however the kit we picked up runs a faster DDR4-2400 without XMP.

TEAMGROUP RIPPED EDITION DDR4-3600 CL14 (2x8GB) Closer Look

Packaging and Visual Inspection

The TEAMGROUP RIPPED EDITION DDR4-3600 CL14 (2x8GB) kit comes in a straightforward box with an 8pack sticker. There’s a picture of the modules in red and black variants, spec and SN stickers, and a QR code leading to http://www.teamgroupinc.com/. The white-on-black QR code isn’t readily picked up by all readers, and it would be nice if it led somewhere more relevant to these modules.

Inside the box we find a simple plastic clamshell containing the sticks, a case sticker, and a basic installation guide. We’ve grumbled about this before and we’ll grumble again: it would be nice if the support materials included a reminder to enable XMP. However, Team’s online FAQ does include an article that covers the subject. It’s a little hard to find, listed under “How to overclock your RAM?”, but it’s the best we’ve seen so far.

The modules themselves combine silver with glossy black, topped with a matte black bar. The resulting look is visually exciting without being over the top. The top bar can also be removed using a 1.5mm Allen key, which saves a little over 7mm of height.

Peeking under the heatspreader, we can see the memory chips arranged in two tight clusters of four chips each. This is consistent with the JEDEC-standardised “A2” PCB layout typical of modern 8GB sticks. The PCB also clearly benefits from some tweaks. Firstly, the usual combined passives along the edge have been replaced with more expensive discrete components. Secondly, accompanying each memory IC is a pair of MLCC capacitors, which should help keep the voltage level stable during relatively high-current refresh operations. There’s also text at one edge of PCB, reading “BA4U8E9 2.29 HF”.

Aesthetics

This is going to be a shorter section than normal, because there’s no RGB to evaluate. The monochrome sticks achieve a neutral look in a system build. They’re not a showpiece, but they complement an overall build well.

SPD and XMP Profiles

The Serial Presence Detect, or SPD, is a small chip on a memory module that reports the stock settings to the motherboard. This lets the motherboard know how to run the memory at stock, and also provides XMP profiles for a one-click overclock. Here, we’re looking at how the SPD is programmed.

The “JEDEC” rows are true stock speeds, named for the organisation that defines memory specifications. When the motherboard is left to set up memory on its own, it will go for the best JEDEC speed that is supported by the CPU and any other memory in the system. In this instance, that’s DDR4-2400 at 16-16-16 timings. The XMP #1 row defines settings that are technically an overclock, but which the stick is tested for. To run at XMP settings, you need to go into the bios and enable XMP.

It looks like TEAMGROUP have bought chips from Samsung that are rated for only DDR4-2400, and are doing their own testing beyond that. This is standard practice among enthusiast memory manufacturers. However, while it’s not unusual, we would rather see higher JEDEC speeds. Some sticks may also include a second XMP profile. This would be nice to have here as some older systems may find DDR4-3600 a little aggressive, though the latest platforms should all be totally fine.

All the grumbles so far are standard, but we do have one that’s specific to TEAMGROUP. The XMP profile includes an unusually loose tRRD_S of 9. If the motherboard respected the XMP profile then this would slow down some workloads, especially AVX. There is a benefit to this – putting the brakes on AVX can make high CPU overclocks run cooler. However, especially for a kit priced as top-end, it would be better for it to focus on performance.

Performance – Test Setup

Since our first DDR4 review, we’ve tweaked the test setup a little. Firstly, it’s in a case now. This helps us evaluate the aesthetics in a more typical setup, as well as frankly saving some space compared to the open test bench. We’ve also updated the BIOS on our X570 Taichi to version 3.80. We have a new PSU, to free up our EVGA G3. Finally, the untimely passing of our RTX 3070 means we’re now on an RX 6800. Because of the changes, all our benchmarks have been rerun. We’ve also dropped CS:GO, which isn’t really memory sensitive on Zen 3, in favour of F1 2019 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

CPU Ryzen 9 5950X @ 4GHz 1.1V
Motherboard ASRock X570 Taichi (BIOS 3.80)
Cooler Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280
Power Supply Seasonic Core Gold GC-650 650W
GPU AMD RX 6800
Storage Adata XPG SX8200 Pro 256GB
Case Fractal Design Meshify C TG
Performance – Overclocking

We’ve updated our overclocking methodology to be a bit more in-depth, with the aim of being consistent for reviews going forwards. All the overclocked results you’ll see follow this new methodology.

First, we lock in the tRC specified in the XMP profile, which is usually tighter than what our X570 Taichi sets on its own. Second, we set tRRD_S 4, tRRD_L 6 and tFAW 20 – if needed we could loosen these, but it hasn’t been needed yet. Third, we push to DDR4-3733 with a synced (1866MHz) FCLK and UCLK – loosening any timings that need loosening to get there. We also try to run 1T with geardown mode off if we can without extra tweaking. Finally, we tighten up the main primary timings – tCL, tRCDRD, tRCDWR and tRP. This isn’t a comprehensive overclock, but comprehensive overclocks take a lot longer.

This kit comes rated for 1.4-1.5V, and overclockers often run the Samsung b-die ICs at extreme voltages without issues. As such, we’re comfortable pushing memory voltage to 1.5V for a 24/7 overclock. If anything this is conservative for the memory, but we don’t know where the limit for the 5950X is.

Samsung b-die is well known for being the only common DDR4 IC where tRCDRD scales with voltage. As a result, we have that timing stable at 13 where normally it would be 18 or higher.  These are good OC results, and the only weakness is that we couldn’t run geardown mode off without further tweaking.

Performance – AIDA64

Produced by FinalWire Ltd, AIDA64 is a system information and diagnostic suite with an extremely wide range of features. Memory enthusiasts are particularly drawn to the synthetic cache and memory benchmark. AIDA64 latency is a common point of comparison for those looking to get the absolute most out of their systems.

At XMP, the TEAMGROUP RIPPED EDITION wins narrowly. Overclocked, however, the Ballistix actually wins in write and copy tests. It’s worth remembering that, at time of writing, there’s a colossal price disparity. A narrow win at XMP may not be worth over £100 to you.

AIDA64 scores wouldn’t be complete without the screenshots people love to use to compare results – here are all three, for JEDEC, XMP and our manual overclock.

Performance – Geekbench3

Geekbench3 is a cross-platform synthetic benchmark, made by Primate Labs. Like AIDA64, this is a synthetic task. Geekbench3 is heavily weighted towards the artificial memory bandwidth test.

Much like AIDA64, Geekbench3 shows a narrow win at XMP with blows traded overclocked.

Performance – y-cruncher

A “high school project that went too far”, y-cruncher is a highly optimised constant calculator. Written by Alexander J. Yee, the program can compute pi and other mathematical constants to trillions of decimal places. Because the Ryzen 9 5950X is so strong, y-cruncher is extraordinarily memory sensitive on our test system. We’re benchmarking the time to calculate 1 billion digits of pi.

Another close win at XMP, another close second when overclocked.

Performance – OpenShot

OpenShot is a free, open-source video editor ideal for content creators on a budget. We’re taking a 1080p 50fps source, and exporting a short video with basic transitions at 720p 30fps. The rendering speed, in frames per second, is a way to measure real-world performance in a demanding application.

OpenShot is a little more variable than our other benchmarks. Functionally the Crucial Ballistix, KLEVV CRAS X and TEAMGROUP RIPPED DDR4-3600 kits are all close enough at XMP to be just about equivalent.

Performance – F1 2019

F1 2019 is a well optimised DirectX 12 game that runs well even on an Athlon 3000G, and has a built-in benchmark. Since the GPU side is so well optimised, our high-end setup is memory sensitive even at 1080p Ultra High settings.

It seems like F1 2019 might bump into a bottleneck elsewhere around 280 FPS in our setup, with the 1080p Ultra High settings we’re using. This adds a dash of realism to the review and shows that cheaper kits are plenty fast enough here at XMP, never mind with a manual overclock.

Performance – Shadow of the Tomb Raider

More than just a showcase for Nvidia RTX, Shadow of the Tomb Raider has become popular among memory enthusiasts since it shows off the benefits of overclocked RAM. We ran the built-in benchmark at both 800×600 Lowest, which is entirely CPU/memory bound, and 1080p Medium for a more realistic test.

The more realistic 1080p settings show another outright draw, as long as you remember to enable XMP. 600p Lowest is more sensitive and favours the more expensive TEAMGROUP RIPPED EDITION kit at XMP, but overclocking hands Crucial another win.

TEAMGROUP RIPPED EDITION DDR4-3600 CL14 (2x8GB) Review: The Verdict

We can’t recommend against this kit just because the Crucial Ballistix sample we tested performs better overclocked. The nature of overclocking is that samples vary. However, even at XMP the results were very close.

When evaluating a significant price difference, it can be worth considering the price of an entire system. Looking at SOTR on 600p lowest, the TEAMGROUP RIPPED EDITION DDR4-3600 CL14 (2x8GB) kit is 4% faster at XMP than the Crucial Ballistix DDR4-3600 (2x8GB) kit. Memory prices are in flux at the moment, but to justify £100 for 4% the whole system cost would have to be £2500. If Crucial restock at £88.79, and the TEAMGROUP RIPPED EDITION stays at £229.99, the price difference would be over £140. In that case, it would take a £3500 system to justify the price.

The point is, this is a very very expensive kit now and it’s probably not worth the money. If you’re really splashing out on a premium system, maybe it’s worth the money. If the market changes (more), maybe the price gap will close again. But right now, it’s probably not worth it.

What’s hot:

  • Top tier XMP performance
  • Guaranteed b-die
  • Looks good
  • No RGB

What’s not:

  • Extremely expensive at time of writing
  • Little performance lead over significantly cheaper kits
  • No RGB

So, after harping endlessly on this kit for being frankly way too expensive, what of awards? Well, it does still make sense for “performance at any cost”. Play3r have a variety of awards to signify products worth buying. One of these is the platinum award for products that are “a Ferrari in a car park full of Ford Fiestas”. This is an award where cost is explicitly no object. And really, cost is our only significant objection with this kit. As such, the TEAMGROUP RIPPED EDITION DDR4-3600 CL14 (2x8GB) kit earns the Play3r platinum award.

Platinum Award

This kit was purchased independently, so we don’t have to thank anyone for providing a sample. If you found the review helpful, feel free to leave a comment below or on the Play3r Facebook page.

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