Packaging & Appearance
The packaging is almost identical to the 6GB kit we reviewed previously but there are a few small differences. Thanks to the omission of one module, the packaging is smaller than that of the 6GB kit. There is also a small sticker toward the bottom of the front of the plastic blister style pack signifying that this kit is designed for the P55 chipset. Flipping the package over we see that other than the GSkill company contact information there is another sticker showing the DDR3 speed, size latency and recommended voltage.
The memory heatsinks are of the same design as before and as a wise man once said - don't fix what isn't broken. The heatsinks are almost double the height of the memory PCB which sadly has not been changed. It puzzles me why manufacturers go to all the trouble to make a very good looking heatsink then spoil it all by using 80's style green PCBs. Green matches little these days (unless of course you are a fan of DFI. Green certainly does not compliment the black and red splashed heatsink and this is an area I would like not only GSkill but other memory manufacturers to improve as soon as possible. Stick with black guys - black is the classic colour that will go with everything!
Aside from the PCB, the memory heatsink is not only aesthetically pleasing but also functional, keeping the memory ICs cool enough to ensure stable operation and protect them from damage. Personally I don't believe for one minute that having large heatsinks such as these add anything other than longevity. During testing I have run modules both with and without heatsinks and found that the heatsinks made didly squat difference when it came to overclocking. I can only assume that manufacturers are so intent on using these oversized heatsinks because more and more often, memory companies are adding lifetime warranties to their products, as is the case with GSkill.
The thick finned heatsinks are an interesting design and it appears GSKill have made every effort to make the surface area as efficient at dissipating heat as possible. As the modules are double height, careful thought should be given to the fact that they may clash with oversized heatsinks. In testing there were no such issues with our test setup but it is something worth considering if you have a large heatsink.
The rear of the module has a small stick not too dissimilar to the one on the rear of the product package, containing the main specifications of the modules, 2000MHz, CAS 9-9-9-24, 1.65v. That should be enough information to get the modules running at its top speed. P55 motherboards are limited to 1600MHz in stock form so you will need to overclock the memory controller to enable these sticks to run at there stock speed.
Let's take a look at our test setup I will be using today and see if I can push the memory overclocks past the stock setting of 2000MHz...