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G.Skill RipJaws-Z 16GB review

Intel X79-compatible memory kit boasting a whopping 16GB of RAM

Our Verdict

A well executed quad-channel kit. We're just not sure you need quad-channel on the desktop.


  • Impeccable stability in testing
  • Supports XMP 1.3


  • You don't actually need four channels
  • 16GB of RAM is unnecessary

Is Intel's new X79 PC platform a true desktop solution? Or is it a thinly disguised server platform? The answer to that question could be critical when mulling over the latest X79-compatible memory kits, such as the new G.Skill Ripjaws-Z 1,600MHz 16GB RAM.

There are two key issues at stake. The first is raw memory bandwidth. In standard trim, Intel's outgoing X58 platform sported three channels of relatively lowly clocked DDR3 memory.

If anything, it still pumped out more memory bandwidth than was strictly necessary.

In that context, the X79 and its quad-channel controller fed by higher clocked DDR3 DIMMs looks borderline ludicrous.

The reason it exists, of course, is to ensure Intel's closely related server systems have the bandwidth they need.

Meanwhile, arguably the best thing about the new Sandy Bridge E processors that slot into the X79 platform is their immense oveclockability. Making the most of that requires decent memory.

With all that in mind, what should you make of the G.Skill Ripjaws Z series 1,600MHz 16GB kit?