Tom's Hardware Verdict
We’re split over whether a $4 price difference is enough to justify buying the slowest DDR4-3200 kit we’ve tested in recent memory, but those performance losses are typically small enough that we wouldn’t criticize those who do.
Lowest-cost enthusiast-oriented DDR4-3200
Slightly lower performance than other low-cost “enthusiast” kits
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Taiwan-based GeIL has been bringing value to the enthusiast PC market for nearly two decades, so we probably shouldn’t have been surprised when the latest kit the company sent wasn’t its best-rated parts, but instead their best-value contender. We’re talking specifically about a 16GB DDR4-3200 2x 8GB kit that costs only $68 even after recent price hikes. And did we mention AMD? Yeh, that’s a Ryzen emblem on the heat spreader.
The Evo Spear Phantom Gaming p/n GASF416GB3200C16ADC kit includes two modules and nothing else. No instructions, no stickers, nothing extra for you to throw away -- except of course for the clear plastic clamshell that keeps the modules separated.
Ordinary 16-18-18-36 timings at the kits DDR4-3200 XMP won’t grab your attention, as that’s the cost of a relatively low price for admission into the DDR4-3200 club. It may be above the computing mainstream, but for enthusiast builders, this is as mainstream as a kit gets. You’ll still need an XMP-compatible motherboard to reach those settings via one-click configuration though, since the highest non-XMP setting is a mere DDR4-2133 C15. And if any of that doesn’t make sense to you just yet, a quick look at our PC Memory 101 should help.
|Geil Evo Spear Phantom Gaming||OLOy Owl||TeamGroup T-Force Dark-Z||Geil EVO X II|
|Capacity||16 GB (2x 8GB)||16 GB (2x 8GB)||16 GB (2x 8GB)||16 GB (2x 8GB)|
|Data Rate||DDR4-3200 (XMP)||DDR4-3200 (XMP)||DDR4-3600 (XMP)||DDR4-3600 (XMP)|
|Primary Timings||16-18-18-36 (2T)||16-18-18-36 (2T)||18-22-22-42 (2T)||18-20-20-40 (2T)|
|Voltage||1.35 Volts||1.35 Volts||1.35 Volts||1.35 Volts|
We’re comparing the Evo Spear Phantom Gaming to the cheapest competing kits we’ve tested over the past six months. That two of those are DDR4-3600 might make this appear an unfair competition, but our final score is going to be all about the performance-per-dollar. Clocked to a 4.20 GHz fixed frequency, AMD’s fast Ryzen 7 3700X feeds data through MSI’s memory-mastering MEG X570 Ace from Toshiba’s OCZ RD400 SSD in our test rig, while Gigabyte’s GeForce RTX 2070 Gaming OC 8G pushes the pixels.
Overclocking and Latency Tuning
GeIL’s Evo Spear Phantom Gaming is the worst-overclocking kit in recent memory, but we shouldn’t be surprised since it’s also the cheapest. A few dollars more could have gotten us to DDR4-4000, but most memory-overclocking AMD fans are better off sticking with DDR4-3600.
Lowest Stable Timings at 1.35V (Max) on MEG X570 ACE (BIOS 1.20)
|Geil Evo Spear Phantom Gaming||OLOy Owl||T-Force Dark-Z (DDR4-3600)||Geil EVO X II (DDR4-3600)|
|DDR4-4266||✗||✗||20-21-21-42 (2T)||19-19-19-38 (1T)|
|DDR4-3600||17-20-20-40 (2T)||16-19-19-38 (2T)||16-18-18-36 (2T)||16-17-17-34 (1T)|
|DDR4-2933||14-16-16-32 (1T)||13-16-16-32 (1T)||13-15-15-30 (1T)||13-14-14-28 (1T)|
Speaking of overclocking to DDR4-3600, the timings we needed to get the Evo Spear Platinum Gaming DDR4-3200 stable at that O/C were poor as well, but at least it did get there. This is the cheapest of our kits, after all.
By SiSoftware’s Sandra, Evo Spear Phantom Gaming is slower than the OLOy Owl even at the same 16-18-18-36 XMP value. That probably has something to do with its advanced timing configuration, which can take memory tweakers weeks rather than hours to manually optimize to best stable values.
Evo Spear Phantom Gaming also falls behind in both test games by a few frames-per-second.
The Evo Spear Platinum takes its hardest hit in 7-Zip, where 22 seconds on an eight-minute encode could be noticed, depending on what you’re doing while waiting for it to finish.
GeIL’s Evo Spear Phantom Gaming may not win any performance awards, but it was the cheapest kit in our comparison. Stingy buyers should be particularly proud of its value advantage over the second-cheapest kit, OLOy’s Owl.
Most users don’t overclock their memory manually, but instead buy something rated at the settings they want, and that makes XMP value scores primary even though XMP is an overclocking technology. A savings of $4 gets Evo Spear Phantom Gaming buyers a 4% value advantage over the second cheapest kit in this round, in a product with high-enough quality that we wouldn’t question your purchasing decision. Just note that if you’re willing to spend even a little more, you can get improved performance.
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