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Geil Super Luce DDR4-3400 16GB Quad-Channel Kit Review

Geil wants to bring us the best of everything, from looks to speed to timings, all in a single package. Can it succeed where other “deluxe” modules have failed?

Test Results

All of the configuration problems mentioned on the previous page compel us to find a third Haswell-E sample just to test this memory. Geil relies on MSI and Gigabyte “cheating” with their voltage levels in order to reach a setting that’s unstable on two of our three CPUs. Ragged edge? Probably.

Getting back to the Asus board, we see that Geil’s Super Luce continues to provide moderately tight timings at lower data rates, matching the best setting of two DDR4-3000 competitors. But what about clock speed?

Because the Asus X99-Pro automatically loosens timings at higher data rates, clocking down from DDR4-3333 got us a higher ultimate data rate than clocking up from DDR4-3000. You’ll quickly notice that this is still only DDR4-3231 on a DDR4-3400 set, and it’s on the “wrong” board, but there’s other news from the MSI X99S XPower AC: even though the RAM was bootable at DDR4-3400, it couldn’t survive our Prime95 stress test at that frequency. In fact, it had to be clocked all the way down to DDR4-3227 before the errors could be eliminated. Maybe Prime95 is too stressful?

That means we had to either forgo “specified data rate” tests on the Super Luce DDR4-3400, or use the MSI motherboard to test it. And, to produce a matching CPU clock, we even had to set it to DDR4-3333. Furthermore, since MSI’s memory performance is slightly lower than Asus’, the “rated timing” performance we report will smell worse than a three-day-old pike.

For example, the DDR4-3000-optimized values look similar for all four memory kits, at 52GB/s when installed on the Asus X99 Pro. Not shown is that the same settings produced only 49.2GB/s on the X99S XPower AC. Thus, the “50GB/s” shown for DDR4-3333 should have been at least 52.2 GB/s. Such is the sacrifice of using a different board to gather those numbers.

If we ignore the “wrong board, wrong speed” XMP-based performance for the Super Luce, we see that apples-to-apples comparisons produce a lot of apples. In other words, performance levels are a dead heat in Sandra's Memory latency benchmark.

More apples, and we're still waiting for a pie. G.Skill’s tighter timings give it a slight advantage in Grid 2, while the loose timings that helped MSI’s motherboard boot with Geil’s Super Luce DDR4-3400 also hold it back in this game. We verified the motherboard problem by testing all four settings and producing results ranging from 200 to 210 FPS.

Just when we were beginning to think 3ds Max wouldn’t show a difference between various memory configurations, we suddenly find one shortfall. Unfortunately, that shortfall was accompanied by a change in motherboard, which was necessary to get the memory running less-than-stably near its rated speed.

The motherboard problem also appears in WinRAR. Apples to oranges you say? Well, this is what happens when you go to the market to buy an apple and all it has for sale is oranges.

  • jossrik
    DDR4 sounds like a lot of trouble to me, I really hope they get all of this settled when it hits mainstream motherboards and CPUs. It may just be me, but it seems like a lot of work for memory and not a lot of payoff. It doesn't even sound fun to play with if you don't have a stable place to start from. I can justify the extra money on the processor for a 6 core with hyperthreading, compared to the 4790K, I can even justify the extra money on the board. But the premium on memory right now just seems like a bad deal. Even the inexpensive DDR4 memory seems way too pricey at this point. I know, prices will come down as it becomes more mainstream. I know, slower memory is more stable right now. It's just that the rest of the stuff is high end, and the high end memory doesn't seem to be able to keep it's hands clean.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    15887032 said:
    DDR4 sounds like a lot of trouble to me, I really hope they get all of this settled when it hits mainstream motherboards and CPUs. It may just be me, but it seems like a lot of work for memory and not a lot of payoff. It doesn't even sound fun to play with if you don't have a stable place to start from. I can justify the extra money on the processor for a 6 core with hyperthreading, compared to the 4790K, I can even justify the extra money on the board. But the premium on memory right now just seems like a bad deal. Even the inexpensive DDR4 memory seems way too pricey at this point. I know, prices will come down as it becomes more mainstream. I know, slower memory is more stable right now. It's just that the rest of the stuff is high end, and the high end memory doesn't seem to be able to keep it's hands clean.
    What's with all the gloom? I see a $50 price premium on 16GB kits, which is big, but if you already paid $50 more for the board it's probably not a deal breaker. And there are lots of kits that work correctly out of the box, all the way up to DDR4-2666. Add DDR4-3000 if you don't care about the 125 MHz BCLK change and all the CPU changes that go with it (you probably do care about those things, though), so still 2666.

    And all major motherboard manufacturers are now optimizing for DDR4-3200 at stock BCLK, so it won't be long before you'll be able to select from 2400, 2666, and 3200 kits that operate normally out of the box. Heck, that's probably possible already, we just haven't received the right 3200 kits yet.

    I've no clue why companies are optimizing for 2666 and 3200 but not the middle step, 2933. For some strange reason 10x and 12x multiplier appear to work better than 11x, but I'm not sure if it's a firmware or hardware limit.

    So, 2133/2400/2666 for now, no configuration ills, and the dollar difference is small enough to be just a nuisance on such an expensive platform.

    Reply
  • jossrik
    15887164 said:
    15887032 said:
    DDR4 sounds like a lot of trouble to me, I really hope they get all of this settled when it hits mainstream motherboards and CPUs. It may just be me, but it seems like a lot of work for memory and not a lot of payoff. It doesn't even sound fun to play with if you don't have a stable place to start from. I can justify the extra money on the processor for a 6 core with hyperthreading, compared to the 4790K, I can even justify the extra money on the board. But the premium on memory right now just seems like a bad deal. Even the inexpensive DDR4 memory seems way too pricey at this point. I know, prices will come down as it becomes more mainstream. I know, slower memory is more stable right now. It's just that the rest of the stuff is high end, and the high end memory doesn't seem to be able to keep it's hands clean.
    What's with all the gloom? I see a $50 price premium on 16GB kits, which is big, but if you already paid $50 more for the board it's probably not a deal breaker. And there are lots of kits that work correctly out of the box, all the way up to DDR4-2666. Add DDR4-3000 if you don't care about the 125 MHz BCLK change and all the CPU changes that go with it (you probably do care about those things, though), so still 2666.

    And all major motherboard manufacturers are now optimizing for DDR4-3200 at stock BCLK, so it won't be long before you'll be able to select from 2400, 2666, and 3200 kits that operate normally out of the box. Heck, that's probably possible already, we just haven't gotten the right 3200 kits yet.

    Yeah, there is that. I was looking at them a couple days ago, I think it's just the recent reviews here on Toms. It seems like they're all looking at high end stuff and forgetting that even the fastest RAM doesn't make that much of a difference when it comes down to frames. As far as the premium, I was looking at the 4790K, which is like around 340$ give or take, (I don't have a microcenter anywhere near here), and the 5820K, which is around 380$, if you're all ready in for 340, that extra 40$ isn't so bad. Same with the motherboards, if you're all ready in the high end boards you're looking at 200 - 300 for either 1150 or 2011-v3. Either way you go the price difference isn't that bad percentage wise. You can get 16Gb of pretty decently fast DDR3 for around 100$, and the cheapest DDR4 runs around 150$ for 16Gbs. Ya, it's the same 50$, but being that it's so much cheaper for the DDR3 it seems like it's a bigger deal. You're right though, the future for DDR4 is bright. (forgot my happy meds toNight.) Looking forward to when it becomes mainstream and we can get 32Gbs of maybe 3800 for a decent price. It'll be a few years. I'm still mad I bought my 3Tb HDD for 85$ three years ago, went to get a new one cause I don't trust them much longer than that, and they're still 100$. I'm seriously considering getting an external and just taking the drive out and putting that into my computer. :)
    Reply
  • Crashman
    15887195 said:
    I think it's just the recent reviews here on Toms. It seems like they're all looking at high end stuff and forgetting that even the fastest RAM doesn't make that much of a difference when it comes down to frames.
    In DRAM, we generally try to find the best value in enthusiast parts, plus the best parts, and push back against the best parts by talking about the best-value enthusiast parts. The middle market hasn't opened up much yet, though. The G.Skill DDR4-3000's used as a reference are probably the closest thing to "enthusiast mainstream" at this point, but maybe we'll see a $250 3200 kit in the near future? We can always keep our fingers crossed.

    Since 12x appears to be the highest completely stable multiplier for this platform, we'll probably see a platform update before the mid-market exceeds DDR4-3200.

    Reply
  • uglyduckling81
    Is RAM actually holding us back though? I want to see a comparison of DDR3 RAM vs 4.
    I'm all for increasing speeds across the board but is RAM an issue at all right now?
    Reply
  • Aspiring techie
    On the test results chart comparing the different timings, you made a typo. It should be DDR4, not DDR$. :)
    Reply
  • milkod2001
    Is RAM actually holding us back though? I want to see a comparison of DDR3 RAM vs 4.
    I'm all for increasing speeds across the board but is RAM an issue at all right now?

    ddr4 is basically currently quite overpriced ddr3 with improved voltage from (1.5 to 1.2 ) which transfer into lower power consumption while in performance making zero difference.

    ddr4 makes a sense in portable devices where power consumption matters a lot or in large server farms where it could save $$$ over time. Other than that it is quite unimpressive :(
    Reply
  • Sabishii Hito
    I tried a couple of these kits a few weeks back, they had terrible compatibility with Asus X99 boards. Even on the Rampage V Extreme, setting XMP resulted in no boot. I don't think I ever got 3400 running even on manual settings like using 125 strap and the 3333 divider, clocked up to 3400. Then again these sticks are Samsung-based, which have less compatibility in my experience than Hynix-based kits. For instance, G.Skill Ripjaws 4 3300 16-16-16 can run no issues at 3400 on my setup.
    Reply
  • joex444
    So GEIL updated and basically said that they're continuing to cheat, even harder.
    Reply
  • Sabishii Hito
    Not surprised with Geil dropping the MSI Xpower support. to date the only board that passes validation with DDR4-3400 kits is the Gigabyte X99 SOC Champion due to having only 4 DIMM slots and shorter traces to the CPU socket, along with having the extra CPU pins.
    Reply