In recent years, although the performance of processors and graphics cards has been continuously improved, their heat generation and power consumption have not been significantly reduced, so many high-end computers have used water-cooled radiators to dissipate heat from processors and graphics cards. What is surprising is that this water-cooled air has now “spread” to other products, and many memory products with water-cooled radiators have recently been released. We know that memory is just a volatile memory, and there is no too complex computing unit in it, so memory is generally only equipped with a heat sink, and even in the form of “bare strips” (that is, without any auxiliary heat dissipation measures, particles are directly exposed), so is it necessary to use a water-cooled radiator for memory? What kind of experience will it bring? Let’s get the answer through the actual combat experience of Tt WaterRam RGB water-cooled memory.
Memory capacity: 8GB×2
Memory warranty time: Lifetime warranty
Water block warranty time: two years
Reference price: 2999 yuan
Tt WaterRam RGB water-cooled memory resolution
Players familiar with DIY know that Thermaltake, which we often call Tt, is a well-known peripheral manufacturer, among which heat dissipation products are the most well-known, so it seems reasonable for Tt to launch water-cooled memory. The water-cooled memory released by TT is the WaterRam RGB series, also known as water-cooled RGB memory, which is currently mainly composed of DDR4 3600 32GB set, DDR4 3200 16GB set, DDR4 3200 32GB set three products, we tested the lowest positioning DDR4 3200 16GB product this time.
Although it has the lowest positioning in water-cooled memory, from the perspective of packaging to accessories, this memory is also much more complex than ordinary memory. When you open the package, the first impression is that there seem to be four pieces of memory equipped with heatsinks inside, but in fact, only two of them are real memory, and the other two are additional heatsinks provided by Tt, which users can use to assemble other “bare strips” or spares. The heat sink equipped with this memory is made of aluminum alloy with a thickness of 2mm, which can effectively improve the heat dissipation effect.
▲In addition to the two pairs of memory that have been installed, TT also provides two sets of heat sinks that can install other “bare strips”, which are equipped with professional thermal conductive silicone connected to the heat sink.
In particular, unlike ordinary memory with double-sided adhesive pasted heat sink, WaterRam RGB memory particles are connected to the heat sink through professional thermal conductive silicone, which can not only improve the heat dissipation effect of memory, but also strengthen the adhesion between the heat sink and memory particles, so that they can withstand the pressure from the water block, and there will be no displacement or gaps after long-term use.
Equipped with a water block is naturally the biggest difference between this memory and ordinary memory, WaterRam RGB memory provides a large water block. The bottom of the water block is made of pure copper, with high-strength anti-corrosion nickel plating treatment, the bottom polished design, plus PMMA upper cover, can effectively prevent oxidation, anti-corrosion, and achieve efficient heat transfer. To use it, the user needs to use screws to install the water block on top of the memory. There are two main ways to dissipate heat from WaterRam RGB series memory, one is to exchange part of the heat on the memory heat sink with the surrounding cold air, and the other important way is to use the principle of heat upward propagation to absorb the heat conducted by the memory through the coolant in the water block at the top of the memory and quickly take it away.
▲The water block is designed with two G 1/4 thread joints, one is responsible for water inlet and one is responsible for water outlet. The bottom is made of pure copper, with high-strength anti-corrosion nickel plating treatment, polished design.
The whole water block is connected internally, the coolant can circulate completely freely inside, and the water block is designed with two G 1/4 threaded fittings, one responsible for water inlet and one responsible for water outlet, with high compatibility. In addition to the excellent heat dissipation design, this memory water block also has gorgeous lighting effects, built-in several programmable RGB LEDs, can display 16.8 million colors, its lighting effects can be controlled by TT RGB PLUS software, but also supported by Asus AURA SYNC, GIGABYTE RGB FUSION, MSI Mystic Light Sync, ASRock Polychrome and other light effect software, and can be combined with motherboards, heatsinks, memory, etc. that support these lighting effect technologies. Peripheral accessories such as graphics cards emit light synchronously.
▲This memory water block also has gorgeous lighting effects, built-in several programmable RGB LEDs, can display 16.8 million colors, and supports ASUS, Gigabyte, ASRock, MSI and other light effect synchronization software.
In terms of pellets, the WaterRam RGB DDR4 3200 16GB kit we tested features a single-sided 8-grain design with a genuine C-die pellet from SK Hynix. Its latency setting is low, only 16-18-18-38 at DDR4 3200. It should be noted that to work under DDR4 3200, you need to use Z-series or X-series motherboards that support Intel XMP technology and AMD motherboards that support AMD D.O.C.P Memory One-Click Overclocking Technology.
Similar to other high-end water-cooled hardware, the use of water-cooled memory also requires an external water-cooled cooling system, and in this test we used the Tt T1000 purple coolant with Bitspower integrated water-cooled radiator solution. The cooling system uses a cold radiator manufactured by Philippine Black Ice, with a DC pump with a maximum flow rate of 8±15% L/min and a maximum head of 4±1m, two 12cm light-emitting fans, and a water outlet and a water inlet hose. This system is as convenient to use as the common integrated water cooling, the user only needs to connect the hose to the water outlet and water inlet corresponding to the water block, and then fill the coolant from the water tank, connect the power supply and use.
In the test, the memory was used with the Bitspower integrated water-cooled radiator.
It should be noted that when filling the water coolant, you need to pour some water cooling liquid into the water tank first, until the water level of the tank is almost full before turning on, at this time the water flow will gradually discharge the air in the system, and ensure that the coolant in the tank is driven into the circuit. After that, the user needs to shut down the machine and continue to pour the water cooling liquid until the water level of the water tank is full again, and the entire water cooling system can be used normally.
In this test, we used T1000 purple coolant from Tt (Thermaltake).
The state of the memory connection to the water-cooled heatsink
The temperature difference is significant, and the heat dissipation performance of water-cooled memory is outstanding
Test platforms at a glance
MOTHERBOARD: ROG MAXIMUS XI EXTREME
Processor: Core i9-9900KS
Memory: WaterRam RGB DDR4 3200 16GB Set (8GB×2)
Hard drive: Intel Optane 900P
Graphics: GeForce RTX 2080 Super
Power supply: ROG THOR 1200W
Next, we tested the memory heat generation that everyone is most concerned about, first we tested the temperature of the WaterRam RGB DDR4 3200 16GB package when the DDR4 3200 was fully loaded for a long time while relying only on the heatsink. We tested it using the Memory Oven feature of the AIDA64 for half an hour. The test shows that after half an hour of full load work, the temperature of the memory surface is actually not high, the maximum temperature is only 44.8 °C, the average temperature is about 40 °C, which is relatively low in the memory using the heat sink.
▲Only use the heat sink to run under DDR4 3200 for half an hour under full load, the maximum temperature of the memory surface is 44.8 °C, and the average temperature is about 40 °C.
Surprisingly, after installing a water block for the WaterRam RGB DDR4 3200 16GB package and connecting the Bitspower integrated water-cooled radiator to turn on the water cooling heat dissipation, the temperature of the memory surface was greatly reduced – after half an hour of bake testing with the same software in the same environment, the maximum temperature of the memory surface was greatly reduced to only 28.1 °C, and the average temperature of the memory area was only 24.1 °C.
▲ The connected water-cooled radiator runs under full load for half an hour under DDR4 3200, and the maximum temperature of the memory surface is greatly reduced to only 28.1 °C, and the average temperature of the memory area is only 24.1 °C.
Obviously, the thermal conduction path and heat dissipation principle designed by TT for WaterRam RGB memory are indeed reliable and efficient, and the heat sink, water block, and Bitspower integrated water-cooled radiator that comes with WaterRam RGB memory also have good performance and have high heat dissipation efficiency.
It can work stably under DDR4 3600
Overclocked up to DDR4 4000
In terms of performance, the WaterRam RGB DDR4 3200 16GB package performs normally under the DDR4 3200. Its AIDA64 memory read and write bandwidth exceeded 45,000MB/s, respectively, and the memory latency was low, and the memory latency test score of AIDA64 was less than 50ns. In the SiSoftware Sandra memory bandwidth test, its memory bandwidth test score is also close to 30GB/s, and the PerformanceTest 10.0 memory performance test score is close to 4000 points.
Under the DDR4 3600, the memory can pass the AIDA64 memory bake test with a time of half an hour.
We also found that the WaterRam RGB DDR4 3200 16GB set has good overclocking capabilities, and with a 1.35V voltage and 16-18-18-38@2T delay setting, this memory can be stably overclocked to the DDR4 3600 and passed the half-hour AIDA64 Memory memory bake test. When the memory is fully loaded with DDR4 3600 roaster, with the help of water cooling and heat dissipation, the working temperature of the memory is not high, the maximum surface temperature of the memory is only 29.2 °C, and the average temperature of the memory area is only 25.6 °C, which is only 1.5 °C higher than the average temperature of the memory under DDR4 3200, so users can use the memory with confidence under DDR4 3600.
▲ The connected water-cooled radiator runs under full load for half an hour under DDR4 3600, and the maximum temperature of the memory surface only rises slightly to 29.2 °C, and the average temperature of the memory area is only 25.6 °C.
After overclocking to DDR4 3600, the performance of the memory has been comprehensively improved – the read and write bandwidth of AIDA64 memory has exceeded 50,000MB/s, an increase of 10%~11.3%, and the memory latency has been shortened to only 45.4ns. At the same time, the memory bandwidth of SiSoftware Sandra also exceeded 32GB/s, the memory performance of PerformanceTest 10.0 reached 4055 points, and the memory-dependent WinRAR compression performance also increased simultaneously.
▲With the blessing of water cooling, WaterRam RGB DDR4 3200 can be overclocked to DDR4 4000 at 1.35V memory voltage to complete the performance test, but it cannot pass the oven test.
It is worth mentioning that if the memory delay is relaxed to 19-23-23-42@2T, we can also overclock the memory frequency to DDR4 4000 and complete all performance tests while still using the 1.35V memory voltage setting. After overclocking, the transmission bandwidth of the memory has been slightly improved, for example, the AIDA64 memory write bandwidth has increased from 51104MB/s under DDR4 3600 to 54867MB/s, an increase of 7.3%. The AIDA64 memory copy bandwidth increased from 45072MB/s to 47053MB/s, an increase of 4.3%. However, because we relaxed the latency setting for memory, the overall latency of the memory after overclocking to the DDR4 4000 increased, and in some performance tests it did not perform as well as the DDR4 3600.
Adding water cooling equipment to memory is very effective, the ultimate fever memory weapon
It is not difficult to see from the above actual tests that although the importance and complexity of memory are not as good as that of CPU and GPU, the use of water-cooled radiators for this product also has outstanding effects – under the same environment and settings, the working temperature of the memory can be reduced by more than 15 °C, greatly improving the heat dissipation effect of the memory, effectively reducing the heat generation of the memory, improving the working life of the memory, and overclocking performance. Of course, the use of water-cooled radiators for memory will not only increase the cost of user use, but also increase the difficulty of water-cooled pipe wiring and design in the chassis, especially when CPU, graphics card, motherboard, and memory all use water-cooled heat dissipation.
Therefore, we believe that the most valuable applications for using water-cooled heatsinks for memory are in those expensive, “big” enthusiast computers. In these computers, gamers tend to use high-voltage (such as DDR4 memory, preset to use 1.4V or higher memory), DDR4 4000 frequency or higher memory, that is, those carefully selected audiophile memory with all particles on the memory have strong overclocking ability.
The WaterRam RGB DDR4 3200 16GB set we tested this time is obviously slightly lower in frequency, and there is no obvious advantage over ordinary memory in terms of final performance, so we expect Tt to strengthen cooperation with memory particle manufacturers to bring players super memory with both heat dissipation and performance, and let the water-cooled cooler provide more valuable “services” for memory.