I love surprises and this RAM kit is one such example ! For a long time I couldn’t see anything prettier past the Trident Zs from G.Skill. But this creation from Team Group, with their gaming branded T-Force series of Night Hawks RGB RAM this is just pure reinvented sexiness. They have been out for a while but still they deserve another look especially knowing how much interesting stuff the company is releasing lately, like the watercooled Cardea M.2 NVMe drives.
First about, Team Group
TeamGroup Inc. was founded in 1997 in Taiwan. TEAMGROUP Inc. possesses professional research and development capabilities, high quality products, rapid productivity, a tightly-knit global sales network and complete customer services. TEAMGROUP mainly produces its own brand of memory modules, memory cards, USB flash drives, solid state disks, peripheral series, mobile accessories and industrial applications. Gaming competitions have drawn worldwide attention in the recent years, so TEAMGROUP integrated its gaming memory modules into “T-FORCE” product line which is specifically designed for people who pursuit extreme high speed and excellent performance.
Prices and Availability
As of the time of writing, the trend of RAM prices going down is still valid, thus you can grab a kit for 16 GB at 3000 MHz for just $96.99 from Amazon.com. They even do a white heatspreader variant if you are looking for something like that.
Presentation and Specification
*Courtesy of their website.*
Creative concepts of NIGHT HAWK RGB
Inspired by new creative concepts, TEAMGROUP created the NIGHT HAWK RGB luminous memory module with heat spreaders in black and white colors. Whether it is the mysterious black night hawk or the pure white night hawk, no matter in the dark or under the light, they are both kings at pursuing top speed. Their hawkeyes glitter sharply with colorful lights go-above and beyond anyone else.
NIGHT HAWK RGB is using the latest JEDEC RC 2.0 PCB. Compared to other manufacturers , the transmitting signal of PCB is increased by 35%. Since the distance between the power layer and the signal layer has increased, there will be no interference between the power and the signal, also has a better efficiency and performance. It offers players the ultimate sensation of overclocking and a highly stable memory module.
As for specs, we have:
* DDR4 RGB full-color lighting effects
* Using JEDEC Association latest RC 2.0 circuit configuration
* Supports T-FORCE BLITZ control
* Supports ASUS Aura Sync
* Exclusive hawkeyes with battle totem design
* 1.2~1.4V ultra low working voltage with 40% energy saving
* Model: TF1D416G3000HC16CDC01
* Dimensions: 53(H) x 147(L) x 9(W)mm
* Speed Rating: DDR4-3000 (PC4-24000)
* Rated Timings: 16-18-18-38-2t
* Tested Capacity: 16 GB (8 GB x2)
* Tested Voltage: 1.35 V
* PCB Type: 10 layer
* Error Checking: Non-ECC
* Form Factor: 288-pin UDIMM
* Warranty: Global Limited Lifetime
Basically, they have kits up to 4000 MHz (only on 8 GB per stick) with latency option of CL18-20-20-44 (for the 3600 & 4000 MHz kits) or CL16-18-18-38 (everything else). To point out that TEAMGROUP also offers their own app version for controlling the light effects called T-Force Blitz (download here) but it is in BETA status for now. Still, they have full RGB software support from all of the main motherboard vendors.
Visual Inspection and Installation
The packaging is very cool and in tune with the overall RAM design. An all black background surrounds the product depicted in the middle of the box. We also notice the mention of many respectable awards.
On the back we learn more about the general specs and RGB compatible software.
The memory modules are secured in this plastic clam shell tray.
Like I said in the intro, these RAM have such a stunning design ! The all black aluminium heat spreaders are distributed in a multi level pattern, which, along side those “Hawkeyes Light Guide Panels”, are the reasons for this stealth and angular great looking fell. And we haven’t even turned them on yet !
They are really heavy which gives them a premium feel as well, besides the looks. The heat spreaders are held into place via 2.5 mm Allen bolts, one per corner.
Flip them and we see the information tags. 8 GB per stick running at the XMP 2.0 value of 3000 MHz with the latency of 16-18-18-38 @ 1.35v.
As per a top view, these memory modules, have another light strip opening thus these will light up from the sides and the top ! Most LED RAM kits have light coming only from the top.
From this angle we can see that the 10 layer PCB is single sided for the 16 GB kits. They offer 32 GB kits as well, thus those will be double sided.
Let’s take them back into the tech environment where they belong and test them out.
Finally let’s turn them on ! Behold the rainbow !
Stock, they are set up to have this fast sliding/firing effect which is really cool.
They add that extra nice finishing touch to my setup.
We will employ a run of synthetic benchmarks at their stock D.O.C.P value of 3000 MHz for 1.35v. After that we OC’d them for 3200 MHz without even changing the timings, voltage or the command rate. Unfortunately anything above required a big increase in voltage way up to 1.45v just for 3333 MHz which failed in one of our AIDA64 memory benchmark. So we settled for 3200 MHz.
– CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 AM4 – 8c/16t
– CPU Air Cooler: Noctua L9a – 92 mm
– Motherboard: ASUS ROG STRIX B540-i Gaming mITX
– Boot SSD: Samsung M.2 970 PRO 2TB TLC
– Video card(s): ASUS STRIX GTX 1060 6G
– PSU: Corsair SF600 SFX
– Monitor: ACER 27″ FHD KG271 75 HZ 1ms Freesync
– Case: Dan A4-SFX V4
– OS: Windows 10 Pro x64 Version 1903
– CPU-Z v1.86 – To verify the CPU’s and RAM’s statistics
– Aida64 Extreme v5.98 – Memory analysis and Benchmark suite
– Cinebench R15 – Popular CPU benchmark
– Cinebnech R20 – The new revised version optimized for the newer multi-core CPUs
– 3D/Game(s) – Assassin’s Creed Odyssey set at FHD, with everything at Max quality Settings, no V-Sync
– NVIDIA Drivers – 431.60
Testing and Results
We start with the integrated memory benchmark from AIDA64 so we can see the overall read, write and copy bandwidth. On the left we have the stock values while on the right those are the overclocked numbers.
Next up is a run in Cinebench R15. While this is more a CPU bound test, we know that RAM will help any CPU in this particular test.
We include the newer and more specialized R20 version of Cinebench which uses a much larger and more complex test scene than R15, requiring about 8x the computational power needed to render it. The test also requires about 4x the memory. Therefore, R15 and R20 results cannot be compared and is an excellent new addition to our benchmark suite.
As for 3D/gaming scenario, we did a benchmark run in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey with all of the quality settings set at maximum for 1080p resolution, but no V-sync. The first screenshot is for the stock values while the second shows the RAM under OC.
Let’s take the tests one by one and display the findings via graphs to get a better idea what are the improvements when overclocked.
We recorded a +6.6% increase in the overall bandwidth for the write, read and copy test.
Cinebench R15 doesn’t show anything higher than a margin for error which is under 1% of a difference, (0.1% to be precisely)
R20 shows the same empirical difference at just at 0.6% favoring the OC values.
Finally the benchmark run from AC: Odyssey has an minimal gains with just one FPS increase in the average department, while the minimum framerate are identical, but the maximum peak ones favor the stock RAM values.
Real life gains are minimal if you overclock them but we find it very nice that you can squeeze a free +200 MHz increase without touching anything else ! Anything more requires some looser timings and/or a higher voltage which this is up to you if you want to push them to their absolute potential.
There is no doubt that these Night Hawk RGB RAM kit from T-Force are just awesome when it comes to looks, design, build construction and value for money. The extra RGB lighting on the sides really make them stand out in any case or build, idea reinforced by the fact that they are fully controllable by any main motherboard vendors with their custom software. Also performance wise out of the box they are great and can offer an extra free speed bump without any tinkering on any other parameters. Just make sure you get the kit with the desired frequency and call it a day since they have up to 4000 MHz in their offering. Plain and simple they are Über cool and I can’t fault them !
+ Unique angular and stealthy design
+ Extra lighting strips from the sides
+ Extra OC headroom without any other tinkering
+ Two color options fro the heatsink
+ Overbuilt quality and feel
+ Available up to 4000 MHz kits
– On the tall side for SFF builds