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Yes they are grey… So, we are back with another round of RAM from Team Group with their new Vulcan Z series. These promise a best-bang-for-buck kit with a low profile heatsink and why not, a simplistic approach – no RGB this time. But it’s not always about looks. As all of this is backed by a lifetime warranty, I invite you to read further !

 
First about, Team Group

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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

 

They come in two color options (red or grey), they max out at 16 GB kits while offering three frequency options (2666, 3000 or 3200 MHz). In our hands we have a grey 16 GB 3200 MHz kits which retails for $69.99. As the date of writing, basically they will fight with Corsair’s low profile versions, the LPX ones, matching their price but offering a higher out of the box frequency, with 200 MHz extra.

 
*25.09.2019 – The video review is also live!

 

Presentation and Specification

 

*Courtesy of their website.*

Reinforced structure and enhanced heat dissipation
T-FORCE VULCAN Z’s all new cooling module is designed for complete protection and enhanced heat dissipation. The heat spreader is formed by punch press process with a 0.8mm thick, one-piece alloy aluminum to reinforce the body structure. In addition, coloring with electrolytic anodizing process can enhance corrosion resistance and make it non-conductive. Moreover, with superconductivity – thermally conductive adhesive, it can quickly transfer the heat on IC chip through heat conduction to aluminum alloy cooling module for better heat dissipation. Therefore, the gaming memory can be maintained within operating temperature, and offering the finest and smoothest gaming experience and an extreme performance without any lag.
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Selected IC chips. Stable and durable
Every IC chip made for TEAMGROUP’s T-FORCE VULCAN Z DDR4 gaming memory is selected through a rigorous testing process. Every overclocking memory is tested for complete compatibility and stability. This offers gamers a DDR4 memory with excellent quality, optimal performance, stability and compatibility.at will with increased bandwidth. And strike first with better latencies and reduced load times.
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High performance, low power consumption and upgrade easily
In addition to the increase in data transfer rate, the basic working voltage of the new generation of DDR4 memory is also decreased to 1.2V. This desktop memory is energy saving, high performance and low power consumption.
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Supports Intel XMP and auto overclocking
T-FORCE VULCAN Z DDR4 gaming memory is plug and play ready. Overclocking can be super easy without the hassle of manually adjusting the BIOS. It is compatible to both Intel & AMD platform, therefore gamers can build their system without worries.

Now let’s explore the main specs.

Module Type 288 Pin Unbuffered DIMM Non ECC
Capacity 4GB / 8GB / 16GB / 4GBx2 / 8GBx2 / 16GBx2
Frequency 2666 3000 3200
Data Transfer Bandwidth 21,328 MB/s

(PC4 21300)

24,000 MB/s

(PC4 24000)

25,600 MB/s

(PC4 25600)

Latency CL18-18-18-43 CL16-18-18-38 CL16-18-18-38
Voltage 1.2V 1.35V
Dimensions 32(H) x 140(L) x 7(W)mm
Heat Spreader Aluminum heat spreader
Warranty Lifetime warranty

It is an interesting aspect of Team Group’s approach to what to include in the specs sheet for their RAM kits. I like the fact that they detail the data transfer bandwidth as well, which of course scales proportionally with the higher frequency options. Not much to add then the fact that they come with a lifetime warranty which is always very welcomed.

 

Visual Inspection and Installation

 

They come in a standard transparent plastic shell which offers sufficient protection. Branding is excellent and you can easily tell between the company’s logo on the top left and the product model on the right. Then the sticker in the lower right corner offers us the most important information regarding specs.

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On the back we get a quick intro about Team Group’s T-Force gaming branding. But the most important bit is the ‘Lifetime Warranty’ tag.

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You get one nice T-Force sticker and a cute minimalist warranty booklet.

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Right. A sleek 0.8 mm thick, one-piece alloy aluminum heat-spreader, which Team Group claims helps with superconductivity – thermally conductive adhesive, it is able to completely enhance the effect of heat dissipation and protect the memory, so the memory can operate with excellent efficiency and stability.

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The other side has the specs sticker which shows where they are made (Taiwan) and all of the relevant bits when it comes to memory modules. We have 8GB 3200 MHz CL18 per stick that requires 1.35v for the XMP/DOCP profiles.

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Top view offers the T-Force logo and I must say they are starting to grow on me with this simplistic design.

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At just 32 mm tall, they are perfect for any small form factor build and/or where a CPU cooler is towering over with minimal clearance.

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The Night Hawks RGBs for example are 53 mm tall and you can clearly see the difference.

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Now it’s play time.

 

Testing methodology

 

We will employ a run of synthetic benchmarks at their stock D.O.C.P value of 3200 MHz for 1.35v. After that we OC’d them for 3400 MHz without even changing the timings, voltage or the command rate. Anything above required a big increase in voltage way up to 1.5v for anything above +3600 MHz which failed in one of our memory benchmarks even when we fiddled with looser timings.

Hardware used:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 2700 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
Case Fan: Noctua NF-A9x14

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Software:

OS: Windows 10 Pro x64 Version 1903
CPU-Z v1.86To verify the CPU’s and RAM’s statistics
Aida64 Extreme v5.98Memory analysis and Benchmark suite
Cinebench R15Popular CPU benchmark
Cinebnech R20The new revised version optimized for the newer multi-core CPUs
3D/Game(s)Witcher 3 v1.32 set at FHD, with everything at Max quality Settings, no V-Sync
NVIDIA Drivers436.30

 

Testing and Results

 

We start with the integrated memory benchmark from AIDA64 so we can inspect the overall read, write and copy bandwidth. On the left we have the stock values while on the right those are for the overclocked numbers. Also we will compare the numbers with other kits as well.

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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.

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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.

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As for 3D/gaming scenario, we did a quick gameplay session in Witcher 3 with all of the quality settings set at maximum for 1080p resolution, but no V-sync. The first screenshot on the left is for the stock values while the second shows the RAM under OC.

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Analysis

 

Let’s take the tests one by one and display the findings via graphs to get a better idea what are the improvements and if any, when overclocked.

We recorded something around 3-4% increase in the overall bandwidth for the write, read and copy test in AIDA64 for those extra +200 MHz.

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Cinebench R15 shows minor scaling while the frequency goes up.

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The newer version of Cinebench, the R20 tell a similar story; the overall increase is also minimal, lower than 1%.

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As for the gaming scenario in Witcher 3, we see minimal gains of 1 to 2 FPS in the average sector but still an increase nonetheless when going from 3200 to 3400 MHz.

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Witcher 3 is a a good example of a game that profits from higher frequency RAM and that’s why we see that increase in FPS across the board. Then in synthetics, those 200 MHz didn’t make that big of a difference but having the ability to squeeze extra free performance from the XMP/DOCP stock profile without changing the voltages or timings, is more than welcomed.

We must not forget the price since they use A-Die Hynix memory chips which will not OC that high than the more expensive kits that use B-Die ones, but with a bit of tinkering we managed in the end to reach 3600 MHz but at 1.5v and CL17. Thus the results were very similar to the Crucial Elites at 3600 MHz.

 

Conclusion

 

Make no mistake, even though they don’t have RGB nor B-Die chips under the hood, they are still a solid choice as an all rounder in price and performance category. They will give the Corsair Vengeance LPX kits a run for they money since they have this low profile footprint which will be a must have for any SFF build where space is very limited. Backed by a lifetime warranty, decent OC potential and a perfect minimalist look, the Vulcan Z RAM kits are definitely a best buy !

The good:

+ Low profile
+ Lifetime warranty
+ Perfect for SFF builds
+ Great performance out of the box
+ Decent OC potential

The bad:

– Limited color heat sink options

 

Glob3trotters “Best Buy” Award 4.5 out of 5

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A lot of thanks to Team Group for supplying us with this kit !

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