Pros: Lifetime warranty, good overclocking, nice memory
It’s been almost 20 years since Team Group entered the multimedia world, and what have they come a long way. With having their eyes on the global layout of R&D technology and manufacturing of memory products, they can now offer us a wide range of enthusiast-level or even industrial components. In this review we’re going to concentrate on their Overclocking Dark DDR4 series, in particular, the TEAM DARK DDR4 2800 CL16-16-16-36 1.2V. The kit contains a total of 16 GB in a 4X4 GB configuration. Let’s get started!
The specifications and features for the Dark DDR4-2800 kit as plucked from the Team product page are not much different than other DDR4 kits of their Dark series, except for the declared speed. Also of note here is the lifetime warranty on their modules.
Team Dark DDR4-2800 has only one XMP profile. At least on the ASUS X99 Deluxe it has. The XMP profile will automatically set the strap to 125 and the BCLK frequency is set to 127.3, which lands the memory speed at exactly 2800 MHz. This leads into a slightly overclock of the CPU, cache and DMI/PEG frequencies that shouldn’t require any voltage modifications, but is certainly something to be aware of.
The Dark DDR4 memory is available in 5 different colors. You have choice between black, gray, red, blue and white, which should give you enough options to match about any color scheme.
And with their high efficiency forged aluminum heatspreaders the modules stay very cool (at their stock 1.2V). The heatsinks are taller to provide a greater surface area for higher heat dissipation. If your CPU cooler is large, Team Group also provides Vulcan series which have smaller heatsinks yet the same performance as the DARK series. Nowadays, memory has been so focused on the appearance rather than the CPU cooler conflict problem. Yet the user should be aware of this issue before purchasing the CPU coolers or memory.
Here is the complete features list as provided by Team Group.
- Industry-leading DDR4 overclocking memory
- High-efficiency forging type heat transfer cooling layer
- INTEL XMP 2.0 compatible
- Lifetime warranty
Testing was done on the system listed below. The CPU was overclocked to 4.0 GHz.
Motherboard: Asus X99 Deluxe
Processor: Intel core I7 5930K @4.0 GHz
Memory: Team Dark 16Gb-2800 Mhz
Video card: Msi GTX 780 Ti
OS Windows 10 Home 64-bit
The graphs below are based off my results and will probably differ in someone else’s results. I’ve tested 3 situations: (stock) XMP-settings, MAX Frequency (higher voltage and XMP-timings) and MAX OC (highest frequency and best timings). With the XMP-settings the RAM runs at 2800 MHz Cl16, MAX frequency equals 3109 MHz and with the MAX OC setting the RAM runs at 3109 MHz with Cl15 timings (@1.45V). The first set of tests are from AIDA64 and include the memory read/write/copy/latency benchmarks. As we can see on the first graph the OC improves the Read speed in AIDA64 up to 10%. During the first write test I was surprised by the results but even after a second test I became more or less the same results.
The second benchmark that I used was SuperPi. Super PI is a single threaded benchmark that calculates pi to a specific number of digits. Yet it is not true that the benchmark only benefits from a higher clock frequency. As we can see it is clear that the timings and other latencies also have an influence.
And also 3DMARK 11 proves that a higher frequency with better timings improve the performance in the physics test.
After a bit of struggling with my X99 motherboard (stupid onboard XMP-button…) I finally managed to overclock the RAM. By utilizing the 166 strap and 1.45 V I was able to push the memory kit to 3109 MHz. I however forgot to take a screenshot of the Max OC setting (…). As I perhaps mentioned earlier, this is my first time trying to push a memory kit to its maximum, so there is a chance that you could get better OC-results.
There isn’t much I can describe beyond what you’ve seen during the review. It looks great, overclocks nicely and performs excellent. Depending on the CPU and motherboard you use, you may even be able to push it even further and/or with better timings than my system allowed.
The aluminum heat spreaders allow the kit to be very cool even when you’ll throw some higher voltages to it. Aesthetically speaking, the Team Dark series is an attractive option that would blend in nicely with many different system color schemes. Team Group went the extra mile too by making the PCB black, which finishes off the looks nicely.
As far as pricing goes, Team Group DARK DDR4 16GB-2800 CL16-16-16-36 1.2V is currently selling for £116.06 Inc. VAT or € 157.25 at Watercooling UK. With this price, I think it is a very nice memory kit that can deliver you some great fun while overclocking.
If you’re jumping on the DDR4 bandwagon, the Team Group DARK DDR4 16GB-2800 memory kit is definitely worth considering for your memory selection. Great performance, good overclocking and priced as it should be.