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Team Group T-Force Xcalibur RGB Review & Overclocking Analysis

 
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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Team Group T-Force Xcalibur RGB Review & Overclocking Analysis

When blistering-fast Samsung B-DIE performance and trend-setting style are not enough, Team Group goes and steps up their game by adding RGB lighting! Released in 2018, the T-Force Xcalibur RGB has disrupted the RGB DDR4 market by offering aggressive styling, faster speeds, and lower price points.




Founded in 1997, Team Group been a contender in the memory market since the days of DDR1. Today, Team Group’s T-Force brand offers the Xcalibur RGB series with a total of four different configurations. T-Force Xcalibur RGB offers full-color, variable, and synchronized lighting with a unique light diffuser. All of the memory in the Xcalibur RGB series are 16 GB kits composed of two 8 GB sticks. There are two frequency choices available, 4000 MHz and 3600 MHz, both of which operate at the same primary timings of CL18-20-20-44. Beyond the impressive raw performance numbers, their heatsink and RGB design are what makes Xcalibur RGB so unique. Team Group has given us the option of a general edition with an unobstructed light diffuser, or a special edition which has a printed pattern on the light diffuser. While both light bars are physically the same size and shape, they differ only in the special printed pattern which Team Group calls the “Special Totem”.




The flagship of this series is the 16 GB 4000 MHz @ $154.49, which comes with the special totem edition pattern on the light bar. The lower end of the product line is the 16 GB 3600 MHz @ 124.99, which comes the general light diffuser. Regardless of the edition, one certainty is that performance and style are not optional and are all but guaranteed on the Xcalibur RGB.





The packaging is often an overlooked element to a finished product, but it shouldn’t be. The packaging is simply a delivery mechanism to ship the product safely, but it also serves as a preview of what is to come.

Opening the box, we find the memory safely nestled in individual plastic clam-shell packaging. The individual sticks are tucked away nicely and are safe for shipping purposes. This type of packaging doesn’t give us that premium high-end feel, but with a full-color box its certainly a step above the typical, clamshell packaging.




I would like to point out the stunning physical characteristics, such as the integrated heat spreader. Team Group has equipped each Xcalibur memory module with a thick and beefy-feeling, aluminum heat spreader. The heat spreader, or heatsink, doesn’t just give the memory style points, it also helps to keep the memory run cool even in the most demanding circumstances. Starting with a brushed-aluminum base, the heat sink is then anodized and printed with white and shiny black graphics. With the edgy weapon-like design, we think the overall look is high-end and does not come across as flashy or cheap.


The memory I am evaluating today is the special edition variety with a printed light bar diffuser.




For those interested, here is a closer look at the particular details of this kit of memory. Below is a screenshot of Thaiphoon Burner, which is a wonderful free tool that allows one to read the Serial Presence Detect (SPD) firmware of the DRAM. The SPD information is critical in determining how the stick will perform and how the computer will recognize it.




The overall objective is to evaluate the memory under a variety of different conditions in an effort to simulate normal daily usage. To accomplish this task, I will use benchmark programs to examine the performance of the memory and overall system under various conditions. The approach is to first test the Intel XMP profile. Once I have established that the XMP profiles are working on the test system, then the real fun begins as we evaluate the memory from an overclocking perspective.


There will be two phases to the testing. Firstly, I will examine the overclocking potential without excessive voltage. According to the XMP 2.0 certifications, the absolute maximum allowable voltage is 1.50 V VDDR. Thus, all overclocking endeavors will be conducted with less than 1.50 V. Those tests will be carried out on an ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming ITX motherboards


The second phase will be to examine the overclocking potential with extreme voltage. With potentially desitricive voltages of up to 2.10 V, I will show what types of memory overclocks can be accomplished. The tests with extreme voltage will be conducted on the ASRock Z170M OC Formula motherboard.



Both of my test systems are not contained within a case, they are open air test rigs. This gives me the flexibility to quickly change configurations and run exotic test setups without being constrained to a computer case. The ambient air during the testing was right around 75F.

Safe Voltage XMP Test Rig

  • CPU: i7 8700k
  • Motherboard: ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming ITX
  • Memory: 16GB T-FORCE XCALIBUR RGB 3600c18
  • Power Supply: Enermax RevoBron 700W
  • Graphics: PNY GeForce GT 730 2GB (I use a very basic GPU for 2D testing)
  • Storage: OCZ Vertex 2 (64GB)
  • Cooling: NZXT Kraken X62 280mm - All-In-One RGB CPU Liquid Cooler
  • OS: Windows 10 Pro, 64bit
  • Maximum memory: No OS restriction



Extreme Voltage CL12 Test Rig

  • CPU: i7 8700k
  • Motherboard: ASRock Z170M OC Formula (Modded to allow Coffee Lake CPU’s)
  • Memory: 16GB T-FORCE XCALIBUR RGB 3600c18
  • Power Supply: Enermax RevoBron 700W
  • Graphics: PNY GeForce GT 730 2GB (I use a very basic GPU for 2D testing)
  • Storage: OCZ Vertex 2 (64GB)
  • Cooling: NZXT Kraken X62 280mm - All-In-One RGB CPU Liquid Cooler
  • OS: Windows 10 Pro, 64bit
  • Maximum memory: Restricting the memory seen by OS to 1.8GB (Required for CL12 tests)





Safe Voltage XMP Test Results
As mentioned above, I first tested the XMP rating to ensure that the memory is running stable and to obtain the baseline scores for later analysis. Once the XMP tests were done, I then moved on to the overclocking phase. With relative ease I was able to obtain benchmark stable memory setting of 4400 MHz CL16-18-18-44 using the aforementioned 1.50 V voltage limit.


Below are the AIDA64 benchmark results for both XMP and overclocked:





Going a step further the memory also proved to be stable within Geekbench4, which is a very stressful, memory intensive benchmark program.





Extreme Voltage CL12 Test Rig
Certain benchmark programs such as Geekbench 3 have a direct relationship between memory overclocking and the overall score. For competitive overclockers, memory overclocking is critical for the overall score. Here we take a look at what can be accomplished by taking overclocking to an extreme level. With potentially destructive voltages of 2.10+ V, the memory comes alive and allows truly astonishing timings and frequency. The gold standard for Samsung B-DIE within the extreme overclock community has been 4000MHz with CL12. However, with new B-DIE IC’s the standards are changing.


Below are the Geekbench 3 results for both the XMP and overclocked configurations:







The Team Group T-Force Xcalibur RGB is a success for multiple reasons. The use of all black heat spreaders, with the addition of simple graphics, make them widely appealing. The extra-wide, 120 degree light bar on top does a fantastic job of adding a nice lighting element to the system. When it comes to performance, the XMP rating of 3600 MHz with CL18-20-20 proved to be a powerhouse of efficiency for modern gaming systems.

Being composed of Sansumg B-Die IC’s we would expect the overclocking potential to be excellent. The best B-Die I have personally tested did around 4260c12 in Geekbench 3. While the T-Force Xcalibur didn't come close to that number, it did perform admirably. Most of the world is concerned with high XMP performance, and in that regard the Xcalibur RGB didn't disappoint. With daily voltages of 1.50 V, I managed 4400 MHz CL16-18-18-44 which is respectable by any standards.

With trend-setting style, high XMP rating, and noteworthy overclocking potential we would expect the memory to be priced around $200 as is the case with similar XMP kits. While I don’t have pricing for the special totem edition as tested, the standard light-bar version is available for just $124.99.

24/7 BENCH
(9 items)
CPU
[LGA115x] 8700k, 7700K, 7350k, G3258
CPU
[LGA2066] 7940X, 7740X
Motherboard
[OCF FTW] X299 OCF, Z170M OCF, Z97 OCF
GPU
E-Power, G-Power, H-Power, A-Power
RAM
B-DIE, HYKO, PSC, MFR
Power Supply
Seasonic Prime Platinum 1200W
Cooling
Kingpin Cooling: Venom & T-REX
Cooling
2x360 RAD Custom Loop
Case
Dimastech Easy V3.0
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Last edited by mllrkllr88; 05-31-2019 at 12:50 PM.
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