GeIL, or Golden Emperor International Limited, are certainly not a new player in the technology industry even if many people in the “West” have not heard of them. GeIL Memory are veterans of the DRAM industry having made memory products since 1993. GeIL as a broader company also make power supplies under the Thortech Power brand and they make peripherals under the EpicGear brand. Today we are looking at GeIL’s EVO POTENZA memory kit described as a product for “hardcore gamers”. More specifically we have the 16GB 2400MHz kit from GeIL which boasts a lifetime warranty, a beautiful white and black design and full native Intel Z77/Z87/Z97 support with XMP profiles. You can of course use the RAM with other platforms but with such a high frequency those platforms are recommended most.
Packaging and Accessories
The packaging is fairly simple and it can afford to be since this is just memory. The rugged design of the product is the main method of targeting this at gamers.
Included is merely the memory kit with a read me notice on how to configure the SPD and Voltage options. Most people should just enable XMP once you enter the BIOS.
A Closer Look
The modules themselves are fantastic looking pieces. They come with matte black PCBs and slightly raised up white heat spreaders. The black and white contrast is a fantastic look. The heat spreader is made from a textured metal finish, the overall height of the product is 48mm/4.8cm.
Motherboard Installation Pictures
Red and Black Motherboards – ASUS Maximus VII Ranger
Installed into a traditional red and black themed motherboard is an interesting look, although I’m not so sure it works myself. The kit provides a very stand-out look and really needs to go into a board where it clashes less.
Blue and Black Motherboards – ASRock Z97 Extreme6
Moving onto the ASRock Z97 Extreme6 and I think this is a much better look for the kit. Arguably Gigabyte’s blue and white Z87X-UD3H from the last generation is a nicer match but I can see this kit working in blue systems.
Black Motherboards – Gigabyte Z97X-UD5H-BK
Up against black is where this kit does best. In this Black Edition motherboard there’s a great contrast between it and jet black theme. I think this kit will definitely be best suited for systems with white accenting or a broadly black design.
Test System and Procedure
Methods & Tests
In our RAM reviews we keep things relatively simple. We put the RAM kit that is being tested into our test system and we benchmark it at its primary XMP profile using a variety of benchmarks and tests. Once complete we then overclock the kit to see how far we can push it in raw frequency terms, then benchmark it again using the same combination of tests with a CPU-Z validation of the overclock.
- Cinebench R15 Multi-threaded Test
- AIDA64 Engineer Edition Memory Bandwidth and Latency Test
- SiSoft Sandra Tech Support (Engineer) Memory Bandwidth Test
- WPrime 32M Calculation Test
- 3DMark Fire Strike Physics Test
- Motherboard – Asus Maximus VII Ranger Z97
- Processor – Intel Core i7 4770K at Stock With Turbo Enabled
- RAM – Varies By Review
- Graphics Card – Sapphire R9 290 Tri-X 4GB Graphics Card
- CPU Cooler – Corsair H100i with Quiet Fan Profile and Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Paste
- Power Supply – Be Quiet Straight Power E9 680W
- Main Storage Drive – Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB SSD over SATA III interface
- Chassis – Lian Li T60 Test Bench
- Operating System – Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit
Before we delve into any testing we would like to take this opportunity to review our test system and thank those sponsors who kindly provided us with test equipment to make our work possible. We offer our thanks to:
Overclocking and Performance
When we overclock memory kits in our reviews we go for all out frequency, this is primarily done by tweaking the DRAM frequency presets in the BIOS. Once we top out at the highest stable frequency divider we see if any more frequency can be had by increasing the baseclock. Typically we set timings as the JEDEC profile recommendations for the frequency we are going for, if this does not work we allow auto-timings to be calculated by the motherboard. Normally we will only make small adjustments to the BCLK and timings to keep the system stable, we will also not use more than 1.65 volts as this is not recommended for 24/7 operation.
The GeIL EVO POTENZA overclocked well in frequency terms jumping up two memory dividers (2400->2600->2666) but sadly this didn’t result in performance gains across the board. Clearly this kit is optimised for its native frequency so overclocking doesn’t actually bring gains. This isn’t uncommon, if you push many memory kits too far they often decline in performance.The reality is 2400MHz is more than enough for most people anyway.
CINEBENCH is a real-world cross platform test suite that evaluates your computer’s CPU performance. Cinebench R15 is a totally free utility and is available for download here. Cinebench is fairly sensitive to changes in memory frequency and timings.
AIDA64 implements a set of 64-bit benchmarks to measure how fast the computer performs various data processing tasks and mathematical calculations. Memory and cache benchmarks are available to analyze system RAM bandwidth and latency. A free version of AIDA64 is available for download here.
The SiSoft Sandra memory benchmark is based on STREAM. STREAM is a popular memory bandwidth benchmark that has been used on personal computers to super computers. It measures sustained memory bandwidth not burst or peak. Therefore, the results may be lower than those of other benchmarks. Download a free trial version of SiSoft Sandra here.
wPrime is a leading multithreaded benchmark for x86 processors that tests your processor performance by calculating square roots with a recursive call of Newton’s method for estimating functions. wPrime is a free utility that is available for download here. WPrime is influenced by memory timings and frequency.
3DMark Fire Strike
3DMark Firestrike is Futuremark’s latest creation for testing the GPU performance of high end gaming PCs using Direct X 11 graphics. You can download a free basic version of 3DMark here. We use only the Physics score as this is most sensitive to memory frequency and timing changes.
GeIL’s 16GB 2400MHz EVO POTENZA kit costs $172 in the USA and £122 in the UK, both of those listings are for the Black/Red kits and are at the retailer MemoryC. We couldn’t find the item at any other reputable and reliable retailers but based on that pricing we can see that GeIL is offering their product very competitively. GeIL offer a lifetime warranty with their EVO POTENZA series.
Having looked at this memory kit from GeIL I think it is fair to say it has surprised me a lot. The product, on the whole, speaks both quality and simplicity. It does everything it should do, it looks the part, it has a flexible range of sizes, frequencies and colours (white+black/black+red) and it has competitive pricing when you can actually find it at a reputable retailer. On this performance it’s hard to see why GeIL memory isn’t more popular, particularly among enthusiasts where I can see the white version would be hugely popular. It’s pretty much the running joke that if you want to find white RAM then you need to find a can of spray paint, so kudos to GeIL for meeting market demand.
- Lifetime warranty
- Good performance
- Overclocking headroom
- Black PCB
- Stylish design
- Competitive pricing
- Available in a range of colours, sizes and speeds
- Limited availability
- Overclocking past a certain point can decrease performance
“GeIL’s EVO POTENZA memory kits are fantastic offerings: they look great, perform better and are backed up with a lifetime warranty. GeIL offer a huge range of capacity, frequency and colour combinations to suit everyone’s needs. The only bad part is finding somewhere to buy them!”
Thank you to GeIL for providing this review sample.