DDR5 memory is finally gaining some traction as the prices of dual-channel kits edge towards the $200 mark, although this still means there’s a $65 gap between the likes of this G.Skill Trident Z5 RGB kit of gamer memory and its DDR4 equivalents. Still, if you want a premium Z690 or Z790 motherboard, or indeed any system based on AMD’s new Socket AM5 platform, then you’ll need to jump onto the DDR5 bandwagon.
Retailing for a little more than the Corsair Vengeance RGB DDR5 kit, the Trident Z5 RGB has an even shorter profile, measuring just 42.5mm high and shaving another 2.5mm off the height of the Corsair kit, despite the Trident Z5 modules still sporting large heatsinks and RGB lighting.
Like the Corsair kit, these G.Skill Trident Z5 RGB modules also sport SK Hynix memory dies under their heatspreaders, but they also have looser memory timings at 36-36-36-96 compared to 30-36-36-77. However, the latter is likely tied into the fact this isn’t an AMD EXPO-rated memory kit.
This kit is instead just Intel XMP-certified, but it will still run fine in AMD Socket AM5 systems – it just won’t be as fast in some scenarios, although the differences will be small. Like the Corsair kit, there’s no 16GB option, so you’re forced to opt for a hefty 32GB kit at the very least, but that’s what we’d be buying for a high-end system these days anyway.
A Windows 11 system soon uses more than 16GB once you have several Photoshop images and Chrome browser tabs open, and while the days of paging to a mechanical hard disk and grinding your system to a halt are largely gone now, you should be looking at 32GB for a top-end system now.
Back to the Trident Z5 RGB modules, their RGB lighting is accurate but it isn’t as bright as the lighting on Corsair’s Vengeance RGB modules. Despite their short height, though, the modules’ diffusing light bar was easily visible from the side as well as the top, thanks to cut-outs in the heatsinks on either side. If you prefer your RGB memory to be understated rather than garishly in your face, then you’ll approve of these modules’ lighting.
To control the lighting, G.Skill has its own software, which is fairly basic compared with Corsair’s iCUE software, but it does the job, whether you pick from lighting effects or millions of solid colors. There are eight individually controlled LEDs in each module, which can be set to specific colors or brightness levels, or there are seven effects, such as rainbow, strobe, or cycling.
However, the modules also support ASRock, Asus, Gigabyte, and MSI’s RGB software, so at least you can synchronize them with other devices, such as fans or lighting strips connected to headers on those motherboards, as well as any RGB lighting on the boards themselves.
Performance was also fine, with this kit even being a little faster than the EXPO-rated Corsair Vengeance RGB kit in some of our RealBench tests, although only by tiny margins. There’s not much overclocking headroom, but there are limited benefits for this on both AMD and Intel systems anyway.
G.Skill Trident Z5 RGB pros and cons
- Low-profile heatsinks
- Lighting can be controlled by your motherboard
- Competitive price
- No 16GB option
- Not much overclocking headroom
- RGB lighting could be brighter
G.Skill Trident Z5 RGB specs
The G.Skill Trident Z5 RGB specs list is:
|Height (from base)||42.5mm|
G.Skill Trident Z5 RGB price
Price: Expect to pay $200 US / £200 GBP for 32GB (2 x 16GB), 6000MHz
G.Skill Trident Z5 RGB review conclusion
The G.Skill Trident Z5 RGB might not be exactly cheap compared with DDR4 memory, but you won’t find 32GB of 6000MHz DDR5 memory for much less money, especially with RGB lighting. If lighting is important, then Corsair’s bigger ecosystem would tempt us away from this kit, but it’s great to be able to use your motherboard’s lighting software to add these modules into your motherboard’s control system. With their reasonable price, low-profile heatsinks, and understated RGB lighting, these modules are a solid choice for a new DDR5 memory kit
G.Skill Trident Z5 RGB rating
A decent price, low-profile heatsinks and full motherboard lighting support – a solid DDR5 memory choice.