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Test Settings

Six Low-Voltage Dual-Channel 8 GB Memory Kits, Overclocked
By
Test System Configuration
CPUIntel Core i7-3770K (Ivy Bridge): 3.50 GHz, 4C/8T
O/C to 4.00 GHz (40 x 100 MHz) at 1.25 V Core
CPU CoolerThermalright True Spirit 120M
MotherboardAsus Sabertooth Z77: LGA 1155, Intel Z77 Express, Firmware 1504 (08/03/2012)
GraphicsAMD Radeon HD 7970: 925 MHz GPU,  GDDR5-5500
Hard DrivesSamsung 840 Series MZ-7PD256, 256 GB SSD 
SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
PowerSeasonic X760 SS-760KM, ATX12V v2.3, EPS12V, 80 PLUS Gold
Software
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8 Pro x64
GraphicsAMD Catalyst 13.1
ChipsetIntel INF 9.3.0.1026


Asus’ Sabertooth provided the highest DRAM overclock ever seen in a round-up, making it a great candidate for today’s memory testing.

Thermalright changed the name of its MUX-120 to True Spirit 120M, combining the installation brackets of sister brands into a single solution. We still have the same parts under their original names, and they continue to provide excellent cooling to Intel’s quad-core processors.

Today’s test includes games, so we tossed in a top gaming card. An Accelero Xtreme-equipped Radeon HD 7970 pushes pixels.

Samsung’s 840 Pro model MZ-7PD256 keeps data flowing fast enough to keep the CPU, graphics, and DRAM busy

Benchmark Configuration
Autodesk 3ds MaxVersion 14.0 x64: Space Flyby Mentalray, 248 Frames, 1440x1080
WinRARVersion 4.2: THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to RAR, command line switches "winrar a -r -m3"
F1 2012Version 1.2, Direct X 11, Built-in Benchmark
High Quality, No AA, 1600x900 Resolution
Metro 2033Full Game, Built-In Benchmark, "Frontline" Scene
DX 11, High, AAA, 4x AF, No PhysX, No DoF, 1600x900
SiSoftware Sandra 2012Version 2012.10.18.72, Memory Bandwidth Benchmark
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  • 1 Hide
    excella1221 , May 12, 2013 9:34 PM
    Nice article.
    A bit surprised that Corsair Vengeance didn't make an appearance though.

    Been using G.Skill RAMs since I can remember, and they've never failed me!
  • 1 Hide
    DarkSable , May 12, 2013 9:54 PM
    Very interesting read, thanks Tom's! Guess we've been bothering you enough about, erm, "half-height" overclocker's ram enough for you to want to do an article on it. Shame that the mystery modules chose not to participate... perhaps I'll send you my 8 gigs. Want to swap? Ship me some ram to use in the mean-time and I'll ship you my sticks.
  • 8 Hide
    rmpumper , May 12, 2013 10:02 PM
    In other words, RAM speed is irrelevant if you are not using an APU.
  • -2 Hide
    Haserath , May 12, 2013 10:03 PM
    No power consumption numbers? :/ 
  • 8 Hide
    cobra5000 , May 12, 2013 10:43 PM
    Good testing but at the start of the article, much emphasis was placed on the degradation of the cpu due to high memory voltage and then it just turns into a memory speed test. What about the cpu degradation?
  • -2 Hide
    envy14tpe , May 12, 2013 11:12 PM
    Good article. Still left wondering why anyone would choose low voltage RAM when costs do not outweigh the benefits.
  • 2 Hide
    slomo4sho , May 12, 2013 11:20 PM
    It is only worthwhile to pickup low voltage ram if you can obtain it at the same price as 1.5v ram. Then again, the Ballistix is around the same price point as other similar timing ram.
  • -1 Hide
    allan_hm , May 13, 2013 12:49 AM
    Pointless analysis for too little performance AND price difference...
    Would be a bit less irrelevant if more brands were tested.
    To be honest I was more interested on that "dirty little secret" details than the test itself.
    Also, an article named "who is who in the RAM marked" would be awesome, just like that one about Power Supplies...
  • 0 Hide
    Crashman , May 13, 2013 2:08 AM
    excella1221Nice article.A bit surprised that Corsair Vengeance didn't make an appearance though.Been using G.Skill RAMs since I can remember, and they've never failed me!
    Here's from the article:
    Quote:
    We invited every major manufacturer (including a crowd-favorite ODM) to this round-up, and a few (including that ODM) chose not to participate.
    Corsair said they had some new modules coming out and didn't want to focus on older models.
    cobra5000Good testing but at the start of the article, much emphasis was placed on the degradation of the cpu due to high memory voltage and then it just turns into a memory speed test. What about the cpu degradation?
    What about it? It's never been seen at 1.50V.
  • 0 Hide
    Crashman , May 13, 2013 2:10 AM
    allan_hmPointless analysis for too little performance AND price difference...Would be a bit less irrelevant if more brands were tested.To be honest I was more interested on that "dirty little secret" details than the test itself.Also, an article named "who is who in the RAM marked" would be awesome, just like that one about Power Supplies...
    Article intent was to find modules within Intel's 1.55V limit that pulled top numbers in frequency and/or latency. Some were found, article is a success.
  • 1 Hide
    Onus , May 13, 2013 5:40 AM
    Comparing data within each chart was not as interesting to me as comparing data between charts, which once again showed that although differences exist, they are tiny.
    Put a lot more thought into your platform, CPU and graphics card; for RAM, get the cheapest DDR3-1600 CAS9 and call it a day.
  • 0 Hide
    JackNaylorPE , May 13, 2013 6:24 AM
    Anybody read Intel's web pages in this regard ?

    1.5 volts is for the JDEC profiles .... but most RAM speeds are advertised and labeled based upon their XMP profiles......most XMP profiles for i5 and i7 RAM is 1.65. In fact, over 2/3 of the RAM on Intel's XMP compatible list are over 1.50 volts.

    I have seen many posts saying "Well that's a MoBo manufacturer thing". No....Intel sets the XMP profile. I agree, Intel's JDEC specifications stipulate 1.5 volts .... for JDEC profiles ..... but XMP "allows compatible DDR3 memory to perform beyond standard specifications" and is "predefined and tested" by Intel

    http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/gaming/gaming-computers/intel-extreme-memory-profile-xmp.html

    Quote:
    Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (Intel® XMP) allows you to overclock compatible DDR3 memory to perform beyond standard specifications. It’s designed to enhance the gaming features built into Intel® technology–based PCs. If you like to overclock and squeeze as much performance from your PC as possible, then memory based on Intel XMP gives you that extra edge you need to dominate—without breaking a sweat.

    Predefined and tested Intel XMP profiles can be loaded via BIOS or a specific tuning application through a computer’s operating system. Often the easiest way to load Intel XMP profiles is using a tuning utility, which may be available depending on the particular board manufacturer. To learn whether a tuning utility is available on your system, you should contact the board manufacturer.


    Again, most listed compatible i5 / i7 RAM is 1.65 .... at least according to Intel's compatibility lists

    http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/gaming/gaming-computers/core-i5-processor-memory-datasheet.html
    http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/gaming/gaming-computers/core-i7-memory-suppliers-datasheet.html

    Intel's approved i7 Compatibilty List (April 2012) includes:

    34 1.65 volt modules
    07 1.60 volt modules
    19 1.50 volt modules
    01 1.25 volt modules
  • 1 Hide
    jee_are , May 13, 2013 6:26 AM
    Maybe I'm being anal but, Westmere (Nehalem) was the die shrink to 32 nm (tick). Sandy Bridge was the following change in microarchitecture (tock).
  • -1 Hide
    DjEaZy , May 13, 2013 9:41 AM
    ... i got me the crucial balistix 3~4 months ago... a 16Gb of them... and they OC good too... i have them running @ 1926Mhz 8-8-8-26
  • 0 Hide
    Evan Richardson , May 13, 2013 9:47 AM
    HaserathNo power consumption numbers?


    Perhaps because memory doesn't use that much power to begin with? Be a cold day in hell when you have to buy a 1kW PSU just because you add another stick of ram.
  • 0 Hide
    happyballz , May 13, 2013 10:40 AM
    Where are the cost for each kit? Did I miss it? Flipped through pages and could not find anything on the cost.
  • -1 Hide
    gondor , May 13, 2013 2:34 PM
    JackNaylorPEAnybody read Intel's web pages in this regard ?1.5 volts is for the JDEC profiles ...


    It's "JEDEC", the first 'e' is not silent/missing.

    http://www.jedec.org
  • 2 Hide
    m32 , May 13, 2013 3:16 PM
    HaserathNo power consumption numbers?



    3-6 watts isn't going to kill anyone.
  • 0 Hide
    pazygozo , May 13, 2013 6:05 PM
    Exactly the article i wanted to read, i was asking myself what clocks could the low voltage modules achieve at high voltage.

    God, i wanted to buy the ballistix tactical in february, i bought the ballistix sport instead because i found 32GB for 158$ but they are taller and 1.5v rated, glad to know it doesn't make much of a difference in games past 1600Mhz.

    Great work!
  • 0 Hide
    Crashman , May 13, 2013 10:32 PM
    happyballzWhere are the cost for each kit? Did I miss it? Flipped through pages and could not find anything on the cost.

    On the day they were tested, Adata was $72, Crucial $70, Geil $75, G.Skill $68, Kingston $70. That changes pretty quickly though.
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