Haswell And 1.35 V Memory: Three DDR3 SO-DIMM Kits, Tested

Test Hardware And Software Configurations

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Test System Configuration
Socketed CPUIntel Core i7-4770K (Haswell): 3.5 to 3.9 GHz, 8 MB Shared L3 Cache, LGA 1150
Embedded CPUIntel Core i7-4770R (Haswell): 3.25 to 3.9 GHz, 6 MB Shared L3 Cache, BGA 1364
Socketed CPU CoolerThermalright MUX-120 w/Zalman ZM-STG1 Paste
Embedded CPU CoolerGigabyte Brix proprietary
Socketed GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 4600: 1250 MHz GPU
Embedded GraphicsIntel Iris Pro Graphics 5200: 1300 MHz GPU
Socketed MotherboardASRock Z87-M8, LGA 1150, BIOS P1.20 (08/22/2013)
Embedded MotherboardGigabyte M4HM87P-IA, BIOS F1 (10/25/2013)
Hard DriveSamsung 840 Pro MZ-7PD256, 256 GB SSD
SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 8 Professional RTM x64
GraphicsIntel Graphics Driver
ChipsetIntel INF

Curious to find out how much power benefit we’d extract from low-voltage SO-DIMMs, we needed a test platform that supported both 1.35 V and 1.50 V standards. That meant deviating away from a mobile or embedded Haswell-based CPU, since those only support 1.35 V modules. A member of its M8 barebones PC kit, ASRock’s Z87-M8 motherboard supports both voltage levels on two SO-DIMM slots by using a socketed processor.

We’ve heard that SO-DIMMs aren't very overclockable, but G.Skill is confident that its modules have headroom to spare when they're paired with an LGA 1150-based platform. While we weren’t able to follow through with a stable 2133 MT/s data rate, we were at least able to use the higher 1.50 volts to push CAS 9 timings.

Everything I’ve read so far lead me to believe that lower thermal and power limitations would slow the embedded version of Intel’s Core i7-4770 by up to 5%. Conversely, I’ve also been expecting that the company's Iris Pro graphics 5200 would deliver about 20% additional performance. The only problem is that CPU model doesn't let us compare different memory voltage levels. Moreover, I didn't have one at my disposal.

That is, until something "fell out of Gigabyte’s trunk" following BlizzCon. This thing packs the wallop of a huge copper sink to prevent thermal throttling, along with support for both 2.5” and mSATA SSDs. Those two advancements roughly doubled the thickness and weight of this enthusiast-oriented Brix compared to familiar models.

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Benchmark Settings
Battlefield 3Campaign Mode, "Going Hunting" 90-Second Fraps Test Settings: Medium Quality Defaults (No AA, 4x AF)
F1 2012Steam Version, In-Game Test Test Settings: High Quality Preset, No AA
Far Cry 3V. 1.04, DirectX 11, 50-Second Fraps "Amanaki Outpost" Test Settings: Medium Quality, No AA, Standard ATC., SSAO
Metro: Last LightSteam Version, Built-in Benchmarking Tool DX11, Low Quality, 4x AF, Low Blur, No SSAO/Tesslation/PhysX
Adobe Creative Suite
Adobe After Effects CS6Version x64: Create Video which includes 3 Streams, 210 Frames, Render Multiple Frames Simultaneosly
Adobe Photoshop CS6Version 13 x64: Filter 15.7 MB TIF Image: Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Adobe Premeire Pro CS6Version, 6.61 GB MXF Project to H.264 to H.264 Blu-ray, Output 1920x1080, Maximum Quality
Adobe Acrobat 11Version Print PDF from 115 Page PowerPoint, 128-bit RC4 Encryption
File Compression
WinZipVersion 17.0 Pro: THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to ZIP, command line switches "-a -ez -p -r"
WinRARVersion 4.2: THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to RAR, command line switches "winrar a -r -m3"
7-ZipVersion 9.28: THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5"
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark Professional EditionVersion: 1.1, Benchmark Only, Ice Storm, Cloud Gate tests
3DMark 11Version:, Benchmark Only
PCMark 8Version: 1.0.0 x64, Full Test
SiSoftware SandraVersion 2013.10.19.50, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / Cryptography, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • Jaroslav Jandek
    It'll be more difficult to explain why the -4770R saw so much less benefit from higher data rates than the -4770K.
    The R version has 128MB of L4 cache. At 1280x720, it is large enough for all index and vertex buffers and most textures. That is why main memory speed doesn't significantly affect Iris Pro 5200...
  • InvalidError
    Having 128MB L4 cache certainly skews things around for IGP performance, no surprise there.
  • mouse24
    Huh, fairly surprised I didn't know about the 1.35v requirement. What happens if you pop in 1.5v in there? Is this just a power savings thing or did intel really mess with their memory controller for laptops?
  • masmotors
    i wonder how those 1866 would do on a newish amd apus 6800k
  • Isaiah4110
    Wow! I know this article is about memory, but the game benchmark data for Iris Pro actually impresses me quite a bit!
  • airplanegeek
    Intel really should've made socketed cpus with Iris Pro
  • spartan117x2
    so dimm..much intel..wow speed
  • Crashman
    12435372 said:
    Intel really should've made socketed cpus with Iris Pro
    Tell one of these companies that makes upgrade processors to solder the 4770R on an 1150 adapter :)

  • zodiacfml
    AMD must have been very envious with this Iris Pro having embedded 128MB of fast memory....which should be plenty useful for their AMD's APUs.
  • de5_Roy
    12436339 said:
    AMD must have been very envious with this Iris Pro having embedded 128MB of fast memory....which should be plenty useful for their AMD's APUs.
    intel claims that the edram costs around $80. that'd jack the a10 6800k price over $200 only to benefit the igpu (possibly the same with gddr5). imo, the weaker cpu cores wouldn't benefit much, if at all. that'd make the apus of poor value and people will argue against the apus claiming you can have a faster configuration under $200 (e.g. core i3 4110/fx6300 + radeon 7770/7750) without requiring the edram. as for core i7 4770R (and other R skus) - it's way too expensive. afaik, brix pro is barebones, the whole pc might cost near $800-1000 fully configured.