Market Positioning

As mentioned before, at current prices these modules will have a tough time in the turbulent memory market.  On 12/4, the current prices for similar 2x8GB DDR3-1600 C9 memory kits were as follows (prices taken from Newegg):

$129: Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR3L-1600 C9 2x8 GB 1.35V
$130: Silicon Power XPower DDR3-1600 C9 2x8 GB 1.65V
$140: Patriot Viper 3 DDR3-1600 C9 2x8 GB 1.50 V
$143: Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR3-1600 C9 2x8 GB 1.50V
$145: Team Dark DDR3-1600 C9 2x8GB 1.50V
$145: Team Vulcan DDR3-1600 C9 2x8GB 1.50V
$145: AMD Radeon RE1600 DDR3-1600 C9 2x8GB 1.50V
$150: Mushkin Enhanced Blackline DDR3L-1600 C9 2x8 GB 1.35V
$150: G.Skill RipjawsX DDR3-1600 C9 2x8 GB 1.50V
$150: Mushkin Enhanced Stealth DDR3-1600 C9 2x8GB 1.35V
$150: ADATA XPG V1.0 DDR3-1600 C9 2x8GB 1.50V
$150: G.Skill Ares DDR3-1600 C9 2x8GB 1.50V
$150: Apotop Altair ProOC DDR3-1600 C9 2x8GB 1.50V
$155: Crucial Ballistix Sport XT DDR3-1600 C9 2x8GB 1.50V
and so on.

If we filter out the low voltage kits:

$129: Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR3L-1600 C9 2x8 GB 1.35V
$150: Mushkin Enhanced Blackline DDR3L-1600 C9 2x8 GB 1.35V
$150: Mushkin Enhanced Stealth DDR3L-1600 C9 2x8GB 1.35V

Or other low voltage kits:

$140: G.Skill Aegis DDR3L-1600 C11 2x8GB 1.35V
$140: G.Skill Aegis DDR3L-1333 C9 2x8GB 1.35V
$150: Mushkin Enhanced Blackline DDR3L-1866 C11 2x8GB 1.35V
$157: Crucial Ballistix Tactical DDR3L-1600 C8 2x8GB 1.35V
$165: Kingston HyperX DDR3L-1600 C9 2x8GB 1.35V

The main competition is from the Crucial $129 kit, which seems to be a discounted offer right now.  The $157 Crucial 1600 C8 kit looks tempting, so this 1600 C9 kit from ADATA ideally needs to leave no doubt when users are looking for a LV kit and aim at the $140 price point.

Test Bed

Test Setup
Processor Intel Core i7-4770K Retail @ 4.0 GHz
4 Cores, 8 Threads, 3.5 GHz (3.9 GHz Turbo)
Motherboards ASRock Z87 OC Formula/AC
Cooling Corsair H80i
Thermalright TRUE Copper
Power Supply Corsair AX1200i Platinum PSU
Memory ADATA XPG V2 DDR3-2400 C11-13-13 1.65V 2x8 GB
Patriot Viper III DDR3-2400 C10-12-12 1.65V 2x4 GB
ADATA XPG V1.0 DDR3L-1600 C9-11-9 1.35V 2x8 GB
Memory Settings XMP
Discrete Video Cards AMD HD5970
AMD HD5870
Video Drivers Catalyst 13.6
Hard Drive OCZ Vertex 3 256GB
Optical Drive LG GH22NS50
Case Open Test Bed
Operating System Windows 7 64-bit
USB 3 Testing OCZ Vertex 3 240GB with SATA->USB Adaptor

Many thanks to...

We must thank the following companies for kindly donating hardware for our test bed:

Thank you to OCZ for providing us with 1250W Gold Power Supplies.
Thank you to Corsair for providing us with an AX1200i PSU, and Corsair H80i CLC
Thank you to ASUS for providing us with the AMD GPUs and some IO Testing kit.
Thank you to ECS for providing us with the NVIDIA GPUs.
Thank you to Rosewill for providing us with the 500W Platinum Power Supply for mITX testing, BlackHawk Ultra, and 1600W Hercules PSU for extreme dual CPU + quad GPU testing, and RK-9100 keyboards.
Thank you to ASRock for providing us with the 802.11ac wireless router for testing.

‘Performance Index’

In our Haswell memory overview, I introduced a new concept of ‘Performance Index’ as a quick way to determine where a kit of various speed and command rate would sit relative to others where it may not be so obvious.  As a general interpretation of performance in that review, the performance index (PI) worked well, showing that memory kits with a higher PI performed better than those that a lower PI.  There were a few circumstances where performance was MHz or CL dominated, but the PI held strong for kit comparisons.

The PI calculation and ‘rules’ are fairly simple:

  • Performance Index = MHz divided by CL
  • Assuming the same kit size and installation location are the same, the memory kit with the higher PI will be faster
  • Memory kits similar in PI should be ranked by MHz
  • Any kit 1600 MHz or less is usually bad news.

That final point comes about due to the law of diminishing returns – in several benchmarks in our Haswell memory overview performed very poorly (20% worse or more) with the low end MHz kits.  In that overview, we suggested that an 1866 C9 or 2133 C10 might be the minimum suggestion; whereas 2400 C10 covers the sweet spot should any situation demand good memory.

With this being said, the results for our kits are as follows:

Performance Index

From the data in our memory overview, it was clear that any kit with a performance index of less than 200 was going to have issues on certain benchmarks.  The ADATA kit has a PI of 178, and thus in principle might drop back in some benchmarks .

ADATA XPG V1.0: 2x8GB DDR3L-1600 C9 1.35V Overview, Specifications and Visual Inspection IGP Gaming
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  • azazel1024 - Friday, December 6, 2013 - link

    Can't really argue most of the points.

    However, I find it mildly useful. I have a 2x4GB kit in my server, which is on nearly 24/7 (Task scheduler pulls it down to S3 from 1am back awake at 6am, because no one is ever awake to use it them).

    I can run it at 1.2v since it is a G1610 Celeron, so only 1333mhz and its a G.Skill Sniper 1.25v DDR3 1600Mhz kit. Lowest I could go before was a single DIMM 4GB 1.5v module I could run at 1.4v before things got wonky.

    Difference between the two DIMMs at 1.2v and 1.5v though is around 1.5W at idle on my kill-a-watt and around 2-3w when hitting the server with a heavy load. Not much, but it is a bit of green ePeen for me, and the thing does run close to 24x7. Sure, its still probably only $2 a year, but I am hoping to get several years out of the machine or at least the memory.

    My desktop has 1.35V CAS9 kit in it, 4x4GB Mushkin DDR3 1600 kit. The advantage there is it'll run at 1866Mhz CAS10 and 1.38v stable. It was cheaper than any 2x8GB kits on the market at the time and actually slightly cheaper than any 4x4GB DDR3 1866 kits.

    Case temp is a degree lower at 1.38v than at 1.5v and it also runs about 4w less under load.

    It isn't much, but I pride myself on having low(ish) power setups, as well as running as quiet and cool as I can, plus especially the 16GB kit in my desktop, it was actually cheaper to get the LoVo memory and upclock it to 1866Mhz than it was to get a native 1866Mhz kit at the time.
  • The Von Matrices - Friday, December 6, 2013 - link

    You make a very good point that I never though of before.

    S3 sleep still provides power to refresh the memory. If you are like me and never shut down your computer (instead using sleep) then your memory is consuming energy 24/7 no matter how infrequently the computer is powered on.

    If you don't use your computer a lot but do use sleep, then the memory could account for a significant portion of the computer's overall energy consumption.
  • gamoniac - Sunday, December 8, 2013 - link

    I have my server running 24x7, too, but the saving here is really not that significant. Basically, accidentally leaving a 60-watt light blub on over night would undo months of saving gained from this low-voltage RAM.
  • ShieTar - Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - link

    You're supposed to replace those bulbs by 10-watt LEDs as well ;-)

    It's not always about the current saving potential. Sure, 1W of 24/7 usage is only 2$ to 3$ of savings, depending on where you live, today. But with the increasing number of customers and constant or decreasing sources for electricity, it makes sense for us as a civilization to invest into power-saving technologies. So the low-voltage RAM is a fundamentally good Idea, and if the combined cost of Hardware and Electricity is comparable to normal-voltage modules, it makes plenty of sense to buy them. Even if you don't save enormous amounts of money right now, at least this module can now become the new baseline if everybody goes for it.
  • MrSpadge - Sunday, December 8, 2013 - link

    During sleep the data in memory is refreshed, but I'm pretty sure there is no clock signal supplied, so it's not actually working. Hence power consumption should be significantly lower than running normally, I gues by about 1 to 2 orders of magnitude.
  • JoannWDean - Saturday, December 14, 2013 - link

    my buddy's aunt earned 14958 dollar past week. she been working on the laptop and got a 510900 dollar home. All she did was get blessed and put into action the information leaked on this site...
  • Cygni - Friday, December 6, 2013 - link

    What about heat? The real target market for these seems to be people (like me) interested in making true silent high performance PCs. Because its nearly 2014 and it's time to stop putting leaf blowers on the side of your case to play a video game.

    I would be interested in seeing what difference the voltage makes, and the comparison to the other kits.
  • BigLeagueJammer - Friday, December 6, 2013 - link

    Here's an article with tests performed by Puget Systems:

    The conclusion they found was that the lower voltage RAM made a 1-2 degree difference in CPU temperatures. That's not huge, but if you're striving for a really quiet build, it could help make it little bit more quiet.
  • MrSpadge - Sunday, December 8, 2013 - link

    Playing a game you probably have a CPU+Mainboard+RAM drawing about 100 W, and a GPU drawing at least 100 W. Now subtract 1 to 2 W from low voltage RAM from this and you get less than 1% difference. This won't be audible even in direct comparisons.
  • extide - Friday, December 6, 2013 - link

    Regarding Low TDP CPU's.

    A lot of people don't seem to realize that Low TDP CPU's are basically the exact same thing as a regular TDP chip, except they don't turbo as much, hit as high freq/etc.

    The point is a 84W i7 4770 will idle down just as low as a 35W i7-4765T, for example. It is only when the CPU is fully pegged that the lower TDP actually makes a difference.

    For a normal desktop user, just browsing the internet/etc, this means that a 84W chip vs a 35W chip will make almost no difference, especially if they are the exact same configuration. (quadcore vs dualcore, same number of EU's in the graphics, etc) The CPU is idle/clocked down via speed step/etc most of the time anyways.

    Back in the day, there used to be a bigger difference as the low-TDP chips had the same clocks and performance as the regular ones but ran on less volts. Back then, those low power chips were great. These days the low TDP ones typically run in similar voltage ranges, and whatnot but essentially their ability to reach into the higher ranges (voltage, clockspeed, etc) is significantly reduced. They are basically the exact same chips. There may be some mild binning involved, but if you really want a good-binned CPU for low power then you will probably need to get a mobile/laptop chip.

    So basically unless you are running F@H or something, a T or S series CPU is really pointless. Unless you are an OEM, and NEED to strictly adhere to some thermal limit due to a small cooler or something, I see almost zero reason to go for a T/S series CPU, ES{ECIALLY when they typically cost more!

    I see lots of people using T/S series cpu's in things like PC-based routers. That is a prime example of a place where it is pointless to do so, because the cpu will be idle 99% of the time anyways, and a normal TDP chip can clock/volt down just as much as a low tdp chip.

    Just some food for thought. Sorry, it is a tiny bit off-topic with regards to the actual article, but you do mention power savings and low TDP chips in there.

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