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  • azazel1024 - Friday, December 06, 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.
    Reply
  • The Von Matrices - Friday, December 06, 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.
    Reply
  • gamoniac - Sunday, December 08, 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. Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Sunday, December 08, 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. Reply
  • JoannWDean - Saturday, December 14, 2013 - link

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  • Cygni - Friday, December 06, 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.
    Reply
  • BigLeagueJammer - Friday, December 06, 2013 - link

    Here's an article with tests performed by Puget Systems:
    http://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Technolo...

    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.
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Sunday, December 08, 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. Reply
  • extide - Friday, December 06, 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.
    Reply
  • MelvisLives - Friday, December 06, 2013 - link

    even for things like folding the T/S series make little sense
    I run my normal 84W haswell i5 at 2.6Ghz with a -0.26V offset to allow me to run it in my htpc case without a cpu fan, maths says its max tdp will be about 40W, with the added bonus I can increase it if i want or move case.
    so i guess my point is, T series cant be made to hit the same levels as a standard i5 but a standard i5 will undervolt/underclock to T series level, and they cost exactly the same, making T series poor value.
    Reply
  • popej - Friday, December 06, 2013 - link

    I have recently flashed BIOS update, which included new microcode from Intel. As I understand this microcode update not only disabled any overclock for non-K Haswell (multicore enhancement) but also possibility to undervolt CPU. It is quite possible, that your i5 could be affected too. Reply
  • MelvisLives - Saturday, December 07, 2013 - link

    thats sad to hear if its true, and does change things slightly, but it also means that intel are aware how poor value the T/S chips are and are trying to keep a market for them since a i5-4570 is the same price as an i5-4570S and 4570T. Reply
  • peterfares - Sunday, December 08, 2013 - link

    But that raises the question: why bother? If they're the same chips sold at the same price, why artificially make three different models with different capabilities? It makes sense if they sell them for different prices (even if it is a douchy thing to do). Reply
  • ShieTar - Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - link

    The non-T/S versions are usually better/more efficient than specified, so in most cases they will indeed perform the same as the T/S. But you could be unlucky and get a unusually inefficient normal chip, which really uses up its 84W TDP. Reply
  • purerice - Friday, December 06, 2013 - link

    Thank you for your explanation. I actually had been tempted by the 4770S/4670T because I thought there was a bigger difference. I am still in the age where underclocking was done manually.

    As for this RAM, the article was very in depth and well-done but I am a little disappointed that the article didn't show any make or break situations. For example, all of the dGPU framerates were playable while none of the iGPU framerates were playable. The tests should have been done at resolutions that would have produced borderline playability to better see in which situations the there would be a noticeable difference.
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Sunday, December 08, 2013 - link

    Agreed: regular CPUs with lowered voltage are far better value than S/T models. Or underclocked and undervolted, if necessary. This does involve manual testing, though. Reply
  • oranos - Friday, December 06, 2013 - link

    what's the point of "low voltage" ram. I fail to see any real world difference between 1.35v and 1.5v standard. Reply
  • MrSpadge - Sunday, December 08, 2013 - link

    You've got to run a lot of them, like in a server farm, for this to matter. Reply
  • shing3232 - Friday, December 06, 2013 - link

    I would like to have this kind of ram at laptop Reply
  • Khenglish - Friday, December 06, 2013 - link

    They do. It just costs more. Tons of 1600 9-9-9 T1 1.35V 8GB sticks on newegg. Even 1866 10-10-10 T1 8GB sticks.

    The question is if your laptop supports 1.35V or not. Only 8 series and a few 7 series laptops will run at 1.35V. Other laptops will run the memory at 1.5V despite it being 1.35V, which is fun if your laptop allows overclocking (which unfortunately is just top end clevo and alienware), but a waste of money and power if not.
    Reply
  • jeffbui - Saturday, December 07, 2013 - link

    Apple uses DDR3L in their Macbook Pros and LPDDR3 in their Air line Reply
  • Xpl1c1t - Friday, December 06, 2013 - link

    Fail to see why this is something worth reviewing. Maybe in the 2009/2010 timeframe this would have been more relevant, but there were better performing kits available then @ 1.35v. Namely there were the GSkill ECO and Mushkin 996825 kits which were killer. I still run mine at 1700mhz 6-8-6-24-1T and 1.4v and am sure they could run well below 1.35v @ 1600. Reply
  • StrangerGuy - Saturday, December 07, 2013 - link

    The more pressing question is the TOTAL lack of power consumption tests especially for standby states. C'mon who do you think the target customers are for low voltage RAM? Reply
  • MrSpadge - Sunday, December 08, 2013 - link

    Those were probably 4 GB, or maybe even 2 GB modules. Reply
  • jeffrey - Saturday, December 07, 2013 - link

    Ian Cutress,
    Hello! You keep writing articles about 1866/C9 being the minimum and to avoid 1600. Even going so far as to say, "Any kit 1600 MHz or less is usually bad news."

    However, this ignores 1600/C8 modules. The 1600/C8 score a 200 on your Performance Index at stock timings. This is at your recommended 200 level. There are several kits of 2x4 GB 1600/C8 on Newegg that have memory profiles of 8-8-8-24 at 1.5v. I'll repeat, these 1600 8-8-8-24 1.5v kits score 200 on the Performance Index and hit the current memory sweet spot for most people of 2x4 GB. This scores within around 3% of the 1866/C9 kits which have a Performance score of 207.

    The reason I bring this up is that the 1600 8-8-8-24 kits are often less expensive than the 1866/C9 kits and offer essentially all of the performance.

    I enjoy reading your articles and appreciate the volume that you have contributed lately!
    Reply
  • Hairs_ - Saturday, December 07, 2013 - link

    if you look at the benchmarks for these articles, you'll see that the differences between any of the kits tested is either hairline marginal, within the boundaries of statistical error, or non existent with the exception of two tests: winrar 4.2 (and not earlier versions) and explicit solver. Since I doubt anyone is doing explicit solver on an Intel integrated graphics rig, and most people aren't using winrar, it's pretty clear that recommending anything other than a standard 1600 kit with decent timings is a waste of effort on Intel chips.

    However this appears to have slipped past anandtech's reviewers, so these meaningless articles continue.
    Reply
  • GTVic - Saturday, December 07, 2013 - link

    That didn't make any sense. The benchmark tool gives a performance index. Whether people use the software is irrelevant. Reply
  • Hairs_ - Sunday, December 08, 2013 - link

    it's entirely relevant. It proves that with the exception of two very specific and rare use cases, these ram kits make no difference to much cheaper ones. Reply
  • ibemerson - Saturday, December 07, 2013 - link

    The reason I have mostly seen given for using low voltage memory is that it will supposedly last longer, and enable CPU's with on-die memory controllers to last longer, especially since Intel specifies 1.5v for memory, while many kits run at 1.65v. Some of us want computers that keep working for 10+ years.

    One question I had when researching a possible X-79 build involves the fact that installing 8 sticks of RAM on a board will cause the on-die memory controller to auto-downclock the memory because of the increased load. Does low voltage ram avoid this?
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Sunday, December 08, 2013 - link

    > Does low voltage ram avoid this?

    Nope. It's actually the signal quality and not the power draw which causes them to downclock. I've got a X79 build with 8x8 GB where I simply set XMP at stock frequency (1600 or 1866) and it works without problems. I think it's the same as overclocking memory and controller: Intel doesn't want to validate this, but this doesn't mean it would not work.
    Reply
  • BlueReason - Saturday, December 07, 2013 - link

    Do you ever look at all the charts full of near-identical sized bars and ask yourself just how worthwhile these RAM reviews are? Reply
  • ShieTar - Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - link

    Well, some RAM testing is fundamentally important, in order to understand how much impact there is with current CPUs, RAM, Software, etc.

    What may be less useful is posting a full article that shows just how little impact there is right now, and then following it up with a steady stream of single RAM tests that only keep on reporting the same conclusion over and over.
    Reply
  • cjs150 - Monday, December 09, 2013 - link

    I use low profile/low voltage samsung green for my HTPC (which is fanless). Lower voltage = less heat which is obviously beneficial in a fanless computer. The fact that the samsungs were the same price as a good name standard ram meant the decision was very simple.

    If not going fanless then I would still go for the samsungs where memory height was an issue for a big CPU cooler.

    Low voltage is a niche
    Reply
  • blackie333 - Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - link

    A have a brand new Haswell build with 4670K, Asus Z87-Pro and G.Skill 2400C10 memory. I was quite surprised that in idle mode G.Skill@2400Mhz is consuming much more energy(10Watts) than CPU cores (1-5 watts).
    Is there any bios setting (except setting DRAM frequency manually too low) to make memory be more effective in idle state(s)? Thank you in advance for advice
    Reply

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