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
POST A COMMENT

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  • 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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