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Written by Servando Silva   
Monday, 10 May 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
G.Skill ECO 4GB DDR3 Memory Kit F310666CL7D
G.Skill ECO F3 10666CL7D Specifications
Closer Look: G.Skill ECO DDR3
G.Skill ECO SPD
RAM Testing Methodology
Benchmark Tests Results
Application Performance Results
Overclocking and Power Consumption
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Testing Methodology: DDR3 RAM

At Benchmark Reviews we need to test memory without adding any other factors to the results. While testing stock speeds is usually easy, it only gets more difficult when we want to add overclocked results. We need to make some changes to the BIOS values and test each configuration to ensure maximum stability. First, I set the values on the BIOS and run Memtest to check if the kit is stable or not. After that, I test with OCCT Perestroika to check if the CPU is stable along with the whole system.

Finally, Benchmark Reviews decides which frequencies are going to be shown in the graphics in order to leave the CPU factor outside of the equation. This way you´ll probably see small differences between memory frequencies, latencies and voltage reflected on our charts without the CPU interfering in the results. Benchmark Reviews uses the following tests suites and applications:

GSkill_ECO_Testbed.jpg

Test System

  • Motherboard: ECS H55H-I Mini ITX
  • System Memory: 2x2GB G.Skill ECO F3 10666CL7D
  • Processor: Intel Core i3 530 with stock heatsink
  • Video: ATI HD 5850 @ stock (only for Crysis Benchmark)
  • Disk Drive 1: Seagate Momentus 320 GB 5400 RPM
  • Enclosure: Cooler Master Elite 100
  • PSU: CM Flex ATX 150 watts PFC
  • Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate x64

As you can see, I tested the G.Skill ECO 4GB kit in a HTPC-like PC. Since the ECOs were done to achieve maximum efficiency and lower temperatures I thought it was a good way to test them. The CM Elite 100 doesn´t have any fans or great airflow, so it was a good way to see if this kit can work in small form factor cases and stay stable while doing some overclock. This configuration will reflect bigger results on power consumption since the system won´t consume as much as a high-end PC.

While we used a H55 based motherboard, as long as we enabled the XMP the motherboard worked at 1.35v without any problems. Unluckily, we could not raise voltage from this point, so either we worked at 1.35v or we disabled the XMP to start at 1.5v. Following this path, I had no other choice but testing different frequencies, latencies, and power consumption at 1.35v, 1.5v at finally 1.6v. A deeper explanation about the Overclocked results will appear on the next pages. The G.Skill ECO setup was the next for the benchmark and applications performance tests:

  • 1333MHz 6-6-6-21 1T 1.35v
  • 1333MHz 7-7-7-21-1T 1.35v
  • 1600MHz 6-7-6-21 1T 1.5v
  • 1600MHz 6-8-6-21 1T 1.5v



 

Comments 

 
# Excellent Review!Justin MacQueen 2010-05-09 23:02
Hi Servando, an excellent review! I have been running two of these kits (8GB total) in my rig for some time, on an ASRock P55M-Pro mATX board with an i7 860. Right from the get-go they booted at correct timings and correct voltage. I'm very happy with them myself. Your overclocking results are interesting, I'm going to go and try your 1600MHz settings right now and see whether two kits are stable at these timings or not. Looking forward to seeing how you get on with an i7! Also for reference, my sticks use the Elpida BBSE you mentioned. Thanks again!
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# RE: Excellent Review!Servando Silva 2010-05-10 17:44
Thanks Justin,
Since you have some Elpida BBSE you should go and try rising up the tRCD as I did. I really loved the 1600MHz 6-7-6 configuration. Just to let you know, I´ve got a i5 750 paired with the P55 ASUS Maximus III Formula, and I´ll update my results as soon as I´ve a time (probably on the forum thread, but I´ll link it here). Right now, they´re working at 1.3v with stock settings without problems, but I wasn´t able to boot at 1.25v.
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# Commendations again on a review well done!K Gregory 2010-05-10 12:10
Sharp review again here at Benchmark Reviews. I came across a review of the Kingston Hyper X Low Voltage product and I was very impressed. I think the G.Skill Eco has the better pricing vs the Kingston Hyper X 1333 kit($14 between the products)and slightly better timings. -Great that you added those superior timings in your testing that were achievable at such a low voltage!
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# RE: Commendations again on a review well done!Servando Silva 2010-05-10 17:41
Hi Gregory!
I´ve seen the Kingston Lo-Vo Edition and I think this kit is better. G.Skill memory will probably overclock better and they cost less as you´ve said. Kingston in the other hand, has a kit that can work with 1.25v but at expense of higher latencies.
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# Thank you for this great review.B Hin 2010-05-13 11:36
I have been using the same memory for a while now. Using your results, I have tried to find the lowest voltage at which I could run it.
At 1.28V with the settings 7-8-7-21 1t at 1333MHz the memory passes several hours of stress testing. (I didn't test any longer, it didn't fail)

I didn't manage to get it stable at a lower voltage, however the system did boot on 1.26V.
Tested on an ASUS P7H55D-M EVO - motherboard, with a core i3 530 running at default clock.
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# RE: Thank you for this great review.Servando Silva 2010-05-13 13:43
I did the same low voltage tests on the Maximus III Formula. This kit in particular works at 1.3v (set on BIOS) or 1.27v (measured with multimeter).
As you said, anything lower than that won´t be stable or barely boot windows. BTW, I used 7-7-7 timings.
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# Additional findingsB Hin 2010-05-15 14:51
Aside from the normally clocked settings, I also have a profile at which the i3 530 is overclocked to 4400 MHz. The idea being that one push of the powerbutton turns a very economical computer into something a bit more powerfull. (Although at the current version of the asus software for this motherboard the profile switching feature doesn't seem to work yet, unfortunately.)
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# Additional findingsB Hin 2010-05-15 14:52
For the overclocked profile I decided to find the tighest settings at the highest memory frequency possible. Which is 1600 for this processor. (with the help of the motherboard, normally it is 1333)
I turned up the frequency to 1600, and the voltage to 1.56V to find the tightest settings. I could only get it to work at 7-8-7-21 1T Which at first disappointed me a little.
I then slowly decreased the voltage to find the minimum at this setting. Now this part really surprised me: the memory remained stable (even after several hours of stress testing) at only 1.34V
What is really amazing about that is that it is still below the voltage setting of the XMP for 1333MHz.
So in recap,
min (core i3 @2.9MHz): 1333 MHz @ 7-8-7-21 1t -->1.28V
max (core i3 @4.4Mhz): 1600 MHZ @ 7-8-7-21 1t --> 1.34V
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# RE: Additional findingsServando Silva 2010-05-15 15:35
Well, that is really weird. For 1.28v, have you tried 7-7-7-21 1T?
And what´s the best you can do (MHz) at 6-7-6-21 1T? I can´t think your memory does the same at 1.35v than at 1.55v. There should be some kind of limitation. It could be your MB (not probable), your memory (it might be), or a bad CPU for Mem scaling.
I still haven´t tried max freq scaling with this motherboard since work is drowning me but I bet it will do better than the Mini-ITX I used for the review (it better do it).
Take care.
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# reB Hin 2010-05-17 10:35
Thanks for pointing out that something must be limiting the voltage scaling, I will look deeper into it when I have the time. I did indeed find that the memory remains stable at 7-7-7-21 1T @ 1.28V.
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# RE: G.Skill ECO 4GB DDR3 Memory Kit F310666CL7DServando Silva 2010-05-18 20:07
I just want to add. I did tests on the Maximus III Formula, and other than discovering this kit works perfectly at 1.3v, I couldn´t achieve better OC results, neither better timings. It seems this is the MHz wall of this kit. The 1600MHz kit, should do a little bit more.
I also discovered 1600MHz 6-7-6-21 1T needs only 1.4v (multimeter) and not 1.5v. But the Mini-ITX used didn´t let me test that. This is still a great kit.
Take Care.
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# XMP on H55H-IDean 2010-08-27 22:28
Based on your review I bought the H55H-I MB and gskill eco. Only problem I have is I cant get the MB down to 1.35V. Can you tell me where th XMP setting is in BIOS. Many thanks.
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# RE: XMP on H55H-IOlin Coles 2010-08-27 22:31
Dean, this setting is usually in the memory configuration of the BIOS, under advanced settings. Your manual should be able to help.
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# RE: G.Skill ECO 4GB DDR3 Memory Kit F310666CL7DRuzveh 2010-08-31 19:26
Hey guys just a simple suggestion in each of your reviews posted on the website. Whenever you mention the price on the conclusion page please mentioned date on which the test was posted. Because i dont knw when the test was done for which the price is $xxx. Hence i cant not judge properly whether its a good value buy or not worth.
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