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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

Overclocking Results

Some of you readers probably were thinking why I would use such weird settings for performance tests. I need to say that the G.Skill ECOs are one of the most interesting kits I´ve ever tested. This kit simply doesn´t care about the CL or tRP settings. It´s all about tRCD and that´s how Benchmark Reviews chose the settings. Since I did not knew which ICs were beyond the hood all I had to do was to test every setting possible and compile all my results. This quickly lead to me to discover the key for overclocking this kit was simply raising the tRCD while keeping the rest of the timings as low as possible. Let´s have a look to the chart:

GSkill_ECO_Voltage_Scaling.png

Starting with 6-6-6 timings, we could achieve 1260MHz at 1.35v. Raising vDIMM to 1.5v gave us 1333MHz and finally 1.6v didn´t add that much. The G.Skill ECO kit doesn´t really shine with high frequencies but it does a pretty good job on low latencies. The kit was even able to work at 1333MHz 6-6-5-21 Timings!

After that, we moved to 6-7-6-21 1T and this configuration is really where this kit rocks. Reaching 1333MHz was easy with barely 1.35 volts (while the kit is rated at 7-7-7-21 2T with the same voltage). Raising vDIMM up to 1.5v gave us 1600MHz and finally 1.6v didn´t help that much. Please notice that 1600MHz 6-7-6-21 1T was the best configuration for all our performance results, so, even for motherboards which doesn´t support low-vDIMM voltages this kit should be a nice pair for your processor with low timings and just 1.5 volts.

Finally, rising latencies to 6-8-6 let us start at 1600MHz with barely 1.35 volts! This one could be a nice setup for low-vDIMM motherboards since you´re paying for a 1333MHz kit. This time we could only achieve 1730MHz but that´s almost 400 extra Megahertz from default. While Benchmark Reviews tested 6-9-6 settings they didn´t helped anywhere on frequencies, so we just decided to leave that setup out of the chart.

Please keep in mind that while all memory kits are different, some kits could do better or worse than this, but considering the G.Skill F3 10666CL7D kit was done for mid/high-end P55 motherboards paired with i5-i7 processors, there are big chances on achieving higher frequencies than I got, especially considering my setup was based on a low-end H55+Intel Core i3. Now, before you start asking why I chose this setup, remember I wanted to show you how good could this kit be for HTPCs, where you use very "basic" components and the airflow and heat dissipation is very limited because of the small form factor cases. Also, this way I can show you the advantages of power consumption in a better way rather than utilizing a system that consumes 150 watts or more on idle mode. Let´s head to the Power Consumption paragraph to see the results.

GSkill_ECO_MemOC.png

G.Skill ECO F3 10666CL7D kit working at 1600MHz 6-7-6-21 1T with 1.5 volts. Nice setup indeed!

Power Consumption Results

As I´ve mentioned before, the reason to try this memory on a low-end H55 motherboard paired with the Intel Core i3 530 CPU was to achieve a very low but still powerful machine. Using a 150 watts PSU would be much more efficient than pairing this with a 700 watts high-end PSU. Also, this way we will analyze power consumption with different voltages and the results will have a bigger gap-percentage compared to a high-end system. All the results were obtained with a P3 International Kill-a-watt and the consumption was measured directly on the plug of the PSU, which means the whole system consumption is being measured (except for the monitor or any external peripherals).

GSkill_ECO_Power_Consumption.png

At idle tests, using 1.35v against the 1.5-1.65 volts recommended by Intel gives us close to 3 watts less. In the best case there was a 4 watts difference between 1.35v and 1.65v. Maybe this sounds like a joke for some of you, but considering this is almost 10% from total system consumption I wouldn´t say this is irrelevant. Adding some Load with Prime 95 shows a bigger gap between different voltages. The 300 mili-Volts difference is actually doing something there. In the best case, there is a 9 watts difference between 1.35v and 1.65v. Again, 9 watts could sound like nothing, but in this system it represents 10% of the power consumption, so if you really want to achieve a low power consumption system, low-voltage memory kits like this are something you must definitively consider, and hey, they are cheap and clock very well with low latencies. What else could you ask for? Maybe they would even work with lower voltages if your motherboard allows you to do so (some motherboards offer 1.2v and higher for vDIMM operation).

If you have a high-end PC and you don´t care about 5-10 watts difference, don´t forget this kit is also good when overclocked and it´s cheaper than many kits on the market. Also, there are high probabilities that yours will achieve higher frequencies on a high-end P55 motherboard with a Core i5/Core i7 CPU.



 

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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