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Low Voltage DDR3 1600MHz Memory Shootout - Joining the Eco Club
By Vincent Chang - 1 Dec 2010,8:41am

Members of the Eco Club

Members of the Eco Club

We wanted to focus on low voltage memory modules (1.5V and below) for this roundup and while there were some rare high-speed DDR3 modules (like Kingston's LoVo series that could do DDR3 1866MHz on 1.35V), it was relatively easier to find DDR3 1600MHz memory modules. Given that we're still likely to be using DDR3 memory for upcoming platforms from both AMD and Intel, we are quite confident that DDR3 1600MHz will be the mainstream 'speed' for the next year at least.

There are however not that many low voltage memory modules out there just yet. We managed to get four dual-channel kits. They come with slightly different latencies and with pretty distinctive and unique cooling too. Here are the specifications for the four modules.

Tech Specifications
Model Name
Part Number
Latency Voltage
G.SKILL ECO DDR3 1600MHz Dual-Channel Memory Kit F3-12800CL7D-4GBECO 7-8-7-24 1.35V
Kingmax Hercules DDR3 1600MHz Dual-Channel Kit  FLGE85F-B8KJ7A FEIS 7-7-7-20 1.5V
Kingston HyperX DDR3 Low Voltage Performance Memory Kit KHX1600C9D3LK2/4GX 9-9-9-27 1.35V
OCZ DDR3 PC3-12800 Reaper Ultra Low Voltage CL7 Dual Channel Kit OCZ3RPR1600ULV4GK 7-8-8-24 1.5V



G.SKILL's ECO DDR3 1600MHz Dual-Channel Memory Kit is one of the two memory kits here that are rated at 1.35V. G.SKILL has six models in this ECO series, with speeds from DDR3 1333MHz to 1600MHz. This review kit has the lowest latencies among G.SKILL's offerings at 7-8-7-24.

G.SKILL's ECO DDR3 memory module is one of the two that's rated at 1.35V. A rather standard heat spreader design adorns the memory sticks.

The latencies on this memory module were quite competitive for its 'low voltage' support.


Kingmax Hercules

The next memory kit from Kingmax belongs to its Hercules series. It has very competitive 7-7-7-20 latencies, but we bet that all you'll notice is the lack of the conventional heat spreader on the memory module. Instead, Kingmax's proprietary Nano Thermal Dissipation Technology is used, which as far as we can tell, is the thin, blue silicon compound stuck over each memory chip. According to Kingmax, the nano-sized silicon compound fills up any miniscule pockets of space on the surface of the chip thereby increasing the thermal conductivity. The improvements are positive enough that Kingmax doesn't require conventional heat spreaders and compounds any more.

With Kingmax using this cooling compound on even its high speed products (2200MHz and 2400MHz), it's probably fair to say that it should have no issues with a low voltage (1.5V) 1600MHz part. But we'll find out for ourselves later. On a side note, Kingmax engineers have mentioned that these modules can operate at 1.35V with no issues but they've currently stuck to 1.5V until further testing can be done to qualify them at 1.35V officially. So that's something you can try personally to further improve the operating efficiency of these memory modules.

Kingmax has one of the more interesting designs with these naked looking memory modules that use its Nano Thermal Dissipation Technology, which is the blue silicon compound on each memory IC.

It's not stated here but at 7-7-7-20, the latencies of this Kingmax memory are the lowest of the four in our roundup.

A closer look at the silicon thermal compound that enables Kingmax to ditch the usual heat spreader design.


Kingston HyperX LoVo

One of Kingston's newer series, its HyperX LoVo brand is targeted at enthusiasts who want the best of both worlds - lower voltages and enthusiast class performance. While Kingston has a more aggressive 1866MHz model that can do 1600MHz at 1.25V (KHX1866C9D3LK2/4GX), the one we got for review today is the slower version that's rated at 1.35V. It's certainly low enough and Kingston has kept with its standard heat spreader design, with the only difference being the choice of a green color scheme. At 9-9-9-27, it does have the highest latencies among the four memory modules in our roundup.

Kingston's LoVo series appears to use the same heat spreader as its other HyperX memory modules (Genesis series). Except for the choice of green to represent its eco-friendly status.

With the highest latencies among the four at 9-9-9-27, Kingston's LoVo memory module may just be a trifle behind the competition. On paper at least.


OCZ Reaper HPC

There are many models from OCZ in its Reaper HPC series, all of which are using the company's distinctive heat-pipe cooling design. With a wide range of latencies, frequencies and voltages, it can take a while to identify the ultra low voltage model featured here. Although it's rated at CL7, we found that on our test system, it was only able to run stable at CL8 (8-8-8-24).

While we had expected less extravagant cooling for low voltage memory modules, not more, OCZ's Reaper Ultra Low Voltage has kept the series' distinctive heat-pipe design.

A decent set of latencies together with presumably better cooling look to be the main draw of the OCZ Reaper.

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