G.SKILL Ripjaws F3-1866C11D-8GRSL
If you are building an Intel NUC or Gigabyte BRIX PC powered by an Intel Haswell processor you might have noticed that 1.35V Low Voltage DDR3 SO-DIMM memory is needed for your system build. It's not every day that you build a desktop PC that uses notebook memory, but many of these new Small Form Factor (SFF) systems use notebook memory as Intel 3rd and 4th Generation Core processors support it and who doesn't want to use a memory kit that uses less power and generates less heat?
There are nearly 90 DDR3 memory kits that operate at 1.35V listed on Newegg, but most are just the standard 1333Mhz or 1600MHz fare. It came as a shock to find that just six of those kits are clocked above 1600MHz in the 1866-2133MHz speed range. Overclockers, enthusiasts and power users that want something a bit faster have rather limited options for DDR3L memory kits, but luckily companies like Corsair, G.SKILL and Crucial have high-end memory on the market for notebooks and desktops.
The lowest cost 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3L memory option on the market right now is the G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB 1866MHZ CL11 memory kit that is sold under part number F3-1866C11D-8GRSL for $82.99 shipped. This DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) memory kit features 11-11-11-32 memory timings at just 1.35 Volts and is backed by a lifetime warranty. G.SKILL also offers what appears to be the same kit of memory with more aggressive 10-10-10-32 timings under part number F3-1866C10D-8GRSL for $84.99 shipped. We doubt there is a difference between the two kits other than the SPD settings, but you have to remember not all notebooks and desktops have a BIOS that supports manually setting memory timings. If you can't adjust the memory timings on the platform that you are shopping around for, then it might be worth spending two extra bucks and getting the kit with tighter timings for slightly better memory performance as the latencies should be lower.
Today we'll be looking at the G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB 1866MHZ CL11 memory kit that is sold under part number F3-1866C11D-8GRSL. This is the lowest cost $17-22 less than the comparable kits by Corsair and Crucial, so we can't wait to give it a test drive and see how it performs in the Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK powered by the 4th generation Intel Core i5-4250U processor (2.6GHz). We've already posted an in-depth review of the NUC Kit D54250WYK and then followed it up with an overclocking article where we overclocked a 1600MHz memory kit to get more performance, so be sure to go back and check those articles out if you aren't familiar with that system. The G.SKILL Ripjaws 204-pin DDR3L SO-DIMM memory kit comes in clear clam-shell packaging with the two memory modules and a small case badge sticker.
The memory kit is built on boring green Printed Circuit Boards (PCB's) and large stickers on both sides cover all of the DDR3 Integrated Circuits (IC's). The labels on the memory modules list the part number of the kit, speed, timings, voltage, date of manufacturing and more. Kudos to G.SKILL for putting all the important information right on the module as it could come in handy years down the road when you pick up this kit and are wondering what exactly it is. We took a look under the stickers and found that G.SKILL is using 2Gb density Samsung DDR3 SDRAM memory chips, so there are eight Samsung chips per side. The exact part number on each IC is SEC 304 HCKO K4B2G0846C.
For testing, we'll be using the Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK as test system and we ran the G.SKILL Ripjaws at 1866MHz in dual-channel mode with 11-11-11-32 1T timings.
The Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK is running Windows 8.1 with all the latest drivers and the BIOS on the board is running version 22.
Now that you know the basics about this memory kit, let's take a look at the results.
NUC Memory Overclocking Results:
SiSoftware Sandra 2014 w/ DDR3L 1600MHz:
SiSoftware Sandra 2014 w/ DDR3L 1866MHz:
SiSoftware Sandra 2014 showed that the NUC went from having 13.85 GB/s of memory bandwidth at 1600MHz up to 15.53 GB/s with the 1866MHz overclock. This is a 12.5% performance improvement when it comes to the memory bandwidth of the system.
AIDA64 v4.00 Beta w/ DDR3L 1600MHz:
AIDA64 v4.00 Beta w/ DDR3L 1866MHz:
AIDA64 v4.00.2731 Beta showed the memory read went from 14545 MB/s to 16586 MB/s, which is a 14% increase in memory performance by going from 1600MHz to 1866MHz. Also notice the latency went from 93.5 ns to 88.3 ns, which is a 5.5% decrease.
Futuremark 3DMark w/ DDR3L 1600MHz:
Futuremark 3DMark w/ DDR3L 1866MHz:
In the latest build of 3DMark we found solid performance with a score of 32,546 in Ice Storm, 3,418 in Cloud Gate and 702 in Fire Strike with 1600MHz memory. With 1866MHz memory the scores improved across the board to 35,326 in Ice Storm, 3,587 in Cloud Gate and 807 in Fire Strike. This is a 5% performance gain in Cloud Gate, which is the ideal 3D benchmark for a desktop system like the NUC with Intel HD 5000 Graphics.
Cinebench R15 w/ DDR3L 1600MHz:
Cinebench R15 w/ DDR3L 1866MHz:
Moving along to Cinebench R15 we found the Intel NUC with the Intel Core i5-4520U processor scored just a tad higher on the CPU test, but the Intel HD Graphics 5000 jumped up from 24.02 FPS to 27.59 FPS on the OpenGL benchmark. We'll take a 14.8% performance gain by switching out a memory kit any day!
TrueCrypt w/ DDR3L 1600MHz:
TrueCrypt w/ DDR3L 1866MHz:
The last performance test that we wanted to run was TrueCrypt and we found the mean score of the AES algorithm benchmark test went from 764 MB/s to 787 MB/s. This isn't a huge increase, but it's still a 3% performance gain on a test that isn't really memory bandwidth limited to begin with.
Overclocking and Final Thoughts
Overclocking the G.SKILL F3-1866C11D-8GRSL notebook memory kit wasn't that exciting. We went into the BIOS and raised the multiplier to see if 2133MHz was possible with CL11 or CL12 memory timings, but wasn't able to get the system to successfully post. We then tried to see if we could tighten the timings and had some better luck. If you recall in our introduction we told you that for $2 more, that you could get this kit of memory with CL10 timings programmed into the SPD table and not CL11. We'll we were able to run this kit at 1866MHz 10-10-10-28 with 1T command rates versus the standard timings of 11-11-11-32 1T. Not a huge difference, but it just goes to show that you can save some money and lower the timings on this kit if your platform allows it.
We ran AIDA64 v4.00 again and found that the read memory bandwidth and overall module latencies improved just a bit with the tighter timings. The latency of the memory kit is down to 87.3 ns, which is pretty good for notebook modules!
Final Thoughts and Conclusions:
Our testing showed that enthusiasts will want to run 1866MHz DDR3L memory in their system if possible. We found 3 to 15 percent performance gains when using a 1866MHz CL11 high-end memory kit versus a 'standard' 1600MHz CL11 memory kit on the Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK. The G.SKILL RIPJAWS Series 8GB 1866MHZ CL11 memory kit that is sold under part number F3-1866C11D-8GRSL ran great in the Intel NUC and made the Intel Core i5-4250U powered system feel faster! Changing out the memory or buying memory like this in the first place is one of the simplest ways to get a little more out of your system. We also love the fact that this kit comes with CL11 timings, but can be manually set to tighter CL10 timings on platforms that allow for advanced manual memory timing changes.
The G.SKILL RIPJAWS Series 8GB 1866MHz CL11 memory kit that we showed you here today runs $82.99 shipped and is lifetime warrantied. This kit is $17 less than the Corsair Vengeance 8GB 1866MHz memory kit and $22 less than the Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB memory kit, which are the only two comparable 8BG 1866MHz DDR3L memory kits on the market today. The G.SKILL RIPJAWS F3-1866C11D-8GRSL is a solid kit of memory and it is clearly the price versus performance leader right now. It should be noted that this is the lowest cost 8GB 1866Mhz DDR3L memory kit out there, but you don't miss out on anything!
We can easily recommend the G.SKILL RIPJAWS F3-1866C11D-8GRSL memory kit to those building an Intel NUC, Gigabyte BRIX or anyone looking to speed up their notebook/Ultrabook!
Legit Bottom Line: The G.SKILL RIPJAWS Series 8GB 1866MHz CL11 memory kit has an attractive price, can be run at tighter than advertised timings and helped improve system performance!