G.SKILL Ripjaws DDR3L 2133MHz 8GB Kit F3-2133C11D-8GRSL
Earlier this month we took an in-depth look at the G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB 1866MHZ CL11 memory kit that is sold under part number F3-1866C11D-8GRSL for $82.99 shipped. We found that running faster DDR3L memory in newer systems powered by 4th Generation Intel Haswell processors to be very beneficial for those looking to get the most from their system.
Over the past few months we've spent a fair amount of time using the Intel NUC and Gigabyte BRIX PC Small Form Factor (SFF) systems that notebook use DDR3L SO-DIMM memory kits. One thing that we've discovered with the Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK powered by the 4th generation Intel Core i5-4250U 'Haswell' processor (2.6GHz) is that no 2133MHz DDR3L memory kit was able to work in dual-channel mode. While Legit Reviews was at CES 2014 we found that a number of companies were showing off their SO-DIMM memory, but all stopped at 1866MHz in the Intel NUC. Even on our test benches here at Legit Reviews we could not get any brands kit to run in the latest Haswell powered NUCs at 2133MHz.
This week our friends at G.SKILL overnight mailed us their latest RIPJAWS SO-DIMM F3-2133C11D-8GRSL memory kit straight from Taiwan. This is the kit that was announced in November 2013 and it is just now coming out. Just moments after receiving the kit, we popped it into the Intel NUC to see if it would work. We went into the BIOS and manually set the clock frequency to 2133MHz along with the proper CL11 timings and restarted the system. We weren't expecting the system to post, but after several seconds we found ourselves on the desktop! After triple checking everything, we discovered that we were really running at 2133MHz! We were excited by this as neither Intel or G.SKILL have never been able to get 2133MHz memory working in dual-channel on the Haswell powered Intel NUC kits! So what changed? G.SKILL has moved to a 4Gb density module and that involves new SDRAM chips and PCB revision, so basically the whole module has been revamped.
Only Corsair and G.SKILL currently offer 2133MHz DDR3L SO-DIMM laptop memory kits, so very few memory companies are pushing the bleeding edge when it comes to notebook memory. At $89.99 shipped, the lowest cost 8GB (2x4GB) 2133MHz DDR3L memory option on the market right now is the G.SKILL Ripjaws Series kit with part number F3-2133C11D-8GRSL. This DDR3L 2133 memory kit features 11-11-11-36 1T memory timings at just 1.35 Volts and is backed by a lifetime warranty. Corsair offers a similar kit under part number CMSX8GX2M2B2133C11, but it runs $109.99 shipped. G.SKILL has their kit priced $20 lower and uses newer high density memory chips that appear to work on the latest Intel NUC modules at 2133MHz. 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 traditional green Printed Circuit Boards (PCB's) and has large stickers that cover both sides 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. G.SKILL is one of the few companies that puts 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 4Gb density Samsung DDR3 SDRAM memory chips, so there are four Samsung chips per side. This is a significant change as the previous G.SKILL RIPJAWS 8GB 1866MHZ SO-DIMM memory kit used 2Gb density Samsung memory chips. This means that the density of the memory units inside the individual chips has been increased. Since the capacity of each module remains the same at 4GB, G.SKILL was able to use a total of eight memory chips instead of the sixteen that we previously needed for this module or another words we went from 512Mx16 to 512Mx8.
The exact part number on each Samsung B-Die SDRAM package is SEC 340 HYKO K4B4G0846B.
For testing, we'll be using the Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK as test system and we ran the G.SKILL Ripjaws at 2133MHz in dual-channel mode with 11-11-11-36 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.
DDR3L 2133MHz Memory Kit Benchmark Results:
SiSoftware Sandra 2014 w/ DDR3L 1600MHz:
SiSoftware Sandra 2014 w/ DDR3L 1866MHz:
SiSoftware Sandra 2014 w/ DDR3L 2133MHz:
SiSoftware Sandra 2014 showed that the NUC went from having 17.33 GB/s of memory bandwidth at 1600MHz up to 21.73 GB/s with the 1866MHz kit and then it dropped down to 21 GB/s with the 2133MHz memory kit. We were expecting to see an increase in performance from 1866MHz to 2133MHz, but we actually saw a small decrease in memory bandwidth.
AIDA64 v4.00 Beta w/ DDR3L 1600MHz:
AIDA64 v4.00 Beta w/ DDR3L 1866MHz:
AIDA64 v4.00 Beta w/ DDR3L 2133MHz:
AIDA64 v4.00.2752 Beta showed the memory read went from 19525 MB/s to 23573 MB/s, which is a 14% increase in memory performance by going from 1600MHz to 2133MHz. Also notice the latency went from 90.7 ns to 83.6 ns, which is a 7.8% decrease. The performance differences between 1866MHz and 2133MHz are fairly minor once again.
Futuremark 3DMark w/ DDR3L 1600MHz:
Futuremark 3DMark w/ DDR3L 1866MHz:
Futuremark 3DMark w/ DDR3L 2133MHz:
In the latest build of 3DMark we found solid performance with a score of 43,624 in Ice Storm with 1600MHz memory, 45,481 with 1866MHz memory and finally 46,804 with 2133MHz memory. The scores went from 702 in Fire Strike with 1600MHz memory, 710 with 1866Mhz memory and 758 with 2133MHz memory. This is a 7.2% performance gain in Cloud Gate, which is the ideal 3D benchmark for a desktop system like the NUC with Intel HD 5000 Graphics. The performance between running the memory at 1866MHz and 2133MHz was found to be 2.9%.
Cinebench R15 w/ DDR3L 1600MHz:
Cinebench R15 w/ DDR3L 1866MHz:
Cinebench R15 w/ DDR3L 2133MHz:
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 25.06 FPS to 28.40 FPS on the OpenGL benchmark. It should be noted that single core CPU performance was significantly degraded with the 2133MHz memory kit installed and we have reached out to Intel to see what could be causing this and they are looking into it as well. We'll take a 13.3% performance gain on the graphics side by switching out a memory kit any day!
TrueCrypt w/ DDR3L 1600MHz:
TrueCrypt w/ DDR3L 1866MHz:
TrueCrypt w/ DDR3L 2133MHz:
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 1.3 GB/s to 1.4 GB/s. This isn't a huge increase, but it's still a 7.7% performance gain on a test that isn't really memory bandwidth limited to begin with.
Overclocking and Final Thoughts
Overclocking the G.SKILL F3-2133C11D-8GRSL notebook memory kit was pretty nerve racking. For starters the highest memory divider in the Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK boards BIOS allows for even number adjustments between 8-16, so 2133MHz (1.333 x 16) is the maximum speed you can run DDR3L memory at inside the Intel NUC.
Since you can't raise the memory multiplier beyond 16, the only thing we could do was to try and tighten the timings. This memory kit comes with 11-11-11-36 1T timings and if we lowered that to 10-11-10-36 or 11-11-11-32 we would crash on the desktop when the system first booted or we couldn't even get a successful boot. We even tried bumping up the voltage from 1.35V to 1.425V with the tighter timings to see if more power to the modules might help, but it did not.
It appears that either this G.SKILL RIPJAWS SO-DIMM memory kit is pretty much maxed out or the Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK PC is unable to support anything tighter. We have a feeling that it might be a mixture of both as we've had troubles running 2133MHz memory in the past on the platform and running 16GB (2x8GB) memory kits at 1866MHz and above usually doesn't work either. The Intel NUC D54250WYK and D54250WYKH are both solid platforms, but when you toss in some overclocked memory or high-capacity memory, you start to see some weak points. Our testing has found those wanting to run 16GB of memory in the NUC are best to stick with a 1600MHz memory kit and those that are wanting to go with 8GB of memory can get away with 2133MHz or 1866MHz, with the latter being the sweet spot.
Final Thoughts and Conclusions:
We've been wanting to run a 2133MHz DDR3L memory kit on 4th Generation Intel 'Haswell' processors for some time now and the G.SKILL F3-2133C11D-8GRSL has finally made that happen. Over the years we have learned that the performance difference between 1866MHz and 2133MHz memory is rather small and that proved to be true again here. The memory sweet spot on the Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK is most certainly 1866MHz, but we did see some integrated graphics performance improvements at 2133MHz. If you plan on gaming and want to get the most performance out of your notebook or PC that uses DDR3L SO-DIMMs, something like the G.SKILL RIPJAWS 2133MHz kit would be worthwhile. If you don't care about squeezing the most performance out of the Intel HD graphics solution an 1866MHz memory kit will save you a few bucks and give you nice performance gains over running 1333MHz or 1600MHz memory kits. Changing out memory is one of the simplest ways to get a little more out of your system and there is certainly some benefits to be had from using faster memory.
When it comes to pricing the G.SKILL RIPJAWS Series 8GB 1866MHz CL11 memory kit F3-1866C11D-8GRSL runs $82.99 shipped and the 8GB 2133MHz CL11 memory kit F3-2133C11D-8GRSL runs $89.99 shipped. Both kits are lifetime warrantied and cost lower than any other brands comparable kits at this capacity and clock frequency. G.SKILL pretty much has the performance notebook memory market locked down as they have the best prices. They also were the first company to bring these high-end kits to market.
Which kit of memory would we go with? If you want to push the bleeding edge and are okay with manually setting your memory timings in your platforms BIOS, we suggest going with the G.SKILL RIPJAWS F3-2133C11D-8GRSL memory kit for $7 more. Why? We were able to easily downclock it to 1866MHz with 11-11-11-32 1T timings, so it will do everything the lower cost kit will do and remember the 1866MHz kit couldn't be overclocked to 2133MHz. We like using flexible memory that pushes PCs today as it might still be relevant when you go to update or build another PC down the road.
We can easily recommend the G.SKILL RIPJAWS F3-2133C11D-8GRSL memory kit to those building a high-performance system that needs DDR3L 1.35V SO-DIMM memory.
Legit Bottom Line: The G.SKILL RIPJAWS Series 8GB 2133MHz CL11 memory kit was found to push the boundaries of what most platforms that use SO-DIMMs can do!