Samsung Green DDR3L 1600 2x4GB Review

BluePanda - 2012-01-26 19:13:55 in Memory
Category: Memory
Reviewed by: BluePanda   
Reviewed on: April 26, 2012
Price: $47.99

Introduction:

Generally in the market of the PC world, when I hear the name Samsung, I usually think of big screen TVs, monitors, or the occasional hard drive. Memory isn't something I associate with the name, and vice versa, I don't tend to think of Samsung when looking for new RAM. However, Samsung does indeed sell RAM and SSDs alongside its better known TV and mobile products.

Today we get to take a glimpse at an 8GB kit (2x4GB) of the Samsung Green DDR3L 1600 memory. As a major player in the "Green" market today, Samsung looks for ways to reduce energy costs and provides a great deal to the Energy Star efficient market. Even for computers it seems Samsung is trying to do its share by helping users reduce their footprint. Everyone knows of the Samsung EcoGreen HDDs, which run slower at 5400RPM to save a little power and heat. It turns out Samsung wants to pass on the savings to your computer's memory as well. With the lower voltage (1.35V) and 30nm low profile technology, Samsung can use up to 47% less power than conventional 60nm memory. It’s a fine way to lower the power bill, but how well does it perform? Let's take a closer look at what Samsung is offering up.

Closer Look:

The Samsung Green modules come enclosed in a cardboard covered, bubble plastic sealed package. It's one of the ones you must absolutely destroy to get the product out. No big deal, it isn't like you want to store your memory in the package and it leaves less to toss to the environment's disposal. The capacity is listed to the right in a big, bold, blue 8 with the size and count just below (in case looking at the package wasn't enough to tell you how many). It's a matched set for dual channel capable of running at 1600 MHz. The bottom right indicates it's the 30nm lower profile, lower voltage design. The lower left reminds you it's a green product with a "planet first" logo. It claims to be memory for life – let's hope this is at least true for the life of your rig.

The back of the package gives a quick table with the timings and CAS latency for running it at the various supported speeds. Although as obvious as it seems, the table further proves running it at slower speeds will give you tighter timings. It's not rocket science but it shows you exactly what you need to get the timings you desire. You are given a few quick features and left with the lingering limited lifetime warranty with no defined time on the package (limited always makes me wonder how long before it's going to fail). Again it is a part of the 30nm class, 240 pin DDR3 SDRAM VLP unbuffered DIMM, and is supported for 1.35V and 1.5V voltages. Not much else to say here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sticker reads the part number: M379B5273DH0-YK0, with capacity and ratings marked as well for later down the road when you can't remember what sticks you have laying around. With lower voltage, and a lower profile, the modules lack the need for heat spreaders and show up as naked PCB. At least it isn't the old school green PCB, but instead stealthy black – it blends in with any build. The lack of a heat spreader also allows them to sit a tiny bit further apart in the slots and avoid contributing too much radiation to the slot next to it. With two sticks in my board, they will be separated by a whole slot – no worries about heat here.

 

Specifications:

 

Product Type
DDR3 30nm
Design
PC3-12800
Class
30 Nano Class
Format
DDR3 SDRAM
Sequential Write Speed
1600MHz (PC3-12800)
Compatibility
1333MHz (PC3-10600)
CAS Latency
CL11 (11-11-11-28) @ 1600MHz
Power Consumption
1.65W
Voltage
1.35V
Form Factor
240-Pin UDIMM
Warranty
Limited Lifetime

 

 

Features:

 

 

 

 

 

All information cortesy of Samsung @ http://www.samsung.com/us/computer/memory-storage/MV-3V4G3D/US-specs

Testing:

Memory is often hard to separate from one kit to another in gaming, but when it comes to number crunching and computing some memory provides an extra boost in comparison. To see just what kind of performance this kit has to offer I will be running the sticks through a series of benches to see just how they compare. There will be 4GB and 8GB kits ranging in speed from 1600MHz - 2133MHz tested at native speeds as well as overclocked. Overclocking of course will be dependent on exactly how far the testing rig will allow, but I'll pushed it as far as I can. The testing setup used for these benchmarks is listed below, where Turbo Boost has been disabled to eliminate uncontrolled clock changes that may offset results. The CPU will be run with default clock speeds for baseline testing and bumped up to 4.5 GHz where possible for OC testing. All current updates and patches are installed for Windows 7 Pro (64-bit) and the current AMD Catalyst driver of 11.12 is running. 

 

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Modules:

 

CPU-Z: This application visually shows the settings that we have chosen in the BIOS. Items shown in this application include CPU speed and bus settings, motherboard manufacturer, BIOS revisions, memory timings, and SPD chip information.

CPU-Z

 

Task Manager: We use this utility to show physical memory, kernel memory, page file, and processor usage.

Task Manager

 

Overclocking:

 

Samsung Green DDR3L 1600 Overclocked settings:

Overclocking this was pretty straight forward. All I had to do was bump the frequency until memtest failed while upping the speeds, loosening timings if need be. I ended up with an OC of 2212MHz with 11-12-11-28 timings @ 1.65V. I also found tightening up the timings to 8-8-8-28 at 1600MHz just required the same bump in voltage. They overclock well likely due to the fact that they are designed to run at such low voltages for stock settings. The extra overhead on voltage gives a lot of play into what you might get. It really lets you choose tighter timings or higher frequencies. So the latency is roughly the same but the bandwith of the higher frequency is better -- depending on what you are doing the tigheter timings might give you an edge. Honeslty it's almost a wash and which ever one YOU like will benifit you best.

 

 


The maximum memory speed for each set of overclocked modules is indicative of how well the modules ran on this test system. As such, your results may differ in either a positive or negative way based on the capabilities of your hardware. That said, your mileage may vary!

 

The benchmarks used in this review include the following:

Benchmarks:

Testing:

PCMark Vantage: With this benchmark, I will be running the system suite, as well as the memory test suite. The measurement for the system suite will be the total score. The measurement for memory performance is the total memory score.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

   

 

PCMark 7 is the latest iteration of Futuremark's popular PCMark system performance tool. This latest version is designed for use on Windows 7 PCs and features a combination of 25 different workloads to accurately measure the performance of all PCs from laptops to desktops.

  

  

Higher is Better

 

Geekbench 2.1 provides a comprehensive set of benchmarks engineered to quickly and accurately measure processor and memory performance. Designed to make benchmarks easy to run and easy to understand, Geekbench takes the guesswork out of producing robust and reliable benchmark results.

   

   

   

 

Super PI Mod 1.5: is a program designed to calculate Pi up to the 32nd millionth digit after the decimal and is used as both a benchmarking utility and simple stress test to check your overclock before moving forward with more rigorous testing. The world records for this benchmark utility are hotly contested.

   

 

Overall at stock speeds these sticks score a tiny bit lower than the other kits, but in reality it is somewhat expected due to the looser timings and low voltage. Overclocked and jolted with some extra juice they seem to be rather comparable with everything else and sit right in the middle of the pack. Compared to super tight timings and higer frequencies of the other sets you have to say this kit doesn't do too bad. 

Testing:

SiSoftware Sandra 2011: In this program, I will be running the following benchmarks: Cache and Memory, Memory Bandwidth, and Memory Latency. Higher is better in all tests, except for Memory Latency, where lower is better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

   

   

   

 

AIDA64 Extreme Edition: is a software utility designed to be used for hardware diagnosis and benchmarking. I will be using the Cache and Memory benchmark to test each module’s read, write, and copy bandwidth, as well as the latency test.

  

  

  

  

Higher is Better

 

As expected the Samsung kit scores a bit lower in most of these tests. The looser timings and lower frequencies are to blame. When overclocked they close the gap but the other kits overclock higher with tighter timings to win the lead. These differences are small and you likely won't see them in day to day use. If all you are looking for are higher bench scores than these probably aren't for you. 

Testing:

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is a first-person shooter developed by EA Digital Illusions CE (DICE) and published by Electronic Arts for Windows, PS3, and Xbox 360. This game is part of the Battlefield franchise and uses the Frostbite 1.5 Engine, allowing for destructible environments. You can play the single-player campaign or multiplayer, the latter with five different game modes. Released in March 2010, it has sold in excess of six million copies so far.

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For all intents and purposes memory speeds and frequencies have no real effect on the performance in BF:BC2. Every kit at every setting produced essentially identical results showing no boost or loss being dependent on memory alone. 

Conclusion:

For the most part memory is memory is memory. Most people do not spend the time to overclock their RAM and those that do often only do for higher benchmark scores or to get larger quantities to play well with each other. Unfortunately with only a few other kits to compare to it is rather difficult to make a fair comparison with. We are comparing more expensive kits with varying quantities and better stock speeds to "green" eco-friendly RAM. Cost alone has its own voice here. I guess the main point is to show where it does stand. Looking at the overclock, like we expected we saw a quick increase with added voltage; with a low starting point it's often easy to move up. Using the overclock as the starting view it starts out in 3rd place (out of four sets). The fact that it does place above the others in a few benches here and there proves that it is most definitely a competitor.

I'm not a greenie but I do like the concept of pulling any less voltage from a rig that might run all day. For example, here at the house we've got an HTPC that runs 24/7 and only really gets turned off for long term absences (maybe once a year if it's lucky). The rest of the time it gets rebooted for Windows updates and remains running all day and all night long. Efficiency when you are paying the power bill is what you look for. The Samsung Green DDR3L 1600 sticks have a perfect home here. Although it's an HTPC it serves as an additional moderate gaming rig for visiting friends and family to join in on LAN. Having the ability to save on the power bill while at the same time not lose much, if any, to performance is a definite plus.

Another big pro for me, which should have been stated a 100 times over already, is the fact that it is low profile. A lot of CPU coolers on the market today are seemingly increasing in size. I know my Noctua NH-U12P cooler has to lift a fan to accommodate my Redline kit. Fortunately my cooler allows for this; however, if you have physical fins on the overhang there isn't much you can do about it -- other than buy some low profile RAM. If you have a beast of a cooler, or want to get that beast of a cooler, now you can. Just throw this low profile RAM in there and clearance won't be your problem anymore. For the great price, nice overclocking capabilities and advantages of being low profile and low voltage -- this might be something well worth your time. 

 

Pros:

 

Cons: