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G.Skill Eco DDR3 review

Should the Eco branding lure you into parting with your green?


Wheeling out the eco-friendly narrative may seem like a winner in this environmentally-aware age. But if you don't deliver, the result is an undesirable combination of gimmickery and cynicism. Which way does it go for the G.Skill Eco 1.35V CL7 1,600MHz low voltage DDR3 memory kit?

Unfortunately, the jury is out. We ran this kit at both the lower 1.35V and default 1.65V settings and found overall peak power consumption is unchanged at 200W. That's on a par with other 4GB dual-channel DDR3 kits running at 1.65V.

Given that power consumption can go up markedly when using higher memory voltages during overclocking, that's surprising. Ultimately, we're not entirely confident that our test motherboard was correctly applying the voltages, so we'll give G.Skill the benefit of the doubt other than to note that running low voltages may cause compatibility problems.

Moreover, we doubt the lower voltage will deliver more than 10W of power savings under full load. During idle or low load scenarios, it'll be more like one or two Watts. Not exactly planet-saving proportions.

As for conventional metrics of performance, the G.Skill kit didn't blow our doors off. But again, minor platform variations in our testing compared to other kits can skew the results, especially when the margins are this tight.

What we can say with confidence is that this kit clocks up very nicely indeed. A maximum overclock of 2,000MHz is good enough for starters. But it's the total absence of nasties in the performance numbers, including everything from bandwidth to latency and application performance, that most impresses.

We liked

They say every little helps and, with our planet on an apparent precipice, the promise of reduced power consumption is always welcome. That said, performance enthusiasts will appreciate this kit's ability to hit high clocks while maintaining decent latencies and delivering nice, clean performance. Few people will need more than this kit can deliver.

We disliked

We have a nose for gimmicks and we're not entirely convinced by the eco-friendly sales pitch. Our testing was inconclusive, but we doubt the upside in terms of low voltages are terribly spectacular. The G.Skill Eco 1.35V CL7 kit was also a little underwhelming in terms of performance at the default 1,333MHz setting.

Verdict

A solid 4GB kit at this price point, but we're not convinced by the eco credentials.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeRAM Module
Memory StandardDDR3-1600/PC3-12800
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
CAS LatencyCL7
Memory Size4 GB
Brand NameG.SKILL
Form FactorDIMM
Memory Speed1600 MHz
Error CheckingNon-ECC
Number of Pins240-pin
Signal ProcessingUnbuffered
Width32 mm
Compatibility

ASUS Motherboards:

  • Maximus III Formula
  • Maximus III Gene
  • SABERTOOTH 55i
  • P7P55D-E Premium
  • P7P55D-E Deluxe
  • P7P55D-E EVO
  • P7P55D-E Pro
  • P7P55D-E
  • P7P55D Premium
  • P7P55D Deluxe
  • P7P55D EVO
  • P7P55D Pro
  • P7P55D

Gigabyte Motherboards:

  • GA-P55A UD3
  • GA-P55A UD3P
  • GA-P55A UD3R
  • GA-P55A UD4
  • GA-P55A UD4P
  • GA-P55A UD5
  • GA-P55A UD6
  • GA-P55 UD3
  • GA-P55 UD3P
  • GA-P55 UD3R
  • GA-P55 UD4
  • GA-P55 UD4P
  • GA-P55 UD5
  • GA-P55 UD6

EVGA Motherboards:

  • P55 Classified 200
  • P55 FTW 200
  • P55 FTW
  • P55
  • P55 Micro
  • P55 LE

MSI Motherboards:

  • P55M-GD45
  • P55-GD65
  • P55-GD80
  • Big Bang-Trinergy
ManufacturerGSkill International Enterprise
Product Name4GB DDR3 SDRAM Memory Module
Manufacturer Part NumberF312800CL7D4GBECO
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.gskill.com
Number of Modules2 x 2 GB
Limited WarrantyLifetime