This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation
To answer your questions;
"If I add faster ram, and update the timings in perfromance->Memory settings in bios will there be any real benefit or does the NUC still operate its internal memory channels at 2133?"
In theory, will operate at 2133, and this is because the processor on this Intel® NUC only supports DDR4 speeds of 2133 MHz, higher-speed SO-DIMMs operate only at the 2133 MHz memory timing.
"if ere is a "real" benefit, what is the fastest memory that has been tested to work on the KYK?
Well, I believe that there is no real benefit from running a memory to a higher speed taking in consideration that the limit for this processor is 2133 MHz. If you take the memory to a higher speed might have more performance but will reduce the lifespan of the processor. Intel does not offer support for overclocking; however, there are ways you can accomplish this under your own risk. This an example of one those ways Overclock Assistant Guide for Intel® NUC Kit NUC6i7KYK. Since Intel does not support for overclocking, we have not tested memory higher memory that the stock configuration; from our end you might be able to find some tested parts with Intel® NUC Kit here System Memory for Intel® NUC Kit NUC6i7KYK.
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I am going to be careful what I say here; critical but careful. I don't want to start (what is essentially to some (i.e. the overclocking community)) a religious argument...
The biggest performance gains will come from increasing the amount of memory available in your system. Since you have already maxed out the memory available, that isn't going to help you.
If you overclock the memory - and you must understand that this truly is overclocking, even if all you do is enable an XMP profile on your DIMMs - what you are doing is increasing the frequency of the clock signal on the memory buses (there's a separate memory bus for each DIMM in this design). On the plus side, this can improve performance as it can move more data. Unfortunately, it rarely provides improvement to any appreciable level. For one, a lot of the memory out there that is used on these (supposedly) faster DIMMs is actually not (much) faster, so all you are really doing is increasing the number of wait states used. On the negative side, you have increased the clock frequency and this can result in increased noise on the memory buses, sometimes to levels where data errors will occur (hopefully recoverable, but alas not always - as some KY owners have found). At the same time, because you are overclocking, you are increasing the rate at which heat is produced within the memory controllers (and the overall processor die) and the normal dissipation paths may not handle this sufficiently. To make a long story short (pun intended), this can shorten the life of your processor.
Intel does not warrant its processors to operate correctly or to last for their warranted lifetimes if overclocking is used. As a result, they do not test for or warrant that everything will be ok when you overclock and, in products like the KY NUC, they do not design for or test the applicability of this faster memory. If you want to try using it, you are on your own - and you may be disappointed, either because of the issues you have to fight or the lack of any appreciable performance gains.
Hope this helps. Stick with 2133 memory. Let the religious arguments commence...