Subject: Memory | January 19, 2012 - 12:23 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ddr3, quad channel, patriot, corsair, G.Skill, Mushkin
With the arrival of the X79 chipset we received two gifts, quad channel memory and 2133MHz DIMMs which are much easier to get to full speed. Overclockers Club took kits from four vendors, Patriot, Corsair, G.Skill and Mushkin. There is quite a variety of DIMMs, ranging from 1600MHz to 2400MHz at default as well as sporting a variety of timings, though all but one kit are 4x4GB. There were some challenges when overclocking the kits and OC describes the methods they need to employ to get the most out of these DIMMs. When the testing was done it became apparent that each of these kits was a winner, except perhaps in cost.
"The last G.Skill memory I looked at did quite well in the overclocking department and thankfully, this kit does not deviate from that path – the base speed of 2133 MHz was just the starting point for the kit. Making the jump to 2400 MHz, though, required some tweaking of the primary latencies and voltages. CAS latency was bumped to 10 with the tRCD bumped to 12 and the voltage to 1.67 V. The memory controller voltage was fine at 1.05 V with this configuration as seen by the long term (well, 7 hours at least) stability testing of the overclock. The higher speed, coupled with a decent CPU overclock, showed measurable performance gains in testing. The overclocking margin or headroom came in at 13+% or 281 MHz for the time spent tweaking the modules for maximum clocks without killing every day performance. This kit from G.Skill reached the highest overclocked speed in comparison to the other modules in this testing session."
Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:
- G.SKILL Ripjaws-Z 16GB DDR3-1600 Memory @ Benchmark Reviews
- G.Skill RipjawsZ PC3-12800 16GB @ Tweaktown
- G.Skill Ripjaws Z 2133 MHz DDR3 CL9 16 GB Kit @ techPowerUp
- DDR3 SDRAM for LGA 2011: Which Memory Is Best @ X-bit Labs
Subject: Memory | January 9, 2012 - 09:00 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: ram, memory, ddr3, crucial, ballistix
Crucial, a company most well known for their RAM modules, today announced three new series of Ballistix DDR3 RAM modules. The RAM is available in low latency modules based on Micron's 4 Gb chips, and runs at either 1600 MHz and 1866 MHz. The three new series are called Ballistix Sport, Ballistix Tactical, and Ballistix Elite.
The Ballistix Sport modules are the low end modules of the three new series and are designed for mainstream users and a gamers on a budget. They are available in single, dual, and triple channel matched kits. The single modules are available in a DDR2 module running at 800 MHz, DDR3 stick running at 1333 MHz, or DDR3 DIMMs running at 1600 MHz. The DDR2 DIMM need 1.8 volts and delivers a CAS latency of 5-5-5-15 while the DDR3 DIMMs need 1.5 volts and have a CAS latency of 9-9-9-24. The dual and triple channel kits have the same specifications as the single module DDR3 RAM, though obviously they come with multiple matches DIMMs in one package.
Ballistix Tactical brings up the middle ground in the new lineup, and are comprised of DDR3 DIMMs only. The single DIMMs are available in 2 GB, 4 GB, and 8 GB capacities. They need 1.5 volts, run at 1333 MHz and 1600 MHz, and have a CAS latency of 7-7-7-24 or 8-8-8-24. Like the other kits, they come in single, dual, and triple channel kits. The Dual channel kits come in 4 GB, 8 GB, and 16 GB capacities and the triple channel kits come in 6 GB and 12 GB capacities. Other than the additional sticks of RAM, they run at the same voltages and CAS latencies.
Last up is the top tier of the three new Ballistix series, dubbed the Ballistix Elite. These modules are designed for high performance gaming and memory intensive tasks. They have the most flair as well, with tall aluminum heat spreaders. The Ballistix DIMMs come in single, double, and triple channel memory. The single modules come in 2 GB, 4 GB, and 8 GB capacities. They operate at 1.5 or 1.65 volts and either 1600 MHz, 1866 MHz, or 2133 MHz. CAS latencies vary between the various SKUs and include CAS 8-8-8-24, 9-9-9-27, and 9-10-9-27 (for the module running at 2133 MHz).
The Crucial 8 GB Ballistix DIMMs are able to be installed in configurations up to 64 GB in the case of the Intel X79 motherboards. They are available for purchase now worldwide and are backed by a lifetime warranty. To give you an idea of pricing, the 4 GB Ballistix Sport kit running at 1600 MHz is $33.99 USD while the 8 GB Ballistix Tactical kit running at 1866 MHz is $79.99 USD. Finally, the 8 GB Ballistix Elite kit at 1866 MHz is $87.99 USD.
Subject: Memory | December 13, 2011 - 01:23 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nehalem, westmere, lga 1366, ddr3, ddr3-2133
If you are running a triple channel motherboard you could consider an upgrade to your memory, thanks to the reduced demand for triple channel kits as well as the general lowering of RAM prices. Crucial's Ballistix DDR3-2133 6GB kit recently hit Techware Labs review desk, though it does not yet seem to be for sale. Their testing was only partially successful, the MSI Big Bang XPOWER motherboard they used was only able to push these DIMMs to 1866MHz @ 9-10-9-28. Some motherboards might be able to get these DIMMs to 2000MHz+, but even if yours cannot manage it you may be able to tighten the timings. While buying a triple channel kit seems odd for a SandyBridge system, that will be the only way you can full expect to reach the advertised speeds.
"The price of DDR3 has fallen rapidly lately, making it much more affordable to populate all of your RAM slots. Crucial introduces their new DDR3 2133 MHz Ballistix RAM in a triple channel kit. Find out if you should be using this with your i7."
Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:
- G.Skill RipjawsZ PC3-19200 16GB Kit @ Tweaktown
- G.Skill RipJawsZ 16GB 2400mhz @ Kitguru
- GeIL Enhance Corsa DDR3 and Evo Corsa DDR3 Memory Kits Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Patriot Division 4 DDR3-1600 Quad Channel Memory Review @ Neoseeker
- G.Skill RipjawsZ PC3-14900 16GB @ Tweaktown
AMD has slowly but surely been taking over the desktop computer. The AMD brand is slowly encompassing all of the components inside AMD powered computers. For the past few years, the company has been heavily investing in and marketing the idea of an all AMD powered computer filled with parts certified to work with each other and deliver a consistent platform (ie Spider, Fusion, and AMD Vision) experience by using an AMD CPU, motherboard, and graphics card together.
It seems as if AMD was not happy with the amount of case badge stickers from other companies for the remaining parts; however, as the company officially announced today that AMD is bringing to market is own AMD branded DDR3 memory modules with the assistance of experienced memory manufacturers Patriot and VisionTek. VisionTek will be making the modules available in the US through their distributor D&H, while the Patriot modules are generally available in the US already.
A close up shot of the Performance Edition provided by AMD.
The new AMD RAM will be controlled end-to-end on the design, oversight, and certification side by AMD while the physical processes of constructing and mass producing the modules will be in the hands of partners (currently Patriot and VisionTek). AMD will offer three speed tiers with capacities including 2 GB, 4 GB, and 8 GB (matched 4GB kits). Specifically, the three speed tiers will be labeled Entertainment Edition, Performance Edition, and Radeon Edition memory in order of slowest/cheapest to fastest (and most expensive). The Entertainment Edition should be shipping soon in the last quarter of 2011 and has at least a planned soft launch of November 2011. Entertainment Edition memory will be the slowest tier, weighing in at 1333 MHz or 1600 MHz and will be best suited for low power systems and HTPC applications. Performance Edition on the other hand will come only in 1600 MHz, low latency, and matched pair modules. This middle tier of AMD RAM is planned to launch in January of 2012. Last up is the Radeon Edition DDR3 which will come in 1866 MHz RAM that has been tuned, tested, and certified for certain system configurations.
To make things a bit more interesting, AMD will be allowing software overclocking of the DDR3 RAM via its AMD OverDrive application, along with planned support for Intel XMP memory overclocking profiles.
The company is claiming up to a 20 % platform performance increase in gaming, and in our own tests we did find a noticeable increase in performance with AMD’s Llano APUs when using higher clocked memory modules. For example, in Dirt 3 the system was able to hit a minimum of 31 FPS (frames per second) when using the A-3850 APU and 1866 MHz whereas with slower clocked modules, the system dipped under the ideal 30 FPS minimum that gamers like to see. Further, by using higher clocked RAM, we managed to get a 25 % increase in performance out of StarCraft II, so AMD’s claims aren’t too far off the mark.
I’ll admit that when rumors surfaced a few months ago that AMD might be entering the DRAM market, I was a bit worried. The company has only recently stopped seeing red on their profitability statements, and the DRAM market has notoriously thin margins. Especially after the lackluster Bulldozer launch and bout of layoffs, I really did not want to see AMD try to spread itself too thin. On the other hand, they are not doing the manufacturing themselves, opting to leave the physical processes up to other companies who are already in the business and know how to stay afloat in the crowded waters. The branding and ability for AMD to offer a platform consisting of an AMD CPU, graphics card, motherboard, and RAM is an advantage that their competition simply can’t match, and its good to see the company taking advantage of that. I don’t expect AMD to start making power supplies, hard drives (though I wouldn’t say no to a nice Radeon RAM Drive ;) ), and cases, but the core components are now all united under the AMD banner and the barrier to entry for new DIYers (do it yourself/self built computers) is now lower. As long as the company can make it work, I’m all for it. What do you guys think of the new AMD branded RAM, is it something you’d use?
Subject: Memory | November 28, 2011 - 01:17 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: ram, ddr3, gskill, corsair, commodity, ram drive, memory
Although hard drive prices are skyrocketing, the price of DDR3 RAM is continuing to fall such that it is now at an all time low, according to popular tech rumor site Fudzilla. Currently, value/budget RAM maker TeamGroup is selling a 8GB DDR3 1333 MHz kit for $32 USD, which marks an all time low for the speedy temporary storage. Its not only the super cheap and lesser known brands that are selling for such low prices, however.
8 GB of DDR3 Memory is now a very inexpensive endeavor
G-Skill is offering a value DDR3 kit for $36 USD and Crucial sells their own value RAM for $34.99 over at Newegg. Considering a bit more than 3 years ago (Aprill 22, 2008 via the Way Back Machine's snapshot of Newegg), a 4GB (2x2GB) kit of G-Skill DDR3 RAM went for $279.99, or about $560 for an equivalent amount of RAM today (8 GB 2x4 GB for $36 versus two 4 GB 2x2 GB kits for $560)!
It is pretty crazy to think that DDR3 RAM has dropped so much in price. Even just a few months ago, I upgraded my system to a total of 8 GB of G-Skill 1600 (two 2x2GB kits) by adding a second set of 4 GB DDR3 for less than $50 when I spent twice that on the first 4 GB set (same model and speed) just last year.! With the rise in hard drive prices and fall in RAM prices, I really want to test out a nice 16 or even 32 GB RAM drive; if only I could pry some of that Corsair RAM out of Ryan’s Sandy Bride-E test system! ;) heh. Have you upgraded your RAM recently due to the stuff being so cheap?
My old RAM drive, aren’t they fun!? ;)
Subject: Processors | November 12, 2011 - 06:50 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Sandy Bridge E, microcenter, Intel, ddr3, core i7, asus
Sandy Bridge-E is almost upon us, and enthusiasts are no doubt salivating over the shiny new motherboards, quad channel memory, and PCI-E bandwidth that these chips offer. Naturally, there are bound to be price and information leaks as the launch date gets closer whether it is due to a PR move by Intel or a leak by a person or company on down the line. One such leak came to our attention recently via a leaked company bulletin. Microcenter, a US based computer electronics store has leaked the prices of some of the upcoming Sandy Bride-E processors.
While Sandy Bridge-E will not officially launch until the 14 of this month,Microcenter is already busy preparing for the launch by setting prices and organizing promotions. One such promotion has come to our attention recently, and involves two SB-E CPUs and a slew of supporting motherboards. The two processors in question are the Intel Core i7 3930K and the Core i7 3960X. The i7 3930K will be sold at $649.99 USD while the Extreme edition i7 3960X part will go for 1,149.99 USD. These prices are limited to one per customer and are in-store deals only. While the prices are a bit higher than expected, the retailer is trying to sweeten the deal by bundling a "free" Corsair H80 sealed loop water cooler with the purchase of any one of the Sandy Bridge-E CPUs. While the free H80's price is likely built into the processor's mark-up, it's at least a decent cooler (HardOCP has a review of the water cooler here). Whether it will be beneficial will depend on the user's existing cooler and whether it will be compatible/upgradeable to socket 2011.
The company will also have a "limited stock" of X79 motherboards available at launch, with more stock to become available in the coming weeks after launch. Throughout all Microcenter stores, the following motherboards will be available at the following prices.
- ASUS P9X79 PRO 2011 ATX $339.99
- ASUS Sabertooth PX79 2011 ATX $349.99
- ASUS P9X79 Deluxe 2011 ATX $389.99
Asus must be a crowd favorite over at Microcenter!
A bulletin containing the Microcenter leak ended with a positive note in stating "this launch should provide a tremendous opportunity for some very high end BYO builds for the most extreme enthusiast customer who is wanting the absolute latest and greatest from Intel!" Will you be hitting up a Microcenter at launch to get your Sandy Bridge-E on?
Samsung recently released engineering samples of new 32GB DDR3 memory modules for evaluation. Specifically, the new modules are registered dual inline memory modules (RDIMMs) that use a “three dimensional through silicon via (TSV) package technology” that provide higher performance and density.
The new DIMMs are made from Samsung’s four gigabit 30 nanometer class NAND, and is capable of delivering 1,333 Mb/s. Further, they consume 4.5 watts of power per hour, which Samsung claims is among the lowest power consuming enterprise DIMMs. Compared to LRDIMMs (load reduced modules), the Samsung modules offer 30 percent energy savings.
The company claims that these power savings are the direct result of the through silicon via technology that allows them to vertically stack the NAND and maintain power levels comparable to single stacked chips. Further, the company stated that they are working with CPU and controller engineers to hasten the adoption rate of higher capacity DIMMs. No word yet on pricing or whether these DIMMs will ever see full production and enterprise usage in their current form.
When building a computer, enthusiasts are likely to combine components from several different manufacturers, especially on the Intel side. Short of the power supply, hard drive, and accessories; however, AMD is slowing diversifying to provide components to put together an all-AMD system. Before today, AMD already had the motherboard, processor, and graphics card (including processor graphics if that's your thing), and today Maximum PC reports that AMD may be moving into the RAM market with its own line of Radeon branded memory. It seems that AMD's future Leo-like platform may resemble a small AMD branded borg cube.
The new memory in question is comprised of 2GB, DDR3 sticks and comes in three series branded the "Entertainment," "ULTRA PRO Gaming," and "Enterprise." The enthusiastic naming conventions aside, the Entertainment series looks to be the budget modules for those looking for stable DIMMs that get the job done for cheap. They have a rated speed of 1333Mbps and a CAS latency of 9-9-9. The next highest series is the "ULTRA PRO Gaming" series, which promises to be overclocking friendly. These DIMMs receive a slight boost in speed to 1600Mbps while taking a slight dip in CAS latency to 11-11-11. The final, and likely most expensive, modules are the Enterprise series. These modules are still somewhat of a mystery as the specifications have yet to be announced by AMD; however, they are likely geared more towards enterprise workstations than servers as they are unbuffered DIMMs.
Further, all three series are rated to run at 1.5V and have a height of 30mm. Unfortunately, there is no word yet on price or availability. There are; however, several photos of Radeon branded memory modules over at PC Watch for you to check out. Do you think AMD's move to enter the DRAM market is a good thing or a bad thing for future profitability?
Subject: Memory | August 3, 2011 - 03:10 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: vengeance lp, memory, ddr3, corsair, 8gb
Today Corsair unveiled a new low voltage DDR3, low profile memory kit. Specifically, the new kit is named the Special Edition Arctic White Vengeance LP and is a 8GB, 1600MHz affair that consists of two “rigorously-screened 4GB DDR3 DRAM modules” that the manufacturer guarantees will operate at 1600MHz at CAS latencies of 9-9-9-24.
The LP in the products name implies the predisposition for use in small form factor and low profile systems where every inch counts, especially in systems where the power supply mounts directly above the motherboard. The new Vengeance kit’s heat spreader has a reduced height of 1.03” (or 26.25mm) and is ideal for these kinds of small form factor systems.
Corsair have further used the new special edition memory in an ultra quiet PC build on the company’s blog. According to Giovanni Sena, the Director of Memory Products at Corsair, “our latest offering, the Special Edition Arctic White Vengeance LP, gives builders, system integrators, and gaming enthusiasts the ability to assemble low-voltage systems with an appealing, stylish new look.”
The new Arctic White Vengeance LP memory kit is available now from retailers and will run you approximately $90 USD at time of writing.
Subject: Memory | July 8, 2011 - 12:53 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: corsair, patriot, kingston, crucial, G.Skill, ddr3, roundup
At Hardware Heaven you can catch a dual channel DDR3 roundup featuring Corsair Vengeance, Crucial Ballistix, Kingston HyperX, Patriot Division 2 Viper Xtreme and G.Skill RipjawsX kits. The kits range from DDR3-1600 @ 7-8-7-24-2T to DDR3-2133 @ 9-11-9-27-1T and even features a low power 8GB kit which uses 1.5V. They didn't have much luck overclocking the high speed DIMMs, it seems they are running stock speeds close to the maximum possible and had much better luck with the 1600MHz kits. The charts do reveal a truth that not many like to admit, spending all that extra money on the high speed kits will not give you a noticeable jump in real world performance.
"Last month, for the first time in a while, we took a look at various different memory products which were designed for Intel's X58 architecture and found that there are a number of great kits available from a number of manufacturers. Whether it is capacity, speed or low energy use there was something for everyone and the various approaches created an interesting comparison. Not everyone has access to an X58 system though so today we are going to look at Intel's mainstream chipset and put 5 different kits through their paces in a selection of real world and synthetic tests on Z68."
Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:
- Dual-Channel DDR3-1600 8GB Shootout @ Legion Hardware
- Corsair Dominator 4GB DDR3 1600Mhz C7 Memory Kit Review @ Legit Reviews
- Kingston HyperX H2O 4GB 2133MHz DDR3 Memory Kit Review @ Legit Reviews
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