Crucial Announces Ballistix Sport LT DDR4 SODIMMs

Subject: Memory | May 17, 2016 - 12:09 PM |
Tagged: sodimm, ddr4, crucial ballistix sport

Crucial is releasing some new high end memory for gaming laptops and for those mobile devices which work for a living.  The new Ballistix Sport LT DDR4 SODIMMs will start at speeds of 2400 MT/s and will be fully Intel XMP compatible assuming you system beleives in those DDR4 speeds; if not look for an update from the manufacturer.  The SODIMMs will be available in sizes of up to 16GB per DIMM so you should be able to install quite a large pool of memory.  They didn't offer up any pictures as this was being written but instead a Youtube video of how Ballistix memory is made, which you can see below.

Boise, ID, and Glasgow, UK, -- May 17, 2016 – Crucial, a leading global brand of memory and storage upgrades, today announced the availability of Ballistix® Sport LT DDR4 SODIMMs. Ideal for gamers and performance enthusiasts, the new modules accelerate gaming laptops and small form factor systems by packing faster speeds into every memory slot, enabling users to run demanding games and applications with ease.

With speeds starting at 2400 MT/s, Ballistix Sport LT SODIMMs offer better latencies, reduced load times, and improved frame rates with integrated graphics. The new modules also feature a sleek black PCB and digital camo design and support Intel® XMP 2.0 profiles for easy installation.

“We’re constantly seeking ways to empower gamers with affordable, easy-to-use products that help them gain that competitive, performance edge,” explained Jeremy Mortenson, product marketing manager, Crucial. “With new platforms supporting faster DDR4 SODIMMS coming to the market, the newest Ballistix SODIMM module does just that.”

The Ballistix Sport LT DDR4 SODIMM modules will be available for purchase at www.crucial.com and through select global partners. All Crucial memory is backed by a limited lifetime warranty Limited lifetime warranty valid everywhere except Germany, where warranty is valid for 10 years from date of purchase.

For more information about Ballistix memory, visit crucial.com/ballistix.

Source: Crucial

G.Skill Adds Splash of Color To Trident Z Memory Modules

Subject: Memory | May 17, 2016 - 03:07 AM |
Tagged: trident z, gskill, G.Skill Trident Z, ddr4

G.Skill recently updated its high end line of Trident Z DDR4 memory modules to add several new color options. While no new speed tiers are being introduced, the existing DIMMs with brushed aluminum silver colored modules with red and black accents will shortly be joined by new modules with 5 new color schemes including silver modules with white or black top bar accents or black modules with white, yellow, or silver accents.

Trident Z 5 colors.png

There is nothing groundbreaking here, but it will certainly make putting together a build based around a particular color or theme a bit easier, and that is their goal as these new DIMMs are aimed at modders and enthusiasts who are the most likely group to be running windowed or open air type systems that can show off the internal hardware.

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For those interested, the new colors will be available at the end of May. The memory kits in DDR4 3200 Mhz speeds (16GB to 128GB kits) of all timings will be available in the existing red and all the new color schemes. Users wanting the faster speed memory kits (e.g. DDR4 3400) will be limited to the red, white, and black accents (no orange or yellow top pieces on the heat spreader).

Source: G.Skill

AMD Pre-Announces 7th Gen A-Series SOC

Subject: Processors | April 5, 2016 - 06:30 AM |
Tagged: mobile, hp, GCN, envy, ddr4, carrizo, Bristol Ridge, APU, amd, AM4

Today AMD is “pre-announcing” their latest 7th generation APU.  Codenamed “Bristol Ridge”, this new SOC is based off of the Excavator architecture featured in the previous Carrizo series of products.  AMD provided very few hints as to what was new and different in Bristol Ridge as compared to Carrizo, but they have provided a few nice hints.

br_01.png

They were able to provide a die shot of the new Bristol Ridge APU and there are some interesting differences between it and the previous Carrizo. Unfortunately, there really are no changes that we can see from this shot. Those new functional units that you are tempted to speculate about? For some reason AMD decided to widen out the shot of this die. Those extra units around the border? They are the adjacent dies on the wafer. I was bamboozled at first, but happily Marc Sauter pointed it out to me. No new functional units for you!

carrizo_die.jpg

This is the Carrizo shot. It is functionally identical to what we see with Bristol Ridge.

AMD appears to be using the same 28 nm HKMG process from GLOBALFOUNDRIES.  This is not going to give AMD much of a jump, but from information in the industry GLOBALFOUNDRIES and others have put an impressive amount of work into several generations of 28 nm products.  TSMC is on their third iteration which has improved power and clock capabilities on that node.  GLOBALFOUNDRIES has continued to improve their particular process and likely Bristol Ridge is going to be the last APU built on that node.

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All of the competing chips are rated at 15 watts TDP. Intel has the compute advantage, but AMD is cleaning up when it comes to graphics.

The company has also continued to improve upon their power gating and clocking technologies to keep TDPs low, yet performance high.  AMD recently released the Godavari APUs to the market which exhibit better clocking and power characteristics from the previous Kaveri.  Little was done on the actual design, rather it was improved process tech as well as better clock control algorithms that achieved these advances.  It appears as though AMD has continued this trend with Bristol Ridge.

We likely are not seeing per clock increases, but rather higher and longer sustained clockspeeds providing the performance boost that we are seeing between Carrizo and Bristol Ridge.  In these benchmarks AMD is using 15 watt TDP products.  These are mobile chips and any power improvements will show off significant gains in overall performance.  Bristol Ridge is still a native quad core part with what looks to be an 8 module GCN unit.

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Again with all three products at a 15 watt TDP we can see that AMD is squeezing every bit of performance it can with the 28 nm process and their Excavator based design.

The basic core and GPU design look relatively unchanged, but obviously there were a lot of tweaks applied to give the better performance at comparable TDPs.  

AMD is announcing this along with the first product that will feature this APU.  The HP Envy X360.  This convertible tablet offers some very nice features and looks to be one of the better implementations that AMD has seen using its latest APUs.  Carrizo had some wins, but taking marketshare back from Intel in the mobile space has been tortuous at best. AMD obviously hopes that Bristol Ridge in the sub-35 watt range will continue to show fight for the company in this important market.  Perhaps one of the more interesting features is the option for the PCIe SSD.  Hopefully AMD will send out a few samples so we can see what a more “premium” type convertible can do with the AMD silicon.

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The HP Envy X360 convertible in all of its glory.

Bristol Ridge will be coming to the AM4 socket infrastructure in what appears to be a Computex timeframe.  These parts will of course feature higher TDPs than what we are seeing here with the 15 watt unit that was tested.  It seems at that time AMD will announce the full lineup from top to bottom and start seeding the market with AM4 boards that will eventually house the “Zen” CPUs that will show up in late 2016.

Source: AMD

Crucial's DDR4-2133 32GB Dual-Channel kit; decent price but can it perform?

Subject: Memory | March 14, 2016 - 04:04 PM |
Tagged: crucial, ddr4, ddr4-2133

The price of DDR4 continues to come down from the stratosphere and into affordable territory, especially when you look at the kits lower their frequencies to allow you to buy a larger pool of RAM.  The Crucial DDR4-2133 32GB kit is an example of this, albeit a strange one as they have opted for two DIMMs as opposed to four.  The DDR4-2133 15-15-15-36-2T kit retails for ~$175 and has forgone heatspreaders, not a major problem as they are generally only useful for those who want flashy looking RAM.  Unfortunately the price is a bit higher than some of the competition and from Hardware Canucks' testing the DIMMs really do not like to be overclocked.  If you are still holding out on upgrading your system solely because of the price of DDR4, do a bit of shopping around as you may be in for a pleasant surprise.

Crucial_DDR4_2133_32GB_5.png

"The Crucial DDR4-2133 32GB memory kit may look unassuming but its combination of huge capacity, good speeds, decent overclocking and a low price make for a perfect combination."

Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:

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Corsair Launches Faster Vengeance LPX DDR4 Memory Kits

Subject: Memory | January 31, 2016 - 10:00 PM |
Tagged: Vengeance LPX, ddr4, corsair

Earlier this month Corsair released new DDR4 memory kits under its Vengeance LPX brand. The kits come in 32 GB, 64 GB, and 128 GB capacities and come bundled with a 40mm "Vengeance Airflow" RAM cooler.

Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 128GB.jpg

At the top end, the 128 GB kit comes with eight 16 GB modules clocked at 3,000 MHz and with CAS latencies of 16-18-18-36. At stock speeds it is running at 1.35 volts. Stepping down to the lower capacities gets you faster DIMMs. Corsair has the 64 GB (4 x 16 GB) kit clocked at 3,333 MHz and runs at the same voltage and CAS latencies. The 64 GB kit does come with either black or red heat spreaders as well. Lastly, the 4 x 8 GB (32 GB) Vengeance LPX kit runs off of the same 1.35 volts but is clocked at 3,600 MHz (16-19-19-39 rated latencies). It also comes in black and red SKUs.

The memory kits are available now and are currently priced a bit below their MSRPs at Newegg. The 32 GB kit is $340 and the 64 GB kit is $526. Finally, the 3,000 MHz 128 GB kit will set you back $982. These prices seem more competitive than the last time I looked at DDR4, and there certainly does seem tot be some room for overclocking (especially on that 128 GB kit) so long as the motherboard can handle it!

Source: Corsair

G.Skill Launches 128GB DDR4 3,000 MHz Memory Kit

Subject: Memory | January 18, 2016 - 01:45 AM |
Tagged: xmp, X99, Ripjaws V, G.Skill, ddr4

G.Skill is adding a new DDR4 memory kit to its Ripjaws V series aimed at the Intel X99 platform. The new kit is comprised of eight matching 16 GB DIMMs for a total of 128 GB. Supporting Intel's XMP 2.0 standard, it comes stock clocked at 3,000 MHz with CAS latencies of 14-14-14-34.

GSkill Ripjaws V Red.png

The DDR4 kit is rated at 1.35V and will feature red or black aluminum heat spreaders in line with the company's other products. G.Skill claims that this is the world's fastest 128 GB kit running at 1.35 volts, and looking around the Internet this appears to be true. Corsair does have a Vengeance LPX kit that matches it in clockspeeds, but it has higher timings (higher latency) than G.Skill's modules.

Eight 16GB DIMMs is a lot of memory to be sure, and it is not going to come cheap. It will surely come in handy though for high performance workstations that need all the memory they can get.

G.Skill will be releasing the new DDR4 kit towards the end of January. It has not yet revealed official pricing, but going off of pricing for it's 64GB kit and the 128GB competition, I would expect it to fall around $850 to $900 USD.

What would you do with 128GB of system memory? I know that I would make one heck of a RAM Disk out of it!

Source: G.Skill

DDR3 versus DDR4; the Skylake showdown

Subject: Memory | December 22, 2015 - 03:16 PM |
Tagged: Z170, ddr4, ddr3

In Hardware Canucks recent review, they delve into the differences between running DDR3 versus DDR4 on Intel Z170 boards, which come in two versions each of which is compatible with one of the two types of memory.  They start out with a high level overview of the differences between the two memory technologies as there is more than just a simple difference in frequencies.  After covering some of the specifications which might influence your decision they then delve into the performance numbers.

One system is based on the Gigabyte Z170-HD3 with 8GB of Kingston HyperX Beast DDR3 while the second system uses an ASUS Maximus VIII Impact with Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4, both systems use the Core i7 6700K processor.  The middle of the chart is the most interesting feature, where both memory kits are running at 2400MHz albeit at different timings.  DDR4 does come out on top but the margins are so close that if you need to shave some money off of your planned build you should definitely at least consider DDR3.

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"Intel's Skylake architecture is the only one that supports both DDR3 and DDR4 memory. But with all other things being equal, is one really "better" than the other on the Z170 platform?"

Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:

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Samsung Announces Mass Production of 128GB DDR4 Sticks

Subject: Memory | November 26, 2015 - 05:23 PM |
Tagged: TSV, Samsung, enterprise, ddr4

You may remember Allyn's article about TSV memory back from IDF 2014. Through this process, Samsung and others are able to stack dies of memory onto a single package, which can increase density and bandwidth. This is done by punching holes through the dies and connecting them down to the PCB. The first analogy that comes to mind is an elevator shaft, but I'm not sure how accurate that is.

tsv-side-on.JPG

Anyway, Samsung has been applying it to enterprise-class DDR4 memory, which leads to impressive capacities. 64GB sticks, individual sticks, were introduced in 2014. This year, that capacity doubles to 128GB. The chips are fabricated at 20nm and each contain 8Gb (1GB) per layer. Each stick contains 36 packages of four chips.

At the end of their press release, Samsung also mentioned that they intend to expand their TSV technology into “HBM and consumer products.”

Source: Samsung

ASUS’ New ROG Maximus VIII Extreme Flagship Now Available For $500

Subject: Motherboards | October 28, 2015 - 08:38 PM |
Tagged: Z170, Skylake, Maximus VIII Extreme, e-atx, ddr4, ASUS ROG, asus

Motherboards supporting Intel’s latest “Skylake” processor have been trickling out for months, and ASUS is no stranger to the Z170 chipset. After several months of waiting, its flagship motherboard is now available under the Republic of Gamers brand. The ROG Maximus VIII Extreme is a monster both in size – it’s an E-ATX board – and features. It’s not cheap though with an MSRP of $499.

The Maximus VIII Extreme is clad in black and red with silver capacitors. A massive heatsink keeps the Extreme Engine Digi+ power delivery hardware cool even under heavy overclocking conditions. Nested between the VRMs and the four DDR4 slots (up to 3866MHz) is the LGA 1151 processor socket. This motherboard can be used with the OC Panel II hardware overclocking module which can sit outside the case or in a 5.25” drive bay. There are also overclocking buttons on the top-right corner of the board itself.

ASUS ROG Maximus VIII Extreme EATX Skylake Motherboard.png

Storage options include eight SATA 6Gbps ports (two SATA Express), a M.2, and a separate U.2 MVMe connector. Networking is handled by Intel Gigabit Ethernet (1219-V) and a 3x3 802.11ac WiFi NIC. ASUS is further including its SupremeFX 8-channel audio chipset.

When it comes to PCI-E expansion, this board delivers with four PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots (which can run at x16/x8/x8/x4) and two PCI-E 3.0 x1 slots. 

Rear I/O includes:

  • 4 x USB 3.0
  • 4 x USB 3.1 (3 x Type A + 1 x Type C)
  • 6 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
  • 5 x Analog Audio
  • 1 x S/PDIF optical audio out
  • 1 x DisplayPort
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x PS/2 combo port
  • 3 x Wi-Fi antenna connectors
  • 1 x Clear CMOS + 1 x BIOS Flashback button

Needless to say this board has everything but the kitchen sink (though that might be unlocked with a BIOS update...) in it. It is squarely aimed at extreme overclockers and gamers wanting to run triple or quad multi-GPU setups along with Intel’s latest Skylake CPU. The flagship hardware will cost you though, with street prices just under $500 USD. If you’re interested in this beast, keep an eye out for reviews (which appear to be scarce at the moment).

Source: ASUS

Driving your RAM at 3.6GHz

Subject: Memory | September 22, 2015 - 06:08 PM |
Tagged: Ripjaws V, G.Skill, DDR4-3600, ddr4

Bringing the frequency of your RAM up to 3600MHz certainly has an effect on price compared to DIMMs clocked at 2666MHz but does the performance justify that cost?  The timings of 17-18-18-38 @ 2T are tight for RAM of this frequency, though not as tight as 15-15-15-35 but perhaps that gives you some room for overclocking?  As shown in TechPowerUp's review it is not quite that easy, for example many Intel Z170 boards simply don't support these frequencies and updating your BIOS should be your first step before working with these DIMMs.  Synthetic benchmarks benefited from the full speed of these DIMMs but when it comes to actual gaming the results are negligible, especially considering you will be paying roughly triple the price for these DIMMs.  On the other hand if you simply need to have the best components on the market in your system you should check out the full review.

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"Intel's new Skylake platform comes with DDR4 at increased memory speeds, and the first to help us investigate the benefits of high-performance DDR4 is G.Skill's latest design, the Ripjaws V. Wrapped in a new look, these ultra-fast 3600 MHz modules push the limits of your Skylake CPU."

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Source: techPowerUp