AMD Unveils New Gamer Memory: MOAR RAMDISK!

Subject: Memory | May 7, 2013 - 09:01 PM |
Tagged: radeon ramdisk, radeon, memory, amd, 4GB, 2133, 1.65v

 

AMD makes memory!  Ok, they likely contract out memory.  Then they brand it!  Then they throw in some software to make RAMDisks out of all that memory that you are not using.  Let us face it; AMD is not particularly doing anything new here with memory.  It is very much a commodity market that is completely saturated with quality parts from multiple manufacturers.

So why is AMD doing it?  Well, I guess part of it is simply brand recognition and potentially another source of income to help pad the bottom line.  They will not sell these parts for a loss, and they will have buyers with the diehard AMD fans.  Tim covered the previous release of AMD memory pretty well, and he looked at the performance results of the free RAMDisk software that AMD bundled with the DIMMs.  It does exactly what it is supposed to, but of course it takes portions of memory away.  When dealing with upwards of 16 GB of memory for a desktop computer, sacrificing half of that is really not that big a deal unless heavy duty image and video editing are required.

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*Tombraider not included with Radeon Memory.  Radeon RAMDisk instead!

Today AMD is announcing a new memory product and a new bundled version of the RAMDisk software.  The top end SKU is now the AMD Radeon RG2133 DDR-3 modules.  It comes in a package of up to 4 x 4GB DIMMS and carries a CAS latency of 10 with the voltage at a reasonable 1.65v.  These modules are programmed with both the Intel based XMP and the AMD based AMP (MP stands for Memory Profiles… if that wasn’t entirely obvious).  The modules themselves are reasonable in terms of size (they will fit in any board, even with larger heatsinks on the CPU).  AMD claims that they are all high quality parts, which again is not entirely surprising since I do not know of anyone who advertises that their DIMMS feature only the most mediocre memory modules available.

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Faster memory is faster, water is wet, and Ken still needs a girlfriend.

AMD goes on to claim that faster memory does improve overall system performance.  Furthermore AMD has revealed that UV light is in fact a cancer causing agent, Cocoa Puffs will turn any milk brown, and passing gas in church will rarely be commented upon (unless it is truly rank or you start calling yourself “Legion”).  Many graphs were presented that essentially showed an overclocked APU with this memory will outperform a non-overclocked APU with DDR-3 1600 units.  Truly eye opening, to say the least.

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How much RAMDisk can any one man take?  AMD wants to know!

The one big piece of the pie that we have yet to talk about is the enhanced version of Radeon RAMDisk (is Farva naming these things?).  This particular version can carve out up to 64 GB of memory for a RAMDisk!  I can tell you this now, me and my 8 GB of installed memory will get a LOT of mileage out of this one!  I can only imagine the product meeting.  “Hey, I’ve got a great idea!  We can give them up to 64 GB of RAMDisk!”  While another person replies, “How do you propose getting people above 64 GB, much less 32 GB of memory on a consumer level product…?”  After much hand wringing and mumbling someone comes up with, “I know!  They can span it across two motherboards!  That way they have to buy an extra motherboard AND a CPU!  Think of our attach rate!”  And there was much rejoicing.

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Inconceivable!!!

So yes, more memory that goes faster is better.  Radeon RAMDisk is not just a comic superhero, it can improve overall system performance.  Combine the two and we have AMD Radeon Memory RG2133 with 64 GB of RAMDisk.  Considering that the top SKU will feature 4 x 4GB DIMMS, a user only needs to buy four kits and four motherboards and processors to get a 64GB RAMDisk.  Better throw in another CPU and motherboard so a user can at least have 16GB of memory available as, you know, memory.

Update and Clarification

Perhaps my tone was a bit too sarcastic, but I just am not seeing the value here.  Apparently (and I was not given this info before hand) the 4 x 4 GB kits with the 64 GB RAMDisk will retail at $155.  Taking a quick look at Newegg I see that a user can buy quite a few different 2 x 8 GB 2133 kits anywhere from $139 to $145 with similar or better latencies/voltages.  Around $155 users will get better latencies and voltages down to 1.5v.  For 4 x 4GB kits we again see prices start at the $139 mark, but there are a significant number of other kits with again better voltages and latencies from $144 through $155.

Users can also get the free version of the Radeon RAMDisk that will utilize up to 4GB of space.  There are multiple other software kits for not a whole lot of money (less than $10) that will provide you up to 16 GB of RAMDisk.  I just find the whole kit to be comparable to what is currently out there.  Offering a 64 GB RAMDisk for use with 16 GB of total system memory just seems to be really silly.  The only way that could possibly be interesting would be if you could allocate 8 GB of that onto RAM and the other 56 GB onto a fast SSD.  I do not believe that to be the case with this software, but I would love to be proved wrong.

Source: AMD
May 8, 2013 | 12:16 AM - Posted by arbiter

It does come down to how much they cost? usually high end ram have a high end price. This would also be something i think would be better for a 3rd party to test with other cpu's and video cards.

May 8, 2013 | 05:38 AM - Posted by OBoggins (not verified)

The only thing high-end about this, is the high-end AMD marketing bullshit spin. Way to call them on it Josh.

May 8, 2013 | 12:36 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I wonder how AMD's RAM Disk compares with the freeware SoftPerfect RAMDisk.
http://www.softperfect.com/products/ramdisk/

It turns out not all ramdisk software is created equal, and different implementations can have quite noticeable differences in performance:
http://www.raymond.cc/blog/12-ram-disk-software-benchmarked-for-fastest-...

May 9, 2013 | 11:19 AM - Posted by aparsh335i (not verified)

It's funny you asked that, because after reading the article that's the same question i have. I will probably install the soft perfect tonight, Last holiday season i grabbed 32gb of Gskill 1866mhz for $118 planning on using at least 16gb with AMD Ramdisk. If i have the time i will test it against the free 4gb amd ramdisk and post my results.

I bet ghost recon online is going to load up so creepy fast.

May 8, 2013 | 01:13 AM - Posted by Stinger (not verified)

AHAHAHAHAH Best article I've read in a while. I bet you had lots of fun writing it as well Josh.

May 8, 2013 | 01:40 AM - Posted by Branthog

I guess this might be beneficial if you only play one single video game. I'd rather have access to the full amount of RAM at all times, though (I tend to run a lot of VMs for debugging) - and I'd rather not max out the capacity of my system's RAM, so that I can use faster timings than if I doubled to 32gb on a performance system.

I haven't dealt with RAMdisks in this century, so can someone clarify exactly where the performance difference comes in compared to not using a RAMdisk -- as long as you have enough memory? I mean, other than load time, shouldn't you have equal performance without RAMdisk?

May 8, 2013 | 04:51 AM - Posted by Randomoneh

Needs more sarcasm.

May 8, 2013 | 10:37 AM - Posted by Josh Walrath

I'm still trying to decide if your post in fact is more sarcasm.  Bravo sir, bravo.

May 8, 2013 | 05:14 AM - Posted by Prodeous (not verified)

Sarcasm being sarcasm, but I will be honest, the option to span ram drive across two or more systems sounds somewhat interesting from the geek perspective, though unsure as to actual performance.

Maybe a RAM NAS system hihi.

Still was funny as hell Josh.. Need more. :)

May 8, 2013 | 06:02 AM - Posted by Josh Walrath

Perhaps my tone was a bit too sarcastic, but I just am not seeing the value here.  Apparently (and I was not given this info before hand) the 4 x 4 GB kits with the 64 GB RAMDisk will retail at $155.  Taking a quick look at Newegg I see that a user can buy quite a few different 2 x 8 GB 2133 kits anywhere from $139 to $145 with similar or better latencies/voltages.  Around $155 users will get better latencies.  For 4 x 4GB kits we again see prices start at the $139 mark, but there are a significant number of other kits with again better voltages and latencies from $144 through $155.

Users can also get the free version of the Radeon RAMDisk that will utilize up to 4GB of space.  There are multiple other software kits for not a whole lot of money (less than $10) that will provide you up to 16 GB of RAMDisk.  I just find the whole kit to be comparable to what is currently out there.  Offering a 64 GB RAMDisk for use with 16 GB of total system memory to be really silly.  The only way that could possibly be interesting would be if you could allocate 8 GB of that onto RAM and the other 58 GB onto a fast SSD.  I do not believe that to be the case with this software, but I would love to be proved wrong.

May 8, 2013 | 08:30 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

What happens to the RamDISK data when you restart?

Even if it does stay around, 8gb of what.. super fast jpgs? mp3's? I could maybe load a single , old, game title onto it....?

I'll keep my 840pro, thanks.

May 8, 2013 | 08:51 AM - Posted by Josh Walrath

When you restart, it all goes away.  With this new version it loads up the RAMDisk after booting into Windows, so loading times are better than with previous versions.  The only problem here is that you have to reload the RAMDisk once the machine is up and running.  This could cause some extended wait times at first.  Once the machine is up and going then, whatever you have loaded into the RAMDisk will be very fast showing up (games, regularly used apps, etc.).

May 8, 2013 | 10:11 AM - Posted by Tim (not verified)

When you stop the RAMDisk, it will save all the data into an image file onto your hard drive or other persistent storage (USB drive, hard drive, SSD, ect). When you start the RAMdisk, you can choose to load the RAMdrive from the image file or start a new drive.

May 8, 2013 | 10:30 AM - Posted by tbone8ty (not verified)

I like that amd is doing this. Giving the customer more cool options. Does intel do this? Does nvidia do this? No.

Would you rather Amd not do this?

May 8, 2013 | 10:35 AM - Posted by Josh Walrath

Remember SLI memory from NVIDIA?  How about Intel's SSD business as a counterpoint to what AMD is attempting?  I really don't mind that AMD is doing this, and in ways I applaud it, but does this particular release make much sense at this time?

May 8, 2013 | 06:31 PM - Posted by praack

i must admit - am always confused with modern ramdisks - i used one in the old c=64 days but now i don't see much of a need.

i keep thinking i am missing something- but then - there does not seem much of a push for the intel motherboard ssd either.

maybe i just need a good tutorial as to why this is a great thing......

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