Gigabyte Unveils GA-H77N-WIFI Mini-ITX Motherboard

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Motherboards, Cases and Cooling, Processors, Chipsets, Memory, Displays | August 7, 2012 - 10:07 AM |
Tagged: Z77, motherboard, mini-itx, Intel, gigabyte, ga-h77n-wifi

During a European roadshow, Gigabyte showed off a new Mini-ITX form factor motherboard for the first time. Called the GA-H77N-WIFI, the motherboard is well suited for home theater and home server tasks. Based on the H77 chipset, it is compatible with the latest Intel Core i3 (coming soon), i5, and i7 "Ivy Bridge" processors. The board goes for an all-black PCB with minimal heatsinks on the VRMs, and the form factor is the same size as the motherboard that Ryan recently used in his Mini-ITX HTPC build.

ga_h77n_wifi.jpg

The GA-H77N-WIFI features a LGA 1155 processor socket, two DDR3 DIMM slots, PCI Express slot, two SATA 3Gbps ports, two SATA 6Gbps ports, and an internal USB 3.0 header. There are also two Realtek Ethernet controller chips and a Realtek audio chip.

Rear IO on the Mini-ITX motherboard includes:
  • 1 PS/2 port
  • 2 USB 3.0 ports
  • 2 HDMI ports
  • 1 DVI port
  • 2 Antenna connectors (WIFI)
  • 4 USB 2.0 ports
  • 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • 1 Optical S/PDIF port
  • 5 Analog audio jacks

The dual Gigabit Ethernet ports are interesting. It could easily be loaded with open source routing software and turned into router/firewall/Wi-Fi access point. To really take advantage of the Ivy Bridge support, you could put together a nice media server and HTPC recording/streaming box (using something like SiliconDust's HDHomeRun networked tuners or Ceton's USB tuner since this board is very scarce in the way of PCI-E slots). What would you do with this Mini-ITX Gigabyte board?

Unfortunately, there is no word yet on pricing or availability, but the motherboard is likely coming soon. You can find more information on the motherboard over at tonymacx86, who managed to snag get some photos of the board.

Source: Tony Mac X86

ECS Motherboard First to Support AMD Memory Profiles (AMP)

Subject: Motherboards | July 23, 2012 - 05:32 PM |
Tagged: motherboard, memory profile, memory, ECS, amp, amd

Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) recently announced its support for the new AMD Memory Profile (AMP) technology. The A85F2-A Deluxe will be the first of the company’s motherboards to support AMP.

AMP.JPG

AMP is AMD’s version of Intel Extreme Memory Profiles (XMP) which amounts to known-safe automatic overclock settings. The AMP profiles are stored in the DDR3 memory modules and can be read by supporting motherboards. Now knowing the proper voltage, CAS latencies, and timings to use, the motherboard can ideally automatically configure the modules to run at optimal speeds.

The setting will be able to be enabled/disabled in the BIOS of the new ECS motherboard, as shown in the screenshot below. According to its press release, ECS is the first company to integrate AMD Memory Profile support into its motherboards, and it is honored to lead the charge. “Making a unique and glory prominent product is the only purpose for ECS.”

DSC_0189.jpg

Here’s hoping the implementation works well and is more accurate than my experience with XMP profiles has been! Will you be using AMP in your AMD builds?

Source: ECS

DRAM Prices Expected To Rise

Subject: Memory | July 18, 2012 - 12:13 PM |
Tagged: price increase, memory, Elpida, ddr3

The memory market has traditionally seen razor thin margins and cheap prices as the various manufacturers crank out DRAM chips to healthy levels. While we are not yet at the point for DDR4 memory to come out with high early-adopter prices, iSuppli believes that we will be seeing increased pricing later this year regardless.

A DDR3 memory module

According to Tom’s Hardware, analysts working for IHS iSuppli have determined that inventory is decreasing this year, and has decreased 4 percent since the fourth quarter of last year. Whereas DRAM suppliers were estimated to have 12.1 weeks of inventory in Q4 2011, they are currently sitting on 11.6 weeks. While supply grew last year and prices fell dramatically, prices have increased by 1.5 percent versus last year. The analysts further expect prices to rise by 7.7 percent and 3.5 percent in Q3 2012 and Q4 2012 respectively.

One possible aspect of the drop in supply is the declaration of bankruptcy and subsequent buyout of Elpida Memory by Micron. As supply goes down and demand stays the same – or continues to rise – prices are naturally going to increase for consumers. Now that there is one less manufacturer to contend with, it is likely that prices will continue to be higher than before. If you have not already upgraded your RAM, now seems to be as good as it’s going to get price-wise, so be sure to jump in on the good deals while you can!

16GB of 1600MHz quad channel DDR3 from Mushkin

Subject: Memory | June 22, 2012 - 04:39 PM |
Tagged: Mushkin, Redline PC3-12800, ridgeback, quad channel, ddr3-1600

While raw speed can be helpful for your memory subsystem, often times tighter timings can have a more noticeable impact, which is what makes Mushkin's Enhanced Redline Ridgeback 16GB kit worth the small premium they charge. It might have a base frequency of 1600MHz but with timings of 7-7-7-24 it has some of the lowest timings we've seen from DDR3.  It also allows you more overclocking choices and when Hi Tech Legion loosened the timings to 8-8-8-24 at a frequency of 1969MHz they saw comparable real world performance to their alternative overclock which left the timings untouched and the frequency at 1702MHz.  If you are looking for quad channel or high capacity dual channel memory this kit is worth investigating.

HTL_redline1.jpg

"The Mushkin Redline PC3-12800 (994057) 16GB Quad Pack Memory Kit is no different. The Redline 994057 Quad Kit offers the best performance on the market. The 994057 comes with industry leading 7-7-7-24 timings on a 16GB quad channel kit. Along with the fast timings, the 994057 uses high performance Mushkin Ridgeback heatsinks for the best possible cooling. The Redline Quad kit runs at 1.65v and comes with Mushkin's lifetime warranty. All Mushkin memory is hand tested for ultimate quality assurance."

 

Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:

Memory

 

Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR3 memory launches at Computex

Subject: Memory | June 4, 2012 - 06:12 PM |
Tagged: dominator, ddr3, corsair, computex

Corsair is jumping back into the world of high-end consumer memory with a new Dominator series of DDR3 kits that include a customizable light bar, DHX cooling, Corsair Link support and screened, overclockable ICs.

DOM_PT_hero_a_2800.png

Available in both quad and dual-channel kits and 8GB, 16GB, 32GB and even 64GB capacities and frequencies as high as 2800 MHz.  All of the Dominator Platinum kits will support Intel's XMP 1.3 profiles for easier overclocking on supporting motherboards.

Maybe more exciting is the new light bar that contains a user interchangeable light pipe with "lets enthusiasts tailor the downwash lighting color to match their PC lighting and components."  While all modules will ship with white lights you will be able to buy additional colors from Corsair to customize your configuration.

cutaway_DomPLT_G.png

Dominator Platinum memory also supports full Corsair Link connectivity, allowing customers with Corsair Link to monitor DRAM temperature and other parametric data. This feature, unique to Dominator memory, provides end users with the data they need to tune system cooling and monitoring. Dominator Platinum memory kits also support Corsair AirFlow fans and AirFlow Pro™ dynamic temperature and activity displays to provide the low temperatures required for stable and reliable overclocks.

“Dominator has been the choice of performance enthusiasts and overclockers since its release six years ago, and Dominator Platinum will continue to dominate the memory market for many more years to come,” said Thi La, VP of the Memory Business Unit at Corsair. “The stunning new industrial design and customizable light bar makes Dominator Platinum even more special and distinctive, while the patented DHX cooling technology and hand-sorted DRAM ICs deliver the performance and overclockability that enthusiasts demand.”

dom_table.jpg

Source: Corsair

G.Skill's 8GB Trident X DDR3-2400 carries a large price tag

Subject: Memory | May 25, 2012 - 04:35 PM |
Tagged: 8gb, G.Skill Trident X, DDR3-2400

At $100 G.Skill's 8GB Trident X DDR3-2400 carries a higher price than slightly slower kits which made Neoseeker curious as to why it comes at such a premium.  The kit is certainly attractive looking with its tall red heatspreaders but looks are not everything when it comes to RAM, though the ability to remove the heatspreaders could be quite valuable to those with large heatsinks.  Timings of 10-12-12-31 @2T are not awe inspiring but are comparable to other 2400MHz kits and it seems that the DIMMs cannot provide much more as the overclocking Neoseeker managed was not much of an improvement.  Read on to see if the high speed of the DIMMs can overcome the relatively loose timings in the full review.

BMR_Trident 3.jpg

"G.Skill's 8GB Trident X DDR3-2400 memory kit has blazing fast speeds and a modular heatsink design, all in a $99 USD package. The Trident X series was designed from the ground up to be XMP Ready for Intel's 3rd Generation Core processors and Z77 platform (Ivy Bridge), which is where the higher clock speeds come in. It's also practically double the price of other DDR3-2400 dual channel kits, so hit our review to see what level of performance Trident X has to offer for its price premium."

Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:

Memory

 

Source: Neoseeker

Micron also looks to buy Elpida

Subject: General Tech, Memory, Mobile | May 12, 2012 - 06:10 PM |
Tagged: micron, Elpida

Micron Technologies has confirmed that they are in talks to purchase Elpida Memory. Despite Toshiba pulling out of the race, the deal would have a rumored value of 2.51 Billion dollars. This deal would move Micron into the second largest DRAM producer, behind Samsung, with a 25 percent market share globally.

Elpida Memory, Inc. has been having troubles as a company for a couple of years.

Elpida was established as a company from its parent companies, NEC and Hitachi, in 1999 and took its current name the next year. Elpida has been delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange in late March, a month after filing for Bankruptcy.

Multiple companies have come and gone in talks to purchase Elpida. Toshiba and SK hynix have somewhat recently pulled out of negotiations as the American TPG Capital LP and the Chinese Hony Capital shared a bid for the manufacturer.

Elpida.jpg

Or buy us and be #2 : D

Micron has just recently announced that they would place a bid for Elpida which, if completed, would push Micron past Hynix into the second largest DRAM producer by market share. Micron also seems to be interested in purchasing Elpida to access its mobile technology. While the actual bid is not public knowledge, it has been rumored to be worth around 2.51 billion dollars.

It may also be possible that none of the above deals would go through. Reuters reports that a group of debt holders for Elpida might push for their own plan if they feel that none of the current deals would suffice.

Source: Reuters

Who needs DDR4 with Kingston's DDR3-2800 kit?

Subject: Memory | May 8, 2012 - 06:56 PM |
Tagged: kingston hyper x, dual channel, ddr3-2800, ddr3, 4GB

If you have a dual channel motherboard that can handle the fastest RAM on the market, why not find out if it can support Kingston's Hyper T1 DDR3-2800 4GB kit?  Legit Reviews tried it on the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H at both 2800MHz @ 12-14-14-32 as well as 2666MHz @ 11-14-14-30.  Don't expect much overclocking potential at this speed unfortunately, nor are all motherboards going to support the full speed XMP of these DIMMs but Kingston can be proud of the speed at which they've pushed these DIMMs to.

LR_KHX2800C11D3T1.jpg

"The Kingston Hyper T1 4GB 2800MHz memory kit that we looked at here today did a superb job on our motherboard that features the Intel Z77 Express chipset and the Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge processor. We ran this kit from 800MHZ with CL6 timings all they way up to 2800MHz with CL12 timings. It is pretty wild to see a 2000MHz spread with a memory kit, but this kit was up for the task..."

Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:

Memory

 

A high price to pay for high speed RAM which

Subject: Memory | April 23, 2012 - 12:05 PM |
Tagged: VisionTek, Ultimate Performance, PC3-17000, Red Label

Timings of 11-11-11-30-2T might look slow but you must make allowances for the fact that the DIMMs are running at 2133MHz.  The 8GB VisionTek Ultimate Performance PC3-17000 kit is built for either dual or quad channel systems on motherboards that can support their full speed.  While Neoseeker did not have any troubles getting these DIMMs running at full speed on their test systems, they did have some trouble discerning an impact on real world gaming performance from these DIMMs.  They do recommend them for those who want the best of the best, but when DDR3-1600 kits can provide almost all the performance for about half the price, the market for these high speed DIMMs is fairly limited.

NS_ballisticon.png

"We've got another quad-channel memory kit from VisionTek on the review bench today. Hit our link to see how the sub-$100 Ultimate Performance 8GB PC3-17000 memory kit (featuring 11-11-11-30-2T timings) compares against similarly priced offerings from the competition."

Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:

Memory

Source: Neoseeker

Full speed ahead! 8GB of 2400MHz quad channel madness

Subject: Memory | April 10, 2012 - 05:55 PM |
Tagged: kingston, 2400MHz, quad channel, xmp

Kingston's new quad channel 8GB kit is advertised to run at 2400MHz via XMP, which should mean that as long as your motherboard supports that speed you should be able to set that speed in your BIOS, no tweaking needed.  Bjorn3D tried it out and it worked with no problems at all, though no matter what they tried when manually overclocking the DIMMs, they could not surpass the 2.4GHz mark.  That is certainly a point in Kingston's favour but there is also one major problem with these DIMMs and that would be price.  At the price of $208.00 that Bjorn3D found these chips for sale at you could pick up 16GB of 2133MHz RAM from Corsair and have enough change left in your pocket for dinner.

b3d_Kquad.jpg

"Today we take a look at an 8GB high performance memory offering from Kingston. These modules run at a blazing fast speed of 2400MHz while offering full stability in quad channel."

Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:

Memory

 

Source: Bjorn3D

Samsung's lean green random access memory machine

Subject: Memory | March 23, 2012 - 03:56 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, Samsung Green PC3-12800, low profile, low power

There is a reason that Samsung's branding of these new DIMMs is green; they suck a mere 1.35V at their full speed of DDR3 1600MHz @ 11-11-11-28 and with the low profile they will fit in just about any machine.  Of more interest to some readers would be their overclocking potential, which TechPowerUp explored and discovered that 2400 MHz with 1.575V was not only possible but also stable.  They also went the other way and discovered the DIMMs could still run at stock speeds at 1.2V which gives you a lot to tweak on this RAM.  Read on to see how the DIMMs performed and to learn a little about tWCL as well.

Samsungreenvanity.jpg

"Several tech forums are buzzing about Samsung's lastest "Green" 30 nm DDR3, that sips the voltage, and sits on a tiny low-profile PCB. We snagged a pair to see what all the fuss is about, and boy, were we surprised!"

Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:

Memory

 

Source: TechPowerUp

Need to ram some DIMMs into a tight area? Samsung's got your back

Subject: Memory | February 29, 2012 - 02:33 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, Samsung Green 8GB VLP 1600MHz, low profile

With the way that current generation motherboards squeeze the DIMM slots in close to the CPU socket and with the enourmous size of high end coolers, low profile DIMMs are not just for SFF PCs anymore.  Samsung's new Green VLP kit is not only incredibly low profile it is also versatile and intended to run at a variety of speeds from 1600MHz @ 11-11-11-28 with 1.5v of power to 800MHz @ 6-6-6-18 pulling 1.35v.  Overclock3D's testing did reveal one small problem with these DIMMs; by focusing on lower power and lower profile first they did sacrifice performance.  On the other hand if you are in such tight confines that only these DIMMs will fit, slow RAM beats no RAM every time.

OC3D_ram.JPG

"With their own RAM sticks Samsung have redefined what we consider Low Profile to be. Does the performance match up?"

Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:

Memory

 

Source: Overclock3D

16GB of bright red DDR3-2133MHz from Mushkin

Subject: Memory | February 3, 2012 - 04:22 PM |
Tagged: ddr3-2133, Mushkin, redline, quad channel

How does 16GB of DDR3-2133 @ 9-11-10-28 strike you that looks like candy?  If you are running an LGA2011 system with quad-channel memory 16GB will benefit you in some scenarios and who wouldn't like to brag that their desktop has more RAM than many servers.  The striking red heatspreaders will attract those who like to show off the interior of their case and the performance surpassed the Corsair kit they tested against.  OC3D does want to remind you that while quad channel RAM is fun, it doesn't offer huge advantages over dual channel RAM in real world testing.

 

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"With the recent LGA2011 supporting Quad Channel Memory, the manufacturers are swift to take up the challenge. Cue the Mushkin Redline."

Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:

Memory

 

Source: Overclock3D

A four way Quad Channel DIMM battle

Subject: Memory | January 19, 2012 - 12:23 PM |
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.

OC_veng.jpg

"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:

Memory

 

CES Storage Roundup Part 4 - Sandisk, PQI

Subject: Storage, Shows and Expos | January 16, 2012 - 06:36 PM |
Tagged: ssd, sandisk, PQI, memory, flash, CES

Sandisk

Sandisk had a booth with a large array of small nand flash storage devices, though most of it appeared to be SD, CF, or for embedded mobile applications:

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One of the more interesting pieces was a 64GB e.MMC nand flash part that fit *within* the dimensions of a penny! This is not a plug-in module - it's the type that would be soldered onto the mainboard of a cell phone or other small mobile device:

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While the booth was generally light on SSD's, there were a couple on display, namely the U100, in both 7mm (left) and 9.5mm (right) form factors:

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The U100 is also available in even smaller form factor. We're currently taking a look at an Ultrabook equipped with the same Sandisk U100 SSD - mounted to an even smaller PCB.

PQI

PQI has been a favorite of mine for years. They were among the first to make a really tiny thumb drive, and I'm glad to see they continue to make a versatile line of products:

DSC02203_resize.JPG

A little known fact is that PQI also has a line of SATA SSD's:

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The S525 Series (also available as the S518 - 1.8" form factor), is a bit long in the tooth and uses a dated JMicron controller, but PQI made the extra effort to include the optional USB 2.0 interface that most other manufacturers chose to omit.

More to follow

I've still got some pics to sift through, so stay tuned for more CES Storage goodies!

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

CES Storage Roundup Part 2 - Corsair, Patriot

Subject: Storage, Shows and Expos | January 12, 2012 - 12:29 AM |
Tagged: ssd, patriot, memory, flash, corsair, CES

While roaming Vegas, we came across lots of storage goodies. Here are a few:

Corsair

Corsair showed their line of SSD's, with a new addition:

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The new addition is on the right. This is the 'Accelerator' series, an SSD primarily meant for caching duties:

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The Accelerator series will be available in 30, 45, and 60GB capacities, and will be packaged with caching driver software for those not running a Z68 or better caching capable Intel board.

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Also on display was a refresh to the Voyager, Voyager GT, and Survivor series, bringing their interface up to USB 3.0 speeds.

Patriot

We also saw Patriot's lineup:

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Pictured above, from top down, is the following:

  • Wildfire (Sandforce 6Gb/sec / Toshiba Toggle-mode flash)
  • Pyro SE (Sandforce 6Gb/sec / IMFT Sync flash)
  • Pyro (Sandforce 6Gb/sec / IMFT Async flash)
  • Magma (Phison / Async flash)
  • Mac Series (identical Pyro SE, but Apple certified)

Next is the USB lineup, with many new USB 3.0 models replacing the older 2.0 units. The Transporter series is a bit shorter than it used to be, which is a welcome bonus.

DSC02109_resize.JPG

Here are Patriot's portable flash offerings, consisting of high capacity SD cards and Phison-driven mSATA and smaller (!) form factors:

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This is 'mSATA mini', which is about half the length of a standard mSATA SSD. On the other end of that spectrum is a 240GB Macbook Air unit (just off camera in the above pic).

Stay Tuned!

...I've got a few more goodies to post!

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

CES Storage Roundup Part 1 - Toshiba, Kingston

Subject: Storage, Shows and Expos | January 11, 2012 - 09:26 PM |
Tagged: toshiba, ssd, memory, kingston, flash, CES

While roaming Vegas, we came across lots of storage goodies. Here are a few:

Toshiba

Toshiba was showing a 19nm flash memory wafer and all of their products containing them.

DSC01933_resize.JPG

They seem to be taking their SATA SSD lines less seriously, as there were none on display. While there were no SSD's to speak of, there were USB devices:

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There was also plenty of SDHC, including their own SD WiFi card - used to upload photos as they are taken.

DSC01938_resize.JPG

They were also showing an SDXC card. While the shown card was a functioning 64GB unit, the SDXC format is capable of taking to cards up to 1TB in capacity.

DSC01939_resize.JPG

Kingston

We saw some cool stuff over at the Kingston booth:

DSC01974_resize.JPG

If you look inside that case, you'll see they are now making an mSATA SSD:

DSC01972_resize.JPG

They also showed their ever expanding line of USB 2.0 and 3.0 devices:

DSC01977_resize.JPG

...and this really tiny model, which packs 8GB of storage into something barely big enough to unplug without the use of needle nose pliers:

DSC01982_resize.JPG

Stay Tuned!

...more storage stuff is coming soon!

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Crucial Launches Three New Ballistix DDR3 Module Series

Subject: Memory | January 9, 2012 - 09:00 PM |
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.

Ballistix240-pinDIMMDDR3sportREV.jpg

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.

Ballistix240-pinDIMMballistixtacticalDDR3.jpg

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).

Ballistix240-pinDIMMballistixeliteDDR3kit_2.jpg

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.

Source: Crucial

Looking to build an X79 system? Maybe G.Skill has the right stuff for your DIMM slots

Subject: Memory | January 5, 2012 - 11:49 AM |
Tagged: G.Skill, Ripjaws Z, ddr3-2133, quad channel

The arrival of the X79 chipset and quad-channel memory support has made a lot of memory manufacturers very happy.  Over the past year the DDR3 market has been a little slow with very little performance difference between vendors and for that matter memory frequency.  That has left companies struggling to stand out in the crowd and attract buyers to their products.  Now most companies have switched into high gear and are producing new quad-channel kits with some fairly impressive speeds.  Take the G.Skill Ripjaws Z 2133Mhz kit that Bjorn3D just reviewed, sporting timings of 9-11-10-28 @ 1T.  The benchmarking software they used just loved the kit as did the reviewer, who voiced only one concern about the possibility of the height of the DIMMs interfering with a large LGA2011 heatsink.

b3d_gskill2133.jpg

"Today we have in our hands one of G.SKILL's newest lines in the Ripjaws series: the Ripjaws Z which are designed for the quad channel memory controller in the newly released Intel X79 based boards. This kit is not their top model in terms of performance, but boasting a frequency of 2133 with a CAS latency of 9 is in no terms bad either. These are more of the upper high end for a 16GB kit, as G.SKILL does offer some models with slightly better timings or higher speeds, but those also can be much more expensive."

Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:

Memory

 

Source: Bjorn3D

Adata CEO Claims RAM Prices To Climb Early Next Year

Subject: Memory | December 23, 2011 - 04:10 PM |
Tagged: supply, ram, price increase, nand, dram market, adata

Computer enthusiasts and OEMs alike have been living the dream of extremely cheap RAM modules; however, Adata CEO Simon Chen believes that the dream may be close to ending. In 2012, the DRAM manufacturers will start to cut production such that they are reducing supply and thus can charge more than they currently can (they have been producing DRAM consistently over the past couple years such that there has been more than enough supply and thus a lower cost). After the holiday season, PC OEMs will start to replenish their inventories and when they do, they will be increasing inventories to a months supply instead of a two week supply.

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Chen notes that the four major manufacturers of DRAM chips including Elpida Memory, Hynix Semiconductor, Micron Technology, and Powerchip Technology have suffered from selling the chips at such reduced prices for so long. While DRAM chips produced on older manufacturing processes may still be sold below the cost of production, newer DRAM manufactured on the 30nm process "will rebound from the current bottom level to a level above cash-flow production cost."

In addition to the reduced production and newer process, the demand for DRAM in general is expected to decrease due to the rising popularity of mobile computers, Chen notes. Further, the decrease in desktop DRAM demand is balanced out by increased demand for server memory from data centers purchasing additional RAM direct from the manufacturers as the server OEMs charge a hefty premium for RAM. Due to the shake up in the industry, "many makers of DRAM modules have shifted business operation to other areas" like ruggedized memory and to producing NAND flash chips for SSDs.

Admittedly, the memory makers are walking a fine line between spinning down production and being accused of price fixing; however, the ride has been a good one for consumers for a while now and the manufacturers are likely getting tired of the razor thing profit margins. Chen's analysis of the situation may be correct in light of that fact, the new process technology allowing for better yields combined with generally lower production while the big OEMs will be buying up more RAM for their own inventories may well spell the end of being able to impulse buy tons of DDR3 RAM! What are your thoughts on both Chen's analysis of the price increase and the industry itself- do you think prices are likely to go up next year?

Source: Digitimes