Aaah memory. It has been some time since we last had a memory review, and for good reason. Memory got pretty boring. Ten years ago this was not the case. DDR was just fresh on the scene and we were starting to see memory speeds and bandwidths get to a place where it would have a significant effect on performance. Latencies were of utmost importance, and the fastest 18.104.22.168 DIMMs running at DDR 400 speeds were often quite expensive. Then things sort of mellowed out. DDR-2 did not exactly bring faster performance over DDR initially, and it was not until DDR-2 800 and 1066 speeds that we actually saw a significant boost over previous gen DDR 1. DDR-3 brought even more yawns. With the jump to integrated memory controllers from both AMD and Intel, DDR-3 speeds were nearly meaningless.
The primary reason for this rather vanilla time in the memory market was that of individual bandwidth needs for CPU cores. Most research into this issue points to an individual CPU core needing only 3 to 4 GB/sec of bandwidth to support its data needs. AMD and Intel have gone to great lengths to increase the efficiency of not only their memory controllers and prefetchers, but also the internal caches so fewer main memory accesses are needed. So essentially a quad core processor would really only need upwards of 12 to 13 GB/sec of bandwidth in real world scenarios. DDR-3 1333 memory modules in a dual channel configuration would be able to support that kind of bandwidth quite easily. So what exactly was the point of having faster memory? Also, CPUs using DDR-3 memory are not as sensitive to latencies as we have seen in previous generations of parts.
Subject: Memory | December 23, 2011 - 04:10 PM | Tim Verry
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.
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?
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
Subject: Memory | December 6, 2011 - 11:35 AM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: x79, SB-E, Sandy Bridge E, Intel, gskill, DDR-3 2400, DDR-3, bulldozer, amd, am3+, 64 GB
So they are giving us as much, and as fast, as we could possibly handle. GSkill has announced their latest Ripjaw-Z kits specifically aimed at the latest Intel Socket 2011 chips on the X79 platform. These kits range from 4 x 8GB @ 2100 speeds with 1.5 v up to 8 x 8GB at 2400 speeds at 1.65 v. For those wishing to push clock speeds up higher, they offer a 4 x 4GB kit at 2500 speeds at 1.65v as well.
Red is the new black. This is what 32 GB of memory looks like now.
The past few months I have been using a few sets of GSkill memory with the latest Llano based chips from AMD. These are 4 x 4 GB 1866 products that run at 1.5v, and they have been pretty phenomenal for me. Now that we are moving into new CPU architectures from both manufacturers, memory speeds have become important again. For quite some time people could easily get by with DDR-3 1333 modules and not experience any kind of performance bottleneck. The reasons for this were due to CPU designs (quad core CPUs rarely required more than 12 GB/sec of bandwidth in most applications) as well as the non-integrated nature of graphics for the most part.
Subject: Memory, Mobile | December 1, 2011 - 12:09 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: corsair, vengeance, laptop memory, ddr3-1600, ddr3-1866
FREMONT, California — December 1st, 2011 — Corsair, a worldwide designer and supplier of high-performance components to the PC gaming hardware market, today announced a line of high-performance memory upgrade kits for power laptop users.
Operating at speeds of 1600MHz and 1866MHz, the new Vengeance laptop memory upgrade kits are an ideal solution for notebooks equipped with a 2nd Generation Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processor. Vengeance laptop memory is designed to be plug-and-play, with no BIOS adjustments needed to instantly take advantage of the faster memory speed.
The new Vengeance high-performance memory upgrade kits for laptops are designed to work with any PC or notebook which accepts standard DDR3 SODIMMs, and are backward compatible with notebooks and laptops which use first-generation Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors. Even on older notebooks, customers can still take advantage of the ability to upgrade to 8GB of memory using only two memory slots, and enjoy the confidence of Corsair's renowned service and support.
"As more complex applications and games are available in the market, many laptop users are looking for an easy way to improve their system performance in order to have the best experience." said Thi La, Vice President of Memory Products at Corsair. "Our new Vengeance high-performance laptop memory kits allow performance-minded customers to boost their memory performance and capacity in an instant."
|Size||Speed||# of DIMMs||Part Number|
|8GB||1866MHz, 10-10-10-27, 1.5V||2||CMSX8GX3M2A1866C10|
|8GB||1600MHz, 9-9-9-24, 1.5V||2||CMSX8GX3M2A1600C9|
|4GB||1866MHz, 10-10-10-27, 1.5V||1||CMSX4GX3M1A11866C10|
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!? ;)
Single malt, second opinion, triple checked and quad channel; one of these things is not like the other
Subject: Memory | November 21, 2011 - 06:02 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: quad channel, x79, Intel DX79SI, corsair CMGTX8, ddr3-1333
If one wanted to explore the actual benefit of the new quad channel memory feature on the X79 motherboard, the most logical way would be to use the same RAM and test it in single, dual, triple and quad channel. That is exactly what Legit Reviews did using a quad channel kit of DDR3-1333 from Corsair and the Intel SX79SI motherboard, moving from single up to quad channel as well as upping the speed of the DIMMs. As most may already know, on synthetic benchmarks you do see a relatively linear progression in theoretical bandwidth however the same cannot be said when looking at actual tasks like encoding. Head on over to see the results.
"We started out running a single module at 1333MHz and then another module at a time to test dual channel, triple channel and finally quad channel. The Intel X79 chipet on the Intel SX79SI motherboard was able to properly run each memory configuration. The benchmark results in Sandra 2012 were very impressive in the sense that the benchmark results were nearly linear when moving from single channel to triple channel memory. Adding the fourth module for quad channel performance showed..."
Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:
- Patriot Viper Xtreme Series Division 4 Edition 32GB 1600MHz Quad Channel Memory Review @Hi Tech Legion
- G.Skill RipjawsZ PC3-17000 16GB @ Tweaktown
- GeIL EVO Corsa DIMM Kit 8GB PC3-14900U @ Hardwareoverclock
- Intel X79 Quad Channel and Z68 Dual Channel Memory Performance Analysis @ Tweaktown
- GeIL Enhance Corsa DDR3 1333MHz 16GB Quad Channel Memory Kit Review @ eTeknix
- Corsair Dominator GTX8 PC3-19200 Quad Channel 8GB Kit @ Tweaktown
- Apacer ARES PC3-17066 8GB Kit @ Tweaktown
Subject: Processors, Chipsets, Memory | November 7, 2011 - 03:07 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: corsair, vengeance, sandy bridge-e, just delivered
Just Delivered is a new section of PC Perspective where we share some of the goodies that pass through our labs that may or may not see a review, but are pretty cool none the less.
Sometimes we receive interesting packages in the mail and when we get things from Corsair, we tend to pay attention. Oddly, I had not seen a box quite this size before. What comes from Corsair in the shape of a cube?
As it turns out, it was four 16GB DDR3 memory kits, preparing our team for the upcoming Sandy Bridge-E platform reviews!
Each kit includes 4 modules, getting us ready for the quad-channel memory controller on the upcoming Intel CPU. Corsair included both Vengeance and Vengeance LP kits for us, offering an option is lower profile for potentially larger heatsinks.
For motherboards that will ship with 8 DIMM slots, this allows us to test configurations as high as 32GB!! We are going to be covering all of these bases for you in the coming weeks before launch but don't worry - we are going test the standard 4 x 2GB configurations as well. :)
Subject: Memory | November 3, 2011 - 06:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: VisionTek, Ultimate Performance PC3-12800 CL9 1600EX, ddr3-1600, dual channel
Perhaps the first thing you should notice about Visiontek's Ultimate Performance PC3-12800 CL9 1600EX is that it sports a lifetime warranty if you register it within 30 days of purchasing it. After that the specs naturally follow, DDR3-1600 @ 9-9-9-24 or if you drop to 10-10-10-24 you may be able to hit 1900MHz as Red & Blackness Mods did. Part of that overclock is probably due to the large heatspreaders on the RAM which are effective but could interfere with the installation of a CPU heatsink in some configurations. There is one small problem with this kit, it is priced over $60 which might seem like a good deal for 8GB of RAM ... if you haven't shopped around and noticed that many equivalent DIMMs are available for 20% less.
"Today we are taking a look at a brand new product from Visiontek, the videocard manufacturer has turned their heads on to the memory market. We recieved a sample of their performance ram named “Visiontek Ultimate Performance Pc3-12800 CL9 1600EX”. So how can this brand new ram from Visiontek perform? Lets not waste any time and figure out what kind of performance that we can expect!"
Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:
- GeIL DDR3 Memory Round-up | Enhance Corsa | Evo Corsa Review @ XSReviews
- Avexir Standard Series DDR3 1600MHz 4GB Memory Kit Review @ eTeknix
- Corsair Vengeance PC3-14900 8GB 1866MHz Memory Kit Review @ eTeknix
- Everything You Need to Know About the Dual-, Triple-, and Quad-Channel Memory Architectures @ Hardware Secrets