Subject: Memory | April 13, 2018 - 10:46 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: adata, xpg, ddr4, Samsung, overclocking, 5ghz, coffee lake, Z370
ADATA recently announced that it was able to overclock its upcoming XPG Spectrix D41 RGB DDR4 memory to 5 GHz on air cooling. The new Spectrix modules were first shown off at CES 2018 along with phase change cooled Spectrix D80 DIMMs.
Not content to let G.Skill have all the fun, ADATA took its 2132 MHz AX4U470038G19-DR41 memory and pushed it to 5 GHz in dual channel mode with fairly tight timings of 21-26-26-45-2T. They do not mention how much voltage was needed, but the XMP 2.0 profile of 4608 MHz at 19-19-19-39 and 1.45V suggests that likely at least 1.5V was needed. For comparison, G.Skill was able to hit 5007.4 MHz at CL21-26-26-46-2T while ADATA hit 4996.8 MHz at 21-26-26-45-2T (as reported by CPU-z). Both memory manufacturers used a MSI Z370I Gaming Pro Carbon AC motherboard and Intel Coffee Lake Core i7-8700K to achieve their overclocks. ADATA had the processor clocked at 4.3 GHz (100 BCLK x 43x multiplier).
ADATA’s Spectrix D41 memory uses stylized heat spreaders along with RGB LEDs along the top edges. According to ADATA it is using carefully screened Samsung B-die ICs which so far appear to be the best chips out there for DDR4 when it comes to pushing clocks and AMD compatibility. While a retail kit clocked at 5 GHz (at least when XMP is turned on) out of the box is still far off, the increasing number of successful overclocks is promising for enthusiasts that are looking for kits to overclock on their own. I am still waiting for the memory kit makers to demonstrate the 5GHz on air feat with an AMD platform though as so far the attempts have all used an Intel platform. Perhaps once Ryzen 2000 CPUs and X470 motherboards are out we will see what 5 GHz does for Infinity Fabric.
Tom Chan, director at ADATA Technology, was quoted in the press release as stating:
“For us, the next critical step will be working to make this more than just a technological milestone, but something that will be accessible to gamers, overclockers and others, so that they can ultimately benefit from this amazing performance.”
ADATA / XPG have not yet announced pricing for its Spectrix D41 (or D80) kits but hopefully they will be available soon. The Spectrix D41 should be available in up to 16GB per DIMM capacities and up to 4600 MHz with XMP 2.0 profiles. I am curious whether the D80 with its phase change cooler could be overclocked any more than 5 GHz or if that is simply the limits of Samsung’s current generation ICs regardless of cooling method (outside of exotic cooling like lquid helium or liquid nitrogen and needing ludicrous amounts of voltage of course heh).
Subject: Memory | April 11, 2018 - 08:07 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: xmp, led, Intel, ddr4, Corsair Dominator Platinum, corsair
Corsair is introducing a new special edition DDR4 memory kit called the Dominator Platinum Special Edition CONTRAST. The new individually numbed kits feature a monochrome white a black design with white LEDs. The modules come in 32GB kits comprised of either four 8GB DIMMs or two 16GB DIMMs.
Corsair’s fancy black and pearlescent white special edition memory features 10-layer PCBs, carefully screened Samsung ICs, and DHX (dual-path heat exchange) cooling. The top of the modules hold white LEDs (no RGB here!) to add a bit of glow to your system.
Out of the box, the kits come clocked at 2133 MHz with CAS latencies of 15-15-15-36 and running at 1.2 volts. There is a XMP 2.0 profile that, when activated in the BIOS, bumps things up to 3466 MHz and 16-18-18-36 timings though the speed increase comes at the cost of more power draw at 1.35V.
The Special Edition Contrast memory would look good in most any build, but especially one that eschews RGB for white lights and a simple color scheme. The refined Dominator Platinum memory comes at a premium price though with the 2x16 GB kit having a MSRP of $439.99 and the 4x8 GB kit hitting $479.99. The four DIMM kit is available now from Corsair and the two DIMM kit is coming soon.
Definitely on the expensive side, but it sure looks nice! What are your thoughts?
Subject: Motherboards | April 5, 2018 - 08:27 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: x470, mini ITX, ddr4, biostar, amd, AM4
Biostar is planning to release an updated Mini ITX AMD motherboard according to leaked images sourced by Videocardz. According to the image, the new board will be called the Biostar Racing X470GTN and will feature the AMD X470 chipset which is a refreshed enthusiast chipset that is supposed to be more power efficient and contain tweaks and optimizations for AMD’s upcoming “Zen+” Ryzen 2000 series of desktop processors and APUs.
The Racing X470GTN looks very similar to the Racing X370GTN that Biostar released last year down to the same black PCB and board component layout though the VRM heatsink has been spruced up a bit and is now in red and white rather than black and white. Further, the X470 chipset heatsink lacks the carbon fiber aesthetic and the PCI-E slot is white instead of black. Lastly, the PCB audio isolation for the onboard audio may have been slightly tweaked. The LED-equipped Mini ITX motherboard is powered by a 24-pin ATX and a 4-pin EPS CPU power connector that feeds the seven phase (4+3) power phases. Unfortunately, the heatsink on the VRMs does not look any larger which may hamper any heavy overclocking attempts on the processor as Hardware Canucks saw rather high temperatures (though not magic smoke bad) at stock clocks on the X370GTN they reviewed. In any event, the AM4 socket sits up top and is surrounded by two DDR4 memory slots, four SATA 6 Gbps ports, and one PCI-E 3.0 x16 slot. There is also a PCI-E M.2 slot hidden behind the board for enthusiasts. The onboard audio codec is a Realtek ALC892 chip (per Videocardz) and while the leaked image does not confirm anything I am guessing the Gigabit Ethernet NIC is also of Realtek origin and is likely the same RTL8118AS used in the previous generation motherboard.
As far as rear I/O is concerned, there is not much to speak of but Biostar does include a decent amount of high speed USB ports with at least two being USB 3.1 Gen 2 and the remaining four being USB 3.0 or USB 3.1 Gen 1 (the X370GTN had USB 3.0 but the X470 update may have bumped these up to USB 3.1 Gen 1 not that it matters in practical terms of speed). In addition to USB, the Racing X470GTN’s rear panel hosts a combo PS/2 port, DVI and HDMI video outputs, Gigabit Ethernet, and six audio outputs (one optical, five analog).
Naturally, being a leak, there is no word on official pricing or availability on this motherboard, but I would guess it will be priced around $120 following the launch of AMD’s Ryzen 2000 series CPUs and 400 series chipsets.
In other Mini ITX X470 news:
Subject: Memory | March 29, 2018 - 12:58 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Trident Z RGB, RGB, overclocking, G.Skill Trident Z, G.Skill, dual channel, ddr4, 5000 mhz
A bit over a month ago G.Skill launched a new Trident Z RGB kit that offered up 4700 MHz speeds in a 16GB kit using Samsung B-dies. Now, G.Skill has managed to push the kit to 5,000 MHz on air and the prototype kit is getting closer to fruition as a retail product.
G.Skill managed to overclock its Trident Z RGB 4700 MHz kit by a bit over 300 MHz to hit 5,007.4 MHz in an air cooled system featuring an MSI Z370I Gaming Pro Carbon AC and an Intel Core i7-8700K. The RGB memory kit achieved 5,007.4 MHz with timings of 21-26-26-46 2T (CL, tRCD, tRP, tRAS, CR) and while they did not mention voltage the kit likely required around 1.5V since the base 4700 MHz kit needs 1.45 volts. The 8700K processor was sitting at the default 100 BCLK with a 43x multiplier for a clockspeed of 4.3 GHz. Perhaps more promising is that the overclocked memory was still able to be used in dual channel mode where previous attempts required extreme cooling methods and/or operating in single channel mode.
Tequila Huang, the Corporate Vice President of G.Skill International, had the following to say in the press release:
“Previously, the 5GHz memory speed is only achievable in extreme overclocking and in single-channel. We’re excited to share that we’ve been able to achieve the 5GHz memory speed in not only air-cooling conditions, but also in dual-channels. This is a major milestone for us. We will make every effort to bring this specification onto the consumer market, and bring the experience of extreme performance to worldwide users.”
G.Skill is not quite ready to bring a 5,000 MHz RGB memory kit to market, but they are getting closer and hopefully by the time they do memory pricing will have settled down a bit! It is impressive how far memory speeds have come in the last few years, and I am curious where we will go from here.
Subject: General Tech | March 1, 2018 - 04:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: DRAM, ddr4, price
Last year we saw the price of RAM, especially DDR4 increase by 40%, ending the year more expensive than when it was first released. The DRAMeXchange is predicting this will slow in the coming year, which is somewhat like, but not exactly, good news. Prices are not going to level off nor decrease, but instead the increases will slow into single digit percentages. This has made memory makers extraordinarily happy, as you can see from their financials below. One can only hope that the new fabs being build come online when scheduled as this trend will continue as more devices demand more memory in even the basic models.
"Price increases for mobile, PC and server DRAMs are starting to moderate in the first quarter of 2018 as suppliers expand and reallocate production capacity. Following an average price hike of about 40 percent in 2017, DRAM prices are forecast to increase in single-digit percentages in the first and second quarters of 2018, according to the latest analysis from DRAMeXchange, a research division of TrendForce."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Repairs You Can Print Contest: Meet the Winners @ Hack a Day
- The best of the rest from MWC 2018 @ The Inquirer
- Global diode supply shortfall to last into 2Q18, says Diodes CEO @ DigiTimes
- 23,000 HTTPS certs will be axed in next 24 hours after private keys leak @ The Register
- Your Love of Your Old Smartphone Is a Problem for Apple and Samsung @ Slashdot
- Microsoft will make Ubuntu 18.04 a 'first-class guest' in Hyper-V @ The Inquirer
- Microsoft ports its Quantum Development Kit to Linux and macOS @ The Register
Memory speed is not a factor that the average gamer thinks about when building their PC. For the most part, memory performance hasn't had much of an effect on modern processors running high-speed memory such as DDR3 and DDR4.
With the launch of AMD's Ryzen processors, last year emerged a platform that was more sensitive to memory speeds. By running Ryzen processors with higher frequency and lower latency memory, users should see significant performance improvements, especially in 1080p gaming scenarios.
However, the Ryzen processors are not the only ones to exhibit this behavior.
Gaming on integrated GPUs is a perfect example of a memory starved situation. Take for instance the new AMD Ryzen 5 2400G and it's Vega-based GPU cores. In a full Vega 56 or 64 situation, these Vega cores utilize blazingly fast HBM 2.0 memory. However, due to constraints such as die space and cost, this processor does not integrate HBM.
Instead, both the CPU portion and the graphics portion of the APU must both depend on the same pool of DDR4 system memory. DDR4 is significantly slower than memory traditionally found on graphics cards such as GDDR5 or HBM. As a result, APU performance is usually memory limited to some extent.
In the past, we've done memory speed testing with AMD's older APUs, however with the launch of the new Ryzen and Vega based R3 2200G and R5 2400G, we decided to take another look at this topic.
For our testing, we are running the Ryzen 5 2400G at three different memory speeds, 2400 MHz, 2933 MHz, and 3200 MHz. While the maximum supported JEDEC memory standard for the R5 2400G is 2933, the memory provided by AMD for our processor review will support overclocking to 3200MHz just fine.
Subject: General Tech, Memory | February 11, 2018 - 04:45 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: G.Skill, Trident Z RGB, ddr4, Samsung, samsung b-die, xmp
G.Skill will soon be upgrading its Trident Z RGB line of DDR4 DIMMs with a 16 GB kit capable of running at 4700 MHz. With the claimed fastest commercial kit of RGB-equipped memory modules, the new 2 x 8 GB kit uses Samsung B-die ICs and supports XMP 2.0 memory profiles. The super-fast memory kit has been in development for quite a while and is slated for availability in Q2 2018.
G.Skill has managed to tighten the timings on its 4700 MHz kit to CL19-19-19-39 while needing only 1.45V which is nice to see. The company has reportedly validated the new memory using a MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC motherboard and Intel i7 8700k processor. G.Skill notes that the new kit is notable because it is the first retail kit to hit 4700 MHz as well as the first memory kit with RGB LEDs to hit that lofty memory speed. Corsair comes close at 4600 MHz with its 16 GB Vengeance LPX DDR4 kit at 15-15-15-36 which will set you back a cool $589.99 MSRP.
I am curious on the overclocking headroom on these modules actually (heh). G.Skill is reportedly using highly screened B-dies so maybe the 5,000 MHz its other kits have hit (when overclocked) would be possible. I would like to see AMD’s Infinity Fabric performance at that point when it is not being held back by memory speed especially where its upcoming APUs are concerned. On the Intel side of things, I think tighter timings are preferrable (after a certain threshold of acceptable speed of course) when pursuing the best performance so a "slower" 3600 to 4600 MHz kit at CL15 or lower might be a better buy. In any case, memory continues to be pricey, and I would uess G.Skill's new kit will hit at least $600 MSRP.
G.Skill is not yet talking pricing on these modules, but they aren’t going to be cheap. We should know more in a couple of months as we enter the second quarter.
Subject: Memory | September 21, 2017 - 11:46 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: X399, ryzen, overclocking, Intel X299, ddr4-4600, ddr4, corsair
Corsair has launched a new Vengeance LPX DDR4 memory kit that is capable of hitting 4600 MHz at 1.5 volts. The new kit is a 16GB (2 x 8GB) kit that Corsair reportedly co-developed with AsRock for fine tune using their X299 OC Formula motherboard. The DDR4 kit is made using hand sorted Samsung B-dies and it supports Intel XMP 2.0 standards allowing it to clock at 4600 MHz with a single setting change in the UEFI.
The Vengeance LPX DIMMs run with CAS timings of 19-26-26-46 and need only 1.5V to clock at 4600 MHz. This kit will be ideal for Intel’s X299 as well as AMD’s X399 platforms. While Ryzen and Threadripper platforms may need a bit more tweaking to get working, they would benefit the most from the higher clocked memory allowing the Infinity Fabric to clock higher.
Being one of the highest factory clocked DIMMs, they come at a cost. The new RAM kit (CMK16GX4M2F4600C19) is available now for $549.99 with a lifetime limited warranty.
For something a bit more tame, earlier this week Corsair launched a 2 x 8GB kit (CMK16GX4M2F4500C19) clocked at 4500 MHz with CL19-19-19-39 timings (at 1.45V) that is also available now for $479.99 MSRP. Enthusiasts might be better off buying the cheaper kit and overclocking them (though not guaranteed and might need a bit more than 1.5V) while workstation and enterprise customers with corporate expense accounts can opt for the more expensive but factory clocked 4600 MHz kit.
At time of writing the new kits were not up on Amazon yet, but they should be shortly. You can find the cheaper 4500 MHz kit on Corsair's web store but it is listed at $504.99 currently. If you wait a bit, that price should go down closer to MSRP as other retailers put up their listings.
Subject: Memory | June 29, 2017 - 02:03 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: x299, trident z, samsung 8Gb, overclocking, G.Skill, ddr4
G.Skill recently announced new DDR4 memory kits for the Intel X299 HEDT platform. The new kits include a dual channel DDR4 4400 MHz kit for Kaby Lake X and a quad channel DDR4 4200 MHz kit for Skylake X. The dual channel kit is available under the company’s Trident Z RGB and Trident Z Black brands depending on whether you want RGB lighting or simple black heatspreaders. The quad channel DDR4-4200 kit is only available in non-RGB Trident Z modules.
According to G.Skill, all of the new memory kits use Samsung 8Gb dies and feature CAS latencies of 19-19-19-39. The quad channel 4200 MHz DDR4 modules need 1.40V to hit those specifications, and while it is not yet known what the higher clocked dual channel DDR4 4400 MHz kits need to hit CL19 timings I would presume they need a bit more.
The new kits will be available in an 8GB x 2 (16GB) 4400 MHz kit and up to 64 GB (8GB x 8) 4200 MHz kits. Pricing has not yet been announced, but the new RAM kits should be available soon. While Intel processors do not get as much of a boost from increased memory speeds as AMD’s APUs and Ryzen CPUs do, there are still noticeable gains to be had with faster memory though gamers should still prioritize graphics cards and processors over memory when picking parts for a budget build.
Note that since these kits are using Samsung 8Gb ICs, they also have a good chance of working with Ryzen, but check with your motherboard manufacturer and reviews before ponying up the cash.
Subject: General Tech | June 28, 2017 - 01:07 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, Intel, ddr3, ddr4
Overclockers Club have completed a daunting task, testing the effect of RAM frequency on game performance from DDR3-1333 through DDR4-3200. In theory Intel's chips will not see the same improvements as AMD's Ryzen, lacking Infinity Fabric which has proved to be sensitive to memory frequency. Since OCC cover two generations of RAM they also needed to test with two different processors, in this case the i7-4770K and i7-7700K and they tested performance at 1440p as well as 1080p. Read the full article to see the full results which do show some performance deltas, however they nothing compared to spending more on your GPU.
"After running through all of the tests, it appears that what I previously thought was an easy and clear answer is in fact more complicated. With the evidence provided I can safely say that memory can play a large role in some games over all frame rates. However, other factors like the processor, type of video card, and resolution will usually provide bigger impact in the final frame rates. Strictly speaking of game performances, the fastest memory tested does yield better results."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Nintendo New 2DS XL mini-review: The best version of the 3DS hardware yet @ Ars Technica
- The Steam Sale continues ... if you somehow didn't realize it by now
- Unknown Pleasures: Steam’s latest hidden delights @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Racing games on sale @ Humble Store
- Wot I Think: Darkest Dungeon – The Crimson Court @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Sand worms and lightning: Aven Colony takes city-building to exoplanets @ Ars Technica
- Double Dragon Trilogy free with any purchase @ GOG