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
Subject: Memory | June 7, 2017 - 08:49 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: G.Skill, overclocking, ddr4, x299, liquid nitrogen, computex
Amidst the flood of new product announcements at Computex, G.Skill was busy hosting an overclocking competition where its memory was used to in a record breaking overclock that saw DDR4 memory clocked at an impressive 5,500 MHz. Professional overclocker Toppc broke his 5,000 MHz record from last year with the new overclock that was accomplished on Intel’s X299 platform.
Toppc used a MSI X299 Gaming Pro Carbon AC motherboard, Intel Core X-series processor, G.Skill DDR4 memory built using Samsung 8Gb ICs, and, of course, copious amounts of liquid nitrogen! Looking at the HWBot page, it appears Toppc specifically used an Intel Core i7-7740K (Kaby Lake X) processor and 8GB G.Skill Trident Z RGB RAM (CL 14-14-14-14 stock). Both the CPU and memory modules were cooled with liquid nitrogen for the overclock. The CPU-Z screenshot shows the processor running 1 cores / 2 threads with a 133.06 bus speed. It also shows an 8x multiplier and core speed of 1064.46 but I am questioning whether or not it is accurately reading the Kaby Lake X part correctly as running at those speeds wouldn’t need such exotic cooling – perhaps it is needed to run at the 133.06 bus speed and to keep the memory controller from overheating (or melting hehe).
G.Skill is currently pushing the envelope on standard air cooled DIMMs with a prototype kit hitting 4,800 MHz. The company's CVP Tequila Huang stated in a press release:
“We are seeing amazing overclocking potential for these newly released hardware and we believe that more overclocking benchmark records will be achieved very soon by professional overclockers worldwide."
I am interested to see if it will have any additional headroom in the memory overclocking department and if so how long the 5.5 GHz world record will stand.
Subject: Memory | June 1, 2017 - 08:30 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: x299, Trident Z RGB, Threadripper, ryzen, LGA 2066, G.Skill, ddr4, computex 2017, computex
G.Skill was in full force at Computex in Taipei, Taiwan this week with not just one but three systems based on Intel’s new X299 platform each featuring flashy G.Skill Trident Z RGB memory clocked above 4GHz!
Hexus.net got hands-on at Computex 2017.
During the event, G.Skill had three systems set up showing off its newest Trident Z RGB kits running on X299 motherboards. The kits included a 16GB (2 x 8GB) kit running at 4,400 MHz with 19-19-19-39 timings on a Gigabyte X299-SOC Champion motherboard. Moving up to 32GB (2 x 16GB DIMMs), G.Skill showed off a kit running on an ASRock X299 OC Formula board at 4,000 MHz with 17-18-18-38 timings. Finally, G.Skill showed an eight module 64GB kit (8 x 8GB) running at 4,200 MHz with 19-21-21-41 timings on an Asus PRIME X299-Deluxe.
At the event a G.Skill representative made the point to Hexus.net (they have a video of the G.Skill booth) that adding LEDs to memory modules does not have to mean sacrificing performance.
Interestingly, Hexus also saw a demonstration of a prototype Trident Z memory kit (the red/silver non RGB type) running at an extremely impressive 4,800 MHz on an ASRock X299 OC Formula!
It has been a long time since I’ve been excited this about memory, but with all the major players pushing speeds as far as they can and the impending launch of new high-end desktop platforms from AMD and Intel things are about to get interesting!
- Intel Core i9 Announced: 18-core Skylake-X, Kaby Lake-X and X299
- Computex 2017: AMD Threadripper will include 64 lanes of PCI Express 3.0, Demos with Quad Vega FE
- AMD AGESA Update 184.108.40.206 Will Support Configurable Memory Sub Timings And Clockspeeds Up To 4,000 MHz
- Need memory for that dream X299 build? Perhaps Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR4-3466 would do you
- HyperX Introduces Higher Speed DDR4 Memory Kits Up to 4,000 MHz
- Computex 2017: ASUS Announces Prime and TUF Intel X299 Motherboards
Subject: General Tech | June 1, 2017 - 04:22 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: hyperx, kingston, ddr4, ryzen, x299, overclocking
Kingston’s high-performance division HyperX recently announced the availability of a slew of new Predator DDR4 memory kits based on DIMMs capable of reaching 4,000 MHz at 1.35 volts.
HyperX has added six new speed tiers to the lineup made up of individual DIMMs as well as kits of multiple sticks. Voltage is rated at 1.35V across the lineup. The kits and DIMMs being added to the lineup are listed below along with their rated CAS latencies. They reportedly all support built-in XMP profiles.
- 2,400 MHz at CL12
- 2,666 MHz at CL13
- 3,000 MHz at CL15
- 3,333 MHz at CL16
- 3,600 MHz at CL17
- 4,000 MHz at CL19
The majority of kits top out at 64GB, but HyperX did add a 128GB (eight DIMM) kit running at 3,000 MHz and CL15. At the high end is a single 4,000 MHz 16GB (2x8GB) kit (HX440C19PB3K2/16) running at CL19.
The Tech Report reports that the new kits are available now, but looking around online they do not appear to be listed at retailers quite yet so pricing information is unknown. I would expect the high capacity and high-speed kits to carry a decent premium though!
In any case, if you are in the market for a high-end Ryzen, ThreadRipper, or Skylake-X build these may be worth checking out.
AMD AGESA Update 220.127.116.11 Will Support Configurable Memory Sub Timings And Clockspeeds Up To 4,000 MHz
Subject: General Tech | May 30, 2017 - 04:05 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: x370, ryzen, overclocking, ddr4, bios, b350, amd, agesa
AMD recently announced a new AGESA update that will improve memory compatibility and add new memory and virtualization features that have been sorely missing from AMD’s new Ryzen platforms. The new AGESA 18.104.22.168 update has been distributed to its motherboard partners and will be part of updated BIOSes that should be out by the middle of June.
The AGESA (AMD Generic Encapsulated Software Architecture) code is used as part of the BIOS responsible for initializing the Ryzen CPU cores, memory controller, and Infinity Fabric. With the 22.214.171.124 update, AMD is adding 26 configurable memory options (including subtimings!) that were previously locked out or limited in the range of values users could set. The biggest change is in clockspeeds where AMD will now allow memory clocks up to 4,000 MHz without needing to adjust the CPU base clock (only the very high-end motherboards had external clock generators that allowed hitting higher than 3200 MHz easily before this update). Additionally, when overclocking and setting clockspeeds above 2667 MHz, users can adjust the clockspeeds in increments of 133 MT/s rather than the currently supported 266 MT/s increments. Also important is that AMD will allow 2T command rates with the new update (previously it was locked at 1T) which improves memory kit compatibility when pushing clockspeeds and/or when running in a four DIMM configuration rather than 2 stick configurations (2T is less aggressive). These changes are especially important for overclocking and, in addition to all the other knobs that will become available, dialing in the highest possible stable clockspeeds. Reportedly, the updated AGESA code does improve on memory kit compatibility and support for more XMP profiles, but the Ryzen platform still heavily favors Samsung B-die based single rank kits. In all, it sounds like there is still more to be done but the 126.96.36.199 update is going to be a huge step in the right direction.
Beyond the memory improvements AMD is also adding support for PCI Express Access Control Services which will improve virtualization support and allow users with multiple graphics cards to dedicate a card to the host and another card to the virtual machine.
ASUS and Gigabyte have already rolled out beta BIOSes for their high-end boards, and other manufacturers and motherboards should be getting beta update’s shortly with the stable releases based on the new AMD code being available next month. I am very interested to see Ryzen paired with 4GHz memory and how that will help gaming and everyday performance and improve things in the Infinity Fabric and CCX to CCX latency department!
Subject: Memory | May 11, 2017 - 02:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: corsair, Corsair Dominator Platinum, ddr4, special edition torque, bulldog, DDR4-3600
Corsair have launched a new limited edition line of DDR4-3600 DIMMs, the DOMINATOR PLATINUM Special Edition Torque. The DIMMs feature brushed black aluminum heatsinks with orange accents and a heat-treated effect top bar. They do indeed feature lighting for the LED addicted and will fit in with your other bright components. They are XMP 2.0 certified for easy setup, or you can overclock to your own preferences as these DIMMs went through comprehensive testing.
As part of the release Corsair contracted case modder Lee Harrington to transform a Bulldog case into a classic hot rod. It has a flaming paint job, pneumatic hood struts, working headlights and a whole lot of Torque; you can see the full gallery here.
You can read the PR below the prices.
FREMONT, CA – May 11th, 2017 - CORSAIR, a world leader in enthusiast memory, high-performance gaming hardware and PC components today announced the immediate availability of its new DOMINATOR PLATINUM Special Edition Torque DDR4 memory. Inspired by those for whom speed is an obsession, each module features a uniquely heat-treated effect top bar, combining the iconic DOMINATOR PLATINUM design with the aesthetic of high-performance engines. Completed by a brushed black aluminum heatsink, stunning built-in lighting and orange accents, each kit is individually numbered using high precision laser engraving, guaranteeing exclusivity. Available in limited quantities, DOMINATOR PLATINUM Special Edition Torque DDR4 memory is built for speed – inside and out.
Fully compatible with the latest Intel® X99 and 200-series motherboards, each module is individually hand screened for added quality assurance and overclocking headroom. For the speed-obsessed looking to push their system to the limit and reach peak performance, DOMINATOR PLATINUM Special Edition’s custom 10-layer PCB provides superior signalling for greater overclocking potential, allowing every DOMINATOR PLATINUM Special Edition Torque module to be safely overclocked to at least 3,600MHz. What’s more, with CORSAIR’s patented DHX cooling technology, the aluminum heat-spreader is built right into the PCB, ensuring rapid heat dissipation and lower temperatures.
To celebrate the launch of DOMINATOR PLATINUM Special Edition Torque, CORSAIR commissioned renowned case modder Lee Harrington to create a chassis worthy of housing these limited edition DDR4 modules. Starting with a CORSAIR BULLDOG SFF kit, Lee created a stunning homage to 60’s hot-rods, complete with flaming paint job, pneumatic hood struts and working headlights. To see more of this amazing system build, check out the full builder’s gallery at the link below.
Show me your true colors
It's no secret that RGB accessories and components have been quite popular in the past few years. One of the most recent introductions in the quest to make everything related to your computer RGB LED customizable is system memory.
Today, we're taking a look at Corsair's RGB DDR4 offering, the Vengeance RGB memory kit.
As you might expect, from the outside the Vengeance RGB DIMMs look mostly like standard memory modules. The heat spreader is full metal and has a matte texture, giving it a nice flat appearance and feel.
The real magic lies underneath the removable top portion of the heat spreader. Taking this piece off will reveal the lightbar in all its glory. This removable portion of the heat spreader allows you to choose between maximum LED visibility and the more subtle appearance of the "slotted" design. For attention oriented people like me, it's also nice that you can flip the lid of the heat spreader so that the Corsair logo is oriented in the same way when you have 4 DIMMs installed into a motherboard.
Unlike the GEIL EVO X RGB memory that we used in our Ryzen 5 CPU review, the Corsair Vengeance RGB memory does not depend on your motherboard having headers for external RGB strips, but rather is fully controlled through Corsair Link software on your PC.
With Corsair Link installed on a supported platform (more on that later), it's very easy to customize the look of the Vengeance RGB modules. These LEDs are individually addressable so you can do patterns like Color Pulse and Shift as well as a Rainbow effect. You can also pair together modules into groups so that the effects are synchronized together.
After getting the memory installed and customized to our liking, we decided to run a couple of memory benchmarks on this kit at the stock DDR4-2400 speeds for the Kaby Lake platform, and at DDR4-3000 which this kit is certified for. Although it's worth nothing that Corsair claims this memory is very overclockable.
In synthetic memory benchmarks, you can definitely see the expected difference in performance from running at DDR4-3000 vs DDR4-2400. Read/Write/Copy as well as memory bandwidth sees a nice increase. Although, as we have seen over the years, increases in memory bandwidth don't seem to translate to large performance increases in real world applications.
However, with the advent of AMD's latest Ryzen CPUs, we have seen a new importance on memory speed in relation to certain applications including gaming. While we managed to run Vengeance RGB memory a DDR4-3000 speeds on our ASUS Crosshair VI Hero platform with no issues, you do lose the RGB functionality.
Currently, the Corsair Link software utilizes the Intel Management Engine software to enable support for changing the RGB LEDs over the DDR4 bus. This means that when you install the memory into a Ryzen system, you are unable to customize the LED patterns, with the memory modules staying in their default state of cycling through colors in an unsynchronized method.
Corsair has said that Ryzen support for RGB customization is coming, and we will be on the lookout for when the updated version of Corsair Link software is available.
At $160 for the 16GB kit, the Corsair Vengeance RGB DDR-3000 Memory carries about a $30-$40 price premium over similar non RGB-enabled kits. While it may seem a bit ridiculous to spend extra money just to get light up RAM, if you are working on a color scheme with your system and already have things like an RGB Motherboard and GPU, Corsair Vengeance RGB memory could be the final touch you are looking for.
Subject: Memory | April 22, 2017 - 04:40 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: z270, G.Skill Trident Z, G.Skill, dual channel, ddr4
For enthusiasts with a need for speed, G.Skill unleashed a new DDR4 memory kit recently that ratchets up two 8GB modules to 4333 MHz out of the box. The new 16GB kit will soon take the top spot in the company’s Trident Z series and will come with the traditional brushed metal heat spreader with red accent.
The new 16 GB (2 x 8GB sticks) Trident Z memory kit was validated on Intel’s Z270 platform using an Asus ROG Maximus IX Apex motherboard and an overclocked Intel Core i5-7600K. (The processor was clocked at 4200.20 MHz on a x40.0 multiplier and 104.98 MHz bus speed.) The DDR4 kit is running with CAS latencies of 19-19-19-39 and is needs 1.40 volts.
Not content to sit on its laurels, G.Skill is reportedly also working on cranking speeds up even further with a prototype DDR4 kit running at 4400 MHz and a “proof of concept” test of a 16 GB kit running at 4500 MHz. The DDR4-4500 kit is being stress tested while specifications are still under development and it will be “some time” before it is ready for market. G.Skill did manage to at least run Windows and some benchmarks at those RAM clock speeds though using the same Z270 platform listed above (with the Core i5 7600K clocked at 4360.36 MHz on a 108.98 MHz bus and x40.0 multiplier). The benchmark runs reported up to 65 GB/s write speeds, 55 GB/s read speeds, and 52 GB/s copy speeds specifically. DDR4 has come a long way in the speed department to where it is today and apparently still has room to grow.
Unfortunately, as is the case with most announcements of this nature, no official pricing and availability was mentioned. Looking around online, I would expect the 16GB DDR4-4333 kit to come in somewhere around $280 and be available within the next month or so.
I would love to see what a kit this fast would do for Ryzen as far as alleviating the CCX-to-CCX bottleneck over the Infinity Fabric assuming the Ryzen memory controller can handle those speeds! Also, faster memory has helped AMD’s APUs in the past, so these extremely fast kits that are coming out should pair well with AMD's upcoming Raven Ridge though they will need to come down in price a lot to actually meet the budget of a good budget gaming build (right now with the kits in the $250+ range it would be better to just put the premium into a graphics card – though that kind of defeats the purpose of using the APU heh).
Subject: Memory | March 8, 2017 - 12:46 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: ryzen, overclocking, gskill, ddr4, AM4
G.Skill recently announced two new series of DDR4 memory geared towards AMD’s new AM4 platform and Ryzen CPUs. The FORTIS series comes in kits up to 64 GB at 2400 MHz while the Flare X series features kits up to 32 GB at 3466 MHz.
The FORTIS series come in black with graphics on the sides. At launch, there will be kits in 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB capacities clocked at 2,133 and 2,400 MHz. These kits run at 1.2V.
Flare X reportedly uses “carefully selected” IC chips that have been tested and validated for the AM4 platform and Ryzen processors. These kits run at 1.35V out of the box and come in 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB at 3200 MHz with 14-14-14-34 timings or in a 16 GB (2x8GB) kit clocked at 3466 MHz with 16-16-16-36 timings.
It is worth noting that Ryzen officially supports memory up to 3200 MHz without needing to overclock the bus speed using one of eight memory straps/dividers (this is apparently a limitation of the UEFI and not Ryzen's memory controllers). In order to take advantage of DDR4 with higher clocks, you will need to overclock the base clock (which is made easier/possible on motherboards with external clock generators). G.Skill showed two examples using a Ryzen 7 1700 and an Asus Crosshair VI Hero motherboard where they got a 4x16GB kit clocked at 3467MHz (16-16-16-36 CR1) by setting a 25.4 x multiplier and 118.16 MHz bus speed. The other example was DDR4 at 3200 MHz with a multiplier of 28.4 and 119.99 MHz bus speed. It is interesting that they were able to push the bus speed that high while maintaining stability. G.Skill posted two CPU-Z validation screen shots on its news announcement.
G.Skill did not announce pricing, but it did state the new memory kits would be available later this month. Looking around on Newegg, it seems some of the lower speed kits with 4GB DIMMs are available right now but the new kits with higher clocks and 8GB and 16GB DIMMs are not available yet. The less exciting Fortis series does appear to be available though with a 2x8GB 16GB DDR4-2400 priced at $124.99. Even the Fortis series isn’t fully launched yet though since the 2x16GB and 4x16GB kits aren’t listed.
Subject: Motherboards | February 21, 2017 - 05:16 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: ryzen, M.2, ddr4, biostar, amd, AM4
The X370GT7 is part of Biostar's racing series and features a black PCB with checkered flag artwork and LED-backlit "armor" over the rear IO edge. The motherboard surrounds the AMD AM4 socket with two large heat spreaders cooling a 8+4 Digital Power+ power phase (PowIRstage IC), four DDR4 slots (up to 64GB at 2667 MHz), and a M.2 (32 Gbps) slot with bundled SSD heat spreader that matches the racing and carbon fiber aesthetic.
The bottom half of the AM4 Motherboard houses the X370 chipset, six SATA 3 ports, two PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots (running 1 at x16 or both at x8 with Ryzen, Bristol Ridge is limited to one x8 slot), one PCI-E 2.0 x16 (electrically x4) slot, and three PCI-E 2.0 x1 slots. Biostar also highlights the inclusion of 5050 LED headers and a USB 3.1 front panel header with "Lightning Charger" which supports Quick Charge 2.0 (12V@1.5A) as well as Apple devices (5V@2.4A).
Around back, the X370GT7 has the following rear IO ports:
- 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C
- 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2
- 4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (USB 3.0)
- 3 x Video Outputs:
- 1 x DisplayPort (4K@60Hz)
- 1 x HDMI 2.0 (4K@60Hz)
- 1 x DVI-D (1200p@60Hz)
- 1 x Gigabit Ethernet (Realtek RTL8118AS)
- Audio (Realtek ALC1220, 8 channel Blu Ray Audio, "Biostar Hi-FI")
- 5 x Analog out
- 1 x S/PDIF
While an Intel NIC would have been nice to see, the Biostar board looks to offer up a decent package of connections and the Realtek audio codec has been around for a while and should be fairly well developed at this point though we will have to see how well Biostar's Hi-Fi implementation fares. Further, Biostar also offers a small touch panel on the board called GT Touch that lets users switch UEFI profiles between performance and eco-friendly modes as well as power and reset buttons for testing outside of a case. For LED fans Biostar bundles software called "LED DJ" that lets you configure an LED light show that responds to music being played on the PC. (Yes, this is a thing now hehe.)
It is nice to see Biostar rising to the occasion and offering up more options for Ryzen CPUs. Unfortunately as is the case with more things there is no word on pricing or availability yet though rumors would suggest an early march release to coincide with Ryzen processors hitting store shelves.
- CES 2017: Gigabyte Teases New AM4 Platform Motherboards
- AMD Details AM4 Chipsets and Upcoming Motherboards
- Dissecting AMD Zen Architecture - Interview with David Kanter