JEDEC made the GDDR5X memory standard official almost a year and a half ago where it launched at 10 Gbps and quickly hit 12 Gbps. Set to bridge the gap between GDDR5 and the upcoming GDDR6, the “G5X” standard is quickly catching up to and matching the speeds that GDDR6 will run at.
Specifically, Micron’s Graphics Design Team in Munich was able to achieve an impressive 16 Gbps in their high speed test environment. The team was able to hit 16 Gbps on a “meaningful sampling” of its mass production GDDR5X silicon which makes the feat much more impressive as it means these higher speeds are moving closer to reality than theory. Micron measured a PRBS11 (psuedorandom binary sequence) pattern read at 16 Gbps using an oscilloscope and also showed off a chart that compared the stable data rate timing margin versus data rate from 10 Gbps to 16 Gbps.
In addition to teasing the 16 Gbps memory speed (it will be awhile yet before we see products like graphics cards running memory at those speeds), Micron announced that it expects to being mass productions of GDDR6 chips in early 2018. GDDR6 will see a new (larger) FBGA1180 package, faster base sort speeds (GDDR6 will start at 12Gbps vs G5X's 10Gbps), and moving to a dual channel approach with channels that will have half as many I/O links (GDDR5X is x16/x32 while GDDR6 will be x8/16 per channel). It will be interesting to see how this move will stack up to G5X, but in theory Micron will be able to push clocks even higher (maybe even higher than 16 Gbps) by having more but simpler channels (and it may be easier for graphics card manufacturers to wire up their cards to the memory chips.
SK Hynix, who showed off its first GDDR6 chip at GTC, appears to be following the same I/O design as Micron with two channel memory at x8 or x16 per channel.
Are you ready for faster GDDR5X? Hopefully these new faster G5X chips come out soon to give AMD and NVIDIA a more appealing alternative to HBM and HBM2 for mid-range and high end consumer graphics cards since High Bandwidth Memory seems to still be suffering from limited supply and is holding the GPU guys back on being able to crank up the production lines!
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 188.8.131.52 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: Memory | May 30, 2017 - 04:09 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: crucial, crucial ballistix elite, ddr4-3466
In amongst all the new kit announced at Computex that we can't test yet, it is nice to see a review or three. With the move to DDR4 support, we need to look at what effect frequency has on the new chips; we have certainly learned that Ryzen prefers high frequency RAM but how about an i7-6700k? Benchmark Reviews tested Crucial's Ballistix Elite kit, with timings of 16-18-18 @ 3466MHz with that chip and you can see the full results here. The difference on the Intel system is nowhere near as pronounced as on an AMD system but there is another reason to consider this kit for an Intel build; no RGBs to speak of whatsoever!
"In this article Benchmark Reviews examines Crucial’s Ballistix Elite DDR4 enthusiast memory, which runs at an eye-watering 3466Mhz. We’ll test it against “standard” DDR4 to see what difference this extra performance makes."
Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:
- Corsair's Dominator Platinum Special Edition Torque @ The Tech Report
- Team Group T-Force DARK ROG 3000 MHz DDR4 @ techPowerUp
- GeIL Evo X 16GB DDR4 3000MHz @ Kitguru
- Corsair Vengeance RGB 3000 MHz DDR4 @ eTeknix
Subject: General Tech, Memory, Storage | May 26, 2017 - 10:14 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: XPoint, Intel, HPC, DIMM, 3D XPoint
Intel recently teased a bit of new information on its 3D XPoint DIMMs and launched its first public demonstration of the technology at the SAP Sapphire conference where SAP’s HANA in-memory data analytics software was shown working with the new “Intel persistent memory.” Slated to arrive in 2018, the new Intel DIMMs based on the 3D XPoint technology developed by Intel and Micron will work in systems alongside traditional DRAM to provide a pool of fast, low latency, and high density nonvolatile storage that is a middle ground between expensive DDR4 and cheaper NVMe SSDs and hard drives. When looking at the storage stack, the storage density increases along with latency as it gets further away from the CPU. The opposite is also true, as storage and memory gets closer to the processor, bandwidth increases, latency decreases, and costs increase per unit of storage. Intel is hoping to bridge the gap between system DRAM and PCI-E and SATA storage.
According to Intel, system RAM offers up 10 GB/s per channel and approximately 100 nanoseconds of latency. 3D XPoint DIMMs will offer 6 GB/s per channel and about 250 nanoseconds of latency. Below that is the 3D XPoint-based NVMe SSDs (e.g. Optane) on a PCI-E x4 bus where they max out the bandwidth of the bus at ~3.2 GB/s and 10 microseconds of latency. Intel claims that non XPoint NVMe NAND solid state drives have around 100 microsecomds of latency, and of course, it gets worse from there when you go to NAND-based SSDs or even hard drives hanging of the SATA bus.
Intel’s new XPoint DIMMs have persistent storage and will offer more capacity that will be possible and/or cost effective with DDR4 DRAM. In giving up some bandwidth and latency, enterprise users will be able to have a large pool of very fast storage for storing their databases and other latency and bandwidth sensitive workloads. Intel does note that there are security concerns with the XPoint DIMMs being nonvolatile in that an attacker with physical access could easily pull the DIMM and walk away with the data (it is at least theoretically possible to grab some data from RAM as well, but it will be much easier to grab the data from the XPoint sticks. Encryption and other security measures will need to be implemented to secure the data, both in use and at rest.
Interestingly, Intel is not positioning the XPoint DIMMs as a replacement for RAM, but instead as a supplement. RAM and XPoint DIMMs will be installed in different slots of the same system and the DDR4 RAM will be used for the OS and system critical applications while the XPoint pool of storage will be used for storing data that applications will work on much like a traditional RAM disk but without needing to load and save the data to a different medium for persistent storage and offering a lot more GBs for the money.
While XPoint is set to arrive next year along with Cascade Lake Xeons, it will likely be a couple of years before the technology takes off. Supporting it is going to require hardware and software support for the workstations and servers as well as developers willing to take advantage of it when writing their specialized applications. Fortunately, Intel started shipping the memory modules to its partners for testing earlier this year. It is an interesting technology and the DIMM solution and direct CPU interface will really let the 3D XPoint memory shine and reach its full potential. It will primarily be useful for the enterprise, scientific, and financial industries where there is a huge need for faster and lower latency storage that can accommodate massive (multiple terabyte+) data sets that continue to get larger and more complex. It is a technology that likely will not trickle down to consumers for a long time, but I will be ready when it does. In the meantime, I am eager to see what kinds of things it will enable the big data companies and researchers to do! Intel claims it will not only be useful at supporting massive in-memory databases and accelerating HPC workloads but for things like virtualization, private clouds, and software defined storage.
What are your thoughts on this new memory tier and the future of XPoint?
- Intel Has Started Shipping Optane Memory Modules
- Intel Optane Memory 32GB Review - Faster Than Lightning
- A Closer Look at Intel's Optane SSD DC P4800X Enterprise SSD Performance
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 | May 4, 2017 - 02:01 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: G.Skill, G.Skill Trident Z, 32GB, ddr4-3200, RGB
What is the point of light emanating from all of your components from keyboard to PSU if your RAM doesn't match? G.Skill realized this is a pressing issue on the minds of enthusiasts everywhere and infected their Trident Z RAM with RGB-itis. The four modules in this 32GB kit have a total of 16 LEDs which can glow together or separately using the G.Skill control utility, which is still in Beta and caused some minor headaches for Kitguru. You can see the lights here, as well as some benchmarks if you are more into that kind of thing.
"Take a really close look and you will see the G.Skill logo is carried on a plastic diffuser that covers the LEDs, instead of the aluminium heat spreader, however that is the only clue that this DDR4 memory packs four RGB LEDs on each module."
Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:
- G.Skill Trident Z 3200 MHz C14 32 GB @ techPowerUp
- 32GB Corsair Vengeance RGB DDR4-3000MHz @ Kitguru
- Crucial Ballistix Elite 3200 MHz DDR4 16 GB @ techPowerUp
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 | April 7, 2017 - 03:50 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Trident Z RGB, intel z270, Intel X99, G.Skill, DDR4-3333MHz, AM4, 128Gb
You did read that correctly, the new Trident Z RGB kit consists of eight 16GB DIMMs which should give you more than enough memory to play with in a variety of ways, including a decent sized RAM drive. There are also some smaller kits available as well as different frequencies, something that Ryzen users should take a peek at as AMD's new chip loves fast RAM. They do not specify AMD support but one would expect to be able to utilize these chips. This particular kit sports timings of CL16-18-18-38 and below you can see the sizes, frequencies and timings of the other Trident Z RGB kits.
As the name implies, these DIMMs do indeed have LEDs on them, supporting a wide variety of colours and with a variety of modes so you can have dynamic lighting effects, if that is your desire. You can see a video of them in action below.
PR below the fold
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.