Subject: Memory | August 6, 2017 - 11:41 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: wraith max, Wraith, ryzen, fm2, amd, AM4
Amidst all the big AMD announcements recently, the company quietly revealed that it would begin selling the Wraith Max CPU cooler separately at retail. The Wraith Max heatsink and fan was previously only available in OEM systems and in boxed SKUs of the highest end Ryzen processors (mainly the 1700X and 1800X). The cooler is a refreshed and upgraded version of the company’s original Wraith cooler that measures 105 x 105 x 85mm and features a boxy horizontal cooler with a copper baseplate and heatpipes with a shrouded 92mm fan along with a RGB LED ring around the fan that can be controlled via motherboard software.
The Wraith Max is rated at 140W TDP and is connected to the system using a fan header and USB (for controlling the lighting). AMD further rates the cooler at a fairly quiet 38 dBA. The Wraith Max supports all of the usual AMD sockets including AM4, AM3, and FM2 (no Threadripper support of course heh), but there is no official support for Intel sockets.
The Wraith Max cooler will retail for $59 USD. I have been keeping an eye on the usual online retailers and have not yet seen it listed, but it should be available soon. Hopefully there will be more reviews of the cooler now that it is a retail product on its own, and maybe we can get Sebastian to take a look at it and compare it to the original Wraith cooler (and his usual lineup of course) he reviewed last year.
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: 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.
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 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: 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