Subject: Memory | May 3, 2018 - 04:06 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: hyperx, gaming, ddr4, ddr4-2933, RGB, RGB LED
Kingston’s enthusiast-focused HyperX brand recently launched a new set of RGB-equipped DDR4 memory modules that use IR transceivers to sync up the LEDs across all the DIMMs. The aptly named Predator DDR4 RGB memory kits feature stylized angular black aluminum heat spreaders and RGB LEDs along the top edge. The DIMMs use eight 1GB chips along a single side.
HyperX’s new Predator DDR4 modules are compatible with Asus Aura Sync, Gigabyte RGB Fusion, and MSI Mystic Light Sync RGB LED control software. The new kits are available in 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB capacities using one, two, or four 8GB modules. HyperX rates (PDF) the modules at DDR4 2933 MHz with CL15-17-17 timings at 1.35V when using the Intel XMP profile. Out of the box, the modules run at 2400 MHz (CL17) and 1.2 volts, however.
The RGB modules reportedly offer smooth lighting effects with low latencies thanks to the direct module-to-module IR communication keeping everything in sync.
The HyperX Predator DDR4 RGB modules come with a lifetime warranty and have a MSRP of $257 for the 16 GB (2x8GB) kit and $513 for the 32 GB (4 x 8GB) kit. Fortunately, the kits are going for a bit less than MSRP online with the 16 GB RGB kit going for $245.99 and the 32GB RGB kit going for $491.99 or about $20 to $30 over the non-RGB Predator DDR4 3000 MHz offerings.
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: 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: Memory | March 12, 2018 - 03:05 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: adata, xpg spectrix d40, DDR4-3000, RGB
ADATA's new DDR4-3000 DIMMs have ASUS Aura Sync compatible RGBs, or with their own software you can download to power your lightshow if you aren't running an ASUS board. The DIMMs each have 5 LEDs which you can program to display a single colour, cycle colours or set a gradient or you can opt for breathing or music modes if you prefer. We won't bore you with unimportant details such as the default timings of 16-18-18 or that Modders Inc hit 3733 MHz at 18-20-20 timings with a voltage of 1.38 as that has nothing to do with shiny lights.
"The XPG line of memory modules from ADATA is considered to be its enthusiast line. The XPG SPECTRIX D40 is the first DDR-4 RAM that features RGB LED. The memory starts off with a base speed of 2,666MHz and is offered in speeds up to 4000Mhz. The kit featured in this review is the DDR-4 3,000MHz version."
Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:
- AMD Raven Ridge 8GB vs. 16GB Reserved Memory Benchmark & Explanation @ TechSpot
- Geil Super LUCE RGB DDR4 @ TechPowerUp
- Patriot Viper LED Series DDR4 3000 MHz @
- G.SKILL Ripjaws 2666 MHz DDR4 SO-DIMM @ TechPowerUp
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.
- Corsair Overclocks With a Vengeance, Launches DDR4 4600 MHz Memory Kit
- G.Skill Memory Used In World Record Breaking DDR4 5,500 MHz Overclock
- G.Skill Readies DDR4-4400 Kits for Intel's X299 HEDT Platform
- G.SKILL Announces New DDR4 for AMD Ryzen Threadripper
Subject: Graphics Cards, Memory | January 24, 2018 - 11:04 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: SK Hynix, graphics memory, gddr6, 8gb, 14Gbps
SK Hynix recently updated its product catalog and announced the availability of its eight gigabit (8 Gb) GDDR6 graphics memory. The new chips come in two SKUs and three speed grades with the H56C8H24MJR-S2C parts operating at 14 Gbps and 12 Gbps and the H56C8H24MJR-S0C operating at 12 Gbps (but at higher voltage than the -S2C SKU) and 10 Gbps. Voltages range from 1.25V for 10 Gbps and either 1.25V or 1.35V for 12 Gbps to 1.35V for 14 Gbps. Each 8 Gb GDDR6 memory chip holds 1 GB of memory and can provide up to 56 GB/s of per-chip bandwidth.
While SK Hynix has a long way to go before competing with Samsung’s 18 Gbps GDDR6, its new chips are significantly faster than even its latest GDDR5 chips with the company working on bringing 9 Gbps and 10 Gbps GDDR5 to market. As a point of comparison, its fastest 10 Gbps GDDR5 would have a per chip bandwidth of 40 GB/s versus its 14 Gbps GDDR6 at 56 GB/s. A theoretical 8GB graphics card with eight 8 Gb chips running at 10 Gbps on a 256-bit memory bus would have maximum bandwidth of 320 GB/s. Replacing the GDDR5 with 14 Gbps GDDR6 in the same eight chip 256-bit bus configuration, the graphics card would hit 448 GB/s of bandwidth. In the Samsung story I noted that the Titan XP runs 12 8 Gb GDDR5X memory chips at 11.4 Gbps on a 384-bit bus for bandwidth of 547 GB/s. Replacing the G5X with GDDR6 would ramp up the bandwidth to 672 GB/s if running the chips at 14 Gbps.
|Chip Pin Speed||Per Chip Bandwidth||256-bit bus||384-bit bus||1024-bit (one package)||4096-bit (4 packages)|
|10 Gbps||40 GB/s||320 GB/s||480 GB/s|
|48 GB/s||384 GB/s||576 GB/s|
|14 Gbps||56 GB/s||448 GB/s||672 GB/s|
|16 Gbps||64 GB/s||512 GB/s||768 GB/s|
|18 Gbps||72 GB/s||576 GB/s||864 GB/s|
|HBM2 2 Gbps||256 GB/s||256 GB/s||1 TB/s|
GDDR6 is still a far cry from High Bandwidth Memory levels of performance, but it is much cheaper and easier to produce. With SK Hynix ramping up production and Samsung besting the fastest 16 Gbps G5X, it is likely that the G5X stop-gap will be wholly replaced with GDDR6 and things like the upgraded 10 Gbps GDDR5 from SK Hynix will pick up the low end. As more competition enters the GDDR6 space, prices should continue to come down and adoption should ramp up for the new standard with the next generation GPUs, game consoles, network devices, ect. using GDDR6 for all but the highest tier prosumer and enterprise HPC markets.
Subject: Memory | January 18, 2018 - 12:34 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Samsung, graphics memory, graphics cards, gddr6, 19nm
Samsung is now mass producing new higher density GDDR6 memory built on its 10nm-class process technology that it claims offers twice the speed and density of its previous 20nm GDDR5. Samsung's new GDDR6 memory uses 16 Gb dies (2 GB) featuring pin speeds of 18 Gbps (gigabits-per-second) and is able to hit data transfer speeds of up to 72 GB/s per chip.
According to Samsnug, its new GDDR6 uses a new circuit design which allows it to run on a mere 1.35 volts. Also good news for Samsung and for memory supply (and thus pricing and availability of products) is that the company is seeing a 30% gain in manufacturing productivity cranking out its 16Gb GDDR6 versus its 20nm GDDR5.
Running at 18 Gbps, the new GDDR6 offers up quite a bit of bandwidth and will allow for graphics cards with much higher amounts of VRAM. Per package, Samsung's 16Gb GDDR6 offers 72 GB/s which is twice the density, pin speed, and bandwidth than that of its 8Gb GDDR5 running at 8Gbps and 1.5V with data transfers of 32 GB/s. (Note that SK Hynix has announced it plans to produce 9Gbps and 10Gbps dies which max out at 40 GB/s.) GDDR5X gets closer to this mark, and in theory is able to hit up to 16 Gbps per pin and 64 GB/s per die, but so far the G5X used in real world products has been much slower (the Titan XP runs at 11.4 Gbps for example). The Titan XP runs 12 8Gb (1GB) dies at 11.4 Gbps on a 384-bit memory bus for maximum memory bandwidth of 547 GB/s. Moving to GDDR6 would enable that same graphics card to have 24 GB of memory (with the same number of dies) with up to 864 GB/s of bandwidth which is approaching High Bandwidth Memory levels of performance (though it still falls short of newer HBM2 and in practice the graphics card would likely be more conservative on the memory speeds). Still, it's an impressive jump in memory performance that widens the gap between GDDR6 and GDDR5X. I am curious how the GPU memory market will shake out in 2018 and 2019 with GDDR5, GDDR5X, GDDR6, HBM, HBM2, and HBM3 all being readily available for use in graphics cards and where each memory type will land especially on the mid-range and high-end consumer cards (HBM2/3 still holds the performance crown and is ideal for the HPC market).
Samsung is aiming its new 18Gbps 16Gb memory at high performance graphics cards, game consoles, vehicles, and networking devices. Stay tuned for more information on GDDR6 as it develops!
- Samsung Mass Producing Second Generation "Aquabolt" HBM2: Better, Faster, and Stronger
- AMD Working on GDDR6 Memory Controller For Future Graphics Cards
- Micron Pushes GDDR5X To 16Gbps, Expects To Launch GDDR6 In Early 2018
- Micron Planning To Launch GDDR6 Graphics Memory In 2017
Subject: Memory | January 12, 2018 - 05:46 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: supercomputing, Samsung, HPC, HBM2, graphics cards, aquabolt
Samsung recently announced that it has begun mass production of its second generation HBM2 memory which it is calling “Aquabolt”. Samsung has refined the design of its 8GB HBM2 packages allowing them to achieve an impressive 2.4 Gbps per pin data transfer rates without needing more power than its first generation 1.2V HBM2.
Reportedly Samsung is using new TSV (through-silicon-via) design techniques and adding additional thermal bumps between dies to improve clocks and thermal control. Each 8GB HBM2 “Aquabolt” package is comprised of eight 8Gb dies each of which is vertically interconnected using 5,000 TSVs which is a huge number especially considering how small and tightly packed these dies are. Further, Samsung has added a new protective layer at the bottom of the stack to reinforce the package’s physical strength. While the press release did not go into detail, it does mention that Samsung had to overcome challenges relating to “collateral clock skewing” as a result of the sheer number of TSVs.
On the performance front, Samsung claims that Aquabolt offers up a 50% increase in per package performance versus its first generation “Flarebolt” memory which ran at 1.6Gbps per pin and 1.2V. Interestingly, Aquabolt is also faster than Samsung’s 2.0Gbps per pin HBM2 product (which needed 1.35V) without needing additional power. Samsung also compares Aquabolt to GDDR5 stating that it offers 9.6-times the bandwidth with a single package of HBM2 at 307 GB/s and a GDDR5 chip at 32 GB/s. Thanks to the 2.4 Gbps per pin speed, Aquabolt offers 307 GB/s of bandwidth per package and with four packages products such as graphics cards can take advantage of 1.2 TB/s of bandwidth.
This second generation HBM2 memory is a decent step up in performance (with HBM hitting 128GB/s and first generation HBM2 hitting 256 GB/s per package and 512 GB/s and 1 TB/s with four packages respectively), but the interesting bit is that it is faster without needing more power. The increased bandwidth and data transfer speeds will be a boon to the HPC and supercomputing market and useful for working with massive databases, simulations, neural networks and AI training, and other “big data” tasks.
Aquabolt looks particularly promising for the mobile market though with future products succeeding the current mobile Vega GPU in Kaby Lake-G processors, Ryzen Mobile APUs, and eventually discrete Vega mobile graphics cards getting a nice performance boost (it’s likely too late for AMD to go with this new HBM2 on these specific products, but future refreshes or generations may be able to take advantage of it). I’m sure it will also see usage in the SoCs uses in Intel’s and NVIDIA’s driverless car projects as well.