Samsung have started mass production on a slew of new mobile flash memory chips that could give us nearly four times the speed of current chips. Samsung's Pro Class 1500 high-speed embedded memory will hit 'SSD-like' speeds in read/write operations in smart devices with capacities of 16, 32 and 64GB.
With smartphones already reaching 2GHz clock speeds running four cores, the CPU can't be the one to do all of the heavy lifting and continue to make the device feel fast. The job of system RAM is to keep an eye on all open programs, and if this part of the device is lacklustre, you'll feel it. Samsung have claimed that the new flash modules can reach speeds of up to 140MB/sec with write speeds hitting 50MB/sec at 1,500 IOPS writes and 3,500 IOPS reads.
Samsung seem to have leant on multiple technologies in order to reach these speeds, such as the 20nm manufacturing process, quick toggle DDR 2.0 memory that sports its own controller and a new JEDEC memory standard. At the moment there's no ETA when we should expect this tech to be baked into devices, but it shouldn't be too long.
Another question has been asked, and answered, in our Ask the Experts section, this time from Barb who is based in the US.
Q: Hello-- I have two computers, HP sr1850nx and a1310. First uses PC3200 SDRAM (supports Dual channel DDR). The other uses DDR PC3200, DDR non-ECC. Are these memory sticks interchangeable? Thanks in advance.
A: View the answer to this question here.
If you want to Ask the Experts a question, you can ask us right here!
Micron look to be the first manufacturer to bring phase-change memory (PCM) to the market, a flash-alternative. Micron have said that PCM will be first be baked into feature phones, with smartphones and tablets to arrive later.
Why feature phones, and not smartphones and tablets? Micron says they'll be stamping out a board with 1GB of PCM (45nm) accompanied by 512MB of LPDDR2 (mobile DDR). Smartphone and tablet users expect much more capacity, but with PCM still in its early days, this can't be done.
Micron seem to be taking a slow and steady approach, before working with higher densities and smaller packages. PCM is a type of non-volatile memory which appears to be best suited for applications where NAND flash is currently used. Most of you probably use something with NAND flash inside, USB flash drives, SSDs, memory cards, and most other commercial products where permanent data storage without a power source is required. PCM also does this.
DDR4 is coming, and it'll be here sometime in 2014. At the same time, we should expect GDDR6 to arrive, the memory that gets slapped onto our GPUs. But, first off, in order to enable the complete platform qualification made up from processor, motherboard, chipset, memory modules and more, Samsung have begun sampling the key industry vendors with DDR4 memory modules.
Enter the first DDR4 server module which arrive as "Registered Dual Inline Memory Module" sporting no less than 16GB (128 Gbit) of RAM. DDR4-2133 is what it should arrive as, and it brings quite the performance crown with it, providing 2.1 billion transfers per second. Power consumption has been reduced, by as much as 40-percent, with the operating voltage dropping from 1.35V to just 1.2V, with Amps remaining the same.
Samsung have said that the initial DIMMs will be made on a 30nm process node, but the shipping DIMMs should feature 20nm DDR4 DRAM. As soon as 20nm hits, Samsung should be able to offer 8GB, 16GB and 32GB DDR4 modules. This should mean that Intel's Haswell-EP and Haswell-EX platforms should support 256GB of memory per CPU, or 1TB on a single quad-socket motherboard. Impressive, isn't it?
GDDR5 is what companies use if they want to provide a high performance graphics solution. It's the best solution for a lot of different uses and can be found in systems from graphics cards to networking switches, from cars to rockets and even lunar landers. But, when is the next generation going to arrive?
Well, that would appear to be in 2014, if things continue as they are. Let's take a step back and look at the origins of GDDR. AMD was the company behind the creation of the GDDR standard. They did some great stuff with GDDR3 and GDDR5, but GDDR4 really wasn't on the market long enough to gain any sort of foothold.
GDDR6 is being designed to last until at least 2020. It is being built with numerous changes and they are really focusing on the silicon used in the memory. The part is expected to outlast GDDR3 which still makes up the majority of GDDR shipments. AMD is working hard to get the standard certified. There are a lot of interested companies such as NVIDIA and Intel, but without AMD we wouldn't have the GDDR standard we have come to love.
Computex 2012 - Moving away from the G2 / Gamer series name it looks like Patriot is expanding upon the popular Viper name that we've seen them use for their high end Viper Extreme memory kits over recent time. The new Viper kit from Patriot are set to launch later this month in four differant colors that represent four differant kind of markets.
At the top we've got the Black version which main focus is speed with the kit we saw on display today coming in at 2133MHz DDR using a 11-11-11-30 @ 1.5v setup. Outside of the heatsink, though, what has really grabbed our attention is the Black PCB which we hope Patriot uses.
The bottom end of the scale will see a Green kit which will focus on lower voltages while a red and blue kit will sit inbetween aimed at differant segments. Of course if you're after the highest speeds you'll want to look at the Viper Xtreme Kit. If you're looking for some quality RAM at a strong price point, though, the new Viper series due out soon could be what you're after. We've already organised samples so keep an eye out for a review in due time.
Computex 2012 - When it comes to RAM this year at Computex the big number that everyone is talking about is 3000MHz DDR thanks to the excellent overclocking ability that is present on the new Ivy Bridge Platform. Making sure that 3000MHz DDR can be run on multiple boards we saw G.Skill showing off the speed on both a GIGABYTE and ASUS board.
On the GIGABYTE front we found the 2800MHz DDR TridentX kit from G.Skill sitting in a GIGABYTE Z77X-UD5H with an Intel Core i7 3770K. The 2800MHz DDR 16GB kit was running at 3001MHz DDR with an 11-13-13-35 setup while HyperPI was running.
Just next to the GIGABYTE setup we saw the ASUS Maximus V Formula running the same 3770k with the same TridentX kit running at 3002MHz DDR at the exact same timings. The biggest issue for people who want to make use of 3000MHz DDR memory kits, though, isn't the motherboard, but the CPU.
Out of the four Ivy Bridge chips we've tested so far the best we've managed to achieve is 2730MHz DDR out of our chip. We did try to steal one of the 3770k chips from G.Skill when they weren't looking, but we didn't have any luck. Maybe tomorrow!
Computex 2012 - Over in Nangang today for Computex we found our eyes drawn to a EVGA Classafied SR-X motherboard over at the G.Skill booth that was packed full of RAM. Sitting along side two Intel Xeon E5-2680 CPUs was a massive 96GB RAM kit from G.Skill which consisted of a massive 12 modules.
While on the speed front the kit doesn't sit the highest coming in at only 1600MHz DDR and a 11-11-11-28 at 1.5v setup, the sheer amount of memory and cores present on the system was enough to grab our attention.
While no doubt the kit isn't going to be for everyone, the sheer awesomeness that was present meant that we couldn't help but take a picture and show it off to our readers.
Computex 2012 - Yesterday we had an early visit to the Corsair suite where we were introduced to a range of new products that were being displayed.
First up is Corsair's Dominator Platinum memory which is still in development, but is being announced today. It's still a little while out from shipping, but at this stage the modules are able to operate at overclocked speeds of 3000MHz DDR at CL12.
Besides the obviously impressive speed, the modules also include a swappable light bar which allows you to pick a color that suits the rest of the parts inside your PC, Corsair also claims that the ICs are all hand screened. Then you get DHX cooling, but the big deal with this memory is that it includes Corsair Link compatibility that allows you to check RAM temperature along with the other parts inside your system that also work with Corsair Link.
At this stage we don't have any details on pricing or shipping dates, but we indeed look forward to getting this RAM in for review soon.
Gigabyte makes some quality overclocking gear. I have managed to take a dual-core i5 up to 5.5GHz using a mini-ITX Gigabyte board, so it comes as no surprise to me that HiCookie, Gigabyte's staff overclocker, managed to take some G-SKILL 2800MHz RAM up to 3100MHz using one of their Z77X-UD5H motherboards.
Sure, it took some extreme cooling, but by using what appears to be liquid nitrogen, he managed some impressive clocks, even with all four memory slots populated. The system used included the Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H with BIOS F8c and 4 x 4GB G-SKILL 2800MHz RAM. Often when overclocking, it is easier to use the minimum channels of memory to lessen the load on the memory controller, so having all four slots populated is even cooler!
HiCookie has managed some other impressive feats in the past, and I'm sure he will manage more impressive feats in the future. Keep an eye on Gigabyte as they are doing some cool stuff. Something about creating the lightest notebook or something like that. They should also have some boards with Thunderbolt in the pipeline as everyone else is releasing them.
Without good RAM, your system overclock isn't really going to get off the ground. That's why Team Group has released their latest RAM clocked at 3000MHz which allows for 24,000Mbps data transfer rate. The timings are also really tight so as to provide the best possible experience for users. The timings are set at CL11-13-13-35.
The RAM is compatible with Intel's Z77 chipset and is equipped with the latest XMP v1.3. With this kind of speed, don't exactly expect capacity records. The chips can go up to 8GB by using two 4GB sticks. If you have to have the very fastest, there is nothing that can compete with this RAM as it stands. The full press release is below:
Micron have announced that they have begun shipping the very first engineering samples of "fully functional DDR4 DRAM modules" in DIMM form factor to their major customers. Micron expects to have DDR4 ready for mas production by Q4 2012, where fast adoption of the new DDR4 tech will be scooped up by key industry players next year.
DDR4 focuses on reducing power consumption, while at the same time offering a performance increases over DDR3. The memory was developed in conjunction with Taiwan's Nanya, where they've used Micron's 30nm process node.
The new sticks, 4 Gigabit, 512MB DDR4 x 8 memory chip is offering memory densities up to 8GB for a single DIMM. This means we're looking at DDR4 hitting us with systems capable of 32GB of RAM in the mainstream, with 64GB and 128GB hitting up the high-end. Micron plan on making the memory chips with x8, x16, and x32 solder connections, which should reach clocks from 2.4-3.2 billion transfers per second, or "effective GHz" as the memory vendors like to say.
Yesterday we visited the friendly folks at the ADATA headquarters here in Taipei where we were introduced to some new products. The one product we want to focus on right here is its upcoming Intel Ivy bridge memory kit for the new Z77 Express platform.
The new Gaming Series RAM from ADATA is rated at 2666MHz DDR3 and comes in a capacity of 32GB which is four 8GB modules in dual-channel mode since that is what Z77 motherboards support. The timings at this rather high memory speed come in at 12-13-13-35 at 2T. ADATA is said to be working with ASUS to bring the cache latency time down from 12 to 11 before this memory kit actually makes it way to the market.
As you can see in the picture above, the memory at this stage of development requires active cooling to operate 100% stable. It's not sure at this stage if ADATA will bundle a memory cooler with their RAM or if they can figure out how to make it run stable without active fan cooling and just the passive installed heat spreaders.
The ASUS Z77 Ivy Bridge system was able to complete a 32M run of Super PI in 12 minutes and 16 seconds with this speedy 32GB memory kit installed from ADATA.
With the launch of Ivy Bridge successfully completed, other companies now get to launch their new equipment that compliments the features of Ivy Bridge. One of the first up in the RAM department is G.SKILL. G.SKILL is no noob when it comes to high performance RAM, so these new sticks are expected to amaze.
And, they do! The modules feature some innovative features such as removable heat spreaders and are overclocking headroom, even with their already high stock speed. The new modules range from from 2400MHz 8GB to 2800MHz 16GB. According to the release, "the TridentX 2800MHz 16GB kit has successfully achieved DDR3 3320MHz speed," so these modules are no slouches.
Just a couple of weeks ago we were talking about Intel bringing DDR4 into the market by 2014, but Samsung Electronics thinks this is too far away and are trying to talk Intel into launching its DDR4 memory supporting server platforms ahead of the 2014 release dates. Inside sources are saying that Samsung are concerned that making DDR3 chips are now unprofitable due to low prices.
At the moment, only Samsung and Hynix Semiconductors have completed the development of DDR4 products and are readying for the transition to the next-generation of memory standards. At the moment, the memory market is quite shaky thanks to the near collapse of one of the biggest manufacturers, Elpida. It's said that the early release of DDR4 should restabilize the market.
If DDR4 is pushed quicker, it would put Samsung in a very lucrative position, where they'd sit at the top spot in the channel. Memory industry standards body, the JEDEC Solid State Technology Association, is scheduled to publish the DDR4 standard, which is said to bring a big advancement in performance with reduced power consumption when compared to previous generations of memory, sometime in mid-2012.
Gigabyte have come along way over the years. Gone are the years of motherboard manufacturers not endorsing overclocking, to employing, listening and catering to the entire enthusiast and overclocking market. It's a great move, and I applaud Gigabyte for doing so.
The latest news comes from Taiwanese power user "Coolaler" who has smashed Gigabyte's previous memory overclocking record with his Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H motherboard. He pushed his memory up to an insane 1530MHz (which is 3060MHz in dual-channel) with 4 DIMMs.
I will add that it's not too hard to hit high overclock results on 1 or 2 DIMMs, but 4 DIMMs? That's another challenge altogether. Nice work, Coolaler!
DDR4 memory has eluded us for a while, but it seems the next-gen RAM should hit us in 2014, but not for the mainstream consumer market. It seems we should expect the new memory in the high-end Haswell-EX 4-socket platform, with each chip capable of sporting 16 or so cores.
These insanely high-end chips are capable of upward of 60 cores on each four-socket motherboard, will definitely impress most people. DDR4 will bring along with it lower power consumption with 1.2v power supply, as well as better parity protection and recovery from errors. Will we see DDR4 on the desktop side, and not server side in the same year? Probably not.
Both the 22nm Haswell and its 14nm Broadwell successor should share the same LGA1150 socket, thus, supporting DDR3 memory only. DDR4 support will most likely arrive with their 2015 successors, and a new micro-architecture at that time. This means we'll experience a one-year gap between the high-end and low-end for the new generation of memory support.
Our latest poll had almost 3,300 people who answered, Which company made the best desktop performance RAM in 2011?
It all started with G.Skill taking a clear lead early in the game and then Corsair shot right up hitting around 45% of the votes. At the end of the game Corsair won this round with 38% of the votes and G.Skill got in second with 30% of the votes.
Third place went to Kingston and further behind in a tied fourth place was Crucial and Mushkin each with 5% of the votes.
CeBIT 2012: G.Skill has shown off a bunch of new RAM at CeBIT this week and it all looks great. The first kit we see is an expansion to the Ripjaws Z series with a 4x 4GB kit sitting on the much loved ASUS Rampage IV Extreme motherboard running at a blistering 2666MHz DDR.
The massive speed does come at the cost of some more relaxed timings, but CL10-12-12-31 at 1.65v isn't anything to turn away from. Considering the speed and the sheer amount of RAM that's on offer, this is no doubt a kit for people who want both speed and a large amount of RAM...
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G.Skill hot on the heels of their RipjawsZ series quad-channel DDR3 memory announcement, have again staked their claim of pushing the boundary with RAM. Today brings the announcement of their insanely hot looking 64GB kit of DDR3 memory built specifically for Intel's X79 platform.
The 64GB kit comes at DDR3 2400MHz CL10 speeds, with 8GBx8 sticks to build up to an amazing 64GB of RAM. G.Skill have tested every single memory module, with each stick being hand-tested, hand-picked by G.Skill's legendary R&D team. All the chips in this range are highly selected and tested with G.Skill's rigorous internal validation process that ensures maximum stability, while maintaining a decent overclocking headroom.