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Computer sales have been slow, especially considering we are in the third quarter, a time when sales are usually peaking due to back to school shopping and other factors. This slow down in sales has caused a drop in demand for DRAM and quite the stock pile of RAM back at the factories. Most have pulled in production, but they still have a 3 month surplus.
Hopefully, Windows 8 PCs and the release of Windows 8 will drive PC sales back up to where they should be. This should help clear out the back up as sales pick up. Some sources have reported OEM PC factories have a surplus of 6 months. This huge pile up is bad for the industry but good for consumers looking to upgrade their RAM.
Some sources are saying that RAM prices could be 10-15 percent lower in October than they are today--good news if you need to expand your RAM offerings or are looking to give RAM as a gift. Elpida and Rexchip Electronics have cut production by 25-30 percent in order to stop prices from dipping even further.
Bottom line: if you can hold off buying RAM for another couple of months, it should be 10-15% cheaper.
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.
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.