Sandy Bridge and Bulldozer to both support LR-DIMMs

LR-DIMM gets a bit of a show off - flicks it's hair just as fierce as Willow Smith.

Published Wed, Nov 24 2010 7:52 PM CST   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 12:33 PM CST
Gone are the days of Billy boy saying 640k will be enough, most systems I sell go with 4GB of memory, some with 8. Triple channel kits come in 6, 12 and 24GB so memory is going up and up and up. Sandy Bridge and Bulldozer plan to combat this with LR-DIMM's.

Sandy Bridge and Bulldozer to both support LR-DIMMs |

LR-DIMM's are a JEDEC version of the late MetaRAM tech - which basically faked a DRAM chip with a heap of small ones. LR stands for Load Reduced, and that's exactly what the buffer on the DIMM does.

The effect of this? You can make a 4G DIMM from 32 x 1Gb chips and the system only sees 8 x 4Gb chips. It makes the life of the memory controller much easier (less Facebook emo updates) and effectively quadruples DIMM capacities.

Of course, it's not just rainbows and lollipops for LR-DIMM's - they need a buffer and that chip is usually expensive. Luckily, the cost of very high density DRAM's tends to be insanely expensive - so the buffer not only makes the impossible, possible - but it makes it cheaper than alternative options.

Next-gen server CPU's should support LR-DIMM right away. Another twist for LR-DIMM is it needs explicit support or at least 'awareness' on the system side that they are playing tricks. MetaRAM did not need to do this, but LR-DIMM might be a much cheaper alternative, bringing equilibrium to the situation.


Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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