Kingston on Monday announced it has developed the fastest Intel-certified memory in the world. The company's referring to its HyperX dual-channel DDR3 memory kit rated at 2400MHz, and a quick glance at Newegg shows that it trumps anything else available, just barely edging out G.Skill's fastest offering.
Kingston's newest kit boats 9-11-9-27-2N timings at 1.65V, a smidgen tighter than G.Skill's PIS Series DDR3-2400 kit, which checks in at 9-11-9-28-2N. Unlike the G.Skill kit, however, Kingston's DIMMs join select company on Intel's list of certified RAM for Core i7 processors, having been certified for use on Gigabyte's GA-P55A-UD4P. If a certification list is the sort of thing that matters to you, then it's probably worth noting that the next fastest kit on the list is Corsair's DDR3-2333 memory.
"As will all Kingston memory, the 2400MHz kit was created with the highest design-engineering principles and subjected to OEM-quality production and testing standards to gain Intel XMP certification," Kingston said.
Look for this kit to be available sometime in Q2. No word yet on price.
Remember when you could pick up a respectable memory kit for not much more than a handful of pocket lint? If you didn't pony up for a RAM upgrade back then, you might be kicking yourself now. RAM has gone up in price, and rather than spend $50 on a quality 4GB kit, you're now looking at around $100 or more.
That's still pretty cheap compared to the days of yore, but with awesome hardware on the horizon, we'd rather not blow our budget on RAM. Unfortunately, memory prices don't look to be dropping any time soon. According to DRAMeXchange, contract quotes for 1Gb (gigabit) DDR3 inched upwards in the first half of March from $2.41 to $2.69. This has pushed the price of 2GB DDR3 modules to around $41.50 to $43 (supplier pricing).
It doesn't get a whole lot better for DDR2 modules, says DRAMeXchange, who noted that early March contract prices remained high at $38 to $40. DDR2 memory might soon spike, as memory makers continue to transition capacity to DDR3.
Don't even bother trying to follow the memory market until you've taken a dose of Dramamine. The DRAM industry has more ups and downs than a Six Flags amusement park, only without all the thrills. According to A-Data, that doesn't look to change in 2010, and you should brace yourself for a memory shortage in the latter part of the year.
Speaking at a recent company event, A-Data chairman Simon Chen said strong PC replacement demand in both the consumer and business sectors will put the squeeze on memory makers to keep up. Chen expects demand to outpace supply by 1-2 percent in the second quarter, and then remain throughout the second half of the year.
Chen attributes the demand to Windows 7, which he says will spark a ton of replacement PC purchases. As a result, expect DRAM prices to go up, a trend we've already been seeing, especially in the notebook memory market.
Mushkin doesn't make the headlines too often, but the high-end memory maker this week announced one more addition to its Blackline series, the Blackline 4GB DDR3-2000 kit.
The new dual-channel kit sports Mushkin's now-familiar Blackline Frostbyte heatspreaders, but it's what's under the aluminum that counts. Mushkin rates its memory modules at 2000MHz with fairly tight 7-10-8-27 latencies at 1.65V.
This ranks as Mushkin's fastest DDR3 kit to date, although not the fastest on the market, and also the company's tightest-timed 2000MHz kit.
Mushkin says the new kit will be available soon for $180.
Samsung on Monday announced what it claims is the industry's first 30nm class DRAM to successfully complete customer evaluations in 2Gb (gigabit) densities.
"Our accelerated development of next generation 30nm-class DRAM should keep us in the most competitive position in the memory market," said Soo-In Cho, president, Memory Division, Samsung Electronics. "Our 30nm-class process technology will provide the most advanced low-power DDR3 available today and therein the most efficient DRAM solutions anywhere for the introduction of consumer electronics and server systems."
According to Samsung, shrinking down to a 30nm manufacturing process allows the company to raise production by 60 percent over 40nm-class DDR3. And as far as consumers are concerned, the company's Green DRAM lowers power consumption by up to 30 percent over 50nm-class DRAM. To give a real world example, Samsung says a 4GB, 30nm module will consume only 3W per hour in a new generation notebook.
Both AMD and Intel have fully embraced DDR3, and as a result, no one wants DDR2 anymore. Demand for DDR2 has fallen by the wayside, while DDR3 is selling through the roof. For Korea-based DRAM makers, the situation has left them with a surplus of DDR2 modules, and they don't want them any more than consumers do.
The solution? Bundle DDR3 modules with DDR2 chips. Doing so will help clear out DDR2 inventories that have been piling up, and will also help keep the price gap between the two standards from widening. According to DigiTimes' industry sources, the strategy is to minimize the impact that a DDR2 oversupply and DDR3 shortage would have on the market.
As it stands, sport market prices for 1.3GHz 1Gb DDR3 chips are averaging about $3.08, compared to $2.50 for 800MHz 1Gb DDR2 chips, according to the latest data from DRAMeXchange.
While perhaps not as resilient as the 3.5-inch floppy disk, DDR2 is doing its damnedest to avoid obsolescence. The only trouble with that is that memory chip makers aren't showing much interest in prolonging DDR2's relevance in the market place, not when faced with steep drops in contract quotes for DDR2 chips.
Just about every DRAM maker has shifted their capacity to the production of DDR3 chips, and in some cases (like with Powerchip Semiconductor Corporation), production is so lopsided that shares of DDR3 wafers have climbed above 70 percent. That's a big change from the third quarter of 2009, when PSC's DDR3 production sat somewhere between 0-5 percent of overall output.
But PSC isn't the only one. Both Nanya and Inotera Memories have also ramped up DDR3 output. And according to DRAMeXchange, Nanya is likely to see DDR3 consume 90 percent of the company's production.
Mushkin this week beefed up its high-end Blackline lineup of DDR3 memory with new kits, including a 12GB triple channel DDR3-1600 package.
"These new memory products we are introducing give our customers superior flexibility with their systems. Whether they are looking for a high density 8GB or 12GB kit with fast DDR3-1600 CL7 performance, or a lower density kit that allows them to overclock their machines to levels they never dreamed possible, Mushkin Enhanced has their needs covered," said Brian Flood, director of product development.
There's overkill, and then there's Kingston just-announced 24GB HyperX memory kit, which is like swatting a fly with a cinder block laced with grenades.
"We are pleased to make available the largest HyperX memory kits ever for the prosumers, multimedia pro, or super enthusiast who wants everything," said Mark Tekunoff, senior technology manager, Kingston. "Users working with the latest operating systems like Windows 7 can keep multiple programs open, run memory intensive video or photo applications, or run numerous virtual machines using 24GB or 16GB of DDR3 HyperX memory and create more efficiency and performance gains than ever before."
The massive 24GB kit comes rated at 1600MHz with timings set at 9-9-9-27. It consists of six DIMMs, each running at 1.65V.
For the more modest enthusiast, there's also the dual-channel 16GB kit with the same settings, but you'll save yourself a little over $500.
The 24GB kit is available now for $1,598, while the 16GB kit sells for $1,065.