The solution to pricey DRAM is memcached for flash.
You can stuff your home system full of DRAM without putting a hurt on your bank account, but when you're talking about servers on the scale of what's needed to keep Facebook up and running, things tend to get expensive. It's for this reason that Facebook has decided to reduce its dependance on DRAM. In its place, the social networking site built a data cache that runs on flash memory.
4GB memory modules jumped in price by more than 11 percent last month, DRAMeXchange says.
Anyone remember when a 2GB overclocking kit would run a couple hundred dollars? Those days are long gone, replaced by the current landscape in which you can scoop up a 32GB DDR3 memory kit for around $150 or $160. DRAM prices are dirt cheap, as they have been for some time now, and it's taken a toll on DRAM makers. According to DRAMeXchange, top tier memory makers continue to reduce shipments of commodity DRAM to drive up prices, and it's working.
DRAM module and flash memory player Adata revealed a tiny USB flash drive with a big name. It's the "DashDrive Durable UD310 USB Flash Drive," which we'll go ahead and refer to as DashDrive from here on out. Shaped and themed like a sparkling gem, the DashDrive is rugged thanks to a special manufacturing process that makes it both water and impact resistant.
Texas Instruments today unveiled what it claims is the industry's first high-temperature, nonvolatile Flash memory device for harsh environments. The SM28VLT32-HT has an operational capacity of 4MB and has been qualified to work in extreme situations ranging in temperature from -55C to +210C. At either end of the spectrum, TI says its 4MB part is good for at least 1,000 hours of operating life.
Life is hard, play short. No, that's not Nike's new slogan, but Crucial may want to adopt it to promote its new Ballistic Low Profile (LP) memory kits. Crucial's LP modules are not only shorter than regular sized memory kits, they're also between 15 percent and 35 percent smaller than some of the LP kits its competitors are using, the company claims. Another claim Crucial makes is that its LP kits deliver the same performance benefits of regular sized Ballistix memory modules.
Memory maker G.Skill is laying claim to the "world's fastest RAM" after an overclocker goosed the company's TridentX Extreme Performance memory kit to 1,950MHz (3,900MHz effective). Whether you want to qualify that as the world's fastest RAM is up to you (and clearly G.Skill does), but it is a new memory frequency world record, so there are some well deserved bragging rights to go around.
Historically speaking, if there's one thing memory chip makers could count on, it's that a new operating system from Microsoft would lead to double-digit percentage increases in quarterly DRAM shipments. That is, until now. According to IHS iSuppli, Windows 8 will have a positive impact in DRAM shipments, but quarterly growth this time around is expected to stay in single-digit territory.
It's too bad for Kingston there's not an award for 'Best DDR3 RAM Memory Name', because if there was, the company's new Predator modules would be a shoe-in. And then wouldn't it be awesome if Corsair or another competitor came out with an Aliens system memory line? Ah, but we digress. Killer name aside, Predator represents the newest addition to Kingston's HyperX memory family, and it takes direct aim at "extreme enthusiasts and overclockers," the company says.
Remember when high-end memory kits would set you back several hundred dollars? Those days are long gone, and for various reasons (all of which are great for consumers but stink for manufactures trying to flip a profit), they might never return. One of the reasons is that overclocking no longer carries such a heavy reliance on RAM. Memory is still important, but not like it was in the Pentium IV and AMD 64 era. But the biggest reason manufacturers are stuck in a low price rut is because they're caught in a "vicious circle of oversupply," GBI Research says.
Have you noticed how cheap NAND-powered memory devices have gotten? Flash drives and SSDs aren't quite a dime a dozen these days, but they're significantly cheaper than they have been in the past. While you and I may appreciate the decline in costs, low pricing is putting the pinch on NAND manufacturers, and Toshiba is cutting its NAND production by about 30 percent to compensate. (And drive up prices, of course.)