Corsair this week unveiled what it says is the "world's fastest DDR3 memory for extreme overclockers and performance enthusiasts," the Dominator GTX 2250.
Designed for Intel's X58 and P55 platforms, the new kit supports up to a 2250MHz frequency in a 1 DIMM (X58 and P55) or 2 DIMM (P55) configuration. In each case, timings come rated at 8-8-8-24 at 1.65V. In a three DIMM triple channel configuration, the kit runs slightly slower at 2133MHz, also with the same timings and voltage.
"Corsair has a long history of delivering the fastest overclocking memory on the planet, and our engineering expertise and unique understanding of the enthusiast market allows us to continue to push boundaries," said Kevein Conley, VP of Engineering at Corsair. "Corsair Dominator GTX modules are the most tightly-screened, highest-quality and feasted DDR3 memory modules in the world, and we look forward to seeing what the enthusiast and overclocking community can do with these exciting new products."
Corsair said its new kits will also work on AMD platforms, though at up to 1800MHz with timings rated at 6-6-6-18 at 1.65V.
The memory maker says "availability will be extremely limited" and launch exclusively on the Corsair Online Store on December 8, 2009 at 9AM Pacific Time.
According to iSuppli, DDR3 is on pace to claim 50.9 percent of the market in Q2 2010, barely edging out DDR2. But what's most impressive is that DDR3's market share sat at only 14.2 percent in Q2 2009, and just 1 percent in Q2 2008.
"DDR3 is 50 percent faster than today's dominant DRAM technology, DDR2, while using about 30 percent less power," said Mike Howard, senior DRAM analyst for iSuppli. "For PC users across the board, this means faster performance. For notebook users, it can result in longer battery life."
Claiming a little over half of the market will be just the beginning, and iSuppli forecasts DDR3 will account for 71 percent of all DRAM by the end of next year.
This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention. Both Intel and AMD fully embrace the DDR3 standard, and while DDR2 used to enjoy a pricing advantage, that gap recently closed all but completely.
There's not much time left to get on Santa's 'Nice' list, and if your'e hoping to score some RAM this holiday shopping season, that's a place you'll want to be. Why? Because memory makers are forecasting a DRAM price drop in December.
In addition to the usual seasonal demand, DRAM vendors say it's likely chip makers who have already turned a profit will decide to flex their cost competitiveness muscle and slash prices to drive up shipments.
The latest rumblings run counter to previously reports which suggested that major DRAM producers would try to push chip prices upward, but that no longer appears likely. The opposite has already begun, with the average spot price for branded 1Gb DDR2 chips trending down 0.76 percent to close at $2.60 on Tuesday, according to data from DRAMeXchange.
Talk about déjà vu. it's been a rough year-plus for DRAM manufacturers, who have had to contend with an oversupply of chips, falling prices, and a global recession on top of it all. At least one vendor said the DRAM market was the worst he'd seen it in 15 years. So it's a little bit curious that after finally showing signs of a rebound, memory makers appear stoked about an expected reduction in production costs in 2010.
It would make sense, provided the savings aren't passed on to the consumer, but that's usually not the way it works. Nevertheless, as memory makers compete with each other in a race to shrink dies, production costs are set to go down pretty significantly, DigiTimes reports.
Samsung has already adopted a 56nm process for over half of its DRAM output and has been churning out DDR3 chips using 40nm technology in small volume since the fourth quarter. By the second half of 2010, Samsung is expected to be heavily focused on 40nm.
Eplida and Nanya are also flirting with shrunken dies. And according to a recent iSuppli report, the worldwide DRAM industry has the manufacturing capacity to last through 2012.
It all sounds positive, until you consider the current condition of the memory market. But hey, from a consumer side, this is gravy. Bring on the faster, less expensive DDR3 modules.
Further proof that DDR2 is on its way out, several memory backend suppliers have been preparing for a major DDR3 push, news and rumor site DigiTimes reports.
Memory packaging and testing firms Powertech Technology, Formosa Advanced Technologies Company, and Walton Advanced Engineering all say that DRR3 will account for 90 percent of their DRAM shipments by the end of next year, up from 40 to 50 percent at the end of 2009. Walton estimates that some 90 percent of its overall DRAM revenue will come from DDR3 in 2010.
The writing has been on the wall for some time now. DDR2 pricing began rising months ago until DDR2 contract prices finally jumped ahead of DDR3 at the beginning of October.
We did some digging, and from what we can tell, G.Skill's correct in claiming that it's new DDR3 kit is the fastest around, so long as we put the CAS Latency (CL) setting front and center.
The new kit, which is part of G.Skill's Pi series and "specially tuned for Intel Lynnfield Core i7 870, 860 processors," comes rated at DDR3-2200 with 7-10-10-10 timings at 1.65V. It's available in 4GB (2x2GB) form, but is it really the overall fastest?
That's a tough one to answer. A quick peek on Newegg shows one other DDR3-2200 memory kit, this one from Super Talent. It comes rated at 8-8-8-24, so we're willing to give G.Skill's kit the slight edge, at least on paper.
G.Skill says its new modules will be available through collaborated distribution partners "immediately with affordable price." As of this writing we weren't able to track down a kit online.
The DRAM market slumped to a 15-year nadir last year. But it is now moving briskly on the road to recovery. According to DRAMeXchange, contract prices for 1Gb DDR2 and 1Gb DDR3 chips shot up by 15.7% and 10.9%, respectively, in the late part of October. Nanya Technology's vice president and spokesperson Pai Pei-Lin expects an encore from the DRAM market in November. He believes November will bring yet another double-digit rise in contract quotes for DRAM memory.
Want to get in Mother Nature's good graces and maybe save a buck or two while doing so? Combine Samsung's memory chips with Microsoft's operating system. That's the message in a nutshell the two companies will work together to promote.
"There is not doubt that the combination of Windows 7 and 40nm DDR3 in new PCs will make users very happy," said Dong-Soo Jun, executive senior vice president of memory marketing at Samsung Electronics. "If you opt for 4GB of memory in a Windows 7-based system, over typical 2GB-based systems used today, you'll see an increase in performance, while using less power thanks to the efficiency of Samsung's 40nm DDR3 DRAM."
If this all sounds a little bit hokey, you may just have to get used to it. Depending on how this marketing campaign plays out, Samsung suggested it might further collaborate with Microsoft on more green IT efforts on a global scale.
I have a home-built PC that uses a Gigabyte GA-EG45M-UD2H motherboard. When I load it with 8GB (four 2GB sticks) of RAM, I find that I cannot install either Windows XP or Vista 64-bit. The installation process fails partway through the “expanding files” section, with a “corrupt files” error. I tried new install media to no avail. Eventually, on a hunch, I removed all of the memory except the module in slot 1, leaving 2GB on the system, and the install completed normally.
I tested all of my modules in slot 1 and all passed. I then tested a module in each slot and all four passed. So what could be the issue with this motherboard? The memory (Kingston DDR2-800) is listed in the compatible memory list and the motherboard supports up to 16GB. I could find no information about this issue on Gigabyte’s website.
Intel working in conjunction with Numonyx unveiled breakthrough technology that will keep Moore’s Law accurate. The new process will enable non-volatile memory to cost-effectively scale down to 5nm.
Without getting too technical, the companies were able to build upon phase-change memory (PCM) and create a new technology call “phase-change memory and switch” (PCMS). PCMS integrates a new thin-film selector that effectively lets the memory/selector layers stack very densely. The nature of PCM allows it operate in two ways: quick “RAM like” bit changing, and non-volatile storage.
It is unlikely well see devices using the technology for “many years” according to Al Fazio, Intel Fellow and director of memory technology development. However, this is a key first step in continuing to scale technology according to Moore’s Law.