Articles: Memory

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The new DDR3 SDRAM that appeared in the market since the launch of Intel P35 chipset hasn’t yet become very popular. Even when buying new systems, most users still prefer DDR2 SDRAM as this memory that has already stood the test of time costs less and offers pretty much the same level of performance. Even the new Intel X38 chipset for computer enthusiasts didn’t help increase the popularity of DDR3 SDRAM. Mainboard makers managed to quickly learn to manufacture Intel X38 based solutions that support old DDR2 memory, so the users immediately turned to them. However, the changes in the market are inevitably taking place and we can’t disregard them.

The most functional, expensive and high-performance platforms for gaming and overclocking fans start little by little shifting to DDR3 SDRAM these days. The thing is that platforms with DDR3 SDRAM with much higher frequency potential than that of DDR2 memory show better results when overclocked than the platforms using memory of the previous generation. Moreover, this memory from the leading overclocker solution makers guarantees problem-free operation: the supported frequency range of the new memory type is big enough to ensure that it will remain operational at any FSB speed.

The upcoming launch of the new Intel X48 chipset should become another factor increasing the popularity of DDR3 SDRAM. This chipset will be designed to work with CPUs supporting 1600MHz system bus and will officially support only DDR3 memory up to DDR3-1600 that used to fit only into overclocker platforms until recently.

So, the situation for further development and evolution of DDR3 SDRAM becomes more and more favorable. Of course, the manufacturers of overclocker memory modules cannot pass the opportunity like that and keep introducing new DDR3 solutions. A month ago we have already discussed DDR3-1800 and DDR3-1866 memory kits from Corsair, OCZ and Super Talent (see article called DDR3 Accelerates: DDR3-1800 SDRAM Roundup). However, since then a few more memory makers have joined the group. We managed to get our hands on similar kits from Cell Shock and Patriot. Although these memory modules are built with the same Micron D9GTR chips as the other DDR3 SDRAM solutions we have already reviewed, we decided to take a closer look at them, too. Especially, since their specifications are slightly different from the specs of the previously tested memory kits for computer enthusiasts.

I would like to stress that different memory makers who offer modules built using the same micro-chips, still have the opportunity to design different products with unique features. This is possible thanks not only to different chips sorting techniques and different cooling system designs, but also thanks to proprietary PCB layout used for the modules. These differences are very often sufficient to distinguish between the kits in terms of DDR3 SDRAM characteristics.

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