Articles: Memory

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It is simply unbelievable how many news last month were connected not with the memory chips or memory technologies, but with the memory modules, which turned out pretty exotic in most cases. It can indirectly signify that the crises in the memory market grew somewhat worse this month, as there are more and more chips of bigger memory capacity produced and there is actually no demand for such great memory amounts. The major memory consumers, Windows and Office, haven’t got any newer version updates for a few years already, so their appetite for memory hasn’t grown any bigger since then.

As a result, there appeared a number of companies, which business model is based on offering small memory module shipments but at a larger margin, because of the “exclusive” memory module design or features. The indisputable benefits of this strategy as well as the not very promising prospects in the regular memory module market pushed some large companies, like Kingston, for instance, to start moving in the same direction. As a result, we got a pretty paradox situation: when the majority of the news in the memory market is generated by the solutions, which total share in the memory sales is relatively small.

One of the leaders of this market segment is certainly OCZ Technologies. And this time we also heard a lot from them. Last month started with the announcement of the new DDR2 product line within the Enhanced Bandwidth Platinum Edition (Platinum EB) family. These were the modules working at 667MHz frequency and boasting pretty good timing settings: 4-2-2-8. And I have to admit that this was a very pleasing fact, as the practical latencies of the DDR2 memory have always been its weak spot compared to DDR.

However, there is still room for improvement in the DDR segment as well, and OCZ is being very active here, too, especially in the end of the month. They released their PC-4000 Gold VX series from the Voltage eXtreme product family, which allowed reducing the memory timings to 2-2-2-8 by raising the voltage to 3.3V from the nominal 2.6V. Of course, they resorted to another OCZ’s brand name technology aka EL (Enhanced latency). The second big news from OCZ was their successful overclocking of the DDR memory modules to 772MHz frequency with pretty adequate timings of 3-4-4-4. Theoretically, the improvement of production technologies will still allow DDR to develop further. Besides, AMD should be pretty excited about supporting these initiatives of the memory module makers. But from the realistic point of view, all these records are more of a personal prestige matter rather than technological value.

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