Articles: Memory

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The last month brought no changes into the assortment of available memory modules. The cap has only climbed beyond “PC4000” and the progress is rolling on at a high rate. OCZ launched its PC4200 Premier series on 533MHz chips (against the standard frequency of 400MHz) in early October.

The same company improved those modules a week later and added to them the “EL” prefix (Enhanced Latency). The latency was 3-4-4-8 clocks in the first case, and became 2.5-4-4-7 after the improvement. Curiously enough, both variants feature a solid design, with sober-looking aluminum or copper heat-spreaders. After the parrot-like colors we’ve got used to seeing lately, the new models from OCZ are a treat for the tired eye.

And this was not the end. After another week, OCZ drew the spotlight again, bettering the latencies and issuing its EL DDR PC-3500 Platinum Limited Edition. The timings formula is close to perfection – 2-3-6-1! The speed is of course lower than in the first two cases, “only” 3.5GB/s. Let me repeat the well-known fact once again, though. The difference between the performance of PC3500 and PC4200 modules is negligible and is better examined under a strong microscope.

In fact, it was only OCZ that released overclocker modules in October. Other manufacturers were trying to find their fortune with niche modules that work at standard frequencies. Transcend sampled 512MB PC2100 modules of the MicroDIMM form-factor that make the nightmare about the notebook with 1GB of memory, a reality. The same company boasted its 1GB PC3200 modules for mass PCs, never mentioning who might need such capacities.

Corsair and Smart Modular preferred to release registered modules in October. Corsair announced two sets of paired 512MB modules (with and without ECC) for the Athlon 64 with the appropriate speed, PC3200. Smart Modular targeted server platforms where PC2700 is the most widespread specification and the capacity of 1GB per module is much needed.

Overall, the module makers did nothing extraordinary to promote their products in October. Well, we didn’t expect that, either. The DRAM market is all calm and quiet, running on its schedule filled in for the next couple of years (Gartner promises a strong deficit for 2004-2005 years, though. They are wrong – supply will still be higher than demand). This memory has long become an exchange product, the only point of interest is the oscillation of the price.

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