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Famous memory module manufacturer Buffalo based in Nagoya, Japan, recently officially released its lineup of DDR-II SDRAM modules. Unlike other companies, who plan to start supplying DDR-II components starting from March or April, Buffalo is reported to begin sales of next-generation memory on the 24th of February, but at astonishingly high price!

Buffalo currently offers unbuffered DDR-II SDRAM DIMMs for high-performance desktops, registered DDR-II SDRAM DIMMs for high-end servers and workstations, DDR-II SO-DIMM modules for laptops. As expected, the firm has its DDR-II products in two speeds – 400MHz and 533MHz.

DDR-II (or DDR2) 240-pin memory modules from Buffalo utilize FBGA memory chips from Elpida, but are demonstrated with no heat-spreader installed for some unknown reason, as even with 1.8V memory voltage, 30% lower compared to conventional DDR SDRAM memory, DDR-II should still dissipate quite a lot of heat, especially at 533MHz.

A report over Akiba PC Hotline claims that Buffalo will start selling its DDR-II PC2-3200 modules (DDR2, 400MHz) on Monday, the 23rd of February, 2004. The initial price for 256MB module will be $455, 512MB modules will cost around $915. Even taking into account the fact that the modules are something exclusive and prices in Tokyo are higher than in the rest of the world, the quoted prices for the first batch of DDR-II are just too high for desktops and workstations.

Mainboards with DDR-II support are currently not available and are expected to emerge in March or April. All DDR-II memory systems this year will be dual-channel and will require at least two models to be installed for optimal performance. With a pair of 512MB memory modules at 400MHz with CL 3-3-3 latencies quoted at about $1800, it is not likely that DDR-II will be mainstream this year, as a couple of 512MB quality DDR modules cost about $160 nowadays.


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