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Advanced Micro Devices has quietly started to sell its own-brand Radeon memory modules for systems powered by its accelerated processing units (APUs) and central processing units (CPUs). The reasons why AMD decided to enter the market of memory modules are not exactly clear. Potentially, own-brand memory modules will help AMD to ensure availability memory modules compatible with its platforms.

AMD (and previously ATI) has been supplying its add-in-card partners with compatible GDDR-series memory chips for years now. This allowed AMD to make sure that certain graphics cards models are available with the right type of memory. For manufacturers of graphics cards things also get easier: they can buy graphics chips along with memory chips from one source, which speeds up time-to-market, optimizes logistics and generally simplifies business process.

AMD plans to offer three series of Radeon memory modules: Entertainment (1333MHz, CL9 9-9), UltraPro Gaming (1600MHz, CL11 11-11) and Enterprise (specs to be determined). Initially, the company only ships 2GB memory modules, according to the official web-site. It is unclear which of the DRAM makers actually produce memory chips (which are marked as 23E64587MCDJ, 6521002 1121) for AMD. Specifications of the memory modules are not truly impressive and performance-demanding users will prefer solutions from companies like Corsair Memory.

At present AMD Radeon Entertainment-series memory modules are available in Tokyo, Japan, Akiba PC Hotline reports. Each module costs ¥1570 ($20.2)

Shipping own-brand memory modules is a rather surprising decision from AMD. Typical DDR3 DRAM modules are commodity products that are available widely from many manufacturers and with different specs. Hardly any PC makers acquire memory modules along with central processing units or mainboards. In fact, the only time when bundling of memory modules with motherboards was more or less mass event was back in 1999, when Intel shipped its i820-based platforms with RIMM memory modules simply because the latter were not available widely.

AMD's move to sell memory modules under Radeon brand is rather controversial as it essentially blurs positioning of Radeon graphics products and their premium nature, which essentially reduces the value of the brand, which has been associated for advanced graphics cards for over ten years now. It remains to be seen whether AMD will be able to make money selling memory modules, which price fluctuates every couple of weeks.

Tags: AMD, Radeon, DRAM, DDR3

Discussion

Comments currently: 11
Discussion started: 08/08/11 03:00:13 PM
Latest comment: 08/12/11 09:40:48 PM
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1. 
I don't see how those DDR3 1600 can be listed as Ultra Pro when the timings are 11-11-11 which is lowest standard of JEDEC for DDR3 1600. A company branding their ram as Ultra Pro i'd expect it to be 9-9-9 for DDR3 1600 not 11-11-11.
3 0 [Posted by: SteelCity1981  | Date: 08/08/11 03:00:13 PM]
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Agreed !
0 0 [Posted by: Pouria  | Date: 08/08/11 03:47:47 PM]
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2. 
This does not lower the AMD brand. What this does initially, is allows AMD to bring products to market faster + milk extra cash from graphics card purchases that ship with AMD memory. If they can manage to compete then in long term AMD fans will gladly purchased AMD ram, or AMD could also use it to offer some kick ass deals; not with 2GB memory modules though. Normally, you don't want to enter DRAM business; just not much money to be made, but for AMD this is a win win. Can't possibly backfire unlike what the analyst suggest unless there memory modules are bugged on a massive scale. Good move AMD; rip Intel apart.
2 0 [Posted by: ericore  | Date: 08/08/11 03:56:51 PM]
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ATI/AMD and Nvidia have been selling high-speed DDR, DDR2, GDDR3, GDDR4, GDDR5 memory for graphics cards for over a decade now. Both companies have been among the major consumers (if not actually the major) of such graphics DRAM for all this time. The non-commodity memory is not usually sold on spot markets, which means that the price is not really volatile.

By contrast, prices on commodity DRAMs are extremely volatile and they are heading downwards these days. This means that AMD barely has chances to make money on low-cost memory modules (which it sells today) as by the time AMD brings them to market, they will become cheaper.
1 1 [Posted by: Anton  | Date: 08/09/11 07:57:36 AM]
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3. 
AMD Ram + AMD CPU + AMD Videocard + AMD Toilet paper ... you could go on and on... but its good to see them try and move onto other products
1 1 [Posted by: vid_ghost  | Date: 08/08/11 04:50:33 PM]
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4. 
@vid_ghost, if their toilet paper's priced right I wouldn't mind paying for it ... especially if it's all like high tech and stuff xD.

Anyways, honestly, the timings are horrid. If they can sell them at at least 8-8-8-21, then fine, I would consider it, but DDR3-1600 at 11-11-11, are you f**kin' kiddin' me?
3 0 [Posted by: deltatux  | Date: 08/08/11 07:23:57 PM]
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Only in Japan does one wipe uranus with high techness
0 0 [Posted by: vid_ghost  | Date: 08/09/11 04:29:17 PM]
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5. 
maybe they want to get somekind of license to this ram and put it on there soc's so they can have a complete system instead of a part of it or thye could make a fulld pc they no have ram + apu so only a conection to storadge and psu is needed
0 0 [Posted by: massau  | Date: 08/09/11 07:14:09 AM]
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6. 
Makes me wanna get some of this to put in Sandy Bridge system.
2 0 [Posted by: jihadjoe  | Date: 08/09/11 01:29:07 PM]
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7. 
Radeon is just sort of what they like callign their products, Vision is the current marketing campaign
2 0 [Posted by: Johannesburg  | Date: 08/09/11 03:59:23 PM]
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8. 
I guess they have to do something with all those test wafers from GloFo right?

Just kidding... but yes. CAS11? Unless Llano has some sort of sweet spot for high latency memory this isn't exactly flattering the Radeon name.

You know, once you get past the fact that "a Radeon" can now also refer to a stick of value-RAM and not just video cards... Why not just completely euthanize the ATi name and brand it "ATi memory."

Remember when ATI and atitech.ca swapped domains? Yea, neither does anyone else. If you do - you know why it sucks the brand that managed to fight it's way from being a joke in in the Rage II era, became a contender with Rage6/Radeon, and finally with the ArtX R300 achieved prominence as a true competitor - now being used by marketing people who don't have a clue.

Oh well, at least there are the memories of looking at cool turbines when one forgot it was "atitech.ca."
0 0 [Posted by: xrror  | Date: 08/12/11 09:40:48 PM]
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