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AMD Enters Desktop Memory Market

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the and-now-for-something-a-little-bit-different dept.

AMD 65

siliconbits writes "AMD has quietly released a new range of memory products and recycled the Radeon brand, which moves from graphics processing units to memory modules. According to the product page, AMD Radeon for systems are 'ideally' suited for the company's APU and CPU solutions and have been 'tested to the highest industry standards on AMD platforms.' Three different categories are currently on offer, roughly matching AMD's APU/CPU product categories; Entertainment, Ultra Pro and Enterprise. Oddly enough, the company is offering only 2GB modules with data rates at 1333.33MT/s and 1600MT/s, with 9-9-9 and 11-11-11 timings for the first two product ranges respectively."

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65 comments

Frosty Piss (-1)

infaustus (936456) | more than 2 years ago | (#37025452)

Remember the taste.

Re:Frosty Piss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37025902)

No need to remember it, I'm drinking it [slashdot.org] !

Better idea! (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#37025462)

Maybe they could take whatever they're smoking and sell that instead. I'd pay good money for it!

Re:Better idea! (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 2 years ago | (#37028426)

They get their stuff from me.

AMD has too many products (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37025484)

Isn't AMD's single biggest weakness a lack of fabrication facilities? And they're introducing a line of memory modules for some heretofore-unseen vertical integration on the motherboard... Using the Radeon name. Poor ATI.

Re:AMD has too many products (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37025570)

Isn't AMD's single biggest weakness a lack of fabrication facilities?

No:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GlobalFoundries

Re:AMD has too many products (1)

gcnaddict (841664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37025692)

Right, so I think crux of the comment commited by the AC above you had something to do with the fact that AMD spun off its fabs by means of incorporating GlobalFoundries with other companies such as ATIC. AMD has no fabs of its own.

Re:AMD has too many products (1)

adamchou (993073) | more than 2 years ago | (#37025738)

But wouldn't it seem likely that AMD still owns some equity in GlobalFoundaries? It seems like AMD's move was to better utilize its facilities. Given that the company isn't public, this kind of information is hard to find but I can't imagine AMD would just spin it off if they would take a loss.

Re:AMD has too many products (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#37025924)

But wouldn't it seem likely that AMD still owns some equity in GlobalFoundaries? It seems like AMD's move was to better utilize its facilities. Given that the company isn't public, this kind of information is hard to find but I can't imagine AMD would just spin it off if they would take a loss.

I do believe they kept 51%. They spun it off because they just didn't have the financial depth to keep up with the massive, massive investments involved in next-gen processing tech. Their competition is Intel and TSMC - which is also becoming a bigger and bigger behemoth. They simply had to scale up or get out, and this was their way of scaling up.

Re:AMD has too many products (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#37026452)

Which I would argue simple wouldn't have happened if Intel hadn't bribed OEMs and rigged their compiler so that pretty much the only OEM AMD chips you were allowed for nearly a half a dozen years were bottom of the line Semprons/Durons. I mean when you have one of the CEOs admit that the Intel kickbacks were so good they were "like cocaine" and Dell had several quarters during the price wars where the ONLY profits were in the form of Intel kickbacks? It stinks and Intel should have been busted for antitrust.

As for TFA? i'm sure its just a rebrand, a smart idea for a rebrand I'd argue, but just a rebrand. I think we are down to only three, maybe four memory makers now, right? I'm sure one of them offered AMD a good deal to partner with them. If the chips are made to the same quality as Radeon GPUs I'd have no problem using them, especially if they begin listing which boards it is certified to work well with. It amazes me that in this day and age I'll still come across RAM that doesn't follow JEDEC with a bunch of funky timings.

So good luck AMD on your new venture, maybe you should get in contact with Tigerdirect to see about adding Radeon RAM to their AMD kits? Now if you'll excuse me I have to go set up a time to call Tigerdirect with a customer. It seems some dumbass there on their last "$199 AMD quad core!" deal fucked up and paired a 65w board with a 95w CPU. Oh well they are being good about it, just said for me to contact them with the customer who ordered it and they'll be happy to give him a label for free RAM shipping and they'll have a new board out ASAP.

Re:AMD has too many products (1)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | more than 2 years ago | (#37028722)

It stinks and Intel should have been busted for antitrust.

They kinda were. [nationaljournal.com]

Re:AMD has too many products (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#37028810)

Nooooo, they kinda weren't. Do you think that after SIX YEARS of being completely shut out of the OEM market AMD only lost 1.25 billion? Oh please! If you figured up the amount of profits Intel made off the OEMs in that period of time Intel STILL made out like bandits while passing the costs of all those crappy P4s, with their higher electricity and cooling costs, right on to us.

No for Intel this was simply a cost for doing business, and would have been like telling MSFT if they would have just cut Netscape a check they could go right back to business as usual. I would also point out that Intel is STILL rigging their compilers, they just put a little "FYI" in the docs, buried half a dozen pages in IIRC. But if you take the latest compiler release and run the resulting code you'll find it will run a good 35-45% faster if it has the "Genuine Intel" flag on the CPU even if you fake the flag on an AMD chip.

So tell me how is that not worthy of antitrust proceedings?

Re:AMD has too many products (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37025954)

AMD retains a minority interest in GlobalFoundries. They also have a contract to use GlobalFoundries for their chips for next few years and GlobalFoundries must provide competitive pricing for these chips with some preference to AMD demand for fab space.

But GlobalFoundries can print whatever they want. AMD is basically an IP company, and that is a good thing. They can focus on chip design instead of trying to get manufacturing processes "Just Right".

There are other successful IP-only designers. For example, ARM and nVidia.

Re:AMD has too many products (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37026148)

GlobalFoundries is used by AMD exclusively for their CPUs. I expect this memory venture is likely resale of someone else's DRAM.

Re:AMD has too many products (2)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 2 years ago | (#37025786)

Isn't AMD's single biggest weakness a lack of fabrication facilities?

No:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GlobalFoundries [wikipedia.org]

AMD used to own their own FAB.
A few years ago they spun off Global Foundries into a separate company. They said the usual bullshit about being to be more agile, more focused, whatever.
It was really a move to hide losses and to tell the investors "Hey, we're doing SOMETHING!" (in response to getting their asses handed to them during the Athlon II generation.)

Now AMD has to deal with an external company to get things fabbed. That same fab has to entertain orders from companies other than AMD (such as Intel). So if this FAB was good, AMD threw away its advantage. If the FAB was losing money for AMD, they could have produced memory, mobile chipsets, etc. in addition to CPUs and GPUs (to keep the FAB running at full capacity, thus making it profitable / not as lossy).

The fact that AMD sold it off means that AMD needed cash desperately and had no plans for growth. Then we had the Phenom II generation, where AMD got destroyed. And now we have the Bulldozer generation. Oh wait, we don't, because that's fucking still not here yet. Main reason for the Bulldozer delay? Yields not good enough to reach the desired clock speeds - that is, the FAB is fucking up. Gee, if they had their own FAB they would have been able to have much more control and would have been able to react to problems much more quickly.

Selling off their FAB was the dumbest thing AMD has ever done. Buying ATi was the smartest.

Re:AMD has too many products (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 2 years ago | (#37029346)

Gee, if they had their own FAB they would have been able to have much more control and would have been able to react to problems much more quickly.

Or, perhaps, if they had their own FAB and it was fucking up on yield, they would own it and be stuck with it. They have a degree of freedom to shop around that they wouldn't in their 'own' FAB.

Re:AMD has too many products (2)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 2 years ago | (#37028002)

GF has already been spined off and it is an independent entity.

Re:AMD has too many products (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37026672)

Isn't AMD's single biggest weakness a lack of fabrication facilities?

Yes, but it's a weakness because they don't own any at all, these days. They were forced to divest themselves of the fabs to survive. They're not making the memory chips themselves.

Even if they still owned fabs, they wouldn't be making memory in house. AMD used to have the ability to make high performance logic chips, but DRAM is different enough that it requires specialized fabs. AMD would've had to build a new fab ($billions). But there's more... once you've got a shiny new DRAM fab, you're in a cutthroat low-margin business from hell in which the incumbents have tons of advantages and will not hesitate to use their market power to destroy your profitability until you go away or sell out to them. Oh, and they know how to make DRAM better than you do, so they will probably enjoy lower costs and make better product. Fun!

This is why the DRAM industry has consolidated so much. It's more or less a Samsung and Micron duopoly these days. You can still find various DRAM chips with odd brands, but most are in truth reject die from Micron or Samsung, sold off to other companies which package and self-brand them. They're not bad chips necessarily, just not high grade, so they might have to run with relaxed timing, or maybe they use more power than normal. Things like that.

Back to AMD... this is just an exercise in branding. Probably costs AMD very little. Upfront is basically NRE costs for designing memory module circuit boards, heatsinks, packaging, and so forth, but once that's done it's just buy components, have someone assemble them, ship it.

Re:AMD has too many products (1)

Apocros (6119) | more than 2 years ago | (#37027826)

points are all valid, but you only specified the largest DRAM manufacturer (samsung), and the 4th largest (micron) by market share, but missed #2 (hynix) and #3 (elpida).

Re:AMD has too many products (1)

MyCookie (1983480) | more than 2 years ago | (#37027082)

Speculation is that Radeon RAM is just rebranded.

Re:AMD has too many products (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 2 years ago | (#37029176)

No. Why make up shit? It is not Apple biggest weakness, or Nvidia, or Samsung, or anyone else. There are plenty of fabs going around to do this sort of work.

However, AMD's biggest weakness may be morons who make shit up.

Re:AMD has too many products (1)

EnsilZah (575600) | more than 2 years ago | (#37030538)

Why would that be their biggest weakness?
They had manufacturing facilities, they spun them off into a different company and I'm sure they still have contracts in place to have first priority for their use.
I find it hard to imagine whoever thought up splitting off GlobalFoundries from AMD did that on a whim and is now sitting in some office muttering "Oh shit, I accidentally the whole thing".

On die RAM... (1)

teaserX (252970) | more than 2 years ago | (#37025608)

Integrated with the APU. That might be cool. Motherboards could be very, very tiny in the future.

Re:On die RAM... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37025796)

Lovely stuff, usually called "cache" or "embedded DRAM". Low Latency. High Speed. Bowel-looseningly expensive in any significant quantity. Even money-no-object designs like Power7s have fairly puny amounts of the stuff.

In some embedded applications(smartphones and friends, most notably) "Package on Package" designs with a RAM die packaged on top of the CPU are pretty popular; but that is largely about board space savings, the two dice aren't actually coupled much more closely(which allows them to be tested separately, thus improving yields). With more general-purpose motherboards, the savings from omitting DIMM slots tend not to make up for the inflexibility of inventory. Devices where there are only a small number of necessary memory configurations(ie. graphics cards) generally attach memory directly, to save on connectors, routing, and signal issues; but the economics of motherboards are trickier...

Re:On die RAM... (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#37025914)

Cache almost always uses SRAM, which uses a whopping six transistors per bit instead of one (although it's MUCH faster, latency-wise). Thus you get much higher memory densities from DRAM, with the corresponding price advantage (which is further inflated by economies-of-scale, as DRAM is a much higher-volume product than SRAM). So that's not really what he's saying.

It's still not really a good idea, though. RAM is generally one of the cheapest parts in a computer, and is often the only thing upgraded before fully replacing the computer. Merging the CPU and RAM would just make people upgrade the entire CPU more often (since CPU sockets change so often, even for AMD).

Re:On die RAM... (1)

amorsen (7485) | more than 2 years ago | (#37026594)

We are approaching the point where it does not make sense to upgrade RAM. Right now you often only get 256MB per memory chip, and it takes 4 chips to fill a typical bus (x16), so the minimum amount of memory you can sensibly install is 1GB. Obviously you can go with older 128MB or lower chips, but they are not much cheaper. Already you can do 512MB per chip, and with DDR4 we will likely hit 1GB per chip. We are not many chip generations away from being able to satisfy the needs of most users with a few soldered-in chips, which will help latency a lot.

Re:On die RAM... (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#37026742)

Except that most of the latency is inherent to DRAM - in the past decade, average latencies have dropped from 10-20ns to 6-7ns, while total bandwidth has skyrocketed from 1600 MB/s per channel to 10666MB/s per channel and capacities have surged from average systems having 128MB total to average systems reaching 2GB or 4GB.

Basically, DRAM latency isn't a problem that can be fixed by moving it on-die. Nobody's found a solution yet, other than piling on more and more cache and hoping your branch predictor works well. Eliminating the standard interface in order to plop it on-die won't do anything to change that.

This might actually be profitable (0)

atari2600a (1892574) | more than 2 years ago | (#37025654)

I know a guy that buys blank DVDs by brand name even when I clearly point out the industrially-packaged A-DATA disks for 1/3 the price on the top shelf, so I'm sure AMD will find a good following of sheeple for their memory.

very very stupid (1)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 2 years ago | (#37026098)

considering that RAM business has repeatedly saw the bottom fell out from under it over the years (news flash - most RAM chip manufacturers have been losing money on the product most of the time) this is ONE more way AMD is going to accelerate its demise. Whichever MBA bone head that came up with this one ought to be drag out and shot in the base of his/her neck.

Re:very very stupid (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37026188)

Not necessarily. If they're working on a way of reducing the bandwidth bottle neck the way that I think they're going about it, this is likely to prove to be quite the wise idea.

As they've been moving more and more stuff on die, it's getting to the point where they really need a more tightly tied supply of RAM and I would be surprised if they aren't looking at how to get the RAM closer to the processor. They've been doing it for years and this would be one potential step to the logical conclusion.

Re:very very stupid (2)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37026278)

As they've been moving more and more stuff on die, it's getting to the point where they really need a more tightly tied supply of RAM and I would be surprised if they aren't looking at how to get the RAM closer to the processor.

I just looked at my motherboard and the RAM is already so close to the CPU that it almost touches the heatsink. I'm not sure how much closer you think they can move it.

More seriously, if you're talking about building RAM into the CPU, we already have that: it's called cache. And since the amount of RAM you could add to a CPU die is never going to be enough outside of the low-end market, it would have to operate as a cache rather than a replacement for RAM on the motherboard.

Re:very very stupid (2)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 2 years ago | (#37026834)

As mentioned elsewhere in this thread, CACHE is usually SRAM not slower DRAM. Yes, it is RAM, but it is much faster than DRAM. IF they are pushing the proximity of DRAM to the chip package it would make sense. Especially if they can widen the bus to the DRAM and remove (or minimize) bottlenecks to the RAM.

Re:very very stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37026896)

You are not thinking in the right market. Think SoC.

A x86 chipset with a 'ok' vid card and say 1 gig of memory built into the chip...

Chips=money. Less chips=lower BOM. Smaller board = less money. Think along the lines of a board the size of a credit card. Even the pin count can drop dramatically off the chip. Think 80-100 pins instead of the 1500 that they have now. Which means a lower cost attachment process.

They have these sorts of things now but there is a big ol memory block on it. Usually some sort of laptop memory thing.

Also many CPU manufactures use memory as a testbed for a new fabrication.

Yeah they shouldnt bother at all because you declared it as a bad idea.

Re:very very stupid (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37029030)

You are not thinking in the right market. Think SoC.

I'm the town idiot. Is the "SoC" the parent referred to "system on a chip"?

Less chips=lower BOM

Goddamn it. Can someone please tell me what this acronym means? "Byte order mark"? "Bill of materials"?

I'm on acronymfinder.com and I'm sick of trying to guess.

Re:very very stupid (1)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 2 years ago | (#37028084)

I'm confused, do you think AMD is just now entering the memory business? They've been in it for a decade and are one of the largest producers of flash memory. This seems like a logical evolution of their current offerings.

Re:very very stupid (1)

misen (989072) | more than 2 years ago | (#37029424)

AMD has not made flash memory for many years. They put their flash assets into Spansion and spun that out (before they purchased ATI, IIRC).

Re:This might actually be profitable (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37026134)


I know a guy that buys blank DVDs by brand name even when I clearly point out the industrially-packaged A-DATA disks for 1/3 the price on the top shelf, so I'm sure AMD will find a good following of sheeple for their memory.

How dare you call me a sheeple, you insensitive clod! I'll have you know... ~BAAA~ damn.

Re:This might actually be profitable (1)

That Guy From Mrktng (2274712) | more than 2 years ago | (#37026506)

Different to the shepple that buy OCZ or Corsair how?. AFAIK they don't have fabs either. Being the exeption Patriot and Kingston.

I guess AMD user^n^n^sheeple it's the bunch more focused in bang for the buck, If AMD can't deliver good specs for a decent price people (AMD fanboys?) will not buy it. Kingston is good in that regard. If you're not in the "I can't have slow computor or people will realize my ineptitude" market the choices are suddenly huge.

Corsair Sheeple (1)

rwade (131726) | more than 2 years ago | (#37026760)

Not sure what you mean by Corsair sheeple -- Corsair prices very aggressively, particularly on a short-term sale basis. They are generally not marketed to appeal to the highend hobbyist market (which is what I assume you mean by "sheeple."). For that, you're looking at like G. Skill -- that's a straight fanboy brand.

I'm not much of a memory buyer -- as in, I only buy it every 3 or 4 years -- but Corsair has worked decently for me so far and if when I do a motherboard upgrade that needs DDR4, I will probably buy Corsair if it's priced as aggressively as it is pricing its DDR3 memory at the moment.

Re:Corsair Sheeple (1)

atari2600a (1892574) | more than 2 years ago | (#37027012)

None of you guys have seen 4chan's /g/, or really any gaming board or channel filled with sweaty teenagers loyal to brand names. Every other thread, discussion or flame-war is going to be Radeon VS GeForce, & if they're using the Radeon name this is going to pull it an entire market of 13 year-olds building their first frankenbuild or high-end build off of Newegg with mom's credit card. This is exactly what I'm talking about: people impulsively opting towards the fancy packaging that says Radeon on it for the marked-up price & right marketing code-words ("Fast performance" "increased gigabits!") while doing little to no research regarding price, performance & quality. THIS is what sheeple are. Or sherpson. Or the PC term "The little hairy quadrupedal people".

Re:Corsair Sheeple (1)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 2 years ago | (#37028220)

Given the current quality of AMD's memory offerings I'm wondering how or why you consider people sheeple for buying them. AMD has been a solid memory manufacturer for a decade or more, it carried them through the hard times of the 486 until the first gen Athlon which came along and toppled Intel's performance crown.

They are hardly perfect but one of the things they definitely do well is making memory. I'll certainly give this ram a shot, challenging preconceptions is always a good idea afterall.

Data rate is too slow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37025662)

Oddly enough, the company is offering only 2GB modules with data rates at 1333.33MT/s

1333.33 is too slow. 1337 would be better.

1600MHz is plenty fast for performance users (1)

rwade (131726) | more than 2 years ago | (#37025716)

Three different categories are currently on offer, roughly matching AMD's APU/CPU product categories; Entertainment, Ultra Pro and Enterprise. Oddly enough, the company is offering only 2GB modules with data rates at 1333.33MT/s and 1600MT/s, with 9-9-9 and 11-11-11 timings for the first two product ranges respectively."

The suggestion that 1600MHz is too slow for what AMD is calling "Ultra Pro" (they presumably mean gamers) is just not substantiated by the data [tomshardware.com] :

We looked at different memory speeds for the LGA 1156-based Core i7-870 and chose to run DDR3-800, -1066, -1333, and -1600 at fast, as well as relaxed, timings. Although the differences were typically very small, there were a few applications that obviously benefited from faster memory. This wasn’t surprising, as we already did similar comparisons on most of the other popular platforms:

In all cases, we’ve seen significant performance differences when looking at the synthetic or low-level benchmarks. Memory bandwidth does increase considerably if you speed up the memory transfer rate, and tightening timings also improves performance by cutting latencies. However, only a marginal fraction of these benefits actually arrive at the application level. Even going for the fastest memory available will give you a performance boost that is probably smaller than the effect a faster processor speed bin would deliver.

Re:1600MHz is plenty fast for performance users (1)

adamchou (993073) | more than 2 years ago | (#37025802)

Uhh.... you're going to quote an Intel benchmark to invalidate AMD's claim? I understand where you're going. A 20% increase in clock speed is probably a negligible performance increase but with AMD's new core, who knows how it'll perform? Come back when you have a benchmark for AMD's new chip.

Memory is memory; few applications are just paging (1)

rwade (131726) | more than 2 years ago | (#37025866)

Memory is memory -- it doesn't have anything to do with the on-die memory controller. It's an application thing; most applications users use daily aren't doing constant memory pages, so tossing faster memory in is not going to do much.

Re:Memory is memory; few applications are just pag (1)

adamchou (993073) | more than 2 years ago | (#37025982)

Except that AMD's Fusion relies heavily on system memory since the on-die GPU doesn't have its own dedicated GDDR5 memory like traditional video cards provide. So although you're right that an increase in memory bandwidth for a traditional CPU doesn't do much, my point is that AMD's Fusion isn't a traditional CPU. You can't reference an Intel benchmark or even a non-APU AMD benchmark to compare.

So-called "UltraPro" users don't use onboard video (1)

rwade (131726) | more than 2 years ago | (#37026110)

If AMD is hoping to make a killing selling performance memory to "Ultra Pro" users, it's not going to do it by pairing it with Fusion. No performance user (gamers, CAD, etc) that is willing to shell out extra for AMD-branded memory is going to be using onboard graphics -- they would be using a discrete graphics card. In such cases, the relationship between main memory speed and onboard graphics is completely irrelevant. See this review [tomshardware.com] breaking down Fusion's unsuitability for performance users:

When it comes to the desktop space, Llano’s prospects are decidedly less impressive in light of the competition. These APUs make for an ideal solution to replace entry-level PCs with crappy integrated graphics. And, they certainly could introduce a lot of graphics muscle to a segment historically light in that regard. If Llano catches a foothold there, the APU could impact peoples’ expectation of what a PC can do. Developers might start targeting a higher lowest common denominator in their games, and that’d of course be great news for PC gaming.

But once you reach outside of the budget basement and consider folks willing to use discrete graphics, the A-series’ utility is hamstrung. It’s easy to put an $80 Radeon HD 6670 in a cheap OEM box and walk away with something that easily trumps AMD’s product in both processing and graphics benchmarks.

Re:So-called "UltraPro" users don't use onboard vi (1)

adamchou (993073) | more than 2 years ago | (#37026354)

I'm not going to disagree with you on that point. But again, my initial argument with you is that you are incorrectly citing an Intel based benchmark to invalidate AMD's claim that their processors will realize a significant performance gain from increased memory bandwidth.

Re:1600MHz is plenty fast for performance users (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37025970)

RAM is RAM regardless of running on an Intel or AMD system. The truth is, a 1600MHz module with 11ns CAS is unheard of in today's market, where we've come to expect timings of 8 or 9 being standard and 6 or 7 being "high performance". I'm genuinely confused about what AMD is trying to pull here.

Re:1600MHz is plenty fast for performance users (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#37026614)

Uh, you seem to be confused on your units. RAM latencies are measured in clock cycles - a CAS of 11 means 11 clock cycles for a content address strobe. The exact time will vary depending on the actual clock speed. It comes out to be 6.875 nanoseconds for 1600 mHz. Meanwhile, that CAS of 9 on the 1333 MT/s comes out to 6.75 nanoseconds - pretty much the same.

This is why "faster" RAM has higher latency numbers, and slower RAM has lower latency numbers. DDR3-2400 normally has latencies in the double-digits, despite often costing more than some computers and requiring liquid cooling. And that's also why you can go down all the way to DDR-400 and see latencies of 2-3-2 - the units have "changed" from 2400 to 400.

A latency of 11 clocks is a bit low for DDR3-1600 (average seems to be 9-9-9, but 7-7-7 isn't unheard of), but not terrifyingly slow.

Re:1600MHz is plenty fast for performance users (1)

Creepy (93888) | more than 2 years ago | (#37027620)

I hate it when manufacturers don't print the tRAS number (which is at minimum 24 for the CAS-11 and 20 for the CAS-9 using the CAS + tRCD + 2 formula, where CAS is Column Access Strobe, RAS is Row Access Strobe, and tRCD is RAS-to-CAS delay). If that final number is ungainly high compared to the minimum, it is a often a sign of poorly designed memory (or so I recall from talking to my brother, who works as a RAM designer).

And for reference, as a general rule, RAM at half the speed and half the CAS number is about the same speed, so you can interpolate a bit to compare different pieces of RAM. For instance, "800" speed RAM at CAS 5 would be about the same as "1600" RAM at CAS 10. It isn't exactly a 1-1 comparison, but is a rule of thumb.

Re:1600MHz is plenty fast for performance users (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37025860)

That's true for ordinary CPUs, but AMD's newer Fusion chips that have an on-die GPU are much more bandwidth-hungry:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4476/amd-a83850-review/4

Anandtech is testing ONBOARD video performance (2)

rwade (131726) | more than 2 years ago | (#37026070)

The story in anandtech [anandtech.com] that you're quoting finds that higher bandwidth memory pushes up gaming performance when you're using the onboard video. That's certainly true, but the performance user willing to pay for performance memory is using a stand-alone video card. With a stand-alone card, the tomshardware results that I linked to are the relevant benchmark -- not the anandtech one you posted.

Don't get me wrong, AMD's on-die graphics are head-and-shoulders above even Intel's Sandy Bridge HD3000 graphics -- but they don't hold a candle [tomshardware.com] to even basic video cards, like the Radeon 6670:

These APUs make for an ideal solution to replace entry-level PCs with crappy integrated graphics. And, they certainly could introduce a lot of graphics muscle to a segment historically light in that regard. If Llano catches a foothold there, the APU could impact peoples’ expectation of what a PC can do. Developers might start targeting a higher lowest common denominator in their games, and that’d of course be great news for PC gaming.

But once you reach outside of the budget basement and consider folks willing to use discrete graphics, the A-series’ utility is hamstrung. It’s easy to put an $80 Radeon HD 6670 in a cheap OEM box and walk away with something that easily trumps AMD’s product in both processing and graphics benchmarks.

How many different manufactureres already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37025856)

How many different memory manufacturers do we have already? About a "gazillion", I'd guess! As someone noted, you'd have to find some real "sheeple" who want to say it's AMD all the way, or something like that!

Re:How many different manufactureres already? (1)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 2 years ago | (#37026062)

Actually, there's only like three or four. But they don't sell direct to consumers: they just sell chips to other companies, who then package them and put their name on it.

Re:How many different manufactureres already? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37026262)

That's not entirely true. Micron owns Crucial which does sell directly to customers. They've been my pick for years now and I've always found the quality to be good as well as the price. It's just really hard to justify buying from a middleman when you typically get a better warranty and price buying direct.

give us 8GB SIMM modules (1)

Anomalyst (742352) | more than 2 years ago | (#37026344)

So we can populate 4 slot motherboards to their full 32GB capacity and I'll buy 'em,.

Re:give us 8GB SIMM modules (2)

burning-toast (925667) | more than 2 years ago | (#37026494)

Just note that SIMM and DIMM are two distinct form factors for memory. SIMM packaging having largely been abandoned post 1990.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SIMM
vs.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DIMM

And they do make 8Gb and even 16Gb DIMMS:
http://www.amazon.com/Kingston-ValueRAM-240-pin-PC3-8500-registered/dp/B003C015ZY

But you will likely find that many (if not most) motherboard chipsets do not support them. This is a chipset and bios coding issue more than anything else.

Re:give us 8GB SIMM modules (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 2 years ago | (#37026988)

"And they do make 8Gb and even 16Gb DIMMS:
http://www.amazon.com/Kingston-ValueRAM-240-pin-PC3-8500-registered/dp/B003C015ZY [amazon.com]

But you will likely find that many (if not most) motherboard chipsets do not support them. This is a chipset and bios coding issue more than anything else."

Isn't that server RAM?

A few 8GB DDR3-SODIMMs have showed up (not really interested in anything other than laptops myself, these days), but Sandy Bridge memory controllers seem to be a bit finicky, with Intel only having specified one or two dual core chips and a few of the quad cores for over 8GB of memory.

The regular desktop space should probably have 8GB DIMMs too by now...

Re:give us 8GB SIMM modules (1)

Anomalyst (742352) | more than 2 years ago | (#37027532)

Isn't that server RAM?

Indeed, ECC ("ChipKill") at $300/midule, ykes.

No profit in RAM (1)

Theovon (109752) | more than 2 years ago | (#37026748)

The margins on retail DRAM are really slim. Even in "performance" memory, where they charge more, there's still overhead in binning for the more aggressive timing numbers. Unless DRAM sticks were all you did, or your retail DRAM business was a front for a DRAM maker (as Crucial is for Micron), then I don't see how selling DRAM is going to add much to the bottom line of a large company like AMD. Are they going to charge more than Crucial does for the same stuff? Are they going to do something to make buyers feel fear, uncertainty, and doubt about their AMD CPU warranty if they don't use the "correct RAM", just so they can charge even more?

Re:No profit in RAM (1)

EnsilZah (575600) | more than 2 years ago | (#37030548)

Well, I'm guessing the final goal is not to sell RAM sticks separately but to integrate all the components they manufacture into one system-on-a-chip type thing as they're starting to do with CPU/GPU.

desperate move (1)

sunfly (1248694) | more than 2 years ago | (#37027434)

Ram has very slim profits, if they feel the need to enter that market, they must be really really desperate.

Possible reason for this? (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 2 years ago | (#37028734)

They are putting CPU, GPU, and Memory controller on the same die. Is it possible they can get a performance boost by changing something on the memory chip? Probably. Is it possible they could get a performance boost by changing the memory while still remaining compatible with regular RAM? In other words a special feature that only their APU knows how to use?

Re:Possible reason for this? (1)

MachineShedFred (621896) | more than 2 years ago | (#37031946)

It's more possible that they can generate increased revenue by rebadging someone else's RAM with their well-known "RADEON" trade dress.

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