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DDR4 RAM To Hit Devices Next Year

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the wear-your-helmets dept.

Hardware 233

angry tapir writes "Micron has said that DDR4 memory — the successor to DDR3 DRAM — will reach computers next year, and that the company has started shipping samples of the upcoming DDR memory type. DDR4 is more power-efficient and faster than DDR3. New forms of DDR memory first make it into servers and desktops, and then into laptops. Micron said it hopes that DDR4 memory will also reach portable devices like tablets, which currently use forms of low-power DDR3 and DDR2 memory."

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Would have gotten a FP except (5, Funny)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | more than 2 years ago | (#39928929)

... I'm still stuck on good ole DDR2

Realistically, while there are benefits for "faster", it's no substitute for reducing inefficient bloatware.

Re:Would have gotten a FP except (5, Interesting)

Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) | more than 2 years ago | (#39928971)

True, but I'm actually more interested in the supposed power savings. These days, I think reducing power consumption is a higher priority than increasing speed, or at least it should be.

Re:Would have gotten a FP except (3, Insightful)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929083)

Well, one way we can reduce power consumption is to go to operating systems that aren't as bloated. If you've tried the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, you already know that Windows 8 isn't just the worst product Microsoft has ever made - it's also bloatware. Microsoft would be better off making an XP 2014 release and selling it.

The same with LXDE as opposed to bloatware like KDE.

Another thing is screen savers - not only not needed, but a total waste of energy. Just have the OS turn the stupid screens off ...

There's no excuse for today's machines, with cpus that can execute more microcode per clock tick, being capable of executing 1,000 times more instructions per second than the original pc, to be as non-performing as they are.

Re:Would have gotten a FP except (3, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929221)

LXDE == Lubuntu Linux?
Good release.

>>>capable of executing 1,000 times more instructions per second than the original pc

Heh. More than that. The IBM PC was 4 megahertz? And now we have double-clocking where CPUs execute instruction on both rising & falling edges. And dual-core CPUs are now standard, so 3000*2*2/4 == 3000 times faster. And yet as you pointed-out we still have to deal with annoying "wait" states while the PC thinks or redraws a screen. Bloat.

Re:Would have gotten a FP except (3, Insightful)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929353)

I'm currently posting from LXDE+Knoppix (boot off the dvd image, load the actual runtime + persistent data off a hard drive image on /dev/sda1 because linux distros have a nasty habit of breaking stuff on updates). Set up with zero swap, and the only real problem is the memory leaks in Iceweasel, same as in firefox under every other distro.

Instead of competing on features, why not have a 6-month moratorium where people just fix current bugs? It would make everyone more conscious of bad practices that lead to bugs in the first place, hopefully reducing future breakage (and slow/fugly code to work around buggy cruft).

Re:Would have gotten a FP except (-1, Troll)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929499)

I wonder how much RAM I would need to run Windows 7 without hard drive swapping (virtual memory)??? Probably 16 gigs!

Re:Would have gotten a FP except (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39929773)

2 gigs.

Re:Would have gotten a FP except (2)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#39930127)

Maybe you meant XP?

Windows 7 isn't brain-dead over swapfiles like XP is. It doesn't swap unless you're really out of RAM (an amazing breakthrough!)

Re:Would have gotten a FP except (2)

kimvette (919543) | more than 2 years ago | (#39930277)

Unfortunately, in Windows 7 it is possible for the hard drive check to consume over 11 GB(!!!!) of RAM!! Believe it or not that is the ONLY process I have ever had use that much RAM (12GB in my laptop, and I run Photoshop, Gimp, Illustrator, Lightroom, DPP, and embroidery design apps - oh, and virtualbox)

Re:Would have gotten a FP except (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39930523)

My Core Duo laptop runs Windows 7 very smoothly with 2.5GB. My girlfriend has an identical laptop, except for a a slower HDD and 1.5GB RAM and it also runs better than XP or Ubuntu for her. Modern OSes take advantage of all the memory you have... if you have 16GB RAM, it will use as much otherwise-unused memory as possible for optimization. If you only have 2GB, it will allocate as much as needed to apps and still use the rest for optimization.

Re:Would have gotten a FP except (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39929689)

Yeah, I wish a major linux distribution had a bi-yearly release schedule where people add new stuff for 6 months and fix bugs the other six. They could even use the year and month as part of the naming. Or some animals.

Re:Would have gotten a FP except (1)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | more than 2 years ago | (#39930007)

... except that they don't fix the bugs. That's why Ubuntu is among the worst for regressions (but lately all the other distros have either caught up, or like slackware, pretty much died).

Re:Would have gotten a FP except (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 2 years ago | (#39930211)

nstead of competing on features, why not have a 6-month moratorium where people just fix current bugs?

Because, to paraphrase many WONTFIX bugs on the openoffice project (under Sun's watch): It's less fun to fix bugs than to focus on new features.

Re:Would have gotten a FP except (4, Informative)

CajunArson (465943) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929569)

How does crap like this get modded insightful? Oh wait.. it's because it plays up to the bigoted prejudices that prevail on this site.

1. I've actually used the Windows 8 preview on a 4 year old PC and it is more responsive than Linux for desktop use. I don't like Metro, but everything under the hood in Windows 8 is in very good shape and some changes to the UI could make it a good successor to Windows 7.
      People on this website who brag about being Linux "experts" because they got Ubuntu to boot one time should know the difference between the UI presentation layer and the underlying OS services. Unfortunately a bunch of self-proclaimed "experts" who troll this site are anything but.

2. I also use KDE on the desktop and I've used LXDE. Guess what? KDE is faster for my use because of the ability to reconfigure its setup. I don't want or need a taskbar to switch between apps, and because of KDE's flexibility I have a very efficient keyboard shortcut system in place to handle window management. Additinally, yakuake gives KDE a big edge for handling the konsole in a smart way and guake (which cloned yakuake) is still not as good.

    Firefox under KDE starts up in the same amount of time as on LXDE.. and so does every other application I try. Windows don't move faster across the screen on LXDE either and they resize at the same speed on both desktops!

Re:Would have gotten a FP except (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39929847)

People on this website who brag about being Linux "experts" because they got Ubuntu to boot one time should know the difference between the UI presentation layer and the underlying OS services.

Linux doesn't really separate the two very well. You might have noticed that it's an unprofessional and kludged up piece of shit.

Re:Would have gotten a FP except (1)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | more than 2 years ago | (#39930533)

I also use KDE on the desktop and I've used LXDE. Guess what? KDE is faster for my use because of the ability to reconfigure its setup. I don't want or need a taskbar to switch between apps,

Guess what - you don't need a taskbar to either launch or switch between apps in LXDE. It makes me wonder if you even tried it, or are just repeating someone else's BS.

Firefox under KDE starts up in the same amount of time as on LXDE.. and so does every other application I try. Windows don't move faster across the screen on LXDE either and they resize at the same speed on both desktops!

Both the LXDE terminal and LXDE file manager under LXDE open up faster than any program under KDE. It's pretty bad when a file manager under one DE opens up quicker than a minimal shell under another. It also doesn't hurt that, unlike KDe Dolphin, lxde pcmanfm actually works the way people expect, and pretty much all file operations are also quicker. Add the KDE "oops we made our stupid text editor convert every line to an object so don't try to open evan a smallish (say 20mb) SQL dump file with a 50,000 character line length because we haz no brainz and still don't know how to do proper buffer windows or multi-tasking in individual applications". A real "winner." And don't get me started on the latest stupidity with Akonadai.

Re:Would have gotten a FP except (4, Interesting)

Kongming (448396) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929641)

Actually, I am running the Windows 8 Consumer Preview on the same hardware that I was previously running a clean XP installation, and Windows 8 is definitely snappier, plus has better search/launch functionality. I can't say that I am particularly fond of the Metro UI (I mostly use the Explorer-style interface), and I preferred the search UI in Windows 7 to the one in Windows 8. But saying that Windows 8 is a worse OS than such champions as Vista, 98, and ME is quite a stretch.

Re:Would have gotten a FP except (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39930495)

The thing I've found about XP is how much slower it gets as MS updates it. I only fire it up, every few days, for one program, but I diligently apply all the security updates; the boot & response times have become utterly pathetic over the past couple of years. Win7-32 on my netbook (with only a fraction of the compute power) is a world of difference (better).

Re:Would have gotten a FP except (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929757)

Windows 8 isn't just the worst product Microsoft has ever made - it's also bloatware

Funny how less memory, CPU, while booting faster turns into "bloatware". I would love to see your definition for the word.

Re:Would have gotten a FP except (3)

Intropy (2009018) | more than 2 years ago | (#39930117)

Bloatware: software I dislike and wish to deride but for which I am unwilling or unable to give reasons why.

Re:Would have gotten a FP except (-1, Troll)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | more than 2 years ago | (#39930341)

Windows 8 isn't just the worst product Microsoft has ever made - it's also bloatware

Funny how less memory, CPU, while booting faster turns into "bloatware". I would love to see your definition for the word.

Less cpu and memory? Get real. Unlike you, I actually did a fresh install on clean hard drives, first Win8, then XP. Win8 was unusable. XP flew - even faster than LXDE on the same machine.

To give an idea - Win8 by itself takes up more ram than LXDE+eclipse ide + libreoffice + firefox + a couple of terminals + gedit + jedit. Win8 is craptacular, and SLOOOWWWW to the point of unusability on what Microsoft optimistically calls "minimum hardware". This is the whole "Vista false minimum requirements sticker" thing all over again.

Relative speeds (real-world testing):

Fastest : XP
LXDE (close, but not quite)
Gnome 3 (fallback mode - acceptable)
KDE (noticable lag)
Slowest: Win8 (unusable)

And that "unusable" is not just in terms of speed - the UI is also a total failure - worse than I had imagined it could ever be, which is why many people are saying this is Microsofts' worst product ever, not just "worst OS".

Re:Would have gotten a FP except (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39930101)

Another way to reduce power consumption is to turn the computer off.

Re:Would have gotten a FP except (5, Insightful)

eviljolly (411836) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929117)

Luckily we're getting both. I just purchased a video card that's twice as powerful as my current one, and only uses 2/3 the power. I'm upgrading from a CPU using up to 130W to just 77W, but still gaining 20-25% performance.

Those are some good jumps in performance, but great leaps in efficiency. Total power consumption is a big factor moving forward in trying to reduce what we need from the grid.

Re:Would have gotten a FP except (1)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929855)

Upgrading from a P4 machine to a rig equipped with a AMD Socket AM2+ era CPU noticeably dropped the electric bill at the house and the old machine wasn't even a Prescott! Those P4 and Socket A era machines were real power hogs due to Intel and AMD one-upping each other in CPU speed without much regard to power use.

Re:Would have gotten a FP except (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 2 years ago | (#39930223)

Luckily we're getting both. I just purchased a video card that's twice as powerful as my current one, and only uses 2/3 the power. I'm upgrading from a CPU using up to 130W to just 77W, but still gaining 20-25% performance.

Those are some good jumps in performance, but great leaps in efficiency. Total power consumption is a big factor moving forward in trying to reduce what we need from the grid.

7950 and 2500k?

Re:Would have gotten a FP except (5, Insightful)

vyhd (2634635) | more than 2 years ago | (#39928993)

"The most amazing achievement of the computer software industry is its continuing cancellation of the steady and staggering gains made by the computer hardware industry." - Henry Petroski

Re:Would have gotten a FP except (2)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929763)

A fashionable opinion on Slashdot, no doubt, but go back and actually try out an older piece of hardware. I bet it will seem absolutely bog-slow. I remember the days not so long ago when I would shut down everything to fire up a browser (Netscape), and really think hard before opening a new window (no tabs, of course). Now I sit here with two browsers, each with dozens of tabs, mp3s playing in the background, bit-ticket software like Photoshop and Illustrator running, and a disk-scan going, without the slightest hint of a slowdown. Switching between them is mostly instantaneous. My hardware is not new or fancy (2.8Ghz Core 2 Duo, 4gig of RAM), and yet it runs all the latest stuff without a hiccup.

There have been periods in the past where software required too much of many people's hardware setup (I experienced it with Adobe CS stuff towards the end of the PPC era), but I don't think this is nearly as much of an issue as the Sluddites would have you believe. Software is much more capable now, and we use a lot more of it, much more casually than we used to.

Re:Would have gotten a FP except (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929933)

A fashionable opinion on Slashdot, no doubt, but go back and actually try out an older piece of hardware. I bet it will seem absolutely bog-slow. I remember the days not so long ago when I would shut down everything to fire up a browser (Netscape), and really think hard before opening a new window (no tabs, of course).

I remember those days. It was 1996, when I had 4MB of RAM on my laptop and had to run both Apache and Netscape for web development. I was really glad when I managed to get another 4MB and eliminated the perpetual swapping.

Otherwise, unless you had an insanely low amount of RAM or were running Vista, I can't see why you'd have had that problem 'not so long ago'.

Re:Would have gotten a FP except (1)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 2 years ago | (#39930275)

What's a long time ago to you? I'm talking 2001ish I guess. I had a G3 250mhz PowerBook with 64mb of RAM. Classic Mac OS sucked at swapping--that's my whole point: software improved along with hardware.

Re:Would have gotten a FP except (2)

alices ice (699932) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929979)

i used to bitch about windows,and to a lesser extent os x, but my introduction to ssd's caused me a major revaluation as to where the real anchor on my time was

Re:Would have gotten a FP except (1)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 2 years ago | (#39930329)

Me too, my 2008 machine has a relatively cheap SSD in it, and I'm not going to need to upgrade until it breaks (despite doing computationally expensive stuff like motion graphics).

Re:Would have gotten a FP except (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 2 years ago | (#39930107)

This. While software vendors certainly deserve some part of the blame for eating more cycles, much of that is not bloat, and any realistic analysis of the problem must also take into account usage patterns. Does Photoshop use more cycles and more RAM than it used to? Yes, for certain. It's also able to do many more things than it used to, and is regularly run on huge images by relative standards. I also think nothing of having a browser with 20-30 tabs open, while listening to MP3s, editing a photo, and say ripping a CD all at the same time.

Hell, right now at this moment I'm running a browser with around 12 tabs, listening to music and working on a Word document... No big deal you say? Well while I'm doing that I have an entire virtual machine running a whole separate OS instance so I can use Windows software while I'm simultaneously working in the native OS. This whole separate OS ALSO has a browser running (with a corporate training app that only works in IE chugging along), plus my Outlook e-mail, a few communications apps, and an Excel spreadsheet. My computer isn't even trying hard, and it's a year old low end Macbook model.

Compared to the days when I used to have to shut everything down before burning CDs (buffering errors), or ripping MP3s (way to slow otherwise, and sometimes you'd get encoding errors if the CPU was working too hard).

Re:Would have gotten a FP except (1)

eggstasy (458692) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929887)

My primary computer is a 7 year old laptop with 512M of RAM and it works great.
After you turn off all the crap, XP takes up like 50M of RAM plus 100M of "System Cache", whatever that is.I haven't fully tweaked it out of sheer laziness: some guy built a "Micro XP" distro that can get it to run in 64M.
Thing is, any stupid browser takes up more memory than the entire operating system, and leaks *heavily* due to the insanity that is JavaScript. The browser alone will easily eat all the RAM available. Don't get me started on the crashy Flash plugin.
The Remote Desktop that comes with Windows is awesome, though. If I ever need to do something heavier than browsing the web, I can launch it on the other computer.

Re:Would have gotten a FP except (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39930479)

I just made the switch from DDR2 to DDR3 in March and only did it because it's cheaper and easier to get a DDR3 motherboard and 16GB DDR3. Current mobo supports up to 32GB RAM, so I'll probably be good until DDR5 comes out. I still have a number of PCs and Servers on DDR and DDR2 and foresee it staying that way for a while.

Great (4, Funny)

demonbug (309515) | more than 2 years ago | (#39928935)

I predict a 33% performance increase going from DDR3 to DDR4 based on my own super-secret analysis of the press release.

DDR11 (-1, Redundant)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#39928939)

This one goes up to eleven

Re:DDR11 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39929893)

Another unfunny cunt using a catchphrase as a substitute for something witty. You're not funny. Stop trying to get a first post.

DrrDrrArr (2)

Artea (2527062) | more than 2 years ago | (#39928943)

I'll be impressed when they finally get around to changing DDR to TDR or QDR.

Re:DrrDrrArr (4, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929349)

I'll be impressed when they finally get around to changing DDR to TDR or QDR.

QDR's already around. In fact, a popular console already uses it. It's still heavily patented though, so it's not very appealing.

The Playstation 3 has 256MB of XDR-DRAM by RAMBUS (yes, that RAMBUS). It does QDR - two bits on falling edge, two bits on rising edge (using multi-level signalling).

It's tricky for memory because the bus speed is high, signalling ovltages low, and motherboard traces bad enough that the eye window is very small, so a lot of (patented) tricks are needed to "open up" the eye and recover the bits from it. Impedance mismatches are a killer (and they happen at connectors especially).

Re:DrrDrrArr (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929563)

Do you know if XDR(aside from having...historically unfortunate... friends) is considered theoretically viable for general-purpose use?

I know that the PS3's RAM is soldered directly onto the mainboard; but that is normal for consoles. Does RAMBUS' secret sauce allow them to handle less controlled environments(in servers, say, if you can't do at least 8 DIMMs per socket you might as well go home) or are there technical reasons, as well as legal togetherness issues, that drove them to pursue specialty embedded applications?

Re:DrrDrrArr (4, Informative)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929579)

DDR2 effectively *is* QDR –it transfers 4 words per clock cycle... It just doesn't do it in quite the same way that true QDR RAM would. DDR3 effectively is ODR (octa-data-rate) RAM. DDR4 will effectively be HDDR (hexa-deca-data-rate) RAM.

Latency? (4, Interesting)

ruiner13 (527499) | more than 2 years ago | (#39928973)

What is the expected latency of this new RAM? I've noticed that as the RAM technology has progressed, it has favored pure throughput to latency, but this is not always ideal. Is DDR4 going to help with this, or is this yet another advance that comes at the expense of added lag? Just curious on this. I didn't think RAM bandwidth was a problem, but latency could starve these current ultra-fast processors.

Re:Latency? (4, Informative)

demonbug (309515) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929097)

13 clock cycles according to the all-knowing Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] , so similar to the latency increas going from DDR2->DDR3; theoretically it will be made up for by increasing clock frequency, I guess, with DDR4 starting at 2133 MT/s (unfortunately I'm not clear on how transfers/s translates to MHz for DDR4 - is it the same two transfers per quad-pumped cycle?).

Re:Latency? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39929147)

4 trillion access cycles a second, but it costs 1 trillion access cycles to figure out where to start.
Yes, that's an exaggeration, I know many DDR3 chips are in the form of 1.6 billion accesses per second and 11 accesses wasted per distinct transaction.

Re:Latency? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39929173)

With automatic prefetching, large caches, and hyperthreading, it's pretty rare to be significantly limited by latency.

With 4-thread CPUs being the norm and 8- and 16-thread CPUs becoming more and more popular, we're finding throughput more and more limiting. I think this will be much like the moves from DDR to DDR2 to DDR3 – a marginal increase in latency worried a lot of people but turned out to be no big deal in the end.

Re:Latency? (4, Informative)

rgbrenner (317308) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929241)

Latency has significantly decreased, thanks to higher clock frequencies. See the chart on this page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAS_latency [wikipedia.org]

But RAM will always be slower than L1 and L2, simply because of the size of the memory.

Re:Latency? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39929387)

CAS on most DDR3 parts is ~14ns, while latency for the cpu to DRAM is roughly 60-100ns.

The latency is primarily about getting from the load/store unit of the cpu, through each level of the cache hierarchy, across the floorplan of the chip, through an out of order scheduler, through a phy that converts to electricals that can go externally off the chip, across the motherboard, and then all the way back again.

Re:Latency? (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929711)

Incorrect, CAS on DDR3 1333 parts is ~7 transfers. Meaning about 4.5-5ns.

Re:Latency? (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929695)

"But RAM will always be slower than L1 and L2, simply because of the size of the memory"

Actually, it is the proximity to the CPU core that is the primary mitigating factor here. A 512MB on die Cache will be faster than one off chip (assuming competent designers) because you can clock the RAM much faster when the CLK (clock) signal has to travel microns rather than inches.

Re:Latency? (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929903)

I am not sure why we can not see a very large die size with 4 gigs of L1 and another 8 gigs of L2?
The large die size is more expensive, but you can kill the bridge to external memory and the larger die size will give you a larger contact point for a heatsink.
This gives you much better cooling.
I am not a chip designer though so ...

Not so much size (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929955)

But type and location. DRAM has worse access times than SRAM for various reasons. Also there is simply the distance from the processor. When you start wanting super low access time, distance matters. That's why L2 and L3 are on CPU dies these days. For L1, even that isn't enough, it has to be near the core to get the kid of speeds you want there.

The good news is with judicious use of caching, you can have your cake and eat it too for the most part. You can use cheap DRAM for most of your memory, but get overall performance in the 95% range of the SRAM you use for cache.

Re:Latency? (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929367)

has favored pure throughput to latency

Hey, sounds [apcmag.com] like [skytopia.com] the Linux OS.

Sadly, I think you believe it ... (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929895)

It is a well known fact that Con Kolivas has inhaled too much anesthetic. The second link is to some page by a clueless guy who wouldn't know how to handle a benchmark if it involved a park bench and some paint.

My Linux box turns on in under 10 seconds (from sleep mode - didn't have that in the IBM PC/XT days) and I get right to work. All of my apps are already open and ready to go, and Internet Connectivity is up and running (You remember the Internet and WiFi from the 80's right?). Try booting an IBM PC/XT with DOS and opening a Spreadsheet someday, then get back to me.

Re:Sadly, I think you believe it ... (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 2 years ago | (#39930205)

In the second link, they already said the measurements were rough. Even if they're only approximately right, it shows an indication of how horribly laggy the GUI in Linux is (or at least was). And sure they're not rigorous, but that's obvious anyway, as it's an experiment to show what a new typical user in the real world might experience, not to get numbers down to the last microsecond as what some fake benchmark might produce. Also remember the latest Ubuntu may have improved since then.

If you try say, Haiku yourself, the difference is like night and day. 10 seconds is terrible by the way.

Re:Sadly, I think you believe it ... (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 2 years ago | (#39930441)

Do you have any reliable or semi-reliable sources which discredit what Con Kolivas has said, particularly in the 3rd page of the article I gave?

Re:Latency? (4, Interesting)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929659)

Actually, RAM latencies have slightly improved over time, it's just not as fast as transfer rate, so the units (number of missed transfers) make it look like it's getting a lot worse. The main reason that RAM latencies haven't improved much is because they're not that important in the grand scheme of things.

In reality, it takes around 200 transfers to get from the CPU asking for something to getting it, of that, only about 7-9 are the RAM. An improvement of one transfer, makes that 199 transfers, instead of 200 – yay, we gained 0.5%. Except that in reality, the gain is not 0.5%, because in reality, most of the CPU's requests are in level 1 cache... Make that 0.005%. Except that in reality, the gain is not 0.005%, because in reality, most of the CPU's requests that are not in level 1 cache are in level 2 cache... Make that 0.00005%... You get the idea.

The real way to sort out the latency issue is via tighter integration of things onto the CPU (hence why we've seen memory controllers move on board, and more levels of faster cache), not in skimming one or two cycles off how quickly the RAM responds.

Re:Latency? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929857)

From the benchmarks I've seen on DDR3, the increased clock speed does seem to increase performance up to around 1.6GHz. What I haven't seen is a comparison between max clock speed on DDR2 and DDR3.

Re:Latency? (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#39930269)

It's not that absolute latency has gone up between ram tech, it's the relative latency has gone up. CAS 3 latency on DDR1 is the same as CAS 6 latency on DDR2 because DDR2 twice as high external lock, but the same internal clock.

There have been a few reviews involving modern DDR3 1066-1600, and the difference between 7-7-7(CAS-CasToRas-RAS) and 11-11-11 is less than 1% performance across nearly every benchmark. Multiple cores coupled with huge amounts of cache with advanced pre-fetch units has all but nullified latency.

Tell me again how this improves my life... (2)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 2 years ago | (#39928991)

Slightly lower power consumption. Slightly faster memory. Sorry, but it's looking to me like just another way of obsoleting my portable faster, without significant performance improvement.

Re:Tell me again how this improves my life... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39929143)

How exactly doesreleasing DDR4 obsolete your portable?

Re:Tell me again how this improves my life... (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929335)

Like the car industry of the 1950s, the computer industry has now reached the point of incremental tiny improvements rather than revolutionary improvements (like jumping from 8 bit to 32 bit in one decade). I've had the same PC for 10 years and it still runs everything just fine (except the latest flash update). It would have been impossible to run a 1985 PC with Windows95 and the latest software.

Re:Tell me again how this improves my life... (2)

Pi Is A Rational (1106177) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929447)

This is exactly how I've felt about computers for the past decade. Unless you play a lot of games or do some heavy editing work to upgrade your Video Card, etc there's no /true/ incentive to upgrade.

Re:Tell me again how this improves my life... (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929725)

No, you just can't figure out your numbers... Remember, the jump from 32 bit to 33 bit is as big as the jump from 0 bit to 32 bit ;).

Re:Tell me again how this improves my life... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39930059)

When did the *computer* industry jump from 8 to 32? There were already 64 bit computers in the 1960s. Did you mean the *home* computers?

Re:Tell me again how this improves my life... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39930239)

It would have been impossible to run a 1985 PC with Windows95 and the latest software.

It's also impossible to run XP on a PC from 1991, so I fail to see the difference.

Re:Tell me again how this improves my life... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929623)

I was at the store the other day and they still had DDR, DDR2, and DDR3 on the shelf, DIMM and SODIMM sizes, in a variety of capacities...

The price/GB sweet spot does seem to migrate to the 'current' flavor, after a period of new-hotness pricing; but the RAM industry doesn't seem to be pursuing its sinister forced upgrade strategy very aggressively...

Re:Tell me again how this improves my life... (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929913)

"Sorry, but it's looking to me like just another way of obsoleting my portable faster, ..."

Too late.

Re:Tell me again how this improves my life... (4, Informative)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929975)

The initial DDR4 models will be only marginal increases over DDR3, true. But remember how the original DDR3 models were only marginally better than DDR2, or even how some initial DDR2 modules were *worse* than DDR?

DDR3 is hitting a wall, where increasing the frequency any further is causing exponentially higher power usage and heat. I can't find any air-cooled DDR3-1866 or DDR3-2133 - every module I can find is water-cooled, because that's the only way to dissipate the heat. DDR4 begins at DDR4-2133, apparently without even needing a heat sink. And it's expected to scale to double those speeds, over time. And *those* you *can* upgrade - if you buy a DDR4-2133 device now, you can upgrade to DDR4-3200 or DDR4-4266 whenever you wish, if your memory controller supports it.

DDR4 is also making a rather significant shift in architecture, going from a dual/triple/quad-channel-memory paradigm to a point-to-point system. So better scalability with multiple modules.

Oh, and one quote cited a 40% decrease in power usage compared to an equivalent DDR3 module. That's hardly "slightly" lower.

Re:Tell me again how this improves my life... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39930145)

Perhaps you aren't looking in the right places... I don't know how you can't find any air cooled DDR3-1866 or 2133... I'm running a set of 2x 8GB DDR3 2400 sticks from G.SKILL, no specialized cooling, just a small removable heatspreader on the RAM.

THANK YOU. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39930237)

Exactly what I was thinking! MOD THIS GUY UP!

Isn't it time to drop the "D"? (0, Troll)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929023)

Isn't it time to drop the "D" in DDR? Double what? Double of DDR3?

It's actually double 1990's technology, as DDR 1.0 was specified in 2000! Good thing this isn't a mass consumer product, because the FTC might go after a company claiming "double" in comparison to product that was produced potentially prior to the birth of the purchaser.

It reminds me of the mistake computer and software companies would make in the 80's of calling the second version of a product the "plus" version, and then the subsequent versions would be "plus 2.0", "plus 3.0" etc.

Re:Isn't it time to drop the "D"? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39929075)

The "double" indicates that it transfers data twice during one clock cycle, not that it is double the previous generation's speed.

Re:Isn't it time to drop the "D"? (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929741)

Right, and DDR2 transferred 4 times per cycle, and DDR3 8 times per cycle. Neither sounds very "double" data rate to me, except when referring to the previous generation ;D.

Re:Isn't it time to drop the "D"? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39929081)

It's called "Double Data Rate" because data is transferred on both the rising and falling edges of the clock signal.

they're all educated stupid! (0)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929229)

They should license timecube technology from Gene Ray.
Then they could simultaneously transfer four datas at the same time.

Re:they're all educated stupid! (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929649)

If your CPU hadn't been educated stupid, it would already have the data it needs at any given time, rendering RAM unnecessary...

Re:Isn't it time to drop the "D"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39929085)

Actually the double refers to there being two bits per clock transmitted along each copper trail as opposed to one. That is as the clock raises in voltage there is one bit, and as as clock lowers in voltage there is another, so the double is valid and you are an idiot.

Re:Isn't it time to drop the "D"? (3, Informative)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929091)

Double the memory bus clock frequency. DDR runs two transfers per clock cycle.

Re:Isn't it time to drop the "D"? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39929093)

Isn't it time to drop the "D" in DDR?

Yes, the wall fell in 1989. It's time.

Re:Isn't it time to drop the "D"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39929153)

DDR is "Double Data Rate". Basically, instead of changing the data channel on once per clock cycle, it's done twice. This is where the double comes in, not in the actual throughput.

Re:Isn't it time to drop the "D"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39929159)

The 'double' in 'double data rate' means that data is transferred at both the rising and falling edge of the clock signal.

Re:Isn't it time to drop the "D"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39929215)

Isn't it time to drop the "D" in DDR? Double what? Double of DDR3?

Double Data Rate perhaps?
The interesting thing with DDR memory is that it transfers data on both edges of the clock. Traditional memory access only changes the data on one edge of the clock, this leads to a situation where the data signals only has half the frequency of the clock.
With the DDR method one can send twice as much data without increasing the highest used frequency on the board. (The data signals will still not have a higher frequency than the clock.)

Re:Isn't it time to drop the "D"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39929243)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_data_rate, it has to do with clock cycles.

You can all thank me for this (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929141)

I just bought a new computer with DDR3 in it yesterday.

Re:You can all thank me for this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39929417)

I'm sorry, you're going to have to return it yesterday as well.
Luckily, with DDR4, time machines are just over the horizon! ;-)

- Tim

There's a Dance Dance Revolution game with sheep? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39929183)

Where can I get it?

lazy article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39929285)

Just saying DDR4 is better is just lazy. How about some specs, aka details. We don't need slashdot to tell us that 4 is better than 2 and 3.

Market forces (0, Redundant)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929287)

Ha, if the gov't decided it was going to be in business distributing computers 'fairly' and whatnot, you'd never see this sort of innovation. Where would we be? Still using Altairs, running MS basic on them? Nobody would have iPhones and iPads an laptops and normal desktops, the computers would still be size of a large box, with little improvement. They'd be subsidised, so the costs would be going up every year, nobody would be able actually to afford them except the very rich. Just like AT&T beige phones were rented and not sold, these computers also wouldn't be your property, they'd be property of the State or whatever monopoly that'd have the license.

Your taxes would go up year to year, just to ensure that every new kid gets this machine, the prices would always go up, of-course, not even in tune with normal gov't inflation, but instead the way prices go up where there is inflation and direct subsidy - there would be more and more laws created directing the use of computers and so more and more departments would have been added.

Obviously the work-force would have been completely unionised, so the cost cutting in work force wouldn't have been possible. Full pensions would be mandated, whatever else the gov't backed unions provide, excellent stuff. Too bad you'r hand held device would look like 3 large suitcases - 1 with the super-fast 2MHz computer, complete with a 80x12 ASCII screen and the other 2 suitcases would be filled with batteries.

We should all be thanking the lucky stars that the gov't didn't try to make computers 'affordable'. The bubble in computers would have been pretty big, maybe not as big as in housing though, but who knows.

Re:Market forces (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39929321)

Personal computer sales wouldn't be a tenth of what they are today if ARPANET never happened.

Re:Market forces (1, Offtopic)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929395)

ARPANET - one project out of millions that produced anything even remotely useful. TCP/IP? Big deal. Networking does not rely on just the protocol and there were plenty of protocols already and more would have been created, it's not like the gov't was needed to push phones or radio usage and development.

Re:Market forces (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929551)

Sure! if you ignore the fact that it was government money that helped to pay to lay telephone lines across the country in the first place.

Re:Market forces (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39930253)

roman_mir is a howling lunatic. He'd be the first to complain if all the government services he takes for granted would disappear.

Re:Market forces (1)

Internal Modem (1281796) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929461)

"Just like AT&T beige phones were rented and not sold, these computers also wouldn't be your property,"

It is precisely the US gov't that you should thank for rectifying that situation. The rest of your post is equally baseless and ill informed.

Re:Market forces (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929467)

Are we ignoring the fact that the major players in this very industry were at one time colluding to keep prices artificially high [arstechnica.com] until the DoJ stepped in?

No pricing (1)

Anomalyst (742352) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929527)

What a surprise they neglect to inform us of the cost to the average geek of these Thuper-Duper improvements. Whats so hard about saying the MSRP is projected to be $$$/GB. I can do the street price discount on my own.

When they say 'computers' they mean servers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39929629)

http://www.techspot.com/news/48066-intel-to-introduce-ddr4-with-high-end-server-cpus-in-early-2014.html

Intel isn't even going to begin supporting ddr4 till 2014.

Screw It. I'm going straight to DDR5. (1)

DieByWire (744043) | more than 2 years ago | (#39929917)

Obligatory Onion [theonion.com] .

Here's hoping... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39930037)

...that the difference between DDR3 and DDR4 isn't as disappointing as the difference between USB2 and USB3

Great... (1)

JasoninKS (1783390) | more than 2 years ago | (#39930323)

Great, now can you get my hard drive to keep up?

I DON'T USE AVAILABLE RAM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39930499)

I don't use RAM available to me, because assuring that I'm not using as much as possible at any given time is a good use of my RAM.

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