This morning, we went along to see Kingston, who is really pushing DDR3 quite hard at the moment.
Just yesterday, the company unveiled its line of desktop DDR3 modules with both 1375MHz HyperX (PC3-11000) and 1066MHz ValueRAM (PC3-8500) in 512MB, 1GB single modules and 1GB (2x512MB) and 2GB (2x1GB) matched pairs.
The new HyperX and ValueRAM DDR3 modules both come with timings of 7-7-7-20 and operate at 1.7V and 1.5V respectively.
Pricing is also pretty good too. At least, as far as DDR3 prices are concerned. You'll be able to pick up 2GB dual channel kits of HyperX PC3-11000 for around £265+VAT, while the ValueRAM's RRP is £226+VAT.
Probably more interesting is a look into the future, as Kingston is very close to having DDR3 SO-DIMMs ready for volume production, despite the fact that there is no sign of any notebook chipsets supporting the new memory standard. In fact, Kingston told us that there are no notebook chipsets that will support DDR3 SO-DIMMs until sometime in the middle of next year.
Currently, only 512MB SO-DIMMs are very close to ready - these operate at 1066MHz CL7 with 1.5V and will fit under Kingston's ValueRAM line. We also managed to see 1GB SO-DIMMs too, but we weren't allowed to take pictures of them because they're still in the very early stages of development.
So, how has Kingston been able to test and validate these modules? We sat down with two of the company's R&D engineers, who told us about the high speed DRAM machines it uses to screen memory chips. These machines, which cost in excess of $20 million USD a pop, are essentially used to burn in the DRAM chips to test for inconsistencies in performance and stability.
While there wasn't one of these machines hanging around
on Kingston's booth, it was interesting to see how memory manufacturers are able push the research and development boat out well before new chipsets are finalised.
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