I’m nearly finished with my CES coverage (thanks to a relapse as well as a household of sick family members), with just a few final visits to discuss. My meeting with Crucial/Micron/Lexar had a couple interesting tidbits, perhaps the most noteworthy being their apparently production ready DDR4 modules for both desktops and laptops. It’s pretty clear now that the transition to DDR4 is going to happen with one of Intel’s upcoming CPU/platform launches, though the exact details of the rollout of DDR4 RAM are still a bit hazy – will we see it first on servers, then desktops, then laptops, or maybe desktops first, or given the potential for power savings, why not laptops first? You can also see the slightly curved insertion edge of the DDR4 desktop DIMMs that’s designed to aid in installation.

The other cool thing Crucial had to show is their half-height Ballistix Sport VLP DIMM. These have been available for a little while, but they have several features that make them attractive. For one, instead of the usual gigantic heat spreaders – which can sometimes interfere with the installation of CPU coolers or other items – the Sport VLP has a very low profile (that’s the VLP part of the name) and ends up being about half the height of a standard DIMM. They’re also 1.35V DDR3-1600 modules, so they use less power and generate less heat – never a bad thing in my book. These are literally the polar opposite of some of Crucial’s other Ballistix products, with capacities up to 8GB per DIMM and pricing that’s somewhat higher than standard DDR3 DIMMs. Note that you may need to spend some time in the motherboard BIOS in order to get these DIMMs to work, and raw performance isn’t likely to be as high as some other DDR3 DIMMs, but for mini-ITX builds I could see these being very handy alternatives to regular size DIMMs.

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  • R3MF - Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - link

    does this make it more likely that we'll see more memory channels in future AMD APU's (see my question to Jarred above)?
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - link

    More than anything, I think this suggests DDR4 will start on servers and high-end enthusiast platforms where they can either go quad-channel, or use registered DIMMs to handle more than one DDR4 DIMM per channel.
  • davidthemaster30 - Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - link

    I wonder if the Baliistix VLP will overclock as well a the Samsung Green RAM (MV-3V4G3D)?
  • MrSpadge - Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - link

    Hurray for low voltage DDR3-1600 with heat spreaders. Sure it's nice they're low profile, but they're absolutely not needed at all.
  • Kakti - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    Does anyone know the CAS timings we can expect from DDR4? Can we expect 9-9-9 for the 2400mhz ones, or are they expected to go up or down generally speaking?
  • DanNeely - Friday, January 24, 2014 - link

    You can expect all the timings to continue to be the same or go up significantly. Broadly speaking the difference between SDR, DDR1, DDR2, and DDR3 has been in a faster data bus and more ram chip multiplexing on the dimm not in faster dram chips clock speeds. Since the clock speed of the dram chips is about the same as before but the data bus is running twice as fast it will take about twice as many clock cycles on the data bus (what the CL and other numbers in timing are) to cover the same amount of time on the ram chips.

    This article from when DDR3 launched can help add more detail if you're interested (the same logic applies as did with the DDR2-3 transition):
  • just4U - Monday, February 3, 2014 - link

    So I guess my dream of getting some cas 1.5 memory someday, is out of the question? I can't remember if it was some Sdram modules or original DDR .. but I had some cas 2/2/2 stuff and I had always hoped I could get that down even lower for some 3dmark runs.
  • eeshgarg - Tuesday, February 4, 2014 - link

    Why does the DDR3 not work properly when we reduce or increase the CAS Latency ?
  • marcgr - Thursday, March 20, 2014 - link

    Those Crucial DDR4 modules are available for purchase on their website now. There's just one or two things that you have to watch out for... Read more: http://blogs.synopsys.com/committedtomemory/2014/0...

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