The Computer Memory Race

We never think that how much fast computer hardware advances everyday. When any single product hits the shelves, it instantly becomes obsolete, because the company is most likely already working on some new ideas to use on brand new products to be sold in a few months. Our scientists and engineers continually strive for newer circuits, energy efficiency, or any other ideas.

The memory industry has been delving in more and more into DDR3 computer memory. DDR3 memory is, well, faster than DDR2 for one. It cost is more than DDR2 cost. So, what did I mean by the “computer memory race”? Well, for me, this is more of a race between companies, where companies are competing for that place on the podium for being the first to sell the fastest RAM at the lowest prices. This race keeps going on and on and on and… I really don’t know when it’ll end. Maybe it’ll never end.

I have been observing memory prices for the last couple months. The main competitors in this race is G.Skill, Patriot, Crucial, Corsair, and last but not least, OCZ. The prices, especially at the DDR3 1333 levels, are getting lower and lower.

If you look at some of the prices and compare them, some of the DDR3 1333 memory costs as much as some DDR2 1066 and DDR2 1200 desktop memory kits. That’s amazing! Just in the time frame of a few months, DDR3 has been working down in prices, and coming up in abundance.

Key Features:

  • The DDR3 components are twice as fast as today’s highest speed DDR2 memory products.
  • The first computer systems equipped with the advanced DDR3 memory technology are expected to arrive in 2007.
  • The main advantages of DDR3 are the higher bandwidth and the increase in performance at low power.
  • The DDR3 SDRAM devices will offer data transfer rates up to 1600 Mbps (megabits per second).
  • The supply voltage for the memory technology is being reduced from 1.8 volts for DDR2 to just 1.5 volts for DDR3 targeting a work day equivalent of battery time. The voltage reduction limits the amount of power that is consumed and heat that is generated in connection with the increase in bandwidths.
  • The power saving factor is, therefore, 16%. This will offset the higher power consumption brought by increasing the operational frequency. At the same time, die shrinking will also help in power reduction to give DDR3 twice the performance per watt of power.

DDR3 is also built-in with power conservation features like partial refresh. Precious system battery power will no longer need to spend on refreshing the portion of the DRAM not in active use. It also included a thermal sensor to allow the system to provide minimum refresh cycles when the system is not in high performance demand thus to achieve further power saving.

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