Posted by Marc Greenberg on September 2, 2014
Since last week’s announcement of Intel CPUs supporting DDR4, the first almost-announcement of a DDR4 machine by a major PC manufacturer that I have found is the Alienware Area-51 (Alienware is a Dell subsidiary). I say almost-announcement because at the time of writing this blog, Alienware’s website didn’t include any details of when it will be available for sale, or how much it would cost, or anything like a press release on it. The machine will be capable of running up to three 4K monitors simultaneously and support up to 32GB of DDR4 memory running DDR4-2133.
One could argue that ASUS is first to market, being a major PC manufacturer, and having announced three motherboards with the Intel X99 Chipset and capable of using DDR4 – in fact, these motherboards are designed to be DDR4-only because of incompatibility between the DDR3 DIMM socket and the DDR4 DIMM socket. However, I don’t see an Asus machine using these motherboards on their website yet, so it appears that the motherboards will be sold to enthusiasts and system integrators until the market builds for a machine capable of using the new Intel CPUs and DDR4.
Of course ASUS aren’t the only game in town… this excellent article over at Tweaktown compares 26 different X99-based motherboards capable of DDR4.
Now that we’ve discussed the first things first, we can discuss what’s the fastest. Remember that Intel presently validates DDR4 devices up to DDR4-2133 data rate (2133MT/s). However, if something is worth doing, it’s worth overdoing, and the folks over at G.SKILL announced they overclocked an Intel CPU on an ASUS motherboard with their new Ripjaws 4 DDR4 DIMMs to achieve a data rate of DDR4-4004 (4004MT/s)… with a little help from some liquid nitrogen to cool it down! I wonder how long it ran for…?
Graham Allan is the Sr. Product Marketing Manager for DDR PHYs at Synopsys. Graham graduated from Carleton University's Electrical Engineering program with a passion for electronics that landed him in the field of DRAM design at Mosaid in Ottawa, Canada. Beginning at the 64Kb capacity, Graham worked on DRAM designs through to the 256Mb generation. Starting in 1992, Graham was a key contributor to the JEDEC standards for SDRAM, DDR SDRAM and DDR3 SDRAM. Graham holds over 20 patents in the field of DRAM and memory design.