Intel-Logo
Hardware

Just yesterday we released a hint found in IDF14 slides that Skylake will feature Dual-IMC tech and while that is unconfirmed, it seems that Intel is pursuing a ‘Universal DIMM’ slot design for notebooks that will be able to accommodate both DDR3 and DDR4 Memory. Universal compatibility like this is always an appreciable gesture and helps the Industry grow at its own pace, rather than forcing it to jump.Intel Skylake Microarchitecture 2H 2015

Intel’s Universal DIMM Initiative in Notebooks Will Make DDR3 and DDR4 Compatible in the Same Slot

So far DDR4 support exists only within the Haswell-E, HEDT platform. However, with this new UniDIMM memory standard, users of the mobile platform will be able to enjoy both DDR3 and DDR4 Memory on the same slot. Prominent AIBs such as Kingston, Micron and many more are fully supporting this initiative. The specs of the standard are as follows:

  • 160 Pin SO-DIMM Memory Interface
  • 69.6 x 30mm AND 69.6 x 20mm

This upgrade to the current SO-DIMM standard will make the notebook market more user friendly and also help drive the sector that most Investor’s care about. Interestingly we have seen motherboards in the past which supported both DDR2 and DDR3 but that was by utilizing multiple RAM slots. The UniDIMM standard will only have one slot for both generations. Currently DDR4 is very expensive but as time passes it will grow cheaper, infact there will come a time when DDR4 is actually cheaper than DDR3!

Intel Logo
Hardware

[Not Confirmed] An interesting point raised by the Italian publication Bitsandchips.it, stated that Intel has tucked away a very big hint pertaining to memory support in its IDF14 slide deck. Upon closer inspection the hint is about DDR3 and DDR4 support at the same time probably utilizing a Dual-IMC design . The market is now moving toward DDR4 but its prices remain quite high, so it might be possible that Intel will introduce the above-mentioned tech to hasten the transition. Intel Broadwell and Skylake Platform

Dual-IMC with DDR3 and DDR4 Support Could Grace Skylake Processors – Hints IDF14 Slides

As we told you a long time ago and as Intel later confirmed in IDF14, Skylake-S is coming in 2H 2015, most probably July. These will be quad cores and will come in i5 and i7 variants with 4 and 8 threads respectively. Skylake will of course also arrive on mobile platforms and 2-in 1 devices before the desktop release. If you notice the slide deck below, specifically the one on the right, you will notice that Intel mentions “DDR3 and DDR4″ in the “future” section of the Mainstream segment. Now Intel has noted down Haswell Micro-architecture, so its near future is Broadwell and Skylake-S.

AMD FX Logo
Hardware

Last Thursday Roy Taylor AMD’s VP of Global Channel Sales made an appearance in MaximumPC’s no BS podcast primarily to sit down with Origin PC’s CEO Kevin Wasielewski & discuss the situation that had occurred back in October of last year which revolved around Origin PC ceasing to offer AMD GPUs to customers.

Both parties cleared the air and made amends. But a LOT of very exciting information was revealed in the process. So without any further delay lets get into the juicy bits !

AMD Dragon

Next Gen HEDT FX CPUs & 20nm GPUs in the Works

So lets get the relatively less exciting stuff out of the way first. Roy Taylor AMD’s VP of Global Channel sales discussed AMD’s R9 285 graphics card coming in September 2nd powered by the all new Tonga GPU which promises incredible performance at significantly higher power efficiency compared to AMD’s current R9 280 graphics card. We covered this already in great detail here.

Intel Core i7-5930K
Hardware

Today, Intel finally launches their HEDT (High-End Desktop) platform codenamed Haswell-E for PC enthusiasts. The Haswell-E platform marks the start of a new generation of the PC platform loaded with the latest X99 chip set based motherboards and the new DDR4 memory which will be the future standard for the upcoming CPU platforms. Included in the Haswell-E CPU family is the Core i7-5960X Extreme Edition processor which is Intel’s first 8 Core processor built for the consumer market.Intel Haswell-E Core i7

Intel Haswell-E Including Flagship Core i7-5960X Extreme Edition Processor Officially Launches

The Haswell-E platform is going to be the great platform for users who are gearing up for the next generation graphics cards and performance upgrades such as the NVIDIA Maxwell “GeForce 900 Series” and AMD’s GCN based Volcanic Islands family. The Haswell-E family includes three processors; the Core i7-5960X EE, Core i7-5930K and the Core i7-5820K. Before we get into the specifications regarding the X99 chipset and new DDR4 memory, let’s take a quick look at the specifications of Intel’s Haswell-E processors.

Intel Core i7-5960X Extreme Edition Processor

The Intel Core i7-5960X Extreme Edition processor is without a doubt the most impressive consumer CPU that Intel has released yet. This is also the first native 8-Core processor from Intel which features a total of 8 Cores and 16 threads. The processor is clocked at 3.0 GHz stock and 3.5 GHz boost. The Core i7-5960X features a total of 20 MB L3 cache, 40 PCI-Express lanes, Quad Channel DDR4-2133 MHz memory support, a 140W TDP, LGA 2011-v3 socket compatibility and a price of $999 US.

G.Skill Ripjaws IV DDR4 Memory Black
Hardware

G.Skill is ready for the launch of Intel’s next generation high-end desktop platform codenamed Haswell-E with their latest Ripjaws IV DDR4 memory kits which will be available in 16 GB and 32 GB variants. G.Skill’s Ripjaws DDR4 memory kits are now unveiled and readily available for pre-order at Overclockers.Co.Uk who have listed nine models of the Ripjaws IV memory kits in different color flavors of red, black and blue.G.Skill-Ripjaws-IV-DDR4-Memory-Black

G.Skill Ripjaws IV DDR4 Memory Kits Unveiled and Available For Pre-Order

While the Intel X99 chipset motherboards and Haswell-E processors are expected to launch on 29th August, the memory kits will be available in retail on 25th so system builders can gear up their PCs. You can still pre-order the various memory kits from online retailers including OCUK who have listed down a large variety of DDR4 memory kits from G.Skill, Corsair, ADATA, Crucial and Avexir. Kingston so far hasn’t been listed but we will be looking at their HyperX series DDR4 memory in a few days.

One of the most interesting features regarding the upcoming Haswell-E HEDT platform is the fact that it will be the first consumer platform to support DDR4 memory (optimized for quad channel operation). Being Intel’s high-end platform, it will also include the first 8 core processor from Intel codenamed Core i7-5960X based on Intel’s Haswell microarchitecture. While we still have to see real-time performance benefits of DDR4 memory in action, we know now what kind of prices to expect from the upcoming memory kits for future generation platforms.

Crucial Value Series DDR4 Memory
Hardware

Random Access Memory is a pretty amazing thing. It is insanely fast and, with current technological advances, comes in pretty huge sizes too. However, there is just one problem. RAM is sadly volatile. Which means that as soon as electricity is cut to the RAM, the data on the ram goes into a black hole. However, AgigA has just introduced what is probably the world’s first Non-Volatile DDR4 Memory Module. A technology that could show the door to conventional HDDs and even SSDs in the future.AgigA_DDR4_Non_Volatile_NVDIMM_01

‘Non Volatile’ DDR4 Memory Module Developed by AgigA – Very Interesting Applications

Now this is pretty exciting stuff, but there is a very slight catch to the entire affair. Thing is, AgigA’s Non-Volatile memory modules don’t actually consist of non-volatile RAM, the consist of the plain ol’ Ram found in nearly every other PC ( if you ignore the fact that its DDR4). However, it contains something that is not found in every other ram, and it is this something that allows AgigA to market the RAM as non-volatile without incurring the wrath of consumers. Basically there is a dedicated IC and some ‘super capacitors’ that have been put to very good use. When electricity is cut to the ram, the super capacitors kick in and current is maintained just long enough for the Ram to dump its entire data onto a specially designed flash memory. That way, when the power comes back on, the data is copied back onto the ram in a matter of seconds and you technically have a ‘non-volatile ram’.

Xbox One
Games

There is apparently no wrong in saying that Microsoft’s Xbox One console is fairly getting better and more neat now. The company has taken several meaningful turns in past months such as deciding to announce a Kinect-less Xbox One bundle that allows you to safe $100, and the result is that the console’s sales have seen a considerable boost. Unlike Sony, Microsoft is very frequent with releasing system updates for the Xbox One that add new features to the console, but even while it happens, it appears that Microsoft always forgets to add some fixes and tweaks for the console’s operating system, which is reported by many users to be fairly slow and sluggish.

Xbox One OS

Users Complain About Slow and Sluggish Xbox One Operating System; Demand Software Stability Updates

Both Sony and Microsoft are taking good care of their respective latest PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles by frequently releasing system/firmware updates that keep the consoles in shape. Microsoft’s system updates are considered to be much better because they add new features to the console compared to Sony’s firmware updates that mostly only stabilize the software. However, now it looks like that Microsoft also needs more updates that specifically speed up the software of it latest console and accelerate the operating system, as this is what many users want.

Crucial DDR4 Ballistix Elite Memory
Hardware

This year at Computex 2014, Crucial displayed their latest DDR4 memory kits included their renowned Ballistix brand. While the Haswell-E platform is still a month away from launch, the DDR4 memory kits have begun to appear across several retail outlets such as Overclockers.Co.Uk who have listed Crucial’s entire DDR4 lineup and available for pre-order.
Crucial DDR4 Memory Ballistix Elite

Crucial Ballistix Elite, Ballistix Sport and Value DDR4 Memory Kits Available For Pre-order At OCUK

One of the most interesting features regarding the upcoming Haswell-E HEDT platform is the fact that it will be the first consumer platform to support DDR4 memory (optimized for quad channel operation). Being Intel’s high-end platform, it will also include the first 8 core processor from Intel codenamed Core i7-5960X based on Intel’s Haswell microarchitecture. While we still have to see real-time performance benefits of DDR4 memory in action, we know now what kind of prices to expect from the upcoming memory kits for future generation platforms.

OCUK have listed a total of eight memory kits for pre-order which include four 16 GB DDR4 memory and four 32 GB DDR4 memory kits. Each memory kit belongs to a different brand, the top-tier “Ballistix Elite” brand would be the expensive of the bunch followed by “Ballistix Sport” which features a low-profile heatsink incase you are using high-end coolers which may cause installation issues using memory with bigger heatsinks and the “Value” series which are optimized for stability and feature low cost compared to the Ballistix series memory kits.

AMD Kaveri APU
Hardware

Evidence regarding stacked DRAM on next generation AMD APUs has surfaced once again which gives hints that the upcoming Carrizo APU or its successor will be the first APUs to enable high-bandwidth stacked DRAM design on-chip.AMD APUs Carrizo APU Stacked Memory

Evidence Regarding AMD APUs Featuring High-Bandwidth Stacked Memory Surfaces

It has been known for a while that AMD is sampling their first generation HBM (High Bandwidth Memory) and we can find official specifications in slides dating back to December 2013. While there was no mention of what product or application may make use of HBM back then, the latest slides from AMD’s official Fast Forward presentation talks regarding stacked DRAM specifically on APUs. The Fast Forward project’s objectives are to enhance the high volume APU architecture and investigate in next generation processor and memory tech for exascale and consume scale systems.

Within the presentation, you can find several references of stacked memory and new APU technologies such as HSA+, PIM (Processing In Memory) and Two Level memory. Some of these are already part of the current AMD APU family such as Kaveri which introduced several new features such as HSA on software and steamroller, gcn or hardware side.

G.Skill TridentX logo
Hardware

Introduction

G.SKILL has made memory modules since 1989, and has become a very well-known brand amongst enthusiasts for PC prosumer users who are looking to set world records or even have a computer that more than likely houses some of the best memory inside its chassis. We are looking at the G.SKILL TridentX F3-2400C10Q-32GTX from G.SKILL, a quad channel memory that is aimed for extreme overclocking and using the highest quality memory integrated circuitry available on the market. We cannot wait to get started on testing this Trident DDR3-2400 memory kit and really seeing what it has to offer in terms of some other leading competitors out there.

tridentgskill240032gtx

Crucial DDR4 Ballistix Elite Memory
Hardware

At Computex 2014, memory and flash storage maker Crucial unveiled their latest Crucial DDR4 Ballistix Elite and Server grade memory sticks for dense memory platforms and Intel’s upcoming HEDT Haswell-E platform. Crucial’s DDR4 memory for next generation high-performance gaming, enthusiasts and server platforms is rated at speeds of up to 3000 MHz.Crucial DDR4 Ballistix Elite Memory

Crucial DDR4 Ballistix Elite Memory and Server Memory Unleashed

First up, we have the Crucial DDR4 Ballistix memory which is specifically aimed towards the X99 chipset platform which features Quad Channel memory support with the upcoming Haswell-E processors that include the flagship Core i7-5960X processor boasting 8 Cores and 16 threads. Designed for gamers, enthusiasts and overclockers of the X99 adopters, the Ballistix Elite memory would deliver introductory speeds of 2666 MHz and 3000 MHz and would gradually increase with the passage of time. It should be noted that DDR3 arrived in the market with its initial introductory speeds of just 1066 MHz – 1333 MHz and manufacturer’s now offer DDR3 memory clocked at 3000 MHz out-of-box. The DDR4 introductory speeds are rated at 2133 MHz – 2400 MHz but if memory makers are releasing 3000 MHz at debut of the new memory type, then we can easily see speeds of up to 4266 MHz in few years time.

Corsair Dominator Platinum Logo
Hardware

With Intel’s next generation Haswell-E and Haswell-EP on the verge of launch, several memory makers including Corsair are preparing their latest DDR4 memory modules that would be integrated on both high-end server and enthusiast oriented platforms.

Corsair DDR4 Dominator Platinum Memory

Images are courtesy of TweakTown!

Corsair DDR4 Dominator Platinum and Value Select Memory Sticks Showcased

Corsair being one of the leading memory makers in the industry have showcased their upcoming Corsair DDR4 memory modules over at Computex this year. The modules are available in both Corsair DDR4 Value Select and the Corsair DDR4 Dominator Platinum flavors with the latter aimed towards high-performance and enthusiast minded users who want best performance and overclocking support. It isn’t defined what speeds does the Corsair DDR4 Value Select memory runs at but the Dominator Platinum is rated at 2400 MHz and the model being show-cased is part of the 16 GB (Quad Channel 4 x 4 GB) kit with latency timings of 16-16-16-39 at just 1.2V. The kit is labeled as CMD16GX4M4A2400C16 though its launch and pricing were  not revealed by Corsair.

The Corsair DDR4 Dominator Platinum sticks with the current aluminum heatspreader design which goes well with PC setups while the cheaper and value oriented Value Select DDR4 modules are aimed to please the budget users and new adopters of Intel’s HEDT platform such as the upcoming X99 chipset based LGA2011-3 boards and processors.

Gigabyte GA-Z97X-SOC Force Z97 Motherboards
Hardware

Aside from the G-Power OC module, Gigabyte made two additional announcements over at Computex 2014. The company has unveiled their latest GA-Z97X-SOC Force LN2 motherboard and also set the memory ram frequency world record with the help of renowned overclocker, Hi Cookie.Gigabyte GA-Z97X-SOC Force LN2 Motherboard

Image is courtesy of LAB501.Ro!

Gigabyte Unleashes GA-Z97X-SOC Force LN2 Motherboard

Gigabyte’s GA-Z97X-SOC Force LN2 motherboard is aimed towards overclockers, not enthusiasts, not gamers but true overclockers who only want to achieve the fastest frequency records on their machines. The GA-Z97X-SOC Force LN2 is similar to the GA-Z97X-SOC Force motherboard we reviewed last month but as i mentioned, its not built for the casual audience nor the gaming community. You ask why? The motherboard doesn’t come with any cooler mounting holes which means its only built for the meanest clockers out there who want nothing but LN2 cooling rigged on their PCs 24/7. That’s the kind of product only the extreme PC community would want to have in their hands and I am glad that we are finally looking at some extreme products after such a long time.

ADATA logo
Hardware

ADATA has released some details today regarding its upcoming memory lineup. The modules are a part of a larger display of a variety of the company’s products at this year’s Computex. The Taiwanese manufacturer will be displaying a variety of products including various SSD solutions such as PCIe SSDs in M.2 and 2.5” specifications with transfer speed three times as fast when compared to present SATA 6Gb/s, server grade DDR4 to support Intel Xeon E5-2600, special memory modules for overclockers, namely the DDR4 XPG Z1 and wireless chargers.

123a

Picture Shows Boomerang Shaped ADATA XPG Z1 DDR4 module. With a Frequency of 2133 MHz Module Is Expected To Come In Variety Of Colors.

Two months back, ADATA had officially joined the list of manufacturers to announce their DDR4 products. The memory modules announced were to come in densities of 4, 8 and 16 GB. The operating voltage for the modules is 1.2 V. At the time of the announcement the company had claimed that low power consumption and high frequencies made the memory modules suitable for server, storage and networking applications. The presence of a close partnership with Intel towards development of memory modules supporting the Haswell-EP was also announced. Well, the company has released a picture showing a XPG memory module, and this can be expected to be the DDR4 module announced earlier. The ADATA XPG Z1 DDR4 memory modules will have up to 16 GB of memory. In addition, the power consumption rating for the modules will be 1.2 V, as reported earlier. Furthermore, the frequency is also to be 2133 MHz and the modules are expected to be shipped in various color’s to match user preferences.

Z97 Extreme6(m)
Hardware

With the launch of the Intel Z97 Chipset, a variety of manufacturers have come up with their releases of boards supporting the chipset. One of the primary updates on the Z97, as we explained earlier is the inclusion of M.2 form factor on the board. The M.2 replaces the previously used mSATA SSD. M.2 allows for simultaneous use of both PCIe and SATA on the board in addition to longer modules and double sided components population. The primary feature of M.2 is the use of two of the chipset’s PCIe lanes for storage purposes, allowing for a theoretical transfer speed of 1GB/s. Well ASRock has managed to top this 3 times in the release of its ASRock Z97 Extreme6, which of course is based on the Z97 chipset.

ASRock Z97 Motherboards

The Ultra M.2 Pushes Theoretical Speed To 32GB/s. Utilizes 4 Gen 3 Lanes and Can Handle Speeds Up to 4Gb/s for Four Lane M.2 SSDs

ASRock’s innovation to the M.2 now allows the form factor to achieve 6x the speeds of PCIe M.2 x1 and 3 times the speed of PCIe M.2 x2. The Z97 Extreme6 has two M.2 slots. One has dual PCIe Gen2 lanes from the Z97 chipset. The other is the ‘Ultra M.2′, which is tied to four Gen3 lanes. The layout of the Ultra M.2 is also different from existing M.2 layouts available. According to the regular design blueprints, the signal route starts from the M.2 SSD device, goes through the chipset and reaches the CPU. The Ultra M.2 on the other hand connects the M.2 interface directly to the CPU. This decreases overall latency and thus allows for greater speeds to be achieved. Credit is due to ASRock for pushing the boundaries of a system that already is very efficient. However one drawback that this will face is the lack of existing drives that support the four lane platform. The only four lane SSD listed online is the Samsung XP941. However, manufacturers can be expected to make drives supporting this platform, now that it is already out.



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