Memory Compatibility, DDR4, And Future Technologies
Q. Does G.Skill provide motherboard makers with an extensive selection of ram modules to test and put on their motherboard QVL list. Or are we better of going to G.Skills website and see if the board is on the list for the ram module?
A. We work with various motherboard makers and try to provide them with memory kits to test with when possible. However, they might not have all the latest models, so it's recommended to check both QVLs. As long as it's on either QVL, it's been tested by either us or the motherboard manufacturer. If it's not on either QVL, or if the QVL is very outdated, feel free to contact our tech support to check for compatibility.
Q. When can we expect a DDR4 3200? Also, with DDR4, would consumers require dual or quad channels, or will we be able to get the same bandwidth on a single channel?
A. At Computex 2013, we already have live demo'd DDR3 3200MHz on the current Z87 platform. With that in mind, 3200MHz under DDR4 is inevitable, but due to the fact that DDR4 is still under development, we are unable to provide a specific time frame for a DDR4 3200MHz release at this time. You can expect to begin with quad channels when DDR4 is released. The bandwidth, of course, will be wider than the current DDR3 memory kits. Do keep in mind that you will still need four modules minimum for quad channel operation.
Q. What is the future of memory? Not just with your company, but memory in general? I've seen a lot of possibilities from using so-called memristors to TSVs for stacked memory to combined CPU/GPU memory, each promising bandwidth. But in the real world, what will we see in the next couple of years?
A. Excellent question. In the world of ever-changing technology, it's difficult to say for sure what will happen in the future. Possibilities like memristors and TSV stacked memory are promising technology and methods to create better and faster memory products, but practicality on a large scale has yet to be determined. Implementation is also another challenge, since everyone has to agree to a standard for something to be produced and available to the market worldwide. The best we can hope for is integration of new manufacturing methods to increase bandwidth or density. What's for sure is that the standard is DDR4 in the next few years. Introduction of DDR4 is expected next year, increased use of DDR4 in the PC market in the few years after that, and then development of a standard for future generations of memory is expected when DDR4 has gained maturity. Realistically, only time will tell.
Q. I have a friend who is a programmer and emphasizes system stability. As such, he uses ECC memory. Now, I know that your average user probably won't require it at all, but I was curious as to any insight or opinions you may have about ECC memory, particularly in the sense of the market.My main question: a lot of companies seem to be branching out into other markets, does G.skill have any plans for such ventures?Lastly, and (slightly) connected to my second question, what plans do you have in store for your Solid State Drives?
A. About ECC memory, it’s a whole different segment of the memory market. Since G.SKILL focuses on high performance memory that’s geared towards overclocking and gaming, we direct our attention mainly toward non-ECC memory.
Of course, it’s possible to make overclocking and gaming ECC memory. But do you really want to? Higher cost and the need to use ECC compatible motherboard and CPU isn’t logical for end users, when non-ECC memory has a lower cost and has widespread compatibility on gaming and overclocking systems.
We’ve been exploring several options. At Computex 2013 in June, we previewed two gaming headsets. These headsets are going through revisions and development stages now. You can also expect gaming accessories and peripherals in the future.
Regarding SSD, we’re currently evaluating the market trends right now. It seems like PCIe and mSATA is the way to go, so we will be assessing the viability of expanding our SSD line toward those two interfaces.