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Micron's Upcoming Samurai DDR Chipset - First Looks

Summary

It looks like Micron is heading in the right direction with their upcoming Samurai DDR chipset. The upcoming chipset was able to keep pace with Intel's high-end i840 platform through our suite of tests. Looking at the performance DDR SDRAM has to offer it makes me wonder why Intel decided against it and chose RDRAM. Manufacturing DDR memory isn't much different than that of standard SDRAM versus the entirely new process and equipment required for RDRAM. The die size for DDR is only about 5% larger than that of SDRAM versus RDRAMs 10-15% larger die size. The price of DDR SDRAM should be much more reasonable than the outrageous pricing for RDRAM that is nearly 5 times the price of SDRAM.

Although Intel is going full force pushing the RDRAM effort there has been rumors floating around that they are working quietly on a DDR platform. If this is true RDRAM might end up a thing of the past. DDR memory looks like it has its place in the motherboard arena. Besides VIA and Micron driving this new memory technology the Platform2000 conference will also be discussing DDR technology and standards. If you interested in learning more about DDR memory and other platform strategies you might want to check it out.

As I look at the performance of this upcoming DDR chipset it only confirms my opinion to stick with either a 440BX or VIA based platform for now. Although the i840 chipset shows a reasonable performance advantage over the 440BX, it still can hardly provide enough for the cost of its RDRAM memory.