RAM Wars: Return of the JEDEC


The year has reflected slow to flat growth in PC sales while memory sales continue to plummet. But, while this disappoints shareholders and other money-chasing folks, 2003 should prove to be one of the most exciting years ever for gamers and other PC enthusiasts. In just a few weeks, we will see the widespread commercial launch of motherboards with 3 GHz plus processors and 800 MHz front-side buses with matching 800 MHz DDR400 memory specs. Already available are Nvidia's GeForceFX and ATI's Radeon 9800, where DDRII used as graphics memory offers a taste of what is yet to come until DDRII becomes available for CPU chipsets.

But this is not a perfect world, to say the least. Now that Rambus is out of the PC picture, what entity will set the standard to beat in the way of memory performance? Even begging the question will rankle many feathers. But then again, maybe relying on the agreed upon JEDEC standards for DDR400 and DDRII will offer more than enough improvements to match chipset advances for years to come. After all, DRAM is only a commodity component.

Further Reading:

DDR400 versus Rambus : Charts and tests of DDR400, DDR333, and DDR266, as well as RDRAM PC800. Also, DDR Performance Analysis gives some interesting memory comparison benchmarks.

Kingston Technology calls this the "Ultimate Memory Guide." Despite the self-serving title, the article offers excellent nuts-and-bolts info. related to buying and implementing memory, as well as a dictionary lest you forget - God, forbid - a RAM acronym or two.

"Computer Organization and Design: The Hardware/ Software Interface" by David A. Patterson and John L. Hennessy.

This book is the Bible for many PC hardware engineers and is also on the required reading list for university computer design and computer science undergraduates. The good writing style makes learning RAM and memory concepts more accessible.