Together with one of the main novelties of the past year – the LGA2011-v3 platform and Haswell-E processors – the new memory, DDR4 SDRAM, also began to come into use. But, unlike fresh processors and motherboards, at the time of its appearance on the market this memory could not hit the public either with sky-high frequencies or low delays – and this in the eyes of many enthusiasts made it one of the most dubious innovations. Often, one could even come across judgments that the introduction of DDR4 SDRAM support is somewhat reminiscent of the 15-year-old history with RDRAM, when Intel tried to push Rambus technology to the market, which it really did not need. But in fact, such parallels are not appropriate, because today’s situation has cardinal differences. The DDR4 standard is not implemented by Intel from the top, it is a collectively developed evolutionary solution, really necessary, since the scalability ceiling of the previous standard has already been reached. Yes, at first the advantages of DDR4 are not so obvious, but this is just an inevitable “growth sickness”, and in a year or a year and a half no one will likely have any questions about the need and prospects of the new standard.
Undoubtedly, the biggest regret among users-retrogrades is the fact that, despite its evolutionary nature, DDR4-memory is not compatible with the old motherboard, calculated for DDR3, and vice versa – in new boards equipped with DDR4 SDRAM slots, it is necessary install only such memory. Modules DDR4 SDRAM, although similar in size to the memory slots of the previous standard, received another knife connector with 288 contacts (DDR3 modules have 240 contacts) and differ in the other arrangement of the slot-key. In addition, in order to facilitate installation and improve electrical contact, the edge of the DDR4 modules placed in the slot has an unusual curved shape. This means that the transition to a DDR4-supporting platform discards the possibility of a gradual upgrade and requires mandatory updating of the memory modules.
Meanwhile, changes visible to the unaided eye that sweep away mechanical compatibility are covered by transformations of internal work algorithms: the basic idea of a fresh standard is to increase parallelism at the level of banks, which opens new horizons for the growth of the memory frequency due to multiplexing of requests to different groups of banks. The speed of DDR4 memory modules starts from 2133 MHz, which is quite achievable for DDR3 SDRAM, but the fastest versions of new memory already today can offer operation in DDR4-3666 mode. And this is far from the limit: the speed of overclocking DDR4 SDRAM modules will increase in the future up to 4266 MHz.
At the same time, high speeds of DDR4 are far from the only argument that can be positively accepted by enthusiasts. So, the changed memory architecture opens up opportunities for using new production technologies, which will easily increase the capacity of chips. As a result, if there are no unbuffered DDR3 SDRAM modules larger than 8 GB in nature, individual DDR4 SDRAM modules can get volumes up to 128 GB. And what’s more, DDR4-memory sets, consisting of 16-GB slats, are available now.
Another important advantage of DDR4 is improved energy efficiency. Switching to a supply voltage of 1.2 V, DDR4 SDRAM modules received about 40 percent lower power consumption than DDR3 with similar characteristics. And if this economy seems not too important for desktop systems, then for mobile computers or servers this is a weighty argument in favor of the speedy introduction of new technology. At the same time, DDR4 is also the most reliable memory to date. The standard provides an advanced algorithm for calculating checksums, checking parity in the transmission of both data and commands, as well as an improved and more noise-resistant signaling protocol.
Although at the moment there is only one desktop platform capable of receiving DDR4 SDRAM modules, the promise of such memory is obvious, and the launch of its widespread penetration into desktop computers is a matter for the near future. So, the next outpost on the way of distribution of DDR4 SDRAM will be the general LGA1151 platform and promising processors of the Skylake family coming out this fall. Therefore it is not surprising that all the leading memory suppliers for enthusiasts did not ignore the new technology, but, on the contrary, undertook to actively develop their line of DDR4-products. Let today the demand for DDR4 is not too great, but in the near future the situation will change to the diametrically opposite, and by this time manufacturers want to have a wide range of different offers.
Nevertheless, until the widespread distribution of DDR4 is still far away, and this negatively affects prices. Modules DDR4 SDRAM today is at least a quarter more expensive than DDR3-memory, and if we are talking about those kits that claim a certain elitism, then the difference in cost can easily exceed one and a half times the size. However, some manufacturers are trying to solve this problem, as a result of which quite recently inexpensive sets of DDR4 SDRAM began to appear on the market. Usually they do not shine with ultra-high frequencies, but they save on assembling a modern system based on Haswell-E. If we consider that the dependence of performance on memory speed is usually not too noticeable, such proposals become quite in demand.
It’s no surprise that relatively inexpensive DDR4 SDRAM first appeared in the assortment of the leading providers of overclocker memory. For example, recently such modules began to supply a company not requiring any representation of Kingston. Observing the appearance of these kits, called HyperX Fury DDR4, on the shelves of stores, we decided to check whether it is appropriate to pay attention to such offers and whether it is possible to save on memory for Haswell-E. Kingston responded to the interest we showed – and a couple of 32-gigabyte four-channel sets of the HyperX Fury DDR4 family entered our lab for detailed research.
⇡ # Kingston HyperX Fury DDR4: detailed dating
Introducing a series of memory modules HyperX Fury DDR4, Kingston did not invent anything new. This line is a logical development of the same-name DDR3-memory series and has a similar exterior and purpose. And this means that the memory of the HyperX Fury DDR4 series is positioned as an inexpensive overclocker offer for users who are not engaged in professional overclocking. Therefore, the nominal frequencies of products in this series are hardly capable of impressing experienced enthusiasts: they are limited to a value of 2666 MHz. Nevertheless, the modules included in the kits that are sold under the HyperX Fury DDR4 trademark have a rather impressive appearance.
But special attention in the memory of this type is given to a very different aspect – the simplicity of configuration. HyperX Fury DDR4 supports the proprietary technology Kingston Plug and Play (PnP), through which the use of memory slots in their passport mode does not require any adjustment of the UEFI parameters: the necessary frequencies and timings should be fully activated automatically.
However, do not think that HyperX Fury DDR4 – this is just an option for unsophisticated users. This memory has all the inherent quality overclocking models of DDR4 SDRAM entourage. It is equipped with radiators, and the heat-sealing plates covering both surfaces of the modules have a non-trivial asymmetric shape, which gives them a slightly aggressive appearance. At the same time, their surface is generously decorated with small protuberances and slits, plus on the front side there is a painted paint called FURY and a convex shiny sweeping HyperX logo. All this in general gives HyperX Fury DDR4 memory the look of a good and expensive product, which is not shameful to install in the system of the upper price range.