Basic Features: Kingston DDR2 Memory

The biggest surprise with the new Kingston DDR2 is its introduction as an addition to the Value RAM family.

The shipping DDR2 512MB DIMMs are single-sided 533MHz modules. Kingston has also announced 2GB kits (2 x 1GB) at the same timings as the SS 512MB DIMMs. 512MB kits (2 x 256MB), singles of all 3 densities, have also been announced, and DDR400 speed modules were also announced.

Click to enlarge.

Initially, we will see 1GB (2 x 512MB) DDR2 kits in 533MHz speed. We suspect that market acceptance, pricing, and competition will determine how fast the other densities will appear in the market. The latency and memory timings for the first DDR533 chips is specified as 4-4-4. These look like slow timings for those accustomed to DDR timings, but they are only part of the equation with DDR2. The JEDEC standard for DDR2 is CAS Latencies of 3, 4, and 5. The wider bandwidth and 4-bit prefetch (up from 2-bit in DDR) will improve memory performance. So will the On-Die Termination (ODT) that is used with DDR2 FBGA memory chips; ODT is supposed to reduce signal transmission errors, which improves timing efficiency in DDR2 memory. The point is that while DDR2 is similar to DDR, there are enough differences that memory timings are not directly comparable. Early tests show roughly equivalent performance of DDR2 and DDR with tremendous potential for future memory performance gains. More information on expected performance of DDR2 is available at AT News Update: DDR2 Memory Performance.

Index Memory Chips: Kingston DDR2 Memory
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  • Pumpkinierre - Friday, March 19, 2004 - link

    With the hot, possibly speed limited (where's that 3.4?) Prescott and double cost slower memory not forgetting PCI-E costs and problems, looks like intel may have got themselves another rambus/willamette scenario. With dual channel Sckt939 newcastle, nF3-250 fron nVidia and DDR1-550 coming from Hynix, lets hope AMD can profit this time.

  • PrinceGaz - Friday, March 19, 2004 - link

    Although initially its sure to be both more expensive and provide little if any performance benefit over standard DDR, its clear that pairing up a bandwidth-hungry P4 processor with DDR2 memory will become the norm within a year and we'll be looking at DDR only mobos for them by then in much the same way as we considered PC100/PC133 SDRAM ones a couple of years ago.

    Its more interesting where this will leave AMD and its Athlon 64 -- presumably they need to redesign the processor to support a new faster memory-standard and that probably isn't even possible without changing the current Socket 754/939/940 to something new. Though Socket 939 isn't even here yet. While the Athlon design isn't as sensitive to memory-bandwidth as the P4, sooner or later (probably later) its sure to switch which is going to leave existing A64 owners in a dead-end. But in the meantime AMD customers should benefit from cheaper memory as well as the cheaper mobos they're used to.
  • IamTHEsnake - Friday, March 19, 2004 - link

    Until the price is in tone with performance DDR2 is not something I want. I'll bet the high end pc4400 DDR1 will even beat the 533ddr2
  • gherald - Friday, March 19, 2004 - link

    bob, they don't expect much yet. they're getting ready for when the ddr-2 chipsets *are* out.

    it would be pretty stupid to wait untill the ddr2 boards are out and *then* start looking into producing modules
  • jcsamp - Friday, March 19, 2004 - link

    Does anybody know what kind of difference the FBGA chips used here have with GeIL's WLCSP chips it uses on its Golden Dragon line? It seems the benefits listed in the article are similar to those GeIL reports.
  • bobsmith1492 - Friday, March 19, 2004 - link

    How do they expect to make money off of these if no one can use them (therefore no one would buy them) since there are no compatible motherboards (available)?
  • Jeff7181 - Friday, March 19, 2004 - link

    I'll be very interested to see a memory latency comparison when some DDR-II motherboards hit the market.

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