Crucial Showing DDR4 Modules and Sport VLP DDR3by Jarred Walton on January 21, 2014 6:03 PM EST
I’m nearly finished with my CES coverage (thanks to a relapse as well as a household of sick family members), with just a few final visits to discuss. My meeting with Crucial/Micron/Lexar had a couple interesting tidbits, perhaps the most noteworthy being their apparently production ready DDR4 modules for both desktops and laptops. It’s pretty clear now that the transition to DDR4 is going to happen with one of Intel’s upcoming CPU/platform launches, though the exact details of the rollout of DDR4 RAM are still a bit hazy – will we see it first on servers, then desktops, then laptops, or maybe desktops first, or given the potential for power savings, why not laptops first? You can also see the slightly curved insertion edge of the DDR4 desktop DIMMs that’s designed to aid in installation.
The other cool thing Crucial had to show is their half-height Ballistix Sport VLP DIMM. These have been available for a little while, but they have several features that make them attractive. For one, instead of the usual gigantic heat spreaders – which can sometimes interfere with the installation of CPU coolers or other items – the Sport VLP has a very low profile (that’s the VLP part of the name) and ends up being about half the height of a standard DIMM. They’re also 1.35V DDR3-1600 modules, so they use less power and generate less heat – never a bad thing in my book. These are literally the polar opposite of some of Crucial’s other Ballistix products, with capacities up to 8GB per DIMM and pricing that’s somewhat higher than standard DDR3 DIMMs. Note that you may need to spend some time in the motherboard BIOS in order to get these DIMMs to work, and raw performance isn’t likely to be as high as some other DDR3 DIMMs, but for mini-ITX builds I could see these being very handy alternatives to regular size DIMMs.