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Kingston Launches FB-DIMM Modules

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Windows Vista it’s going to be one memory hungry ~*&!@ so when we spied that Kingston has got its Full Buffered DIMM memory grove on, smiles lit up on our faces.

Initially targeting the workstation and server market (but surely headed to Consumerville in the not too distant future) these high speed (533MHz), high density DDR2 modules could be exactly what we need to get games in Vista running like they already do on XP.

"FB-DIMM architecture increases server memory capacity from 8 GB to 192 GB at a high speed, based on a 4GB-module configuration delivering an impressive twenty-four-fold increase," bragged J. K. Tsai, Director of Technology at Kingston, with ample reason. "In addition to higher capacity, the FB-DIMMs have a peak bandwidth four times greater than standard DDR2 server modules."

Now Gordon - as a general smartarse and mickey taker - knows when a technology flies over his head, so he bravely ran away and brought in Mr. Spode for a savvy explanation:

Internally, FB-DIMM memory architecture provides up to six memory channels with each channel supporting up to eight dual-rank memory modules therefore enabling two channels to simultaneously read and write in concurrent transactions. This basically means high density dual channel memory, but not at the memory controller, but on the DIMM itself. Although the frequency (533MHz) is low compared to say AM2's 800MHz launch, the internal speed is doubled. In fact, with both Intel and AMD architectures using dual channel memory, this would effectively give you quad channel memory. The main question is, will the 533MHz bus be too saturated to show a performance increase?

The way it can do this is by the inclusion of an Advanced Memory Buffer on the DIMM itself, which is basically a secondary memory controller. Instead of the memory controller talking directly to the memory chips, it now just talks to the AMB. Although this does add latency being a middle man, the speed increase should outweigh this. The AMB can relay the signal to the memory chips in a much more efficient manner, stopping signal degradation and therefore increasing the maximum speed that the DIMMs can run out. Because of the architecture, you can also create much denser memory modules - hence the increase to 192GB of memory. This is a real benefit to anyone running a 64-Bit operating system and processor, which pretty soon will be everyone.

The hard work done, Gordon returns to conclude with his trademark sarcastic comment:

I'm pretty sure what the Spodinator is saying here translates as more speed and vast capacity… in which case get thee to a desktop I say. 512MB, 1GB and 2GB modules will initially be available for £73, £142 and £280 respectively. Sadly no promise that even getting 192GB of RAM into a machine will guarantee 30fps on 64bit FarCry in Vista though…

Link:
Kingston Technology

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