How Much?

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In the last few days, I’ve spoken about two soon-to-come Intel chipsets, the 845E and G, but there’s also a third.

The 850E.

Of course, the 850E uses memory from the company where Satan goes when he needs to be updated on the latest techniques, Rambus. Or so the conventional wisdom goes.

In all honesty, in the PC industry, Rambus does rather look like the chicken with its head cut off. It’s dead, but just doesn’t know it yet.

Nonetheless, it’s due to make its last gasp shortly with the introduction of PC1066 and PC1200 RIMMs, along with a dual-channel-in-one-chip RIMM 4200 module.

Not surprisingly, it does somewhat better than the best DDR solutions.

The only question is: How much are these things going to cost?

Has Rambus learned anything?

At the moment, a high-end 512Mb DDR stick is going for a little bit north of $200. Mind you, that’s as much as you spend.

In comparison, two 256Mb PC800 RDRAM modules will cost you about $150.

So what will these new RDRAMs cost? If the price for a dual-channel 512Mb equivalent is $200-$250, RDRAM might be worth looking into for some (though most will still resist temptation). It may hang on a while as a niche technology.

If, however, it’s more like $800, the only thing Rambus will earn is scorn.

Reasonably priced RDRAM would probably be too little, too late, anyway, but if we find RDRAM going for megabucks, consciously or not, they’re taking the Apple route of maximum profits on minimal units.

If so, they’ll be given as much notice by the mainstream as Apple.

Ed

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