Last Stand for RDRAM?

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Six months ago, I wrote a little series about Rambus.

Again, we’ll have to wait until we get a real Tehama board to come up with a real, fair comparison, but we know that even a dual channel RDRAM system won’t be mind-boggling better than a DDR system, though probably a good deal better than you might surmise from current DDR/840 systems comparisons.

Well, we’ve seen the Tehama board, and insofar as memory bandwidth is concerned, a dual-channel RDRAM system is better, a lot better, than DDR.

The overall Willamette benchmarks haven’t been too good, but how much of that is a slow Willy, and how much of that is applications not taking advantage of more memory bandwidth/FSB?

In six-nine months, we’ll have a competitive .13 micron Willamette out there, with a lot of SSE2-enabled applications and games. We’ll probably see it paired with RDRAM boards, and DDR boards.

What if Willy with RDRAM boards does significantly better than Willy with DDR in the applications you use? What if RDRAM Willy does significantly better in the games you play, like 15-20% better? Based on what we’ve see from the initial Willy reports, that may be pretty likely.

Let’s say RDRAM costs, say $50-100 more than DDR.

Do you keep yelling “Rambus sucks!”? Or do you change your tune?

Ironically, we may find that RDRAM will find itself an up-to-now completely unsuspected niche in the PC industry that it found in the Playstation, use in gaming machines.

Just something to keep in mind down the road.

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