RDRAM Getting Quicker And Cheaper

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Samsung announced that they’ve figured out how to make the next generation of RDRAM using a 0.12 micron process.

This means cheaper, faster RDRAM.

Not that RDRAM is horribly expensive as is right now. You can buy two 128Mb Samsung RIMMs for about $85, or about $50 more than Crucial DDR.

That’s not a lot more provided you get some performance benefit from it.

I know, there’s been reviews showing little performance difference between DDR and RDRAM. Keep in mind, though, there’s two reasons for that:

  • These tests are being run with “old” RDRAM, which needs to be slowed down to reach 133Mhz FSB.
  • A lot of apps just aren’t bandwidth-intensive.

    So a quicker RDRAM is likely to only provide benefits to applications that are built to use it. However, if you run games and apps which are bandwidth-intensive, we’re likely to see the DDR/RDRAM performance gap open up again.

    There’s more than one way to skin a cat, though. If the price gap between DDR and RDRAM becomes nominal (which the Samsung announcement seems to imply); it won’t take much of an edge for RDRAM to look better.

    Unfortunately, we’re not likely to see this state of affairs until sometime next summer. Production of these cheap modules won’t start until 2Q ’02. May be too little, too late; that will give PIV DDR plenty of time to establish itself.

    Email Ed

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