Feature Articles

Kingston's New Groove - Pumping up the SSD and Memory Markets

Kingston's New Groove - Pumping up the SSD and Memory Markets

Staying atop in the Memory Game

Staying atop in the Memory Game

On the memory side of things, you would think things are getting stagnant, but that's really not the case. Notebooks and system purchases have been growing year on year, while on the server side of things, cloud computing has given rise to increased memory requirements with virtualization on servers.

Currently, Kingston's channel sales mix is 60% DDR2 and 40% in DDR3. However, this will soon change quite sharply with 40% in DDR2 and 60% in DDR3. For example on the server side of things, costly FB-DIMMs are giving way to registered DDR3 DIMMs as older Intel platforms are being replaced. We took this chance to ask Kingston just how much steam does DDR3 technology still have. Interestingly, they foresee it will be around for a couple more years at the very least as they don't see DDR4 coming around anytime soon. According to them, neither Intel nor AMD have newer memory technologies charted on their roadmaps and that's a pretty good indicator that technology-wise, it won't take a shift anytime soon.

In the DIY market, surprisingly dual-channel memory kits are still most sought after, even for Intel X58 systems. Though we've long established that there are minimal performance gains with a tri-channel memory subsystem for end-users, it's surprising that the general marketing by Intel and others haven't brainwashed buyers to pair such systems with tri-channel memory kits.

Moving on to what's brewing at Kingston on their memory side of endeavors, they're branching in two direction - one in breaking new performance records and the other is to go eco. We'll start with breaking records where they managed 2544MHz on their HyperX memory and it should be going on sale soon.

While not everyone buys such insanely high speed memory, Kingston shared with us that general overclockers are steadily warming up to higher speed memory. Currently DDR3-1800MHz is the sweet spot for cost versus overclocking headroom.

And for the extreme enthusiasts, Kingston has a new HyperX H2O series that are water cooling ready. While we feel it's an overkill for memory, there are staunch overclockers who believe every little assistance to the hobby/trade is worthwhile to pursue. For them, Kingston plans to release the H2O series starting from 2000MHz and upwards.

Additionally, Kingston will also just introduced yet another variety of HyperX modules called HyperX Blu. Unfortunately, they are not better than the original HyperX series but they are a step above ValueRAM series because they come with a blue heat spreader. With that, here's how the memory models stack up from Kingston (arranged from the most expensive to the least expensive):-

  • HyperX H2O (clocked from 2000MHz and higher)
  • HyperX & HyperX T1 (clocked up to 2400MHz)
  • HyperX Blu (clocked up to 1600MHz)
  • ValueRAM (clocked up to 1333MHz)

Last but not least is Kingston's eco initiative with the HyperX LoVo series that are designed to operate at much lower voltages than usual - as low as 1.25V.

Before parting Kingston Taiwan, we asked their executives one last question pertaining to the various profiles in the market - SLI, XMP, AMD Black, etc.. Ever wondered why there's not a single memory with all the profiles and standards supported? Kingston explained that it's a limitation on how the EEPROM is programmed on the memory module. It's quite tricky to compensate for the multitude of platforms with various timing parameters as the potential for each memory IC differs in each platform. Well, we can just hope for standardization in future for simplicity of purchase, but for now, that's all the updates we've got from Kingston.