Double Data Rate 4 or DDR4 is the next jump in memory standards, bringing speed boosts from more places to transmit data in the signal as well as dramatically lower power consumption in the order of 30-45%. DDR4 is coming to consumers first for the Intel Haswell-E platform due out sometime in the next two months and it’s going to be an expensive leap, all things considered. Not only do you have to invest in Haswell-E, where the base Core i7-5930K will almost certainly retail for over R5000, you also have to get brand new boards from one of the major manufacturers readying up their X99 lineup. Haswell-E uses the LGA2011-3 socket, but it is pin-incompatible with older Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge-E processors.
The first price indications for DDR4 locally come from Evetech via a MyGaming article posted up yesterday. Evetech said they’ll be stocking Crucial’s Ballistix Sport DDR4 memory starting at speeds of 2400MHz with timings in the CL15 or CL16 range. Sure, it’s a little more laggy than DDR3, but that was also the case with every jump to a new version of DDR memory. Evetech will be stocking 4GB and 8GB modules, filling out to 8GB, 16GB and 32GB kits. The prices are a huge jump over DDR3, in the order at least of 50%.
Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz Desktop 4GB – R1,099
Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz 8GB – R1,899
Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz Kit 8GB – R1,999
Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz Kit 16GB – R3,299
Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz Gaming Kit 16GB – R3,499
Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz Gaming Kit 32GB – R6,499
The Gaming kits are the interesting ones. Both are very likely quad-channel kits, paired up to allow X99 owners to fill in all of their primary memory controller slots to maximise bandwidth. X99 carries a quad-channel memory controller but this isn’t the same story as Nehalem, were you couldn’t run it with a single stick of memory. You can use one or more modules to run your rig, but you won’t receive the full benefits of Intel’s new memory controller from the start.
Another thing to consider is the memory that will be sold for overclockers in the 3200MHz range. Being so new, DDR4 and the X99 platform isn’t likely to be very stable when overclocked to the limits. You’d need to overspend a lot to get a board that can run at such high frequencies and with the price of the platform as it is adding up to a possible R11,500 (R5000 for the CPU, R3000 for board, R3499 for 16GB of quad-channel RAM) that requires you to spend much more time to decide if you really need the extra power or not.
Still, X99 and Haswell-E is on the way! Can you feel it? Are any X58 or X79 owners upgrading their rigs this year? Who’s still rocking a Core 2 Quad machine and wants to make the jump to another platform that’ll have just as much staying power?