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AMD's new DRAM offering isn't very flashy, but it's relatively affordable.  (Source: Akiba PC Hotline!)
New DDR3 memory from AMD is relatively affordable

In a curious move, Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) has quietly announced [product page] 2 GB DDR3 DRAM (dynamic random access memory) sticks to be branded under the "Radeon" brand name.  As many of you know, Radeon has traditionally been used as the brand name for AMD's graphics cards lineup, which it acquired from ATI.

Hints that AMD might be producing DRAM commercially popped up in Feb. 2010, when ATI 1000 MHz DDR2 chips inexplicably popped up on MSI's (Micro-Star International Comp., Ltd. (TPE:2377)) GeForce 210 half-height graphics card, a graphics card from AMD rival NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA).

That oddity aside, there have been few hints that AMD was interested in selling PC DRAM, a low-margin business that many companies have fled from in recent years.

AMD's new DDR3 stick offerings will come in three tiers -- a 1333 MHz "Entertainment" tier (9-9-9 timings), a 1600 MHz "ULTRAPRO Gaming" tier (11-11-11 timings), and an "Enterprise" tier with unannounced timings or speed.  

There's no word yet on whether the company might eventually deploy notebook form-factor sticks.  Pricing and global availability have also not yet been officially announced.

However, NCIX.com, a Canadian e-tailer, has begun selling the 2GB Entertainment sticks for $9.99 CAD (~$10.05 USD) and Dosupara House Parts in Akihabara, Japan, is selling them for ¥1,570 (~$20.32 USD).

The pricing on 2 GB 1333 MHz parts is currently floating around $15-$25, so the Canadian price is a real steal, while the Japanese price is more typical.

The new memory's packaging is plain, with a simple "RADEON MEMORY" emblem affixed to the stick.  Absent are the colorful heatsinks, which some memory manufacturers have indulged in.  Past reviews have indicated that such heatsinks are almost exclusively for aesthetics, as they have little effect on actual DRAM performance.

The enterprise model is printed on a green PCB, while it appears that the ULTRAPRO model will be printed on a blue PCB.




"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer



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