With the launch of Intel's Haswell-E processors and X99 chipset right around the corner, everyone aside from Intel itself has been previewing products that complement the platform. Most notably, this involves motherboard and memory manufacturers, with some choosing to remain mum in advance of the launch, with others happy to talk about what's en route.
G.SKILL is the latest to jump on the early-preview bandwagon, and in doing so reveals seven different sets of DDR4 RAM it'll be selling. As Haswell-E and X99 in general target the enthusiast market, and features the use of a quad-channel memory controller (like X79 did), G.SKILL is going to be initially selling kits that include only 4 or 8 DIMMs. These include:
- 16~64GB: DDR4-2133 (15-15-15-35) - 1.2V
- 16~64GB: DDR4-2400 (15-15-15-35) - 1.2V
- 16~64GB: DDR4-2666 (15-15-15-35) - 1.2V
- 16~64GB: DDR4-2800 (16-16-16-36) - 1.2V
- 16~32GB: DDR4-3000 (15-15-15-35) - 1.35V
- 32GB: DDR4-3000 (16-16-16-36) - 1.35V
- 16GB: DDR4-3200 (16-16-16-36) - 1.35V
There are a couple of interesting things to glean from this lineup. First is the fact that G.SKILL has broken past the standard 1.2v rating on some modules, something that probably has more to do with the retaining of tight timings than it does the higher frequency. And speaking of timings, seeing things cap out at 16 for the CAS latency is good to see. It's clear that no vendor wants to surpass 1.2v or CL 16, but G.SKILL didn't mind doing the former when it came to its higher-end kits.
As you might expect, given that X99 is going to be a cutting-edge enthusiast platform, its components are going to be pricey, from the CPU to the motherboard to the DDR4. Where the most pain might be felt is on the memory side, since if you want a 32GB kit, you should expect to shell out at least $500 for 2133MHz and 2400MHz speeds. At one etailer, G.SKILL's DDR4-2666 32GB kit is priced at $550, so feel free to speculate on what its 32GB DDR4-3000 kit will retail for.
Simple logic will tell you that 16GB kits should cost half of the 32GB ones, and in this particular case, that checks out almost perfectly. You can expect 16GB kits to cost you at least $250, but that won't be for one of the "performance" kits. Those who will really feel the hurt are enthusiasts in the UK, if Corsair's regional site is to be believed. There, a 16GB kit of DDR4-2666 is priced at £308.98 (~$510 USD). A 32GB kit of DDR4-2800? £887.98 ($1,470 USD). "Ouch" doesn't begin to sum that one up.
Let's hope that once launched, it won't take long for DDR4 to saturate the market and for prices to plummet.