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Crucial DDR4 memory demoed

CES 2013 proved to be a time for the latest memory technology to be demonstrated, with Crucial DDR4 memory shown running in an Intel test system.

Due for launch at the end of the year, DDR4 is currently in the final phases of having its specification finished. It's now minor tweaks, with Crucial having RAM ready to run.

The benefits of DDR4 are that it's faster (it will start at speeds of at least 2,133MHz) and it'll use less power and run cooler than traditional RAM. Capacities are also potentially higher, and a single stick of DDR4 RAM could easily hold 32GB.

DDR4 moves to 284pin design, which could make insertion hard, so the design now has a bevelled edge, making it easier to slide the memory into place securely.

Benefits to the consumer are always tricky to quantify. In our benchmarks, upgrading memory to faster DDR3 typically only increases the overall score by a few percentage points.

Crucial agrees that the benefits are less tangible, but explain that with faster SSDs coming out all of the time and other system components getting faster, quicker RAM is required to keep up. Crucial also told us that with faster RAM available, developers could write applications that take advantage of it.

Pricing is going to attract a premium, as DDR4 memory won't be produced in the same volumes as DDR3. However, Crucial couldn't put a figure on how much more DDR4 would cost at the moment, as it's still a long way from launch.

Crucial predicted that it would realistically be 2015 for 'true production' of DDR4, when the technology catches up with DDR3 and the price for both types of RAM comes into parity.

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