RAM for the rich and nerdy: 128GB DDR4 memory kits become reality

Sure, you'll have to sell both your kidneys to buy it, but at least now you can finally have 128GB of cutting-edge RAM in your PC.

This week, Corsair announced it is now selling two 128GB DDR4 RAM kits while Kingston touted that its upcoming big-ass set will hit speeds of 3000MHz.

Why this matters: The move from DDR3 to DDR4 last year (in high-end machines) promised lower voltage, higher-frequencies and higher capacities--eventually. While the average consumer certainly doesn't need 128GB of RAM to run Microsoft Word or play a video game, some power users do indeed need seemingly crazy amounts of RAM. Also, can you say 100GB DDR4 RAM drive with 28GB left for system RAM Yum.

Corsair's two kits fall into its premiere Dominator line up. The "cheaper" of the two uses eight 16GB DIMMs running at DDR4/2400 speeds for just $1,980. Corsair also offers a kit running at DDR4/2400 speeds for $2,120. Sign me up for two!

Not to be outdone, Kingston this week also announced its own 128GB DDR4 kit, coming at even higher speeds. The company said its eight 16GB DIMMs are rated to hit DDR4/3000 speeds. Kingston did the deed not with the pricey Core i7-5960X Haswell-E processor, but the cheapie Core i7-5820K CPU.

If you're wondering what the fuss is about because you've seen 16GB DDR4 modules floating around for months, the Corsair and Kingston kits are unregistered RAM, which means there's no error correction support in the modules.

Most of the 16GB DDR4 modules available--such as this Crucial module--have error-correcting code (ECC) support. ECC RAM can correct single-bit errors and detect multi-bit errors. It also generally runs at lower speeds. The Crucial RAM, for example, is a DDR4/2133 module. More importantly, ECC must be supported in the CPU.

For Intel, that means ECC DDR4 RAM can only be used with Xeon processors. Intel's enthusiast- and prosumer-focused Core i7 Haswell-E processors simply won't work with ECC RAM, so the Corsair and Kingston modules will be the first opportunity for those who don't want to pony up for a pricey Xeon to reach 128GB.


Gordon Mah Ung

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