AMD Memory is coming to North America

This summer, we were surprised to learn that AMD was quietly selling system memory under its own brand name in Japan. Now, it seems, the company is ready to take this initiative to North America. This morning’s announcement on the subject says AMD has partnered with Patriot and VisionTek to offer DDR3 modules under the AMD Memory banner in this corner of the world. Modules will be available from major e-tailers including Amazon, Newegg, Micro Center, and TigerDirect.

You can expect such e-tailers to start bundling the memory with other AMD products—one of the advantages of this venture, according to AMD. The new modules will purportedly make things easier for consumers, as well, because they’ll be tuned for the chipmaker’s various processors, APUs, and motherboard chipsets. (AMD talks of using its OverDrive software tool to “test and optimize DRAM.”)

Here’s what the AMD Memory lineup will look like:

AMD Memory is available at three different levels – 2GB, 4GB and 8GB sizes – in a range of price points and speeds. The Entertainment category will feature 1333 MHz and 1600 MHz speed RAM, designed for quiet Home Theater PC applications. The Performance version supports speed up to 1600 MHz with low latency and comes in matched pairs. Finally, Radeon™ Edition DRAM will run at 1866 MHz, and is tuned, tested and certified for specific AMD platforms to enable maximum performance at competitive pricing.

Both A-series and FX-series AMD processors support 1866MHz RAM, so the Radeon-branded modules could look right at home in neighboring DIMM slots. Of course, that will all depend on how much the modules cost. Our testing suggests that DDR3-1866 RAM doesn’t pay very big performance dividends with A-series APUs, so depending on the price premium, you could just be better off buying a faster chip with slower RAM.

AMD is no stranger to the memory business; it already has a history of supplying DDR3 RAM, along with its GPUs, to graphics card makers. This time, however, AMD is going to be butting heads with established memory vendors in a market where margins are slim and delivering added value is difficult. Less than a year ago, OCZ decided to pull out of DRAM and focus on SSDs, complaining of shrinking revenues and market weakness. DRAM prices have continued to decline since.

I’m sure some users will get a warm, fuzzy feeling from getting a matched set of AMD CPU, GPU, and DRAM, while others may be lured by potentially juicy combo deals. That said, wouldn’t taking a more hands-on approach with its Black Edition Memory Profile initiative offer similar advantages without many of the downsides?

Comments closed
    • ronch
    • 8 years ago

    I said before that these AMD-branded DIMMs look exactly like Kingston DIMMs of the same speed. Even so, AMD could stand to profit from this not just financially, but also through more brand exposure.

    • Chrispy_
    • 8 years ago

    So the A-series IGP gets [i<]about[/i<] a 15% improvement by moving from 1333 to 1600MHz, but the typical cost increase is 30-50%. The extra expense of pricier RAM and the extra expense of an A-series instead of an equivalent Athlon II adds up to enough to make a discrete GPU the [b<]MUCH[/b<] smarter choice. Here in the UK, an A-3850 and 8GB of 1600MHz XMS3 costs around the same as: an X4 640, and 8GB of 1333MHz XMS3, [b<]AND A 6570![/b<] The 6570 gives almost double the performance in games, and you can get it in a low-profile format for HTPC's too.

      • brucethemoose
      • 8 years ago

      Llano belongs in laptops, not desktops. I agree, a cheap GDDR5 6670 or 6750 will beat any APU in a desktop. But you can’t argue with a 32nm GPU in laptops, where power really matters. My A8 can play Skyrim on battery for a heck of a long time, but laptops with a similar 40nm discrete chip will eat through battery in no time, even with efficient Intel CPUs.

        • JustAnEngineer
        • 8 years ago

        Llano’s doing a great job as a living room DVR/HTPC for me.
        [url<]https://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=77619&p=1096863&hilit=#p1096863[/url<]

      • JustAnEngineer
      • 8 years ago

      PC3-12800 has frequently been offered on sale for the same price as the slower PC3-10600 during the 2011 calendar year here in North America. PC3-15000 (DDR3-1866) still carries the price premium that you describe.

    • EV42TMAN
    • 8 years ago

    great… now if they could make motherboards that would be even better. No joke one of the reasons that i like intel is because they make their own motherboards. So if you pair an intel CPU and Motherboard you can guarantee a stable performance with all the features that intel says are included. Now AMD its a different story because there isn’t that set up. i would be more likely to use AMD as an option to some of clients if they made motherboards too and if they made a CPU worth buying in the last 5 years or so

      • crabjokeman
      • 8 years ago

      Intel puts their name on Foxconn boards, and Foxconn makes products of varying quality. Stop putting so much stock into the logo sticker on a product…

      • clone
      • 8 years ago

      I’ve owned a lot of Intel processors for obvious performance reasons, I’ve never bought an Intel branded motherboard for obvious performance and more notably obvious pricing reasons.

      I’ve bought several AMD processors over the last 5 years for obvious price/performance reasons and stability was never a concern regarding the inexpensive motherboards I got for them.

      regarding this “AMD” branded ram, it’s a tough call primarily because I’m no longer seriously considering an AMD platform for my next CPU, if AMD adjust prices down some more maybe and if I did buy AMD without a doubt it’d be neat to have AMD branded ram in the system….. so long as they don’t get too silly on the price.

      overall it’s a great idea for raising brand awareness, even if it doesn’t sell the sku will be on retailers for shoppers to see as they browse.

    • `oz
    • 8 years ago

    What voltage rating are these DIMMs ? I’m asking because Patriot for the most part carries only 1.65v.

    • UberGerbil
    • 8 years ago

    It’s like AMD is trying to turn time backwards, like that movie where Brad Pitt lives his life in reverse. First they turn their back on the handheld SoC assets they inherited from AMD, then they revisit the turn of the century with a speedracer CPU design, and now they’ve moved into the middle 90s with branded RAM. (Perhaps they’ll package the DIMMs in flannel?) What’s next, a return to segmented addressing or a resurrection of the VL Bus?

      • Chrispy_
      • 8 years ago

      Piledriver will feature off-die pipeline burst cache.
      Rumours of a motherboard slot that accepts 256KB modules are rife.

      • ronch
      • 8 years ago

      Pat Gelsinger (of former Intel employment) once said that you can integrate the memory controller once. Bent on proving him wrong, AMD will re-introduce the Front Side Bus to Piledriver, then move to an IMC and Hypertransport again with Steamroller. Take that, Pat.

      • WaltC
      • 8 years ago

      Yea, poor old AMD. I mean it isn’t like Intel sells [i<]platforms[/i<] or has a [i<]recognizable brand[/i<] it pushes all day long--and weekends, too--is it? How silly of AMD to imagine it could ever become a "brand" anything...ROFLMAO! (/sarcasm off)

        • just brew it!
        • 8 years ago

        I think there’s an undertone of “Why are they wasting time on stuff like this, when they should’ve been focused on making Bulldozer more competitive?” You can argue about whether that’s really a fair criticism or not, but at the end of the day this is a tech site, where people tend to not care as much about things like brand recognition (or marketing hype in general).

        [b<]Edit[/b<]: With their ATI acquisition, they made [u<]meaningful[/u<] additions to their platform lineup in terms of technology (both GPUs and chipsets). DIMMs are a commodity; rebranding DIMMs is pointless. Do you see Intel rebranding DIMMs?

    • maxxcool
    • 8 years ago

    Maybe i’m bitter, but Patriot ram has never been good to me on *either* platform (2 years ago)…. wont buy his anytime soon unless it can come pre-qualified and at a *huge* bundle discount.

      • matic
      • 8 years ago

      By the title of the news I knew it was Patriot. Just because I have two modules of DDR2 that refuse to work reliably. On an AMD platform, of course…

      • atryus28
      • 8 years ago

      That’s odd, I remember trying them out when they first came out and were cheap. I have never had a problem with Patriot RAM and it has overclocked well for me too.

      I have mostly been using AMD, but they have worked in intel builds as well.

    • RickyTick
    • 8 years ago

    Maybe they should offer an AMD branded motherboard and sell a complete bundled system. Intel makes motherboards, so why not?

    • wierdo
    • 8 years ago

    Kinda weird but from a business/marketing angle I think it makes sense.

      • Zoomer
      • 8 years ago

      They’ll go perfect into my next build, right next to the 2500k.

        • ew
        • 8 years ago

        and Nvidia graphics card! Nothing says stability like a Mexican standoff in your PC!

    • flip-mode
    • 8 years ago

    Is AMD ever going to get back to making decent CPUs again?

      • Krogoth
      • 8 years ago

      What’s wrong Bulldozer and current Phenom line-up?

      Here is a news flash, CPU performance doesn’t matter that much anymore in the mainstream arena.

      The new focus since ~2005-2007 has been power efficiency.

        • sweatshopking
        • 8 years ago

        upon which they epically fail…

        • maxxcool
        • 8 years ago

        As illustrated here, very precisely… it’s a “8 int” core cpu… that *CANNOT* run more than 4 int modules at one time… I have a very hard time calling anything BD related more than a 4 core cpu with thanks giving spare tires around the waist and lots of heat to go with it.

          • stupido
          • 8 years ago

          Not tires – it is tracks… (bulldozer, remember 😉 )

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 8 years ago

        “The new focus since ~2005-2007 has been power efficiency.”

        Not a good sign that BD is worse than the Phenoms then.

        • indeego
        • 8 years ago

        [url<]http://www.techspot.com/review/467-skyrim-performance/page7.html[/url<] Matters [i<]somewhat...[/i<]

        • just brew it!
        • 8 years ago

        [quote<]What's wrong Bulldozer and current Phenom line-up? ... The new focus since ~2005-2007 has been power efficiency.[/quote<] What rock have you been living under? If you'd read any of the BD reviews, you'd know that it is not doing particularly well in the performance/watt race.

        • flip-mode
        • 8 years ago

        Going to have to dust this off: [i<]Successful troll is successful[/i<].

        • SomeOtherGeek
        • 8 years ago

        Umm, coming from you, I’m a little surprised at your comment. You ok?

        • derFunkenstein
        • 8 years ago

        [quote<]The new focus since ~2005-2007 has been power efficiency.[/quote<] Spoken like, you know, it's actually efficient. Derp.

        • Draphius
        • 8 years ago

        well then what has amd been working on cause they arent efficient and they arent fast, unless u bin like hell to find one cpu with one core that can reach high speeds which is not feasible for anything

        • Krogoth
        • 8 years ago

        Geez, where did I suggest that Phenom II and Bulldozer were energy-efficient? 🙄

        I only said that power efficiency is the new paradigm in the mainstream arena. Intel has that one firmly in their court. Sandy Bridge “isn’t” that much faster than its predecessors, but it only needs a fraction of the power at load. That’s what makes it so remarkable.

        The same cannot be said for Bulldozer.

      • ronch
      • 8 years ago

      The problem with designing CPUs is that it gets harder and harder to come up with ways to push performance further and further. Designing CPUs must probably rank as one of the most difficult things humans ever do, and nowadays performance is so high that reaching even higher performance is more difficult than ever, particularly if you do it through architectural techniques. I suppose introducing new instructions that perform operations more directly, such as AES and FMA, are needed to move forward, but these require compiler support. And at this stage BD doesn’t enjoy wide compiler support yet.

      I think folks should stop bashing AMD just because BD didn’t move things forward as much as they hoped. It’s probably harder to work for AMD than Intel. Lower R&D budgets, less top-notch colleagues that help you sort out problems, less marketing budgets, less perks, etc. People take AMD for granted, but where would we all be without them? Just think about those guys.

        • sircharles32
        • 8 years ago

        Hold on a sec:
        Weren’t you one of the biggest slammers of AMD, over Bulldozer’s release, and now you’re actually defending them?!

        Or, has the fact that I haven’t had my morning coffee blurred my ability to think straight?

          • ronch
          • 8 years ago

          Yeah. I did slam AMD then. But now that the dust has settled and we can all think more calmly regarding AMD, this is my stance. I’ve used far more AMD chips than any other make, and that fact alone suggests whether I hate AMD or not. Occasionally though, rotten tomatoes manage to get inside companies, ruining the company. These are the folks I would always bash. They have no place at AMD, a company that can’t afford to make many mistakes.

            • sircharles32
            • 8 years ago

            Fair enough.

            I admit that I too was “disappointed” with Bulldozer, and I’m currently running 5 systems with different versions of their CPUs, at the helm.

    • Corrado
    • 8 years ago

    I know its a gimmick, but if I was building a new AMD system (and I am in a few weeks), as long as its not exorbitantly more expensive, I’ll go with this. Why? Just because its ‘guaranteed’ to work. And I like having everything the same brand. Its a silly thing, but if I have a Gigabyte motherboard, I like having a Gigabyte video card in the thing too.

      • TurtlePerson2
      • 8 years ago

      I think that all RAM is guaranteed to work. If it’s DOA, then you can send it back.

      Have people on TR actually had problems where they bought memory that they thought would work, but didn’t work in their system because there was an incompatibility? And I’m not talking about stupid things like buying laptop memory and trying to use it in a desktop.

        • Corrado
        • 8 years ago

        There used to be some boards that had a RAM compatibility list and some boards that were known to be finnicky with a given brand/series of ram. Its not so bad anymore, but it alleviates the possibility of a motherboard maker saying ‘Sorry, thats not compatible and has not been tested’. Its more for peace of mind than actual results.

          • just brew it!
          • 8 years ago

          I have not seen those kinds of issues since the debut of DDR2.

            • Corrado
            • 8 years ago

            Neither have I, but its still a hold out in my brain from the days of yore. Buying the sticks with Samsung 6ns DRAM chips to make sure that overclock went as high as you could get it, etc.

            • just brew it!
            • 8 years ago

            The signal integrity improvements introduced with DDR2 (BGA package, automatic calibration of bus drivers to compensate for signal skew, on-die termination, etc.) cleaned up a lot of the compatibility issues. DDR1 was a crapshoot at times, especially if you had more than 1 double-sided DIMM on the same memory channel.

            • Krogoth
            • 8 years ago

            Most of the DDR2 and DDR3 compatibility issues seem to stem from memory controller rather than DIMMs. I have seen perfectly working DDR2 and DDR3 DIMMs having compatibility issues with certain memory controllers that will go away once you play around with the timings.

            • just brew it!
            • 8 years ago

            Unless you can provide more info on your testing methodology, I’d say that’s inconclusive and/or anecdotal at best. How do you know it isn’t perfectly working [i<]memory controllers[/i<] having compatibility issues with certain [i<]DIMMs[/i<]? Did you try the same memory controllers with other brands of DIMMs? Did you do anything to rule out BIOS issues?

      • Bensam123
      • 8 years ago

      I’m guessing if this is a partnership with other memory makers it’s no more guaranteed to work then the memory makers they’re getting their memory from.

      • crabjokeman
      • 8 years ago

      Most mobos have a RAM compatibility list that is ‘guaranteed’ to work. You should stick to that (if you care about getting tech support). If the Radeon modules aren’t on that list, then some clueless tech support drone will still refuse to support your mobo regardless of the AMD sticker on the RAM module.

    • willyolio
    • 8 years ago

    NCIX has had them for a while…
    [url<]http://ncix.com/products/?sku=62322&vpn=199-999411&manufacture=AMD[/url<] at least they're cheap.

    • Duck
    • 8 years ago

    This has got to be a mistake…

    • TurtlePerson2
    • 8 years ago

    They just want to have a total system solution. They sell the video card, the cpu, the motherboard, and now the memory. I don’t understand exactly why the memory is important in this, but someone must think it is.

      • indeego
      • 8 years ago

      The motherboard?

        • Goty
        • 8 years ago

        Eh, Sapphire’s boards might as well be AMD-branded.

      • TurtlePerson2
      • 8 years ago

      They make the chipsets, which is pretty much the motherboard. According to your definition, they wouldn’t make video cards either, since others manufacture them and put their brand name on them.

    • Farting Bob
    • 8 years ago

    Yep, these generic sticks of RAM with a AMD sticker on are “tuned” to AMD processors. Because if there is one thing i hate its tuning my RAM in…..

    I dont see the point for AMD, margins are so pathetic for RAM resellers they’ll be lucky if they make enough money from these to cover the cost of the “AMD Memory” stickers they use.

      • Peldor
      • 8 years ago

      This is all about leveraging your brands through smart marketing. And if there’s one thing I think we can all agree on it’s that AMD has a marketing department like none other!

        • continuum
        • 8 years ago

        Which is why this makes even less sense.. what’s the margin in the memory market?!?! Seems… like a low-buck risk at least. After all stickers are cheap!

        • Deanjo
        • 8 years ago

        [quote<]I think we can all agree on it's that AMD has a marketing department like none other![/quote<] By "none other", you mean "unemployed" right?

      • ew
      • 8 years ago

      Practically none of the memory brands actually manufacture DRAM chips. I don’t see how an AMD sticker is any different than any other.

        • just brew it!
        • 8 years ago

        The press release even states that they are “partnering with” Patriot and VisionTek. So we’ve basically got DRAM chips from one of the usual DRAM chip suppliers, on a PCB manufactured by Patriot or VisionTek, with an AMD logo slapped on it.

        Totally pointless.

        OK, well maybe not [u<]totally[/u<] pointless. AMD-branded energy drinks would be even more pointless. But not by much.

          • Corrado
          • 8 years ago

          Its pointless from an enthusiast perspective, but what does it really cost them? Maybe a few bucks for the stickers, but if they’re quality sticks at a reasonable price, you might pick up mindshare.

          • ew
          • 8 years ago

          Can’t say I wouldn’t try an AMD, Intel or Nvidia energy drink if it existed. Profit margins must be way higher on energy drinks too!

            • ronch
            • 8 years ago

            I can almost read the sign: ” AMD Energy Drink… contains LN2 for that extra burst in clock speed for those slow single-threaded days!”

      • Bensam123
      • 8 years ago

      Yeah, what Peldor said. This doesn’t really have to do with competeing, rather using your brand as an advantage.

    • gorillagarrett
    • 8 years ago

    Is this what project WIN is all about?

      • Game_boy
      • 8 years ago

      (delete)

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