Just over a week before the expected launch of AMD’s Socket AM2
processors, NVIDIA is announcing support for
Performance Profiles (EPP) in its upcoming top-of-the-line nForce
590 SLI chipset. Jointly developed by NVIDIA and Corsair, the EPP spec
is an open standard designed to ease memory tweaking by adding
overclocking-relevant settings to the Serial Presence Detect (SPD) chip
on memory modules.
The SPD is a small EEPROM that normally stores basic
information about memory, such as its latency settings, manufacturer,
and serial number. EEPs add parameters to unused areas of the SPD chip in the form of
either two “Full” profiles or four “Abbreviated” profiles. According to
snapped by Legit Reviews, abbreviated profiles specify voltage, command
rate, CAS, tRCD, tRP, and tRAS latencies, while full profiles add signal
drive strength settings, write recovery and active refresh settings, and
delay and setup times. NVIDIA says these settings will simplify
overclocking on “properly-designed BIOSes,” namely those for nForce 590
SLI platforms, without breaking compatibility with unsupported systems.
To complement NVIDIA’s chipset support announcement, Corsair is announcing the adoption (PDF) of EPPs in SLI-ready TWIN2X2048-6400C4 and
TWIN2X2048-8500C5 matched memory pairs, which are scheduled to hit
shelves “later this month.” The 2 GB kits run at effective clock speeds
of 800 MHz and 1066 MHz, respectively, with 4-4-4-12-2T and 5-5-5-15-2T
timings. In addition, Corsair says all upcoming XMS-series DDR2 memory
modules will feature EPPs, and NVIDIA claims other memory manufacturers
are expected to follow suit.