During CES earlier this year we spent some time at the Corsair booth and saw a beta system demoing an orange kit of DDR4-3400 modules on the X99-SOC Champion. It would seem that now those modules are finally coming to market, with the X99-SOC Champion being the lead platform due to the styling. Both Corsair and GIGABYTE are pushing both the speed of the modules (at 16-18-18 sub-timings) and the motherboard which is designed to take care of the faster speeds.

We were the first to review the X99-SOC Champion when it was released at CES, and agreed that it had the chance to take the place for X99 overclockers on a budget. However, these DDR4-3400 modules will not come cheap with an MSRP of $999.99 for a 4x4GB kit, but will come with a lifetime warranty. Users of the X99-SOC Champion will have to update to BIOS F4d, which should be available online shortly, in order to enable XMP appropriately.

We actually have these modules in to test already, and applying XMP in our test system put the CPU into the 167 MHz strap at 160 MHz, resulting in a 22x multiplier on the CPU in order to keep the CPU frequency relatively consistent.

The reason it goes for this strap is because at the 100 MHz strap it would require a higher DRAM multiplier which may not be possible. In actual fact, our testing CPU would not allow the 100 MHz with a 34x DRAM multiplier, but neither would it allow 160 Mhz on the 167 MHz strap either due to a mediocre processor.

We were able to get the kit running at DDR4-3400 using the 125 MHz strap with a small overclock, which kind of confuses comparisons because it means the CPU is lower/higher in frequency, depending on the CPU multiplier (127.5 x 27 = 3440 MHz / 127.5 x 28 = 3570 MHz). One of the benefits of these high end memory kits with a processor at XMP will be that they require a CPU overclock to work properly, promoting performance (albeit indirectly). We tuned the CPU to stock speeds which reduced the kit to DDR4-3333 (still 16-18-18), and the biggest jumps from our quick testing showed WinRAR on Windows and Redis on Linux both getting improvements over 2133 MHz, similar to our deep dive into DDR4 performance.

We’ll roll out a full review, with new GPU benchmarks as well, at a later date. I would imagine that in time these modules will also be validated on other systems, however it would seem that GIGABYTE and Corsair have done a deal to focus on the X99-SOC Champion first. The modules will initially be available from corsair.com.

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  • drgigolo - Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - link

    Don't you need 4x4 memory modules to get quad channel?
  • Antronman - Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - link

    You need at least 4 sticks for OCing.

    So a proper OC kit would be 4x1GBs.

    This is why memory OCing has been done on the Zx7 platform for a while. 1x2GBs and 2x1GBs and 2x2GBs kits. For minimal strain on the IMC.
  • vred - Monday, March 23, 2015 - link

    I figure eventually the technology will trickle down and maybe in a year we will see reasonably priced (similar to DDR3 price level) modules around 3000 MHz which should have a performance margin over DDR3.
  • H3ld3r - Monday, March 23, 2015 - link

    Since i've heard about hmb either ddr3/ ddr4 are no longer an option. How long do you guys think will take until we start seeing motherboards with hmb?
  • svan1971 - Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - link

    Considering it is explicitly designed for graphics the answer is never.
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - link

    IIRC *all* of the post DDR4 techs on the drawing board now are package on package type as opposed to stand alone memory modules.

    If true, I hope all the companies currently involved in packaging and selling dimms have exit plans; because when the time comes Intel/AMD will almost certainly only buy direct from the dram manufacturers completely cutting out the middle men.
  • Mikemk - Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - link

    Why would Intel and AMD buy the RAM?
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - link

    because the technologies in question are all ones where the ram and CPU are integrated onto the same package similar to how the soc in your phone/tablet has a ram chip attached on top or some of Intel's low power laptop chips have the CPU and Southbridge on a single package. When you're sticking chips together like that the tolerances are far too tight, and the connection points too fragile, for the assembly to take place after leaving the factory.
  • Antronman - Monday, March 23, 2015 - link

    Do you guys have a different X99 board from another manufacturer you can test the DIMMs on?

    I'd be interested in seeing them work right now, without official validation.
  • D. Lister - Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - link

    For the price, I would say it is for the enthusiast who's got everything else. Only, what enthusiast would want to settle with just a 4x4 kit?

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