It seems that DDR4 has got its skates on. Revealed to be alive and kicking at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) earlier this year, the memory standard wasn't expected to hit the shops for some time, making its appearance on a Crucial product page something of a pleasant surprise.
Dubbed 'next generation memory', the memory maker says that DDR3's successor will arrive in 'late 2013'. One of the most exciting aspects of DDR4 is that it allows for more capacity per component to allow higher density modules, meaning a whopping 16GB of RAM will fit onto a single stick for your PC. Most desktop motherboards give you at least two slots to play with, meaning you'd end up with 32GB of solid computing grunt.
It's sure to give creative types including those that dabble with anything from 3D modelling to video production a real boost, not to mention the benefits for gamers. However, like most next-gen tech we wouldn't place any bets on it arriving with a particularly wallet-friendly price tag.
According to Crucial, DDR4 offers three main benefits from its predecessor. The first is that it's twice as fast, offering speeds of 2.1 GHz and above, allowing applications to load faster and handle data-intensive applications with greater efficiency.
It's more energy efficient too, using up to a fifth less power than DDR3, giving devices longer battery life and lowering energy costs. Though its 1.2V operation (compared with DDR3's 1.5 volts) may not make a huge difference to energy consumption and regular desktop PCs (which will mainly benefit from reduced system temperatures), it could save a wad of cash for data centers powering large-scale applications.
Of course, you won't be able to bung DDR4 onto any old motherboard, so it'll be a case of keeping your eyes peeled for supported models over the course of the next year.
- Maybe the PC isn't dying and it's just gone high end after all