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DDR3 with both EPP 2.0 & XMP support "is possible"

DDR3 with both EPP 2.0 & XMP support "is possible"

DDR3 memory modules supporting both EPP 2.0 and XMP are technically possible, but it may not happen because of the branding nightmare.

Terry Groth, a Product Marketing Manager at Crucial Technology, has revealed to bit-tech during a conversation at this weekend's i33 LAN party that making DDR3 memory modules that support both EPP 2.0 and XMP is definitely possible.

However, Groth later added that having modules supporting both Nvidia's and Intel's extended memory performance profile standards "would be a branding nightmare."

Having modules that feature both EPP 2.0 and XMP support is something that we've been wondering ever since the two technologies were introduced and it's good to know that it's possible. Sadly though, because of the brewing war between Intel and Nvidia, it's unlikely that we'll see the two standards supported on the same module.

Obviously, having two different memory performance profile standards tied to two different chipset manufacturers is not good for the consumer, because the two aren't interchangeable. And anything that the memory manufacturers can do to prevent consumer headaches, while introducing more freedom into the market is a good thing in our opinion.

Of course, these technologies aren't designed to cater for everyone – they're there for those enthusiasts that don't have the knowledge or skill to optimise memory performance in their system... and it's here where there is really growth in the market.

It'll be interesting to see if more than one memory manufacturer goes down this route, because one thing's for sure – those that do will be doing the right thing for the consumer. We need to return to the days when this industry wasn't so insistent on pushing 'platformisation' – I think when that happens, more consumers will be compelled to plan out a long-term upgrade path.

Are extended memory performance profiles something that you use and do you like the idea of them not being tied to one platform in particular? Share your thoughts in the forums.

5 Comments

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naokaji 24th March 2008, 17:10 Quote
Both XMP and EPP are nothing more than saved profiles... just oc on your own and you dont need either, or get a mainboard that allows you to save various bios settings, then you not only have the memory oc saved, but everything.
Tim S 24th March 2008, 17:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by naokaji
Both XMP and EPP are nothing more than saved profiles... just oc on your own and you dont need either, or get a mainboard that allows you to save various bios settings, then you not only have the memory oc saved, but everything.

You're clearly not in the target market though, like I said in the article. Many don't use them at all, because they prefer to tune their memory themselves, but those that don't know how or don't have time to do that will obviously look towards features like this.
ryanjleng 24th March 2008, 18:56 Quote
from another perspective, it just a certification process of so-and-so RAM works faster on my chipset after we take look at your DIMM and confirm. It is a pay-for-RAM-Chipset-certification scheme.

General consumer market segment is less willing (or will never) pay for harware validation like in workstation/server market. Hence, they had to repackage it and tie it with "Performance" plus acronym.

This is a good thing in general.

I am sure there will identical DIMMs without EPP/EPP2/XMP label that works as well. With identical modules, It is only time someone figure out the EPP2 and XMP tables and program the DIMM themselves with very little risk as long as within voltage spec.
Kipman725 24th March 2008, 22:03 Quote
whats up with the SPD chip?
Tim S 25th March 2008, 11:04 Quote
EPP / XMP use the SPD chip... they use the spare space to provide additional settings including voltage options, etc (that are accessible via EPP/XMP). JEDEC only certifies a limited amount of SPD settings and these are not designed with performance in mind.

Basically, memory manufacturers have to set their SPD to a certain value, even if they claim the modules can hit higher speeds. With EPP/XMP, they can enable the rated speeds by changing just one option in the BIOS. The rest is taken care of.
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