The first point of interest for our regular weekly recap of HW News is our overclocking livestream. We're planning an i7-8086K CPU overclocking livestream on Wednesday, July 11, at 6PM EST. We'll likely be dragging ye olde Titan V out to claim some ranks once again, and later hope to 1v1 Buildzoid in a livestream. This last piece won't happen on Wednesday, but Wednesday will be our preparation for the live OC battle. Other GN news includes the closing of our presale for the limited edition foil GN shirts, commemorating the launch of our 10-year anniversary logo. If you've wanted one, now is the time to get an order in. Our Blueprint design shirts are also back in stock.
Aside from GN news, Micron is facing a temporary ban from sales of Crucial and Ballistix products in China (and has also responded to this ban), Intel's 9000-series CPUs have been spoiled (and may not be actually 9th Gen), and nVidia leaks from Lenovo indicate 1160 and 1180 launches are imminent.
Despite Computex’s imminence, there are still plenty of pre-show announcements and news items to discuss. This week’s anchor item is the “conversation” that Micron has been having with memory suppliers; specifically, China’s Anti-Monopoly Bureau has discussed DRAM pricing with Samsung and Micron, Hynix likely to follow. Connecting the dots isn’t too hard here, but keep in mind that there’s still nothing confirmed with regard to price fixing possibilities.
Separately, AMD’s B450 chipsets were detailed, passive AM4 coolers debuted, and JPR thinks cryptomining is waning, giving way to more affordable video cards for gamers.
Show notes are below the video.
We wrote a couple of scripts to scrape the data shown in this content, showing memory price trends for the year so far. We recently set forth on an information gathering mission to learn about how much it costs to actually buy different types of memory, allowing us to look at just how much the memory suppliers are making. They’re raking in record profits with record stock highs – just look at the below Hynix or Micron stock chart: Despite claimed cleanroom limitations, the companies are making record revenue. Today, we’re talking about why and how the memory industry is in the shape it’s in.
This is Part 2 of our RAM Report series. The first part aired previously, and dug deep into five years of memory price data and earnings results for memory suppliers. Be sure to read or watch that content if you haven’t already.
The headlining story for the past week covers the memory supplier class action that was recently filed (vs. SK Hynix, Samsung, and Micron), alleging conspiracy to fix prices. In contension for the headline story, Intel's 10nm process problems have grown more complicated, seemingly preempting the company's hiring of Jim Keller, former AMD Zen architect.
While researching GPU prices and learning that GDDR5 memory price has increased by $20-$30 on the bill of materials lately, we started looking into the rising system memory prices. RAM pricing has proven somewhat cyclic over the past few years. We’ve reported on memory price increases dating back to 2012, and have done so seemingly every 2 years since that time. This research piece pulls five years of trend data, working in collaboration with PCPartPicker, to investigate why memory prices might be increasing, when we can expect a decrease, and more.
DRAM prices are crazy right now. We’ve driven that point into the ground over the past few years, but pinpointing a “when” and a “why” is a difficult proposition. With the help of PCPartPicker, we’ve identified some general trends that seem almost cyclic, and provide some relief in pointing toward an eventual downturn.
China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) is looking into the possibility of DRAM price-fixing between the major memory and Flash suppliers, with specific interest from the Pricing Supervision Department of said commission. An official from the regulatory body, Xu Xinyu of NDRC, stated the following: “We have noticed the price surge and will pay more attention to future problems that may be caused by ‘price fixing’ in the sector.”
This comes following recent reports that Samsung initiated plans to increase supply by 20%, which still failed to meet rising demand. The NDRC told the China Daily, a state-run media outlet, that the NDRC has paid attention to DRAM pricing and demand over the past 18 months, and that memory suppliers are now under the eye of the NDRC. There are only four major suppliers in the industry, and those include SK Hynix, Micron, Toshiba, and Samsung.
Recapping some of the most recent hardware news for the past two days, we visit topics centering on liquid cooling for video cards and a side topic discussing Micron's newest 32GB mobile 3D NAND.
For GPUs, ZOTAC has just announced its “ArcticStorm” GTX 1080 card with waterblock, providing full coverage over the VRAM, FETs, and GPU itself. Standard G1/4 threaded fittings include barbs to support 10mm inner diameter tubing, and microfins are spaced at 0.3mm apart. For a more visual understanding of microfins and spacing, check our liquid cooler tear-down. A metal backplate is included with the card.
We don't have a price on Zotac's ArcticStorm just yet, but have reached-out to ask.
This isn't news to anyone who's followed the site through our Pascal and GDDR5X posts, but new leaks by “benchlife.info” indicate nVidia's dedication to use both HBM and GDDR5X. The Chinese language site has previously proven to be reliable in its leaks.
GPU architecture has come to a head with memory. Pascal will host HBM2 on its high-end devices, but the cost makes low-end and mid-range cards (the equivalent of a current GTX 960) impossibly expensive. NVidia plans to deploy Micron's new GDDR5X high-bit-rate memory for a cheaper alternative to HBM2; GDDR5X is more expensive than GDDR5, landing it between the oldest (current) and newest (current) technology in product cost.
The past week of hardware news is mostly industry-driven, with few noteworthy product announcements outside of a few small items. A few critical news items emerged regarding industry, though, like further Samsung vs. nVidia proceedings, Micron's GDDR5X memory (replacing GDDR5, theoretically), Unity's Steam VR support, AMD/HP FreeSync laptops, and AMD Zen details revealed through CERN – the particle and nuclear research group.
We've rounded up this week's news in the below video. You can find quick, bulleted recaps of each item below the video, if you'd prefer that format.
Learn more below!
Despite the season's best efforts to give weary editors a rest, last week remained active as ever, producing some major news items that impact 1H16.
As quickly as possible, then our news recap video:
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