Published in PC Hardware

No GDDR5 support on Kaveri

by on01 November 2013

DDR3 only, no surprise

AMD’s upcoming Kaveri APU will not feature support for speedy GDDR5 memory. Earlier leaks, or should way say rumours pointed to GDDR5 support, which made sense as adding a bit of GDDR5 could dramatically speed up the integrated GCN GPU.

On the other hand, GDDR5 is very pricey and in the end the trade-off doesn’t appear to have been worth it. There will be no GDDR5 support on Bald Eagle, either.

We can’t say we are surprised. GDDR5 makes sense in some settings and AMD’s custom console chips are a good example. However, in the consumer and server space there’s still no room for GDDR5 and this won’t change anytime soon.

Furthermore, GDDR5 really wouldn’t work well as system memory for more than obvious reasons. That means any GDDR5 Kaveri system would have to have a bit of GDDR5 soldered on the board, along with standard DDR3 memory slots. Such a system, with on-board GDDR5 and a big on-die 384-bit GDDR5 controller would be very expensive and tricky to produce and the added performance was clearly not worth it.

In theory, AMD could still do custom Kaveri parts with GDDR5, provided there’s a market for them, but we’re not sure there is.

More here.

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