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UK gets Crucial memory boost

DDR now available in PC1600 and PC2100 flavours

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Image credit: Eurogamer

The United Kingdom finally has its own source of DDR (Double Data Rate) memory, thanks to trend-setters Crucial, who now not only stock the lower spec PC1600, but also the elusive PC2100 as well. Previously the only vendors that actually stocked DDR memory paid a premium for it, a cost that was passed onto the customer. PC2100 was just making its way here from abroad at nearly 75p per megabyte. For those of you that haven't been keeping up, Double Data Rate memory is defined by standards that break from the traditional clock-speed notation. You will have heard of PC100 and PC133, which are so-called because of the maximum bus speed they are rated to operate at - 100MHz and 133MHz respectively. PC1600 and PC2100 are so-called because of their peak data bandwidth. Under perfect conditions, they can shift 1600Mb/s and 2100Mb/s respectively. This is idle speculation, but we are guessing that this naming convention came about due to the widespread confusion surrounding bus speeds and DDR that has been caused by thoughtless marketing tomfoolery. PC1600 is primed to operate at 100MHz front side bus, which is curiously also classed as 200MHz by AMD, thanks to its processors' ability to transport two instructions for every one that rivals can offer over the same bus. PC2100 is 133MHz, which actually means 266MHz. Confused? Now you can understand why they dreamt up the naming convention. Speaking in the company's press release, Crucial boss Mike Bokan commented on the popularity of DDR SDRAM. "Since we first offered PC1600 DDR SDRAM in July of last year, it has been flying off the shelves. Clearly, Crucial's customers want DDR SDRAM, and our factory-direct model allows us to sell this new PC2100 DDR SDRAM at prices that make it accessible to anyone who wants it." Cynics that we are, we had expected Crucial to launch the modules in the States and leave us hanging. Fortunately, their distribution has been lightning quick and simultaneous. In the States you can pick up various modules for as little as $60.29 for 128Mb of PC2100. Over here, the prices are equally pleasing. The same stick of memory is an absolute steal at £42.29. PC1600 prices are even lower. Although we would prefer to avoid causing a stampede, if you think you might need DDR memory soon, now might be the time to get some. With OEMs recovering slightly from the shortage in PC sales over the Christmas period, memory prices do look set to rise over the next month or so. Incidentally, while we're speculating, one of the crazier things we've heard in the last two days is the possibility that AMD is actually subsidizing Crucial's profit margins in order to keep DDR prices low. Unlikely? Maybe, but it would do more for the DDR platform, something which AMD now has the trademarked rights to flaunt as its own, than any number of new motherboard chipsets announced in the last six months...

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