DDR3-2000+ Memory Kits – Fast but Flawed

Anandtech.com revisits Elpida Hyper based IC triple channel memory kits and shares their experiences regarding the failure rates with the recent batches of Elpida Hyper ICs.

Unfortunately, we met delay after delay as every one of our Elpida “Hyper” based kits failed on us in some form or fashion over the past few weeks. At times, a single module would fail and eventually the whole kit in certain instances. Eventually our patience wore thin as even warranty replacements started failing and we knew this was not an isolated problem…

The “official” cause of death is unknown at present, while the usual suspects, such as manufacturing errors, motherboard voltage/ user over voltage issues and temperature related deterioration are the obvious perpetrators. The “unofficial” cause of death is simply a quality problem with the Elpida “Hyper” based ICs according to various sources we have spoken with the past couple of weeks. Granted, the other factors can and probably do account for a certain failure rate, but the randomness of our failures along with others, especially at first POST or during stock benchmarking lead us to believe that the quality of the IC is the primary factor at this point.

When we speak of failures, there are two types, a catastrophic failure where the module dies instantly and one of deterioration. One or more of the modules failing to map fully to the operating system usually marks the first sign of deterioration. Moving the modules around between the slots can work around some of this, although from our experience this is a primary sign that things are beginning to go downhill fast. This phenomenon is not to be confused with the i7 memory controller skipping to map a module because of insufficient voltages for the applied clocks.

The next step is when the module no longer clocks up at stock voltages or given voltage limits like 1.65V VDimm. We have witnessed modules not clocking above 1900MHz or so regardless of voltages and slowly dropping to 1200MHz before total failure.

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