NVIDIA unveils open standard memory specification

Posted on Monday, May 15 2006 @ 17:50 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
NVIDIA today announced the results of a collaborative memory development effort called Enhanced Performance Profiles, or EPP, which allows consumers to easily expose new, advanced performance memory settings built into high performance memory DIMMs for even higher levels of overall PC system performance. In addition, NVIDIA also announced today that Corsair Memory, the worldwide leader in design and manufacture of high performance memory, is the first memory vendor to announce support for the new EPP specification, and is expected to have new EPP-based memory DIMMs available in the channel later this month.

"Enhanced Performance Profiles are a significant change in the way overclocking and performance hardware compatibility is defined and sold. The industry now has a new standard on how a performance memory SPD should be written and communicated with the motherboard BIOS," said John Beekley, VP of Applications Engineering at Corsair Memory. "Our expectation is that EPP will be adopted by major motherboard companies, core-logic manufacturers, and other memory companies."

Developed as an extension to the traditional Serial Presence Detect (SPD) found on today's high-performance DIMMS, Enhanced Performance Profiles allow memory manufacturers to integrate additional module performance data in the unused portion of the JEDEC standard SPD, allowing compatible motherboards to read and take advantage of added performance capabilities. Enhanced Performance Profiles were developed as an open standard, and immediate adoption is expected shortly from other motherboard partners and PC memory suppliers.

While memory modules with Enhanced Performance Profiles will work on any motherboard, only motherboards equipped with properly-designed BIOSes, such as those designed for NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI media and communications processors (MCPs), will detect the presence of these new capabilities and prompt the user to set PC boot parameters for guaranteed optimized settings. End users will be able to measure the impact on benchmark performance and verify detailed parametric settings using common system utilities such as Lavalys EVEREST or Microsoft Windows-based performance tools such as NVIDIA nTune.

The new EPP-based Corsair memory modules are part of the certified NVIDIA SLI technology ecosystem that defines a set of interoperable components for enthusiasts, all of which raise the bar for performance and functionality when used together in the same PC platform. All products that are part of the SLI ecosystem can easily be identified at e-tail and retail by the "NVIDIA SLI-Ready" logo prominently featured on the packaging. There are more than 250 SLI-Ready components currently active in the program.

"NVIDIA recognizes Corsair's significant contribution and passion in the enthusiast community, and we have selected them as our official memory partner for the launch of our upcoming NVIDIA nForce 500 family of MCPs," said Drew Henry, general manager of MCP business at NVIDIA. "Corsair understands the overclocking mindset and has done a terrific job in being the first vendor to bring EPP-based memory products to market in record time. Together, we will showcase this winning combination at a variety of industry and community events over the next few months".

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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