AMD Memory Entertainment Edition 8GB £37
20th Feb 2012 | 12:00
AMD joins the RAM bandwagon
Yes you've read the title right, AMD has joined the memory bandwagon with its AMD Memory Entertainment Edition 8GB kit. Rather belatedly.
Well, actually for the launch of its AMD Memory branded modules it's cosied up to VisionTek and, in the case of the DDR3 DDR3-1600 modules we reviewed, Patriot Memory.
So the $64 million question is why AMD wants to get involved in the murky world of the memory vendor? Especially when some of the well-known players in the field, such as OCZ, have already jumped ship.
It's down to AMD wanting to be an enabler in driving down the total cost of its own platforms without sacrificing performance. Then at the same time having a foot in the door when it comes to developing memory products in the future too.
AMD will also test the modules "in-house" using AMD platforms, which is meant to give the AMD-branded modules a supposed advantage over the standard value modules offered by the more well-known brands.
But it goes without saying you can chuck this set of two 4GB AMD Memory Entertainment Edition sticks into an Intel platform if you so desire.
Currently there are three tiers to AMD's memory lineup; Entertainment, Performance and Radeon Editions.
The Entertainment Edition lineup consists of DDR3 at 1,333MHz and 1,600MHz CL9 latencies, in 2GB and 4GB modules. The Performance Edition has the same speeds but rated at CL8, and is available in 2GB, 4GB and 8GB kits. The Radeon Edition kits, due soon, are the stuff for enthusiasts and overclockers, with speeds of 1,866 and possibly 2,133MHz.
Even though the AMD memory could be overclocked to a higher speed than the Patriot Gamer 2 AMD Black Edition, which was similarly designed for AMD based motherboards, it didn't perform quite as well.
Memory bandwidth performance
One of the annoying problems with AMD platforms was their habit of being fussy about memory running at high speeds when you tried to overclock them. User-friendly certainly wasn't a term that sprang to mind.
With the arrival of the Llano and Bulldozer chip technologies, those problems are thankfully behind us, and the AMD Memory Entertainment Edition 8GB kit is a good case in point.
Thanks to its fairly relaxed 9-9-9-24 latency settings, we got the RAM kit to overclock to 1,866MHz without any bother at all even, at the 1.65V stock voltage. But seeing as the modules come from the Patriot stable, that maybe isn't that much of a surprise.
Having said that, the Patriot Gamer 2 AMD Black Edition memory we previously tested, which was also designed for AMD systems, wouldn't run stably at 1,866MHz but was fine at 1,840MHz.
As you can see from the benchmark results, there's nothing earth-shattering about the performance of these AMD modules. And with very safe and conservative CAS latency settings, that's no real surprise.
Hopefully the high-end Radeon Edition modules will enable you to do more extreme tinkering when they appear on the shelves.
To be honest it's not really a question of like or dislike, the premier question that springs to mind is why bother?
The AMD Memory Entertainment Edition 8GB showed no advantage in performance in our tests, and the fact that the modules have been tested by AMD probably in the cold light of day will make no difference in making a choice for or against it. Most people already have their favourite brands of memory. After all, there are so many makes to choose from already.
There's nothing to dislike about the memory either. It does what it says on the tin and shows some overclocking potential.
It may not be the fastest memory out of the box, but at least now AMD with its latest CPUs and chipsets has a strong enough product to entice another manufacturer into putting its badge on its stuff.