Thursday, May 6th 2021

Intel "Alder Lake" Memory Controller Could Carry Forward Gear Ratios

Intel's 12th generation Core "Alder Lake" desktop processors could take the concept of memory frequency "gear ratios" forward, according to patch notes from the most recent update to HWInfo64, as reported by Tom's Hardware. Introduced with 11th Gen Rocket Lake, a "gear" ratio is the ratio of the memory clock speed in relation to the memory controller speed. In Gear 1 (or 1:1), the two operate at the same frequency. In Gear 2, the ratio is 1:2 or the memory controller operates at half the frequency of the memory, enabling higher memory overclocking headroom. With "Alder Lake," the company could carry forward this concept for both DDR4 and DDR5 memory types that the controller supports. At this point we don't know if there are just two ratios (Gear 1 and 2), or whether the company could add some more granularity.
Source: Tom's Hardware
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10 Comments on Intel "Alder Lake" Memory Controller Could Carry Forward Gear Ratios

#1
Vayra86
Intel firing on all cilinders to become less shite with the same turds
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#2
shadow3401
Whatever AMD implements on their processors, Intel copies it in a generation or two. We already had uclk/2 mode since Zen 2.
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#3
ZoneDymo
I dont understand the concept of gears, is it not just very old tech to put it into 1:1 or whatever ratio? pretty sure I did that with my Core2Due back in teh day
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#4
TheinsanegamerN
ZoneDymo
I dont understand the concept of gears, is it not just very old tech to put it into 1:1 or whatever ratio? pretty sure I did that with my Core2Due back in teh day
The whole concept is to have the memory run at half the clock speed of the IMC to reduce IMC stress, likely because rocketlake's IMC cant seem to handle the speeds comet lake could. The only real reason its a big deal is intel has been running 1:1 memory by default for years, since at least sandy bridge, and now is introducing this, which doesnt seem to benefit anyone but intel.
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#5
1d10t


Just add another Gear Intel, you already has R gear in Rocket Lake, don't forget N and P gear in Elder Lake!
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#6
ZoneDymo
TheinsanegamerN
The whole concept is to have the memory run at half the clock speed of the IMC to reduce IMC stress, likely because rocketlake's IMC cant seem to handle the speeds comet lake could. The only real reason its a big deal is intel has been running 1:1 memory by default for years, since at least sandy bridge, and now is introducing this, which doesnt seem to benefit anyone but intel.
right so its to compensate for weaker hardware then, sooo really its a bad thing to have then right?
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#7
Emily
Looks like they're going to continue making my Zen 2 IMC look good.
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#8
Zubasa
Vanny
Looks like they're going to continue making my Zen 2 IMC look good.
The Zen2 IMC itself is actually pretty good, just that the Fclk cannot keep up.
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#9
R-T-B
TheinsanegamerN
The whole concept is to have the memory run at half the clock speed of the IMC
You got that backwards.

The IMC runs at half the clockspeed of the memory.
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#10
Wirko
R-T-B
You got that backwards.

The IMC runs at half the clockspeed of the memory.
It's probably more like this: the complex parts of the IMC, those that process and prioritise requests from cores etc., run at half speed. At least some of the logic, however, must run at full speed to enable transfers at that speed.

DDR5 is the first generation ever in which speed in MT/s can significantly exceed maximum core clocks. Parts of the IMC are so complex that they may be comparable to the core logic, so they can't run at more than 4.8 - 5.0 GHz all the time and keep power consumption reasonable too.

That's why I'm expecting more appearances of Gear 2 going forward, not less.
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