In collaboration with Corsair, NVIDIA worked on a better way to inform the bios of the memory characteristics. The objective is to adjust parameters to have optimum performances with or without overclocking. The result is SLI Memory or EPP which stands for Enhanced Performance Profiles. It consists in using the entire memory space available in the SPD to give additional information about the memory.
The SPD is a small memory that is located on memory modules. It reports the specifications of the module. This information is however sometime incomplete or erroneous and most of the SPD space is unused. EPP is a sort of SPD 2 with more detailed profiles. 2 versions of these new profiles are available: full and abbreviated. 2 full versions (at different frequencies) can be stored in full mode whereas 4 can be stored in the small memory in abbreviated mode.
EPP in full version and abbreviated
Demonstrations made by NVIDIA showed efficient and simple Overclocking. Now, the thing is that this won’t make a big difference for Overclocking aficionados who prefer to add final touches manually.
If bringing more information to the bios on the memory is a very good idea, we however question the SLI Memory denomination and the presence of SLI Ready logos on memory that will support EPP. What doesn’t it have to do with SLI which means Scalable Link Interface?
Other questions don’t have answers yet: does it mean that it will work with SLI chipsets? nForce 4 and future chipsets? If a chipset doesn’t support SLI, will it be able to access the additional information on the memory? All of this isn’t really clear and the confusion probably comes from marketing operations made around the SLI denomination. In practice, EPP should work if motherboard manufacturers implement it in the bios. The chipset, whether if it is SLI or not, won’t make a difference. Some non SLI motherboards will benefit from the EPP and some SLI motherboard (probably most of motherboards currently available) won’t.
Hitachi just announced its first drive using perpendicular recording. Designed for laptops, the Travelstar 5K160 runs at 5400 Rpm and is available in 40, 60, 80, 120 and 160 GB versions. The previous Travelstar series was restricted to 100 GB with two platters. The 160 GB version is announced at $269.
Hitachi isn’t the first one on this market. Seagate announced the Momentus 5400.3 in June 2005. The real product availability however was last January.
Hitachi speaks of « Super-perpendicular Drive » because of, according to the manufacturer, increased reliability and modifications brought to the media and reading heads. This would be in fact Hitachi’s second generation of perpendicular recording.