192GB of DDR-5 RAM in One Workstation
If you read the title of this blog and know just a little bit about computer system memory, you know that 192GB is a lot. In fact, it’s a ton for an Intel® Core™ or AMD Ryzen™ based workstation. Just a few short years (or moments) ago, 64GB was considered to be a serious amount of memory for these systems, and for many, it still is. So what brought on the quantum leap to 192GB available in a BOXX APEXX S-Class workstation? You can thank DDR-5, which offers twice the density and bandwidth of DDR4, yet also reduces power consumption.
DDR-5 DIMM (dual inline memory module) now allows up to 48GB per chip, and since they’re installed in pairs (and two pair fit inside an APEXX S3 or S4 workstation), that gets us to the new high number. It also means higher bandwidth and that means faster processing for video editing and memory-intensive 3D applications like Autodesk Revit, 3ds Max, Maya, Cinema 4D, and SOLIDWORKS. DDR-5 also has on-die ECC, which provides a measure of error detection and correction before sending data to the processor, improves reliability, and reduces defect rates.
When it comes to configuring your workstation with DDR-5 system memory, there are a few facts worthy of mention, most notably, CPU support, motherboard, bandwidth, and upgrades.
CPU Support and Motherboard Considerations
13th Gen (and 12th Gen) Intel Core CPUs and AMD Ryzen 7000 series CPUs support DDR5 memory, therefore, the 13th Gen Intel® Core™ i7/i9 processors powering BOXX APEXX S-Class workstations support DDR5 as do the AMD Ryzen 7000 series CPUs inside our APEXX A3 workstation.
As for motherboards, take note that DDR-5 is not backward compatible with DDR4. Motherboards only support one or the other, so it would be wise to select a workstation with DDR-5 which enables future upgrades. If you opt for an older Intel or AMD CPU, you'll be relegated to using DDR4.
Even if latency is comparable between DDR-4 and DDR-5, the amount of data that DDR-5 can transfer per second is significantly higher. This increase in bandwidth results in improved performance overall. That brings us back to 192GB in a single Intel Core or AMD Ryzen workstation. Since 32GB of RAM has long been considered sufficient and 64GB a good max, why would a creative professional want, or for that matter, need up to 192GB of system memory? It’s the aforementioned improved performance.
One example is if you’re an architect or architectural visualization professional who deals with massive data sets, like 3D laser scanning that produces large scale point clouds which must be converted into Revit models. In this case, increased memory is a major asset to your workflow.
Architecture, engineering & construction applications like Revit, as well as media & entertainment applications like 3ds Max, Maya, and Cinema 4, or manufacturing and product design software like SOLIDWORKS are optimized by a high frequency CPU, not a high number of CPU cores. In other words, the speed of the processor is the determining factor. These applications also involve highly detailed, compute intensive models and wire framing. When you have to zoom, pan, or rotate these models, your hard drive must computationally rebuild the model. With insufficient memory, this process slows down. But, with increased memory, the burden is relieved from the hard drive and the memory quickly and efficiently carries the load.
If your workflow includes simulation, memory bandwidth is also critical as it holds significant impact on the performance of most simulations. With faster memory, more data can be processed by each core, reducing the time each core spends waiting for data and increasing the time it spends computing. In order to reach maximum speed, memory channels in processors should be populated with equal amounts of memory.
So, increased memory is always better, and in terms of performance, moving from 64GB up to 192GB is like taking your car from a two lane road to a four lane highway.
Performance tuned to a blazing fast 6.0GHz, the liquid cooled BOXX APEXX S3 and APEXX S4 workstations are available now with up to 192GB of system memory (and ready to handle any model you can throw at them).