Today we have a quick preview of the Innodisk 8GB DDR4 SODIMM. The SODIMM form factor is extremely popular in both the notebook form factors, but also in small form factor servers. We saw DDR3 ECC SODIMMs used more widely with the Intel Atom C2000 series. In our first review of the Supermicro A1SAi-2750F we struggled to find ECC SODIMMs until Kingston sent them along. Likewise, with this generation we have the ASRock Rack EPC612D4I which is a Intel Xeon E5 V3 motherboard in a mITX form factor. We wanted to test the motherboard but finding DDR4 ECC SODIMMs was challenging to say the least. Innodisk stepped in and was able to get us a pair of 8GB DDR4 ECC SODIMMs, greatly speeding the review process.
The Innodisk 8GB DDR4 ECC SODIMM
Looking at the units, they are extremely small, an absolute must on platforms like the ASRock Rack EPC612D4I but also in dense microserver environments like the HP Moonshot where SODIMMs are used extensively. The part numbers on these are M4D0-8GSSQCRG. One can see the 16 + 2 RAM package configuration. Each chip we would expect is a 512MB part given the 8GB capacity and ECC.
The 260pin design in such a small package does mean that one needs to ensure that that memory is seated properly and that the slot/ gold fingers are free from foreign substances. By comparison, a standard DDR3 SODIMM has only 204 pins so this represents a ~27% increase in pin density compared to previous generations.
Our review of the ASRock Rack EPC612D4I will be coming soon. It is already in our datacenter lab and has been performing well. One can see that without the smaller SODIMM form factor, such a platform would not be possible.
For those wondering, these modules do carry a fairly hefty premium compared to standard 8GB DDR4 size sticks. That will likely change as more manufacturers enter the market. Innodisk was able to get us review samples before any other manufacturer so thank you to them for making the forthcoming ASRock Rack EPC612D4I review possible. 2015 will see the main transition from DDR3/ DDR3L to DDR4 take place so it is great to see these products come out ahead of even notebooks supporting DDR4.
If a major OEM like Dell/HP makes a SODIMM based 2P server, SODIMM form factor would immediately become industry standard. Imagine all the board space savings when all 24 DIMMs are SODIMM factor, and how much better it will be if SODIMM ECC modules end up being cheaper because of the smaller pcb. One can only dream.