Buried in the sea of news at the Computex was something really interesting: an ahead-of-time ultra low voltage 1.2 volt DDR3 DIMM module kit. Shown by Geil’s Hank "Hunk" Cheng [yeah the chap got the size of a small mountain, untypical for Taiwan] and his team, it sat next to an otherwise more headline-grabbing DDR3-2133 kit running on the Core i7.
To me, though, the low voltage DDR3-1333 kit is interesting as it gives all the necessary speed for a reasonable Core i7 midrange system while saving nearly half on the power and heat vs the same speed 1.5 volt standard DDR3 parts. Heat spreaders become an absolute waste then (well, maybe they were ALWAYS the waste with DRAM anyway), and the memory pretty much stops being a noticeable heat source in your system.
As you may know, the major vendors including Hynix and Samsung have already defined the roadmap that includes the ramp up of 1.35 volt DDR3 in 2010 and 1.2 volt DDR3 in 2011 just prior to the DDR4 arrival at – yes – standard 1.2 volts then. In this case, the little Golden Emperor International (GEIL) has taken the lead and got the new stuff, umm, well over a year earlier? Selected Asus mobos already support the BIOS voltage setting for this RAM kit, and hopefully more will follow.