With the new release of DDR5 support in Intel’s stunning 12th Gen “Alder Lake” CPUs like the Core i5-12600K and Core i9-12900K and potentially AMD’s Zen 4 chips next year, we now You’re entering a fork where you’ll need to decide which RAM is right for you — DDR4 or DDR5.
How fast is DDR5? What will I need to run what? What is even DDR5? This article will help you know everything you need to make the right decision for you.
What is DDR5?
DDR5 is the next evolution of PC RAM. This release mainly focuses on increasing the density and bandwidth of RAM while reducing power consumption.
How much DDR5 RAM can I put in my PC?
With today’s DDR4 technology, the largest commercially available modules come in 32GB capacities. DDR5 can quadruple that capacity. A typical entry-level PC with four DDR4 DIMM slots will max out at 128GB. An advanced system built around four DDR5 DIMM slots that can reach up to 512GB. And even higher-end systems with eight DDR5 DIMM slots can get up to 1TB of RAM.
Do I really need 512GB of RAM in my PC?
No, most consumers and gamers these days don’t really need more than 16GB to 32GB of memory. All PCs are personal though – so it’s possible someone will do so with 512GB to do some research.
How much more memory bandwidth will DDR5 give me?
RAM manufacturer Micron says it sees a 36% increase in bandwidth with the DDR5 module compared to the DDR4 module at the same 3200 MT/s data transfer rate. The DDR5/4800 module that Micron tested provides an 87% increase in performance over the same DDR4/3200 module.
Does DDR5 reduce latency?
According to Corsair, despite all these improvements, the overall latency of DDR5 memory is about the same as that of DDR4. They show that the one-time access delay is the same, with the column access flicker delay being slightly worse. Corsair’s guidance so far is that the overall latency of a “top-level” DDR5 module will be comparable to that of a DDR4 module in the 14ns to 15ns range.
I was able to buy DDR4/5333 modules, so what’s the big deal?
It is true that you can buy DDR4 / 5333 memory modules today, but they are technically above the official limit for memory, which is DDR4/3200. Module manufacturers often achieve higher data rates by overclocking RAM, which also technically voids warranties on AMD and Intel CPUs. No company really cares if you do but it’s technically outside the limits of DDR4.
On the other hand, DDR5 has appeared DDR5/4800 modules from day one, with DDR4/6400 modules around. Adata says they may also see overclocked modules up to DDR5/12800. And all this speed talk doesn’t factor in Micron’s testing, which shows that at the same data rates, DDR5 offers 37% more bandwidth than DDR4.
Will DDR5 be more expensive?
As with any new technology, you can expect DDR5 to be more expensive than comparable DDR4 modules today. RAM maker Samsung said it expected DDR5 to be at least 30% more expensive at launch. That is also only for the chips themselves.
When Team Group offered a pair of 32GB DDR5/4800, the pre-order price at the end of June was $311 on Amazon. Most of the early DDR5 memory sticks come in a larger 32GB capacity for close to $300.
So yes, early adopters of DDR5 will need to get their hands on a sizable amount. Remember it always happens with new memory transitions.
Will DDR5 get hotter?
With more bandwidth and higher capacity, DDR5 will also add heat – but this is not necessarily because the chips themselves are running hotter. With DDR5, voltage regulation for the RAM moves directly into the module itself. With DDR4, the voltage for the RAM is set on the motherboard.
In theory, this would reduce motherboard complexity and allow individual module manufacturers more control and the ability to optimize power distribution for each module.
The cost is additional heat generated on the module itself and needs to be dissipated. For example, module maker Corsair touted its existing cooling design as an advantage for DDR5.
Do all DDR5 modules have ECC?
DDR5 actually includes ECC (or error correction control) that can detect multi-bit errors and correct single-bit errors. However, that’s not what you’d expect if your workload already requires technology.
With traditional ECC, error detection and control is done at all levels, including the data being transferred to the CPU. With DDR5, ECC is built into every actual RAM chip but once it leaves the chip and begins its journey along that long narrow wire to the CPU, no ECC will be performed, which means errors that cause problems. out on the go is not its problem.
So why do this? It’s mostly being done because you can’t really quadruple the density of the chip without additional layers of safety. These days, you’ll almost exclusively find ECC used in servers and workstations, because it’s done for important reasons. On-die ECC in DDR5 is just something that has to be done to make high speed and high density a possibility.
As a result, consumers will likely still not get “full” ECC RAM support, while commercial CPUs and RAMs will still offer full ECC support.
Can I run DDR5 on my current system?
Are not. To run DDR5, you will need a new CPU, a new motherboard.
Which CPUs will support DDR5?
Intel’s 12th Gen “Alder Lake S” CPUs are the first to support DDR5, AMD is expected to support DDR5 with its Zen 4 CPUs in 2022.
- Intel Core i9-12900K
- Intel Core i9-12900K
Intel’s 12th generation Alder Lake S chips support both DDR4 and DDR5. Intel launched Alder Lake with DDR5 motherboards, but knowing that the new technology brings higher prices and low availability, motherboards that also support 12th Gen Alder Lake and existing DDR4 memory will be common. for at least the first year or two.
Is DDR5 the future?
In October 2021, DDR5 will likely be very expensive compared to DDR4, so you’re better off waiting for prices to equal before jumping in — but much of this depends on your value.
It also depends on how you view your investment in RAM. Paying a higher premium for DDR5 in 2021 or early 2022 means you can use that RAM when building a new system in 2026. But usually it’s better to just upgrade to a standard kit new memory a few years after this standard drops, then RAM will be bigger, faster, and cheaper.
Will the next generation CPU be faster with DDR4 or DDR5?
We can say that in previous memory transitions, the high price was rarely worth it for those looking for real impact. That’s usually because newer RAM often starts out very conservative with speed and timing, with older RAM benefiting from years of being sped up as much as possible.
DDR5 changes that somewhat, as it seems to offer superior bandwidth even compared to the fastest DDR4 modules. Even so, the larger memory bandwidth doesn’t always deliver the returns people expect beyond integrated graphics performance.