April 1, 2023


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It is finally here, DDR5 RAM was released on the 4th November 2021 alongside Intel 12th gen CPUs and Z690 motherboards.

It’s been around 4 years since the first signs of DDR5 RAM started to emerge, and since then, not that much has actually happened.

DDR5 RAM is set to supersede DDR4 in almost every area – faster speeds, greater bandwidth, better power efficiency – you name it, DDR5 does it better.

That being said, the last 6 months have played host to some breakthrough moments in the DDR5 movement – with the last couple of weeks showcasing a tonne of reveals from the market’s leading memory manufacturers.

Whilst there is no official release date on DDR5 memory modules just yet, leading manufacturers are beginning to unveil fully functional DDR5 memory kits to the public. Amongst the speculation, best guesses suggest that the new DDR5 platform will launch around the same time as Intel’s Z690 motherboards. However, like all DDR5 news over the last few years, we’ll be taking this with a pinch of salt. Furthermore, with the current shortage in, well, pretty much everything PC-related, there’s a strong chance the arrival of DDR5 will sadly be delayed.

All being said, we’ll try to answer some of the more pressing questions surrounding next-gen memory in this article: when will DDR5 be released? Is it worth purchasing DDR5 RAM? How will DDR5 compare with DDR4 RAM? These are just some of the topics we’ll be covering below.

Platinum dominator RAM

DDR5 RAM Latest News

VIDEO: DDR4 v DDR5 RAM – Will it be worth the upgrade?

DDR5 Performance

We’ve been hearing whispers of DDR5 that stretch back to early 2018, however, not much has been announced regarding physical performance until earlier this year.

DDR4 Vs DDR5

Developers are promising some impressive figures for DDR5, stating that the next-gen RAM modules will have twice the performance of today’s DDR4-3200 RAM. All sounds mighty impressive, but what exactly does twice the performance actually mean?

Well, in a nutshell, the DDR5 design promises to hit shelves with double the density and double the speed of 1st gen DDR4-3200 modules. In addition to this, where DDR4 maxes out at 32GB per stick, DDR5 will be able to accommodate a much greater volume – with 128GB not being out of the question. Furthermore, many memory manufacturers are boasting speeds of up to 8,400MHz – with native frequencies sitting at an impressive 4,800MHz. This is a huge uplift when compared to DDR4, even when paired against the most overclocked modules.

Many DDR5 memory kits will also come with onboard overclocking support. The Geil Polaris series, for example, is said to offer overclocking support of up to DDR5-7200MHz – a 50% increase over the average DDR5-4800 kit. While we aren’t certain this will be advantageous to AMD processors, Ryzen is renowned for delivering better performance when paired with high-speed RAM. If speculations are to be believed, this will naturally be a perfect fit for AMD APUs & CPUs as they tend to thrive on higher speed memory.

The table below outlines some of the finer details that we can expect from the latest module.

Feature DDR4 DDR5 DDR5 Advantage
Data rates 3200Mhz 4800-6400mhz Increased performance and bandwidth
VDD/VDDQ/VPP 1.2 1.1 Lower power
Device densities 16GB Max 64GB Larger monolithic devices
Prefetch 8n 16n Keeps the internal core clock low
CRC Write Read/Write Strengthens system RAS by protecting read data
Burst length BL8 BL16, BL32 Allows 64B cache line fetch w/only 1 DIMM subchannel.

As you can clearly see, DDR5 offers much higher data rates, lower overall power consumption, higher density per stick, and a BL16 burst length which, when all paired together, shows the true potential this hardware brings to the table.

The data rate, which for us is one of the better improvements we’ve seen over DDR4, actually allows for an increase of 1.36X effective bandwidth when comparing DDR4 vs DDR5 at 3200Mhz. If you do the same math against a higher speed DDR5 (4800Mhz) then the results produce almost double what DDR4 has to offer. See the chart below:

Data Rate

And let’s not forget, this isn’t factoring in overclocking profiles and higher-speed DDR5 memory (up to 8,400MHz).

There are other benefits to DDR5 which include two independent 40-bit channels per mode, an improved command bus efficiency, increase bank group, and refresh schemes as well.

DDR5 Release Date

Back in March of 2017, JEDEC announced that DDR5 was being worked on and should be released in 2018. Jumping forward to November 2018, SK Hynix finally announced the first-ever DDR5 compliant RAM module, stating that the kits would be available for consumer purchase by end of 2020.

In a strange turn of events, SK Hynix actually slashed the release date to 2019, sparking exciting and speculation around the new DDR5 RAM modules. Ultimately, however, that wasn’t to be.

Fast forward to the present day and DDR5 is still as elusive as it ever was. Well, not as elusive, there have been some major movements in the launch of DDR5 that came to fruition at the end of 2020.

SK Hynix finally revealed the world’s first DDR5 memory modules – coming to theoretical shelves with 5,6000Mbps of raw bandwidth and operating at a lower voltage of 1.1V. While the new kits were set to hit shelves by Q3 of 2021, that wasn’t to be. As I write this now, Z690 motherboards and Intel’s 12th Gen CPUs are looking set to launch by the end of 2021 – with DDR5 following suit.

Because new CPUs now have more cores than ever, improvements in the RAM industry have had to be made to keep up with the GB/s per-core bandwidth demands. Thanks to the increased data rates, DDR5 clearly takes a huge step forward in the right direction, seen in the chart below.

DDR5

DDR5 Price & Availability

DDR5 Expected Pricing

There is always speculation surrounding new hardware prices and DDR5 is no different. We currently don’t have a price for how much the superfast memory will cost but what we do know, based on historical evidence, is it’s going to be more than DDR4. Who knew. While this is no real surprise, it’s definitely still worth mentioning – especially when you consider how much some of the higher-end DDR4 RAM kits currently retail for.

The latest leaks for Geil Polaris DDR5 say that the next-gen entry-level memory kits could retail for as high as $329. Compare that with Premium DDR4 RAM that can retail for as high as $200 and it’s easy to understand DDR5’s pricing – especially when it promises to be twice as good. Other major manufacturers have yet to show their hand on pricing, but we can only speculate that most will be around the $329 marker set by Geil.

Availability is a similar story, unfortunately. We will likely see the arrival of DDR5 in the mobile community first via Samsung and Micron in the LPDDR5 variety. It’ll be a good benchmark for what we can expect for desktop PC variations though.

A solid indicator of when DDR5 is going to become fully mainstream has been displayed in a chart designed by SK Hynix. They’ve tried to estimate how the sales market will be split in the coming years. Below is the chart.

DDR5 Tech Transitions

SK Hynix initially estimated that 25% of all memory market sales will be represented by DDR5 in 2020 – with over 40% expected by 2021. Despite this not being the case, it still gives us a good indication of how much the RAM is going to cost as they believe DDR4 is still going to have a major part to play in the memory game.

DDR5 Availability – Where to buy – pre order

Is DDR5 Worth Buying?

Well, that’s the big question. It all comes down to how much these modules are going to cost once they’re released.

As most will already know, for years, upgrading your RAM was probably the least effective way of achieving performance gains in your system. However, since the release of AMD’s new CPU & APU hierarchy, that’s no longer the case.

AMD CPUs literally thrive when paired with speedier RAM – meaning the arrival of DDR5 8,400Mhz will be a welcome one, -especially now Ryzen’s 5000-series CPU lineup starts to become more readily available. This being said, we aren’t fully aware of what hardware is going to be compatible with the new modules either, so we’ll have to play the waiting game for now.

Closing Thoughts

There you have it, everything we currently know about DDR5 memory. It’s going to be fascinating to see what sort of real-world improvements actually come from implementing this new rapid memory into your rig. Is it going to make a huge difference or not much at all?

Well, rest assured, as soon as desktop PC DDR5 hits shelves, our experience WePC benchmarking team will be doing a full breakdown of how effective this new hardware really is. We will be updating this page on a regular basis so that you guys are right up-to-date with the latest news and announcement.

Any questions regarding DDR5, feel free to leave us a message below and we’ll answer it the best we can!

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