April 1, 2023

Intel will launch its 12th-generation Alder Lake processors before the end of the year, which include support for DDR5 RAM. But don’t expect DDR5 modules to carry a similar price to DDR4—it’s going to be considerably more expensive.

As Tom’s Hardware reports(Opens in a new window), MSI has posted its guide to DDR5 RAM(Opens in a new window) and with it revealed the expected cost of of upgrading. We typically see a 30-40% increase in price from one DDR generation to the next, but for DDR5 it’s a different story. As the new modules contain additional components, MSI says the price is likely to be 50-60% higher than DDR4.

If you’re an early adopter that’s bad news, and it could be worse than that depending on if the global supply problems we’re currently facing extends to RAM modules. However, if you aren’t planning to upgrade your PC in the near future, MSI has some good news—the company believes DDR5 will reach price parity with DDR4 within two years.

We’ve already seen some DDR5 RAM modules appear for sale earlier this year. In June, a listing for Teamgroup’s Elite 32GB DDR5 RAM kit(Opens in a new window) (2 x 16GB modules) popped up for $310.99. Compare that to the DDR4 version of that same Elite kit(Opens in a new window), which only costs $99.99.

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The high price may be worth it for anyone building a PC with a focus on performance. DDR5 is faster, offers greater bandwidth, uses less power, works more efficiently with multi-core processors, and handles its own power management rather than offloading it to your motherboard.

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