How is DDR5 RAM better than DDR4 RAM and other types of RAM? You will learn what DDR5 RAM is and whether or not you need it in this guide.
Ans : DDR5 is the fifth and latest version of DDR memory that will succeed DDR4 in the mainstream market. It offers greater bandwidth, increased capacity, and improved energy efficiency than DDR4.
It is unnecessary to say that technology has advanced rapidly over the past decade. Particularly evident in 2021, especially when it comes to gaming, as we enter the 4K era.
Several things have changed since the past few years: AMD has overtaken Intel in the mainstream CPU market, Nvidia has introduced real-time ray tracing, GPUs are capable of 4K, and SSDs have become mainstream.
We are also going to see a big change in RAM. In other words, DDR5 will be replacing DDR4 as the mainstream RAM solution for PCs. What is DDR5 and how does it differ from its predecessor? We’ll answer that in the article below, so keep reading!
What Is DDR5?
To start off with the titular question: what is DDR5?
In the introduction, we established that DDR5 is a type of RAM. RAM stands for Random-Access Memory.
What is its purpose? This is the short-term memory of your PC, i.e., it stores relatively small amounts of important data that the CPU or GPU needs to be able to access quickly in order to run the programs on the PC.
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Additionally, RAM is extremely fast, but it is also a type of volatile memory, which means that it can only store information when it is powered up. Since RAM is erased by turning off the power, it should be obvious why it can’t be used as a long-term storage medium.
Now, what about DDR5, specifically?
Double Data Rate 5 Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory is DDR5 SDRAM. The SDRAM was developed in 1992, whereas DDR is a type of SDRAM developed in 1998. Its primary strength is its high data rate.
DDR memory technology has evolved over the years and it is mainly linear from DDR (or DDR1) to DDR5, although low-power versions of DDR memory (LPDDR) have also been released, including LPDDR5, which are aimed at mobile devices.
DDR5 vs DDR4
What is the difference between DDR5 and DDR4?
DDR5 offers three major advantages over DDR4: bandwidth, capacity, and power efficiency.
DDR5 supports data rates of up to 6.4 Gbps, whereas DDR4 can only support 3.2 Gbps at stock clock speeds, so it’s a pretty significant improvement. Nevertheless, not all modules will be this fast in practice, and some will even be faster with overclocking.
DDR5 modules will have a greater memory capacity as a result of increased memory die density. In any case, DDR5 chips will allow for four times the density of DDR4 chips, so we will be able to see DDR5 chips with up to 64 GB of memory.
A final improvement to DDR5 is with its voltage, which is reduced from 1.2V to 1.1V, it will be more energy efficient. Although it doesn’t seem like much of an improvement at first glance and won’t make a difference for desktop PC users, it will make a difference when it comes to the battery life of portable devices, as well as servers that run 24/7.
Should You Buy DDR5?
The question that many people are probably asking themselves is: should you get DDR5?
Although the first DDR5 memory has been released, it is not yet commercially available. Whenever a new iteration of DDR is developed, there is always a time gap between when it is released and when it is mainstream.
At the moment, what we’re waiting on is CPU compatibility.
AMD’s latest Zen 3 CPUs only support DDR4 memory, and it appears that DDR5 will only be supported by Zen 4 CPUs in 2022. Intel’s latest Rocket Lake CPUs use DDR4, but the Alder Lake CPUs, which will succeed them in the second half of 2021, will use DDR5.
We can expect the first mainstream DDR5 modules to be released by the end of 2021 – in the third quarter, according to SK Hynix.
This is where we get to the next question that you’d naturally ask – should you wait for DDR5?
The answer to this question depends largely on your priorities when it comes to PC building.
How important is performance to you? DDR5 will offer improved performance over its predecessor, no doubt, if this is your top priority. Nevertheless, don’t expect it to be a huge improvement.
In practice, DDR4 offered limited performance improvements compared to DDR3 when it first launched, so it’s mainly going to be professionals who will be able to take full advantage of DDR5 early on.
Don’t hold your breath if you’re more concerned with affordability and value. With the potential supply issues, DDR5 is bound to be fairly expensive at launch.
In light of that, as well as the limited benefits it offers when it comes to gaming performance at first, it is hard to recommend it to anyone looking for good value.
Nonetheless, if you care about future-proofing, then it might be worth the wait. When it comes to RAM, compatibility is a big factor, so if you want to build a machine that will be easy to upgrade down the road, you might want to wait for DDR5 and DDR5-compatible hardware.
All in all, that is what DDR5 SDRAM is. We’ll need to wait until we can test a DDR5-equipped machine before we can reliably comment on the memory’s performance, value, etc.
Check out our PC configurations if you’re building a new one now-we have something for every budget, so you’re sure to find something that fits your needs!