What is DDR5 RAM and Is It Worth Buying?


For all PC consumers, the last decade was an incredible time with the latest pieces of hardware improvements even some people may still enjoying playing with 720p resolution, DDR3 RAM with a dual-core CPU. Both Intel and AMD are pushing the users into the high-end superior category by giving ultimate performances which users especially the gamers that have been waiting for years. By using the latest hardware parts, gaming in 4K or even in 8K isn’t something that hard to deal with. Going away from the DDR4, let’s have a brief overview of DDR5 technology that going to be the next giant in the market. It’s always better to know what is DDR5 RAM and how DDR5 works.

No doubt that DDR5 will be superior to DDR4 in each and every aspect in both paperwork and real life. But not each one of you won’t need that much higher performances to get your job done without any issues. DDR5 is the latest iteration od DDR SDRAM generation and make sure you check out the whole history overview of RAM history if you need more in-depth details about this. The version DDR5 will be having improvements over three major features.

1. Capacity

2. Bandwidth

3. Power Efficiency

DDR5 vs DDR4 - Bandwidth
DDR5 vs DDR4 – Bandwidth

From the aspect of bandwidth, DDR5 will support up to 6.4 Gigabits per second at stock clock speeds but this won’t be the same for every module. When comparing to the previous DDR4 model, it can only support up to 3.2 gigabits per second which means the users will get twice more bandwidth from the latest DDR5 model. But how fast is ddr5 RAM?

When comparing to the standard DDR4 model, DDR5 gives twice more speed of 4800MHz but this isn’t a big deal because the consumers can buy DDR4 RAM sticks with a speed of 3200MHz or beyond that. Major manufacture of DRAM: HK Hynix says that they will push that limit to 8400 but this isn’t something meant for normal PC users. Mostly these RAMs will be targetted for the server computers that need massive chunks of memories to run consistently all the time. If you are looking for more speedy RAM it will be better to buy one within the range of 4800 – 6400 or else the rest will be useless.

DDR4 vs DDR5 - Speed
DDR4 vs DDR5 – Speed

The next cool feature you’ll get in the DDR5 version is power management. In DDR4, managing power of the RAM was done by the motherboard itself but in DDR5 will have something called “PMIC” which stands for Power Management Integrated Circuit that can control and manage the power without the support of the motherboard. Shrinking the transistor size will also help to get more power efficiency. The standard DDR5 will use only 1.1 Volts while the DDR4 takes 1.2 Volts. This won’t make a difference for the desktop PC users but mobile devices including smartphones and laptops will have a longer battery life t least for another couple of working hours when they use DDR5 memory in it.

DDR5 – Channel Architecture

Channel architecture is also quite different and more improved in this new generation. Normally you can buy a single channel, dual channel or even quad-channel models that the CPU can grab the data it wants quickly without jamming. If you want to know more details just jump into the review of Multi-Channel RAM from here. In each DDR4 RAM stick, there’s only one channel with a total bus of 72-Bits(64 Data Bits + 8 ECC).

In the DDR5 model, each RAM module or stick has two channels and each of those channels have a 40-Bit bus speed(32 Data Bits + 8 ECC) so the CPU can easily access the data on the same RAM module without waiting for one task to be finished. Don’t mix these things with the compatibility of multi-channel RAM in DDR4 standard because it also supports multiple channels already. These are some significant positive signs that the users can experience massive speed when using DDR5 models when they are ready to use.

what is DDR5 RAM - DDR5 Channel Architecture
DDR5 Channel Architecture

Memory Capacity

With the shrink of transistor size, it increases the storage density so each module can hold more amount of data. Thanks to that, DDR5 has x4 more density of data than DDR4. Each die in DDR4 RAM stick has 16 Gigabits per die which is each small chips that stores data. Typically the manufacturers design their RAMS with 8 dies per each side which means for both side you’ll have 16 dies with a grand total of 256 Gigabits that’s equal to 32 Gigabytes as the maximum amount you can fit on a DDR4 ram. In DDR5 each die supports 64 Gigabits by giving a grand total of 1024 Gigabits which is equal to 128 Gigabytes for a single ram.

This is already available and some people may have experienced already how it feels when working with DDR5 because there are already in service inside high-end smartphones like Samsung S20 and for the PC users, mostly this will available in late 2021 as both Intel and AMD are still working on this. AMD is going to support DDR5 and USB 4.0 mostly in 2022 which is the year they are going to release the latest Zen 4 Architecture and for Intel, the leaks show the 12th gen Alder-Lake CPUs will support DDR5 but having CPUs will not be enough to power up your whole PC. It’s better to stay until this thing gets settled completely.

Is DDR5 Worth It? – Price for Performance

To know whether it’s worth buying or not, it better you should realize whether you need the latest DDR5 model or not. But if you are struggling with questions like will ddr5 make a difference? or will ddr5 be expensive? It’s pretty straight forward because each and every latest technology is going to be performed more than it was before or else no one would buy it. And the price is something that changes depending on various factors around the market.

As a simple example, the RTX 2000 series was low power than the RTX 3000 but the price point was set to a low level because the user intention and the games that support real-time ray tracing wasn’t there at all. RTX 2000 series was much more expensive than the GTX series and users refuse to buy it.

DDR5 Release Date
DDR5 Release Date

Most of the time, the DDR5 is definitely going to be expensive at the initial launch and it will take time to reach an affordable price. Smaller initial differences are going to take place and there won’t be a significant gap between DDR4 best performing RAM and the DDR5 very first thing. Manufacturers are going to make them better, even the DDR4 is far more ahead from performances than it was at the beginning and it’s the same with DDR5 also.

Keep in mind that DDR technology doesn’t support backwards compatibility and you need to make a clear decision between whether you are going for a new one or just staying with your current specs. If you are building a PC for long term use, then wait few more months after the release because then only you can have the best of the best that’s available unless you are interested in upgrading frequently.

For gamers, this won’t be a big issue because in most cases the bottlenecks occur with GPUs or CPUs. Also, the game developers don’t need to crush the old computers with their latest games. They are always trying to reach a vast audience because that’s how they make money. Buying a DDR4 24GB RAM will be more than enough if you are building just for gaming.

For professional work such as video editing, rendering or any other memory-intensive tasks, DDR5 will help a lot with its immersive performances carried with it. But the cost will be a bit higher than you expect so always stay a bit more and wait for the manufacturers to build something that really values for the price you are paying. Save more money while waiting and you will get the best.

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