DDR5 RAM: Is it coming and do you need it for Intel 12th Gen?
9 months ago
DDR5 RAM: Is it coming and do you need it for Intel 12th Gen? With the rollout of Intel’s 9th Gen CPUs, many people have been talking about the performance increase of DDR4 RAM vs DDR3 RAM in previous generations. If you’re looking to upgrade your current computer system to the latest Intel 9th Gen CPU, will you need to upgrade your RAM at the same time? The answer is no and here’s why...
Explaining the differences between DDR4, DDR3 and DDR2 memory
When we talk about memory, there are a few terms that are critical to understand. First, we’ll start with DDR3, then move on to DDR4, followed by DDR2—and at some point in all of this your eyes will glaze over, so don’t feel bad if you have no idea what we’re talking about. In order to figure out whether or not DDR5 is necessary, let’s cover everything that came before it. With each new generation of RAM comes higher performance. This means lower latencies and increased transfer speeds between components.
Why does AMD prefer faster RAM?
AMD has always been a bit more lenient when choosing RAM, offering support up to 2666 MHz. Meanwhile, Intel is much stricter in its requirements and supports only memory that runs at 2133 MHz or higher. Although DDR4 currently runs at 2133 MHz, there’s no telling how long we’ll have to wait until we see 4266 MHz DDR4 chips available on the market. When and if those faster memory options are released, however, all indications suggest that CPUs from both AMD and Intel will be able to handle them without any issues.
Why does Intel prefer higher bandwidth over speed?
It’s not that Intel is ignoring its high-end users. It’s just trying to take a different approach, one that favors wide bandwidth over sheer speed. The company says it chose to focus on improving data transfer speeds by doubling memory channel width and raising throughput per pin by 40 percent instead of increasing data transfers per second. The industry is still trading higher clock rates for wider interfaces because that’s how you get most of your gains, Stiefel said. We view more near-term value in widening memory channels than going after higher clockspeeds.
Will there be a performance difference between PC4-21300, PC4-24000, PC4-2666 and PC4-28800 memory kits when running at lower speeds?
Since some of those options are going to be available on newer processors, we’re interested in getting a good understanding of what will happen if we run memory kits designed for higher speeds at lower speeds. Does that reduce their effectiveness or simply limit your ability to take advantage of those higher speeds? Will they still be an upgrade over slower memory or will they become less beneficial as you move through new generations of processors with higher native speeds? And if performance suffers, how much does it suffer. To find out, I set up two systems using Intel Core i7-8700K processors overclocked to 4.8GHz and compared performance between DDR4-2666 memory running at 2666MHz, 2400MHz and 2133MHz natively.
How much of an improvement are we going to see with new CPUs, especially in games?
One area where we’re likely to see massive improvement in is memory. One of my biggest disappointments with DDR4 was that while it made a huge difference in general computing, especially multi-tasking, gaming felt like a step backwards compared to DDR3.
The new DDR5 standard could change that—and has some big advantages over both previous standards as well. For example, DDR5 makes use of much smaller electrical crosstalk interference than either DDR3 or DDR4. This means that timing jumps between individual wires don’t interfere with one another and data can flow more smoothly between CPU and memory; almost like there are multiple parallel communication paths instead of one long channel over which everything passes.