The Differences Between DDR5 and DDR4 Memory
2 months ago
The differences between DDR5 and DDR4 memory are relatively subtle, but they could be the deciding factor in your next PC build. The two technologies have their own unique advantages, which we’ll break down in this guide to help you decide which type of memory will give you the edge in your gaming or work PC build. Before we dig into that, let’s define the terms: DDR5 (Double Data Rate 5) refers to a technology standard used in RAM modules found on computers, while DDR4 (Double Data Rate 4) refers to the same technology as it applies to Intel processors.
What is DDR5 memory?
DDR stands for double data rate, but what does that mean? The double refers to how DRAM handles read/write cycles. In a standard system, data is pulled in on one clock cycle and then immediately passed along during another cycle. But since memory can only be manipulated so quickly, there is often a delay between when it's read (when it goes to pull new information in) and when it needs to send that information back out. With DRAM - as with DDR5 - that delay is used as an extra piece of storage space; while you're reading one piece of data in, you're simultaneously writing out another piece of data at its intended address.
Are there any differences between the two technologies
DDR5 vs. DDR4? Or is it simply a matter of progressing to a newer technology that performs faster or better than its predecessor? The answers to these questions are nuanced. To get a complete picture, let’s start by examining how each type of memory works.
Why should I switch from DDR4 to DDR5 technology?
The easiest way to think about the difference between DDR4 and DDR5 memory is that they’re both a type of RAM. As of now, they use different physical connections to deliver memory to your computer, but their core components are very similar. In fact, both have an error-correcting code (ECC) feature built into them. And before we even get into that, let’s just make sure we’re all on the same page about what RAM does in general. It stands for random access memory: hardware in your computer used for random access—that is, where data can be read from or written to at any point without having to jump around to other places on a disk or another kind of storage media.
Can my PC upgrade from DDR4 to DDR5 technology?
The short answer is, yes—you can use DDR5 in your PC today. However, there’s a bit more to it than that. In order to be compatible with current Intel processors (i3-6100 / i7-6700), you need memory rated at speeds of at least 2133MHz or above.
While you can find some kits of 2400MHz DDR4 on Amazon, they’re not typically designed for consumers; most are intended for server or workstation applications where higher speeds really matter. Still, a PC equipped with 2400MHz memory will perform better with a Ryzen CPU than one equipped with 1600MHz memory—assuming both systems are otherwise matched in terms of components and compatibility.