Will DDR5 be worth it?
9 months ago
Will DDR5 be worth it? RAM, or random access memory, is one of the most important pieces of hardware in your computer. As it stands now, DDR4 RAM is the fastest available RAM on the market today, with an advertised speed of up to 4,266 MB/s. DDR5 RAM promises to double that speed, with 8,533 MB/s at its theoretical peak—that’s almost 3 GB/s! So will it be worth it? Let’s take a look at what DDR5 could mean for consumers and the future of computers and how this could impact us all in the years to come...
Does faster RAM really help performance?
Faster RAM is more expensive and DDR4 is still in high demand, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be looking to upgrade your current system. In fact, if you have an older PC with at least 8GB of memory then you can definitely see a major performance boost by installing some newer modules. For example, upgrading from an older kit like G.Skill's Ripjaws X F3-1600C11D-16GXM to G.Skill's Ripjaws V F4-3000C15Q-32GVR would give your rig a serious boost in performance and overall speed.
Does more RAM help graphics performance?
When you're talking about modern PC gaming, there's one universal truth: More RAM is better. And not just for your own computer, but everyone else playing online. In fact, some of our best tips for getting smooth performance out of a gaming rig are related to how much RAM you have installed. So, you might have figured out by now that we're pretty excited about DDR5 memory coming soon. We know what you're thinking: If more RAM helps so much right now with 4K games, will it help even more once we can run them in 8K resolution? It's a valid question and I'll try to answer it below. But first things first: How much faster is GDDR6 than GDDR5?
How much faster is it than DDR4 in real games?
The primary benefit of faster memory speeds is a reduction in loading times. The improvement in speed comes from making a comparison between DDR4 and DDR5 in terms of their ability to read data as quickly as possible. In essence, faster speeds make more information available at one time on your screen, which leads to reduced loading times. So while memory will certainly play a role in future games, exactly how much an impact it makes on game performance remains unclear - we’ll have to wait and see.
Can you even upgrade from DDR4 to DDR5 today?
In theory, you should be able to upgrade a computer from DDR4 to DDR5 memory if you have a board that supports both standards. But there’s no telling whether or not manufacturers will let you do so. Since most computers are designed for a three-year life cycle, manufacturers might decide not to support an upgrade in order to sell new systems with DDR5 memory. Or maybe they won’t want to invest in new components just yet until there’s enough demand for them. Either way, trying to use new chips on your old system is risky and probably isn’t something we recommend. And even if your system does support them, it’s still unclear what kind of performance improvements you can expect from an upgrade.
What about the cost difference between them both
Currently on Amazon, we can buy a 16GB kit of two 8GB DDR4 sticks for $60. For comparison, one 256-bit XDR memory module costs $854, or about 15 times as much per gigabyte. If you only care about raw performance and cost is no object, then yes: DDR5 RAM is going to be worth it. But if you’re concerned with price (or just like having extra RAM around), then you might actually prefer DDR4.
DDR5 does have some added benefits, but should you upgrade now, if at all?
DDR5 is still a long way off—the JEDEC, an organization that sets standards for PC RAM, just approved DDR4 in 2014 and won’t unveil specifications for DDR5 until 2017. And even then, we could have to wait several years before we see actual products using DDR5 memory on store shelves. Do you really want to spend money on something so new? Will it make enough of a difference to justify its price tag? We don’t know yet. The best advice we can give you is to stay current with technology news and your computer specs: The more up-to-date you are about what’s happening in techland, the better able you’ll be to decide if an upgrade is necessary or not.