Many people were asking about the methods to DDR4 vs. DDR5 which is why I have come up with this article so that you can get the core knowledge.
When DDR5 memory came out in 2021, it meant that the next generation of memory modules had arrived. It will make you want to put one on your next build because it has more bandwidth than before.
Even though the price of RAM is going down, DDR5 still costs more than DDR4. Then, should you choose one?
Read on to find out how the two are different and what you can expect from them.
So, let’s get started.
Comparison between DDR4 and DDR5 RAM
DDR5 RAM is faster in almost every way, from its operating voltages to its frequency. In the table below, you’ll find short descriptions of these key specs.
|Bandwidth||4.0 Gbps||8.4 Gbps|
|Capacity (single DIMM)||64 GB||128 GB|
|Latency (in nano-seconds)||16 ns||40 ns|
|Operating Voltage (in Volts)||1.2 V||1.1 V|
Already, those numbers look good. Why not look more closely at the specs to help you understand these better?
Down below, you can see a stick of RAM from each generation. From the outside, there doesn’t seem to be much difference between the two, but from an engineering point of view, there are many differences.
Each memory module is made to fit in a particular slot. This is like comparing a lock and key.
If you look at the golden notches below each memory module, you will see a certain number of ridges. For both DDR4 and DDR5 RAM, there are 280 connectors.
The difference has to do with how these notches are set up. DDR4 memory won’t work on a motherboard with a DDR5 slot, and the same goes for DDR5 memory on a DDR4 slot.
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The speed of the fastest consumer DDR4 RAM is 3200 MT/s (Mega transfers per second). The base frequency for DDR5 is now 4800 MT/s. Think of these speeds as the minimum speeds you can expect from this generation.
The fastest gaming-focused units can reach speeds of up to 6400 MT/s. Expect to pay twice as much for such speeds, which is not a surprise.
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So, DDR5 gives you the ability to transfer twice as much data. This is very important for tasks that use a lot of memory, like editing videos or working with large spreadsheets, where the CPU needs to access files from memory often.
With DDR5, a single stick of memory can hold more memory than ever before. With DDR4, the most you could have was 64 GB. Now, a single stick of DDR5 RAM can hold up to 128 GB of memory.
Using these, the workstations of the future will be able to have an amazing 512 GB of memory. You definitely don’t need that much. These rigs are best for movie studios that work with CGI.
By looking at the CL values on the memory packaging, you can tell how long it takes for the memory to work. With less latency, your computer can send and receive data in groups faster.
The latency of the fastest DDR4 memory is 16 ns. The fastest DDR5 RAM you can get right now has a latency of 40 ns. But because it can move data faster than DDR4, it is faster overall.
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You should also think about the fact that this is the first generation of DDR5 memory. Over time, RAM will be made with faster speeds and even lower delays. Think about how fast things will be when the wait times reach the level of DDR4 memory.
Voltage and Channels
DDR5 requires 1.1 V to operate. Compared to that, the DDR4 version needs 1.2 V. Your memory will last longer if the voltage is lower.
You also get a power management chip (PMIC) that is built right into the RAM and controls the voltage to the memory. DDR4 RAM did this with the help of a chip on the motherboard.
Let’s take a look at channels now. Think of these as paths that data can move through.
DDR4 RAM has one bus that is 72 bits long (64-bit for data and 8-bit for error correction). Two 40-bit channels are part of DDR5 (32-bit for data). Even though the bus width doesn’t change to fit more data, doubling the number of channels speeds up the rate at which data can be sent.
Now think about this: we all say that you should get memory with two channels to make the speed of the transfer faster. With a dual-channel setup, you can double the speed of your memory because it has twice as many channels as a single-channel setup. This is the speed that DDR5 offers.
You also get temperature sensors that are built right into the memory. You can now check to see if the memory is getting hotter. Since DDR5 RAM will transfer more data than previous generations, this feature will be very useful.
Having these new ideas is great, but how do they work in the real world? Does having the fastest RAM on your build finally make you a good gamer? In the next part, we’ll talk more about this.
We put three RAM modules next to each other to compare how well they work. Each module has a capacity of 16 GB, for a total of 32 GB when both channels are used.
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We used Kingston Fury Renegade DDR4 memory, some of which runs at 3200 MHz and some at 3600 MHz. CL-16 is the same for both of these. For DDR5, we chose Kingston Fury Beast, which runs at 5200 MHz and has a latency of CL 40.
Look at the other parts of the test bench.
|Processor||I5 12600K 3.70Hz 10 cores|
|Graphics Card||Asus TUF RTX 3090|
|Motherboard (DDR4)||Gigabyte Z690 Aero|
|Motherboard (DDR5)||Asus ProArt Z690|
For the benchmarks, we have some synthetic tests that focus on memory and a few games that run at the highest settings in 1080p. The point of the tests is to see if DDR5 works as expected.
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To begin, let’s check out Geekbench 5.
This is mostly a CPU benchmark, however moving from DDR4 to DDR5 yields a 6.2% performance boost for single-core tests and a 10% boost for multi-core testing.
The next programme on the docket is Puget Bench for Premiere Pro. This puts your PC through the paces of real-world video editing. Better performance is reflected by a higher score.
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In this regard, the DDR5 technology is 7.5% faster than the DDR4 platform. Although the change isn’t really dramatic, it’s still welcome.
It’s worth noting that these findings are consistent with the Adobe Photoshop test for Puget Bench.
In this case, our results showed some unexpected quirks. Faster DDR4 Memory is less effective than slower RAM. The DDR5 is the leader once again, with a 4.4% higher average.
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Da-Vinci Resolve, another programme utilised for video processing, will be put to the test next.
The margin is too little to declare a major victory for DDR5. Just 1.9% more quickly than DDR4.
On to some gaming performance tests. All the way up to ultra settings in 1080p, we played Red Dead Redemption 2, Far Cry 5, and Battlefield 5.
Because to the negligible variations, I choose not to include findings for the DDR4-3600 module. We found that, across all of the games we tested, the average performance boost was under 5%.
Should You Upgrade Your RAM from DDR4 to DDR5?
Let’s do some data crunching now that we have the results.
The results of our productivity tests showed that when utilising Adobe’s software suite, we were most productive when modifying visual content like photographs and motion pictures. Geekbench, however, only showed a performance gap of about 6%.
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DDR5’s benefits during gameplay are negligible at best. We received ratings that did not significantly vary across the board.
Let’s have a look at how much people are asking for these RAM modules before we draw any firm conclusions. DDR4 memory with a 3200 MHz frequency costs about $130, while DDR4 memory with a 3600 MHz frequency costs $100. DDR5 Memory might cost more than $150. It’s closer to $200 if you want the RGB version.
So, do you get twice as much for almost twice as much money?
The answer is a clear “no.”
For gaming, you would be better off getting rid of your system’s bottlenecks than paying more for DDR5. For example, spend the money on your graphics card instead of buying extra RAM.
Video and photo editing do get better in terms of how quickly they can be done. Since DDR5 has only been widely used for less than 2 years, it is still in its early stages. Over time, developers will be able to use the extra bandwidth that DDR5 offers to improve applications.
If you don’t care about money, you can choose a DDR5-based system. The future is moving forward, and RAM models that come out in the future will work with your motherboard.
If not, you can save some money and get the same performance by going with DDR4.
Video about DDR4 vs. DDR5
This is the end of the article for today.
I really hope that this information has helped make it clearer to you which memory option to go with. DDR5 comes with some impressive specifications, which will undoubtedly be appreciated if programmes are able to make use of them.
DDR4 is here to stay and will continue to offer the best value for your money until then. Hence, make the wisest choice possible and keep the flame of computer gaming burning brightly.
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FAQs for DDR4 vs. DDR5
Is DDR5 RAM better than DDR4?
DDR5 has twice as much space as DDR4. This is made easier by a higher frequency (up to 6400 MT/s instead of 3200 MT/s) and more data lanes (two 32-bit).
Does DDR5 make a difference?
DDR5 makes small improvements to work tasks but doesn’t give any noticeable advantages in games. You can expect it to pay off in the future when a lot of people use it.
Can I use DDR5 RAM in a DDR4 motherboard?
No, DDR5 RAM is not the same as DDR4. It has a different shape, so it needs a different slot on the motherboard. If you try to force the DDR5 RAM into place, you will damage it.
Is it worth upgrading from DDR4 to DDR5?
DDR5 is better, but how much better is it? DDR5 is more than twice as fast as the fastest DDR4 modules. With Intel’s 12th-generation and soon-to-come 13th-generation processors or AMD’s new Ryzen 7000-series processors, PCs are faster and more powerful than ever. The recent drop in the price of chips is a plus.
Is DDR5 CAS latency better than DDR4?
The read speeds go up by 50% from our fastest DDR4 (4400MT/s) to our fastest DDR5 (6600MT/s), which makes sense. But the measured latency is pretty close between the two results, at about 68ns, even though CL20 on DDR4 and CL40 on DDR5 are different.