The DDR5 memory is the latest addition to the memory technologies, and it seems like a big jump from DDR4, which was released in 2014.
There is quite a big difference between these two technologies, and you can only run either in your system. So, in this article, we will be looking at whether it is worth buying DDR5 or not.
Is DDR5 RAM worth it?
There are many ways to look at this new technology. When we look at overall value, DDR4 RAM seems to be providing better value.
The performance of DDR5 RAM is better in most applications by up to around 10 to 15% but DDR5 memory kits are more than 50% exensive as well.
DDR5 and DDR4 RAMs are physically different. It means you cannot install a DDR5 RAM stick on a DDR4 motherboard and vice versa.
As it is a relatively new technology, there are not many motherboards that support DDR5 memory. So, you should check the availability of DDR5 motherboards into account if you are considering going with a DDR5-based system.
The price difference between the DDR5 memory and the DDR4 memory is just awful. It is indeed a newer technology that provides better performance and completely replaces DDR4 in every aspect, but most DDR5 memory kits are available at an absurd price point.
The high price point makes them out of the range of an average user, who considers it a better choice to consider upgrading his graphics card or even the processor instead of buying a DDR-based system.
Clock Rate Comparison
The DDR4 memory has been in the industry for eight years now, and even though today’s DDR4 memories are quite fast, they did not use to be this good in the start. Initially, the DDR4 memory kits had clock rates of 2133 MHz, 2400 MHz, and 2666 MHz.
Improving over time, we witnessed clock rates going as high as 5000 MHz, although most popular DDR4 memory kits have clock rates of 3200 MHz and 3600 MHz.
The DDR5 memory starts at 4800 MHz and goes as high as 6400 MHz, which is quite high when we compare it with the clock rates of DDR4 memory kits. The memory can go as high as 8400 MHz in the future, which seems like a feat for the PC industry.
Overall, the clock rates of DDR5 memory are roughly 30 to 50% faster, although there is more to memory kits than just clock rates.
Enthusiasts pay a lot of attention to the latency of memory because lower latency memory kits prove to be wonderful sometimes. In fact, many users prefer lower latency during memory overclocking instead of clock rate enhancements.
Now, when we compare these two types of memory, it might shock you that DDR5 memory has a much higher CAS latency than DDR4 memory. In fact, this was exactly the case with DDR3 and DDR4 when it was first released.
Usually, we see DDR4 memory kits with CAS latencies around 14 to 19, while the latency of DDR5 memory is above 30 for most kits. G.Skill is expected to release some DDR5 memory kits with sub-30 memory timings.
The above comparison between the DDR4 and DDR5 memory might excite you, as seeing such a high increase in clock rates definitely increases the heartbeat. However, the higher latency of the DDR5 memory takes a toll on the overall performance, so there are diminishing returns when upgrading to DDR5 memory.
In some applications, you might see as much as 10% to 15% improvement; however, the difference is less than 5% in most applications. Overall, the performance gains seem to be higher when we are talking about memory-dependant applications.
Gamers pay great attention to the small details, and even a slight boost is noteworthy, which is why we have included this section in our review.
Now, most games are going to get improvements with DDR5 memory; however, that cannot be said about all games. Some games showed lower performance when the DDR5 memory kits were used, which is why DDR5 memory is not a complete replacement for gamers.
Most modern games should noticeable performance improvement, as much as 20% with games like Far Cry 6 and Assassins Creed Valhalla. Meanwhile, some games resulted in as much as 10% performance loss when using DDR5 memory, where Valorant, Hitman 2, and Death Stranding are particularly notable.
Now, Is DDR5 memory worthy enough for you? It depends on a lot of factors, actually. If you have a high budget and are already running a high-end graphics card and a processor, it might be a good choice to consider buying DDR5 memory and a compatible motherboard.
On the other hand, if you are a budget user, it might not be worth investing in a DDR5 system. Instead, you should upgrade the graphics card, as the performance in games is highly dependent on graphics cards.