DDR4 vs DDR5 – What Will It Be Worth The Upgrade?

DDR4 has been the standard for over two years now, and performance gains are starting to level off. It’s DDR5 time! But what will it be worth the upgrade? We’ve got everything you need to know about this new technology, including what’s new, how it will affect your current system, and why it might be worth waiting a little bit longer before upgrading.

Not only will the new memory expand your computer’s capabilities, but it’s expected to be a more energy-efficient upgrade. What does this mean for home users? The bottom line is that the less power you use, the longer you can go between upgrades. And with a continued drive toward ever-lower power consumption from your computer, upgrading your system may never seem like a reason to get a new one!

Oh yes, and did we mention that DDR4 will also work across multiple motherboard manufacturers? That means that the old DDR3 and DDR4 parts you have lying around don’t need to be replaced when moving from one board to another. So maybe don’t feel so bad about upgrading and selling off all those old components.

Specifications


DDR4 currently offers quad-channel memory support, providing up to 256GB or 1TB of system memory, whereas DDR5 will only offer dual-channel support at up to 128GB. This means that with DDR5, you’ll have half as much system memory as you would with DDR4. So while the amount of system memory is decreasing on the DDR5 side, it’s also significantly increasing on the DDR4 side!

So which should you choose? It depends on what your needs are.

DDR5 Power Consumption


DDR5 has been doubled, which will make it a viable consideration for server applications. In fact, many servers are already using DDR5 as a standard. Generally speaking, DDR5 has been shown to be 40% more power-efficient than DDR4.

Memory speeds will increase from 2666MHz to 3200MHz for the low end and 4266MHz for high-end sizes (in comparison to 2400MHz), but overall, performance should stay the same. This means you won’t get an extra 50% in a performance like you would with faster RAM like DDR3 or DDR4, but you will see some sort of benefit overall.

DDR5 Compatibility


DDR5 has different gate lengths, so will require separate dual-channel memory chips, but higher-end boards will have more bandwidth. Because of the different dies being used, the DIMPLEX puts some restrictions on what kind of memory can be used with each board.

DDR5 consumes less power than DDR4 by 20% to 30%, which means that you’ll be able to run your system 20% to 30% longer between memory upgrades.

If you use DDR4 at 3200MHz or faster, you shouldn’t notice any real performance decreases. There shouldn’t be any noticeable performance decrease between DDR3 and DDR4, at least for casual users who don’t need high-end (and they shouldn’t anyway).

DDR5 Memory Timings and Latency


DDR5 has been locked to the current 1.2ns, which doesn’t change much for most boards and RAM kits.

DDR5 Memory Performance and Bandwidth will increase by about 2.5 times over DDR4 (although it will be pretty unpredictable), and overall performance will increase by about 50%. Of course, this is all influenced by which board you’re using, your software applications, your operating system, and other factors. If you want to get more specific information about memory performance in your particular system or application, we suggest using a benchmarking tool like Geekbench 4 (Geekbench 4 is a cross-platform benchmarking tool for single-core and multi-core CPU systems running Windows or Linux.).

How Much Does RAM Affect Performance?


The average user in 2017 will probably see anywhere from 15% to 25% in their overall performance in memory-intensive applications. However, in some situations, you could see 100% or more when using the right system with the right software. Benchmarks are an excellent way to measure real-world performance under different sets of circumstances.

How Much is DDR5 Going to Cost?

With DDR5 hitting the market in 2018, supply is expected to be limited at first. This means that you can expect prices to be higher than current DDR4 memory prices until the supply goes up and demand comes down.

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