Skip to main content

Overclocker proves that you may not need expensive DDR5 RAM

DDR5 memory is still a novelty that most users can’t get their hands on, but there are some affordable kits out there. However, the high-end versions of DDR5 RAM are overpriced, which puts many people off when trying to decide between different options.

According to Rauf, a Swedish overclocking expert, getting the expensive high-end memory kits may not be needed. In a detailed post, he demonstrated that entry-level DDR5 memory can keep up with its much more overpriced counterparts.

Corsair DDR5 RAM inside a PC.
Corsair

For those who are looking to build their own PC, getting DDR5 RAM hasn’t been easy. Although the new technology came out a few months ago around the same time as Intel Alder Lake processors, due to various shortages, it’s still very highly priced. DDR4 memory remains much more accessible, and as Intel Alder Lake CPUs support both variants, there has been little incentive to trade up for most users.

Future PC builders also need to consider the difference between DDR4 and DDR5 RAM, which isn’t all that huge right now. DDR5 kits have the potential to vastly outperform DDR4 in the future, but we’re not quite there yet on the current market. However, as they require different motherboards, going down the DDR5 road may be more futureproof.

Prime Day Focus
These Razer Blade Prime Day deals really pack a punch [in gaming power]
Anker SOLIX Prime Day deals: This shopping guide highlights the best discounts
Send it! This HoverAir X1 Drone can capture your adventures and it's $120 off
Secretlab Prime Day deals: Build your ideal work-from-home or gaming station

Even when choosing to take the plunge and move on to DDR5 RAM, users are faced with the decision between entry-level kits and high-end options that increase the price significantly. Tobias Bergström, also known as Rauf, decided to compare the two and prove that going with entry-level DDR5 kits will not be a significant downgrade.

Before delving into the testing, Rauf talked about the three different DRAM types of DDR5: Micron, Samsung, and Hynix. The kits vary between each other based on transfer speeds and overclocking capabilities. Micron is generally the cheapest and the easiest to find, but as Rauf notes, they’re not the best for overclocking and are usually stuck around 4800MHz. Samsung covers the mid-range kits between 5,200-6,000MHz, and Hynix RAM is typically the most powerful with transfer speeds above 6,000MHz.

Graph of DDR5 memory performance.
Image source: NordicHardware Image used with permission by copyright holder

In his post that was later shared by Wccftech, Rauf set out to prove that Micron RAM kits can perform just as well as the Samsung and Hynix models. For his testing, he used the following:

  • OCPC DDR5-4800 C38-38-38-77 @ 1.1V Micron kit
  • G.Skill DDR5-6000 C40-40-40-76 @1.3V Samsung kit
  • ES DDR5-6133 C40-40-40-76 @1.1V Hynix kit

He tested all three in Geekbench 3 and found that while Samsung and Hynix kits had an up to 28% increase in memory performance, the integer performance was just 5-8% higher. According to Rauf, integer performance has the biggest impact on games and other similar applications. That alone shows that the real-life difference between the three types of kits may not be as big as it seemed.

Rauf then played around with different optimizing options. He used optimized profiles provided by high-end Z690 motherboards and was able to achieve a performance increase that brought the Micron kit closer to the two higher-end counterparts. In the end, by making his own adjustments, he achieved a 4% gain and 2% floating-point performance increase while maintaining the transfer rate at 4800Mbps.

According to Rauf’s testing, high-end DDR5 memory may not be a necessity right now as the entry-level kits from Micron can perform well enough. With the prices of DDR5 RAM as high as they are right now, many users may choose to wait until the pricing evens out eventually.

Monica J. White
Monica is a UK-based freelance writer and self-proclaimed geek. A firm believer in the "PC building is just like expensive…
DDR5 can improve PC gaming performance, but it’s still a useless upgrade
DDR5 RAM installed in a PC with the ReSpec logo.

DDR5 -- it's all PC gamers can take about now that AMD Ryzen 7000 is about to launch. Although Intel has supported DDR5 since the launch of its 12th-gen Alder Lake processors, Ryzen 7000 is the catalyst that will kill last-gen DDR4 off for good. When you next upgrade your PC, you'll need DDR5, but paying up for a faster kit of memory may not translate into real-world performance gains.

One of the best DDR5 kits will still offer a great gaming experience, but the delicate balance of speed and latency puts high-end DDR5 in a precarious position. On one hand, faster DDR5 can offer practical differences in some games, but on the other, even faster kits can result in lower performance. And in some games, RAM speed doesn't matter at all.

Read more
What is AMD EXPO and should my DDR5 have it?
Four Corsair RAM sticks inside a motherboard.

Along with revealing its next generation of processors, AMD announced the new EXPO standard for DDR5 memory. Upcoming Ryzen 7000 CPUs support DDR5 exclusively, and tracking down a kit with an EXPO certification could make a big difference in how well your PC runs.

We're going to help demystify what AMD EXPO is, how it compares to Intel's own memory overclocking standard, and the best DDR5 kits you can pick up right now with EXPO support.

Read more
The end of DDR4 hurts, but it’s ultimately a good thing
Dr. Lisa Su in a brown sweater stands on the AMD stage

If AMD's new Ryzen 7000-series processors get their way, DDR4 RAM is destined for the trash heap. Sure, Intel is still supporting the obsolete RAM architecture, but after yesterday's AMD event, I'm confident we're witnessing the end of DDR4. I'm also happy about it.

AMD's enigmatic CEO, Dr. Lisa Su, took the stage at a pre-recorded event to launch AMD's much-anticipated Ryzen 7000-series processors. She introduced the new 5nm chips in her iconic straight-to-the-point manner. In her succinct and professional way, Dr. Su explained AMD's roadmap for the next four quarters, and then passed the stage to Mark Papermaster to explain the Zen 4 core. That's when the controversial topic of DDR5 RAM came up.

Read more