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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.

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.

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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…
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