Before making the decision to upgrade to DDR5, it’s probably a good idea to see exactly what you are getting yourself into! The differences between DDR5 v DDR4 are not that significant to the naked eye, but under the hood a bunch of new technology makes the DDR5 release particularly exciting.
The maximum size of a single stick of DDR4 was 32GB. For DDR5 this will see a significant rise to 128GB. This is a much-welcomed change for content creators and power users who want to run more than 128GB of memory on standard consumer-based motherboards.
Depending on the chipsets, DDR5 based boards should be able to support much more memory out-of-the-box, meaning more professional setups and builds are more achievable with non-professional products.
Most importantly with any new release for technology, especially memory, is speed increase. It wouldn’t be much fun if the speed went backwards. DDR5 will take care of us in that department. DDR4 previously maxed out with a data rate of 3.2Gbps on a clock rate of 1.6GHz. DDR5 however is specced for 6.4Gbps at up to 3.2GHz.
Like DDR4 though, this of course doesn’t mean we won’t see kits that perform far above these numbers. DDR4 has previously seen speeds up to 5000mhz, so DDR5 should be able to achieve these speeds easily and without much tuning at all.
An important difference with DDR5 is that the power management for the memory will move from the motherboard to the sticks themselves. When comparing DDR5 v DDR4, this will see a decrease to 1.1v from 1.2v.
Whilst this may seem small, this is significant for those who like to overclock their memory, as one of the first things to achieve stability on overclocked memory is increasing the voltage.