Next-gen DDR5 memory – essentials

Although DDR5 memory has been available on store shelves for several months, it is still a mystery for many people who assemble their computer sets. So is it worth moving towards a new generation of memory or is it still suffering from too many childhood ailments?
Each new technology enters the market as the locomotive starts from the platform. Slowly, awkwardly, at first, gathering strength, then speed up and wipe out the entire previous generation. In short, this is how you could describe the first steps of DDR5 on the market. Because although it has been available in many stores for months, everything is unfortunately still in its infancy. So is it better to give it up and focus on DDR4? Not quite, although it does, if we take certain things into account. However, the topic is more complex, so I invite you to read this article. I will try to answer the question of whether investing towards DDR5 is a good move at the end of the third quarter of 2022.

Does buying DDR5 make sense?

We’ll start with the most important question that plagues many people who are currently replacing their computers. Is this a good time to switch to a new technology? Won’t DDR4 still get better? What are the costs of switching to the new technology? Unfortunately, I do not have one specific answer for you: „yes, take it blind” or „no, it is better to hold off”, because ultimately it will depend on several variables, which for each of us may be completely different. In the end, they should make the final decision.
Before we start, however, I would like to emphasize one thing again: switching to DDR5 involves costs, quite considerable, it should be added. And I am not just talking about the purchase of memory chips only, where the purchase of two CAS Latency modules at the level of 38 costs 300 euros. The new standard will also require a motherboard that supports the new generation of memory and a processor that will work with it. So, for „good morning” we are faced with the necessity to purchase three components and each of them (due to the new technology to which it is adapted) has an appropriately raised price. Well, DDR4 experienced the same problem after its release, so it’s worth staying patient and allowing yourself to be embraced by the new technology.
What if finances are not a problem and we absolutely want to switch to DDR5? I still suggest that you think carefully about the subject. If costs, possible problems with stability (although in the case of RAM they practically do not occur, it is worth having it at the back of your head) and low availability are not an obstacle, it is worth answering the question of what applications we want to use DDR5 bones for. I mean the purpose strictly for gaming or applications (e.g. for editing movies, graphics programs, etc.).
If you are gamers, I would recommend investing in the top DDR4 model or holding off. First of all, most of you will not have to buy a CPU and a motherboard, so the two big expenses are gone. But most importantly, the best DDR4 memory models have latency unattainable by DDR5, although the situation is sure to change. I heard voices saying that the makers of the new dice went in the wrong direction by knocking up the memory clock while ignoring timings. This is just an early phase affliction, which will certainly decrease – probably at the end of the year (or even earlier) we will see CL16 modules. With DDR4 it was exactly the same, when the memory suffered from high latencies, which were gradually reduced with subsequent models . In tests, the fight between good DDR4 models and the „initial” DDR5 offer is even.

Suffice it to say that the polished clock up to 5600 MHz can give way to the fourth generation models with a speed of 3800 MHz! Does this mean that the new standard is a flap? On the contrary, I dare say that it shows how much hope is DDR5, though not yet. The basic models of the new memory can beat on equal footing with the strong representatives of DDR4. This offers great prospects for this standard, which already in the early stages of its existence took a balanced fight against DDR4, which has already reached its peak and launched the heaviest guns against it.
So if you are an impatient gamer who needs a cito gaming platform, I advise you to invest in strong DDR4 (assuming you have a mobo and CPU that will squeeze all the potential out of the top model). However, if you are patient and would like to change to a new standard, I would advise you to wait a few months with the purchase. The war in Ukraine, although it may be a slowdown, should not have a big impact on the appearance of new models on the market with lower delays and lower prices. It’s time for DDR5 to dominate the gaming world.
But what if the computer is your work tool, and its main purpose is to support heavy applications for professional use? Well, in this case, the high memory bandwidth often plays a big role, so DDR5, which have higher clock speeds, simply perform better. In practical use in rendering, compression, photo transfer etc. the advantage of DDR5 is significant. If the computer is your work tool, you will appreciate the possibilities of the new generation, but you will still have to modernize two other components accordingly.
DDR5 still suffers from childhood ailments, the solution of which is only a matter of time. Before buying, however, we suggest that you think carefully about the matter, we hope that our advice will be helpful for you.