DDR5 memory modules are, should we say, the next in line in terms of having an update when it comes to computer hardware. We've already entered the era of GDDR6 memory for graphics cards. Nvidia has already announced its RTX 30 series of cards. Even previously rare large-capacity M.2 SSDs for storage have now become so common. So, it's quite about time that we move towards the next phase of memory sticks.
Looks like SK Hynix will be beating everyone else to the game. The company has just recently announced that it plans to begin selling its DDR5 memory modules during the third quarter of next year. However, if compatible motherboards and other parts will become available sooner than that, SK Hynix is also prepared to offer its RAM modules much earlier than expected.
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DDR5 memory modules: So what's the excitement all about?
So, how fast are these new RAM sticks? Will they, as they say, change the game? The company says its DDR5 memory modules have up to 5,600Mbps of raw bandwidth. On paper, this might not be the same 6,400Mbps bandwidth that the DDR5 spec allows at maximum. However, when compared to current DDR4 modules, DDR5 sticks are almost 1.8 times faster. They could even operate at a lower voltage of 1.1V compared to the 1.2V requirements needed by current sticks out in the market. SK Hynix goes further into saying that this lower voltage requirement would equate to around 20% power savings.
In real-world usage, however, bumping up your RAM into DDR5 territory won't really offer a significant boost for most buyers or builders. After all, increases in RAM speed for every generation of memory module haven't really provided quite a huge step-up for everyday applications and games. Additionally, even if DDR5 memory modules are announced at this moment, it will still take some months before most manufacturers adopt these new products. DDR4 sticks have been around for quite a long time yet there are still systems that can be bought that run on the much older DDR3 platform.
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Intel has mentioned that it'll be supporting DDR5 with its future processors. However, from the looks of it, AMD won't be doing the same until maybe 2022.
How will DDR5 memory modules be attractive then? For one thing, it's their size that might entice early adopters into switching over this new platform once it becomes commercially available. 128GB modules are highly likely and even 2TB modules for servers might even become available.
If you don't have the patience to wait and want to have blazingly fast sticks with today's DDR4 sticks, there are some companies that sell overkill modules that run on 5,100MHz. Be prepared though as a pair would burn a $900-hole in your pocket. But did we mention they're overclockable too?