Pros & Cons
✅Higher transfer speeds
|✅Adequate performance, gaming or otherwise
✅Enough power for almost any workload
|❌Quickly becoming incompatible with some CPUs
DDR4 Vs DDR5 Ram: Major Differences
- Capacity Improvements: DDR5 surpasses DDR4 with a 3200 MHz standard transfer speed, a substantial upgrade from DDR4’s range of 1600 to 3200 MT/s. DDR5 introduces a significant capacity boost, supporting up to 64 GB per stick compared to DDR4’s 32 GB.
- Performance Boosts: DDR5 provides higher bandwidth, with first-gen DIMMs offering up to 4.8 GT/s and potential future upgrades to 8.4 GT/s, meeting the demand for increased memory bandwidth in multi-core systems.
- Latency Changes: DDR5 exhibits decreased latency compared to DDR4, contributing to faster access times for routine tasks. Improved clock rates compensate for the higher CAS latency, ensuring efficient memory performance.
- Power Efficiency: DDR5 achieves enhanced performance with lower voltage (1.1v), contributing to power efficiency. The inclusion of a Power Management Integrated Circuit (PMIC) within DDR5 modules ensures efficient power usage.
- Enhancements: DDR5 introduces new capabilities like Decision Feedback Equalization, higher burst lengths, and separate clock outputs per side, supporting higher IO speeds and data rates for increased concurrency and efficient memory use.
- Design Refinements: DDR5’s higher speeds and lower voltages pose challenges for signal integrity, requiring considerations like differential feedback equalization for the command address bus and power delivery network upgrades to maintain system stability. DDR5 memory interface chips, notably the Rank Control Device (RCD), enhance signal integrity and reduce the memory controller’s burden. With features like SPD Hub and thermal sensors, Smarter DIMMs enable efficient operation at higher data speeds while staying within the power and thermal limits.
Debates over DDR4 RAM vs DDR5 RAM have plagued the internet since the introduction of the new standard, but does it hold water against the tried and trusted standard we’ve been on since 2015? This comparison will answer all your questions about these two memory standards.
DDR4 Vs DDR5 Ram: Productivity Benchmarks
Now that we’ve established a baseline with the performance of both types of RAM modules, this comparison will detail their performance in productivity scenarios. We’ve done this by creating a bottleneck-free test bench, the specifications of which are detailed below:
- Processor: Intel i9-12900K
- Motherboard: ROG Maximus Z690 Hero (DDR5) & TUF Z690 Plus Wifi D4 DDR4)
- Graphics Card: GeForce RTX 3080 Ti FE
- SSD – XPG GAMMIX S70 BLADE 2TB NVMe
- PSU – ENERMAX REVOLUTION D.F. X 1050W
- CPU Cooler – Arctic Liquid Freezer II 420 – AIO Water Cooler
- As far as Cinebench is concerned, the answer is no. The outcomes of each configuration are virtually the same. Of course, this was to be anticipated, given this test does not place a heavy demand on the memory subsystem. The findings for a single core are quite similar, with only small differences within this comparison’s error range.
- There was a shift in the outcomes in the blender. Comparing the two DDR4 kits, they are pretty similar in performance. However, DDR5 is somewhat slower, albeit not by much. Their 6000 MHz DDR5 kits are still lost to both DDR4 kits.
- With DDR4, there are noticeable improvements in Photoshop when switching from 3600 to 4800 MHz. In contrast, things are different on the DDR5 side. Compared to the considerably slower but tighter-functioning DDR4 3600 modules, even the quickest DDR5 kit does not significantly outperform it.
- Let’s go on to DaVinci Resolve, where the activity is performed, and you’ll notice that everything is quite simple. Each memory configuration offers almost identical performance. Because the GPU becomes a major limiting factor, it also indicates that high-end RAM isn’t the greatest use of money in all cases.
- However, code compilation is one case when total bandwidth is preferable. Time savings are drastically different across DDR4 modules operating at 3600 and 4800 Mhz, and this tendency continues in DDR5 outcomes. To even come close to the results they have with DDR4 4800. You’ll need memory running at DDR5 6000 MHz.
Adobe Premiere Pro
- However, the gap between the 3600 and 4800 Mhz estimates is not as large as it was with the Mozilla Compile. Even after using Premiere, the DDR4 outcomes remain stable. This is surprising if you think about it. The GPU is also crucial in this respect. In addition, the graphics may be a bottleneck due to the high DDR5 latency. Altering to a two-pass Variable Bitrate renderer places more strain on the CPU. There is a lot of latency that can be alleviated with faster DDR5 memory rates. DDR4 results are convincing, nevertheless.
DDR4 Vs DDR5 Ram: Gaming Performance
The situation is not good for the more cutting-edge DDR5 modules. We’ll have to see whether this pattern holds in the gaming world. Subsequently, let’s look at the final score from the games. Today, we’ll experiment with various frequency settings across ten games. Starting at 3200 MHz with CL14 DDR4 RAM. DDR5 RAM CL38 operating at 5200 MHz is precisely what we have. As with our previous comparison in our DDR4 vs DDR5 RAM guide, we ran all games at full 1080p with RT and DLSS turned on if they were available.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
- Between our two sticks of DDR4 RAM, CS: GO had an overall average framerate of 832 FPS, which is marginally lower than the 828 FPS average that our DDR5 kits had in terms of average framerates. CS: GO uses a very dated game engine, so it cannot use the more intricate advantages of DDR5 memory just yet to its full benefit.
- As for the 1% lows, the two DDR4 kits had an average of 521 FPS, almost identical to the average we saw with our DDR5 kits of around 520 FPS.
- DDR5 RAM was even further behind in our performance testing of Valorant, with an overall average framerate of only 445 FPS, while the DDR4 kits averaged a framerate of 486 FPS. Once again, the advantages of DDR5 RAM proved to be ineffective in this high-framerate gaming test.
- The 1% lows were no kinder to the newer RAM standard, with the DDR5 kits getting an overall average of around 239 FPS, while the DDR4 kits ran significantly smoother with an average closer to 261 FPS.
Far Cry 6
- Shifting gears to a first-person shooter, Far Cry 6 had an average framerate of 139 FPS in our testing of the DDR5 kits, while the DDR4 RAM had an average framerate of 143 FPS.
- The lows averaged around 101 FPS on the DDR5 test bench, while the DDR4 RAM had an average of around 104 FPS.
- The last hope for our DDR5 RAM to make a comeback was Doom Eternal, where the average framerate of the DDR5 RAM was around 393 FPS, while the DDR4 kits had an overall average framerate of 392 FPS, giving a slight win to the DDR5 kit in this game.
- As for the 1% lows, the DDR5 kits averaged a framerate of around 299 FPS, while the DDR4 RAM kits averaged minimums closer to 298 FPS, giving another slight victory to the DDR5 RAM.
Price To Performance Ratio
To evaluate the overall viability of both RAM types, this part of the comparison will look at the price-to-performance ratio of two popular RAM kits, the Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro DDR4 3600MHz and the G.Skill Trident Z5 DDR5 6000MHz.
During testing, DDR5 6000 (G.Skill Trident Z5 Series – $118) demonstrated improved performance in Mozilla Compile, but its 0.2 dollars per second of compile time raised cost-effectiveness concerns. Despite higher speeds and bandwidth, the price tag remained relatively expensive compared to DDR4. Results in Cinebench R23 showed a DDR5 ratio of 249 points per dollar, indicating enhanced performance but at a higher cost.
In the Adobe Photoshop benchmark, DDR5 revealed a ratio of about 0.59 dollars for every second of render time, questioning the value proposition. These results emphasized the trade-off between improved capabilities and increased expenditure.
In contrast, DDR4 3200 (Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro – $85) displayed a 73% better price-to-time ratio in Mozilla Compile, showcasing a more cost-effective option. Despite slightly lower overall performance, DDR4 3200 maintained a superior price-to-performance ratio. Cinebench R23 exhibited a ratio of 322 points per dollar, surpassing DDR5 6000 in cost-effectiveness. The Adobe Photoshop benchmark also showed a 68% better price-to-time ratio, emphasizing the economical choice. These results consistently highlighted DDR4 3200’s better cost-effectiveness across different benchmarks, emphasizing the trade-off between enhanced capabilities and increased expenditure with DDR5.
Price And Availability
At the high end, the most expensive kits of DDR5 RAM are indeed more expensive than the most expensive kits of DDR4 RAM, but the prices of both products are more or less equal. There is still a small price premium for DDR5 RAM, but it will not be out of reach for most consumers in late January 2024.
What We Recommend
Now that we have a general idea of the performance of DDR4 RAM vs DDR5 RAM, this part of our discussion will look at the overall consensus reasonable for each RAM type.
DDR5 RAM: DDR5 RAM presents superior memory bandwidth and capacity, offering the potential for enhanced performance compared to DDR4. However, the immediate transition to DDR5 may not be essential, given the reliable performance of DDR4 systems and the ongoing maturation of DDR5 technology. Despite its advantages, DDR5 exhibits high latency and minimal performance improvements in most non-professional workloads.
DDR4 RAM: DDR4 RAM has been a reliable standard, delivering stable performance for most PCs built after 2015. However, introducing the latest Intel 12th and 13th-generation CPUs and Ryzen 7000-series CPUs indicates a transition toward DDR5 compatibility. While DDR4 systems continue to perform well, the likelihood of future computers exclusively supporting DDR5 memory poses a challenge due to diminishing compatibility.
To summarize, DDR4 RAM is still more than capable of giving adequate performance in gaming and professional workloads, but this standard’s dwindling compatibility would make most consumers better suited to buying the newer one.
DDR4 Vs. DDR5 Ram - FAQs
Due to DDR5’s scarcity and high price, DDR4 is a better value. While DDR5 is 6% more powerful than DDR4, it also costs more. Until DDR5 improves, its price will remain too expensive compared to that of high-end DDR4.
With DDR5, you may anticipate speed boosts in the double-digit range. Some workloads, however, did see a little performance boost. Consequently, you should evaluate the workloads you put on your computer to see whether upgrading to DDR5 is worthwhile.
Manufacturers have not yet sounded the final nail in the coffin for DDR4. Inevitably, newer CPUs won’t be able to use DDR4 memory. By switching to DDR5 RAM now, you may utilize the same memory on newer computers.
It will be at least a couple of years before you need to update to DDR5 from a compatible and support perspective, and this is based on how long DDR3 lasted when DDR4 was prevalent. The memory bandwidth and capacity of DDR5 rams are superior to those of DDR4, but the high latency and minimal performance improvements over DDR4 throughout most nonprofessional workloads dampen the enthusiasm.
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Abdemanaf is a skilled creative writer who has been honing his craft since 2011. While initially working in different fields, he found a passion for technology and has been exploring the tech world since early 2015. Over the years, he has developed an in-depth knowledge of the latest tech trends and product offerings by various companies.
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