What is the future of RAM

RAM: DDR5 vs. DDR4 with up to 60 percent more performance

Michael Mercenary

A first benchmark suggests that DDR5 RAM offers clear advantages over DDR4 main memory.

EnlargeDDR4 RAM is still the measure of all things in computers.

Most modern computers have DDR4 RAM. However, the change to DDR5 is due in the near future. The first results from the AIDA64 benchmark from China now show to what extent users can benefit from the increased memory bandwidth of DDR5 RAM. In conjunction with an Alder Lake processor from Intel, the modules ran at up to 6.4 Gb / s. The memory modules of the type DDR5-4800 are available with both 8 and 16 GB capacity. The timings are indicated with CL40 (40-40-40-77). A development kit mainboard was used as a test system because the components are not yet in their final version.

With the entire system, 194,000 could be reached in AIDA64. A similarly structured kit with DDR4 memory scores 92,000 points, which is less than half. Specifically, the increased performance from DDR4 to DDR5 is stated to be 28 percent for reading and 27 percent for writing. If, on the other hand, data is copied in RAM, there is only 10 percent more performance. In return, however, the latency increases: While the DDR4 system with the CL22 gets by with 56.8 ns, the system with DDR5 with the CL40 already needs 112.1 ns. However, the timings are likely to differ from those that are ready for the market, so that this lag should be less over time. For the first time in practice, DDR5 should be found together with Intel's Alder Lake CPUs, which should appear at the end of 2021. With AMD, a change to DDR5 is only to be expected with Zen 4. How much of the extra performance actually reaches the user in the end remains to be seen. When a new RAM standard is introduced to the market, the timings are usually still high and the rate is low. In the near future, however, there should be no getting around DDR5 RAM in computers.

RAM: DDR5 is twice as fast as DDR4