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DDR5 RAM: Everything you need to know

With Intel bringing out its 12th-generation of desktop processors with Alder Lake, you’ll be hearing a lot more about DDR5.

Intel has officially announced its 12th-generation processors will support DDR5 RAM, but what exactly is it and how will it benefit you?

Keep scrolling to learn what DDR5 is and how it’s changing the game for PC memory.

What is DDR5 RAM?

DDR5 is a form of RAM, and the successor to DDR4, with faster data speeds and faster raw performance. DDR5 has also seen an increase to the density and bandwidth of RAM, while also keeping the power consumption low.

DDR5 is currently only supported by Intel’s 12th generation desktop processors. AMD is expected to launch compatible chips for DDR5 in 2022.

How much better is DDR5 to DDR4?

DDR5 is the latest iteration of DDR, and is supported by Intel’s Alder Lake processors.

Every generation of DDR gets a performance boost as the manufacturers make improvements to the architecture; DDR5 will start out with a range of 4,800 MHz to 5,600 MHz, which is an improvement of 1.8 times over DDR4 in terms of performance.

Plus, DDR5 uses less power than DDR4; the newest iteration uses 1.1V, while the predecessor used 1.2V. While this might not seem like a huge leap, that 0.1V change reportedly results in a 20% reduction in power requirements.

Once we get our hands on some DDR5 RAM, we’ll be benchmarking it to get a better idea of the performance increase.

How much memory capacitiy does DDR5 have?

DDR4 tops out at around 32GB per stick. DDR5 can potentially quadruple that capacity, with 128GB DDR5 RAM sticks being touted.

This means that a new system with four DDR4 DIMM slots could reach 512GB of memory. And while most regular consumers don’t need that much RAM – usually you will need between 16GB and 32GB – it doesn’t hurt to know that DDR5 has an incredibly high capacity ceiling.

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