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Where is DDR5 speed going?

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BugFreak

Joined
Apr 29, 2010
Location
Central FL
Every time a new memory comes out we see the initial release with some gradual speed increases over time. Then at some point we see a big jump like when DDR4 went to 4400 and higher later in the cycle. So far with DDR5 I've considered the 6400 speed range the initial speeds with the gradual increase coming soon. My question is what speeds to you see DDR5 going to? Granted this is mostly speculation but I was hoping some folks that follow memory closer would have some input.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
Where it's going? Oh @Woomack .... :)

I wouldn't worry too much about it. Currently, the sweetspot seems to be around DDR4 6000 CL36 area. Much more than that and the price is high (last time I checked) and not worth the price for the performance increase. In time that will likely go up and pricing to go down, but where it ends up............. I surely don't know.

Honestly, 99% of users would be fine with ordering 'sweetspot'-type RAM for the life of the platform. I can see a bump in capacity needed (though with 2x16GB common with DDR5, I don't see that as a need anytime soon), but speed increases are negligible at this time.
 

Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
@EarthDog, the server had a hiccup ...

I see it like:
DDR3 -> DDR4-> DDR5
1333 -> 2133 -> 4800 <-- initial/SPD clock
2133 -> 3600 -> 6400 <-- gaming/recommended specs after 1-2 years
2800 -> 5000 -> 8000 <-- max clock available in stores

The expected max clock for DDR5 is 8000, but we will probably see a bit more. The expected max clock for DDR3 was 2600, for DDR4 was 4800. In most cases, we could see some more.
The current generation can't make more than 6000-6400 on higher series 4-slot motherboards and top OC motherboards (count it like 4 models only) can make 6800+.
The current DDR5 (at least Samsung and Hynix) can make 7000+ but at high voltages compared to the JEDEC values. However, motherboards are highly limiting the max clock, so I guess that the next-gen Intel or AMD may change the way how we see DDR5. The next-gen will be later this year.

It's always like release -> fine-tuning and optimizations -> higher capacity but not necessarily higher frequencies -> end of the generation
- DDR3 reached optimal clock after about a year with PSC and Elpida IC, after that were higher capacity options like Samsung/Hynix.
- DDR4 reached optimal clock with Samsung B (so 2nd generation with already a bit higher capacity) which was supposed to be dead for 2 years+ already but the high demand caused the production to be renewed. There are newer IC that can make higher frequency and capacity but memory controllers and motherboards can't handle it.
- DDR5 already started at a wide range of frequencies from 4000 to 6000+, so it's like it skipped one generation looking at early DDR5 plans. Clocks can go higher, motherboards can't handle it. We will see 6800 kits in stores soon but anything above that is already delayed because of problems with compatible platforms. There are 7000 kits on some motherboards' QVL, but really it's so close to the edge of stability that I doubt anyone will release it soon and guarantee compatibility with any available motherboard. What you see on QVL is not always a retail product. There are no retail 6800+ kits yet, but some motherboard brands have them on QVL. Actually, most memory kits from QVL were never released in retail, and even if the PN matches then often the IC is different like ASUS has most ADATA and G.Skill kits with Hynix IC when everything in stores was with Samsung IC. Hynix kits arrived with a bit different PNs.
 
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BugFreak

BugFreak

Joined
Apr 29, 2010
Location
Central FL
Where it's going? Oh @Woomack .... :)

I wouldn't worry too much about it. Currently, the sweetspot seems to be around DDR4 6000 CL36 area. Much more than that and the price is high (last time I checked) and not worth the price for the performance increase. In time that will likely go up and pricing to go down, but where it ends up............. I surely don't know.

Honestly, 99% of users would be fine with ordering 'sweetspot'-type RAM for the life of the platform. I can see a bump in capacity needed (though with 2x16GB common with DDR5, I don't see that as a need anytime soon), but speed increases are negligible at this time.
True. I'm not really shopping but more curious on everyone's thoughts. I figure until I need 32g of ram I'll be just fine where I'm at.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
You'll have to upgrade your platform to get DDR5 which seems a few years down the road looking at your sig. Who knows WTH is going on then. We may see DDR6 by that point, lol. But where it's going... the same as it always does... faster with more capacity. Where that 'grey area' of a sweet spot is, only time will tell. :)

Also, I'm glad I have 32GB now. If I don't close my daily work (a dozen or so browser tabs including watching streaming) and try to game, I can see over 16GB use.
 

Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
I needed 32GB a while ago as web browsers+some games = over 16GB, especially when you are not restarting your PC often.
I went with Z690+DDR5 in my gaming PC only because I could cover most of the price by selling older stuff. If I couldn't cover that then I wouldn't switch as it's hard to see the difference in popular games.

I wonder how new motherboards will affect the max DDR5 clock. Right now there are various problems with motherboards and before we will see them solved then the next-gen will be released.
 

Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Each year I feel more like a beta tester and each year hardware costs more. Hardware used to be released as ready to go ... now we get unfinished products and wait for fixes/improvements for some months. The worst is that after about 8 months is another generation which is not really better and we start from the beginning. Most of the popular higher series Z690 motherboards already have about 20-30 BIOS versions each and almost all of them are public beta releases (I'm not even counting everything that wasn't public). Gigabyte example ... 5 or 6 BIOS releases that are supposed to fix G.Skill compatibility issues... it still doesn't work.
 

mackerel

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
I'd be happy with JEDEC 4800 for now, if I can get it at a decent price. If you think about it, DDR5 seems to be targeting about 2x DDR4 at comparable points in lifecycle. 4800 is comparable to 2400, not far from 2133 base support for consumer CPUs. That puts enthusiast XMP modules around the 6400 ball park (3200 was the early DDR4 performance sweet spot before pricing got serious), with JEDEC modules moving that way in some years. With DDR4 we kinda have XMP 3600 as perf sweet spot now, so >7000 towards end of DDR5 life.

The DDR5 I thought I had ordered from Crucial never existed even if their website lied about being in stock. I do see from other suppliers other low cost brands are available now. But it would only be an incremental improvement from what I have given the need to essentially build a new system. Let's see what the fall CPU offerings from both sides are before I think about upgrading again. I'd do a sell old to buy new but I really can't be bothered to move hardware around like the old days.