DDR5 vs DDR4: Is It Time to Upgrade Your RAM?

When it comes to PC components, the age-old question always tends to be “is it time to upgrade?”  Processors, video cards, hard drives and memory are always getting better. As such, in the recent past there has been an advancement in RAM from DDR4 to DDR5. So, in this blog were going to look at whether you should be upgrading your RAM now.

What is DDR5?

DDR5 stands for Double Data Rate 5 and is the latest revision of DDR RAM technology. It has many improvements over its predecessor DDR4, like speed, bandwidth, and power usage. In time this will become the standard RAM that is used by everyone. Early adopters are already on board, but does that mean that you should be as well?  The answer is totally use-case based.

As is the case with most early adoption practices, the cost might initially outweigh the benefits.  Let’s take gaming for example. Very few games are designed to take advantage of DDR5 at the moment. While that will change in the future, being an early adopter here makes little to no sense as most modern game performance will be limited to how good of a graphics card you have.  As far as productivity goes, PCmag ran a series of tests between DDR4 and DDR5 to find the benefits. While DDR5 is faster, the results weren’t very far apart.

Other Factors

Even if you are unmoved by any of this and wanted to jump on board right away, there may be some things impeding your progress, namely cost and availability. DDR5 is more expensive and harder to find in stock than DDR4.

As of right now, while there are tangible improvements that DDR5 does make over its predecessor, the best course of action is to wait on an upgrade. Waiting until there are more system wide benefits, gaming starts designing with DDR5 in mind, the price comes down, and it is more readily available.