RAM is getting faster. The JEDEC Solid State Technology Association has announced the specifications for DDR5, and things are looking hot. Memory speeds are doubling, density is quadrupling, and all around we’re going to see major improvements in performance.
AnandTech has broken down the specifics in gory detail, but here’s what you need to know. Individual RAM sticks will now have a maximum capacity of 128GB. The maximum data rate (think bandwidth) is doubling to 6.4Gbps, though we’ve already seen DDR4 models that go beyond that rate. And memory die capacity is increasing to 64Gbit from 16Gbit.
And one more minor detail with major repercussions: power control will be assigned per memory stick rather than the motherboard. That shift means motherboard makers won’t have to incorporate voltage monitoring and handling anymore. We may not see a drop in pricing of motherboards, but it will ease the complexity of “does this RAM work with this mobo”.
While the specifications have officially released, we won’t see DDR5 RAM hit production for another year at least. Which is good, especially if you’re thinking of upgrading anytime soon and don’t want to deal with switching from DDR4 to DDR5 and replacing more than just memory sticks. And chances are RAM isn’t your rig’s bottleneck; upgrade that GPU and throw in some serious liquid cooling. That’ll do the trick until then.