DDR5 continues to drop in price, as more kits enter the market and supply increases. Today we spotted a 16GB stick of Crucial DDR5-4800 RAM going for just $70 at Amazon, nearly $20 below its original $89 MSRP set earlier this year. This is an awesome chance to build a new system with 32GB of DDR5.
I tested DDR5 fairly extensively for Digital Foundry, and I’m happy to report that there’s minimal speed differences between the base DDR5 spec – like this 4800MT/s CL40 kit – and more expensive 5200MT/s CL38 kits. Most games perform identically, and it isn’t until you overclock an already high-end DDR5 kit (I managed around 6600MT/s) that you start to see a noticeable performance difference between different DDR5 RAM configurations. Therefore, getting the JEDEC spec part at the lowest price possible makes the most sense in terms of bang for buck right now.
Note that this is only a single stick, rather than being a dual-stick kit as you’d normally see. This means you’ll probably want to get two of these sticks and run 32GB of DDR5 in dual-channel mode, but there is also an argument that a single stick is fine for most use cases. After all, DDR5’s design is different to DDR4, with the two sides of the memory being accessed independently by the CPU via the motherboard. However, you do still see roughly a 10 percent performance drop in memory-sensitive games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider, so this is best used as a short-term solution rather than a long-term one – two memory sticks of the same spec are still the way to go.
For more info on DDR5, check out James’ scintillating investigation into DDR5 vs DDR4 on Intel’s Z690 platform.