While choosing memory, you must pick between either DDR4 or DDR5 for gaming in 2022. Chips supporting both these standards are available in the market today.
More CPUs supporting DDR5 are expected to drop later this year. While higher numbers on DDR5 might mean they perform more, these newer memory sticks are costly, putting people in a dilemma.
Also, with DDR5, compatibility is an issue. Building systems with newer memory standards require different motherboards. Often, these motherboards are much costlier than their DDR4 counterparts.
So, is all of the extra money worth it? Answers may vary.
Do you need DDR4 or DDR5 for gaming in 2022?
Before discussing which RAM is better, DDR4 or DDR5, for gaming in 2022, let us discuss the key differences between these memory generations.
- DDR5 sports a much higher bandwidth as compared to DDR5.
- While DDR4 memory sticks topped out at 4400 MHz, with very few costly chips going beyond, initial DDR5 designs come with 4800 MHz speeds.
- The newer memory sticks consume less power.
- With on-DIMM PMIC, they are more power efficient and scalable.
- DDR5 chips also come with two channels per DIMM. This reduces the benefits of going dual-channel by a margin and boosts memory efficiency.
- The newer chip boasts much higher capacity DIMMS. DDR4 memory sticks topped at 64 GB each. DDR5 will push the number to 256 GB per stick.
The newer standard might sound better when choosing between DDR4 or DDR5 for gaming in 2022. However, there are lots of challenges that put it in an unfavorable position.
Technology is expected to overcome these problems shortly, making it fit for mass use.
Challenges faced by DDR5
The world is recovering from a massive chip shortage, which has hurt the production cap of major silicon fabs like Samsung Foundries, TSMC, and SK Hynix. These companies are among the leading manufacturers of the tech required to produce DDR5 memory sticks, meaning newer memory standards are in short supply.
Apart from the DDR5 memory sticks, the motherboards supporting these new sticks are overpriced. Part of this is because of the disruption caused by the chip shortage.
Another reason is the relative difficulty in producing the first generation of any tech.
Why is choosing DDR5 is a bad idea
DDR5 technology is still in its infancy. The technology has just been rolled out to select Intel processors. Adoption and availability are pretty low, as discussed above.
Memory sticks are expensive. A decent 32GB could easily cost over $400.
Additionally, very few modern games can utilize the true potential of DDR5 memory. Most titles perform similarly on either memory standard.
This makes the newer memory stick entirely pointless, at least for now. Based on the benchmark results, most gamers will get DDR4 for gaming in 2022.
However, some newer games like Tiny Tina's Wonderlands have shown massive performance gains while running on DDR5 memory. This gives us a glimpse of what the memory standard will be capable of as more titles are built to utilize their full potential.
Conclusion: DDR4 or DDR5?
DDR5 memory is not ready for the majority of gamers out there. However, the technology is excellent, and it is the future.
Currently, problems like availability and exorbitant pricing prevent them from being recommended. So, while deciding whether to buy DDR4 or DDR5 for gaming in 2022, get the former.