According to the latest rumors, it would appear that next-generation DDR5 RAM is on its way to the consumer market. Pictures of Crucial's first DDR5 memory modules appeared on the internet this week, showing off the new components in a retail-ready packaging.
Crucial's first DDR5 memory modules record a base frequency of 4800 MHz, but DDR5 is expected to reach at least 6400 MHz, with some manufacturers already aiming for 10000 MHz. Preliminary RAM benchmarks show DDR5s with huge improvements in synthetic workloads, so it will be interesting to assess the real-world benefits of DDR5s and how they will behave compared to the DDR4s now on the market.
The DDR5 modules in question have a CAS (CL) latency value of 40 and a voltage of 1.1 V. The UDIMM has a capacity of 8 GB, while the SO-DIMM model reaches 32 GB.
From published pcitures, Crucial DDR5 memory modules do not have a heatsink. So we expect these modules to match Crucial's Value RAM series, intended for the OEM world and for economy-class PCs. It is practically certain that high-end memory modules will be equipped with heat sinks and RGB illuminations of various kinds.
Crucial memory modules use Micron integrated circuits. The UDIMM module features a design with four 2GB memory integrated circuits, while the SO-DIMM module has a design with up to 16 integrated memory circuits of the same size. According to JEDEC specifications, DDR5 should go as far as the expected limit of 128 GB per module.
Which processors will use DDR5?
There are currently two processor families that will potentially support DDR5. As for Intel, we have the next 12th generation Alder Lake hybrid desktop processors expected to enter the market in the second half of this year. For AMD, however, Zen 4 is assumed to support DDR5 memory, since Zen 3 will be the last microarchitecture to use the AM4 CPU socket. It wouldn't be surprising to see AMD using the new AM5 socket to take advantage of DDR5.
AMD's Zen 4 architecture isn't expected until next year, so Intel may be ahead of schedule to try to regain lost market share in recent months.