Bragging rights and, well, mostly just bragging rights are at stake as Adata and Micron both attempt to lay claim to having the fastest DDR4 memory on the planet, by way of overclocking. As it stands at the time of this writing, Adata is in the lead, though maybe not for long.
Adata's own XPG Overclocking Lab (XOCL) division propelled the company to first place by pushing a kit of Spectrix D60G RGB DDR4 memory to 5,738MHz, as validated by HWBot. That beats the previous record, set just a few days ago using a kit of Micron memory, of 5,726MHz. And just prior to that accomplishment, Adata had sent out an announcement saying it had taken the speed crown with an overclocked frequency of 5,608MHz.
So in less than a week, we have seen the DDR4 memory frequency record broken no less than three times, alternating between Adata and Micron.
This level of memory overclocking requires extreme cooling, and specifically liquid nitrogen (LN2). Obviously this is not feasible for day-to-day usage—it's only used when attempting to set world records, either in frequency or benchmarking results. The best RAM for gaming still uses good old fashioned heatspreaders and air flow.
Beyond the bragging rights, companies use these records to promote their memory kits to the public. In the case of Micron, for example, the company noted that its then-record-setting kit uses its own E-die memory chips, and that the kit is the same one it sells to the public.
Many of the top memory kits have traditionally used Samsung B-die memory chips, though our friends at AnandTech recently reported that Samsung is discontinuing those parts. I've reached out to Adata to find out what specific chips are in its Spectrix D60G kits and will report back when/if I hear back.
In the meantime, don't be surprised if the record is broken once again. The real question is, which company will be the first to hit 6,000MHz?