The DDR5 era is almost officially upon us. It will not truly begin in earnest until next-generation platforms arrive, starting with Intel's Alder Lake CPUs and followed by AMD's Zen 4 stack. However, memory makers are getting a head start by announcing DDR5 efforts ahead of time. TeamGroup will even begin selling a DDR5 memory kit later this month.
It is a 32GB DDR5-4800 memory kit consisting of a pair of 16GB modules, with timings set at 40-40-40-77 at 1.1V. Faster DDR5 memory kits will eventually emerge, but for the initial launch, TeamGroup is sticking with the finalized specifications laid out by JEDEC, the industry body that sets memory speeds, timings, and so forth.
For reference, the highest JEDEC specification for DDR4 memory is 3,200MT/s. Even so, memory makers have developed faster memory kits, which have been embraced by AMD and Intel, as well as motherboard makers. At the very upper end—extreme overclocking territory—there are even a handful of DDR4 memory kits rated to run at 5,333MT/s.
DDR5 will begin at speeds that are not far behind the fastest and most expensive DDR4 memory on the market, and ramp up from there. At least one memory maker (Netac, based in China) has already teased an eventual DDR5-10000 kit, to give you an idea of where things are headed in the new era of RAM.
Beyond the raw bandwidth gains DDR5 will deliver, another interesting aspect is on-die ECC (Error Correcting Code). Up to this point, ECC has mostly been the domain of data centers and workstations where mission critical workloads exists. DDR5 will bring the same benefit to consumer platforms at large. The topic of ECC memory and its general absence in the home consumer market led Linux founder Linus Torvalds to lambaste Intel earlier this year.
"ECC absolutely matters. ECC availability matters a lot—exactly because Intel has been instrumental in killing the whole ECC industry with it's horribly bad market segmentation," Torvalds wrote.
That was actually the nicest thing he said about Intel in his rant, which he referred to as "lying bastards" and accused of "pushing shit to consumers." Deep breath, Linus, ECC is about to arrive more broadly.
Intel's next-generation Alder Lake CPUs and its accompanying 600-series platform will the first consumer release to support DDR5 memory. TeamGroup promises its 32GB DDR5-4800 memory kit is compatible with what is in the pipeline, and says it will be available at Amazon (US and Japan), Newegg, and various retailers in Europe at the end of June. Pricing is set at $400.