It seems like just about every other day we get word of ever higher DDR5 memory speeds. Less than two weeks back I wrote about G.Skill’s upcoming Trident Z5 DDR5-6800 CL32 memory (opens in new tab). Impressive though that kit may be, it’s looking like it’s just a tease for what Intel’s 13th Gen CPUs will ultimately be capable of.
Intel has expanded its list of XMP 3.0 supporting memory kits (opens in new tab) (via Benchlife (opens in new tab)). The latest kits go all the way up to 7600MHz. Yep, DDR5-7600. The kit in question is made by G.Skill, and validated on Asus’ upcoming Maximus Z790 Apex motherboard. There’s also a 7466MHz kit, also made by G.Skill but this time its been validated on the more worldly Z790 Hero as well as the Apex.
Several other high-speed kits are listed, with Teamgroup, Kingston and Adata all having kits at 7000MHz or beyond. It’s interesting to note that not all of them have 2x16GB capacities. There are several 2x32GB sets that run at a stunning 7200MHz. That’s a good indicator that the 13th Gen memory controller has received an upgrade. None of the fastest kits are validated (not yet at least) on 12th Gen processors.
These very fast modules are likely to make use of second-generation Hynix A-die chips. First generation Micron and Samsung based memory can’t hit those speeds, while the best currently available kits in the 6400MHz to 6600MHz range use Hynix M-die. DDR5 is really getting better all the time. And, it's got many years of development ahead of it.
As the speeds of DDR5 increase, any remaining latency concerns fade into the rear-view mirror. With exceptions, gaming tends to be latency sensitive which is why a good quality DDR4 kit is still perfectly viable, even if it runs at half the speed of DDR5. But as speeds cross the 7000MHz threshold, 7200MHz at C34 all but matches a top spec 3600 C14 set. Though secondary and tertiary timings are still above those of the best DDR4 kits, the real-world differences should be irrelevant. Plus, you get the advantage of having double the bandwidth.
What we don’t know is the price of these mega kits. DDR5 still carries a price premium over DDR4, and these very fast kits are sure to be very expensive. The 7000MHz+ 2x32GB kits are going to cost a ridiculous amount. Hopefully that won’t last forever as production ramps up, especially with demand set to spike as Ryzen 7000 and 13th Gen upgraders enter the market.
I’m personally looking forward to getting my hands on some of this second generation DDR5. I might not need it, but I sure do want it.