Higher speed, lower latency DDR5 is becoming more affordable, and in the US we spotted a great deal on TeamGroup memory over at Amazon. There, you can find a 32GB kit of DDR5-5600 CL36 memory for $150, reduced from its normal price of $180. That's more expensive than 32GB of DDR4, but you're getting a substantial increase in bandwidth and reduction in latency compared to the DDR5-4800 CL40 JEDEC standard.
We last examined DDR5 vs DDR4 last year, where high prices and relatively modest performance meant that the technology wasn't quite ready to earn a solid recommendation. A lot has changed since then, with prices going down and specs going up, and nowit makes more sense.
In order to use DDR5 RAM, you'll need to have an Intel 12th-gen CPU (and corresponding 600-series Intel motherboard) or AMD's upcoming Ryzen 7000 processors and a corresponding AMD 500-series motherboard. Over at Digital Foundry, we noticed a decent performance advantage in CPU-limited scenarios with the faster RAM in place, testing the same 12900K chip with DDR4 and DDR5-based motherboards. However, GPU-limited games and content creation tasks like rendering 3D scenes or transcoding video saw a minimal performance improvement, so DDR5 isn't worthwhile for every use case.
Hopefully we'll continue to see DDR5 become faster and more affordable, so that it becomes a true alternative to DDR4 that we can recommend even for budget rigs. For the meantime though, this is a good deal on DDR5 for higher-end Intel (and soon AMD) machines, so do check it out!
We'll be back again soon with another deal, so stay tuned!