Should I buy DDR4 RAM or wait for DDR5 RAM, and is 3200MHz enough?

Varun from India is a little ahead of the game, but wants to know if he should buy DDR4 RAM now or wait for DDR5.

Question by Varun from India | Answered by in RAM on Nov 1, 2020 1:36 PM CST

Hi team, I'm planning to build a new PC.

My question is should I buy DDR4 RAM or wait for DDR5 RAM. Is 3200MHz enough for gaming, surfing, and a little bit of editing like Photoshop and video editing? Are there any compatibility issues with either Intel or AMD CPUs? I haven't decided about which CPU should I go for.

Thank you!

Hi Varun,

It seems you are a little bit ahead of the market, but I'll do my best to answer this. As you have mentioned above, DDR5 has begun shipping from both Micron, Samsung, and SK Hynix, but not in our typical desktop PC form factors.

Should I buy DDR4 RAM or wait for DDR5 RAM, and is 3200MHz enough? 1

Instead, it has been released in RDIMM to servers and HPC platforms and does offer an 85% performance increase along with increased reliability. Adding to this, with DDR5 now shipping to server markets, it truly won't be long before we see it on the desktop, perhaps with Intel Rocket Lake?

As I eluded above, no current CPU supports DDR5, not even the recent Zen 3 lineup from AMD. One thing to note here is, with AMD's chiplet design, they can easily do a refresh and add a DDR5 memory controller when needed, but it will require new motherboards that meet the DDR5 specification electrically.

With all of that, if you are building now, go with DDR4, 3600MHz or higher, especially if you are on AMD, and I would personally recommend 4000MHz for modern systems.

Good luck!

Last updated: Nov 3, 2020 at 07:09 pm CST

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