Three years after the computer industry promised to double the speed of global computer memory with the DDR5 specification, the time has finally come. SK Hynix has officially announced the world's first DDR5 memory modules. The company tells The Verge that it is expected to start sales in the third quarter of 2021, but they are ready whenever systems can assist them.
Here you are:
Right now we're looking at 32 or 64 GB for a stick.
Image: SK Hynix
SK Hynix claims this DRAM offers up to 5,600Mbps of raw bandwidth – not quite the 6,400Mbps maximum that the DDR5 specification allows, but 1.8 times faster than standard DDR4, and all at a lower voltage of 1.1 V instead of 1.2 V, z What SK Hynix claims is an energy saving of 20 percent. (Power consumption is measured in watts, not just volts, in case you're wondering about that math.)
In practice, today's announcement doesn't mean much to the average computer manufacturer or buyer, partly because increasing RAM speed for regular apps and games hasn't been a huge boost in a while, and partly because it's many months ahead of you I will be able to buy them, let alone plug them into a system. Intel has announced it will support DDR5 with future processors, but AMD has not officially adopted DDR5 and may not have adopted it until 2022.
But at some point, DDR5 capacity might grab your attention. As AnandTech points out, 128GB modules are likely and 2TB server modules are out of the question.
Today's announcement is more about proving that a company can actually build such a module and involve other manufacturers in building an ecosystem around the technology. In this case, according to SK Hynix, companies such as Synopsis, Renesys, Montage and Rambus are registered – not exactly the companies that offer us gadget lovers RAM.
This is basically how DDR4 was introduced. It took a while before the specification was first announced. In addition, JEDEC only managed to finalize the specification in July, a few years behind schedule.
If you need speed sooner, there is always ridiculously expensive, out-of-spec DDR4 out there. You can already buy a pair of 5,100 MHz sticks for ~ $ 900 and try overclocking them to 5,600 MHz.
Update 19:53 ET: The comment from SK Hynix has been added that the DDR5 modules will be commercialized in the third quarter of 2021.