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The first DDR5 RAM modules promise faster, more efficient PCs

Steve Dent
·Associate Editor
·1-min read

Korean chip manufacturer SK Hynix has unveiled the world’s first 64GB DDR5 RAM modules, marking a big step away from DDR4 DIMMs that have dominated PC memory since 2013. The DDR5-4800 chips support speeds between 4,800 and 5,600 Mbps with faster potential data rates than DDR4, while using less power. The technology also allows for modules of up to 256GB in size.

The JEDEC standard for DDR5 RAM was officially published in July this year, but SK Hynix unveiled its first chips in 2018. Apart from the memory gains, DDR5 will have two 32-bit channels instead of a single 64-bit channel, making it easier to increase peak bandwidth. The modules themselves will also regulate voltage instead of the motherboard, allowing the DDR5 RAM manufacturer to control the all-important clock speeds. All told, it could make for some very interesting enthusiast RAM options.

SK Hynix has already tested modules at 6,400 Mbps and has 8,400 Mbps speeds on the roadmap. However, you’ll have to wait awhile for them to boost Crysis or Metro Exodus. The company is targeting data center applications first, as those users will gain the most from the extra capacity and efficiency. It figures that DDR5 RAM will account for just 10 percent of sales by 2022 and hit 43 percent sometime in 2024 — after that, it should become the defacto standard for all PCs, gaming machines included.