DDR4 vs. DDR5 RAM tested on Intel Core i5-13600K.  What do you choose?  Which group would be more efficient?

One of the biggest advantages of the LGA1700 platform, which supports 12th and 13th generation Intel Core processors, is the ability to use either DDR4 or DDR5 memory. This allows the user to choose the optimal configuration, adapted to the wallet, for example, because DDR5 modules and motherboards that support the newer standard are correspondingly more expensive. However, is it worth paying more for faster RAM kits? What is the performance difference between DDR4 and DDR5 memory? Questions multiply quickly, so this comparison was created to give an exhaustive answer – which RAM to choose for the Intel Core i5-13600K processor? Here you will find the results for the model groups as well as the high-end models.

Author: Sebastian Oktaba

DDR5 RAM It brought a number of tweaks other than lowering the output voltage and increasing clock speeds while reducing latency. First of all, the new standard works differently than its predecessor. DDR4 RAM runs on a single 64-bit bus, while DDR5 has two 32-bit buses (plus an additional 8 bits for ECC). As a result, one unit is identified as two-channel, while two are identified as four-channel, although the solution itself has little in common with true quad-channel from HEDT platforms. The internal (A/B) channels of the DDR5 RAM also share an RCD (Register Clock Driver), which provides more output signals and reads longer pulses (8 vs. 16). Another novelty is the transfer of voltage regulation directly to the modules (PMIC chip), however, increasing production costs and temperatures. The DDR5 standard also introduces XMP 3.0 profiles, allowing user settings to be saved in RAM, so when moving modules between platforms we don’t have to reconfigure their configuration in the motherboard’s UEFI.

What is the best RAM for an Intel Core i5-13600K processor? Is the difference between DDR4 and DDR5 really noticeable? And which groups can be considered the most profitable at the moment?

DDR4 vs. DDR5 RAM tested on Intel Core i5-13600K.  What do you choose?  Which group would be more efficient? [nc1]

Comparing the performance of DDR4 memory and DDR5 memory is more difficult than it might seem, although the issues are not directly related to the tests, because the benchmarking procedure is not subject to any modifications. The vast majority of DDR5 is sold in kits of 2x 16GB, so it seems logical to choose DDR4 with identical capacities. As long as we are talking about quite average clusters (eg 3600MHz CL18), the problem basically does not occur, and only reveals itself if we want something faster. Finding 2x 16GB 3600MHz CL14 DDR4 memory is not an easy and expensive task, it remains to run such settings on Gear1 (1: 1), that is, synchronously with the console timings. The dual-rank configuration turned out to be problematic (there are no other configurations), and it is more difficult to stabilize and overclock, although it is compensated by higher performance compared to the single-rank. Since DDR5 kits run on the Gear2 as standard, and all 2x 16GB are class one, it was hard to match up to DDR4.

DDR4 DDR4 DDR5 DDR5 DDR5 DDR5 DDR5
capacity 2x 16 GB 2x 16 GB 2x 16 GB 2x 16 GB 2x 16 GB 2x 16 GB 2x 16 GB
building double rank double rank single rank single rank single rank single rank single rank
settings XMP O.C XMP XMP XMP XMP O.C
timing 3600MHz 3800MHz 5200MHz 6000MHz 6600MHz 7200MHz 7400MHz
divider Gear 1 Gear 1 Gear 2 Gear 2 Gear 2 Gear 2 Gear 2
tCL 18 14 38 36 32 34 34
tRCD 22 14 38 36 39 44 42
tRP 22 14 38 36 39 44 42
trass 39 34 82 76 76 96 82

Intel Core i5-13600K vs AMD Ryzen 5 7600X Processor Test – More Cores, Great Performance! Comparison in games and programs

In the end, we were able to find the required DDR4 array, which is a very important reference point, although Corsair Dominator Platinum 2x 16GB 4000MHz CL16 overclocked to 3800MHz CL14-14-14-34 can be considered the limit of the platform. I chose to benchmark with a 1:1 controller because it provides the best performance, and the nominal overclocking capability of Dual Rank wouldn’t be able to reduce the losses caused by Gear2 running (even assuming a 200-400MHz higher clock speed). As a counterbalance in the DDR5 team, a set of 2x 16GB Corsair Dominator Platinum was selected, running with settings from 7200MHz CL34-44-44-96 overclocked to 7400MHz CL34-42-42-82 Gear2. However, this is not the end of DDR5’s capabilities, as 8000MHz CL38 modules will soon be available for sale. I’ve also optimized some second- and third-order timings for both upper groups, and the rest of the memory runs according to XMP profiles.

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