DDR5 vs DDR4 Gaming Performance: A Comprehensive Benchmark Analysis

In the evolving landscape of computer memory, DDR5 has emerged as a successor to DDR4. Using Intel's Core i9-14900K, this benchmark analysis revisits the performance differences between DDR4 and DDR5 memory, following a previous comparison nearly two years ago with the i9-12900K.

Dec 1, 2023 - 18:20
DDR5 vs DDR4 Gaming Performance: A Comprehensive Benchmark Analysis

Memory Specifications and Pricing

DDR4-4000 vs DDR5-7200

  • DDR4 Memory: The G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 32GB DDR4-4000 CL16 kit is priced at $170.
  • DDR5 Memory: The G.Skill Trident Z5 RGB Series 32GB DDR5-7200 CL34 kit, surprisingly, is more affordable at $130.

Benchmark Methodology

A range of games was tested to evaluate the performance differences between DDR4-4000 and DDR5-7200 memory. The focus was on the impact of these memory types on gaming performance, specifically at different resolutions like 1080p, 1440p, and 4K.

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Game-Specific Performance Analysis

Assassin's Creed Mirage

  • 1080p Performance: DDR5 shows up to a 13% improvement in 1% lows and a 7% boost in average frame rate.
  • 1440p and 4K Results: The impact of memory performance diminishes as the resolution increases and the GPU becomes the limiting factor.

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty

  • 1080p Performance: DDR5-7200 config was 9% faster, demonstrating a clear advantage at higher frame rates.

Overall Performance Summary

Average Frame Rate

  • At 1080p, DDR5 memory was found to be 7% faster on average across 21 games tested.
  • DDR5 showed significant improvements in several titles, though a few games displayed minimal differences between DDR4 and DDR5.

1% Low Performance

  • DDR5 was on average 10% faster in 1% low performance, with some games showing improvements exceeding 15%.

Conclusions and Buying Advice

DDR5 Memory: A Better Choice for New Systems

  • For new system builders, DDR5 is generally the preferred option due to its superior performance and comparable pricing to DDR4.
  • DDR5 memory offers smoother frame time performance, particularly noticeable in 1% lows.

DDR4 Memory: Still Viable for Existing Builds

  • For users with high-quality DDR4 memory, opting for a DDR4 LGA 1700 motherboard can still provide excellent performance.
  • In modern games where GPU limitations are more pronounced, the difference between DDR4 and DDR5 may be less noticeable.

Final Thoughts

This analysis demonstrates that DDR5 memory typically offers better gaming performance than DDR4, especially in terms of 1% lows. However, the choice between DDR4 and DDR5 may depend on individual needs, existing hardware, and specific gaming scenarios. As technology advances, DDR5 is poised to become the standard for future builds, delivering enhanced performance in gaming and other demanding applications.