TeamGroup has launched its first commercially available DDR5 memory kits, and while DDR5 is predicted to become the new standard of RAM by as early as 2023, you might not want to run out and buy some for your rig just yet.
Not only are these kits essentially unusable until DDR5-compatible motherboards are also released (with the first mainstream platforms expected to release products around Q4 2021), but you might need to think about how you're going to finance your new purchase as TeamGroup is selling its 32GB, 4,800 MHz kit for $399.99 (around £300, AU$550).
A TeamGroup spokesperson previously suggested to TechRadar Pro that DDR5 will be more expensive than the current DDR4 standard (which won't come as a surprise) and that DDR5 modules are most likely going to be 16GB as standard, with both claims now being seemingly confirmed with this product launch.
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As WCCFTech points out in its reporting, prices for DDR4 4,000 MHz (32 GB) kits are around $299-$399 which means this DDR5 kit is actually in line with the current going rate for the speed you'd be getting, but that doesn't make the hefty asking price any more affordable.
TeamGroup has only released the DDR5 kit to US customers, but plans are in place for a global release in the coming weeks. The full product specifications are listed below:
- Module Type: DDR5 288 Pin ECC Unbuffered DIMM
- Frequency: 4800
- Latency: CL40-40-40-77
- Capacity: 16GBx2
- Data Transfer: 38,400 MB/s
- Voltage: 1.1V
- Dimensions: 32(H) x 134(L)mm
- Warranty: 3-year limited warranty
Should you upgrade to DDR5?
We're hesitant to recommend anyone jumps at this offer, given this is early days for DDR5, despite the new generation of memory already having a number of advantages over DDR4. DDR5 can register speeds of up to 6.4Gbps, smashing DDR4’s potential rate of 3.2Gbps. You'll also be using less power with DDR5, which makes it the more efficient choice if you want to be kind to your power supply.
But given the current price of PC components like graphics cards and processors right now, you might find buying a new car cheaper than building a top-of-the-line computer. Coveted products like the AMD Ryzen 5000 series CPUs have suffered from high demand and low stock, while graphics cards like the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 and the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT are impossible to find at MSRP, often being flogged on auction sites for up to three times their standard price.
All of these component woes already make the DIY PC market a depressing state, so the addition to buying a new motherboard to accommodate for this faster RAM isn't as appealing as it rightfully should be.
There isn't a guarantee that waiting a few months for the market to (hopefully) stabilize will actually help, but buying DDR5 right now doesn't have any clear advantages, especially as both AMD and Intel aren't expected to launch DDR5 supporting ranges until sometime in 2022.
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Jess is a former TechRadar Computing writer, where she covered all aspects of Mac and PC hardware, including PC gaming and peripherals. She has been interviewed as an industry expert for the BBC, and while her educational background was in prosthetics and model-making, her true love is in tech and she has built numerous desktop computers over the last 10 years for gaming and content creation. Jess is now a journalist at The Verge.