16GB modules recommended to ensure accurate benchmark comparisons of the two technologies

When comparing two memory technologies, it is important to evaluate not only the speed increase of the new technology, but also the underlying architecture. As such, any comparisons focused on DDR4 vs. DDR5 must be made with the same density, configuration, and loading, as well as with the same CPU. 

DDR4 16GB modules can be built as 1Rx8 with 16Gb DRAMs or 2Rx8 with 8Gb DRAMs, whereas DDR5 16GB modules can
only be built as 1Rx8 with 16Gb DRAMs. Because rank and configuration can make a big difference under benchmark
conditions, the only fair comparison of DDR4 and DDR5 would be between the same module type and configuration (i.e. 8GB 1Rx16 or 16GB 1Rx8). 

Single-rank vs. dual-rank (where dual-rank provides more ranks to the memory controller) can allow more parallel read/write operations. The difference under benchmark test conditions is typically in the 10-15% higher range for dual-rank modules*. Conversely however, dual-rank modules often must downclock one or more speed grades due to added system load, which can impact the overall memory bandwidth and can neutralize any advantage provided by the dual-rank configuration. 

Conclusion: DDR4 and DDR5 modules must be of the same rank/config if the goal is to accurately compare the performance capabilities of two memory technologies.

Once a comparison of the same rank/config modules is complete that showcases the capability of each technology,
side experiments could compare modules of different rank/config, depending on the final results. 

Example: Most of the DDR4 16GB market has been dual-rank. So, does moving to 16GB single-rank make DDR5 technology less palatable or does the DDR5 architecture overcome this hurdle and maybe even bring higher than expected performance to the table? 

After making sure that any comparisons are like for like, it’s important to remember that different workloads will yield different results. For some situations, DDR5 may not demonstrate a significant benefit. However, we expect DDR5 to be the future of memory and the standard for memory technology going forward as workloads evolve. 

Ready to benchmark our DDR4 and DDR5 desktop memory?

About Crucial DDR5 memory technology

Crucial DDR5 RAM provides the powerful performance needed to break through the processing bottlenecks of intensive
 visit workloads. With Crucial DDR5, next-gen systems can process nearly twice as fast, not just during benchmark testing, but under real-world conditions. To learn more about DDR5 memory technology,  crucial.com/ddr5

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*Based on internal GStress Performance Testing of dual-rank x8 based modules over single-ranked x8 based modules in client platforms