DDR5 is the next step up for PC memory, succeeding DDR4. The previous generation of RAM hasn't been around for too long and already we're seeing new processors support DDR5. Unfortunately, DDR5 and DDR4 modules are not interchangeable, meaning you can't use a DDR4 RAM module on a DDR5 motherboard or vice versa. Clock speeds and latency ratings also differ greatly between DDR4 and DDR5, making the process of picking the right RAM kit a little more confusing. This is where our DDR5 buyer's guide comes into play.
Upgrade to DDR5
If you want one of the first kits that came to market, look no further than the GeIL Polaris RGB Sync DDR5 RAM. It impressed us with its clean design, RGB lighting effects, and notable improvements over DDR4. This kit has dual 16GB DDR5-4800MT/s sticks for 32GB total, and it comes with a lifetime warranty to protect your investment.
Speedy DDR5 RAM
If you want some big numbers to really show off, XPG's Lancer kit includes two 16GB sticks for 32GB of DDR5-6000MT/s RAM. We found that while the high speeds are a huge improvement over DDR4, this kit (like other DDR5 RAM) has a rather high CL40 latency, though you should still notice a considerable improvement overall. It's also priced competitively.
Vengeance in DDR5
Corsair's Vengeance RAM is some of the most popular out there, and it's now available in DDR5. This kit has two 16GB sticks for 32GB total of DDR5-5200MT/s with CL38 timing. It's also rocking a more subtle design, should you not be interested in transforming your PC into a festive light show.
DDR5 is quite expensive. This Crucial kit with two 16GB sticks (32GB total) doesn't come cheap, but it does come cheaper compared to the competition. It brings a 4800MHz clock, lifetime warranty, and plain styling without heatspreader, which ideal for builds that are more for work than for show.
Picking the best DDR5 RAM for your PC
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There are countless DDR5 RAM kits available, but the choice largely comes down to how much you're willing to spend and how fast you require the memory to be. DDR5 is a substantial upgrade over DDR4 (see our DDR4 vs. DDR5 comparison) but the new generation has some time to mature before we see considerable performance gains.
For now, the best DDR5 RAM kit can be one that fits your budget, has a low enough latency (CL40 seems to be the norm for current DDR5 kits), and has high memory speeds. Anything higher than 5,000MT/s and you'll be sailing. We've seen some ridiculous numbers with DDR5 RAM and things will only improve as manufacturers look to push the boundaries further.
DDR5 RAM is fantastic for gaming, especially when paired with 12th Gen Intel processors.
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.