On Thursday SK Hynix announced the completion of its first ever 16GB DDR5-5200 RAM. Mass production of this chip is due by 2020.

The new DDR5 chip from SK Hynix supports a 5200 MT/sec/pin data transfer rate, which is 60% faster than the 3200 MT/s rate officially supported by DDR4. Meanwhile the DRAM operates at 1.1 Volts, a 9% decrease in operating voltage.

DDR5 5200 16 gb

The monolithic 16 Gb chip is made using SK Hynix’s second generation 10 nm-class process technology (also known as 1Ynm), though the company has not disclosed its die size and other peculiarities.

SK Hynix also demonstrated the industry’s first DDR5 Registered DIMM. The DDR5-5200 RDIMM module offers a peak memory bandwidth of 41.6 GB/s, which is in line with DDR4 modules overclocked to their extremes (using LN2-cooled CPUs, etc.).

The DDR5 RDIMM itself features 288 pins on a slightly curved edge connector (to reduce the insertion force on every pin), yet its layout and design are a bit different when compared to DDR4 to avoid insertion of DDR5 modules into DDR4 slots and vice versa.

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SK Hynix said that it had already shipped DDR5 RDIMMs and UDIMMs to a “major chipset maker” to assist in the development of server and client platforms supporting the new type of memory.

Overall, JEDEC expects DDR5 to bring in I/O speeds ranging from 4266 to 6400 MT/s, with a supply voltage drop to 1.1 V and an allowable fluctuation range of 3% (i.e., at ±0.033V). Along with the performance improvements, the new memory standard also stands to improve in total capacity and DIMM density, with chips planned for 16Gb and beyond.

Need for Bandwidth?

HBM achieves higher bandwidth while using less power in a substantially smaller form factor than DDR4 or GDDR5. This is achieved by stacking up to eight DRAM dies, including an optional base die with a memory controller, which are interconnected by through-silicon vias (TSV) and micro bumps. The HBM technology is similar in principle but incompatible with the Hybrid Memory Cube interface developed by Micron Technology.

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You can measure RAM capacity in megabytes (MB), gigabytes (GB), or terabytes (TB). Increasing the size of your RAM reduces the likelihood of needing to use your hard drive for these temporary files.

Frequency and Bandwidth

There are a couple of metrics that determine your RAM’s speed. Frequency affects maximum bandwidth, which is how much data can travel to and from your memory stick at a time. Latency affects how quickly RAM can respond to a request.

Frequency is measured in megahertz (MHz) and you want a bigger number. Latency appears as a series of numbers (such as 5-5-5-12) and you want these to be lower.

Once your capacity needs are met, increasing frequency and reducing latency may yield you a more noticeable result than packing in more RAM. As for how much of a difference you will notice, well, that depends.

If you’re a gamer, you may get some benefits from having 16 GB, but 8 GB can handle most games. Making the leap up to 32 GB is currently unnecessary. At that point, you may be better of getting faster sticks.

Regardless of how you use your PC, speed won’t matter if your motherboard isn’t as fast as your RAM. A 1333 MHz motherboard will limit your 2000 MHz RAM to 1333 MHz.

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