Shadow II DDR5 vs DDR4 – Is it worth the upgrade

DDR5 has been a hot topic since the beginning of 2022, and it’s no mystery why that is. The hype is mainly justified because Netac is giving the people what they’ve been looking for in a memory module for an ample amount of time. By this, we mean the market’s need for boosted productivity, less power consumption, and increased operational stability. Now that we’ve established that Shadow II DDR5 is quite blatantly an all-rounder, it’s only fair to put it to the test. This brings us to the real question i.e: is it worth replacing and upgrading DDR4 to Shadow II DDR5?

Shadow II DDR5 vs DDR4

The top most essential comparison between DDR5 and DDR4 would be more storage capacity. DDR5 offers us denser memory sticks that can use up to 64-gigabit memory chips whereas DDR4 uses up to 16-gigabit memory chips. This means the DDR5 memory capacity is four times more than that of DDR4’s memory capacity.  

DDR5 is more like a continuation of the former DDR4 because its data rates span from 3200 and go up to 6400 which is again twice as more as DDR4’s data rates because they span from 1600 to 3200. In other words, DDR4’s data rates end at 3200 and that is exactly where DDR5’s data rates start from.

The DDR5 has the same arrangement of 288 pins as in the DDR4 but with different pinouts this time. This is a relatively small difference but the new notch position helps identify the difference between the two modules so users dont insert the DDR5 module into the DDR5 slot.

Another noteworthy contrast between the two is the increased burst length twice as much from 8 bytes to 16 bytes. The DDR5 memory module incorporates two channels 32 bit each whereas the DDR4 module incorporates a single 64-bit channel. This not only increases efficiency but also decreases data access latency.

The greatest feature of the DDR5 memory module is the lesser power consumption of 1.1V down from 1.2V that of the DDR4. The DDR5 encompasses a power management IC which means the motherboard is not responsible for voltage regulation anymore. These power management IC aka PMIC convert the 5V input from the motherboard to usable voltages. This PMIC not only regulates voltage but also reduces noise and upholds signal integrity.

The higher the density of memory sticks the higher number of banks it requires to accommodate higher capacity. So basically, DDR5 requires a 32-bank structure that is divided into 8 groups, whereas DDR4 requires a 16-bank structure that is divided into 4 banks per group. Even though DDR5 has the same SBRF the amplification from 16 banks to 32 banks allows more pages to be open simultaneously.

All in all, the Shadow II DDR5 comes with great advantages and the most important feature of it is the higher level of bandwidth which grows to be more important in modern chips every day. The ever-growing technological advancements make it vital for people to keep upgrading their systems to stay in the game because the technology is only going to move forward in the future. In other words, the future is soon going to be defined by its technological breakthroughs and it’s better to think ahead.