One of the key pillars of next gen PC systems is going to be the introduction of DDR5 memory support. JEDEC released its final specification for DDR5 last July, and it wasn’t long until SK hynix was producing DDR5 DRAM ICs. In December Team Group became one of the first PC component makers to outline its DDR5 memory module release plans, and much more recently Asgard launched its DDR5-4800 RAM modules for Intel Alder Lake platforms.
We’ve known for a while now that memory makers are working on DDR5, with plans to launch the first modules later this year alongside Intel’s Alder Lake-S platform. Now, we have a very interesting early look at performance, as a China-based memory manufacturer has revealed their DDR5-4800 testing results.
As reported by Videocardz, memory manufacturers have begun evaluating DDR5 memory performance with help from an early version of Intel’s Alder Lake-S platform, which will be amongst the first to support DDR5 memory.
Longsys, a China-based memory maker, has released test results of its DDR5 memory modules which were evaluated on an Intel Alder Lake Desktop platform comprising of an 8 core chip using two kits, one 16GB kit and a 32GB kit, both running at 4800MHz with CL40 timings.. The performance data was measured on Longsys DDR5 ES1 modules which were released today and offer speeds of up to 6.4 Gbps.
Longsys’s DDR5 memory module that was tested today features two variants, both of which come in UDIMM form factor. We have a single Rank (x8) and the dual-rank (x8) modules with the first one featuring 16 GB capacity (JDEC R/C A 0.50) & the second featuring 32 GB capacity (JDEC R/C B 0.51). Both variants feature 4800 MHz pin speeds, CL40 (40-40-40-77) timings, make use of 16Gb (2x8b) modules and have voltages rated at 1.1/1.1/1.8V (VDD/ VDDQ / VPP). The Longsys DDR5 memory modules also make use of an 8 layer PCB design and measure 133.35×31.25×1.27mm in terms of dimensions.
To evaluate the DDR5 memory, Longsys used the Intel Alder Lake-S ADP-S CRB development kit board. The platform is comprised of dual UDIMM DDR5 slots & features an Intel Alder Lake ES Desktop CPU which features 8 cores and a clock speed of 0.8 GHz. This is in fact the same Intel Alder Lake test kit that was demoed by Intel back at CES 2021.
The Windows 10 64-bit OS was used and the dual-rank memory was used. The dual-rank modules also offer 2 independent DRAM channels off a single module.
Coming to the performance tests, we first have a Chinese benchmark in which the DDR5-4800 MHz memory running on the Intel Alder Lake Desktop CPU platform scored over 190,000 points in the memory tests. Longsys’s DDR4 memory, for comparison, only scored 91,757 points which means a 112% improvement for DDR5 memory even in the current engineering state. Next up, we have AIDA 64 Cache and memory benchmark.
In AIDA64, the DDR5 memory running on the Intel Alder Lake Desktop CPU platform scored a 28% improvement over DDR4 in Read, 27% improvement in Write, and 10% improvement in Copy tests. The Latency however was far worse than DDR4 and that is due to several reasons. First, we have the most obvious one which is the early development and ES nature of the whole test platform and then we have the much higher CAS timings for the DDR5 kit compared to DDR4. The DDR5 memory being dual-rank can also sometimes have worse performance than single-rank DIMMs.
Additional features of Longsys’s DDR5 memory include on-die ECC, 16n Prefetch mode, double the number of banks per module, two independent 32-bit channels per module for dual-rank memory DIMMs, enhanced end-to-end reception mode, and synchronous refresh mode for the bank.
Intel Alder Lake Desktop CPUs and the brand new LGA 1700 socket platform are expected to debut in the second half of 2021. We also have several memory manufacturers who have announced the DDR5 memory kits for the platform featuring blistering fast speeds and up to 128 GB kit capacities. We can also expect much better performance when the platform is launched considering Intel has to optimize its IMC on Alder Lake CPUs too before the consumer/retail launch.