Kingston Announces Development Of Overclockable DDR5 Modules As Alder Lake, Zen 4 Approach

HyperX RAM
The era of DDR5 memory has not begun in earnest, but it will later this year when next-gen platforms arrive. In the lead-up to that day, memory makers are hustling their tails off manufacturing and validating DDR5 memory modules. As part of that process, Kingston has sent overclockable DDR5 modules to its motherboard partners so they can begin testing and qualifying the memory on next-gen setups.

One of the main benefits of DDR5 compared to DDR4 is more bandwidth. However, it remains to be seen what the DDR5 landscape will look like in the early going. The official specifications laid out by JEDEC, of which Kingston occupies a seat on its board, allow for frequencies of up to 6,400 MT/s. There will likely be a rash of kits operating at 4,800 MT/s out of the gate, though.

The fastest DDR4 memory kits top 5,000 MT/s, though those are very costly and niche products typically used for chasing benchmark and RAM frequency records. For the most part, DDR5 will pick up where DDR4 leaves off (in the general vicinity, anyway), and at least one memory maker has revealed plans to eventually release a 10,000 MT/s kit for gaming PCs.

It's not clear how fast Kingston's overclockable DDR5 memory can go (T-Force Gaming is working on overclockable DDR5 memory too, by the way), or how it's configured at stock settings. However, in addition to engineering the RAM with a preset XMP profile, Kingston said it enabled its motherboard partners to manually adjust the power management integrated circuit (PMIC) beyond the 1.1V DDR spec, to allow for more flexibility in overclocking.

As part of this process, Kingston promises to deliver overclockable DDR5 memory to consumers by the end of 2021.

"Memory validation requires cooperation of the entire computing ecosystem and Kingston has forged close ties with the leading motherboard manufacturers and chipset makers throughout its 33-year history. This step continues the critical process of bringing leading high-performance and overclockable memory solutions to market later this year," Kingston said.

If everything stays on schedule, Intel's Alder Lake-S processors will be the first consumer desktop CPUs to leverage DDR5 memory later this year, followed by AMD's Zen 4 CPUs, which are likely to arrive in early 2022. Both platforms will also adopt PCI Express 5.0 support.