Best Ddr4 Ram For Intel 12th Gen – Supported by his audience. We may earn a commission when you purchase through links on our site. Here’s why you can trust us.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at memory scaling performance with Intel’s Alder Lake processors, or more specifically the Core i9-12900K, although these results should apply to the entire 12th Gen Core range, especially if the processor is limited. .
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In a previous benchmark feature, we already looked at DDR4-3600 and DDR5-6000 memory in 41 games and found that the newer, more expensive DDR5 memory was only 4% faster on average, although it was up to 20% faster. faster with some selected titles. Both the DDR4 and DDR5 memory used in testing were very expensive, so today we want to compare different memory kits covering a higher price range, all supplied by Corsair.
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The point of this test is not to grab a few premium sets and then manually adjust the time and frequencies like we have done in the past. Instead, we want to test memory kits that you can actually buy and see how they perform and compare. We contacted Corsair with a long shopping list of kit we wanted to test, and they were nice enough to help.
In total, we have nine 32GB memory kits from the Vengeance LPX, Vengeance RGB RT, Vengeance RGB Pro and Dominator Platinum RGB series, covering DDR speeds from 2400 to 6200. We used all the default timings for each kit and labeled graphs with every major moment. I simply loaded XMP motherboards with MSI Z690 Tomahawk DDR4 and DDR5 and in both cases manually adjusted the speed mode to show gear 1 and gear 2 performance.
To complete the test bench, we used the Radeon RX 6900 XT for all tests and with that we jump to the results…
Let’s start by looking at memory bandwidth using the AIDA64 copy test. Using the DDR4-2400 kit in its stock configuration, which is the default in Gear 2 mode, we’re looking at just 33.5GB/s throughput. Going to tier 1 increases that figure by 17%, but even then we’re limited to just 40GB/s.
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DDR4-2933 offers a slight performance boost as it increased bandwidth by nearly 30%, while DDR4-3200, which uses slightly weaker timing, only improves bandwidth by another 2%. Other than that, DDR4 improvements are pretty minimal, and going from 3200 to 4000 we expect a 15% increase. It’s nothing, but with a 25% increase in frequency, it’s not a big jump, which can be explained by the increased times.
Corsair offered a faster DDR4 kit, but it didn’t work on our Z690 board, so we ended up with DDR4-4000 at a top speed of 60GB/s. This suggests that, as usual, CL16 DDR4-3600 to CL18 DDR4-3800 make the most sense when considering prices.
From DDR4-4000 to DDR5-4800 we see a 16% increase in throughput and are now close to 70GB/s. We then look at 9% from 4800 to 5200, 6% from 5200 to 5600 and finally 11% at 6200, reaching an impressive transfer speed of 88GB/s. But memory bandwidth isn’t everything, and memory latency is more important for many workloads, so let’s look at that.
Here we have the AIDA64 DRAM latency data. DRAM latency refers to the time lag between the input of an instruction and the availability of data. So the best way to measure the responsiveness of a memory module is to measure latency in nanoseconds.
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CAS latency or CL timing is only part of the equation, so you can’t judge RAM performance based on CL timings alone, which is why many people have confused DDR5 and it’s apparently high CL figure. Memory speed (frequency) and CL times (latency) play a critical role in system performance.
So far, DDR5 hasn’t reached the frequencies or the time it takes to beat most DDR4 modules in terms of latency, even though it offers significantly more bandwidth.
There’s also the DRAM ratio to consider, which Intel now calls gear 1, 2, and 4. Gear 1 mode has the memory controller running at the same frequency as DRAM, while gear 2 has the memory controller running at runs at half memory speed. and greatly increases latency, but allows you to use memory at higher frequencies.
With DDR4 memory you ideally want to use Gear 1 as you would need to scale the memory to around DDR5 speed to compensate for the increased latency. For DDR4-2400, we expect 40% latency when switching from gear 1 to gear 2, and this degrades performance for memory-sensitive tasks like gaming.
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When it comes to DDR4 memory, we again see the sweet spot around 3600, with DDR4-4000 barely reducing latency compared to what we saw with the CL16 3600 kit.
We then see with DDR5 that despite the much higher operating frequency, there is no improvement in latency compared to what we saw with DDR4, and this is because the Alder Lake memory controller cannot work 1:1 with DRAM, forcing let’s use gear 2. for all DDR5 test modes. Even at 6200, we’re still looking at 63ns latency, which is higher than DDR4-3200 CL16 memory. So currently DDR5 works for applications and games that require high memory bandwidth and are not as sensitive to latency.
However, many applications are sensitive to both memory latency and bandwidth, such as Corona. So if you have poor memory bandwidth combined with poor latency overall performance will drop and we can see this with the DDR4-2400 kit using Gear 2 mode which was the default for this setup.
But since the rest of the memory kits offer either strong bandwidth or respectable latency, we don’t see more than an 11% difference between the fastest and slowest kits. DDR4-4000 CL18, using gear 1, gave the best results, but DDR4-3200 and 3600 CL16 also outperformed all DDR5 kits.
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Interestingly, Adobe Photoshop is more sensitive to memory bandwidth and this benefits DDR5 memory as they produced the best results. However, the DDR4-3600 and 3200 CL16 weren’t much slower than most DDR5 kits, but if you want maximum performance for this application, the faster the DDR5 memory, the better.
It’s time for some gaming and let’s start with Rainbow Six Siege using Radeon RX 6900 XT in ultra-rendered 1080p. It’s pretty incredible that the 12900K can run over 500fps in Gear 2 mode using DDR4-2400 memory, and that means the best DDR4 results seen with DDR4-3200 memory were only 9% faster compared to the average frame rate of 14. % faster for 1% lowest level.
DDR4-4000 memory allowed a similar average frame rate, but the increased latency reduced minimums by 1%. DDR5, on the other hand, was able to step up to average frame rates, but had to run at 6200 before cracking the bottom 1% of high-end DDR4 memory.
Increasing the resolution to 1440p changes things quite a bit, although the margins are now smaller due to GPU limitations. However, DDR5-5200 and above now offer a 1% drop in performance with the highest average frame rates, even though DDR5-6200 is only 3% faster than DDR4-3200.
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Horizon Zero Dawn was tested using the slightly reduced “Favor” quality preset, and we’re starting again with 1080p data. Most of the time we seem to be pretty limited by the GPU, and this is true for 12900k owners for most games, even with extreme GPUs.
Once we hit DDR4-2933 CL16, we’re pretty close to maxing out here. Higher clocked DDR5 memory offers a small performance improvement, but we’re talking at most 4% over DDR4-3600.
The jump to 1440p further reduces the already thin margins, and now anything higher than DDR4-3200 offers basically the same level of performance.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider is very CPU intensive, but with a 1080p 6900 XT we can switch the game from CPU limited to GPU limited until we hit DDR4-2933 CL16. We see small improvements in memory performance, but from 2933 to 6200 we expect a 7% increase to the lower limit of 1%, that’s about it.
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Switching to 1440p neutralizes the test results, except for the DDR4-2400 Gear 2 memory mod, which dropped the average frame rate by 13%.
Cyberpunk 2077 was tested using the medium quality preset, and at 1080p we see quite a difference in performance between the different memory configurations. The two-speed DDR4-2400 configuration completely limits performance, as simply switching to gear 1 increased the average frame rate by 41%.