Next up in our Up For Debate feature is a discussion around DDR4. Making the leap to the next-generation of memory can be a tricky little blighter. It’s one of those things that rarely has to happen, but when it does it generally involves ripping out your motherboard and everything thats on it and starting your PC build again with DDR4 in mind from the start. We’ve been cruising along with DDR3 for a while now, happy as Larry, but along comes something new and shiny to tempt us.
DDR4 then? It’s new. It’s faster. It’s bloody expensive. Traditionally when I look at the main set of system requirements system memory is often way, way, way down at the bottom of the priority list. In comparison to basically everything else it’s pretty much a bargain, and there’s not many things simpler in the world than throwing in a new stick of RAM.
The basic gist of DDR4 memory is that it offers four key benefits over the previous generation DDR3: It is capable of increased frequencies, has a lower voltage, runs more efficiently, and has an improved chip density. The upshot of this is that uses less power, runs cooler, and runs faster.
In terms of the frequency, sticks of DDR4 RAM begin at the peak of DDR3’s capabilities, 2133MHz, which sticks already hitting the market capable of hitting 3200MHz. Due to the increased density we’re also likely to see larger sticks such as 16GB become commonplace.
It all sounds great, but as with any new hardware there’s one major caveat, the price. 16GB of DDR4 memory currently goes for upwards of £200, while 16GB DDR3 can be easily had for £130. The real difficulty though is that DDR4 will generally need a new motherboard such as Intel’s new X99 chipset, and CPU, unless you’ve picked up a gaming PC very recently.
In terms of actual gaming performance the difference is negligible, but in the PC gaming world it can be all too easy to slip into the trap of buying the biggest and best. Now we want the GD community’s expertise to wade in on the debate. Do you think DDR4 is a worthwhile upgrade? Would you hold fire now if you were buying a new PC, or is it something worth dropping the cash on to get that extra gaming boost? Its Up For Debate below...