Test : Teamgroup Delta RGB 6600 MT/s CL34

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What's new in DDR5:

The arrival of the Z690 chipset coincides with the arrival of new DDR5 memory modules. The main change is an increase in frequency and a higher capacity. Let’s be clear, it is not possible to use DDR5 modules on a DDR4 motherboard and vice versa. Even though DDR5 also has 288 pins, the notches do not match and this is deliberate in order not to have any disasters.

The PMIC module :

The big novelty of DDR5 is the presence of a PMIC (Power Manager Integrated Circuit) module. Its role is to regulate the power supply to the memory stick. There is therefore one per strip. It will use the 5 volts of your motherboard and convert it to provide the necessary voltage to your kit. For example, if your kit needs 1.1 volts, each chip will receive 1.1 volts. Previously, the motherboard was responsible for doing this. In reality, this has both an advantage and a disadvantage. The advantage is that manufacturers no longer have to provide this control on the motherboard PCB. So, a financial gain. But unfortunately, there are two types of PMIC. One is locked and will only accept the default values of your kit, called secure mode. The other type of PMIC is modifiable and will therefore allow the voltage to be raised above 2 volts. Fortunately, Asus on its Z690 APEX, has already started to bypass the restriction of the secure mode in order to reach 1.435 volts. We talked about this in detail in the article on the APEX.

The other issue is the heat release of this chip and the additional cost for a DDR5 kit. Personally, we did not notice any additional heat release during our tests. As far as pricing goes, it will be higher and will also depend on availability.

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Higher frequencies and lower voltage:

So what is changing? Firstly, manufacturers seem to be favouring 16 GB sticks, thus dual channel kits in 2 x 16 or 2 x 32 GB. The frequencies are also increasing with kits that start at 4800 MT/s whereas the norm seems to be 3200 MHz in DDR4. Finally, high frequencies mean (much) more relaxed timings.

The voltage is also improved as it can be reduced to 1.1 volts for DDR5 compared to 1.2 volts for DDR4. We are talking about a voltage of 1.1 volts for DDR5 kits at 4800 MT/s. The voltage will be higher if the frequency increases as you will see below.

ECC (Error Correcting Code) compatible with DDR5

The DDR5 modules integrate ECC (Error Correcting Code). Er, yes? The idea of this module is to detect possible errors and analyse them before sending them to the CPU. Now, this module won’t be available on all chipsets as this will increase the price of the kit. While we’re on the subject of price, these should unfortunately be (much) higher.

XMP 2.0 (DDR4) and XMP 3.0 (DDR5) changes :

We are moving from XMP 2.0 for DDR4 to XMP 3.0 for DDR5. What changes initially is the possibility for a manufacturer to offer three different XMPs for its memory kit. These must be enabled in the BIOS.

The other big development is the ability to register your own XMP. To put it simply, you can optimise timings and tensions and then write your own XMP. Once “burned” on your memory stick, you will be able to choose this XMP within the BIOS. This is of course a feature that we will come back to in detail in a dedicated article as it is something that is possible with iCUE.

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