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Hello everyone,

We've put together an FAQ to help answer some of the questions we've seen and expect to see about DDR5 memory. This post will be updated as we get additional information to share and receive feedback from the community.


CORSAIR DDR5 FAQ - (Updated 11/23/2021)

Q: Why do we need DDR5?

A:  Just like with the transition from DDR3 to DDR4, DDR5 is capable of hitting faster speeds, increases effective bandwidth at equivalent data rates, improves bus utilization efficiency for high core count systems, it’s capable of higher densities, and it consumes less power for equivalent or better performance than DDR4. In short, DDR4 reached its limits and DDR5 has been able to push beyond that threshold.


Q: How does DDR5 compare to DDR4?

A: DDR5 has improved overall bandwidth of up to 1.36X compared to DDR4 at the same clockspeed (comparing DDR4-3200 to DDR5-3200) and improves memory bus utilization as a result. DDR5 can also run at higher clock frequencies, while DDR4 modules at a similar speed rating are the result of very careful binning.


Q: Is DDR5 backwards compatible with DDR4?

A: No. DDR5 and DDR4 may have the same number of pins, however they are not pin to pin compatible and the key notches are in a different location on the module in order to prevent installation on an incompatible motherboard, DDR5 will only be compatible with upcoming platforms from Intel and AMD which will require a new motherboard and processor.


Q: How do I verify if my PC or motherboard are compatible with DDR5 Memory?

A: Our memory finder will be updated as new memory kits and motherboards are released in order to help determine which memory is compatible with your current PC hardware, and what memory options we have available for you.


Q: Does DDR5 have XMP?

A: Yes! DDR5 employs a new specification, XMP 3.0, while DDR4 remains on XMP 2.0.


Q: How does XMP work on DDR5?

A: Very similarly to DDR3 and DDR4, but with some improvements. For starters, up to two pre-configured profiles are included on DDR5 modules. DDR5 goes a step further by allowing you to save up to two custom XMP profiles directly to the module, so if you love to tweak settings, you can further push your memory modules and save those settings for later use. If your motherboard supports the custom XMP feature, you’ll be able to do these tweaks either through your motherboard BIOS/UEFI or through software utilities like CORSAIR iCUE (in an upcoming update).


Q: Can I combine multiple kits of CORSAIR DDR5 memory?

A: While you certainly can purchase multiple kits of CORSAIR DDR5 memory, we strongly recommend that you do not combine them as our memory kits are only validated for their rated performance when using only the modules provided within that specific kit. Combining multiple kits, even if they are rated for the same speed, may result in your memory modules not being able to hit their rated performance specification.


Q: Why am I encountering stability issues with XMP?

A: If you have trouble with stability using either XMP profile, we recommend either manually entering the speed and timings and voltage your DDR5 kit is rated for or running your memory at its default setting until your motherboard vendor provides a BIOS update to improve stability.


Q: I'm running at the default setting for my DDR5 kit, but my system still isn't stable.

A: Double-check to see which memory slots your DDR5 is installed in against your motherboard’s instruction manual. We’ve found that you have to install your DIMMs in the primary set of memory channels first, in order, to ensure stability. If this checks out, please contact our tech support.


Q: Why is my CORSAIR DDR5 memory not being detected in CORSAIR iCUE?

A: CORSAIR DDR5 memory relies on the SPD Write function in your motherboard BIOS in order to communicate with CORSAIR iCUE for features such as controlling RGB lighting. Check your motherboard BIOS settings to ensure that SPD Write is enabled. On ASUS motherboards, this can be found in the BIOS under AI Tweaker (Navigate and set: AI Tweaker -> Tweaker's Paradise -> SPD Write Disable = False)


Q: What's the difference between Dominator Platinum RGB DDR5 and Vengeance DDR5?

A: Vengeance DDR5 is our mainstream DDR5, utilizing a standard-height PCB and heatspreader with no RGB lighting. Dominator Platinum RGB DDR5 incorporates DHX cooling technology and a larger, more robust heatspreader with RGB lighting powered by CORSAIR iCUE.

Q: Is there a difference between DDR5 and GDDR5?

A: GDDR5 is graphics memory based on older DDR3 memory technology and was designed for use in graphics-intensive applications such as video cards and game consoles when it was introduced. It is not the same as DDR5 memory.


Q: Where can I learn more about DDR5?

A: We’ve put together a blog post that provides more information as well as a dedicated landing page regarding this new memory technology.


Edited by Corsair CJ
Added SPD Write Q&A
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