Topic: DDR4 vs DDR5

Good morning everyone:

I am looking at a new DAW computer (desktop based PC, custom built) to replace my ageing desktop which is slowly falling apart. Does anyone have thoughts about using DDR4 versus DDR5? I am using large orchestral templates for film composing.

I have an RME Fireface UFX+ in case that is relevant (which is performing flawlessly by the way but that should not surprise anyone).


2 (edited by ramses 2022-10-03 09:38:54)

Re: DDR4 vs DDR5

Hi Peter, how are you? Did you enjoy your time in Munich? wink

Please read the following article. You can send it through the Google or translator.

It seems that DDR5 memory can't yet take full advantage of the performance benefits of about twice the bandwidth because the currently available memory latches have higher latency when accessing memory cells.

My recommendation is to contact a company that has appropriate experience with applications for film composition, especially when dealing with larger projects.

The applications all behave a little differently under load. Some applications or even certain editing steps in the application benefit more from many CPU cores, and some benefit more from higher single thread performance. Personally, I have always kept an eye on a high single thread performance in addition to a high core count. So, if possible, with clock rates above – let's say at least – 3.6 GHz.

Since the Turbo clock is usually only reached by a few cores, I rather look at the base clock, which is reached in any case. I remember the case that certain Intel CPUs have to reduce the clock for certain complex commands in order not to overheat. On the one hand, this increases the efficiency, but on the other hand, the clock is somewhat reduced for the cores.

Here it also depends on the internal design and the efficiency of the CPU or whether a certain instruction set is available, which is primarily used in workstations / enterprise products.

Currently, there would also be the question of which CPU design best supports such applications. The new hybrid approaches with P- and E-cores or simply a combination of many powerful CPU cores. In the design with P-/E- cores, I see a certain complexity around process scheduling and wonder whether all audio processes really end up on the P-cores for best performance or not.

Often communication on the CPU chip is also critical, shared cache or what happens when one core needs to access a cache on another CPU and so on.

And we didn't discuss storage yet, which type of NVMe SSD offers the best performance for your system and application.

Another topic is, whether it would be better to currently stay on Window 10 as long as possible up to the support end (14.10.2025). It depends on whether your applications are already certified for Win11 or not and whether they perform as well under Win11. Maybe you heard already that with Windows 11 good CPUs are not supported anymore because the new security model in the Kernel requires CPUs with higher performance. This sounds to me as if Windows 11 spoils CPU power for security requirements, that might be a little too high for an end customer.

[a bit off-topic: at the end of the day, it's completely insane, that e.g., my very well performing Xeon E5-1650 v4 is not supported by Windows 11 anymore. This is not “green IT” if millions of customers worldwide have to through their Systems into the bin for Win11. It's a real shame. Ok … other topics, I only wanted to mention it. ]

Which products are best suited to get the best possible performance out of your application can only be found out by measurements with this application. Such tests costs time, and therefore those turnkey systems cost a little more (understandable). But it gives you a certain protection in investment.

Here you need the experience of a company that specializes in this area, can advise you on the hardware selection and can provide you with a functioning, well-performing turnkey system and support.

If you can postpone the purchase for a bit, I would also wait until these companies have gained experience with the new generation of AMD Zen4 / Ryzen 9 CPUs. Either they really rock, or you take the “tried and true”.

In any case, you should expect that the new CPUs will probably all get pretty hot. I think the newest AMD CPUs are allowed to get up to 95° C hot. I find that really perverse.
Therefore, I would also pay attention in today's times – in which electricity becomes more and more expensive – beside the pure performance also to power consumption and energy efficiency.

If you take all these topics together, then I think it is better to work with a company that does a good job in this area and understands all of your functional, application, operational and financial requirements well.

BR Ramses - UFX III, 12Mic, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, X10SRi-F, E5-1680v4, Win10Pro22H2, Cub13

Re: DDR4 vs DDR5

Thanks so much Ramses for your elaborate reply (as always), apologies for the late reply.

I have asked PC Audiolabs from whom I have been custom built laptops for over a decade, they are terrific. They are now testing in real world conditions as to what the differences really are. You know the old saying, the proof in the pudding is in the eating. smile Aside from pricing, one of the limitations right now with DDR5 is that the max RAM is 128 GB - and I'd really like 256 GB to be sorted for the next couple of years.

Munich was terrific, by the way, until I broke my right arm during an early morning run and had to have shoulder surgery! Had to fly back to California since - as it turned out - I didn't have healthcare insurance that covered surgery in Europe. (Non-audio tip for everyone: get travel insurance and make sure it covers medical procedures if you travel abroad!)