It won’t be long before the first consumer DDR5 memory kits land at retail, in anticipation for Intel’s upcoming Alder Lake CPUs. Those kits will start at DDR5-4800. If you’re wanting to make one more run at DDR4, however, you can grab an even faster kit for a decent price.
Specifically, G.Skill’s Ripjaws Series V 16GB kit (2x8GB) of DDR4-5066 is on sale at Newegg for $149.99. It’s not a huge markdown—just a $20 savings over the listed MSRP—but I was surprised to see a kit of memory in this speed range selling for south of $200.
Sorting through Newegg’s collection of DDR4-5000 kits and higher, this is the least expensive one by at least $50. The next cheapest is a 16GB kit of G.Skill’s TridentZ RGB DDR4-5066 for $199.99. Even in DDR4-4800 territory—the same speed as where DDR5 will begin—pricing is about the same.
Do you need this kind of speed on a DDR4 platform? Probably not. The best RAM for gaming is not necessarily the highest frequency you can buy. Going higher than DDR4-3600 starts embarking on the point of diminishing returns, for the most part. But if you are looking to try your hand at enthusiast-level overclocking or just want to splurge on a premium high-frequency kit, you can do that here without ravaging your bank account.
Then there’s the question of whether it makes sense to buy a DDR4 kit right now, with DDR5 looming. It depends on your situation. If you’re looking to extend your current platform and need a RAM upgrade, by all means, go for it. It’s also worth mentioning that Alder Lake will support both DDR4 and DDR5 (just not in the same motherboard). So if you’re going to buy a DDR4 kit, an argument could be made for buying more speed than you need at the moment.