Intel 13600K and 13900K DDR4 vs DDR5 Showdown

Intel 13th Generation DDR4 vs DDR5


We thought that was a very interesting comparison. Admittedly we’re using a very mature DDR4 kit, and there aren’t any DDR5 kits that have been around long enough to truly maximise the potential of the format, no matter how good the G.Skill is. However, it was a huge surprise that the real world results were so incredibly close. As with all of these types of comparisons the end result will largely depend upon what you plan to use with your system for the majority of your uptime. Without doubt either setup will not leave you feeling like you missed out on an exceptional chunk of performance though.

We are contractually obliged to try and sum up, but when the results are this close it’s very difficult to even make generalisations. However, we’ll have a go. If you want to just game, without any real interest in using your system for anything else, then the lower latency of the DDR4, and particularly when used with the Core i5-13600K, will give you the smoothest overall experience. Again, that isn’t to say that DDR5 and the Core i9-13900K isn’t massively impressive, but bang for buck you’ll get more out of the Core i5 and the DDR4, then spending the difference on a GPU upgrade than you will for grabbing the more expensive two. Even with the same GPU the DDR4 seems to just shade things.

Of course that isn’t the only application, and there are benefits to DDR5 that cannot be skipped over. Generally, that word again, it is a more well rounded platform for those of you who use your system to its fullest potential. Additionally the Z790 DDR4 motherboards are somewhat limited in their feature set when compared to the full fat DDR5 offerings, so if you want a bit more connectivity, or more M.2 slots, or just be slightly protected in the future, then a DDR5 Z790 is the only way to go.

If we had to get one today that lasted a year or on a tight budget, we’d go for the DDR4 setup. If we were planning a longer term build, we’d have to go with the DDR5 just because it’s more consistent regardless of use case.

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