Best DDR5 RAM: Top memory kits for early adopters in 2021

Best DDR5 RAM: Top memory kits for early adopters in 2021

It’s already been around 4 years since the first signs of DDR5 memory started to emerge. But believe it or not, not much has actually happened since then. We’re nearing the end of 2021and it’s safe to say DDR5 memory is still very much in its infancy. Even after the first commercial release of DDR5 supported CPU — Intel’s Alder Lake chips — there’s only a handful of these memory modules on the market. As an early adopter, you’ll be asked to shell out a significant amount of money for these new modules. Whether or not you’ll get your money’s worth totally depends on your workflow and what these new memory kits bring to the table. Before we get started with our collection of the best DDR5 RAM kits, let’s take a quick look at the difference between DDR4 and DDR5.

DDR4 vs DDR5: What’s new and different?

The new DDR5 modules that have already hit the shelves promise almost twice the performance of today’s standard DDR4-3200 RAM kits. Some manufacturers are promising speeds of up to 8,400MHz, with native frequencies sitting at 4,800MHz. These speeds are higher than even the most overclocked DDR4 modules on the market. Notably, DDR5 will also be able to accommodate as much as 128GB capacity per module, a huge uplift when compared to DDR4’s max capacity of 32GB per stick. With double the density and speeds, we see why one might be interested in taking the leap to the new modules.

Of course, we’ll have more comparisons and detailed reviews of DDR5 modules as we get our hands on them. All our collections reflect the ever-evolving market, so we’ll update this article with newer, better offerings as they become available. For now, though, here’s a list of DDR5 memory kits you can buy right now.

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ADATA XPG LANCER DDR5 Memory

Black colored XPG LANCER memory modules kept next to a motherboard

ADATA has plenty of DDR4 modules on the market and some of them are extremely popular in the PC building community. The company has been making RAM modules for many years now so it’s hardly a surprise that it became one of the first manufacturers to officially release consumer-grade DDR5 memory modules in the form of the XPG LANCER DDR5. The LANCER DDR5 is capable of reaching frequencies of up to 5,200 Mb/s and offers up to 16GB worth of memory allocation. The module is also said to offer increased bandwidth and allocate more bandwidth per CPU core.

XPG says the LANCER DDR5 memory is also suitable for overclocking, although we’re yet to put that theory to test. The LANCER DRR5 memory comes with support for Intel XMP 3.0 using which the users can overclock easily without having to plan a visit to the system BIOS. DDR5 memory modules are capable of hitting upwards of 8,000Mhz speed, but it also depends on a lot of other external factors including platform compatibility. XPG’s website mentions 38 CAS latency for this chip, but there’s no info about the memory timings. 38 CAS latency is among the lowest we’ve seen so far in the DDR5 space, so it’s a promising start. This DDR5 memory from XPG also offers a PMIC (Power Management Integrated Circuit) and ECC (Error Correcting Code), thereby increasing the overall performance and stability of the kit.

The XPG LANCER, as you can see, features customizable RGB lighting. It isn’t fully decked out with RGB like some other chips on the market like the Team Xtreem DDR4 module, but it’s enough to add a touch of RGB to your setup. We think it’s perfect for those who’d like to add a little bit of bling to their, but not too much. XPG doesn’t have dedicated control software for the lights, but you’ll be able to customize them from your motherboards’ software. It’s sad that you won’t be able to pair a lot of these modules together, at least not yet. The XPG LANCER is only available in 16GB capacity for now.

ADATA’s XPG LANCER, though very impressive with what it offers, still barely scratches the surface of what DDR5 as a memory standard brings to the table. For instance, the modules are capped at 16GB capacity, a feeble number in comparison to what the actual standard is rated to offer. Yes, it’s available as both single and dual-channel kits, but XPG’s higher capacity DDR5 modules aren’t expected to hit the stores until next year.

For what it’s worth, this is the company’s first consumer-grade DDR5 module. Given how popular it is in the desktop memory space, we expect to see newer and better DDR5 kits from the company sooner rather than later. If you don’t want to wait, though, you can pre-order the XPG Lancer right now using the link below. Don’t forget to pick up one of the supported Z690 platforms and an Intel Alder Lake processor to go along the memory. That’s the only way you can use these new DDR5 memory modules and experience the next-gen performance.

    ADATA XPG LANCER DDR5 RAM Kit
    XPG's LANCER DDR5 memory is available in 16GB capacity with frequencies of up to 5,200 Mb/s. It's available as both single and dual-channel kits, but XPG's higher capacity DDR5 modules aren't expected to hit the stores until next year.

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GeIL Polaris RGB Sync DDR5 Memory

A grey colored memory from GeIL with an RGB bar on the top

You may not have heard about GeIL memory kits unless you’ve been reliagiously following the PC hardwarer spacec or you’re an enthusiast. They have a few capable DDR4 modules on the market and the company also decided to be the amongst the first ones to threw its hat in the ring with its DDR5 kits. The company’s Polaris RGB Sync DDR5 is now among the first DDR5 memory modules you can grab for your next-gen PC build. Yes, these are already availbale on the market, so you can grab one if you’re planning a new build around Intel’s Alder Lake processors. The company is offering a 32GB (2x16GB) DDR5-4800 kit as a part of its first release, with more kits expected to arrive later.

The Polaris RGB Sync DDR5-4800 is a dual-channel memory kit that includes two 16GB DDR5 non-ECC memory modules. The memory runs at DDR5-4800 out of the box with 40-40-40-77 timings and a 1.1V DRAM voltage. A CAS latency of 40 is just about what you get with most DDR5 kits on the market right now, so that’s a good start. There’s definitely more room for overclocking considering the relatively lower voltage rating, but it remains to be seen how stable it will be at higher speeds and how the timings are affected. That being said, it should be plug-and-play for most users planning a build around it using Intel’s new Alder Lake processors.

The Polaris RGB Sync, as you can see, comes with a sophisticated heat spreader with plenty of RGB lights. With sharp edges and striking accents, it’s certainly not a look for everyone. The Polaris RGB is available in three colors — Racing Red, Titanium Grey, and Glacier White — so you can at least choose the ones to match the overall aesthetics of your build. You’ll feel at home if you’re coming from one of the Polaris DDR4 modules like the Orion RGB. Most of the Polaris kits have a distinct look to them and the new Polaris RGB Sync is no different.

What we like the most about the Polaris memory kits is their low-profile design. Rival kits from manufacturers like Corsair, for instance, tend to be much taller than this. Tall memory modules interfere with chonky CPU coolers like the Noctua NH-D15. In addition to the 32GB (2x16GB) variant, the Polaris RGB Sync DDR5 memory is also available as single DIMMs and 16GB (2x8GB) and 64GB (2x32GB) kits. The single 16GB DIMM is a DDR5-5600 module with 38-44-44-84 timings. It also supports Intel’s XMP profile and fits into one of the Z690 boards on the market. This particular DIMM operates at 1.25v, which means it leaves less headroom for overclocking, although DDR5-5600 already sounds like a fantastic option for most users.

64GB appears to be the max capacity for the Polaris RGB Sync DDR5 for now. It’s not available as a single DIMM though, which means you’ll still be using a dual-channel to use these modules. We expect Polaris to release higher capacity DIMMs in the future, but don’t take our word for it.

    GeIL Polaris RGB Sync DDR5 Memory
    The GeIL Polaris RGB Sync DDR5 memory runs at DDR5-4800 out of the box with 40-40-40-77 timings and a 1.1V DRAM voltage. You can get it with a maximum capacity of up to 64GB for now.

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TeamGroup’s Elite DDR5-4800 32GB (2x16GB) Memory

A black colored naked PCB module of TeamGroup's Elite DDR5 memory

We picked TeamGroup’s T-Force Xtreem ARGB as our best pick in the DDR4 memory collection, so we were early waiting to see what the company’s been cooking behind the scenes for its first DDR5 releaase. Well, TeamGroup didn’t’ dissappoint us because it ended up being one of the first manufacturers to release a consumer-grade DDR5 memory in the market which has since gone up for purchase on online platforms like Amazon. As the first DDR5 memory, it didn’t even have a supported processor or motherboard during its launch but things have already changed with the official launch of Intel’s Alder Lake CPUs. We also have supported Z690-based motherboards now, although they’re very limited and super expensive right now.

Unlike the other DDR5 memory, TeamGroup’s DDR5 module comes with a naked black-colored PCB. That’s right, there’s no fancy heat spreader or flashy RGB at play here. Those are reserved for the company’s newer T-Force series DDR5 memory that’s yet to go on sale. Early adopters can get their hands on these modules for now, while gamers and enthusiasts builders can wait for the T-Force module to arrive for their flamboyant builds. Considering how the T-Force Xtreem ARGB kit is fully decked out with RGB lights, we won’t be surprised to see a similar sophisticated heat spreader for its DDR5 kits too.

TeamGroup is offering two 16GB DDR5 modules in a dual channel presentation now. They both operate at DDR5-4800 with 40-40-40-77 timings and only requires 1.1V to hit the advertised data speeds. The memory kit lacks more information but we assume the chips have more headroom for overclocking to further increase the speeds. We’ll hopefully have more to talk about the kits later.

TeamGroup’s DDR5-4800 memory modules adhere to JEDEC’s specifications for DDR5 and pack a built-in power management IC (PMIC) and voltage regulator module (VRM). This is exclusive to the DDR5 memory modules and it’s expected to have a positive impact on the performance compared to the DDR4 modules. We’re expecting better performance across various workflows like gaming, productivity tasks, and more.

As is the case with most DDR5 memory modules, TeamGroup’s DDR5 memory doesn’t come cheap. It’s not really a surprise, is it? We’re talking about bleeding-edge hardware, after all. TeamGroup’s memory kit is in the same ballpark as some of the high-end DDR4 kits that are available on the market. This isn’t necessarily bad considering we’re looking at a significant performance uptick, but we think it’s too early to hop in on the DDR5 bandwagon. That being said, this is one of the very few options if you want to dole out a next-gen PC build using Intel’s latest processor.

Alternatively, we also recommend you take a look at the HyperX memory in this collection with higher speeds than what the current DDR5 modules on the market offer. Considering the new processors also support DDR4 memory, it’s not a bad choice. It also has tighter memory timings, which is crucial for better gaming performance. Not to mention, it’s also readily available on the market, unlike a lot of these new DDR5 sticks.

    TeamGroup's Elite DDR5 Memory Kit
    This is the first consumer-grade DDR5 module to go on sale for folks looking to dole out a next-gen right this moment with one of the newer Intel Alder Lake processors.

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Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR5 RAM

Corsair's DDR5 Dominator Platinum memory installed on a motherboard with other components

Corsair’s Dominator Platinum DDR4 kit is arguably one of the most popular memory kits on the market right now, if not the most popular. The Dominator kits are literally everywhere and we’ve seen a lot of enthusiasts using these kits more than anything. Well, guess what The new generation of Dominator memory is here. Corsair has been teasing the launch of these new modules for quite some time now, so it’s hardly a surprise they ended up being one of the first manufacturers to debut the new DDR5 for the consumers. The new DDR5 memory modules look identical to their DDR4 counterpart. We’re looking at a very similar design for the aluminum heat spreader. The top bar still holds 12 addressable Capellix RGB LEDs. These are the same LEDs that Corsair is using in some many of its AIO liquid coolers too. The new modules are available in both black and white colors, so you get to choose the one that goes well with the aesthetics of your build.

You can customize the RAM module lighting using Corsair iCUE software, which is a central hub to control your other Corsair products too. You’ll feel right at home if you’re already familiar with how the software and lighting control works since nothing has changed, really. As such the Corsair iCUE software also integrates the XMP Profile Manager for the DDR5 modules. XMP 3.0 allows these modules have to have up to five profiles, and they all can be customized from the software. This allows you to play around with memory speeds, although that’s entirely optional.

Corsair is currently offering 32GB and 64GB variants of its DDR5 memory, but you’ll have to opt for the 64GB module for the black color option. Corsair’s DDR5-4800 memory kit features 34-35-35-69 timings and 1.1V DRAM voltage out of the box, allowing users to have an easy plug-and-play experience. The DDR5-5200 memory kits, on the other hand, are rated for 38-38-38-84 timings and operate at 1.25V.

Corsair is also offering the memory modules in two flavors — one equipped with an “Extreme OC PMIC,” while the latter only has an “Overclock PMIC.” Specific details about each module are still under the wraps, but we’ll update this space with more info soon. There’s also the Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR5 memory “First Edition” which costs slightly more than the normal modules.

Just like the other DDR5 RAM kits, the Dominator Platinum also starts at upwards of $300. The Dominator Platinum The DDR5-4800 sells for $320 whereas the DDR5-5200 memory kits start at $330. The First Edition kit with optimized memory timings costs $30 more than the standard modules. In addition to the Dominator Platinum kits, Corsair also updated the Vengeance series with new DDR5 kits. You might want to check those out if you don’t mind settling for something that isn’t as flashy as the Dominator Platinum series and save some money in the process. The company is yet to release the Vengeance Pro RGB DDR5 kits, but there’s no official word on that just yet.

    Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR5 Memory
    Corsair's Dominator Platinum RGB DDR5 memory carries a familiar design but offers a ton of improvements in terms of performance. These new memory modules have higher speeds and support for up to five XMP profiles.

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Corsair Vengeance DDR5 Memory

Black color Corsair Vengeance DDR5 RAM kits on a table next to other PC components

Corsair’s Vengeance kit is probably the one that comes to your mind when you think of memory modules. That’s how popular the original Vengeance kits were in the community. Corsair stepped it up to make them even better with the release of its Vengenace Pro DDR4 kit, and now they’re trying to do it again in the DDR5 space too. That’s right, Corsair has also updated its Vengeance series with a new DDR5 RAM kit in addition to the Dominator Platinum series.

The new Vengeance kit arrives with a slight makeover, although the overall design remains quite familiar. We think the Vengeance DDR5 kit is perfect for those who don’t like having a ton of RGB lights in their setup. This one settles for an aluminum heat spreader with a basic design. It reminds us of the Vengeance DDR4 LPX memory, so no fancy or a striking to be seen here. We expect the Vengeance Pro RGB DDR5 RAM modules to launch later for those looking to decorate their PCs with RGB lights.

Just like the Dominator Platinum kits, the Vengeance kit checks in at DDR5-5200 speeds. That’s however, the max speed out of the box for the Vengeance kits too, and you can also get a DDR5-4800 variant with 34 CAS latency. The DDR5-4800 module has 34-35-35-69 timings and it operates at 1.10v. The DDR5-5200 module, on the other hand, has 38-38-38-84 timings and it operates at 1.25v. We’re still looking at relatively low power consumption for both modules. There’s also a 64GB DIMM which operates at DDR5-4400 with 36-36-36-72 timings and 1.1V.

These Vengeance kits are also quite powerful, especially when you compare them with their DDR4 counterparts. But they still don’t unlock the full potential of DDR5 memory, much like every other module there on the market right now. Sure, you can overclock them to have faster speeds and maybe even better timings, but there’s only so much to expect from these new modules. Besides, we expect the Vengeance Pro RGB kits to be better when it comes to overclocking, and we hope Corsair will bring them to the market soon.

The Vengeance DDR5 kit will allow you to control the XMP profile via Corsair’s iCUE software. You’ll get multiple XMP profiles to choose from and changing them is as easy as pressing a button. The ‘Overclock PMIC’ which we saw on the more expensive Dominator Platinum DDR5 module is also present here, which is great. More details about overclocking performance and module comparison will have to wait for now. However, you can expect the new DDR5 memory to outperform even the most powerful DDR4 RAM kits on the market.

The Vengeance DDR5 kits, as you can probably already tell, aren’t as flashy as the Dominator Platinum kits. Hence, they go easy on the pockets. The 32GB model retails for $289.99, while the 64GB demands a $614.99 price tag. Corsair is offering a lifetime warranty with these kits, unlike some other manufacturers who’re still stuck at a 3-year warranty period.

    Corsair Vengeance DDR5 Memory Kit
    The Corsair Vengeance DDR5 RAM kits go easy on the wallet compared to the Dominator Platinum series. Yet you get the same reliable speeds and support for multiple XMP profiles.

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TeamGroup T-Force Delta RGB DDR5 Memory

Black and white-colored DDR5 RAM modules with RGB lights

TeamGroup’s original DDR5, as we mentioned, was a barebones unit with a naked PCB design and no integrated spreader. It doesn’t necessarily affects the performance of the kit, but TeamGroup knows their market very well. And that’s exactly why the company quickly followed it up with a stylish DDR5 module as a part of its T-Force Delta RGB memory kit series. These modules take the battle to the main stage, competing for the top spot in the best-looking unbuffered DIMM category. These new kits have a sophisticated heat spreader and a bunch of addressable RGBs to add more bling to your build.

The new heat-spreader design, however, isn’t similar to its Xtreem DDR4 ARGB kit from earlier. We believe a follow up to that is also in the cards, but the Delta DDR5 modules aren’t looking too shabby either. These new modules feature a unique design with sharp edges on the top along with RGB LEDs. Only top bar has RGB lights now as opposed to the entire module being kitted with RGB. TeamGroup doesn’t have its own lighting control software but you’ll be able to customize them using the motherboard’s software. The company says it supplied these modules to a bunch of motherboards makers including ASUS, MSI, ASRock, and more to make sure their supporting software works with these sticks.

TeamGroup’s T-Force Delta RGB DDR5 line-up includes 16GB and 32GB modules. While these are on par with what most manufacturers have been able to come up with, we’re expecting higher capacity modules to arrive later. Both kits have data transfer rates between 4800 MT/s and 5600 MTs, and they also feature next-generation XMP 3.0 SPD profiles, making it easier for the users to tweak the speeds with the press of a button. A lot of other DIMMs in our collection like the Dominator Platinum from Corsair also feature advanced XMP 3.0 profiles.

The T-Force Delta RGB memory modules also come with their own voltage regulating circuitry and power management IC (PMIC). This will allow the modules to offer a good overall performance while maintaining stability. That being said, TeamGroup hasn’t mentioned the operating voltages of these UDIMMS yet. Another thing worth noting here is these T-Force modules only come with a 3-year warranty as opposed to a lifetime warranty that we’ve come to expect from all the DRAM makers over the past few years.

We’re not entirely sure why the manufacturer decided to abandon the practice of offering a lifetime warranty. We think this is going to play a huge role in influencing the purchase decision for most people. It also makes it hard for us to recommend this product because of that but we’re adding this as an option for now due to the lack of many DDR5 modules on the market. That being said, we’ll be updating this article with newer and better modules as and when they’re ready to go on sale on the market. Also, we don’t have the pricing and availability details of these T-Force modules yet, so keep an eye on this space for a purchase link.

Final Thoughts

Well, that concludes our list of the best DDR5 RAM kits you should consider buying for your next PC build. Remember, these RAM modules won’t work on your older motherboards. You’ll need one of the newer boards based on the Z690 platform. Also, only Intel’s Alder Lake processor supports the DDR5 UDIMMs for now, so you’ll need one of those newer chips too. AMD is expected to launch the new AM5 platform and the new processors next year with DDR5 support and we’ll have more to talk about that later once it’s official.

Long story short, the DDR5 standard, even though it was first announced a few years back, is still relatively new in the PC hardware space. A lot of manufacturers have managed to launch new memory kits on the market, but we think it’ll take some time until it goes mainstream. You can check out our collection of the best DDR4 RAM kits if you don’t necessarily need the bleeding edge technology or if you’re simply not looking to spend a lot of money on RAM kits yet. Rest assured, we’ll keep this article updated with new memory modules as they become available, so keep your eyes peeled. If you have indeed made up your mind for building a new PC though, then you might want to check out some of our other collections like the best motherboards, best GPUs, or even the best CPUs to see what are your options on the market. As always, be sure to let us know your favorite memory kits by dropping a line in the comments below. We’ll check out your recommendations to see if we can add them to our collection.

About author

Karthik Iyer
Karthik Iyer

Karthik covers PC hardware for XDA Computing. When not at work, you will find him yelling at his monitors while playing video games.