Upgrading to an AMD Ryzen 5 7600X or Ryzen 7 7700X could prove trickier than with an Intel equivalent, as while the latest Core CPUs give you a choice of using DDR4 or DDR5 memory, the Ryzen 7000 family is only compatible with the newer and more expensive DDR5. There’s no re-using old DDR4 sticks with AMD’s latest and greatest, then, but with this week’s Black Friday deals you could get a brand new DDR5 kit for less.
These are the single best-priced DDR5 deals that I’ve found for the UK and US crowds respectively, excluding any where the RAM modules themselves gave me bad vibes or were – yeurgh – single channel. For us Brits, there’s the Kingston Fury Beast 16GB kit in its non-RGB design, while in the States, there’s $10 off TeamGroup’s T-Force Vulcan 16GB kit. I know that’s not as big a name in memory as Kingston, but I’ve used Vulcan RAM myself and it’s fine.
These come not a moment too soon, frankly. Not just because Ryzen 7000 chips have some Black Friday deals of their own, but also because DDR5 has remained powerfully pricier than DDR4 since the former became widely available last year. That’s despite minimal in-game performance differences between the two: the much higher bandwidth of DDR5 is balanced out by its higher CAS latencies, so most current kits aren’t actually much faster than good-quality DDR4.
However, there is a futureproofing advantage to choosing a DDR5-based PC build. One that AMD are banking on, really: DDR5 latency will drop as manufacturers continue to develop it, likely to the point where it is simply faster than DDR4 outright. Sticking to DDR4 RAM and motherboards is cheaper in the short term, then, but it will probably become obsolete just as DDR3 did. For similar reasons, too.
Of course, if you want a Ryzen 7000, then you don’t have much choice. But you can take solace in knowing that a) you’re getting on the next-gen RAM train in good time and b) you saved some cash by taking advantage of one of these deals. I’m assuming. Did you?