AMD recently unveiled the company's Ryzen 7000 (Raphael) processors. Robert Hallock, the Director of Technical Marketing at AMD, has divulged additional information regarding the best RAM for the new Zen 4 chips.
Hallock commented on AMD's official Discord channel (via Bionic_squash (opens in new tab)) that memory overclocking on the Ryzen 7000 processors differs slightly from the previous Ryzen 5000 (Vermeer) chips. For starters, Hallock confirmed that it's no longer essential to maintain a 1:1:1 ratio with the Infinity Fabric Clock (FCLK), unified memory controller clock (UCLK), and memory clock (MEMCLK). Instead, he recommends users leave the FCLK on the auto setting and overclock the DDR5 memory modules and the memory controller in a 1:1 ratio. As a result, the best configuration is Auto:1:1.
The Zen 4 parts have a default FCLK of 1,733 MHz, supporting DDR5-5200 memory by default. Hallock believes that DDR5-6000 will be the sweet spot for Zen 4 based on cost, stability, performance, availability, and ease. In contrast, Zen 3's sweet spot was at DDR4-3600 (1,800 MHz FCLK), with DDR4-4000 (2,000 MHz FCLK) being the golden standard. Nonetheless, Hallock said that in some scenarios, when surpassing a 2,000 MHz FCLK could yield better performance. However, it shouldn't be the priority for most users. We'll take AMD's word until we can run our RAM benchmarks on Zen 4.
Current DDR5-6000 16GB (2x8GB) memory kits start at $165 whereas the 32GB (2x16GB) offerings retail for $219. A decent DDR4-4000 memory kit costs half of a DDR5 memory kit. However, we already knew beforehand that migration to AMD's AM5 socket commands a small fortune due to the chipmaker's decision not to maintain DDR4 support on Zen 4. Although pricing for DDR5 has improved over the last few months, it still carries a significant premium over DDR4. There aren't any shortages anymore, but it's still more expensive to produce DDR5. Nevertheless, AMD is optimistic that DDR5 supply and pricing should continue to get better.
As always, it's recommended to choose a dual-DIMM memory kit over a quad-DIMM configuration for Ryzen 7000. Dual-DIMM setups are better for signal routing and less stressful on the processor's IMC (integrated memory controller). For example, AMD only guarantees DDR5-5200 support on a 1DPC (DIMM per channel) configuration. In a 2DPC scenario, the official memory speed drops to DDR5-3600.
AMD's Ryzen 7000 processors will arrive on the retail market on September 27, along with the new 600-series motherboards and EXPO-certified DDR5 memory.