DDR5 memory modules and supporting platforms are yet to hit the market, but DRAM houses have already started an informal DDR5 overclocking contest. Recently, Adata's XPG Overclocking Lab (XOCL) announced that it had managed to overclock the company's DDR5 memory module to 8,118 MT/s. This is the first time that a memory module house demonstrates overclocked DDR5 SDRAM sticks.
To hit a rather record data transfer rate, Adata's XPG Overclocking Lab (XOCL) took a pre-production 16GB DDR5 memory module based on ICs from SK Hynix with a stock data transfer rate of 4,800 MT/s and an unknown Intel Z690-based motherboard equipped with an undisclosed Intel's 12th Generation Core 'Alder Lake' processor. The module could hit 8104 MT/s and 8188 MT/s in single-channel mode and the system remained stable enough to load Windows and CPU-Z software.
Adata does not disclose what kind of cooling it used for the CPU and what voltage it set for the DDR5 module to get to 8188 MT/s. All the company demonstrated were CPU-Z screenshots.
Speaking of the module, it is necessary to note that we are indeed dealing with a pre-production unbuffered DIMM marked as AX5U5200C38 16G-BLA, so as the name suggests, the module was supposed to run at DDR5-5200 with CL38 CAS latency. Meanwhile, its SPD has an XMP-6800 CL46 entry at 1.35V, which is perhaps what Adata is preparing to launch in the foreseeable future. In any case, the default data rate featured by most DDR5 modules set to be released this year will be JEDEC standard 4800 MT/s.
So far, leading makers of memory chips like Micron, Samsung, and SK Hynix have demonstrated that their DDR5 memory chips could work at 7200 MT/s or even 8400 MT/s. Those experiments were conducted using equipment test equipment for DRAM chips or standalone DDR5 DRAM controllers and while such experiments reveal the potential of DRAM, they do not test memory ICs in real-world conditions using real-world workloads. Memory module houses followed the suite: Netac said it was developing DDR5-10000 modules back in April, whereas Adata said that it had managed to run DDR5 at 12600 MT/s in the lab back in August.
This time around Adata uses real (albeit pre-production) hardware to achieve a very high data rate and even launch Windows along with CPU-Z software. It will of course take some time before the company and its peers release actual DDR5-8200 memory modules, but at least we do know that even current-generation modules can work at extreme speeds.