Our friends at Crucial offered us an opportunity to review some of their Pro series memory! Me being the avid gamer and hardware savant that I am, leaped at the opportunity to test some of their DDR5 RAM, I was so keen I used it as an excuse to build a new PC!
Crucial (a consumer products brand used by semiconductor manufacturer Micron Technology) has been in the memory game for 25 years, whether its RAM, Solid State or anything with a Flash Storage requirement, there is an incredibly good chance you have used a Micron/Crucial product without even realizing.
The review samples I received are 2x Crucial DDR5-5600 Pro 32GB Kit (2 x 16GB) (Part Number CT2K16G56C46U5) for 64GB. These modules also support XMP/EXPO allowing more performance out of the box (make sure to turn on XMP for Intel or EXPO for AMD in the BIOS) and have a sleek design that offers a tidy and simple look to your build. Being low profile, those of you with massive CPU heatsinks will not have to worry too much about clearance between the CPU and memory. The Pro series of this memory comes with a satin black heatsink that hides it deep into the darkness of your build.
The memory timings are fairly reserved with a 46-45-45-135 but does have a low operating voltage of 1.1 (this comes in handy later). The CL of 46 nanoseconds is on the higher end of the spectrum, however, this does not mean the memory is bad for gaming at all! This would be aimed more at an Entry-Level to Entry-Level+ build where gaming is not the priority but is still capable of doing so without spending mega bucks!
“Why does the CL matter so much, what is a CL?”
CAS Latency, often represented by CL, is the delay between when a memory controller (sitting on your CPU) requests data from a specific area of the memory and when the requested data is available. Lower CAS latency values show faster access times.
“46 nanoseconds… that’s pretty quick… isn’t it?”
Yes, absolutely considering a blink of an eye is usually 100 milliseconds or 100,000,000 nanoseconds. But in computing, nanoseconds are like seconds to us. For the day-to-day desktop gamer, you will not notice any difference between 46 NS and 36 NS for example. The difference between the two numbers may be a 5% difference in frames per second, it all really depends on quite a few factors such as what the game is, and what other hardware you are using.
“Thats 10 nanoseconds quicker, does that mean my game will be 10 times faster?”
Not quite. The differences we talk about in regular usage situations would be unnoticeable. When paired with a mid-range graphics card and CPU, you are more likely to meet issues with something else causing performance trouble long before the memory becomes your bottleneck!
Now earlier I mentioned that the pro modules have a heatsink & feature XMP/EXPO, making sure you have enabled XMP or EXPO in your computers BIOS will crank the performance up from the stock 4800MT/s to 5600MT/s easily! It is even possible to overclock this memory to have 6000 MT/s with slightly tighter timings and a minor bump in voltage.
Overall, the memory is fair priced for what you get and performs well with any task you throw at it!
As of time of writing 1x kit of 2 16GB sticks can be had for $192 NZD or $199 AUD
Crucial also has a promo coming up soon so keep an eye on the Crucial Promo’s site!