What to do about the sad state of high capacity DDR5 consumer systems?

Months continue to roll by with an absolute dearth of information related to putting 4x32 into a consumer system and knowing exactly what to expect. Weeks after new 24/48gb modules arrived, and months after MBs gained 4x48 support, not a single mainstream outlet has demonstrated or benchmarked it.

I have a developing hardware emergency on my end, necessitating a new build, and I’m completely trapped in what to do. My current 64gb device often hits swap (aggressively). 96gb might work but I’d probably still have to close a few things before loading some large files. 128gb would be nice if it means I can keep my developer tools and environment open while debugging through problems in said large files.

If I need to purchase a 13700 with 128gb of memory today, what can I reasonable expect? I’m not interested in any form of overclocking or gaming but I do like to keep my devices for as long as possible meaning some amount of performance would be appreciated. Will this forever be living at 3600MTs or is something reasonable like 4400MTs plug-and-play on Intel nowadays?

Isn’t this the sort of problem companies like https://www.pugetsystems.com/ help folks solve?

Yes and no :slight_smile: Yes for their articles and to peek at what they’re comfortable selling but a no on price for someone like me.

Their most recent article looking at DDR5 compat. was over a year ago and for just 12th gen[1]. I’ve been waiting for a follow-up to that for a while now but none seems coming. And of course nothing on the newer modules yet either. It does look like there’s nothing to worry about except I do a lot of traditional compiling and was hoping to see a proper compile benchmark from another party to confirm (not shader compiles).

However, it is great that they’re even shipping 128gb configs so it must work in some capacity. I just have no idea what to expect. No idea what they had to do to get it to work. No idea if they’re just leaving it at 3600 etc.[2]

Since a similarly equipped Puget system’s device is literally 2x the price as DIY, they’re well out of budget for actual purchase.

[1] Impact of DDR5 Speed on Content Creation Performance | Puget Systems
[2] https://www.pugetsystems.com/parts/Ram/DDR5-5600-32GB-14894/

From what I’ve read that’s for now what will have to happen. Let me see if there’s a thread on this too.

People there have 192GB up and running. If running into swap, bandwidth is of secondary concern

Aye, thanks for reminding me to check that thread. I was following it about a month ago but indeed there’s been some progress since.

Unfortunately I’m looking for Intel here actually - I should have made that more clear sorry. And it seems like AM5 is still a quagmire of playing games with timings/voltages/and memtest which is far away from just working. And super confusing really. It almost seems like 4x48 was easier to get running than 4x32 in that thread… what a mess :slight_smile:

Uff i need to bite that bullet.

I switched to an MSI Z690 mpg and Upped to an 13700k for my server… Right now i have 2x32GB crucial 4800mhz in it. I buy another 2x32GB end of the week and Hope for the best :slight_smile:

but this makes me look up to it

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Kingston has a few 4x32 kits with XMP, which should have a very high probability of working out of the box. Corsair has a 4x48 kit. They are not the fastest at 5200-5600, but probably the safest bet to get a hassle free setup.

I just see that the asus proart z790 even has the corsair kit on the QVL for 13th gen processors.

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Let us know how it goes if/when you put another 64 in!

I’ll start preparing for my purchase sometime next week I think.

I’ll be YOLO’ing thousands of dollars based solely on a single YouTube short, with dropped audio, but what could go wrong… :slight_smile:

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128GB is no issue with current consumer hardware, as long as you have four sockets all you need is 4x32GB DIMMs which have been around for years.

I’d question the need for DDR5, though, because you’d really need a rather specific workload to benefit from the bandwidth difference at these RAM sizes. If you have poor locality in your data but lots of it, chances are you’ll be mostly latency bound and the difference won’t do much.

I like RAM because I run lots of VMs, simulating the operation of physical systems, so with DDR5 being crazy expensive last year, especially with ECC, I just stuck with DDR4-3200 ECC, which was cheaper then DDR5 without ECC and used a Ryzen 5800X3D for easy ECC support and to compensate a bit for DRAM latency and bandwidth (also because it was so cheap, I could not resist).

It’s beyond 128GB where terra incognita starts on dual channel consumer hardware today, but if you’re really memory bound you can hunt for a Xeon 2nd hand bargain instead, where ECC registered DRAM can be ridiculously cheap in comparison but where scalar performance may easily be half of what even brand new notebooks will peak to.

The combination of peak scalar CPU power and RAM capacity remains expensive, if you only need one of them and are ready to go with last gen (e.g. Ryzen 5000 and DDR4), you can save a lot of money.

Finally have an update myself. It just took a bit for the camels that Amazon hired to carry all the goods from a few states over apparently.

So far things seemed pretty plug and play. Using a mid-tier system with a 13700k + $260 asus z790 MB:

  • 128gb posted immediately (same sku but 2 separate kits of 64gb), but at 3600
  • A bios update later, with no further tweaks otherwise, they seemed to default to 4800 (the original bios was dated from Nov 2022)
  • The kit is rated for 5200 but I haven’t turned XMP on yet as I wanted to make sure things were even ok at 4800

So that’s actually better than I expected. I expected to have to play games with even getting it to post but luckily no.

There’s solutions, but it comes down to the old formula: speed, reliability, cheap : pick two

Speed + reliability : 13700-ish level’s of performance = Xeon w5-2465X