Hardware

With the release of DDR5, liquid cooling of RAM made sense

Those who have already acquired a computer with DDR5 memory may have noticed that the new type of modules generate more heat, since they now house the power management chip. Therefore, with the release of DDR5, liquid cooling of memory modules became practical.

Image source: thermaltake.com

Image source: thermaltake.com

Bitspower has already announced the industry’s first waterblocks designed specifically for DDR5 modules. They are not yet available for ordering, but they are already posted on the manufacturer’s website, so their entry into the market will hardly be delayed. A few years ago Thermaltake introduced the Pacific A2 Ultra memory waterblock with a huge 3.9-inch LCD display that displays pictures and animations, as well as useful data such as frequency and temperature. Formally, the model is designed for DDR4, but taking into account the fact that DDR4 and DDR5 have the same dimensions, it should be suitable for a new type of memory.

Liquid cooling has proven to be more efficient than air cooling for almost all PC components, but in the case of memory modules, it has not yet been very useful. With the advent of DDR5, modules now include not only memory chips but also their own Power Management Integrated Circuits (PMICs) and Voltage Regulating Modules (VRMs), so liquid cooling can be really useful for RAM. Traditionally, motherboards have taken over these functions, and manufacturers have made their products stand out with better quality PMICs and VRMs to provide more overclocking potential. However, now this has become the prerogative of the manufacturers of memory modules, and the participation of the motherboard is limited to only supplying 5 V – everything else is done by the built-in components. But these components generate extra heat, as recently confirmed by Corsair.

MSI recently demonstrated that the Renesas P9811-Y0 PMIC circuit heats up to 56 ° C when operating in dual channel mode with no other module in the immediate vicinity. Moreover, at 1.35 V (which is higher than the standard 1.1 V), DDR5 can reach 50-51 ° C. Air cooling may be sufficient when using two modules, even if the memory is overclocked, but when four modules are already installed in close proximity to each other, then more efficient liquid cooling may be required. DDR5 has a number of architectural features that will scale performance and capacity for years to come. And during overclocking, cooling may become necessary.

About the author

Dylan Harris

Dylan Harris is fascinated by tests and reviews of computer hardware.

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