Intel Core i3-12300 Performance: DDR5 vs DDR4

Intel’s 12th generation processors from the top of the stack, including the flagship Core i9-12900K) and the more affordable and entry-level offerings such as the Core i3-12300, allow users to build a new system with the latest technologies available. One of the main elements that make Intel’s Alder Lake processors flexible for users building a new system is that it includes support for both DDR5 and DDR4 memory. It’s no secret that DDR5 memory costs (far) more than the already established DDR4 counterparts. One element to this includes an early adopter’s fee. Having the latest and greatest technology comes at a price premium.

The reason why we have opted to test the difference in performance between DDR5 and DDR4 memory with the Core i3-12300 is simply down to the price point. While users will most likely be looking to use DDR5 with the performance SKUs such as the Core i9-12900K, Core i7-12700K, and Core i5-12600K, users building a new system with the Core i3-12300 are more likely to go down a more affordable route. This includes using DDR4 memory, which is inherently cheaper than DDR5 and opting for a cheaper motherboard such as an H670, B660, or H610 option. Such systems do give up some performance versus what the i3-12300 can do at its peak, but in return it can bring costs down signfiicantly.

Traditionally we test our memory settings at JEDEC specifications. JEDEC is the standards body that determines the requirements for each memory standard. In the case of Intel's Alder Lake, the Core i3 supports both DDR5 and DDR4 memory. Below are the memory settings we used for our DDR5 versus DDR4 testing:

  • DDR4-3200 CL22
  • DDR5-4800(B) CL40

CPU Performance: DDR5 versus DDR4

(1-2) AppTimer: GIMP 2.10.18 (DDR5 vs DDR4)

(2-1) 3D Particle Movement v2.1 (non-AVX) (DDR5 vs DDR4)

(2-2) 3D Particle Movement v2.1 (Peak AVX) (DDR5 vs DDR4)

(2-5) NAMD ApoA1 Simulation (DDR5 vs DDR4)

(4-1) Blender 2.83 Custom Render Test (DDR5 vs DDR4)

(4-2) Corona 1.3 Benchmark (DDR5 vs DDR4)

(4-4) POV-Ray 3.7.1 (DDR5 vs DDR4)

(4-6a) CineBench R20 Single Thread (DDR5 vs DDR4)

(4-6b) CineBench R20 Multi-Thread (DDR5 vs DDR4)

(4-7a) CineBench R23 Single Thread (DDR5 vs DDR4)

(4-7b) CineBench R23 Multi-Thread (DDR5 vs DDR4)

(5-1a) Handbrake 1.3.2, 1080p30 H264 to 480p Discord (DDR5 vs DDR4)

(5-1b) Handbrake 1.3.2, 1080p30 H264 to 720p YouTube (DDR5 vs DDR4)

(5-1c) Handbrake 1.3.2, 1080p30 H264 to 4K60 HEVC (DDR5 vs DDR4)

(5-4) WinRAR 5.90 Test, 3477 files, 1.96 GB (DDR5 vs DDR4)

(8-1c) Geekbench 5 Single Thread (DDR5 vs DDR4)

(8-1d) Geekbench 5 Multi-Thread (DDR5 vs DDR4)

In our computational benchmarks, there wasn't much difference between DDR5-4800 CL40 and DDR4-3200 CL22 when using the Core i3-12300. The biggest difference came in our WinRAR benchmark which is heavily reliant on memory to increase performance; the DDR5 performed around 21% better than DDR4 in this scenario.

Gaming Performance: DDR5 versus DDR4

(b-7) Civilization VI - 1080p Max - Average FPS

(b-8) Civilization VI - 1080p Max - 95th Percentile

(b-5) Civilization VI - 4K Min - Average FPS (copy)

(b-6) Civilization VI - 4K Min - 95th Percentile (copy)

(g-7) Borderlands 3 - 1080p Max - Average FPS (copy)

(g-8) Borderlands 3 - 1080p Max - 95th Percentile (copy)

(g-5) Borderlands 3 - 4K VLow - Average FPS (copy)

(g-6) Borderlands 3 - 4K VLow - 95th Percentile (copy)

(i-7) Far Cry 5 - 1080p Ultra - Average FPS (copy)

(i-8) Far Cry 5 - 1080p Ultra - 95th Percentile (copy)

(i-5) Far Cry 5 - 4K Low - Average FPS (copy)

(i-6) Far Cry 5 - 4K Low - 95th Percentile (copy)

On the whole, DDR5 does perform better in our gaming tests, but not enough to make it a 'must have' in comparison to DDR4 memory. The gains overall are marginal for the most part, with DDR5 offering around 3-7 more frames per second over DDR4 memory, depending on the titles game engine optimization.

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  • 29a - Thursday, March 3, 2022 - link

    No iGPU benchmarks, why? Reply
  • Calin - Thursday, March 3, 2022 - link

    Integrated GPUs live or die by the memory bandwidth, and using DDR5 would bring a huge difference.
    On the other hand, DDR5 is more expensive and might not "fit" a low-budget computer.
    Basically, people that buy a cheap i3 with expensive RAM and no dedicated GPU aren't that many.
    Reply
  • mode_13h - Thursday, March 3, 2022 - link

    As its iGPU has only 24 Execution Units, I doubt DDR5 will have such a momentous impact. Even if it does, there's still no way its iGPU performance is going to be terribly interesting or even competitive with 8 CU (512 shader) competition from AMD. Reply
  • mode_13h - Thursday, March 3, 2022 - link

    By comparison, consider that Tiger Lake needed up to 96 EU of a roughly comparable iGPU architecture to eke out a win over AMD's 8 CU iGPUs. So, that should set a very modest expectation for the iGPU performance of these chips. Reply
  • 29a - Thursday, March 3, 2022 - link

    If they would have benchmarked the iGPU we would know how it performs. I've heard for the last 2 years now how awesome Xe is going to be. Reply
  • mode_13h - Thursday, March 3, 2022 - link

    Then you need only look for a review of Tiger Lake's iGPU. Alder Lake is only a minor refresh of it.

    https://www.anandtech.com/show/16084/intel-tiger-l...
    Reply
  • WaltC - Friday, March 4, 2022 - link

    They don't want to say how bad it is...;) Just another one of those inexplicable omissions AT seems to enjoy making in product reviews, I guess. Even if it's terrible, it should be demonstrated. Anyway, I'll say that Intel has a long and somewhat stagnant history of 2-4 core CPUs...;) Reply
  • mode_13h - Saturday, March 5, 2022 - link

    Yeah, I think it could've done with a single page of 720p or 1080p benchmarks for a selection of relevant titles. Reply
  • MDD1963 - Monday, April 25, 2022 - link

    "Intel has a long and somewhat stagnant history of 2-4 core CPUs" Must be quite frustrating from AMD fans seeing the 'stagnant' i3 occasionally defeat the 5600X in gaming benchmarks, too... Reply
  • DannyH246 - Thursday, March 3, 2022 - link

    LOL - We all know why. Reply

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