DDR5 memory for PCs has already been on the market for more than a year, and recently, AMD has also received support for it with the move to the AM5 platform. With the launch of the new Ryzen 7000 processors, AMD also introduced EXPO (EXtended Profiles for Overclocking), its own fast memory overclocking system, which now competes in the market with Intel’s already “old” XMP (eXtreme Memory Profile). We tested the Fury Beast DDR5 kit last year with the launch of Alder Lake processors, and this year Kingston is also offering the kit in an EXPO-certified version, with full compatibility with AMD’s new chipsets for the AM5 platform.
Kinston Fury Beast keeps the design simple
Kingston’s new flash drives are nearly identical to last year’s Fury Beast in design. We’re talking passively cooled flash drives, with black heat sinks on both sides. We appreciated the lack of RGB LEDs on this kit, but Kingston also makes variants with glows for those who want a brighter computer.
If it weren’t for the EXPO badge on the blister pack these flash drives come in, you wouldn’t even know it was a new release, and those who already have the previous generation flash drives that only integrate XMP profiles aren’t missing anything by not upgrading to the new ones.
EXPO profiles are the big news
The only notable difference between the two generations of Kingston Fury Beast DDR5 memory is the presence of two types of overclocking profiles. These are not dedicated AMD AM5 platform memories, but are compatible with both types of processors. On the one hand, Intel’s old XMP profiles are still integrated, and on the other hand, you can turn to EXPO profiles if you’re using an AMD platform.
As far as I’ve noticed, both sets of profiles appear in the AMD chipset motherboard BIOS and you can select either XMP or EXPO without any problems. Incidentally, the two profiles appear to be identical, both in terms of frequency and latency, and in terms of voltage. Basically XMP 1 and 2 profiles are equivalent to EXPO 1 and 2.
However, this is currently true for the debut of these profiles. There is a possibility that over time memory manufacturers will find ways to better optimize latencies and frequencies for each processor type, and these profiles could thus be different. But for now, whether you choose XMP or EXPO on both AMD and Intel, you won’t notice any noticeable differences in configuration.
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However, these profiles could also pave the way for Intel or AMD to partner with various memory manufacturers to offer profiles optimized only on one platform, not the other. This would not mean that you could not configure the memory manually, but you would have an advantage on the “favoured” platform. Hopefully it won’t come to that point, though.
Kingston Fury Beast Memory
The Fury Beast kit I received for testing is a little slower than the one I tested last year. That one offered 6,000 MT/s, while this one offers “only” 5,600 MT/s. It’s important to note, however, that DDR4 memories in the past rarely reached 5,000 MT/s and only in extreme overclocking variants. In fact, on AMD platforms, they didn’t offer much of a performance improvement above 3,600 MT/s, as memory frequencies started to exceed the Infinity Fabric frequency. In that case, the processors would switch to a 2:1 ratio and add extra latency if you couldn’t find a stable memory frequency that was a multiple of that in Infinity Fabric. For the average user, it’s generally not worth the effort.
Now, however, DDR5 memory has a base frequency of 4,800 MT/s, and going up to 5,200 or 5,600 MT/s is done with a single click in the BIOS to enable EXPO profiles. I did find some bugs that are still not fixed in the BIOS, however, regarding the EXPO Low Latency and EXPO High Bandwidth functions. While the tested Ryzen 7 7700X based system with X670 chipset motherboard booted up without any problems with High Bandwidth enabled and an active EXPO profile, it would not accept Low Latency mode under any circumstances. It reminded me of the times when Ryzen was just debuting on the market, and many DDR4 memory modules had problems on the new platform. Probably with some updates, these too will be fixed.
What I was able to observe from previous tests, where I used an Intel Core i7-12700K processor, is that DDR5 on the AM5 platform runs at slower read speeds, but writes the same or even faster. Of course, the memories tested now are slightly slower, having 400 MT/s lower frequency, but the performance difference is much greater, percentage-wise, and the read speed is about the same at all frequencies, suggesting a limitation somewhere. So AMD doesn’t seem to be using DDR5 memory as efficiently at the moment. And these shortcomings could be fixed in time with BIOS updates, but it remains to be seen if the AM5 platform and X670 chipset allow for improvements in this regard.
The differences between 4,800, 5,200 and 5,600 MT/s are not that great, but certainly memory-intensive applications and games, especially those that constantly load objects, such as open world, will benefit from high frequencies and low latencies.
We are still in the first generation of DDR5 memory, and the frequencies promised by manufacturers, which can reach 8,000 or even 10,000 MT/s are still a long way off. Even so, the performance gains could be significant, as long as applications know how to take advantage of the benefits of the new memories. The only problem at the moment is price. DDR5 has come down in price over the last year, but still comes with a 50% premium over equivalent DDR4 memories.
While Intel still offers the option to upgrade to Core 12th or 13th gen even with DDR4 memories, AMD has made the switch directly to DDR5 on the AM5 platform. So if you really want a Ryzen 7000 series processor in your new system, make sure you get an EXPO-compatible kit, with the Kinston Fury models released recently benefiting from this certification.