I was underwhelmed by Prime Day’s lack of compelling desktop RAM deals, and Amazon’s follow-up – the Prime Early Access Sale – is also pretty quiet for good memory discounts. However, there are some intriguing offers on DDR5 RAM, which is perfect timing: AMD Ryzen 7000 CPUs have just launched, and unlike their Intel 13th Gen/Raptor Lake rivals, won’t be compatible with older DDR4 at all.
AMD claim this is for the benefit of the Ryzen chips’ performance, but it does compound the issue of upgrading from a DDR4-based system. Makes it more expensive, too, as since DDR5 only became a real gaming PC possibility last year, prices are still a ways off dropping to DDR4 levels. Maybe, then, the Prime Early Access Sale can dull the sting. In the UK, there’s a particularly low-priced 16GB DDR5 module; it’s single-channel, and doesn’t have a big heat spreader like the Kingston Fury Beast DDR5 on sale in the States, but it's a damn sight better than an empty DIMM slot.
What about using these deals to upgrade to a newer Intel 12th/13th Gen build? These do include some of the best CPUs for gaming, though in my DDR4 vs DDR5 testing, the newer variety wasn’t always faster than the other for games. That’s not to say you shouldn’t switch to DDR5, especially as it’s likely to get meaningfully quicker once manufacturers start getting latencies down, but it’s fine to stick with DDR4 and spend your PC budget elsewhere if you want an Intel chip.
With Ryzen 7000, you obviously don’t have that choice, so you may as well get your DDR5 on the cheap. Just remember that as with Prime Day, you’ll need an Amazon Prime account to get these sale prices; if you’re currently without one, a cheeky workaround is signing up for Prime’s 30-day trial and cancelling once your shopping is complete.