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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  • Ryan Smith - Friday, March 4, 2022 - link

    "No iGPU benchmarks, why?"

    Frankly, we haven't been doing iGPU benchmarks for desktop processors for a while. It's been a shortcut to get CPU reviews done on time.

    That needs to (and will be) changing. But right now if we benchmarked the i3-12300's iGPU, we wouldn't have sufficient data to compare it to anyhow.
  • nandnandnand - Sunday, March 6, 2022 - link

    Comparing it to the Vega 6 in the 5300G should get the point across: UHD 730 is weak.
  • kkilobyte - Sunday, March 6, 2022 - link

    Really? I've checked the archives in the 'CPU' section of anandtech. The last extensive review of an AMD Desktop CPU seems to be the 5300G/5600G/5700G... And it featured two pages of iGPU tests... And the first page of the same review was 'Power Consumption'.
    So your 'shortcuts' seem to be a bit... Selective, I'd say.
  • DannyH246 - Sunday, March 6, 2022 - link

    Intel cannot be shown in ANY bad light.
  • paulwalker - Tuesday, April 5, 2022 - link

    Lovely pictures, awesome these are looking so funny interesting but professional and artistic pics.

    <a href="">andrew levy starboard</a>
  • Spunjji - Monday, March 7, 2022 - link

    It's bad. How bad? Take Vega 6, divide by two (or three depending on application).
  • MDD1963 - Monday, April 25, 2022 - link

    Suspect your desired iGPU performance figures of 12300's performance would still best those of the 5900X and 5950X....? :)
  • fmyhr - Thursday, March 3, 2022 - link

    What's the status of ECC RAM support for Alder Lake CPUs? Does DDR5 support imply ECC support? Are there different levels of ECC for DDR5? Intel Ark is no help. Thanks for any hints.
  • mode_13h - Thursday, March 3, 2022 - link

    Yes, according to, ECC support is *not* listed for this or its sibling. They *do* list ECC support for the "E" and "TE" variants, but I don't know if you'll be able to source those easily, or how you'll find motherboard compatibility.

    Basically, plan on using an E-series Xeon, if you want ECC on Alder Lake.
  • Slash3 - Thursday, March 3, 2022 - link

    The -E/TE are BGA variants for embedded applications. It will need to be a Xeon.

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