Along with unveiling the next generation of processors, AMD announced the new EXPO standard for DDR5 memory. Upcoming Ryzen 7000 CPUs will only support DDR5, and finding a kit with an EXPO certification could make a world of difference in how well your PC runs.
We’ll help demystify what AMD EXPO is, how it compares to Intel’s own memory overclocking standard, and the best DDR5 kits you can buy with EXPO support right now.
Before you dive in, keep in mind that AMD’s Ryzen 7000 CPUs haven’t launched yet. Although you can purchase some EXPO kits now, you won’t be able to use them until the processors launch on September 27th.
AMD EXPO or Extended Profiles for Overclocking are built-in overclocking profiles for DDR5 memory. They’re like Intel’s Extreme Memory Profiles (XMP) included on some DDR5 RAM modules as an automatic overclocking profile that you can enable in your BIOS. The profile has already been tested and validated, so the modules with the profile on board can run freely.
RAM overclocking can get a lot more complex than CPU overclocking, which is why we saw XMP and now EXPO. They take up a small, inaccessible space in memory and allow you to easily switch to the profile in your motherboard’s BIOS. EXPO might allow you to do this in your operating system, but that’s not clear yet.
All memory runs at standard speed by default. In the case of DDR5, most RAM sticks run at 4,800 MTps (mega transfers per second), regardless of the speed printed on the box. The speed on the box refers to the kit’s overclocking profile. So if you buy a DDR5 kit with speeds of 6000MHz, you will need to enable the overclocking profile to access that speed.
Overall, AMD says that turning on EXPO can result in an improvement in gaming performance of up to 11%. AMD also says that EXPO kits are specifically optimized for Ryzen 7000 processors, although it’s not clear if this optimization will make a real-world performance difference.
EXPO is basically AMD’s version of XMP, and it doesn’t seem like there are too many differences between the two. At a high level, both are overclocking profiles for your RAM, allowing your modules to run at a validated speed. The big questions revolve around support.
According to AMD, the EXPO is an open standard, which means that the validation process is mostly natural for AMD. Memory manufacturers submit their test results, and those results should be available to the general public. If the memory passes the test standard, it will come with an EXPO mark on the box. XMP, on the other hand, is closed. Intel validates the test results themselves and they cannot be viewed.
AMD has supported XMP profiles with its motherboards and processors for years. AMD says you’ll still be able to use EXPO or XMP in the future, stating that EXPO may offer better optimization and that EXPO is set up to support Intel processors. Intel hasn’t said if it will support EXPO on its CPUs. Hopefully this means your DDR5 overclocking standard is cross-CPU agnostic, but we don’t have any EXPO kits to verify this yet.
We’re already seeing some kits support XMP and EXPO, so we’ll likely see dual support for most kits in the future.
We don’t have any EXPO kits yet, but AMD says 15 kits will be available when the Ryzen 7000 CPUs release on September 27th. At the moment we know about 12 kits from brands like Corsair, G.Skill, Kingston and ADATA. We suspect that many more DDR5 kits with EXPO support will be released by the end of the year.
Here are the AMD EXPO kits that we know of:
- ADATA Caster RGB – Up to 7,000 MTps, XMP and EXPO support
- ADATA Lancer RGB – Up to 6,000 MTps, XMP and EXPO support
- ADATA Lancer – Up to 6,000 MTps, XMP and EXPO support
- Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB – Up to 5,600 MTps, EXPO support
- Corsair Vengeance RGB – Up to 5,200 MTps, EXPO support
- Corsair Vengeance – Up to 5,600 MTps, EXPO support
- G.Skill Trident Z5 Neo RGB
- G. Skill Trident Z5 Neo
- G.Skill Flare X5
- Geil Evo-V – Up to 6,400 MTps, EXPO support
- Kingston Fury Beast RGB – Up to 6,000 MTps, XMP and EXPO support
- Kingston Fury Beast – Up to 6,000 MTps, XMP and EXPO support
AMD EXPO is nothing new, but it makes the different state of memory overclocking with AMD CPUs much more streamlined. Hopefully this isn’t a feature you need to worry too much about as several vendors seem to be shipping modules with EXPO and XMP support. Regardless, you should keep EXPO in mind when building a new PC with an AMD CPU.
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