Crucial DDR5-5200 (2x 16GB) Review: Low-Cost Gets Faster

Memory, Reviews

The technology we own generally falls into to categories: Those parts that are designed to wow, and those that are designed not to get noticed. Not getting noticed can be a terrible sales tactic…until your competitor gets noticed for the wrong reason. That’s generally what happens when a customer tries to add a second DDR5-7200 kit to their system, or move it from Intel to AMD, or put it on the wrong motherboard model. Having moved so far as to give up its Ballistix line of overclocked memory, Crucial is the kind of company that doesn’t want to be associated with any of those failures.

Crucial DDR5-5200 (2x 16GB) CT2K16G52C42U5
Capacity 32 GB (2x 16GB) Voltage 1.10 Volts
Data Rate DDR5-5200 (XMP) Height 32mm
Primary Timings 42-42-42-84 Warranty Lifetime

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Our CT2K16G52C42U5 kit arrived packaged as two CT16G52C42U5 individual modules, and if you can break down the part numbers you’ll already know that the difference is merely one of packaging where the “2K” refers to a two-piece kit of 16GB, DDR5-5200 CAS 42 modules.

The memory used is Micron’s D8DDZ, which are 16Gb (sixteen gigabit) parts that the firm is a bit tight lipped about. We only know that the letter D comes after the letter B alphabetically, which probably means that these are a newer and more advanced product than the D8BNJ of our Crucial DDR5-4800 Review. It’s also possible that the new kit’s 2UG45 marking is more significant, as the earlier parts were marked 1QA45, since 2 is higher than 1 and the letter G comes after the letter A. Either way, we also see a change to Anpec’s APW8502C voltage regulation PMIC, though consistencies in other regulation components have us expecting little to no advancement in regulation quality.

Crucial doesn’t leave AMD users in the lurch as its XMP-5200 profile is complemented with EXPO-5200 on the same configuration IC. Our motherboard surprised us by configuring this kit’s DDR5-5200 settings (a data rate that’s double its 2600 MHz clock rate) without us manually enabling its XMP mode or choosing the correct profile. We’re crediting that achievement to our Z690 Taichi sample’s updated firmware, version 13.05.

Test Configuration

Test Hardware
CPU Intel Core i9-13900K: 24C/32T, 3.0-5.8 GHz, 36 MB L3 Cache, LGA 1700
CPU Cooler Alphacool Eisblock XPX CPU, VPP655 with Eisbecher D5 150mm, NexXxoS UT60 X-Flow
Motherboard ASRock Z690 Taichi LGA 1700, BIOS 13.05
Graphics Powercolor Red Devil Radeon 6750 XT: 2324-2623MHz GPU, 12GB GDDR6
Power be quiet! Dark Power Pro 10 850W: ATX12V v2.3, EPS12V, 80 PLUS Platinum
Hard Drive Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 2TB PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD
Sound Integrated HD Audio
Network Integrated Wi-Fi
Graphics Driver AMD Adrenalin Edition 2022.10.1

A newer processor and updated firmware have already helped ASRock’s old Z690 Taichi push two of our test kits to DDR5-6933: While we don’t expect to get close to those  heights with Crucial’s basic parts, it’s good to know that the test platform’s limit is likely to exceed that of the modules we’re testing.

Overclocking & Latency Tuning

Crucial’s DDR5-5200 kit overclocked to DDR5-5600 without crashing while using 1.3V VDD and 1.35V VDDQ at CAS42. Higher voltage levels didn’t make it stable at the next higher frequency setting.

One might expect that loosening timings beyond CAS 42 would have allowed even greater overclocks, but the extra latency would have imparted a performance penalty. Not that CAS 42 was too tight: This newer Crucial kit held its same DDR5-5600 overclock stable even at CAS 38.

Lowest Stable Timings
Crucial by Micron
DDR5-5200 C42
X38-41-41-82 (2T)36-36-36-72 (2T)
Adata XPG Lancer
DDR5-5200 C38
XX36-36-36-72 (2T)
Sabrent Rocket DDR5
DDR5-4800 C40
SB-DR5U-16G (x2)
36-38-38-76 (2T)33-33-33-66 (2T)26-29-29-58 (2T)
Crucial by Micron
DDR5-4800 C40
XX36-36-36-72 (2T)

Something that real world buyers must consider upon viewing the overclocking and latency tuning supremacy of Rocket DDR5-4800 is that it costs twice as much as Crucial DDR4-4800. While not quite twice as pricey as Crucial’s DDR5-5200, Rocket DDR5 still costs over 80% more for the same DDR5-4800 rating. Justifying such a large price gap would require true commitment to manual tuning, particularly since we’ve reviewed DDR5-6200 that cost less than the Rocket DDR5-4800 kit.

Benchmark Results

With its looser XMP timings, the performance of Crucial’s DDR5-5200 rated settings falls behind that of Adata’s lower-CAS version. Overclocking brings Crucial past Adata, and combining that superior data rate with additional timing optimization pushes Crucial even farther past Adata. We should point out that the reason the Adata did so poorly at “Min CAS” is that, lacking the ability to reach DDR5-5600, its latency-optimizations were performed only at DDR5-4800.

Optimization shows a major performance bump for Crucial’s DDR5-5200 in 3DMark’s CPU score, with the combination of overclocking and latency tuning nearly reaching the lofty heights of the high-priced Rocket DDR5’s manual configuration. Meanwhile, F1 2021 ran out of ‘memory bottleneck’ some time back in the days of DDR4.

The default CAS 42 puts Crucial’s DDR5-5200 well behind the 7-Zip performance of XPG Lancer, but memory overclockers will appreciate where the Crucial kit ended up after tweaking a few things.

Starting out just a hair slower than the XPG Lancer in Handbrake encoding, manual tweaking makes the Crucial DDR5-5200 a bit more competitive.

For only a few dollars more than its basic DDR5-4800, manually-tuned Crucial DDR5-5200 splits the difference between the greatest and least performing configurations.

But what about people who don’t manually overclock? Even among performance enthusiasts, the normal choice to enable XMP and forgo further adjustment delivers a 3% performance advancement at 15% greater expense when using Crucial’s DDR5-5200. Adata advances a bit farther at XMP by using lower default latencies, but it’s a bit harder to find and comes with pricing inconsistencies that would have us recommending it only to the most persistent buyers, i.e., people who enjoy shopping.

Crucial DDR5-5200 (2x 16GB) CT2K16G52C42U5
Pros Cons
  • Moderately tunable
  • Moderately priced
  • Relatively high XMP CAS
The Verdict
Achieving its DDR5-5200 XMP at a completely stock 1.10V, Crucial’s DDR5-5200 becomes an easy choice for buyers who are willing to pay a small bump in priced to get a small bump in performance over DDR5-4800

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