Intel is reportedly making a big push for Raptor Lake motherboards and 13th generation CPUs to use DDR5 memory. This information comes via TechPowerUp, which states that there will be “a big push towards DDR5” when the motherboards launch later in the year. This isn’t necessarily a surprise, as DDR5 memory has been around since late 2021. The problem is that adoption rates haven’t been the best among consumers.
While Intel does want DDR5 to become more of a standard, that doesn’t necessarily mean we should expect future generation boards to universally exclude DDR4. After all, DDR4 memory is still widely available and priced affordably. Furthermore, it would be unpopular to drop support for DDR4 after just one generation.
On the other hand, to Intel’s point, there’s also the idea that providing motherboards which support both DDR4 and DDR5 memory would be more costly to manufacturers. If manufacturers were to focus solely on DDR5 memory, it would mean lower design costs and better optimization for DDR5. And after considering that, it makes sense why Intel would want to speed up the adoption rate of DDR5 memory.
It might be time to upgrade to DDR5 soon
DDR5 memory is still balancing performance versus cost and has a ways to go. It’s true that DDR5 memory is faster than DDR4, but not in a way that’s noticeable for most users. DDR4 memory is also far cheaper and readily available compared to DDR5, though the situation has been improving over the last few months. This is one of the main reasons why the adoption rate for DDR5 has been so slow. However, it’s also worth noting that there isn’t a massive difference in gaming performance between the two.
As it stands, gaming performance isn’t hugely improved with DDR5 memory versus DDR4. There are slightly better framerates with high end memory kits, but it’s not enough to make the upgrade worthwhile for most. This is why there’s still a large number of people that don’t want to upgrade right now.
The main takeaway here is that DDR4 memory’s time may soon be up, or at least for some motherboard variants such as the inevitable Z790 models. Even if Raptor Lake CPUs and motherboards still support DDR4, it seems Intel wants people to upgrade to DDR5 sooner rather than later. That doesn’t change the fact that this memory is still expensive. So it may be best to hold out for as long as you can before deciding to jump on the DDR5 train, unless prices drop significantly.