DDR4 & DDR5, new Intel & AMD CPUs

By: Björn Ragnar Björnsson (bjorn.ragnar.delete@this.gmail.com), April 29, 2022 7:20 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
At the current time we are in the beginning of a transition from one RAM standard to the next, from DDR4 to DDR5. Transitions of this sort bring with them dilemmas in hardware configurations. Early on (and today we are most assuredly early on) the new standard typically commands high prices and comes with low performance with respect to what is available nearer to maturation.

I consider 2x32GB a reasonable amount of RAM for a modern mid to high-end desktop. For this configuration, DDR5 DIMMs cost at least two times more than DDR4 DIMMS of the same size and I've found instances of three to fourfold higher prices of DDR5.

With Alder Lake Intel took a move straight out of AMD's playbook. Alder Lake supports DDR5 and DDR4 ram. This is akin to what AMD did with their Phenom II processors which supported DDR2 and DDR3.

Scanning the websites of the major PC manufacturers as well as the motherboard selection for Alder Lake, I think it's safe to say that the dual standard approach of Alder Lake is a success. Example: at microcenter.com aproximately 60+% percent of the LGA-1700 motherboards on offer are DDR4. At Dell the lower cost Alder Lake systems are all DDR4.

That Zen-4 would support DDR5 was a given, but truth be told, I was dismayed to learn from the "grapevine" that it would not support DDR4.

I'm a near complete dilettante on the cost/benefits/complexity, at the implementation/manufacturing level, of on chip support of DDR4 and DDR5 vs supporting only DDR5. I am eager to know why AMD chose not to support DDR4 on their next generation CPUs. The price differential between DDR4 and DDR5 at this time is such that in some it's cases comparable to the entire cost of a processor with motherboard.

From what I think I know, the difference between DDR4 and DDR5 is greater than the difference between DDR2 and DDR3. Supporting two standards is thus in some sense more expensive than in the past.

For sure, this is business/technological decision, decisions which are notoriously difficult with the long lead times of CPU design and implementation/manufacturing. Did AMD screw up? Can anyone here shed some light on this?
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TopicPosted ByDate
DDR4 & DDR5, new Intel & AMD CPUsBjörn Ragnar Björnsson2022/04/29 07:20 PM
  DDR4 & DDR5, new Intel & AMD CPUsGroo2022/04/29 07:34 PM
    DDR4 & DDR5, new Intel & AMD CPUsBjörn Ragnar Björnsson2022/04/29 08:11 PM
      DDR4 & DDR5, new Intel & AMD CPUsGroo2022/05/02 09:46 AM
    DDR4 & DDR5, new Intel & AMD CPUsJames2022/04/30 05:09 AM
    DDR4 & DDR5, new Intel & AMD CPUsBrendan2022/04/30 05:20 AM
    DDR4 & DDR5, new Intel & AMD CPUsme2022/04/30 06:23 AM
      DDR4 & DDR5, new Intel & AMD CPUsGroo2022/05/02 09:03 AM
        DDR4 & DDR5, new Intel & AMD CPUsme2022/05/03 03:29 PM
          DDR4 & DDR5, new Intel & AMD CPUsDummond D. Slow2022/05/04 09:53 PM
        DDR4 & DDR5, new Intel & AMD CPUsDavid Hess2022/05/03 09:29 PM
          DDR4 & DDR5, new Intel & AMD CPUsAdrian2022/05/04 01:43 AM
            DDR4 & DDR5, new Intel & AMD CPUsDan Fay2022/05/04 06:35 AM
              DDR4 & DDR5, new Intel & AMD CPUsAdrian2022/05/05 01:03 AM
  Current situationAnon2022/04/29 08:37 PM
  DDR4 & DDR5, new Intel & AMD CPUsAdrian2022/04/30 02:32 AM
    DDR4 & DDR5, new Intel & AMD CPUsme2022/04/30 06:08 AM
      DDR4 & DDR5, new Intel & AMD CPUsDummond D. Slow2022/04/30 03:08 PM
  DDR4 & DDR5, new Intel & AMD CPUsDoug S2022/04/30 09:02 AM
  Zen 4 with DDR4 on AM4Wes Felter2022/05/01 10:19 PM
    Zen 4 with DDR4 on AM4Kevin G2022/05/02 07:01 AM
      Zen 4 with DDR4 on AM4hobold2022/05/02 08:12 AM
        Zen 4 with DDR4 on AM4Wes Felter2022/05/02 08:49 AM
          Zen 4 with DDR4 on AM4hobold2022/05/02 09:12 AM
        Zen 4 with DDR4 on AM4Kevin G2022/05/03 03:33 PM
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