AMD Ryzen 7000 CPUs might only support DDR5 memory at launch

midian182

Posts: 7,919   +82
Staff member
A hot potato: With AMD's next-generation Ryzen 7000 processors and AM5 socket arriving later this year, the company has spent a lot of time recently bragging about the platform's DDR5-memory performance. It seems this could be because Zen 4 will launch with support for only the latest memory format rather than offering it alongside a DDR4 option, as Intel does.

The launch of the AM5 socket will, like Intel's Alder Lake, bring support for both DDR5 memory and PCIe 5.0. But unlike team blue, which offers the option of 600-series motherboards that support either DDR4 or DDR5, long-running rumors suggest AMD might limit buyers of Ryzen 7000 CPUs to the latter.

Backing up those claims is a new report from Tom's Hardware, whose sources say X670 and B650 motherboards have no provisions for DDR4 support. That's not something most people want to hear, given that DDR5 memory modules remain more expensive and harder to find than their DDR4 counterparts while offering little benefit in most games; check out our own memory scaling and DDR4 vs. DDR5 benchmarks for Alder Lake guides.

AMD has been talking up Zen 4's abilities when it comes to DDR5 overclocking. AMD Memory Enabling Manager Joseph Tao said the platform would make a "big splash" in this area, offering speeds that users thought weren't possible.

Some are holding out hope that Ryzen 7000's memory controllers will support DDR4. If this does turn out to be the case, AMD could offer DDR4 support on some of the lower-end A-Series motherboards, but don't hold your breath on that one.

Separately, Tom's also reports that AMD will use a dual-chiplet design on the X670 platform, thereby doubling the connectivity options, while B650 and A-series motherboards and will feature a single chipset chip.

The decision to go DDR5-only, assuming it is true, is unlikely to be welcomed by the majority of users. Whether Zen 4 can get more out of the latest memory type, or if prices and availability improve before Ryzen 7000 lands, remain to be seen.

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Dimitriid

Posts: 2,212   +4,262
I mean it's gonna be launching a year later than Alder Lake. Not saying it will be enough to see decent ddr5 prices because well, we have confirmed cases of price fixing ram before so they could wait another 2 years to fully transition to ddr5 and chances are that for the most part there would still be severe supply constrains because that's just kind of what ram makers do: fix prices under any excuse.

That being said I *am* concerned that AMD is not learning their lessons: the last time they went with a cost saving measure with the bios size it came back to bit them in the posterior when they just couldn't keep their platform promises until very late and a very sketchy bios upgrade process some of the original AM4 boards can go to finally support Zen 3.

The fact that they're not even considering supporting ddr4 makes me thing they could be going down the exact same road so many years later trying to save cost and hurting their platform in the process: People willing to get new tech no matter how expensive *already bought Alder Lake* so if the platform doesn't intentionally subsidizes the potential huge cost of ddr5 then we could end up seeing lukewarm adoption with people going "Yeah just get intel or that 5800X3D is not as good but not spending double or triple as much on ddr5"
 

Burty117

Posts: 4,488   +2,694
DDR5 is the latest memory standard, it makes sense to support it exclusively. It has to happen at some point just like the last 4 standards, at some point, the latest is exclusively supported.

I wonder if this helps simplify the memory controller design and allow AMD to really optimize for DDR5.
 

George Keech

Posts: 179   +306
Was there not some DDR5 to DDR4 conversation kit or something, maybe they hoped that got more traction and worked better than initially thought. End of the day is depends on the gains, you have to take the jump eventually and if the gains Vs High end Zen 3 are minimal its not really something that needs to be changed too.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,466   +2,438
Was there not some DDR5 to DDR4 conversation kit or something, maybe they hoped that got more traction and worked better than initially thought. End of the day is depends on the gains, you have to take the jump eventually and if the gains Vs High end Zen 3 are minimal its not really something that needs to be changed too.
A conversion kit would never go mainstream.

Everything else you said is fact. Change is hard and sometimes slow, but it has to happen. It also shouldn't be a shock to anyone that follows tech.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,368   +5,602
I mean it's gonna be launching a year later than Alder Lake. Not saying it will be enough to see decent ddr5 prices because well, we have confirmed cases of price fixing ram before so they could wait another 2 years to fully transition to ddr5 and chances are that for the most part there would still be severe supply constrains because that's just kind of what ram makers do: fix prices under any excuse.

That being said I *am* concerned that AMD is not learning their lessons: the last time they went with a cost saving measure with the bios size it came back to bit them in the posterior when they just couldn't keep their platform promises until very late and a very sketchy bios upgrade process some of the original AM4 boards can go to finally support Zen 3.

The fact that they're not even considering supporting ddr4 makes me thing they could be going down the exact same road so many years later trying to save cost and hurting their platform in the process: People willing to get new tech no matter how expensive *already bought Alder Lake* so if the platform doesn't intentionally subsidizes the potential huge cost of ddr5 then we could end up seeing lukewarm adoption with people going "Yeah just get intel or that 5800X3D is not as good but not spending double or triple as much on ddr5"
Supporting DDR4 requires silicon level hardware, mainly a DDR4 memory controller. It's not just a BIOS thing.

At some point DDR5 will become the new standard. Speed for $ has already dramatically improved since alder lake's launch and will only continue to improve by zen 4's launch.
 

NeoMorpheus

Posts: 1,147   +2,313
This has been a constant since the dawn of computing.

I dont think I read so many negatives articles when Intel moved to DDR5, but anyways.

Good to move on to the latest and greatest, especially since their CPUS and APUs are starved for more memory bandwidth.
 

eforce

Posts: 963   +1,395
With the cost of living becoming a major issue in the West that may bring PC part prices down at least relatively as people have more important things to spend their money on, GPU prices are already falling.
 

Crunch

Posts: 23   +15
Will there be people, buying latest generation expensive CPUs and investing on retired DDR4 memories? I guess some, but not masses.
Upgraders with heaps of DDR4.

I think, I will swap my 3700X in my X370 board for a 5800X3D or 5800 and stick with that for some years.
 

passwordistaco

Posts: 215   +522
After 4 generations of Ryzen on DDR4 (Zen, Zen+, Zen2, & Zen3) over 5 years, why wouldn't Zen4 go with the newer standard? DDR5 will be more mature at Zen4 launch then it was at ADL launch.

I'd love it if I could drop a Zen4 chip into my X570 board, but eventually a new architecture needs a new platform. Even with the missteps concerning Zen3 on 300 series boards, AMD still provides more platform longevity than Intel. With the Zen4 launch, it's just time for an overall update.
 

maxxcool7421

Posts: 133   +211
I mean it's gonna be launching a year later than Alder Lake. Not saying it will be enough to see decent ddr5 prices because well, we have confirmed cases of price fixing ram before so they could wait another 2 years to fully transition to ddr5 and chances are that for the most part there would still be severe supply constrains because that's just kind of what ram makers do: fix prices under any excuse.

That being said I *am* concerned that AMD is not learning their lessons: the last time they went with a cost saving measure with the bios size it came back to bit them in the posterior when they just couldn't keep their platform promises until very late and a very sketchy bios upgrade process some of the original AM4 boards can go to finally support Zen 3.

The fact that they're not even considering supporting ddr4 makes me thing they could be going down the exact same road so many years later trying to save cost and hurting their platform in the process: People willing to get new tech no matter how expensive *already bought Alder Lake* so if the platform doesn't intentionally subsidizes the potential huge cost of ddr5 then we could end up seeing lukewarm adoption with people going "Yeah just get intel or that 5800X3D is not as good but not spending double or triple as much on ddr5"

It is 100% not amd's fault that mobo manufactures are scumbags and skimp on bios storage size.
 

maroon1

Posts: 129   +143
If you want the most recent cpu / best cpu, makes sense to couple it with the best/newest memory.

It does not make sense to pay a lot of money for something that make almost no difference in performance

Also, imagine someone buying budget CPU (like i5 12400 or i3 12100) and DDR5. It make no sense at all.
 

Rocky4040

Posts: 54   +84
This is one of the reasons I went with AM4 instead of waiting for AM5 was the fact that AMD decided DDR5 was the only way to go. I would have liked a shiny new Ryzen 7000 CPU but I am not willing to pay the early adopter fee for DDR5 ram right now. I instead went with a Ryzen 7 5800x tweaked it to the best it can be using PBO and curve optimizer got myself a 32GB 3200Mhz DDR4 kit of memory a decent ASUS ROG mainboard and went with it.

I was surprised my ram was able to do 3600Mhz easy and keep the tight timings. I even had it running at 3800Mhz,3866Mhz I never tried my memory any higher than that since going from 3200Mhz XMP to anything beyond 3600Mhz in my books is a huge stretch for the kit and even though it worked fine at the much higher speeds I was a bit worried about messing the memory and blowing the chips since my voltage for ram was about 1.42v at 3866Mhz and I was not sure if that was to high or not for the kit.

I settled on 3667Mhz tweaked my timing tighter than the XMP profile and it works 100% stable@ 1.35v.

If AMD does indeed support DDR4 on the Ryzen 7000 AM5 platform I will indeed buy into the platform and just give this current setup to my wife lol.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 18,745   +7,684
I dont think I read so many negatives articles when Intel moved to DDR5, but anyways.
IIRC, Intel had boards that supported both DDR-3 & DDR-4 at the previous crossover point.

Also, IIRC it was DDR-3 which was only supported that operated at a lower (?) voltage, than standard from mainstream DDR-3

You mat want to check on that. My memory, (pun intended), is not as fast as it used to be.