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In context: Choosing between buying a DDR4- or a DDR5-compatible motherboard is a decision Alder Lake CPU buyers must face, but one Chinese manufacturer has released a mobo that supports both memory types. There are, however, a few caveats.
News of the motherboard comes from prolific leaker momomo_us (via Tom’s Hardware). The H610M+ board is made by Onda, and it supports DDR4-3200 and DDR5-4800 memory modules up to a maximum capacity of 32GB.
Before Alder Lake owners start scouring the internet for this board, there’s an important factor to consider: it's limited to a single DIMM for each memory type. Using single-channel memory introduces a noticeable performance hit, so you’ll have to weigh up whether the impact is worth having support for both memory types.
ONDA H610M+ (VER1.0)https://t.co/hzwxlQjaMK— 188号 (@momomo_us) March 6, 2022
12th Gen CPU LGA1700 H610
1x DDR4 / 1x DDR5 DIMM Slots pic.twitter.com/3DrYqTpLeq
Elsewhere, the microATX board has an 8-phase power delivery subsystem, meaning support is limited up to the Core i7 Alder Lake models—not that the Core i7-12700K isn’t a beast—and Tom’s notes that it also has an additional 8-pin EPS power connector.
Elsewhere, there’s a single PCIe 5.0 x16 slot and a single PCIe x1 slot, three SATA III ports, one M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 slot for SSDs, and an M.2 slot that's just for WiFi adapters. You also get a PS/2 combo port, two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, three 3.5mm audio jacks, and a USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 header. If you’re not using a dedicated graphics card, there’s a VGA port and an HDMI port for using Alder Lake’s integrated graphics.
Exactly how the board works is unclear—as is the price—though it will presumably support only one memory type at a time.
We heard rumors last week that Intel is pushing for motherboard manufacturers to drop support for DDR4 in the 700-series chipset boards launching alongside 13th-gen Raptor Lake desktop CPUs later this year; the company wants them only to support DDR5.
In our extensive benchmarking of DDR4 and DDR5 for gaming performance, we found that the latter offered little to no gains on most titles. We reached a similar conclusion when looking at the best RAM for 12-gen Core CPUs, noting that there’s little point in investing in DDR5 right now unless you want the best of the best.