A hot potato: Buyers of Alder Lake CPUs have two options when it comes to buying a 600-series chipset motherboard: one that supports DDR4 or one that works with DDR5. But that choice could reportedly be taken away when the 700-series chipset boards launch alongside 13th-gen Raptor Lake desktop CPUs; Intel wants them to support only DDR5 memory.
According to TechPowerUp, Intel is already pushing to make 700-series chipsets DDR5-only when they arrive later this year. The company has reportedly been asking motherboard makers to avoid developing DDR4-compatible 700-series mobos, likely as a way to speed up adoption of the latest memory type.
The good news is that Raptor Lake CPUs themselves are expected to come with support for DDR4. As the processors should also be compatible with current 600-series chipsets, you could pair the two and have the choice of DDR4 or DDR5, depending on the board.
Dropping DDR4 from 700-series mobos isn't set in stone; it's just something Intel is pushing for. Additionally, it's possible that if this scenario does play out, only the Z790 boards will be limited to DDR5, while cheaper B- and H-series chipsets will be available for both types of memory.
DDR5 memory modules have suffered supply problems since they launched, as well as high prices. But both those issues have improved slightly as of late and will hopefully be a lot better by the time Raptor Lake desktop CPUs get here.
In our extensive benchmarking of DDR4 and DDR5 when it comes to 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.
h/t: PC Gamer