What just happened? It seems Asrock wants to be ahead of the pack when it comes to getting ready for Raptor Lake. Intel's new processors don't arrive until later this year, but the Taiwanese firm has already announced BIOS updates for its 600-series motherboards that add support for the 13th-gen CPUs. And, as some of these boards use DDR4, Asrock has confirmed that Intel will keep supporting the memory type rather than going down AMD's Zen 4 path and switching to DDR5-only.
"Asrock has announced BIOS updates for its Intel 600 series motherboards to support the soon-released Intel desktop processors," reads the announcement.
Asrock's list covers Z690, H670, B660, and H610 chipset boards, several of which use DDR4 rather than DDR5, confirming the memory type's compatibility with Raptor Lake. This comes after a leaked list of Asrock's flagship Z790 and mid-range H770 motherboards included both DDR4 and DDR5 variants.
Raptor Lake's support for DDR4 was always expected. The upcoming processors share the same LGA 1700 socket as Alder Lake, and both generations of CPUs work on 600- and 700-series boards. AMD's Zen 4 architecture, meanwhile, will only support DDR5. And while prices of the newer memory are falling, the modules remain more expensive than their DDR4 counterparts.
Asrock's early announcement is likely a marketing ploy that makes it one of the first 'Raptor Lake ready' companies---expect other board makers to quickly follow suit.
Raptor Lake, expected in Q3 or Q4, will increase Alder Lake's maximum number of Efficiency cores (Gracemont) to 16, bringing the total max core count to 24. The chips are also rumored to feature boost clocks that reach 5.8 GHz.