Rumor mill: Intel hasn't confirmed much regarding its upcoming 15th-generation processors, but leaks and rumors over the last few weeks offer a tantalizing picture of significant performance gains. The latest information suggests the company is finally ready to put DDR4 RAM in the rearview mirror.
The LGA-1851 socket platform, used for Intel's upcoming Arrow Lake CPUs, will only support DDR5 RAM, according to prolific leaker Momomo. If valid, it would mark the completion of the company's transition to the next stage of system RAM configurations, which has lagged behind AMD's switch.
Intel's current LGA-1700 socket – used for Alder Lake, Raptor Lake, and the upcoming Raptor Lake refresh processors – lets builders choose between cheaper DDR4 or faster DDR5 memory. A primary advantage of the backward compatibility is that many users have older DDR4 sticks, which they can move to newer LGA-1700 motherboards while waiting for DDR5 prices to come down.
Meanwhile, AMD's current Zen 4 CPUs and accompanying AM5 socket abruptly cut DDR4 support without an interval of dual compatibility. The additional requirement to buy expensive new DDR5 RAM could be behind Zen 4's slow sales.
> èÂ³ï¿½-ï¿½ Intel Arrow Lake åÂÂæÂÂåÂ¨ 2024 ä¸ÂåÂÂï¿½'æÂ¨åÂºï¼ÂéÂÂåÂÂ LGA 1851 ï¿½...ï¿½ä½ÂçÂÂå¹³åÂ°å°Âå®Âï¿½...ï¿½è½ÂæÂÂèÂ³ DDR5 è¨ÂæÂ¶ï¿½"ãÂÂ– 188åÂ· (@momomo_us) August 20, 2023
Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger previously announced plans to launch Arrow Lake in 2024. Momomo confirms they will arrive in the second half of next year. It's unclear how much DDR5 RAM prices will have fallen by then.
Furthermore, another leaker, Leaf_hobby, said Intel will ship CPUs using LGA-1851 through 2026. Compared to Raptor Lake, the 15th-gen CPUs will have 3MB of L2 cache per core with a dedicated L3 cache for the GPU tile. The change could provide a significant boost to gaming performance.
Information from other sources also suggests a leap in performance for Arrow Lake. Its flagship i9 model's integrated GPU scored 200 percent above its Raptor Lake counterpart in 3DMark and 20 percent higher in Geekbench's multi-core benchmark.
However, before Arrow Lake arrives, Intel intends to launch a refresh of Raptor Lake later this year, which should offer a much tinier improvement. For Raptor Lake owners, it might be worth waiting and saving for a new Arrow Lake system with DDR5 RAM next year, while the refresh might be a worthwhile cheap upgrade for those still holding onto Alder Lake processors.