Intel's 13th Gen Raptor Lake CPUs will continue to support DDR4
Has AMD missed a trick by going with DDR5 only?
Intel’s 13th Gen Raptor Lake CPU family will continue to support DDR4. According to a leaked list of as yet unreleased Asrock Z790 and H770 motherboards, there will be many 700-series motherboards that retain support for DDR4 memory. Asrock will certainly not be the only manufacturer to offer it.
The list comes from Videocardz (via Computerbase.de). The listed Asrock boards include models with a D4 suffix attached. D4 indicates DDR4 support, as it does with current generation 600-series boards.
The key takeaway is that Asrock will make several Z790 boards with DDR4 support. I had suspected that a number of lower tier H770 and B760 motherboards would support DDR4, with Z790 exclusively supporting DDR5, but that’s not the case.
The following list of Asrock 700-series motherboards is not a complete list of Asrock's boards. B760 is completely missing as well as some others that are likely to follow after the launch, including a Z790 Aqua or Z790 OC Formula.
Intel has earned itself an advantage over AMD. Its upcoming Zen 4 processors only support DDR5, which is fine from a performance point of view. It’s been rumoured that Zen 4 CPUs offer excellent DDR5 overclocking capabilities, but it does mean that a Zen 4 upgrade will mean a new CPU, motherboard and memory for most users.
- ASRock Z790 Taichi
- ASRock Z790 Pro RS/D4
- ASRock Z790 PG Lightning
- ASRock Z790 PG Lightning/D4
- ASRock Z790M PG Lightning/D4
- ASRock Z790 PG Riptide
- ASRock Z790M PG Riptide
- ASRock Z790-C
- ASRock Z790-C/D4
- ASRock H770 PG Lightning
- ASRock H770 PG Lightning/D4
- ASRock H770 Steel Legend
Intel’s continuing support for DDR4 means that the total platform cost will be significantly lower. DDR4 is still more affordable than DDR5, and for many, you won’t have to buy memory at all, simply by reusing your old kit. Intel will definitely win more than a few buyers based on DDR4 support alone.
It makes sense that Intel will retain DDR4 support on 700 series motherboards given that 600 series boards and 12th Gen Alder Lake CPUs already offer DDR4 support. 13th Gen CPUs are an evolutionary upgrade over 12th Gen models and both will continue to use the LGA1700 socket.
So, if you’re coming from an older DDR4 system, or you’re fortunate to be using a lovely low latency DDR4 kit (which is still perfectly viable for a gaming system in 2022 and beyond), it’s looking like a sure bet that you’ll be able to get at least a couple of years out of it yet.