What motherboards will support DDR5?
10 months ago
What motherboards will support DDR5? DDR5, which is short for Double Data Rate 5, has long been the subject of intense speculation and debate among computer enthusiasts. The latest update to RAM density means that computers will be able to handle much larger amounts of information in the future than they can now. What motherboards will support DDR5? Which chipsets are being used to get these increases in data transfer? How many new computer parts will it take to use DDR5 instead of DDR4? All of these questions and more are answered in this guide on what motherboards will support DDR5 memory!
Is DDR5 Really Here to Stay?
In 2013, JEDEC released its specification for double data rate type five (DDR5) memory. This kind of memory is not to be confused with RAMBUS-based RDRAM or Intel-based DDR2/3/4. It's an entirely new protocol, and it comes with a bunch of benefits over older memory standards—but how long until we'll actually see it in use? Which companies are already committed to making DDR5 memory a reality, and when can we expect to see any results from their efforts? These are just some of many questions that remain unanswered about DDR5.
How Does DDR5 Work?
As you probably know, current memory technologies use Double Data Rate 3 (DDR3) and even Double Data Rate 4 (DDR4). Both work by transferring data twice per clock cycle instead of once. So, whereas a processor core can process data at 400 MHz using one clock tick, that same data rate requires 800 MHz in a DDR3 configuration and 1,600 MHz in a DDR4 configuration. By comparison, Double Data Rate 5 technology transfers data four times per clock cycle. That means it's able to transfer data at 5,000 MHz or more—much faster than either DDR3 or DDR4. In theory, that makes for much faster computers than we have today.
When Will We Get Our Hands on it?
With DRAM prices dropping like a rock, perhaps it’s time to finally upgrade from DDR4 to DDR5. As AMD and Intel get ready for market launches of their new high-end processors based on their 7nm process technology, now might be a good time to start looking for a new motherboard upgrade. That could be easy if you find yourself one of those lucky souls who can walk into your local computer store and purchase one of these devices with ease; but when is that going to happen? The smart money would say we’re still several months away from seeing these boards become readily available for purchase at your favorite retail location.
What’s Going on with the Memory Channels?
To put it simply, a memory channel is a pathway between your processor and your RAM. In today’s computers, that translates to connecting two or more sticks of RAM. All modern desktops use dual-channel architecture, which means there are two memory channels in use. While two channels provide plenty of bandwidth for everyday tasks like web browsing and running Office applications, it’s not nearly enough for video editing or high-end gaming. That’s why most gamers use quad-channel machines with four memory channels—that way they can max out their performance potential and play at 4K resolution without compromise. A few select motherboards even support eight-channel configurations; again allowing users to push performance limits further.
How Do I Upgrade My Motherboard Now Then?
What are you waiting for?! Go ahead and upgrade! Although it is too early to make a solid prediction, here’s what we do know about upcoming CPU releases: AMD has made a splash with their new line of Ryzen CPUs. This new generation of processors was designed from scratch to be an excellent fit for gamers and professionals alike. Intel has recently come out with its 8th generation core chips, which offer significant power efficiency gains and could easily meet or exceed any of AMD’s offerings. But alas! Neither company has yet released a CPU that supports DDR5 memory.