Tsing

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asus-rog-maximus-xiii-extreme-overview-motherboard-closeup-1024x576.jpg
Image: ASUS



Enthusiasts who plan to upgrade to Intel’s upcoming 12th Gen Core “Alder Lake-S” processors and pair them with an expensive premium motherboard may have no choice but to also complement them with the next generation of DDR memory.



Filings for ASUS’ upcoming Z690 motherboards have been spotted over at the Eurasian Economic Commission regulatory office, and many of the products include designations for whether they support DDR4 memory or not. The implication is that the motherboards that don’t include this “D4” designation, such as the ROG MAXIMUS Z690 EXTREME, will only include support for DDR5 memory.



[EEC] ASUS Z690/MAXIMUS Z690 Series M/B. https://t.co/29maNsxOpW pic.twitter.com/B20rMuiGk5— 遠坂小町@Komachi (@KOMACHI_ENSAKA)...

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Grimlakin

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Why is this a surprise to anyone? I thought everyone understood the new chips would use DDR5? I thought they would also have access to PCIE 5.x Is that not the case?

(Reading article now.)

Ok PCiE wasn't mentioned.

But still. why would you want DDR4 with these CPU's? You WANT less performance with your new chipset and CPU?
 

Denpepe

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But still. why would you want DDR4 with these CPU's? You WANT less performance with your new chipset and CPU?

New DDR5 is less performant then some of the current high end DDR4 but it will catch up eventually.
 

Zarathustra

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Why is this a surprise to anyone? I thought everyone understood the new chips would use DDR5?

Agreed.

It is the exception rather than the rule for a CPU's memory controller to support more than one type of RAM. With a few notable exceptions, you usually only have the one choice.
 

Dan_D

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This shouldn't surprise anyone. It's rare for a memory controller to support more than one type of RAM. That said, even in the old days with proper chipsets, it was a rare. Normally, a motherboard would support one technology or the other with a few boards (usually cheap ones) supporting both. The high end boards almost always exclusively supported the newer memory technology.
 

Zarathustra

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This shouldn't surprise anyone. It's rare for a memory controller to support more than one type of RAM. That said, even in the old days with proper chipsets, it was a rare. Normally, a motherboard would support one technology or the other with a few boards (usually cheap ones) supporting both. The high end boards almost always exclusively supported the newer memory technology.

I vaguely remember only a handful of platforms that have supported both.

There were some AM2 AMD platforms and matching CPU's that had both DDR2 and DDR3 support, if memory serves, but my memory is hazy there. Then if you go back to the Pentium IV era, there was the initial lock-in to RAMBUS, and later availablitiy of DDR boards, but that was before the memory controller migrated to the CPU package, so it had nothing to do with the CPU, and was a motherboard chipset either or thing. I don't recall there being any boards that supported both RAMBUS and DDR.

More recently there were a bunch of Intel CPU's that supported bother DDR4 and DDR3L, but I don't recall anyone actually running DDR3L in them.

The benefit of somethign like this is to ease the cost of upgrading. Buy the Motherboard and CPU first, continue to use existing RAM, and upgrade it at a later time. In the case of DDR4/DDR3L that was kind of a waste, because who on earth had DDR3L on hand they wanted to continue using?
 

LazyGamer

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More recently there were a bunch of Intel CPU's that supported bother DDR4 and DDR3L, but I don't recall anyone actually running DDR3L in them.
Laptops. Primarily before DDR4L was widely available, and mostly on ultrabook-class laptops for power usage reasons, IIRC.

I believe we've seen the capability in the memory controllers over most memory technology transitions, but as discussed so far, implementations of both on the same board are pretty rare.
 

Grimlakin

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Here is a thought. We all know memory makers want more margin on their products. Well now is the perfect time for a little "planned" scarcity to jack up prices. I expect we will see 500 buck 32 gig kits here soon.
 

Brian_B

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Here is a thought. We all know memory makers want more margin on their products. Well now is the perfect time for a little "planned" scarcity to jack up prices. I expect we will see 500 buck 32 gig kits here soon.
Too late

 

LazyGamer

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That's ddr4 4000 ram.. I meant you know.. sane ram. But wow 730 bucks for 32 gig. Yeesh.
Yeah, I'm seeing plenty of options under US$150 at Newegg for 2x16GB. Lower latencies, bling, and preferred branding will push that up a bit, but that's still enough for 32GB DDR4-3600 CAS18.

Main point is, I think, that if there's no significant measurable real-world performance loss for a preferred set of workloads when going with DDR4 for Alder Lake, DDR4 will continue to be popular among motherboard manufacturers.

And now I had to wonder if AMD is going full-on DDR5, or if they're building a dual-support 'uncore' die themselves?
 

Space_Ranger

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I believe AMD is doing their next release using DDR5, but opted to go with PCIe4 instead of PCIe5. They are going down the same route as Intel in that aspect. I could be wrong though (wouldn't be a first, and most definitely won't be the last).
 
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Dan_D

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I vaguely remember only a handful of platforms that have supported both.

There were some AM2 AMD platforms and matching CPU's that had both DDR2 and DDR3 support, if memory serves, but my memory is hazy there. Then if you go back to the Pentium IV era, there was the initial lock-in to RAMBUS, and later availablitiy of DDR boards, but that was before the memory controller migrated to the CPU package, so it had nothing to do with the CPU, and was a motherboard chipset either or thing. I don't recall there being any boards that supported both RAMBUS and DDR.

More recently there were a bunch of Intel CPU's that supported bother DDR4 and DDR3L, but I don't recall anyone actually running DDR3L in them.

The benefit of somethign like this is to ease the cost of upgrading. Buy the Motherboard and CPU first, continue to use existing RAM, and upgrade it at a later time. In the case of DDR4/DDR3L that was kind of a waste, because who on earth had DDR3L on hand they wanted to continue using?
Well, that's what I said. We haven't generally seen support for multiple memory types a whole lot since the integration of memory controllers. Intel CPU's that supported DDR3L did so, but almost no motherboards were made that actually had supported it. The ones that were aren't high end motherboards for their day. With the RAMBUS fiasco, different chipsets were literally produced to support SDRAM and later on DDR memory. RAMBUS was interchangeable in some OEM's with SDRAM, but this required swapping a daughter board with an MTH chip to do it.

On the AM2 side, it was sort of the same thing. I don't recall many if any motherboards supporting both DDR2 and DDR3. That said, there were boards in the past that did support both technologies, but again they weren't high end boards.

I'd also add, I don't recall any transitional DDR4 and DDR3L boards being produced. That is, boards that actually supported both technologies. That was a relic of the past. I hadn't seen something like that since the DDR2 / DDR3 days at the latest. On the HEDT side, Intel made X99 / Haswell-E DDR4 only. Subsequent mainstream boards were either or, supporting DDR4 or DDR3L. The latter of which weren't even available initially. Those showed up much later in low end and SFF solutions.

I really don't see high end Z690 motherboards supporting DDR4 memory at all at any point. The high end market tends to consist of early adopters who will go ahead and pay the extra premium for the newer technology. This is as it's always been. That's not to say you can't use a high end CPU on a lower end or midrange board, you certainly can but few do.
 
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