Apacer confirms that AMD's Zen 4 processors will support DDR5-5200 memory - No DDR4 support planned

Ryzen 7000 will natively support 5200MT/s DDR5 memory, and faster memory though overclocking

Apacer confirms that AMD's Zen 4 processors will support DDR5-5200 memory - No DDR4 support planned

Apacer confirms that AMD's Ryzen 7000 series CPUs will not support DDR4 memory

AMD's next-generation Ryzen 7000 series processors will ship with new Zen 4 CPU cores on the company's new AM5 motherboard platform. With AMD's Ryzen 7000 series, the company is getting a fresh start.

Apacer, a DRAM manufacturer, has released a chart which appears to confirm that AMD's Ryzen 7000 series processors will no support DDR4 memory. Some PC builders were hoping that AMD would support both DDR4 and DDR5 memory with their next-generation processors, due to the premium pricing of today's DDR5 memory modules. This does not appear to be the case.

With DDR5, Apacer has claimed that AMD will natively support module speeds of DDR5-5200, which is faster than what Intel's Alder Lake series processors officially support. Alder Lake officially support DDR5-4800 memory, though both Alder Lake and AMD's upcoming Ryzen 7000 series support higher DDR5 memory speeds though memory overclocking.

AMD's native support for faster DDR5 memory speeds implies that AMD has a lot of faith in their Ryzen 7000 DDR5 memory controller and its performance credentials. That said, it remains to be seen how AMD's next-generation Ryzen processors will handle high-performance DDR5 memory modules.

Apacer confirms that AMD's Zen 4 processors will support DDR5-5200 memory - No DDR4 support planned

Why is AMD ditching DDR4 support with AM4?

As mentioned before, AM5 represents a fresh start for AMD. AM5 will allow AMD to abandon many of the legacy trappings of their aging AM4 ecosystem, making their new platform easier to support long-term. What AMD doesn't need with AM5 is needless complexity, as AMD does not plan to abandon their AM5 platform after one or two product generations.

Intel is supporting both DDR4 and DDR5 memory with their LGA1700 CPU socket, and it is safe to assume that Intel will probably be moving to a new CPU socket after the release of their 13th generation Raptor Lake processors. Intel rarely supports a CPU socket for more than two product generations, and it is probable that Intel's post LGA1700 socket will not support DDR4 memory. In this case, Intel can support both memory types on a temporary basis, and are willing to spend the time and effort to support DDR4 and DDR5 on their CPU silicon and on their motherboard platforms. 

Assuming that AM5 will be supported as long as AM4, AMD cannot afford to lock-in DDR4 and DDR5 support at this early stage. Doing so would force AMD to support DDR4 on their processors and motherboards for years to come, long after there would be any advantages to do so. While DDR4 memory is currently more cost effective, in time, DDR5 will become more affordable, and DDR5's performance advantages will be better exploited by hardware and software.

The simple answer to the question "why isn't AMD supporting both DDR4 and DDR5?" is simple. It adds needless complexity to their AM5 platform, and that complexity would haunt them in years to come. At some point AMD needs to ditch DDR4 memory support, and doing so now avoids needless complexity later.

You can join the discussion on Apacer's confirmation that AMD's Zen 4 processors will not support DDR4 memory on the OC3D Forums.

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