DDR5 RAM modules are finally here, however, as is the case with every new RAM generation, you need to have a newer gen hardware in order to support them, this includes newer compatible CPUs. So which Intel and AMD CPUs support DDR5 RAM?
At the moment, there aren’t a whole lot of Intel or AMD CPUs that support the newer DDR5 RAM. Of course this will change as we move forward.
The DDR4 RAM will almost get replaced entirely by DDR5 in the near future.
However, as it stands at the moment, due to the short demand for DDR5 and since only a handful of the newest PC hardware support DDR5, they are expensive.
Of course, like the previous RAM generation, DDR5 RAM and its compatible components i.e the CPU and the motherboard, are also NOT backwards compatible or forwards compatible.
Meaning, you cannot install a DDR4 RAM stick on a system that is compatible with DDR5 RAM.
In the following text I will talk in detail about which CPUs support DDR5 RAM at the moment and in the near future.
Which Intel CPUs Support DDR5?
Currently, only the latest 12th Generation Intel processors support the newer DDR5 RAM.
The following tables summarize the Intel CPUs that support DDR5 RAM.
Intel Desktop CPUs that Support DDR5 RAM
|12th Generation||Intel Core i9||i9 12900K, i9 12900KF, i9 12900T, i9 12900F, i9 12900|
|Intel Core i7||i7 12700K, i7 12700KF, i7 12700T, i7 12700F, i7 12700|
|Intel Core i5||i5 12600K, i5 12600KF, i5 12600T, i5 12600, i5 12500T, i5 2500, i5 12400T, i5 12400F, i5 12400|
|Intel Core i3||i3 12300, i3 12300T, i3 12100, i3 12100F, i3 12100T|
|Intel Pentium Gold||Intel Pentium Gold G7400, G7400T|
|Intel Celeron||Intel Celeron G6900, G6900T|
As you can see, only the 12th generation of Intel desktop processors support DDR5 RAM.
Intel Laptop CPUs that Support DDR5 RAM
|12th Generation||Intel Core i9||i9 12900HK, i9 12900H|
|Intel Core i7||i7 12800H, i7 12700H, i7 12650H, i7 1265U, i7 1260U, i7 1255U, i7 1250U|
|Intel Core i5||i5 12600H, i5 12500H, i5 12450H, i5 1245U, i5 1240U, i5 1235U, i5 1230U|
|Intel Core i3||i3 1215U, 1210U|
|Intel Pentium||Pentium 8505, 8500|
|Intel Celeron||Celeron 7305, 7300|
You can see a similar situation here. Only the 12th Gen Intel mobile processors support DDR5 RAM.
Which AMD CPUs Support DDR5?
Currently there are no AMD desktop or laptop CPUs that support DDR5 RAM.
However, this is set to change in the near future with the release of the newer AMD AM5 platform set to launch in 2022.
In other words, the newer gen AMD processors releasing in 2022 will offer a myriad of new features including support for DDR5 as well as for PCIe 5.0.
You Also Need to Have The Right Motherboard for DDR5
Getting the right CPU is just one part of the equation for running DDR5 RAM.
You also need to have the right compatible motherboard.
As is the case with CPUs, there are only a handful of motherboards at the moment that support DDR5 RAM.
Read in Detail: Which Motherboards Support DDR5 RAM?
Is DDR5 RAM Worth it?
As mentioned earlier, DDR generations are NOT backwards or forward compatible.
Meaning, in order to install DDR5 RAM in your system, you will literally have to upgrade your entire PC.
You will need to buy a new CPU as well as a new motherboard. As such, the overall cost of upgrade may give you diminishing returns.
Upgrading just for the sake of having a DDR5 RAM would not be worth it (imo).
However, upgrading in order to make use of the newer gen CPU would be well worth it.
For instance, the benefit of having an Intel 12th gen CPU over the previous 11th Gen (DDR4) is simply significant and well worth it.
Take for instance, the 12th Gen i7-12700. This CPUs is almost 33% more powerful than the Core i7-11700 in terms of performance yet costs almost the same. Hence, it is well worth the upgrade.
But since you will not be able to use your DDR4 RAM modules with a 12th Gen CPU, you will be forced to upgrade your RAM modules to DDR5.
DDR4 vs DDR5 – How Much of a Performance Difference Can You Expect in Gaming?
RAM most certainly improves the performance of your PC. Hence, there is no doubt that upgrading to DDR5 will give you performance gains.
However, the gains are only marginal.
Techspot.com has conducted a great study on this by particularly testing different AAA games on DDR4 and DDR5.
There was a positive gain in frames per second in most of the games. In others, there was also a negative gain (don’t ask me why).
Techspot.com concluded the study with the following words
We see that on average DDR5 memory offered just a 3% boost at 1080p, 2% at 1440p and then one percent at 4K. Techspot.com
So whether an average gain of 3% is worth it is for you to decide. Of course there are many outliers that saw huge gains such as War Thunder, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla etc but overall, the gains were only marginal.
Also Read: How to Check RAM Type in Windows 10?
As the we progress further, all the newer hardware will be designed around the DDR5 RAM. DDR4 RAM will phase out just as the previous RAM modules did.
Currently, however, only a few CPUs support DDR5 RAM. However, in the future, more and more and intel and AMD CPUs will support DDR5 RAM.