Intel’s Alder Lake CPUs and Z690 motherboards introduced DDR5 reminiscence to the desktop for the primary time. The issue is that DDR5 provide has been severely impacted as a consequence of shortages of key components. Although there are Z690 boards that help DDR4, they’re largely low to mid-range choices. If you happen to should have a excessive finish DDR5 system, and don’t wish to pay scalper prices, it might be easy to only wait a few months earlier than upgrading, by which period the availability of DDR5 reminiscence ought to have stabilized slightly. However, there’s one other potential choice.
Asus is engaged on a DDR4 to DDR5 add-in card. How’s that for a skunk works challenge? Asus has proven previously that it is able to some hefty engineering feats, together with the co-development of double capacity RAM modules, however growing a DDR4 to DDR5 adapter with all the challenges that entails is fairly excessive!
A Youtuber by the title of Bing (via Anandtech) posted a video (in Mandarin) that explains the idea and exhibits off a prototype in motion. The concept is straightforward. Take a stick of DDR4 reminiscence, place it onto the converter card, and insert it right into a motherboard’s DDR5 slot. Nevertheless, if the thought is straightforward, in an engineering sense, it’s way more difficult. Whereas the Alder Lake reminiscence controller helps each DDR4 and DDR5, the modules are essentially completely different when it comes to structure and energy provide. The latter is a key roadblock as a DDR5 motherboard lacks the power to handle the ability provide of a DDR4 module, so this must be executed by way of the converter.
May this sort of resolution profit hardcore overclockers? The excessive latency of DDR5 doesn’t swimsuit some benchmarks and so the power to make use of DDR4 reminiscence in a high-end board may see it get restricted curiosity. however then there are different points comparable to very lengthy reminiscence hint lengths, which implies that even when every little thing else works completely, it can by no means be capable to attain the identical maxed out clocks and timings as a DDR4 motherboard.
The converter could be very tall, so it’s more likely to intrude with air coolers. In its present state, the converter can solely settle for one module, so that you’d have to run two for twin channel. Operating the system would require intensive BIOS modifications, since Asus’ Maximus boards all use DDR5, it might require loads of engineering hours to correctly implement.
Regardless of being a powerful feat of engineering, I’m struggling to see how this may make it to retail. A mainstream consumer may simply go for a DDR4 motherboard, or in the event you should have DDR5, you possibly can simply wait it out, or seize a fundamental 2x8GB 4800 equipment to tide you over. it’s exhausting to think about the Asus converter would promote for affordable, particularly if it’s good to purchase no less than two. I’d be inclined to lean in direction of this being a pet challenge by an enterprising engineer. It’s fairly a feat and I’m very intrigued by it, however I imagine it’s in the end of little use to 99% of the broader market.