DDR4 vs DDR5 on a LGA 1700 motherboard: Which one is better?

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With the advent of the Intel Alder Lake and the LGA 1700 chipset choosing the ideal memory technology to use in our motherboard has become an even more complex task. This responds to the fact that the new generation of Intel processors, being the first to offer full support for DDR5 RAM, also support DDR4 memory. So, which of the two would you prefer: Stay on DDR4 without significantly impacting your budget or go with the trend in the technological forefront and opt for the new DDR5? DDR4 vs DDR5 on a LGA 1700 motherboard; Whatever your choice is, it will surely be the right for you. Keep reading to find out why.

DDR5 turns the page and introduces interesting innovations

The Double Data Rate (DDR) technology that we have used in our devices for decades is in its fifth generation now. New versions bring new performance improvements, higher reading speeds, energy consumption efficiency, performance features and the ability to have greater scalability over time.

As history has taught us with the evolution from DDR3 to DDR4, this will be a gradual process, and it will take a few years before we see this technology already consolidated, being the only option for all those users who want to have the latest technology of RAM memory.

Among the improvements that DDR5 vs DDR4 introduce, we have the following:

  • Improved speed: With DDR5 technology, the minimum speed will be 4800Mhz. There will be units with even higher capabilities, with a minimum speed of 6400MHz and even more. On the other hand, with DDR4, the minimum speed is only 2133MHz.
  • DDR5s are more efficient: These memories work with 1.1V of power. In turn, the energy consumption of a DDR4 is 1.2V. This translates into less energy consumption.
  • ECC included in the PCB: With DDR4 we saw that the vast majority of its models are NON-ECC, and therefore they don’t posses the characteristics that make them more reliable. On the other hand, DDR5s integrate ECC on the same chip.
  • Better design and functionality: This guarantees greater efficiency and reliability in data management and transfer.
DDR4 vs DDR5 on a LGA 1700 motherboard
Samsung DDR5 with 512GB 7200 MBPS

Up to this point we have seen what the divergent factors between DDR5 vs DDR4 are. However, all these improvements are only on paper. Many tests are required to determine the true advantage of purchasing a DDR5 over a DDR4. As it stands right now, both memories are compatible with LGA 1700 socket motherboards for the Intel i9-12900K. That being said, now let’s see the unique characteristics of each RAM memory technology as determining factors for a potential purchase.

What is the value proposition of DDR4 and DDR5 memories?

There are still multiple reasons why many users still are undecided about making the technological leap and definitively embrace DDR5 as the technology par excellence. Let’s now see the value proposition of these two models and what are the strengths that create the dilemma of choosing one model over the other.

DDR4s accessibility and price factor

It is indisputable that DDR4 memories are more wide-spread and sough-after, and at their level of availability they are the most accurate option. Likewise, the price is another factor in favor of DDR4. While a set of two 8GB 3600MHz (16GB total) DDR4 memory can be found on the market for around $70 to $90 USD, a single 16GB DDR5 4800MHz module can cost up to $180 USD or more. This comparison gives us an idea of ​​where the DDR5 vs DDR4 stands: This is almost double the price.

Added to this is the difficulty to find DDR5 memories available for sale. This is another point for DDR4s. The stock management of stores offering DDR5 memory leaves much to be desired. At the time of this writing there are numerous online stores that list these products, but without any availability. There is availability on Amazon.com, but their exaggerated shipping times of up to two months suggest that suppliers do not have a physical stock of the merchandise and are waiting to get their hands on them to make the shipment. At the end of the day, for these sellers, it is easier to cancel an order rather than losing a sale.

If you are building a computer with an Intel Alder Lake CPU and you have the urge to complete your build, DDR4 memory is the perfect option for you. Likewise, if your budget is not that high, it is very likely that momentarily, until DDR5 prices stabilize a bit, DDR4 can be your best bet for your computer setup.

DDR5s are “the future”

There is an irrevocable reality in all this: If you want your computer setup to transcend time then you may want to evaluate DDR5 as an option. As we have already seen, the current circumstances are somewhat unfortunate. But the truth is that the time will come when DDR4 will cease to be the most sought-after memory option on the market, opening the way for DDR5 as leaders. Likewise, motherboard manufacturing companies will gradually stop offering support for DDR4, a point in favor of DDR5.

Inclining to buy a DDR5 for your computer setup may not sound very reasonable in current conditions, but this decision will pay off in time, since the demise of DDR4, even now, is irreversible. The money that you will have to pay additional for a DDR5 memory currently is compensated somewhat by what you would lose if you have to sell your DDR4 a few months or years later in time.

Currently the most common DDR5 models are 4800MHz and 5200MHz. This is still a very young technology, which means that improvements will continue as time goes on. We will also see even higher prices for these models, easily reaching speeds of more than 6000MHz.

To all this is added, as is evident, the improvements in performance. It is clear that DDR5 are designed to be faster and more efficient than DDR4. This is definitely another point for DDR5.

DDR4 vs DDR5 performance on an LGA 1700 motherboard

In performance tests, in Cinebench benchmarks using an Intel i9-12900K processor, we can see that the results place the DDR5 slightly above the DDR4. However, in these tests we see more clearly how DDR4 could have an important relevance as a viable option for RAM in your LGA 1700 setup. It is quite remarkable that even having DDR4 3200MHz CL22 memories, the full potential of the new Alder Lake processor can be extracted, without significant losses.

In the case of video games, especially in 1080p and 1440p, there are a few titles that manage to extract the maximum capacity of DDR5 memories, but the difference is marginal. In 4K however, the performance analytics are almost identical. Here we can confirm that the DDR5 technology is still in its baby phase, and perhaps it is a bit early to decide sharply if we want to base our build on this RAM technology.

On the other hand, if we look at data transfer rates, this is where DDR5 shines compared to DDR4. This hints at the development potential of DDR5s in terms of speed and the interaction with the CPU, creating even faster and more reliable transfer options.

If we compare the latency levels, DDR4 memories considerably exceed DDR5. This is perhaps the determining factor that makes DDR5s lose power and speed, making these two technologies still comparable. Using DDR5 at 4800MHz and 5200MHz we obtain results comparable to those of a DDR4 at 2400MHz, ranging between 80 and 90 ns. With a DDR4 at 3600MHz, latency levels are even lower than the fastest DDR5 models, reaching up to 70ns.

Conclusions on the DDR4 vs DDR5 comparison on an LGA 1700 motherboard

The most impressive takeaways of this DDR4 vs DDR5 comparison are:

  • DDR5 memory technology is still a bit young, and to achieve a longest distance from the performance of its predecessor, it is necessary to develop DDR5 memories with greater speed capacities than those that currently exist for Intel Alder Lake.
  • This is an interesting convergence point in the transition between the two technologies. It could be a wise decision to initially invest in DDR4 memory having an Intel 12th generation CPU with the new LGA 1700 socket, knowing that we can then switch to DDR5 without too much hassle.

If you have a current computer, and you are updating your CPU and MOBO, and you already have DDR4 memories in it, then it is advisable that you keep your RAM for the new setup. Likewise, if you are in this process and you have a short budget, or you need it done as soon as possible, then DDR4 will be the best option for you.

DDR5 memories on the other hand are a more suitable option for those who seek to make a more definitive purchase that guarantees longevity and permanence in the future. Here comes the big “but”: It is very likely that even investing in DDR5, you will have to switch to another set of DDR5 as technology develops. As we have seen, the benchmarks rank both memory technologies almost at the same level. If you want your investment to be significant enough to ensure a computer suitable for years to come, the ideal is that you wait a little longer, unless you opt for DDR4.

DDR4 vs DDR5 on Alder Lake
Asus TUF Gaming Z690 Serie

There are countless motherboard models that offer compatibility with both RAM technologies, such as the TUF Z690. Everything indicates that this transition period between DDR4 and DDR5 will be longer than expected. Apparently the DDR5 saw the light of day without being prepared for its subsistence, which doesn’t leave it in a good standing in the eyes of computer fans.

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2 thoughts on “DDR4 vs DDR5 on a LGA 1700 motherboard: Which one is better?”

  1. I’m always at least 5 years behind the upgrade path. Its January 2022 and I’ve sourced a x10DAC-0, (2) E5-2600v3 CPUs and starting with 32gb LRDIMMs (up to 2tb) all at a small fraction of the breakout pricing! I paid 60$ for a brand new x10DAC-0 which was damn near $1k, not even 3 years ago. And the workstatons below are coming to gether for less than 100$ each, except for some 6x8gb DDR3 RAM modules that I got lucky and bought for 97$! A lot of (6) 8gb DDR3 Memory modules at 1600mhz for 97$! Yeah, thats dangerous. A person could score a coronary! I love it actually. I can’t wait to be slamming around some Virtual machines on that X10DAC…. I can hardly contain myself.

    My main websurfing PC is still an E8400 Core 2 Duo and I have (2) 1st Gen Intels on the side for other stuff. I am in the process of building a P6x58d-e with 48gb DDR3 and a Xeon w3690 and a several other similar Gen PCs. I’ll tell you this much I couldn’t be happier; in fact I am probably happier than anyone who upgraded 4 or 5 years ago and I certainly can appreciate the change in CPU speed and 48gb is a vast amount if RAM. I’m over 100% happy about the $$ that I “didn’t” didn’t spend feeding the Intel and nVidia monsters. Patience is a virtue, so I’m told but mainly I just don’t appreciate being treated like some sort of cash cow and being taken advantage of by large corporations. The OCD crowd can fund the R&D, bonus cycle for the Intel high-ups and the frothing frenzy that surrounds the latest CPU/Memory craze. I’m quite content waiting for those folks to feed the machine and iron out ALL of the bugs. Thanks for >>YOUR service…. LOL…. LALALala Lalalala LALALALAA…

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