Memory manufacturer, Apacer, has revealed on its site that AMD intends to support faster memory than the JEDEC specification by default. The slide on Apacer’s site lists the current supported memory standards for Intel and AMD platforms, including the unreleased “Raphael” Ryzen 7000 chips that are due to be released later this year.
What’s surprising here is that while Intel sticks with the JEDEC recommendation of DDR5-4800 for its Alder Lake platform, AMD is planning on going one better (well 400MT/s better) with its Zen 4 chips by supporting DDR-5200. This slide also appears to confirm the rumour that AMD’s shift to the AM5 platform will nix DDR4 support, as that is not listed in the table either.
One of the potential reasons for AMD dropping DDR4 support is so that it can focus on the performance of DDR5, and along with its EXPO initiative which supports memory overclocking profiles, it is looking like this could indeed be the case. This also suggests that memory performance is going to be key to AMD’s new chips, just as it was to Zen 2 and Zen 3 in fact.
There is still a premium for DDR5 RAM compared to DDR4 (it generally costs at least double), and it’s fair to say that the difference it makes in games can be minimal, at least on current platforms. If AMD can unlock more performance though, things could get very interesting, particularly in the ongoing battle with Intel to claim the title of the best CPU for gaming.
Officially, AMD has revealed that Zen 4 will support DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 and will use the AM5 platform, but there has been no mention of speed so far. AMD doesn’t traditionally comment on unreleased hardware, but I’ve reached out to them here as the Apacer document is there for all to see.
AMD’s Zen 4 chips are officially due to launch in the second half of the year, with the expectation being at the end of Q3 or the start of Q4.