In short: Yesterday Intel finally opened the lid on its Alder Lake processors ahead of the November 4th release date for the 12th Gen processors. It will be the first desktop platform to support DDR5, and memory kits are already available for pre-order – some have been around for a while – but the tax on early adopters is clear and many products have already sold out.
With Alder Lake, which you can read about here, buyers can choose between using DDR4 and DDR5, albeit not at the same time, and the type you use will likely depend on what your motherboard supports.
Those opting for DDR5 will get all the memory benefits like access to XMP 3.0, but it costs much more than its DDR4 predecessor. Looking at Neweggthe cheapest DDR5 memory on the site – 16GB Crucial DDR5 4800 – costs $ 115, while the only other 16GB DDR5 is the $ 159 OLOy Blade kit. Crucial also has the cheapest 32GB kit at $ 211.
Newegg’s 32GB DDR5 prices climb to $ 369 for the GeIL Polaris RGB DDR5 5200, which has been available for a couple of weeks now. For those looking to package their Alder Lake motherboard with 64GB of DDR5 4800 memory, the only kit on the site right now is from Crucial and costs $ 400.
It looks like a lot of PC fans have already decided to upgrade to DDR5. The only unsold kit on Newegg is the 16GB Crucial product, which is scheduled to launch on November 4th. Amazon also appears to have sold out DDR5 kits, as did Corsair. Web sitewhere they start at $ 289 and go up to $ 359.
In yesterday’s performance preview, Intel said DDR5 should be faster for gaming than DDR4 based on its testing, but added that mature DDR4 still performs well. We’ll have a clearer picture after running our own tests on Alder Lake and DDR5 next week.
DDR5 is projected to have a larger market share than DDR4 by 2023. One would expect that by this time the price of the former would be more comparable to the price of the latter.