Intel and AMD are gearing up for one of the biggest showdowns the CPU industry has seen in years, with new generations of processors fast approaching release on both sides. Intel's 13th Gen "Raptor Lake" chips will go up against AMD's Ryzen 4 "Zen 7000" series, with both competitors promising serious performance.
Details about the new processors are slowly emerging through a combination of leaks and official announcements, and things are looking very good for Intel. Raptor Lake is said to represent a significant performance boost over current generation Alder Lake chips, and now a leaked slide at an Intel workshop in China has revealed that Raptor Lake-S chips will support both DDR4 and DDR5 memory.
We previously knew that Raptor Lake and Ryzen 7000 would support DDR5, but now it looks like Intel will be one step ahead of Intel by offering support for both the new memory standard and the more common version of DDR4 RAM.
(Image credit: 无情的滑稽 (Baidu))
This is a big deal as DDR5 is the new kid on the block and adoption is still pretty slow among PC manufacturers. It regularly finds its way into pre-built desktops and laptops, but it's not as common on custom PCs because it requires a motherboard upgrade. DDR5 is also expensive - it's getting more affordable, but DDR4 is still much cheaper and you also need a more expensive DDR5 compatible motherboard.
For the uninitiated, Raptor Lake's "S-series" chips are efficiency-focused versions of Intel processors, with slightly less processing in exchange for lower power requirements. It's unclear at this time if regular Raptor Lake chips (or the overclockable K-series) will feature this same standard dual memory support.
Analysis: AMD could be crippled by forcing users to upgrade to DDR5
AMD is already struggling a bit against the resounding success of Intel's Alder Lake processors, which offer incredible performance thanks to their hybrid core architecture that uses powerful "performance cores" along with low-power "efficiency cores."
Overall, AMD is still a good option for building budget PCs (the Ryzen 5 5600X is currently available for under $200) and Team Red has long been positioned as the CPU of choice for gamers, but this leak poses a problem. for Ryzen 7000.
Prospective buyers on a tight budget will likely be attracted by support for the more affordable DDR4 memory standard, especially since DDR5-capable motherboards tend to be more expensive as well. AMD forcing everyone who buys a Ryzen 7000 processor to use DDR5 could make it the least attractive option for money-conscious consumers.
AMD appears to have plans for Ryzen 5000 series chips before the release of its next-gen processors, at least. It has been suggested that AMD could target a September launch date to beat Intel, but that depends on moving the stock Ryzen 5000 first. AMD also appears to be planning to integrate its game-enhancing 3D V cache technology into the new chips. current generation, which could improve its position a bit.