Intel's 13th Gen Raptor Lake CPUs may continue to support DDR4

An Intel LGA 1700 CPU
(Image credit: Intel)

Intel's 12th Gen CPUs have only just launched, and one particularly well received design decision from Intel was the choice to retain DDR4 memory support. Users concerned about the very high price of DDR5 memory are able to buy a Z690 motherboard with DDR4 support, allowing them to keep using memory kits that have probably served them well for years.

News from Moore’s Law Is Dead suggests that 13th Gen ‘Raptor Lake’ CPUs may continue to support DDR4 memory. So, if you are contemplating making the jump to a 12th Gen system and you’re hesitant to spend big money on a DDR5 kit, then a good DDR4 deal may still be worth jumping on. If Raptor Lake supports DDR4 then we'd hope that a 13th Gen CPU will be drop in compatible with Z690 DDR4 boards after a BIOS update.

DDR5 memory certainly offers a lot of bandwidth, but games generally prefer a blend of high frequency and low timings, which delivers low latency. The weakness of DDR5 memory at this early stage is its relatively high timings and expense. Even the high spec kits can’t match the low latency of a high spec DDR4 kit which means DDR4 is still perfectly viable for a 12th Gen system.

If the Moore’s Law Is Dead information turns out to be true, then the purchase of a good quality low latency 3600 MHz kit could turn out to be a very sensible investment. Hopefully you’ll get at least another couple of years out of it, by which time DDR5 kits will be more affordable and hopefully we'll see some more attractive timings to go with all that bandwidth.

Chris Szewczyk
Hardware Writer

Chris' gaming experiences go back to the mid-nineties when he conned his parents into buying an 'educational PC' that was conveniently overpowered to play Doom and Tie Fighter. He developed a love of extreme overclocking that destroyed his savings despite the cheaper hardware on offer via his job at a PC store. To afford more LN2 he began moonlighting as a reviewer for VR-Zone before jumping the fence to work for MSI Australia. Since then, he's gone back to journalism, enthusiastically reviewing the latest and greatest components for PC & Tech Authority, PC Powerplay and currently Australian Personal Computer magazine and PC Gamer. Chris still puts far too many hours into Borderlands 3, always striving to become a more efficient killer.