By Delia / Last update January 5, 2022

A few months ago, Intel confirmed that the 12th generation Core platform can "simultaneously support" DDR5 memory and older DDR4 memory. But this "simultaneous support" does not mean that the two can be mixed at the same time, nor is it what some users hope for, a 600 chipset motherboard has four memory slots, two of which can be used to insert DDR4 memory, the other two can be used to insert DDR5 memory.

ddr4 vs ddr5

The current reality is that a 600 series motherboard can only choose to go with one memory specification, meaning that if you want to upgrade to a 12th generation Core platform, there will be two versions of the motherboard, and if you want to continue using DDR4 memory, then choose the motherboard with DDR4 memory slots, and the DDR5 memory version is the same, and you can't have both.

Many users may find this approach cumbersome and prefer to continue using the old memory for a while after upgrading to the new platform, and then finally upgrade to DDR5 memory without replacing the motherboard.

In fact, such "combo" motherboards existed in the past, when there were four memory slots on the motherboard during the transition phase from DDR2 memory to DDR3 memory. Two of them can be inserted into DDR2 memory, and the other two can be inserted into DDR3 memory, but of course these two groups of memory cannot be inserted at the same time, and only one can be selected at a time. Unfortunately, in today's DDR4 memory to DDR5 memory transition stage, did not hear which manufacturer will launch this motherboard.

However, there are other ideas to solve this problem, which is to use a "memory adapter", scientifically named "DDR5 to DDR4 adapter", that is, you can let the DDR4 memory sticks plug into the DDR5 memory slot.

There are already manufacturers developing DDR5 to DDR4 adapters

Are these adapter cards available now? The answer is yes. ASUS has now released a demo video that successfully gets DDR4 memory to work in a DDR5 slot. The problem that can be seen so far is that this memory adapter is a bit large and the solder alignment is a bit long, but it may be improved and optimized later, it is only in the experimental stage for now.

asus ddr5 to ddr4 adapter

One of the difficulties in designing and manufacturing this adapter is that the power supply required for DDR4 memory is different from DDR5 memory. DDR5 memory already has an integrated power supply module and the motherboard is no longer responsible for filtering and providing power control to DDR5 memory, while DDR4 memory still requires the motherboard to cooperate, so the solution is that this memory adapter must add a power supply control module.

Some users may be concerned about the stability of using such memory adapter cards. In fact, Intel's 12th generation Core processors natively support DDR4 and DDR5 memory. When using this memory adapter, both the processor and the operating system can be normally recognized as DDR4 memory, and there is no memory recognition disorder, error, or unstable working condition.

When can I buy such a memory adapter card?

It is still early to ask these two questions, even if the price of such memory adapter card is higher, it is still cheaper than directly upgrading and replacing the memory stick. As for the "time to market", there is no definite answer yet, so you can stay tuned.

Should I replace DDR4 memory with DDR5 memory?

Many digital enthusiasts are now struggling with whether they should phase out DDR4 memory and replace it with DDR5 memory; whether to buy DDR4 memory versions of motherboards directly, or to buy DDR5 memory versions of motherboards. There is actually a perfect solution to this problem, which is to buy the DDR5 memory version of the Intel 600 series motherboard directly, first equipped with this memory adapter card to use, this solution is better than the "combo" motherboard solution.

This solution is better than the "combo" motherboard solution. If you use a "combo" motherboard, you can only use two sets of memory slots at a time, and when you upgrade your DDR5 memory later, the other two DDR4 memory slots will be idle.

After upgrading to DDR5 memory, you can directly unplug the memory adapter card, and you will instantly have four DDR5 memory slots and more room for future upgrades.