Will DDR5 RAM work on the DDR4 motherboard? Well, no, the next generation of RAM has never been backwards compatible. It’s just as comparable to DDR4 when it switched from DDR3, and it’ll require a new memory controller tailored for DDR5.
Because memory controllers are incorporated into CPUs, this implies a new generation of CPUs as well.
Will DDR5 RAM Work On DDR4 Motherboard?
DDR4 is the previous version of DDR memory. The main difference between DDR4 and DDR5 is that DDR4 RAM has a transfer speed of 2133 MHz to 3200 MHz and a voltage of 1.2 V, whereas a DDR5 RAM has a transfer speed ranging from 3200 Mhz to 6400 Mhz and requires a 1.1 V voltage which makes it faster than its predecessor by almost 50%.
Using a DDR5 on a DDR4 Motherboard will cause problems and slow down the system. It can also lead to issues such as overheating and hardware failure.
How does DDR5 compare to DDR4?
DDR5 is not backwards compatible with DDR4. As the underlying memory technology changes, even differing by a single digit (in this case, 5 vs 4), it’s an entirely new standard.
The pinout will be different, the voltages are likely to vary, and you won’t want to mix them up if you can avoid it.
However, incompatibilities are not just for the sake of being unpleasant. They do need to be there since we would not have faster RAM using less power if they were backwards compatible.
Also, the issues with RAM were decided in those days when the memory controllers were not incorporated into the CPU (unlike today, where they are a part of the CPU).
Back then, it would imply that you would have to add more memory controllers into your motherboard in order for it to make use of the new RAM technology if someone wanted to use it with an old CPU and a new motherboard.
Also, the distinctions among these versions are not only in the pins. The voltage ranges, the number of connections, and the protocol all define new and evolving patterns of codes, among other things.
Of course, it also benefits the manufacturer, allowing them to sell more motherboards and RAM. However, this is more of a by-product than the reason for its existence.
Will DDR5 work on current motherboards available in the market?
When it comes to the compatibility between DDR4 and DDR5, there are two aspects to consider: pin count and voltage.
The most obvious one is that DDR4 has a pin count of 288 pins, while DDR5 comes with 260 pins. Furthermore, the voltage for the two types of RAM differs as well.
It’s also not feasible to expect manufacturers to redesign their motherboards and other components for a single generation of RAM; we as consumers would not want that to happen either.
That would only push the price up even higher than it already is today.
However, the DDR5 is slowly becoming mainstream, and Intel recently launched its Alder Lake CPU series, which features processors that are fully compatible with the DDR5 RAM technology.
We have listed several important things you should know about DDR5.
As for the use of this particular type of RAM on your DDR4 motherboard, the answer will always be no since it requires a new memory controller, architecture, and a different pin count.