DDR5 memory is still expensive and scarce, what is happening?

It was said that 2022 was going to be the year of DDR5 memory, however, for its implementation in the market as a replacement for the current DDR4, it is encountering a series of difficulties. Especially the availability of it and its price. What are the causes of the situation and, therefore, what is really happening?

DDR5 memory brings with it a series of important advantages in terms of processor performance, the most notable and clear being the fact of having greater bandwidth. Something that greatly benefits applications based on artificial intelligence and integrated graphics cards inside certain processors. Another advantage is the fact that it is a memory with more than one access channel, which avoids contention and is an advantage that previously only VRAM had.

However, despite the fact that 2022 should be the year of DDR5, its adoption is being slow to say the least. Their inventory is limited everywhere and their prices through the stratosphere. That is why we have started to think about the causes that are leading to the massive adoption of DDR5 memory not being carried out as expected.

What is happening with DDR5 memory?

Every technological product has a life in which the point will come when it will be replaced by another with better specifications. During such a transition period, the new product is priced much higher to relay additional buyer value with a related quantitative value. The goal is to quickly clear the stock of old technology and incentivize the most enthusiastic purchasers of the new one.

However, with DDR5 memory we found that the price went up to 4 or 5 times that of DDR4 modules. Despite the fact that little by little prices are falling and they are becoming normalized to the usual behavior of this important component for our computers. As you can see in the images above, taken from a quick search on Amazon Spain, we still have a reference to kits that exceed 600 euros in some cases.

There are several causes for this, the first of which is WCRP shortage, a circuit in charge of controlling the voltage flow in the hardware and that in DDR5 memory, unlike in previous generations, has moved to the DIMM module. It must be taken into account that voltage control is fundamental in any semiconductor device to control the clock speed and to be able to temporarily overclock or Boost memories and processors.

In tower PCs, only Intel Core 12 supports this type of memory

When we buy a laptop, it comes with the memory already in the PC, either in the form of a SO-DIMM module or soldered, but the fact is that we do not have to buy the memory kits to mount them ourselves or the store or manufacturer. So the DDR5 memory that is sold for this class of computers is provided by the manufacturers of the same to those who produce computers and that is why these modules do not reach the component stores. If we add to this that thanks to the double IMC of the Intel Core 12 there are motherboards with DDR4 and DDR5 support, then you can understand the fact that the demand is lower from users, even from new processors.

This is expected to grow once AMD launches its Ryzen 7000 at the end of the year, although we cannot forget that the Intel Core 13 will continue to support DDR4 and we should not rule out the launch of the Ryzen 6000G for socket AM4 at some point this year. In that case, unless Lisa Su surprises us with some unknown chipset and new motherboards with support for DDR5 memory should not support it. In conclusion, we will have to wait until 2023 for at least the transition to the fifth generation of Dual Data Rate to be completed.

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