Intel’s Alder Lake spearheaded the company’s efforts to turn the tide against AMD. It was successful too, earning praise similar to “Intel is back” from many reviewers. Now that Alder Lake is in the history books, the company now turns to its successor, Raptor Lake. It will be an enhanced version of Alder Lake, as Intel is using its famous tick-tock strategy again. Despite the similarities between the two architectures, one lingering question was whether or not Intel would continue to support DDR4 memory. It did so with Alder Lake, but that launched last year when DDR5 memory was almost non-existent. It has now been confirmed that Intel will indeed support both memory types on its upcoming platform. The news comes from a leaked slide Intel showed to sales teams in China.
The slide was posted by a Twitter uses named @9550pro and it lays out in tidy detail what to expect from Intel’s upcoming Raptor Lake-S platform. Support for DDR4-32oo is unchanged from Alder Lake. Still, it wasn’t clear if Intel would drop it in order to get people to adopt DDR5 instead. The fact that it’s keeping it around for one more generation is good news for upgraders on a budget. It will also help Raptor Lake appeal to more people than if it removed DDR4 support. On the DDR5 side of the equation, the news here is it’s upping the frequencies a bit. Alder Lake maxed out at DDR5-4800, but it will supports speeds up to 5600 on Raptor Lake. It also notes there are “additional PCIe 4.0 lanes for the chipset” but it doesn’t say how many.
News of support for DDR4 is somewhat surprising, but also welcome. DDR5 memory is still quite expensive and has not seen widespread adoption yet because of it. It’s also only supported on certain Intel-based Z690 motherboards. The rest only support DDR4 currently. It’s also a shot across the bow of AMD, as its upcoming socket, AM5, will likely be DDR5 only. This isn’t confirmed, but it seems like AMD is keen on offering a “next generation” platform. Such a future-looking platform would have no place for antiquated technology like DDR4. It also helps with alliteration in marketing to say DDR5, PCIe 5, socket AM5. Having support for more affordable DDR4 memory could certainly sway upgraders trying to decide between the two platforms though.
Intel’s Raptor Lake is eagerly anticipated as Alder Lake is a solid foundation to improve upon. It’s being touted by Intel as offering more of everything: more cores, more overclocking, and more performance. So far we know the flagship Core i9-13900K will feature eight P-cores and 16 E-cores, for a total of 32 threads. This is an eight-thread increase from Alder Lake’s 24-thread maximum. It’s been rumored that Intel is targeting a 6GHz frequency range for its flagship part. Alder Lake topped out at 5.5GHz on a single core for its binned Core i9-12900KS. AMD has also been talking up overclocking for Zen 4 too. At Computex it showed its upcoming CPU running at 5.5GHz as well. It seems this currently cold war-esque battle will rage anew once both platforms launch later this year.