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.
Raptor Lake will support DDR4.Some people might say “duh”, but I have seen a conspiracy theory going around that Intel would obsolete DDR4 mobos when Raptor Lake launches. No, they won’t.Rest easy DDR4 Alder Lake buyers 😊.November 8, 2021
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.