Can you fit DDR5 to a DDR4 motherboard?

black and gray computer motherboard
Slotted: don't mix and match DDR4 and DDR5 (Photo by Valentine Tanasovich on Pexels.com)

High intensity computer tasks can always use a few more resources to boost performance and upgrading the RAM on a PC remains a cost effective option. Memory technology continues to advance with DDR5 replacing DD4 as the current standard, but is it right for your system? How can you fit DDR5 to a DDR4 motherboard?

Does DDR5 work in a DDR4 motherboard?

No, unfortunately a DDR4 motherboard cannot accommodate a DDR5 RAM module. Although DDR5 is designed to replace DDR4, the two are not compatible.

DDR5 uses a different pin configuration so it won’t fit into a DDR4 motherboard. Although DDR4 and DDR5 both use a 288-pin configuration, there is a small notch in the PCB which corresponds to the motherboard’s RAM socket. The placement of the DDR4 notch is different to the DDR5 version. DDR5 is not backwards compatible with DDR4 motherboards and RAM modules, and you cannot fit DD5 to a DDR4 motherboard.

Differences between DDR5 and DDR4 modules

What are the benefits of DDR5?

DDR5 boasts higher clock speeds and improved power efficiency. It also supports more memory channels and higher capacities than DDR4, but the cost of DDR5 is also higher.

 Feature DDR5 DDR4
 Data Rate 4,800-6,400 Mbps 2,400-3,200 Mbps
 Total Bandwidth 64 GB/s 25.6 GB/s
 Latency CL17-19 CL17-19
 Memory Capacity Up to 256 GB Up to 64 GB
 VDD 1.1-1.2V 1.2-1.35V
 VDDQ 1.1-1.2V 1.2-1.35V
Table showing technical differences between DD5 and DDR4

Although Intel’s 12th and 13th generation CPUs support DDR4 and DDR5, the motherboard dictates which can be used in your system. At least one motherboard manufacturer, Onda, produced a motherboard with both DDR4 and DDR5 slots, but these are extremely rare. If you are looking to upgrade your computer’s RAM to DDR5, then you will need to make sure that you have a compatible motherboard.

What are your tips for upgrading to DDR5?

Make sure to double check the specifications of your motherboard before buying a DDR5 RAM module. Additionally, keep in mind that DDR5 is currently more expensive than DDR4, so you should factor in the cost of the new RAM, as well as the cost of the motherboard.

Overall, upgrading to DDR5 can be a great way to improve the performance of your computer and get the most from it. However, it’s important to be aware of the incompatibilities between the different RAM types and the cost of the upgrade before making the decision.

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About the author

Lee Grant

I can normally be found attacking things with screwdrivers in my small computer repair business or writing a column for PC Pro magazine.

I am also trying to solve a mystery involving David Bowie.

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