DDR5 RAM is the new version of the RAM technology and has been growing quite consistently over the past few months. However, DDR4 RAM offers a few advantages, such as low latency and high-end performance, and that is why users still prefer DDR4 RAM. But if you are wondering if DDR4 fits in DDR5, check it in detail.
DDR5 is not backward compatible with the older versions, and thus DDR4 RAM will not fit in DDR5 or even otherwise. Both DDR4 and DDR5 are completely different DIMM slots, and they are NOT compatible with each other. You can choose different motherboards with either DDR4 or DDR5 slots. You must use them sparingly.
Can DDR4 RAM Fit in a DDR5 Slot?
The DDR4 and DDR5 RAM modules have different structures, and thus, the DDR4 RAM does not fit in DDR5. Each of the newer versions of the DDR (Double Data Rate) RAM modules come with a set of advanced features and options. This holds true in the case of the differences between DDR3 and DDR4 RAM as well. In the same way, DDR5 is the newest version of the memory technology and has a different DIMM slot structure.
A few of the reasons why DDR4 RAM cannot fit in the DDR5 include:
- The difference in operation voltage
- The differences in the architecture of the channels
- Changes in the memory bandwidth
- Differential power management
- The physical structure of DDR4 and DDR5 also has differences.
Let us discuss each of the parameters in finer detail.
The operating voltage is the difference between the minimum and maximum voltages that the circuit would operate at. The DDR4 and DDR5 RAM modules have different voltages.
The operating voltage of DDR4 RAM is 1.2 V, while that of DDR5 RAM is 1.1 V. Even when the DDR4 RAM is inserted into the lot, it may get damaged due to voltage issues.
The architecture of the channels
The channel architecture between DDR4 and DDR5 RAM makes them incompatible with one another. The DDR4 RAM is not designed to work with the DDR5 slots.
The RAM sticks come with two channels, and each of them has a specific width. DDR4 and DDR5 RAM modules have an incompatibility in this context.
In the case of DDR5 RAM, the power management is handled by the memory sticks alone. This is in sharp contrast to the DDR4 RAMs, which hold the voltage regulation in the motherboard.
This will make the two modules incompatible. The voltage regulator in the RAM sticks, and your motherboard should be compatible with the circuit. This is one of the reasons why DDR4 does not fit in DDR5.
Both DDR4 and DDR5 RAM come with different memory bandwidths. This will also be based on the rate at which the motherboard can transfer data to or from the RAM stick. The differences in the bandwidth can be one of the reasons that would make it difficult to install DDR4 RAM into DDR5 or vice versa.
DDR4 RAM requires 3.2 gigabits per second per pin, while the data transfer rate is 6.4 gigabits per second per pin. This difference is one of the reasons why you will find DDR4 and DDR5 incompatible with each other.
Lastly, the DDR4 and DDR5 RAM modules have different physical structures. They will not align properly in the memory slots inside your computer.
DDR5 RAM and slots come with notches. This is done to avoid the possibility of incorrect insertion. The DDR4 RAM does not have these notches. Thus you will not be able to fit DDR4 RAM into a DDR5 slot.
What is the Difference Between DDR4 and DDR5 RAM?
The DDR4 RAM is incompatible with DDR5 RAM. There are several reasons for this to happen. However, it is advisable to check out the basic differences between the DDR4 and DDR5 RAM.
The DDR5 offers an improvement in terms of memory bandwidth and capacity over DDR4. However, DDR4 still takes the lead over DDR5 when it comes to latency, compatibility, price, and performance. As things stand as of now, DDR4 is a better choice than DDR5.
The DDR4 RAM is a great choice for most professional tasks, while the DDR5 RAM is best suited for demanding tasks. If you are into massive file compressions or even photo and video editing, we recommend opting for DDR5 RAM.
One of the advantages that you stand to gain with the DDR5 RAM is the on-die ECC which takes up error correction even before the data is sent to the CPU. This can be helpful in improving reliability. This can also be useful in letting you reduce the defect rates. DDR4 does not have the on-die ECC.
The table here provides insight into the differences between DDR5 and DDR4 RAM:
|Transfer Rate||2133-4266 MT/s||3200-6400 MT/s|
|Channel Width||x4, x8, x16||x4, x8, x16, x32|
|Capacity per DIMM||4GB to 64GB||16GB to 256GB|
|Error Correction||Improved ECC|
No on-die ECC
You may also refer to this video for gaining more information on the difference between DDR4 and DDR5 RAM.
Which Laptops Offer Support For DDR5 Memory?
New 12th generation Intel Core processors and AMD Ryzen 6000 series mobile CPUs support DDR5 RAM. The next generation AMD 7000 series processors for desktops will also support DDR5 RAM. You can be assured of complete DDR5 RAM compatibility on most of the laptops and desktops in the days to come.
That would not mean you can have the choice of installing either DDR4 RAM or DDR5 RAM on your computer. The choice will rest with the laptop or motherboard manufacturers. You can pick a laptop or a computer with either DDR4 RAM or DDR5 RAM. Technically speaking, the processor can support both DDR4 and DDR5, but the actual choice will be with the manufacturer, and you will need to rest with either of them, but not both.
Can You Use an Adapter For Fitting DDR4 RAM into a DDR5 Slot or Vice-Versa?
If you have the right adapter available at an affordable price point, you can use it to fit DDR4 RAM in DDR5 slot, but technically it is not much feasible. as of now. Asus has recently announced the launch of a DDR4 to DDR5 adapter. Intel’s Alder Lake CPUs and Z690 motherboards bring the DDR5 RAM to the foreground for the first time; it has been a frequent question – is it possible to fit a DDR4 RAM into a DDR5 slot or vice versa? The new adapter seemingly solves the issues.
That would be a remarkable feat from the engineering point of view, but in a practical scenario, the technology does not have any positive benefits associated with it. Moreover, we do not expect the Asus adapter to be available at a lower price either. It can be a pet project for an engineering marvel, but it may not necessarily be a reality anytime soon.
Can I Use DDR5 RAM on DDR4 Motherboard?
A DDR5 RAM cannot be installed onto a motherboard that has been designed for DDR4, DDR3, DDR2, or DDR1 modules. In our words, DDR5 is not backward compatible.
For that matter, none of the RAM generations are backward compatible. The prime reasons for this incompatibility between a DDR4 RAM and a DDR5 RAM lie in the differences in terms of the physical profile, electrical design, and different controller design.
The Parting Thoughts
In case you have a computer with a DDR5 slot, you will not be able to fit DDR4 RAM into it. This is especially due to the multiple differences between the two versions of the RAM. You will be forced to opt for the RAM module that your motherboard has been designed for. DDR4 and DDR5 RAM modules cannot be used interchangeably.
A Few FAQs about DDR4 vs DDR5 RAM
What is the voltage of DDR5 RAM?
DDR5 RDIMMs use 12V and UDIMMs use 5V input.
Can I plug DDR4 into the DDR5 slot?
DDR5 and DDR4 RAM modules come with different parameters, and DDR5 is not backward compatible. That is why you cannot plug DDR4 RAM into DDR5.