The 12th generation Intel Alder Lake CPUs are some impressive chips. The mid-range i5 12600K has even become the best gaming CPU we dream of, and the best gaming CPU currently available. In addition to impressive performance, these new chips are also compatible with a series of exciting new technologies, such as WiFi 6E, PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 memory. But the last question is a bit tricky.
According to reports 12chip.com, Every major retailer is freshly released, and a quick search on Amazon, Newegg, and B&H Photo will only show a “out of stock” list. The production bottleneck seems to be the lack of PMIC (Power Management Integrated Circuit) that handles the power management of DDR5 modules. Previous generation RAMs like DDR4 do not need these PMICs because their power management is handled by the motherboard. With DDR5, this work is now done on RAM sticks, which is why these shortages mainly affect the new generation of hardware. DDR5 is a brand new technology and it doesn’t help, so even at the best time, production may still be limited.
As with widespread chip shortages, there is no sign of when this problem will be resolved. I must also mention that even if it is in stock, the price of DDR5 kits is much higher than that of DDR4.
If you are currently buying some brand new PC parts and want to find some Black Friday deals, then please keep these DDR5 shortages in mind when choosing a motherboard. If you buy a motherboard that only supports DDR5 RAM, then you may be stuck with a PC that is not working properly for at least a few weeks. I am currently waiting for my pre-ordered DDR5 kit, which is expected to be completed sometime in early December, but I have all these shiny new components in my office but I cannot use them to build, which makes me sad.
If you need some Alder Lake in your life and can’t wait for DDR5, please consider buying a DDR4 compatible Z690 motherboard. This is a handy list on PCPartPicker.
Or, you can try to get the entire package at once through the Black Friday gaming PC transaction on a pre-built system, but you will give up the virtue of a homesteader who built your own system from scratch like your grandparents did. If you do build your route with DDR5, be prepared to wait.