DDR5 memory kits have almost disappeared from the retail market. While the demand for the next-gen memory is relatively low, the prices are multiple folds higher than standard DDR4 modules. Intel’s Alder Lake processors are the first consumer chips to support DDR5 memory, but from what we’ve seen the performance advantage over DDR4 is very limited. This means that it’ll be a while before we see mass adoption of DDR5, as most users continue to rely on DDR4-3600 and other overclocked kits.
With the launch of Intel’s 12th Gen Alder Lake processors and the accompanying Z690 motherboards, memory manufacturers have started releasing the first wave of DDR5 memory. The primary models are DDR5-4800, DDR5-5200, DDR5-5600, and other overclocked SKUs.
Currently, there is a shortage of DDR5 memory sticks in the market, and sources from Boardchannels say that the main reason for the shortage is that the DDR5 memory is equipped with a power management chip PMIC, which is currently in very short supply.
Sources say that the PMIC chip is currently in very short supply. Furthermore, the price of PMIC chips used in DDR5 memory is 10 times more expensive than the corresponding chip in D4, and the procurement cycle is at least 35 weeks.
DDR5 memory moves the power management from the motherboard to the memory body, and the PMIC chip optimizes the control system power load factor. In addition, the DDR5 IC comes with an on-die ECC error correction mechanism that can rely on its own function to repair DRAM cells, so systems with DDR5 memory have higher stability.12Chip
Recently, the supply of DDR5 memory has hit a low point, with both Amazon and Newegg seeing severe shortages across the board. Neither retailer has any DDR5 modules presently available (at the time of writing), with all existing listings being out of stock. It’s unclear how long the drought will last, but you can be sure that things won’t be changing in the next few months.
According to 12Chip, the scarcity of DDR5 modules is the result of the shortage of PMIC chips. The PMIC chip optimizes the memory power load factor. With DDR5, the memory power management has been moved from the motherboard to the memory DIMM itself, increasing circuit complexity and the BOM, while doing the opposite for mainboards. To make matters worse, the price of PMIC chips is said to be nearly 10x more than its DDR4 counterparts. This means that even after the shortages subside, the prices of DDR5 kits will be on the high side.