Can I Install DDR5 RAM on a DDR4 Motherboard?

Various big names have been working on new DRAM components for a few years now. For example, Samsung, Micron Technology, and SK Hynix. On the other hand, there are some companies that have an interest in the technology of DDR5 DRAM. DDR5 was developed by JEDEC and it is the latest technology specifying a type of memory module. In this blog, we will continue with the discussion on DDR5 and focus on the topic of ‘Can I Install DDR5 RAM on a DDR4 Motherboard?’

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DDR5 has become the latest standard of technology specifying a type of memory module. Its best feature is that it provides faster data rates and is more power-efficient. This will improve performance while gaming or when you are working with apps like virtual reality. Additionally, there has been an advancement in the data rate of the DDR5. Users looking for greater performance from integrated graphics on compatible CPUs will benefit from it.

Since we have to discuss ‘Can I Install DDR5 RAM on a DDR4 Motherboard?’, so let’s focus on DDR4 too. Comparatively, DDR4’s capacity constraints can remain for longer periods after new programs force high-end manufacturers to find other options. So, we can say that it is still a start for DDR5 but it will be the future.

Difference between DDR5 and DDR4

Let’s have a comparison between these two before diving into the question ‘Can I Install DDR5 RAM on a DDR4 Motherboard?’ Even if there is only a single-digit difference visible to you (5 versus 4) there will be a great difference between in the pinout. So, you better not mix them.

Firstly, DDR5 does not contain backward compatibility with DDR4. It is necessary because you will not have a quicker RAM while consuming less power. Moreover, if you want to use it with an old CPU and a new motherboard then you have to do the extra work of installing extra memory controllers to your motherboard. In this way, it will be able to handle the new RAM technology. 

Can I Install DDR5 RAM on a DDR4 Motherboard?

Can I Install DDR5 RAM on a DDR4 Motherboard?

DDR5 is the latest memory technology available in the market. There are only a few PCs and laptops that contain a DDR5 RAM slot on the motherboard right now. Updating your RAM is the best possible way to boost the performance of your system. So, you must be wondering if it is compatible with your old DDR4 Motherboard and whether you can install DDR5 RAM. The answer to this question is NO.

It is not compatible because motherboards support either  DDR3, DDR4, or DDR5 memory technologies. So, you can use DDR5 RAM with a motherboard that has a DDR5 RAM slot. There are many other reasons too that we will discuss in detail below.

Incompatibility reasons for installing DDR5 RAM on a DDR4 Motherboard

1. Operation Voltage

There is a difference between the operating voltages of DDR4 and DDR5 i.e., 1.2V and 1.1V respectively. So, if you try to install DDR5 RAM on a DDR4 motherboard, there are chances that your DDR5 will get destroyed. This is because of the 0.1V voltage excess provided to it.

2. Physical Structure

There is a significant difference between DDR4 and DDR5 “Key Notch” locations so they don’t line up. In the case of DDR5, the modules are a little bit to the left, and notches are provided in several spots to avert the wrong installation. So, we can say that the sockets for DDR4 RAM and DDR5 RAM are unique. And you will be unable to install DDR5 RAM on a DDR4 Motherboard and vice versa.

3. Power Management

DDR5 RAM voltage regulation components have a relocation according to the sources. They have gone from the motherboard to the individual RAM stick. In this way, every DIMM will be accountable for its voltage control. So, every DIMM will be supplied with its voltage regulator circuit now. Even if the DDR5 RAM fits into the socket, you have to understand that it is not compatible.

4. Memory Bandwidth

It refers to the rate at which data is read or written to a memory stick. DDR5 RAM has double the frequency in comparison to DDR4 RAM. For example, DDR4 can support up to 3.2 gigabits per second per pin. On the other hand, DDR5 can hold up to 6.4 Gigabits per second per pin. The frequency at which DDR4 RAM runs ranges from 1600MHz to 3200MHz. While DDR5 memory works at a speed varying from 3200Mhz to 6400Mhz. In conclusion, the CPU and motherboard should be configured so that the frequencies of DDR5 may be supported.


1. Is DDR5 faster than DDR4?

DDR4 RAM was released in 2014 and you find it now in all gaming PCs. Earlier, its operation was scanty 1600MHz (DDR4-1600). It subsequently increased at DDR-3200 modules and manufacturers overclocked these modules further to attain  4000MHz or 4133MHz out of the box. Even though DDR4 has improved a lot in its lifetime, DDR5 is still winning the race as its RAM sticks for the general market operate at 4800MHz. Additionally, it offers 5200MHz and 6000MHz modules available at a premium.

2. Is DDR5 RAM costly?

Team Group bundle of 32GB DDR4 modules costs $150 and $180 in accordance with PCMag. You will find a few 16GB kits of DDR5 costing around $150 while its memory kits of larger 32GB quantities will cost you almost $300. You can easily see that the early adopters of DDR5 have to spend some bucks. But it happens with almost every new memory transition.

3. Is DDR5 more future-proof?

There is no certain answer to this question. This is because DDR5 has become pricy in comparison to DDR4. So, it will be a wise decision if you wait some time for the prices to equalize before investing in this technology. On the other hand, it also depends on your basis for the RAM investment. If you pay a premium price for DDR5 in 2021 or early 2022 then you will be able to utilize it in a new system in 2026. So, the answer is for you to decide.


We can say that the answer to the question ‘Can I Install DDR5 RAM on a DDR4 Motherboard?’ is NO. It is due to the fact that the new generation of RAM has never been compatible with older generations. You should be able to invest in upgrading your PC with DDR5-compatible components as you cannot install it on a DDR4 motherboard. Thank you for reading our blog!

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