On select Intel Z790 motherboards, Asus will support DDR4.
Asus is working on at least five motherboards that will support DDR4 memory and will be based on Intel’s top-tier Z790 chipset. Furthermore, the motherboards will support Intel’s flagship 13th Generation Core ‘Raptor Lake’ processors, as well as users’ existing high-performance memory modules.
According to an EAC filing discovered by @momomo us, Asus intends to release two TUF Gaming (TUF Gaming Z790-Plus D4 and TUF Gaming Z790-Plus WiFi D4) as well as three Prime-series (Prime Z790-P D4, Prime Z790M-Plus D4, and Prime Z790-P WiFi D4) motherboards powered by Intel’s Z790 chipset and supporting DDR4 memory. Of course, filings with EAC do not always guarantee that a product will be released, but three out of five motherboards are on South Korea’s RRA regulator’s list (1, 2, 3), indicating that Asus is indeed preparing DDR4-supporting Intel Z790 platforms.
Asustek’s TUF Gaming motherboards, are reasonably priced, catering to demanding gamers who want performance, reliability, and overclockability. While TUF Gaming mainboards are lower in the company’s hierarchy than ROG platforms, they are still relatively advanced motherboards with premium features.
The Asus Prime family is less expensive than TUF Gaming but still provides premium features, enhanced voltage regulating modules (VRMs) for overclocking, and various tuning options. As a result, advanced LGA1700 motherboards that support DDR4 memory sticks are a natural fit for the Prime Z790 family.
DDR4 memory is on its way out, whether you like it or not, so Intel prefers to talk about DDR5 SDRAM even though its current 600-series and upcoming 700-series platforms support both DDR4 and DDR5. However, motherboard manufacturers tend to provide what their customers want, and many want to continue using good-old DDR4 for a while, which is why both Asus and MSI will offer DDR4 on Z790-based platforms.
DDR4 memory has been around for seven years, and memory module manufacturers have sold a slew of enthusiast-grade DDR4 modules with data transfer rates comparable to DDR5 (yet with lower latencies and better performance). Throwing those modules away (or selling them at a loss) makes no sense, so keeping them for a couple of years is unquestionably reasonable.
The biggest unknown about midrange Z790 motherboards for Intel’s Raptor Lake processors is whether they will adequately support the rumored 350W mode, which would enable ultimate turbo frequencies and thus necessitate an advanced voltage regulating module to deliver perfect power to the CPU. TUF Gaming and Prime are still high-end motherboards, but not as good as the Asus ROG family. It will be interesting to see how various Intel Z790 platforms perform.