Be careful if you’re buying a DDR5 motherboard during Black Friday

The 12th-generation Intel Alder Lake CPUs are some impressive silicon. The mid-range i5 12600K has even taken our coveted top spot as the best CPU for gaming available right now. In addition to impressive performance, these new chips are compatible with a range of new and exciting technologies like WiFi 6E, PCIe 5.0, and DDR5 memory. But that last one is a bit of a sticking point.

As reported by 12chip.com, every major retailer is fresh out of the stuff, and a quick search of sites like Amazon, Newegg, and B&H Photo shows nothing but ‘out of stock’ listings. The production bottleneck seems to be a lack of PMICs (power management integrated circuits), which handle power management for DDR5 modules. Prior RAM generations like DDR4 didn’t need these PMICs because their power management was handled by the motherboard. With DDR5, that work is now done on the RAM sticks themselves, which is why these shortages are primarily affecting the new generation of hardware. It also doesn’t help that DDR5 is brand new tech, so production would likely still be limited even in the best of times.

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