Intel’s Extreme Memory Profiles, known simply as Intel XMP, has been a marketing advantage for Intel for many years, as it associates the company’s high-end processors with gamer-oriented high-performance RAM. While AMD supports XMP on Ryzen CPUs, the company is planning to push its own branded standard forward when DDR5 support arrives with its next-generation socket, AM5. This is not the first time AMD has done this (more on that later), but AMD’s Ryzen brand is in a much more competitive position now than it was in years past, so its chances at success this time around are arguably higher than they’ve ever been.
Wccftech spotted the “news” of this upcoming program in a list of new features in the HWINFO software program, which listed, “Added preliminary support of AMD RAMP.” Going to the software version page now shows that particular line of text is missing. Instead, the software company left a vague line that states it will be adding, “Enhanced support of future AMD AM5 platforms.” This line was there previously too and was not removed, possibly because it doesn’t reveal anything particularly interesting. Despite the deletion of the offending sentence, the software’s author has confirmed the news on the Computer Base forum, stating quite clearly that RAMP is AMD’s answer to Intel’s XMP technology.
For the uninitiated, Intel’s XMP allows memory manufacturers to test their memory on specific platforms and figure out ideal settings for maximum performance. Those settings are then stored on a compatible memory stick’s EEPROM, and enabled by turning on XMP in a motherboard’s BIOS, effectively allowing for one-click overclocking. Currently, only Intel’s Alder Lake platform supports DDR5 memory, with AMD’s current AM4 platform only allowing DDR4. That will all change when AMD rolls out its new AM5 socket later this year with Zen 4 however, and the timing might work in AMD’s favor as there’s currently a DDR5 chip shortage that is preventing mass adoption of the nascent memory technology.
The adoption of memory profiles for AMD platforms for DDR5 will theoretically allow the company to close the speed gap with Intel, as its XMP technology can allow for very high clock speeds for system memory. As an example of the differential, DDR5 sticks can go all the way up to 6,000MHz, whereas current DDR4 sticks tend to run around 3,200 to 4,000Mhz or so, depending on the memory and platform. DDR5 may eventually hit frequencies like 8400MHz or higher, but we don’t expect to see anything quite that fast this year.
Interestingly, at AMD’s CES keynote the company didn’t mention this innovation at all, spending the presentation discussing its upcoming V-Cache CPU, its mobile lineup, and sharing a few details about the new AM5 socket. AMD has dabbled in this arena previously with X-AMP and just plain AMP, which stood for AMD Memory Profile, but neither technology has ever caught on in a way Intel’s XMP has. However, with AMD’s newfound market dominance, at least among the DIY enthusiast crowd, it certainly has a much better chance to succeed this time around due to both market and mind share it’s acquired with its Zen CPUs over the past few years. That is, assuming it’s implemented and actually stable at launch, which is always a question when a new technology is introduced on an all-new platform.
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