The changeover from DDR4 to DDR5 RAM has been slower than DDR3. When first released, DDR5 faced massive shortages and that, coupled with the other flow on effects of a global pandemic have really slowed down uptake of this new faster memory.
For this reason, when upgrading, the question of whether to go DDR4 or DDR5 still isn’t an easy choice to make for many PC builders. It’s refreshing to see at least one motherboard maker out there taking a ‘why not both?’ approach.
Onda is a company that has been on our radar in the past for making motherboards that are a bit unconventional. Often the focus is on having as many SATA ports as can possibly fit (opens in new tab), but this time it’s gone for dual RAM support.
According to VideoCardz (opens in new tab), the newly announced mobo from the Chinese manufacturer is a Micro-ATX form board with two DIMM slots. It’s assumed only one slot will be active at a time, but this allows the board to work with both DDR4 and DDR5 RAM technology. But also restricts its use to single channel only, effectively halving the potential bandwidth available.
It also has a PCIe 5.0, two M.2 storage slots and three SATA 3.0 ports, which is surprisingly modest for Onda.
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Dubbed the H610M+, this board is based on the H610 chipset and will likely be a good cheap option for those looking to play with both types of RAM and an Alder Lake chip with integrated graphics. Admittedly that spot in the Venn diagram is rather miniscule, which probably explains why we’ve only seen one board do this so far.
Pricing is unknown for now, and it’s highly unlikely we’ll see this board, or its ilk outside of China for a while. That being said, it would be nice to see more motherboards release with this kind of swappable functionality, at least while the generational transition is happening. Though, with Intel apparently pressing forward with a DDR5 perference for its next 700-series motherboard generation (opens in new tab) this year, that transition window is closing fast.