Wait! Alder Lake with DDR5 is affordable?

Looking to upgrade my over-a-decade-old rig with my tax rebate. I priced out a beautiful Rocket Lake system for about $1450. Yes I make them expensive but damn they last a long time. My current machine is a Gen 3 and it is just now getting to the point where I should (but don’t have to) upgrade.

Out of curiosity, I looked at the price on a 12700K. That’s odd, its only $25 more than the 11700K. A relatively low end AS Rock or ASUS Z690 mobo is less than $200. What’s this?! This AS Rock board takes DDR5 memory but that’s gotta be expensive, right? Some great memory is only $380 for 32 gigs. OK that’s twice the cost of the DDR4 RAM on the Rocket Lake build but if I can have the bleeding edge machine for only $200 more (and DDR5 memory will only improve over the years when needing to upgrade) the why wouldn’t I do it?

So here is the build
Intel 12700K CPU
ASRock Z690 Phantom Gaming 4/D5 motherboard
Corsair 5000D Airflow Tempered Glass Mid-Tower ATX PC Case
(2) Cooler Master MasterFan SF360R fans. It’s three 120mm fans in one frame.
(3) be quiet! Shadow Wings 2 - 120mm PWM fans specifically for more motherboard cooling
Leaving one fan that comes with the case in the rear.
Noctua NH-U12A chromax.black, 120mm Single-Tower CPU cooler. Apparently this air cooler is good enough even for 12th gen.
Corsair 750W 80 PLUS Gold PSU. Yes it’s overkill.
Samsung 980 PRO (PCIe 4) 500 GB for my programs and booting
Samsung 970 EVO PLUS (PCIe 3) 250 GB to store my files
All for $1680 + tax
Please explain to me why I shouldn’t build this machine.

Can you afford it?
Will you use it?

DDR5 offers little benefit over DDR4 in many applications and virtually no benefit in gaming (if that’s what you’re using your PC for). You might want to consider whether the extra $200 is worth it over running a 12th gen processor on a DDR4 platform.

Feels imbalanced to me, but I don’t know what your needs are. My big upgrade was to a Ryzen 9, and the RAM was $320 for 64GB. Sure, only DDR4, but the quantity makes it more future-proof than the smaller amount of DDR5. And I guess you must have pretty minimal storage needs for 750 GB to be adequate–but that seems weird since most stuff that demands a fast system (gaming, video editing, etc.) has pretty high storage requirements. You didn’t mention a GPU, so maybe this isn’t a gaming system.

I’m running a Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact case. Seems to be a bit cheaper than the Corsair. I’m very happy with it. I have a Corsair iCUE H150i cooler that squeezes in nicely. The iCUE software is pretty good and allows dialing in super low fan settings.

FTR, I’m thinking of using the AORUS board for $80 more. I don’t need the features but it is a better-built board.

I know that right now DDR5 has no significant advantage over DDR4 and probably none for my applications, but will you be able to say the same 3, 4, 5 years down the line? Right now the latencies are pretty high but what happens when those come down over the next few years? It seems penny-wise and pound-foolish to not have the option for the latest RAM just because today it’s not as cost-effective as older technology.

I’m going to use onboard video UHD 770 until PCIe 5 video card prices return to normal.
And thanks to everyone and keep criticizing my build. I learned in high school that criticism is good because it forces you to think and if you cannot justify your choices or people’s counterpoints then you should rethink your position. Keep it coming.

Do you need 32GB of RAM now? What types of workloads are you running on it? Could you get away with 16GB now and then upgrade to 32/64 next year when the RAM prices are more reasonable?

DDR5 is basically 16GB at a time so with dual channel that’s 32GB. But you raise a good point - do I really need 5600 with a latency of 36-36-36-76 now? Probably not so I’ll look for slower and/or higher latency RAM and see if I can save. Thanks.

ETA: $60 saved

13th gen comes out later this year. Five years down the lines, we’ll be at 16/17th gen processors and I’d be due to start considering a platform change in another gen or two anyway if I’m doing performance-critical tasks. I’d assume that, by that time, DDR5 will be significantly cheaper as well as it’s the standard and not an enthusiast product.

That’s just me though. I don’t think it’s a bad choice, just not how I would allocate a couple hundred bucks.

Wait! Alder Lake with DDR5 is affordable?

Mundane Pointless Stuff I Must Share (MPSIMS)

Wouldn’t it be better to have a headline that explains what the hell you are talking about?

Good point. I was waiting for Raptor Lake but given how 12th Gen. builds have dropped in price the question is do I spend the extra $250-$300 now if it means a few more years of use.

I thought this was about Alder Lake near Mt. Rainier National Park.

Well, I think you should decide between want and need. If you want it, then you should buy whatever you want. You’re a grown-ass person. However, from what you’ve written, you don’t need it. If you did, you would’ve updated your ten-year-old machine before now. Unfortunately, you haven’t described what you’re using the computer for, so I’m going to assume that it isn’t anything critical, as you’re using a decade-old machine.

For example, your drives are small for modern applications. I guess the 500 is ok, but the 250 is just tiny. If you’re trying to save money, invest in an SSD or even mechanical drive for storage, as either will give you significantly more storage. So again, if this amount of storage is ok for your use, then I don’t think you need this generation’s level of tech.

So with that in mind, I suggest you consider building a rig using last-generation tech. There is no profound difference between the DDR 5 and 4, Z590 and Z690 motherboards. While there are some speed benefits between the last generations intel chips, from what you’ve written, you’re not going to be engaged in the type of use that will take advantage of them.

You could build a great rig using a higher-end Z590 or even Z490 board and 10th gen or 11th gen chips (I’m assuming you’re looking at an i5) and have a great experience. One which could easily last five or more years, after which there should be another platform change.

So, I don’t think it’s going to matter whether you’re using the 11th or 12th generation; you’re still going to have to replace your rig. Add your comfort using onboard graphics means you’re not a ‘hardcore’ gamer, so again, it doesn’t look like you need a current-generation rig.

However, by using last-generation tech, you may find you have enough saved that you can grab a dedicated GPU. The Newegg shuffle, Zotac, and EVGA’s bstock are good places to grab close to MSRP, albeit still expensive GPUs. You can also find AMDs at a reasonable price point; based on your use, you shouldn’t need more than a 6600 or 6600XT, all easily obtainable at most retailers.

Finally, please don’t fall into the trap of predicting the future regarding technology. Would you be surprised that in three years, DDR5 is replaced with “superfast and cheap” DDR 6? Then what do you do? I have no qualms with buying what’s available now, but I think it’s bad practice to buy with the hope that sometime in the future, it will pay off considering how fast technology changes and things get left behind.

As always, YMWV.

Because it is just for word docs, excel sheets, pictures, videos, etc.

If I was building, I’d probably toss a $30 1TB HDD from Microcenter in the rig for my jpgs and Word docs. For files that size, the difference between an SSD and HDD is virtually nil. But, on the other hand, if I was never going to exceed 250GB anyway, I guess you might as well get a 250GB SSD for the same thirty bucks because why not. Not as though the 750GB of empty HDD will ever do anything for you.

Right now, I’m using less than 250GB total (programs and games) on my 1TB harddrive.
I think I’m going to go with the Rocket Lake (11th Gen.) build. It’s $275 cheaper and at best Alder Lake is transitional technology so future-proofing may not make as much sense as just waiting for Raptor Lake and beyond. Though that doesn’t contradict my thesis that a good 12th gen build is affordable. My build would have been pretty decent and included DDR5 for under $2000.

Yeah. WTH is the OP asking about?

I actually clicked on this thread JUST to figure out what it was about. I must have read the title and the preview part a dozen times as I was browsing… Alder Lake? Hey, I’ve been to Alder Lake, and my kid got married just east of there! Good for perch and bass, so this must be fishing gear! Right?

But the first few sentences of the OP just confused me more:

Well, get the 12700K, then! If it’s a reel or a rod or a carburetor or pixels or the color temperature of stadium lights or the number of maggots in a truckload, it’s still a steal for only $25 more!

People have been asking you for a somewhat detailed accounting of your anticipated workloads and priorities and it’s becoming impolite to keep refusing to engage with this line of questioning because so far, nothing you’ve talked about seems to make sense as far as squaring requirements with buying decisions.

I thought I did when I said that I’m currently using a Gen. 3 cpu that just now is needing to be upgraded - more for speed than not being able to do what I want. I felt that was more telling than list of applications I use. I’m not a content provider so I don’t need video editing except for small videos I make for my student. I play some MMOs but I’m not a gamer. That’s why saving $300 for going 9th Gen works for me.