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Intel’s Desktop 9th-Generation Core Chips Can Handle 128GB of RAM

You no longer need a Xeon to use that much memory in an Intel machine.

To date, Intel’s mainstream processors haven’t supported more than 64GB of RAM. That’s not a crisis-inducing problem right now (only demanding pros are likely to notice), but the time when you’ll want more is on the horizon. Thankfully, Intel is prepared. The company has confirmed to AnandTech that its desktop 9th-generation Core processors support up to 128GB of DDR4 RAM. Newer, denser memory technology makes that possible, the company said. An update in “a few months’ time” will enable the extra headroom.

You’ll need a motherboard with four DIMM slots to take advantage of this expanding support, and there’s no doubt that the very first 128GB configurations will be very expensive. Right now, it’s easy to spend over $550 on 64GB of RAM across four sticks, and that’s if you’re not picky about speeds. It won’t be surprising if prices top $1,000 for 128GB until competition and economies of scale bring prices down.

Even so, this is good news for enthusiasts and pros. To date, you’ve needed a Xeon processor if you wanted 128GB in your Intel-powered rig. You’ll still want one of those CPUs if you need more than two memory channels, but you no longer have to buy full-fledged workstation hardware just to break past that 64GB barrier. This could lower the costs for media editors who run memory-intensive apps but don’t need the raw computational power of Xeon-based machines. – Engadget

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