Japanese tech outlet Akiba PC Hotline (opens in new tab) has come upon a handy adapter that allows you to install DDR5 SO-DIMM memory modules into standard DIMM memory slots. The adapter (JET-5669AA) serves as a band-aid solution to the lack of DDR5 stock as DDR5 SO-DIMMs are seemingly easier to hunt down.
Standard DDR5 DIMMs sport 288 pins, whereas the SO-DIMM equivalent has 262 pins. Therefore, you can't install the latter into a DIMM slot without the appropriate conversion adapter. After a bit of digging, we found out that the JET-5669AA is a device for vendors to test DDR5 SO-DIMM memory modules on DIMM slots. However, nothing stops you from using it as a stop-gap converter until DDR5 DIMMs are more widely available.
The SO-DIMM adapter comes with a six-layer PCB and conforms to JEDEC's MO-337A specification for SO-DIMM design. In addition, it supports memory modules with data rates over DDR5-4800. Finally, the adapter has a lifespan of over 600 cycles, a piece of information that's particularly important for testers. However, it shouldn't be a problem for the typical consumer since it's a set-it-and-forget-it kind of installation.
At $25 apiece from M-FACTORS Storage (opens in new tab), the JET-5669AA isn't cheap since you'll be spending $50 on just the adapters alone for a dual-channel setup. Then again, it all depends on the pricing and where you live. Scalpers sell DDR5 memory on eBay for crazy prices, so the SO-DIMM and adapter combo could be viable. Unfortunately, the variety of DDR5 SO-DIMMs is limited, and you likely won't get the best performance out of the DDR5 standard as you would with performance DDR5 DIMMs.
A better solution would be Asus' DDR5-to-DDR4 converter card that lets you use the best RAM on Intel 600-series motherboards that only accept DDR5 memory. However, it's uncertain if the converter will make it to the retail market.
Thankfully, only Intel's latest 12th Generation Alder Lake processors have embraced DDR5. Furthermore, the desktop hybrid chips are perfectly happy with DDR4 memory, so jumping on the DDR5 train is unnecessary. However, high-end 600-series motherboards arrive strictly with DDR5 support, so DDR4 users have to look to inferior models.