V for victory?
Five years and five architectures, that’s how AMD described the current socket AM4 at Computex at the end of May. That’s not entirely true, because before the current Zen 3 CPUs there were only two and a half other Ryzen generations from 2017 and the 5.5-year-old OEM start of the platform with outdated Bulldozer processors that are mostly incompatible with later mainboards is reminiscent reluctant to look back. But it is correct that the AM4 socket has been with us for quite some time now. Even if it is nice for CPU upgraders that AMD at least submitted one-sided compatibility across the entire CPU portfolio after half a decade: In order to be prepared for the future, you need a new socket.
Strictly speaking, the AM4 was already a compromise in 2017. For example, missing contacts in the platform originally launched for low-end APUs prevent the use of 8 of the 32 PCI-E lanes that are actually physically present in all previous Ryzen CPUs. Since the Zen 2 generation, there has been additional effort and thus additional costs, since the pin distribution is optimized for monolithic processors, so for the more modern CPUs in chiplet design, many signals have to be redirected across the package to the right contact. Above all, however, the signal quality of today’s CPU version was never designed for the data rates of DDR5 or even PCI Express 5.0 – and it is precisely these I/O deficits that socket AM5 will remedy in the fourth quarter.
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The following topics can be found in the article:
- The number “5” says it all
- Pins are obsolete
- Cooler: partially compatible
- cooling demand increases
- The “chipset” is back
- feature set
- AM5: Summary
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