AMD debuted its Ryzen 7000-series CPUs and new Zen 4 CPU architecture at CES in January. The company said the chips will use the new AM5 CPU socket, be built on TSMC’s 5nm manufacturing process, and be available this fall.
None of these facts have changed, and AMD still hasn’t announced pricing or more specific availability information for the new chips. But in her keynote at Computex this week, AMD Uncover some more details About the Ryzen 7000 processors, motherboards, and chipsets that will support them when they are all released to the public in the next few months.
Zen Foundation 4: Socket AM5
Before covering any specific features of the AMD Zen 4, Ryzen 7000, or 600 series chipsets, we should cover some key facts about the upcoming AM5 CPU socket.
The AM4 socket was remarkably long lasting. AMD hasn’t always been the best at delivering AM4 motherboards that can support AM4 processors, but as of this writing, Most of the motherboards are from 2017 It can support new Zen 3 processors like Ryzen 7 5800X3D. This is a great run for any socket, but it’s especially impressive given that Intel brings out a new socket (or updates to break compatibility for an existing socket) about every two years or so.
This also means that the AM5 socket is a huge leap forward, no matter what chipset it’s paired with. It’s AMD’s first consumer land-based network (LGA) CPU socket, which means that (like Intel sockets, and like AMD’s Threadripper chip sockets) there are 1,718 tiny copper pins in the socket on the motherboard rather than at the bottom of the processor. Maximum power has been boosted to 170 watts, compared to 142 watts in the AM4, opening the door to CPUs with higher core counts that can run faster for longer. The AM5 also adds support for PCI Express 5.0 (although the exact support you get will depend on your chipset and possibly your CPU), and requires an upgrade to DDR5 RAM.
Upgrading the DDR5 RAM is one of the downsides of the AM5 and Ryzen 7000 compared to 12th-generation Alder Lake CPUs, in the short term at least. Alder Lake compatible motherboards come in both DDR5 and DDR4 versions, letting buyers choose whether they want (mostly marginal, but not non-existent) DDR5 performance benefits, or if they prefer to reuse an existing DDR4 suite. DDR4 is also much cheaper and easier to find than DDR5 at the moment, although this will gradually change as support becomes more widespread and memory manufacturers ramp up DDR5 production to meet demand.
Socket AM5 will also support four-channel DDR5 memory for motherboards with sufficient RAM slots. In the past, dual-channel memory was topped by most consumer and enthusiast computers, while four-channel RAM was reserved for workstations and CPUs for high-end servers. All of AMD’s Zen architectures were more sensitive to increased memory bandwidth than Intel chips, whether you’re talking about integrated graphics performance or general CPU performance. But doubling theoretical memory bandwidth doesn’t usually double real-world performance – we’ll need to wait for more tests and benchmarks to see if the four-channel memory support is worth the extra cost.
AMD notes that despite all the AM5 upgrades, the actual size and shape of the CPU package has been kept the same. This was done on purpose to ensure that CPU coolers designed for AM4 chips would continue to work with AM5 chips. Intel’s LGA 1700 socket has a longer and taller rectangular shape than previous sockets, which can (but not always) break CPU cooler compatibility based on where the bottom of the CPU cooler is connected to the processor.
The connection of AM5 motherboards depends on the exact chipset you are using and which motherboard you are purchasing. But AMD says AM5 motherboards will be able to provide up to 24 lanes of PCIe 5.0 bandwidth, for a total of 14 20Gbps USB 3.2 Gen 2 x 2 ports, and up to four HDMI 2.1 or DisplayPort 2.0 ports to drive monitors Display using the integrated GPU.