AM5 socket: what we know, RAMP tech, release date & more


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AM5 is the new socket type for the yet to release AMD Ryzen 7000 series of processors on the Zen 4 architecture. Like the processor, we have yet to see anything from motherboard manufacturers regarding the AM5 socket.

We’re going to provide everything we know about the socket so far and speculate on a few other exciting details too. This page will be updated with all the latest AM5 socket news so come back and check daily if you want the very latest details. 

Some of the topics we will be discussing in this article are: 

  • What is AM5?
  • What is LGA 1718?
  • AM5 release date 
  • AM5 socket benefits 
  • AM5 Chipsets
  • RAMP technology
  • AM5 news 
  • AM5 leaks

What is AM5? 

am5

The AM5 socket is set to replace the current long-standing AM4 socket to house the up and coming Zen 4 Ryzen CPUs and it has very big shoes to fill after the massive success of its predecessor. 

Intel switches its socket type every couple of years whereas AMD kept AM4 in the running for six years but now, it’s time for a change. 

Not much is known about AM5 yet but the most notable difference with AM4 is the move from PGA to the land grid array CPU socket (LGA) with 1718 pins, 18 pins more than the latest Intel CPU socket. 

What is LGA 1718?

LGA stands for land grid array and has been Intel’s socket of choice since 2006 but now with AMD making the switch, we thought it would be beneficial to run you through what LGA actually is. 

LGA is a packaging technology with a rectangular grid of contacts called ‘lands’. This differs from the PGA or pin grid array packaging technology that AMD currently uses. 

The pin grid array is similar to the land grid arrays layout, but in place of “lands”, you have pins protruding from the bottom of the chip itself. Compared to PGA, LGA reduces the likelihood of damage to the chip either before or during the installation process. This is just one of many benefits to LGA. 

AM5 release date 

AM5 socket motherboards are set to debut alongside AMD’s Raphael (7000 series) CPUs. 

The release date is still a little vague but during the company’s keynote at CES 2022, AMD said it will be released in the second half of 2022.AMD doesn’t follow a pattern when releasing new Zen architectures. The list of Zen architecture release dates is as follows: 

  • Zen | March 2, 2017 
  • Zen 2 | July 7, 2019
  • Zen 3 | November 5, 2020
  • Zen 3+ | Early 2022 

There’s no discernible pattern here that we can deduce, but given the fact, AMD will launch its Zen 3 refresh (Zen3+) in early 2022 and this was stated to launch ‘just before’ Zen 4 and AM5, we think a Q3-Q4 release is spot on. 

The first motherboard to feature the AM5 socket should be part of the AMD 600 series of motherboards. 

AM5 socket and mounting mechanism

am5 socket
(Image credit: Igor’sLAB)

There’s a surprising amount of information floating around about AMD’s new Socket AM5. One of the most notable and exciting pieces of information comes from Igor’sLAB which shared a leaked render of the AM5 (LGA 1718) socket and all of its components, most likely obtained from the gigabyte hack last year.

Igor’sLAB noticed differences in the AM5 socket compared to LGA1700 in the sense that the backplate is now attached to the Socket Actuation Mechanism (SAM) with four screws ensuring the backplate is always aligned with the socket.   

am5 socket
(Image credit: Igor’sLAB)

We know how frustrating it can be trying to mount a new cooler to your AM4 based CPU, just to have the backplate fall off and disappear seemingly into the abyss at the bottom of your PC case. However, with this new AM5 SAM attachment, the backplate will never budge an inch, making cooler installations easier than ever. 

AM5 Coolers

Speaking of coolers, AMD confirmed during the company’s keynote at CES 2022 that the AM5 socket will be fully compatible with AM4 based coolers. This is all thanks to a similar backplate screw configuration and a nifty yet unorthodox IHS design on the 7000 series CPUs themselves. 

This is some of the biggest news to date. This avoids the whole Intel LGA 1151/1200 coolers needing a special backplate adapter to fit the LGA1700 socket, a problem we all wish didn’t exist. This is good news for AMD fans.  

AM5 socket benefits

Besides lessening the likelihood of damage to the CPU during the installation process there are a few benefits to making the switch over to LGA with AM5 for both business and consumer. 

One of the consumer benefits to LGA is the improved signal integrity with better contact and this isn’t just marketing bloat. Another big benefit to LGA is the fact that LGA ‘lands’ take up less physical space with the corresponding motherboard pins tending to be smaller than those of the PGA configuration. This leaves much more room for more contacts within the same surface area. 

This is beneficial because as you know, the CPU is the brain of the PC that has to be perfectly intertwined with the rest of the system and its workings to operate in complete synergy. The more pins and points of contact you have on the CPU the more open to new features the CPU will be. 

It’s well known that not every single CPU pin and contact pad has a use, some are ground and some are not used at all and your PC wouldn’t miss a beat if the pin wasn’t present. They’re just there ready to be given use in future iterations of the technology. But these unassigned pins are finite and with LGA adding more pins because of the lower space demand of the LGA socket, there’s extended upgradability and capacity for additional features. 

There’s a manufacturer benefit to this switch too. 

Manufacturer benefits to AM5

The simple and biggest driving force behind the switch is LGA CPU types are cheaper and require less effort to manufacture. Thinking about it logically it would be far easier to line up 1,718 gold plated copper lands than it would be to line up 1,718 tiny pins that are smaller than grains of rice.

One other reason is RMAs – with AMD making the switch it means motherboard manufacturers are now responsible for constructing the delicate sockets that contain the even more delicate, precious pins that are so vital to the CPU’s function. 

That means AMD are no longer responsible for fragile pins during the manufacturing or shipping process, reducing accidental damage during construction and damage in shipping invalidating CPUs during this component scarcity crisis. 

AM5 chipsets 

am5 release date

This piece is purely speculative but AMD confirmed that the first motherboard to feature the new AM5 socket will be a 600 series motherboard. This confirms AMD is keeping up with the traditions of advancing the generations by one numerical value (500 series to 600 series) 

The release of the 500 series motherboards was staggered over three months. 

  • B550 was released in June 2020. 
  • X570 released in July 2020
  • A520 released in August 2020

The reason we mention this is we could see a similar story with the 600 series of motherboards. Again this is all speculation but could we see the B650 be the first AM5 motherboard on the market? 

Another interesting speculation to make is built around the A420 chipset.

AMD released an A320 chipset back in February 2017 and they also released an A520 chipset in August 2020, but there’s no A420 chipset to be seen. 

This suggests that AMD maybe skipping a generation. We may not see an A620 chipset in AMD’s motherboard lineup. The decision to skip the A420 chipset created confusion, but if AMD happen to order motherboard manufacturers to skip the A620 chipset this time around, it would make a little more sense with all the material shortages occurring right now. 

AM5 RAMP technology

It looks like the upgrade to LGA isn’t the only significant technological advancement around AM5. DDR5 memory is said to get a significant boost on the AM5 platform thanks to the all-new AMD RAMP technology.

RAMP stands for (Ryzen Accelerated Memory Profile) and is the response to Intel’s XMP 3.0 profile and is set to be the successor to A-XMP for DDR4

The existence of RAMP was first suggested in patch notes around HWINFO beta release of version 7.17 where one of the notes stated, “added preliminary support of AMD RAMP’, although this note has since been redacted. 

In addition to DDR5 support, the new AM5 socket motherboards will feature support for the PCIe Gen5 GPUs/storage options but as of yet no devices that support PCIe Gen5 exist, while DDR5 is currently pretty scarce thanks to a major shortage of PMICs (power management integrated circuits). As a result of this, we have seen prices skyrocket.

Hopefully by the end of 2022, post AM5 launch, we will see stock become more available and prices lowered, but we wouldn’t bank on it, unfortunately. 

AM5 news and leaks

News

We will add news surrounding AM5 here as it comes, check back later for more news. 

Leaks

(All leaks are marked as speculation and if confirmed will move into the news section) 

We will add leaks surrounding AM5 here as they come, check back later for more leaks.


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