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Socket AM3 And DDR3 RAM

AMD Phenom II X4: 45nm Benchmarked
By , Frank Voelkel

DDR3 RAM and AM3 SocketDDR3 RAM and AM3 Socket

The Phenom II was developed for the AM2+ socket. Nevertheless, it remains backward-compatible with AM2 (as do other new AMD CPUs) and works well with DDR2 RAM. In a few months, AMD will be presenting an AM3 version of its Phenom II processor. This variant will work with faster DDR3 RAM, but to maintain backward compatibility with AM2 and AM2+ sockets, even this model will include a DDR2 RAM interface.

Support For DDR3 RAM And Socket AM3

The memory controller in the Phenom II supports DDR2 modules at clock rates of up to 1066 MHz. The upcoming AM3 model includes DDR3 support as well: at a minimum, AMD plans to support DDR3-1333 in this new offering. The following table provides an overview of the various Phenom models and their memory compatibilities.

Support
Phenom
Phenom II
Phenom II
Version
AM2+
AM2+
AM3
Memory Interface (s)
DDR2
DDR2
DDR2, DDR3
Sockets Supported
AM2, AM2+
AM2, AM2+
AM2, AM2+, AM3


The Future Belongs to the 880G Chipset with Socket AM3 for DDR3 Support

AMD plans to introduce the 880G chipset along with the AM3 version of the Phenom II processor. In addition to support for DDR3 RAM, this chipset will include a few other new functions as well. The northbridge will be equipped with a Radeon 4000-class graphics chip and be granted control over its own video RAM. This chipset also adds support for DirectX 10.1 and the UVD2.0 unified video decoder, which in turn provide hardware support for MPEG2, H.264, and VC1 processing. Through a switch to 55 nm technology, energy consumption is supposed to remain aggressive. This is also the first time the southbridge SB710 will come into play; it includes 12 USB 2.0 and six SATA ports with RAID capability. We’ve also been told to expect some 880G motherboards with support for first-generation Phenom processors, presumably built around the AM2+ socket.

Chipset
AMD 780G AMD 880G
Codename
Cartwheel
Pisces
Technology
55 nm
55 nm
DirectX
10
10.1
Integrated Graphics
HD-3xxx series HD-4xxx series
Hybrid Graphics
Yes
Yes
DVI
Yes
Yes
HDMI
Yes
Yes
DisplayPort
No
Yes
UVD Video
1.0: MPEG2 H.264 VC1 2.0: MPEG2 H.264 VC1
Southbridge
SB600, SB700
SB710
SATA
6
6
USB 2.0
12
12
USB 1.1
2
2
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