Hardware leaker ExecutableFix, who has a good track record, has shared the potential specifications for AMD's forthcoming AM5 socket. Nonetheless, this is the first time that we've seen anything related to AM5 so take the information with a bit of salt.
The Twitter user started his tweet with mentions of the LGA1718 socket. This is the most interesting bit since AMD has been using a Pin Grid Array (PGA) design for its mainstream chips for over a decade now. If the leaker's information is accurate, the AM5 socket might finally switch over to a Land Grid Array (LGA), just like Intel.
The current AM4 socket has a total of 1,331 contacts. The AM5 socket, on the other hand, reportedly arrives with 1,718 contacts. It's a pretty significant 29.1% increase in contacts, but still not as much as Intel's transition (41.7%) from the LGA1200 socket to LGA1700 socket. The big question on everyone's mind is whether AM5 will warrant a CPU cooler upgrade.
One of, and perhaps the most important feature that consumers will be expecting from the AM5 socket is support for DDR5 memory. It's hard not to get excited when DDR5 is expected to feature capacities up to 128GB per memory module and data rates up to DDR5-10000. Intel's 12th Generation Alder Lake processors are projected to land late 2021 or early 2022 with support for DDR5. It's unlikely that the AM5 socket will come out before this year so it appears that Intel has beaten AMD to the DDR5 chase.
The leaker claims that the AM5 socket will retain support for PCIe 4.0. It makes perfect sense since the best graphics cards and best SSDs are far from saturating the PCIe 4.0 interface. Preparing for PCIe 5.0 will just add an unneeded premium to AM5 motherboards. A fresh, new socket typically commands a new chipset. In the case of the AM5 socket, we should expect AMD to launch the corresponding 600-series chipset along with the new platform and processors.
While we're on the topic of processors, AMD's Zen 4 chips (reportedly codenamed Raphael) will in all probability be the first products to leverage the AM5 socket. We still don't know a lot about Raphael, yet but we suspect that the processors should be product of TSMC's 5nm process node, similar to AMD's EPYC Genoa parts.