AMD's Socket AM5 will be an important change for PC DIYers as we voyage through 2022 and see a new battle form for the top spot on our list of Best CPUs. The socket is scheduled to debut in the second half, alongside AMD Ryzen 7000 'Raphael' CPUs based on Zen 4 and fabbed on TSMC's 5nm process. Today, Igor's Lab has published diagrams that purportedly outline the new CPU-to-motherboard design and assembly and shared some interesting insights regarding AMD's move from PGA to LGA sockets.
AMD Socket AM5 is due to debut in the second half of this year and will be launched first for PC enthusiast motherboards catering for AMD Ryzen 7000 'Raphael' CPUs. The new AMD-designed LGA socket has 1718 pins, and is therefore referred to as LGA1718. The first motherboards sporting this socket will kickstart the AMD 600-series chipsets. In addition, AMD recently launched its Ryzen 6000 'Rembrandt' APUs for mobile, and desktop versions of these APUs will be made available for Socket AM5 too, at some later date.
AMD's move from PGA to LGA will be broadly welcomed by PC DIYers, as it should lessen the incidence of contact pin injury misery. The 1718 fragile pins are more naturally protected by the LGA format, nestling in the motherboard socket and kept covered until seconds before CPU installation.
It seems natural that AMD's LGA socket will look like a close relative of Intel's socket. However, Igor's diagrams reveal some extra finesse and thought from AMD. Igor suggests that what we see here is AM5 v2, as it has improved rigidity and pressure distribution over a previous iteration he has seen.
In the diagram to the left, you can see the Force Frame highlighted in blue. It features two pressure-spreading lugs and a sizable lug described as the Cam Force Application Region. Moreover, the design is said to mix the strength of the AM4 backplate design with up to eight fixing points for the even distribution of firm pressure.
According to the source, you can use a dual-point fixed cooler up to 500g. These mounting points are such that they should make backward compatibility with a multitude of AM4 coolers quite easy. However, it is noted that cooler designs with their own backplates would need to be adapted. Another thing to note is that coolers lighter than 500g will probably need to be secured by marrying up and replacing the four outer screws of the Stiffener Frame assembly.
Further Information About AM5 and the First Processors That Will Use It
For some further reading regarding AMD AM5 and new CPUs and APUs which will use this socket, we recently interviewed David McAfee, the Corporate VP and GM of the Client Channel business. McAfee told us that Ryzen 6000 Rembrandt desktop APUs will be DDR5 only. However, we do not know whether Ryzen 7000 'Raphael' Zen 4 CPUs (second half of this year) will wind back on this if need be, to offer dual DDR4 and DDR5 support.
Another interesting nugget shared in the same report, this one from our conversation with AMD CEO Lisa Su, was that AMD's AM5 socket for desktop PCs would remain as the leading-edge platform for quite some time, perhaps as long as the AM4 socket that is now entering its fourth year of service.