In a new blog post (opens in new tab), AMD compares the company’s latest AM5 platform against Intel’s LGA1700 platform in terms of costs, longevity, and value. However, the Red Team didn’t miss the chance to take a jab at its competition, stating that Intel platforms are limited to one or two generations of processors.
The motherboard is one of the most expensive components inside a system. So it makes sense that consumers want to get the most out of their investment. With AM4, AMD has proven a single socket is more than sufficient to provide generation-over-generation performance uplifts. The chipmaker introduced AM4 in 2016, and the platform has housed several generations of Ryzen processors since its inception. As a result, AMD provided an example of how a consumer who brought a Ryzen 3 1300 in 2017 can upgrade to a Ryzen 7 5800X3D, one of the best CPUs, in 2022 without hiccups.
“The competition, on the other hand, makes no commitments to future upgrade support on their latest LGA 1700 platform. Intel has consistently limited platforms to one or two processors, so users who buy a 12th or 13th Gen Intel Core platform will likely have to spend a lot more money on a whole new motherboard if they want to upgrade to a 14th Gen processor or beyond,” wrote AMD in the blog post.
However, one thing is future support, and another is performance. Unfortunately, the future is uncertain, and AMD can't guarantee it’ll be in the lead or more price-competitive in the future. The counterweight is that forward compatibility may not be as crucial if the next generation of Ryzen processors is slower than the competition. Nonetheless, it’s a feature that Ryzen owners will appreciate since they can upgrade to a newer chip that offers better performance over the existing one. One thing to note is that AM4 lacked connectivity compared to Alder Lake, and its power delivery for AM4 created limits, so it couldn't push chips faster. So, that's a limitation, and it is possible that there could be future limitations with the AM5 platform as well.
From a longevity standpoint, AMD is undoubtedly more committed to offering future processor support on its platforms. If we turn back the hands of time, the LGA775 was one of Intel’s most long-lived platforms, which lasted seven years. So, it’s been a while since we’ve seen an Intel platform support more than two generations of processors. Likewise, the LGA1151 platform was the last to provide housing to Skylake, Kaby Lake, Coffee Lake, and Coffee Lake Refresh chips. However, consumers still needed to change motherboards despite Intel sticking with the LGA1151 socket. In addition, there were unofficial workarounds to get previous processors to work on newer motherboards. Obviously, Intel disapproved of these bootleg firmwares.
Thus far, the LGA1700 platform supports Alder Lake and Raptor Lake processors. It’s unlikely it’ll support Intel’s upcoming 7nm Meteor Lake chips, which will arrive in 2023. There are already leaked images of the LGA1800 socket, which reportedly share the exact dimensions of the LGA1700 socket. Meanwhile, AMD has confirmed that AM5 will have a long life span comparable to AM4, so AMD 600-series motherboard owners can rest easy knowing they don’t have to shell out more money for AMD’s next-generation Ryzen parts.
“We’ve been extremely pleased with how AM4 has evolved. When we started in 2017 we said we would keep that socket for a long time, and we have. We continue to believe that it’s been good for the community. It’s been good for us as well, as we bring things along. It was time to do a socket transition for the new I/O and the new technology, but I think strategy-wise, it should be similar. I don’t have an exact number of years, but I would say that you should expect AM5 to be a long-lived platform as AM4 has been, and as AM4 will be. We’re expecting AM4 to stay in the marketplace for some years and have an overlapping type of thing,” stated AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su in a virtual press event at CES 2022.
AMD’s other argument is that the company’s “reasonably priced” B650E chipset offers more benefits than Intel’s premium Z790 chipset. If we look at the raw bandwidth, AMD B650E motherboards promise total bandwidth for PCIe 5.0 graphics cards and storage devices installed on the same motherboard. In comparison, the Intel Z790 motherboard loses 50% of the graphics card bandwidth when a PCIe 5.0 SSD is installed on the same motherboard. The primary expansion slot drops from an x16 connection to an x8 link. While AMD makes this limitation a bigger deal than it is, modern high-performance graphics cards, such as the GeForce RTX 4090, are more than happy on a PCIe 5.0 x8 interface.
AMD B650E motherboards start at $240. In contrast, the cheapest Intel Z790 motherboard retails for $180. However, for the more budget-conscious buyers, B650 motherboards typically go as low as $150.