AMD Takes Jab at Intel Over LGA1700 Platform Longevity

AMD vs Intel
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In a new blog post, 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.

Zhiye Liu
RAM Reviewer and News Editor

Zhiye Liu is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Although he loves everything that’s hardware, he has a soft spot for CPUs, GPUs, and RAM.

  • Glock24
    LGA1151 may have been used for several CPU generations but you could not use the same motherboard as a new chipset was required for the newer CPUs. This was a totally artificial limitation though, as there are BIOS mods to use CF CPUs with 100 series chipsets.
  • TechieTwo
    Intel forces consumers to buy a new mobo to please mobo makers. The AM4 or AM5 provides better value for the majority of consumers because these folks are not necessarily buying bleeding edge CPUs/APUs. Performance is important but so is TCO for many.
  • peachpuff
    "The motherboard is one of the most expensive components inside a system"

    Only if you have an am5 motherboard 😂
  • Alvar "Miles" Udell
    Unless AMD decides to do what they did with AM4 and say "You know, we said support would be for all AM4 CPUs to work in all AM4 motherboards, but Zen 3 won't work in 300 series boards because we said so" until Rocket Lake came along and made them change their minds.

    While saying AM5 is better than LGA1700 longevity is true, LGA1700 has already been around for a year and will be supported to sometime next year, or about 2 years in total. AM5 released this year and will be supported to 2025, only 3 years. Also, anyone stupid enough to be a Socket AM4 early adopter will likely have replaced their 300 series board with a 500 series if they were planning on going long on AM4, meaning only 2 years was kept on that board.

    And finally, Raptor Lake is kicking Zen 4's butt in price and performance, especially at the total platform cost level, so AMD has absolutely zero ability to jab Intel at this point.

    And yes, I say this as a high end Zen 3 owner, and aside from getting a 5950X which does not reach advertised and reviewer tested boost speeds, I also was a very early adopter and had a duff 1800X which was faulty.
  • Sleepy_Hollowed
    Considering how connectors are becoming an issue, I’m going to agree with AMD.

    TCO is king for consumers and enterprise, and as long as UEFI doesn’t change, they’re a solid choice for non-max performance hunters.
  • purple_dragon
    There is no suck thing as future proofing. Every six to nine months some pc part could be upgraded to something marginally better. In the market as a whole the percentage of people that upgrade to a new cpu on the same platform is very minimal, those who do are enthusiasts. I prefer Intel for their more reliable software but I've also owned AMD computers. I'm mostly brand agnostic, whatever works better for me at the time I need to upgrade. I will say I was partially impressed with AMD AM4 longevity with the caveat that AMD had some usb issues that took quite a few bios revisions to iron out. Also, AMD only begrudgingly supported Zen 3 on 300 series mobo. Sure, it nice to have the option to keep the same board but most people don't upgrade that often and AM5 is only promised 1 year longer support than LGA 1700 so not that big a deal imo.
  • RedBear87
    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.
    Saying that it was without hiccups is a bit of an overstatement, series 300 motherboards weren't even supposed to receive Ryzen 5000 compatibility, IIRC because the motherboards' rom was supposed to be too small, eventually they solved this issue by deleting support for the few AM4 Excavator APUs, but it was no small coincidence that AMD happened to find a solution just after Intel released something of competitive (Alder Lake) after the Rocket Lake disaster.

    In general I would never trust a company saying that they'll support something for X years unless it's a legally binding statement. They could either lie, if they can get away with it, or they could get forced by circumstances to change their plans, you can never be sure.
  • InvalidError
    I upgrade at most once every four years (almost 10 years the last time around) and at the rate interface compatibility, stability, speeds, etc. are improving, I wouldn't want to hamstring a new CPU with an old motherboard.
  • Zerk2012
    Who really cares with my upgrade times it don't even matter.
    Being able to upgrade every year for 4 years is not a selling point to most users.

    EDIT If you spend that kind of money on the latest and greatest every year then you buying a new motherboard has no effect.
  • prtskg
    I'm sure AM4 has been a great platform for AMD but I doubt it was great for motherboard makers. They had to support cheap motherboards for quite a while.