MSI has showcased a couple of the brand's new X670 motherboards in the latest installment of the MSI Insider show (opens in new tab). In its video, the company takes us on a small tour around the AM5 socket and the dual-chipset design for AMD 600-series motherboards.
The AM5 socket, consisting of 1,718 pins, will accommodate AMD's impending Ryzen 7000 (Raphael) processors. The novelties of the new socket include an LGA (Land Grid Array) design, socket power up to 170W, DDR5, and PCIe 5.0 support. The AM5 socket brings all that while retaining support for AM4 CPU coolers. It isn't the first time MSI has given us a close look at the AM5 socket. In a previous installation video, the company demonstrated how installing an AM5 processor is similar to installing an Intel chip.
Despite shifting from a PGA (Pin Grid Array) to an LGA design, the AM5 socket preserves the same package size and z-height as the AM4 socket. Therefore, AM5 is compatible with previous AM4 CPU coolers without needing an additional mount. However, MSI's photographs showed that the AM5 socket houses only pins, and there isn't a designated center area for capacitors, unlike Intel's LGA115x sockets. The reason is that the surface-mounted capacitors are no longer under the AMD processor. With Zen 4, AMD moved the capacitors to the top of the chip, which is why the funky design has multiple cutouts. Only time will tell whether it's a sound decision to relocate the capacitors, as many users are worried that the excess thermal compound could fall on the capacitors.
One of the blessings with the 600-series chipsets is that they won't require active cooling, unlike X570 motherboards, which came with annoying tiny cooling fans. The usage of passive heatsinks implies that the X670 chipset is very energy efficient. For comparison, X570 had a TDP of around 15W. AMD later introduced the X570S chipset that only required passive cooling, so it's refreshing to know that X670 will be silent right out of the gate.
The enthusiast X670 platform will feature two chipsets to provide double the connectivity. As expected, ASMedia designed the X670 chipset, a product of TSMC's 6nm manufacturing process. It's a nice upgrade since X570 was on GlobalFoundries' 14nm process node.
The photograph of MSI's MEG X670E Ace motherboard confirms that both chipsets are identical in size. Although AMD has announced Zen 4, the chipmaker is still withholding the juicier details of the Ryzen 7000 processors and 600-series chipsets. For example, it's still up in the air whether the connection from the Zen 4 processor to the 600-series chipset will be PCIe 4.0 or PCIe 5.0. Thus far, PCI-SIG has only validated the 600-series chipset for PCIe 4.0 x4.
AMD will launch Ryzen 7000 this Fall, so we're only months away from learning more about the chipmaker's state-of-the-art Zen 4 chips.