Phenom Fits In Every Socket
AMD has learned from its past mistakes. When AMD transitioned from socket 939 to socket AM2 with the introduction of DDR2 RAM, the customers were less than thrilled. For the buyers, the switch meant higher costs (new motherboard, CPU and memory) and brought no tangible performance increase with it. For this reason, AMD designed the Spider platform to offer compatibility and to spare the users from repeating the unpleasant experience of having the entire platform switched.
Compatibility across all sockets
Therefore, the Phenom processor does not require a new motherboard with Socket AM2+. The CPU will run in a socket AM2 board as well without any problems. In this case, the processor reverts to either Hypertransport 2.0 or 1.0, depending on the motherboard and operates completely normally. A BIOS update may be required, though. Even future processors manufactured on a 45 nm process and supporting DDR3 memory will run in socket AM2 and AM2+ boards. The 45 nm CPUs are slated for release in 2009 and will add support for socket AM3.
A comparison with Intel
The competition would do well to follow the example set by this strategy, which should find many fans among the buyers.