AMD recently revealed the first four CPUs in its new AMD Ryzen 7000 desktop processor line during the company’s “Together we advance PCs” livestream event. Launching on September 27, 2022, pricing for the AMD Zen 4 architecture-based CPUs ranges from $299 for the Ryzen 5 7600X to $699 for the flagship Ryzen 9 7950X. As stated during the event, the new chips feature TSMC’s 5-nanometer process and run on AMD’s new AM5 platform.
That last point is something that may seem innocuous but it’s actually quite important. Since the Ryzen 7000 CPUs use a new AM5 socket, you’ll need to buy an entirely new motherboard. AMD plans to sell lower-end AM5 motherboards starting at $125. Even at that relatively low price, it's still an added cost you’ll have to pay if you want to use one of these hot new CPUs.
Below, we'll detail everything AMD has detailed about the AM5 platform. We’ll also tell you where you can purchase the upcoming motherboards if you’re considering getting one of the new Zen 4 CPUs.
The AM5 platform, explained
Based on what AMD has stated about the AM5 platform, it seems it’ll provide tangible improvements and benefits over AM4.
AM5 uses an LGA (Land Grid Array) pin design instead of the old PGA (Pin Grid Array) layout. Intel also uses this pin design on its desktop CPUs. PGA pins have more potential to bend, so switching over to LGA seems wise. AMD says AM5 supports 1,718 pins and up to 230W. This is something overclockers will surely take note of.
Speaking of overclocking, AMD announced a new feature called EXPO (Extended Profiles for Overclocking), which is similar to Intel’s XMP (Extreme Memory Profile). The company promises 11% faster DDR5 overclocking capabilities and low-latency DDR5 down to ~63ns.
The AM5 platform supports PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 RAM. In fact, it only supports DDR5 RAM. This means you won’t be able to use DDR4 RAM with your new motherboard. However, AMD says AM5 will support DDR4 coolers to ease the transition.
AMD says it will support AM5 at least until 2025. This is a shorter timespan than the five years AM4 was around. It’s worth keeping in mind that this timeframe coincides with the predicted launch of Zen 5 in 2024.
We’d need to conduct our own benchmarking and real-world testing to ascertain the accuracy of AMD’s claims about its Ryzen 7000 chips and the AM5 platform. Though buying a new motherboard and being relegated to DDR5 RAM could be pricy, the benefits might justify the added costs.
Where to get AM5 motherboards
AMD Ryzen 7000 desktop processors, along with X670 and X670E motherboards, will launch on September 27. Presently, Asus has a page for its line of upcoming X670E motherboards – though you can’t order any of them at time of writing. The vendor hasn’t listed prices for these motherboards.
The lower-end B650 and B650E motherboards start at $125 and will be available on October 10, 2022.
Upgrading computer components isn’t always cheap. And there’s always the possibility that upgrading one part necessitates you upgrade another. That’s the case with Ryzen 7000 CPUs and AM5 motherboards. Given the current state of the global economy, this could be a hard pill to swallow.
However, if you’re in serious need of an upgrade or are simply suffering from FOMO due to the shiny new AMD hardware, then upgrading could be an option. But as we said up top, it might be best to wait for independent benchmarks to see if AMD’s new Zen 4 processors are worth buying.
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Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on X/Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.