AMD is all systems go with their next-gen socket AM5, that would replace their traditional motherboard and CPU pin layouts for at least their Ryzen 7000 lineup. And now, it seems like the socket has been finally pictured. 

Amd threadripper
(Photo : AMD)

According to a report by TechPowerUp, the alleged underside of a Ryzen 7000 chip, codenamed "Raphael," has been revealed in an image and it looks extremely familiar.

For those who have been following the computer hardware space for years, you would recognize the underside as a land grid array or LGA, which is the same CPU connectivity tech that AMD competitor Intel has been using for so long. 

The socket is rumored to be called LGA 1718 (the number referring to how many pins there are in the motherboard socket). Insiders got the information from a source known only as ExecutableFix, who provided a rendered image of the underside of an AM5-ready processor.

However, this isn't the first time AMD went for LGA in recent years, because their Threadripper line of CPUs already use it, as evident in the AMD Threadripper website.

What this basically means is that there will be absolutely no upgrade path for people on the current-gen AM4 platforms, which use PGA or pin grid array. Those folks will be stuck with Ryzen 5000 unless they upgrade to the new platform exclusively featuring socket AM5. 

Read also: AMD Ryzen Chips Are CLOSING IN On Intel's Territory In Terms Of Share-Can Team Blue Fight Back?

AMD Socket AM5: More Performance And Easier Upgrades? 

One thing that has endeared AMD and its Ryzen processors to a lot of people for the past four years is a consistent upgrade path. Unlike Intel who tend to change sockets every few years, AM4 has stayed constant ever since its release in 2017.

As a result, those who bought first-generation Ryzen CPUs were able to upgrade to the succeeding generations of chips with relative ease. Unless, of course, you're trying to upgrade from a 1000 series chip to a 5000 series one as AMD only allowed selective BIOS updates until 3rd Gen Ryzen. 

Amd ryzen event
(Photo : David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Lisa Su, president and chief executive officer of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), holds a 3rd generation Ryzen desktop processor while speaking during a keynote session at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. Su said that the Radeon VII would go on sale next month, and that the 7-nanometer Epyc and Ryzen desktop CPUs would be released in mid-2019.

With AM5, however, it seems like Team Red is shifting for a simple reason: increased performance and better power delivery.

Again, remember that their high-end Threadripper processors (which go up to 64 cores on the high-end) are on the TR4 socket, which is LGA. The switch to the configuration could mean that Ryzen 7000 chips will offer an insane performance jump from the 5000 series just from the socket change alone. 

Plus, there is a general consensus that LGA is where Intel CPUs mostly get it right. If the chip is PGA (meaning there are pins on the CPU itself), it's much easier to break those pins off than breaking pins off a motherboard socket. Broken mainboards tend to be far cheaper to replace than a broken CPU, and every computer enthusiast knows this. 

Socket AM5, however, is only exclusive to DDR5 according to insiders.

If so, then this puts a certain amount of people in a not-so-good position, because they'll need to upgrade their entire platform (CPU, motherboard, RAM) to get a taste of that Ryzen 7000 goodness. And if the rumors about Intel's Alder Lake platform being DDR4 and DDR5 compatible are true, then AMD is going to fight an uphill battle--again.

All that we can do now is wait. 

Related: AMD Is Equipping Singapore's FASTEST Supercomputer With EPYC Processors

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Written by RJ Pierce

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