During the official presentation of the Ryzen 7000, based on the Zen 4 architecture, AMD confirmed that this new generation was going to come exclusively to the AM5 socket, and that they would need a new motherboard and DDR5 memory to work. This meant, therefore, the end of the AM4 socket, and opened a new stage within the ecosystem of AMD general consumer CPUs.
That is the official version, but information from an AMD CPU vendor points in the opposite direction, as it ensures that there will be products based on Zen 4 that will be compatible with the AM4 socket. If this is confirmed, you will be able to upgrade your AM4 motherboard with a Ryzen 7000 CPUand you won’t have to change your computer’s RAM either, since those processors will run on DDR4.
The information is very interesting, and it makes sense because AMD dropped during the Zen 4 presentation that socket AM4 motherboards were “not going anywhere”, that is, it hinted that they still had a long life ahead of them, and that they would co-exist with AM5 motherboards for a few years.
What would Zen 4 need to run on an AM4 motherboard? we see the differences
That supposed version of Zen 4 adapted to work on an AM4 motherboard should bring some very important changes. The first would be the most obvious, since it would be visible to the naked eye, and would be in contact with the motherboard. AM4 uses pins (PGA) while AM5 will use dies (LGA)which means that AMD would have to reuse the packaging process of the Ryzen 5000.
Another key change would be in the memory controller, which would have to support DDR4, as AM4 motherboards do not support DDR5 memory. Finally, the third change would be given by the support of the PCIe standard, which would be limited to Gen4 in these new processors. The latter would be of less importance, since this standard still offers a high bandwidth.
It seems that AMD could limit those versions of Zen 4 for AM4 to the low and mid-low range, which means that we should not expect to see a Ryzen 9 7950X adapted to said socket. Again, this makes sense, because it would allow AMD to give an affordable option to those who want to upgrade their equipment and give it a new life without having to change motherboard and memory. I remind you that the Ryzen 7000 could hit the market on September 15.