Last August 2022, AMD launched the update to its long-standing AM4 socket, which has been with us since 2016. The new AM5 platform brings quite a few new things under its belt, but is it really worth it? Especially considering that this is not exactly a cheap upgrade.
The keys to AMD’s AM5 platform
Until now, AMD processors used the AM4 socket, with a method of connecting to the socket called PGA (Pin Grid Array) in which the connection pins were on the processor itself. One of the main (physical) changes of the new platform is the fact that it is now LGA (Land Grid Array), so that the connection pins are on the socket and not on the processor. This is obviously one of the reasons why you need to change motherboards in order to upgrade to AM5.
But the physical change in the processors is not the only reason to have to change the motherboard, since the chipset has also been updated (at the time of writing these lines, there are 4 compatible chipsets: X670E, X670, B650E and B650 ) which extends system compatibility and connectivity, but has also added support for the DDR5 RAM memory which, physically, is also different to DDR5 and therefore also required a physical change to the motherboard (in this case, to the RAM sockets).
On the other hand, interface compatibility has also been added. PCI Express 5.0allowing to use its greater bandwidth and speeds (although it is true that, for the moment, there are no devices that take advantage of it, although there is already talk of SSDs with this interface).
Essentially, if you were on an AM4 platform and plan to upgrade to AM5, you’ll need to change your processor, motherboard, and RAM at the very least, because AM4-compatible coolers should also be AM5-compatible (meaning you’ll be able to reuse the heatsink). . Similarly, your PC case, graphics card, power supply, and even your storage devices will be seamlessly compatible with the new platform.
So is it worth upgrading?
As we said, changing the processor, motherboard and RAM memory is not a small thing, especially with the price of the current hardware. Considering that currently only four processors use AMD’s new socket AM5 (these are the Ryzen 5 7600X, Ryzen 7 7700X, and the Ryzen 9 7900X and 7950X) there isn’t much choice (for now), and even choosing the lowest-end processor of all these we are talking about an update that can easily approach 1,000 Euros.
At this point, upgrading to the AMD AM5 platform might be a good idea if your current PC is already relatively old, such as a Ryzen 2000-Series or a 9th-gen or earlier Intel Core (we’re talking about 2018 platforms). However, unless you really need a noticeable performance boost (which is what you’re going to get, of course), perhaps you should wait for AMD to bring more processor options to the table, since as we mentioned before , for now there are only four models to choose from.
What is certain is that this AM5 platform is the future of AMD processors; the manufacturer has promised that the next generations of processors will keep the same socket, so just as AM4 has lasted from 2016 to 2022, we can expect that at least AMD will be using this socket until 2028. In other words, AM5 can be a good bet for the future for any type of user.