Socket To Me
AMD have released details on the capabilities of their new socket AM5 platform, which we will cover some of the highlights from their press releases. First off is that this is not the end of AM4, which will continue to be supported and some vendors might still have new products in the pipe. As this is a new socket, you will not be able to plug in your current Ryzen processor however AM4 cooling solutions are compatible so you may not need a new heatsink.
The scariest change is the power delivery, with AM5 able to handle up to 170W. While it is good to be able to feed that much power, it hints at the TDP to expect from some of the next generation of Ryzen chips. As you would expect, AM5 introduces PCIe 5.0 with 24 lanes provided by the processor socket to provide your storage a huge amount of bandwidth once you can get your hands on a PCIe 5.0 NVMe SSD. Grabbing DDR5 will be much easier, if not inexpensive.
AMD’s mobile Ryzen 6000-series CPUs are already certified USB 5 compliant and that should hold true on the 7000 series as well. Your CPU will be able to provide up to 24 USB ports, including Type-C 20Gbps Superspeed USB. There will also be models with support for Thunderbolt 4, though not natively like USB is. Some models will also feature Wi-Fi 6E support onboard, though you might prefer to reserve those PCIe lanes for something else.
As is traditional there will be three flavours of AM5 motherboards. The X670 Extreme platforms will offer two PCIe 5.0 slots and a single PCIe 5.0 NVMe slot, though there will also be plenty of legacy PCIe 4.0 support. They will also be the most proficient at overclocking. The plain old X670 boards will still be decent overclockers but will likely be limited to supporting PCIe 4.0 GPUs; you will still get PCIe 5.0 storage options however. The B670 families will be similar, with PCIe 5.0 only for storage.
As most motherboard makers are currently only showing off their X670 Extreme platforms, there may be some X670’s and B670’s with more capabilities than mentioned above. Keep your eyes peeled for updates as we get more information from AMD and other vendors.