AMD is Intels biggest thorn in their side. Will AMD’s new AM5, ZEN4 architecture and 7000 ‘Raphael’ CPU’s take them to the top? Let’s look at AM5, is it the foundation to what could topple Alder Lake?
When will we get AM5?
It’s looking like the second half of 2022, along with AMD’s Zen4 architecture and their 7000 series CPU’s named Raphael. A pretty reliable source on twitter known as @greymon55 who has in the past leaked the internal roadmap for AMD is suggesting maybe earlier than September 22nd, and production samples of the AM5 motherboards shipping this month (feb). One can’t release without the other, it would be pointless selling their brand new 7000 series to consumers with motherboards that aren’t compatible.
So what will we get?
With the new AM5 Socket and 7000 series CPU’s another leak has come about to suggest some vast improvements to performance and hopefully efficiency.
- The IPC (Instruction per cycle/clock) has increased by 18%
- Peak frequency has increased by 7%
- and the full core frequency increased by 8.7%
All of this based around the new Zen4 Architecture with TSMC’s 5nm manufacturing process instead of the previous 7nm, decreasing the resistance and increasing the computations per second. So potentially speed and efficiency. Thanks to ‘get winder‘ for the leak.
With ZEN4 we’ll also be getting some DDR5 support, even though you can’t get hold of any DDR5 easily and some PCIe 5.0 support. Is the PCIe 5.0 support worth it? Well with nearly double the bandwidth on PCIe lanes, paired with faster and more efficient CPU’s, it’ll be a leap and put AMD even further ahead as far as I’m concerned. Read more about PCIe 5.0 on Kevin Jones’s post, over at tech reviewer.
Cooling the AM5?
With the AM5 motherboard my first thought was cooling, but the AM5 socket has been confirmed that AM5 will be backwards compatible with AM4 cooling. Keeping the 40x40mm dimension and with a supposedly easier mounting system the AM5 SAM (Socket Actuation Mechanism) backplate won’t move, making it so much simpler to fit and even upgrade in the future.
From PGA to LGA
So, AMD has moved from the PGA process (Pin Grid Array) and moved over to the LGA (Land Grid Array) with a total of 1718 pins, weirdly enough giving you the name LGA1718. AMD have moved away from what’s been a standard for many years, but there is reasons, and they are pretty good.
They’ve changes over for cost, it’s cheaper to manufacture LGA pins compared to PGA due to them being that little bit more robust. This equates to less damage during manufacture/testing, meaning less wastage. So one thing you don’t have to factor into a budget. LGA pins have a smaller footprint as well meaning that they can fit more Lands compared to PGA meaning greater connectivity.
So now the other thing we have to deal with is shortages. If Miners aren’t snatching up graphics cards and RAM, then Covid has hit manufacturing hard and everyones trying to play catch up. AMD processors reside in pretty much everything now including electric cars and cloud computing. So some things have got to take priority with expansion in the world. AMD’s chair Dr Lisa Su recently addressed questions about supply throughout the year openly, saying;
I will say that there are still some supply, demand imbalances in the supply chain right now.Dr Lise Su, AMD Chair and CEO.
I think the first half of 2022 will continue to be tight. My expectation is that things will get a bit better as we go through the year
With the world as it is right now (Feb 2022), I can see shortages going on for a little while longer. With sanctions against Russia and Ukraine at war where Neon gas is one of their exports, this could hinder Chip manufacturing as it is a key component. Companies are currently trying to find alternate solutions but it’s still early days, but prices did rise in 2014 when Russia stuck their toe over the line into Crimea.