Why AMD May Skip Over 700 Series Motherboards For Next-Gen AM5 CPUs

amd ryzen 7000 in socket 1
Regular HotHardware readers will recall that we reported on the leaked naming scheme for AMD's next-generation Ryzen processors. At that time, it was thought that AMD's upcoming chips would be named something like "Ryzen AI 9 HX 170", but according to more recent leaks, it seems like AMD will instead go with "Ryzen AI 9 HX 270" so that it has processor model number parity with Intel. The latest leak implies that the company will also do the same thing with its chipset naming.

So, the current-generation Ryzen chipsets are the 600 series: X670, B650, and A620. You'd naturally expect that the next-generation parts would be the 700 series, but according to Chinese hardware site Benchlife, motherboard vendors are actually going to be building boards around AMD "800 series" chipsets instead. In fact, the site goes so far as to say that this has been "confirmed," although it's the first we've heard of it.

high yield zen5 tweet
A tweet from High Yield condenses most of what we "know" about Zen 5.

That site mentions this in a preview of an upcoming motherboard from Gigabyte, the B650E Aorus Pro X USB4. They correctly question why Gigabyte Aorus is releasing a B650E motherboard so close to the launch of Zen 5, but the answer is simply that the 800 series chipsets are probably not going to be very different from the extant 600 series. After all, this board will natively support the Granite Ridge desktop CPUs.

It has been rumored for some time that the Granite Ridge desktop processors will mate Zen 5 CCDs (that's "core complex dice", or chiplets with cores on them) with the same I/O die (cIOD) used in Zen 4 desktop parts. That means that you're still looking at PCIe 5.0 and RDNA 2 graphics. There still aren't any PCIe 5.0 graphics cards yet, and the integrated graphics on most socket AM5 CPUs aren't intended for gaming, so this is really just fine.

benchlife gigabyte aorus b650e rearpanel
Rear I/O of Gigabyte B650E Aorus Pro X motherboard showing USB4 and Wi-Fi 7. Image: Benchlife.info

In that case, what could the 800 series chipsets actually offer? Well, not a lot. There will undoubtedly be Wi-Fi 7 support and USB 4—both of which are found on Gigabyte's new B650E motherboard. So saying, if you're thinking about upgrading to Zen 5, you might go ahead and start shopping for motherboards. It's pretty unlikely that the 800 series chipsets are going to bring any "must have" features for a new Ryzen desktop PC.