Anand has just posted a performance preview of AMD's upcoming Socket AM2 platform for your viewing pleasure. Beyond the obvious physical socket change, AMD is making the move away from DDR and switching over to DDR2 memory. Although AMD had an exceptionally efficient DDR memory controller in its architecture, there have been rumors of issues regarding DDR2's higher latencies that could inhibit the platform's performance. With Intel's Conroe architecture coming in the near future, AMD fans are hoping for a miracle before the planned architecture update in 2007.
Why would you move to Socket-AM2? If you're well invested in an up-to-date Socket-939 system, and if these numbers we've seen here today hold true for shipping AM2 platforms, then there's no reason to upgrade immediately. However, if you're buying or building a brand new system, then by all means AM2 makes a lot more sense than Socket-939. Like it or not, DDR2 is the future, and AM2 will be the new socket for AMD's future 65nm parts as well. DDR2 is also competitively priced with DDR memory while generally offering higher bandwidths, and with most manufacturers transitioning to DDR2 now we expect to see further DDR2 price cuts.