AMD's Next-Gen Zen 4 Ryzen AM5 Socket Visualized In New Renders
The end of the road for AMD's current AM4 socket is finally afoot, with an AM5 socket being prepped for the eventual release of Zen 4. Kudos to AMD for sticking with AM4 for so long. As Zen 4 comes into view, however, more attention will be paid to the upcoming socket, and as such, some nifty AM5 renders are making the rounds on the web.
These are not official renders from AMD, but they could be accurate all the same (time will tell). They were published on Twitter by @ExecuFix (ExecutableFix), one of a handful of prominent leakers that we follow. He posted three renders in all, two of which show the socket's lid clamped down on a CPU, and one with it opened and the retention arm stretched out.
Part of what is interesting about the AM5 socket is that AMD is switching to a Land Grid Array (LGA 1718) format, and leaving behind the pin grid array (PGA) format it has been using. Intel has long favored LGA designs, and what this essentially means for Zen 4 is that next-generation Ryzen processors will see their pins moved away from the CPU and planted in the actual socket.
There are pros and cons to both designs. There will be less chance of destroying a Zen 4 CPU because there will not be any pins to break or bend, but a higher chance of mucking up the socket, and by extension, the motherboard. Bent pins can sometimes be fixed, but if you manage to break one (or really mash a bunch of them up), it can ruin your day.
Also visible in the AM5 socket renders is the shape of a Zen processor. It's a tidy square, rumored to measure 45mm by 45mm, with a thick integrated heat spreader (IHS) on top. And from the look of the renders, it also appears as though there are two cutouts on each of the four sides, a little similar to the IHS design of Intel's Skylake-X processors. If that is the case, it will be interesting to see what impact it has on cooling, both for the CPU itself and the surrounding VRM.
Socket aside, Zen 4 is on track to arrive in 2022, AMD confirmed earlier this week. It is being built on a 5-nanometer manufacturing process, and is rumored to deliver up to a 20 percent IPC (instructions per clock) performance uplift.
Zen 4 will also introduce support for DDR5 memory, just like Intel's Alder Lake CPUs. However, early indications suggest AMD will stick with PCI Express 4.0 for another round before embracing PCI Express 5.0 with Zen 5, which is expected to be a hybrid (or heterogeneous) architecture.