AMD‘s Ryzen 7000-series CPUs were officially teased at CES this year but enthusiasts are going to be waiting a fair few months before getting their hands on them in the second half of 2022. Alongside the reveal came confirmation that the platform would be transitioning to a new socket – AM5 – which adopts the LGA style, dropping the PGA package prior mainstream AMD platforms have used for decades. It’s now barely a week on and details of this socket have been leaked.
As is so often the case Igor’s Lab have the skinny on the technical info and have put their expert minds to analysing it in the context of other sockets commonly used today. If you’re interested in how AM5 will compared to Intel’s LGA1700/1800, their article is well worth your time.
AMD AM5 socket is very similar to Intel’s past and current LGA designs. A 1718-pin socket with plastic housing sits on the motherboard PCB which in turn is surrounded by a stiffener frame that’s screwed into standoffs from the insulated backplate that protrude through the PCB. A retaining plate sits above this stiffener frame, hinged at the top. Two lugs protrude inwards to push the CPU package down (pressing on the recessed edges of the CPU’s heatspreader, while an additional lug at the bottom is where an actuating arm applies pressure to hold the retention plate into place.
A robust backplate and stiffening frame that’s directly bolted into said backplate should help to avoid the bending issues experienced by some users of LGA1700 systems. Cooling performance and long-term socket durability should be improved as a result.
AM5 is much squarer than LGA 1700/1800, more closely resembling LGA115x solutions, and has been designed to be backwards compatible their own AM4 OEM cooling solutions. Backwards compatibility is thanks to the four outer heatsink standoffs on the backplate which are spaced identically to their AM4 counterparts, letting the dual-clip mounted heatsinks and plastic mounting points attach without modification.
Third party solutions, particularly those with their own backplate, will have more of an issue. The AM5 stiffening plate screws directly into the backplate to ensure minimal flex but AM4 backplates don’t have compatible standoffs in these locations. Fitting these typically more heavy-duty coolers will either require swapping the backplate or screwing into it directly.
Other aspects of the socket and motherboard design, particularly component placement and no-go areas in AM5’s layout, will eventually determine whether upgrade kits or entire cooler replacements will be necessary with 3rd party coolers. Much as the likes of Noctua and Cooler Master might wish for enthusiasts to replace their ageing NH-D14/Hyper 212 EVO for a new model, no-one involved wants customers to leave unhappy with their lot.