At Computex 2022, AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su confirmed that the transition to AM5 will be a gradual one and that AMD will continue to support the AM4 platform for years to come. However, with DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 becoming more prevalent, and capable CPUs already available, AMD’s AM4 platform has begun to take a step back to make way for the future.
Since its release in 2016, the AM4 Socket has been a game changer for AMD, serving as a replacement for 3 previous sockets (AM3+, FM2+, and FS1b) on a single platform. Outlasting half a dozen Intel generations, AM4 has proven to be a versatile and well-received platform, with over 500 different motherboard designs from AMD board partners. The myriad of board designs and configurations is because the AM4 platform has support for several chipsets like the X570, B550, A520, & B450, as well as a litany of CPU’s (from AMD Athlon™ Processors to the more recent Ryzen™ 5000 series). With lots of great motherboard options from vendors like ASUS, GIGABYTE, and MSI, there is still a substantial amount of life left in the platform and plenty of opportunity for resellers to create systems that are more than capable of meeting their customer’s needs.
In the last 5 years, AM4 has added support for 5 architectures, 4 process nodes and 125 processor SKUs. The prevalence and widespread adoption of the AM4 platform is a major reason why the platform will still be around for a while even after AM5 arrives.
After such a storied history, accompanied by a long line-up of great CPUs, it looks like the Ryzen™ 7 5800X3D is going to be the high-performance CPU swansong for the AM4 platform and what a glorious send-off it is. Being the first AM4 CPU to use AMD’s 3D V-Cache™ Technology, the 5800X3D came out to compete against Intel’s Core™ i9- 12900K for the title of the world’s ‘fastest gaming processor’, and it has some benchmarks to help back it up.
3D V-Cache refers to vertically stacking the CPU cache memory to increase the data stored inside the CPU at once, in the 5800X3D’s case this is specifically about the L3 cache (the slowest but largest cache of memory after the L2 and L1 caches respectively). This design has allowed AMD to triple the size of the Ryzen 5800X’s L3 cache to a whopping 96MB for the 5800X3D, albeit at slightly reduced 3.4GHz base and 4.5GHz boost frequencies. While the 5800X3D shows us what the future could look like for AM5, there is still plenty about the AM4 platform to be excited about in the here and now.
For resellers looking to upgrade high-performance AM4 gaming systems, the Ryzen 5800X3D is a fantastic option among a sea of great Ryzen 7 & 9 CPUs. Coupled with an exceptional board like the X570 I AORUS PRO WIFI, users can make full use of more PCIe SSD slots and a large set of I/O connections. For entry-level systems, we’d suggest keeping an eye out for the ever popular MSI A520M-A PRO, a well built board with USB 3.2 and a modest amount of I/O. For that sweet spot of price and performance, with a bit of future-proofing, the ASUS Prime B550M-K is a top contender; boasting dual M.2 ports, PCIe 4.0 support, & 1 Gb ethernet. With AM5 hopefully coming out in September, it might be worth taking the time to see how Zen4 and DDR5 affect the buying landscape before jumping in, while paying attention to what AM4 deals become available.