AMD’s AM5 launched with only DDR5 support for Ryzen 7000, dual chipset design
All signs point to AMD’s next-gen socket AM5 platforms that will house the 5nm Ryzen 7000 “Raphael” processors not supporting DDR5 memory until they arrive later this year, but that’s not the case. is not official. However, we have now confirmed through multiple sources in the supply chain that the X670 and B650 AM5 platforms only support DDR5 memory, which has pricing implications for platforms built around the next few AMD Zen 4 processors. Additionally, we’ve also confirmed that AMD has moved to a chip-based design for its AM5 motherboard chipsets, so some models will come with two chipset dies.
Given the exorbitant long-running prices we’ve seen for DDR5 memory, AMD’s choice to only support DDR5 could prove to be a downside when compared to Intel’s Raptor Lake, which we have confirmed, will continue to support both affordable and expensive DDR4. DDR5 memory, allowing two price points for Intel platforms.
AMD has already announced that its socket AM5 platforms, which will replace the aging AM4 platform, will support PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 interfaces as we see with Intel’s Alder Lake – but AMD has not confirmed that DDR4 support is not an option. Our sources tell us that the X670 and B650 motherboards have no provision for DDR4 support, and it’s not yet clear if the Ryzen 7000’s memory controllers even support DDR4. If they support DDR4, AMD might have plans for lower-tier A-series motherboards with DDR4 support, but we’re told that doesn’t seem likely.
DDR5 continues to be significantly more expensive than DDR4, and for little or no performance gain in many applications. While DDR5 availability and pricing have improved over the past few months, DDR5 marks the first generation of consumer memory with power management integrated circuits (PMICs) and VRMs. Unfortunately, these are in constant shortage due to the pandemic.
To highlight the current price difference, you can see a quick comparison of two low-end kits (DDR4-3200/DDR5-4800) and two high-end kits (DDR4-4000 (for Gear 1 OC) below. )/DDR5-6400 ). As you can see, low-end and high-end DDR5 kits cost well over double the price of comparable DDR4 kits, and we don’t think those kinds of bounties will end anytime soon.
|32 GB kits (2 x 16 GB)||Model||Price||To buy|
|DDR5-4800: 32 GB crucial||CT2K16G48C40U5||$257||View at Newegg|
|DDR4-3200: G.Skill Aegis 32 GB||F4-3200C16D-32GIS||$109||View at Newegg|
|DDR5-6400: 32GB G.Skill Trident Z5 RGB Series||F5-6400J3239G16GX2-TZ5RK||$449||View at Newegg|
|DDR4-4000: G.Skill Trident Z Neo 32GB Series||F4-4000C18D-32GTZN||$169||View at Newegg|
Micron expects the PMIC/VRM supply to rebound in the second half of 2022, so we might see the situation improve as AMD’s Zen 4 Ryzen 7000 processors hit the market, but it’s best to temper your expectations. DDR5 prices will drop as PMIC and VRM supply improves, but recent lockdowns in China and ever-longer shipping times mean it could be some time before that happens. materializes. Additionally, DDR5’s more complex power circuitry and design means these modules will continue to command a premium over DDR4. DDR5 also has built-in ECC mechanisms for data-at-rest, which requires additional dies to provide the same memory capacity as DDR4. Although the price differences will reduce over time, DDR5 will still be more expensive than DDR4 regardless of the offer.
This means that Intel will likely have a platform price advantage with readily available DDR4 platforms, and it will pay off the most in the high-volume midrange and low-end segments.
If it’s any consolation, AMD said it focused on DDR5 overclocking performance with its Zen 4 Ryzen 7000 platform, saying “[…]speeds you may have thought were impossible, may be possible with this overclocking spec. faster memory. Time will tell us.
AMD Chiplet-Based AM5 Socket Chipsets and Motherboards
Last week, a report came out suggesting that AMD will use a dual-chip design for the AM5 platforms. ASMedia, AMD’s long-time chipset partner, will supply the chips (made on TSMC 6nm). We have confirmed that the dual-chipset design only applies to the X670 platform, while the B650 (and likely A-series) motherboards will come with a single chip.
AMD’s mainstream B650 platform will ship with a single chipset chip that connects to the Ryzen 7000 processor via a PCIe 4.0 x4 connection, although the docs we’ve seen indicate that a PCIe 5.0 connection is available on some AM5 processors. This single chip provides eight PCIe 4.0 lanes (four lanes for M.2 storage), four SATA ports, and a number of USB ports.
Meanwhile, the Enthusiast X670 platform uses two of these chips (our sources confirm that the chips are identical, do not a north/south bridge type arrangement), effectively doubling these connectivity options. This contrasts with AMD’s approach with current 500-series motherboards, which use different chips for X-series and B-series motherboards. The new approach will obviously offer advantages in cost and design flexibility. .
AMD’s current AM4 socket has been used from 2017 to present, housing five generations of chips ranging from Excavator to Zen 3 and supporting PCIe 3.0 and 4.0 interfaces. However, while the AM4 platform has earned the company plenty of accolades from enthusiasts – you can upgrade a motherboard from 2017 with today’s best gaming CPU released there. just ten days old, the Ryzen 7 5800X3D – that longevity has limited the company. ability to upgrade to the most advanced connectivity options, giving Intel’s Alder Lake the upper hand.
It’s incredibly difficult to match a memory transition with affordable prices, even at the best of times, and the ongoing global chip shortage was unforeseen a few years ago when AMD’s Zen 4 chips entered the stages. Design. AMD is obviously plumbing its AM5 socket for long life, so adding support for what will soon be an older interface, DDR4, might require compromises and design compromises that don’t wouldn’t make sense in the long run.
However, AMD’s decision to use DDR5 exclusively means you might have to shell out some extra cash over competing Intel Raptor Lake platforms, at least with the early Zen 4 Raphael chips for Socket AM5. As a result, just as we saw with AMD’s high-priced debut of Ryzen 5000 processors (AMD finally released lower-cost Zen 3 chips a year and a half later), you can expect pay a premium for AMD’s Ryzen 7000 platforms. when they arrive later this year.