AMD's new AM4 socket spotted in the wild, ready for Zen

By Scorpus ยท 10 replies
Sep 19, 2016
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  1. Motherboards featuring AMD's new AM4 socket have been spotted in the wild, giving us a first look at the socket that supports both seventh-generation Bristol Ridge APUs, and AMD's long-awaited Zen CPUs.

    The AM4 socket looks reasonably similar to AMD's previous processor sockets, featuring 1331 pin holes arranged in a plastic mount. It appears as though AMD will continue to put the pins themselves on the CPU, which does increase the risk of accidentally bending a pin during the installation process, but shouldn't be an issue outside of that.

    New coolers will be required for AM4 systems as AMD has changed the cooler mounting layout, rendering AM3 coolers useless without an update to the mounting hardware. Considering AM4 is a major update to AMD's motherboard platform, this isn't too surprising.

    While AM4 motherboards from partners haven't hit the shelves yet, an OEM AM4 motherboard from HP has been spotted inside a new Pavilion desktop. Enthusiasts who want to mess around with AMD APUs and DDR4 memory can purchase the HP 510-P127C, where a micro-ATX HP 'Willow' motherboard can be found inside.

    The board itself is fairly limited in its expansion support, with just a single PCIe x16 slot, two DDR4 slots, and a serious lack of SATA ports. This board does support the new features of the AM4 platform, like PCIe 3.0, however there's no USB 3.1 ports to be found.

    Announced way back at CES 2016, AM4 is AMD's new socket that supports both seventh-generation 'Bristol Ridge' APUs along with upcoming 'Summit Ridge' Zen CPUs. Previously, sockets for APUs (FM2+) and CPUs (AM3+) were different and incompatible with each other, however AM4 allows users to purchase a single motherboard today for a 7th-gen APU and then upgrade it to a Zen CPU when they become available.

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  2. HardReset

    HardReset TS Maniac Posts: 499   +151

    Quite opposite in fact. Intel promises that LGA1150 socket will last at least 15 CPU instalations. AM4 has no specified durability as it's essentially more than 100 installations. So bending pins with LGA is much easier than with PGA.

    Whole purpose of LGA socket on consumer parts is to make motherboard manufacturers responsible for bent pins. I have seen many cases where motherboard had CPU pins bent right out of the box. However I have never seen CPU that has bent pins out of the box.
    Raoul Duke and Reehahs like this.
  3. ETF Soldier

    ETF Soldier TS Evangelist Posts: 463   +136

    On my previous build I had a AMD Phenom II X61045T, this had 1 or 2 bent pins out of the box, but my dad easily tipped them back into place.
    ScubaRhys likes this.
  4. HardReset

    HardReset TS Maniac Posts: 499   +151

    That's very bad luck then. That's another aspect, as it's very easy to put bent pins on CPU back into place and even replacing them is not very hard. With LGA socket bent pins are hard to repair and broken ones ultra hard to repair. Also quote hard to bring pin damaged LGA motherboard to warranty as it's considered to be user error.

    I have fixed CPU's with around 400 pins bent and still got them working *nerd*
    Raoul Duke and Reehahs like this.
  5. Pins still on the CPU? Come on AMD, it's 2016 now!
  6. HardReset

    HardReset TS Maniac Posts: 499   +151

    As I already stated, that's better choice than having them on CPU socket. At least with 95W TDP and that pin count.
    Raoul Duke, Reehahs and GreenNova343 like this.
  7. No, you are wrong. It's definitely better to have the pins on the less valuable motherboard.
  8. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TS Evangelist Posts: 568   +241

    So if AMD used, for some reason, BGA for all its desktop processors... you would come out with a mystical justification saying why changing your motherboard every time you want to change your CPU is a better idea than the "wrong way" of just changing your CPU, because Intel does that.

    You are a guy totally partial to AMD, aren't you? I suspect that if the PGA, LGA thing was the other way around: you would be praising AMD for using LGA; stating that you have yet to find a CPU socket with bent pins and if someone was to manifest it happened to him, then he had bad luck.
    Adhmuz likes this.
  9. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,828   +633

    You know us Intel guys, we just love to upgrade our CPUs at least 15 times per motherboard, it's like a bi-annual thing for us, everyone knows that... Really all that it shows from AMD is that their CPU's are meant to be disposable, and the real gem is that out dated motherboard from 10 years ago.

    Honestly I know maybe two or three instances out of the 100s if not 1000s of motherboards in my time that I've seen bent pins on an Intel motherboard out of the box, and if you buy retail they check the pins before you leave with the board and give you another while RMA'ing the one with bent pins. From working in a service department I was able to straighten BOTH Intel motherboard pins and AMD CPU pins successfully, the ladder being the easier of the two but it's not impossible on Intel's side. I will admit to having never seen bent pins on an AMD CPU out of the box, but they accounted for a smaller percentage of sales too.

    Also worth noting is I've seen more damaged heatsink mounts on AMDs side than on Intels side, mainly due to the nature of leveraging the pressure on that plastic socket surround, Intel's solution there has always been preferred.
  10. HardReset

    HardReset TS Maniac Posts: 499   +151

    That is totally wrong. Think about used parts market. Almost without exceptions, used CPU's are widely available on second hand market but there exists huge shortage of motherboards. Right now it's not hard to find good LGA1155 CPU but finding good LGA1155 motherboard is hard.

    Also, Intel proves you're wrong. Intel changes CPU socket all the time because they want to sell more chipsets. To better achieve this, Intel makes motherboards more fragile so that motherboards are not so widely available and users must buy new motherboard+CPU.

    You suspect something I didn't say. LGA is better when it's required to fit huge amount of pins into socket or have very high TDP CPU. Neither is needed on normal desktop machines. Main reason for Intel's socket to LGA change was to move responsibility from bent pins from them to motherboard manufacturer. Not that LGA is better solution in all aspects.

    This change reminds me of Intel's "superior and revolutionary" Slot 1. It was needed because Intel needed to use external L2 cache chips. No surprise Intel killed Slot 1 when that was no longer necessity.

    Had bad luck yes. But how that helps? Broken motherboard that seller does not accept to warranty because "user error". Some of those victims changed into socket after that.

    LGA socket is less durable. That's exactly what Intel wants.

    It's quite impossible to check pins if you are not buying directly from store. That has been and is problem. Percentage is quite small but if bad luck happens, that small percentage doesn't really help.
    ScubaRhys likes this.
  11. lripplinger

    lripplinger TS Addict Posts: 283   +98

    HP motherboards....I cringe just looking at that POS. I also just love how convenient a euphemism the word "accident" has become in the U.S. If you put the CPU wrong in the socket, or bent pins, that is your fault. There is no "accident" involved. Just admit you screwed up and be done with it.

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