In an interview with retailer and PC maker Overclockers UK – see the video clip below (flagged up by PC World) – AMD’s David McAfee, who is VP and General Manager of the Client Channel Business, spilled the beans on how long future support for AM5 might last.
When questioned on whether AMD’s previous commitment to support the AM5 chipset – and motherboards that carry it – through to 2025 still stands, McAfee replied: “It absolutely still stands. I think that we certainly recognize that the longevity of the AM4 platforms was one of the biggest reasons that led to the success of Ryzen.
“And as we think about the future, 2025 and beyond, that decision to move to a next generation of socket is one that’s going to be really thought through very, very carefully.”
McAfee later added that “we’ll see how long that promise lasts beyond 2025.”
That’s a hint, then, that the next socket and chipset for AMD’s desktop processors won’t be here until 2026 at the earliest, and possibly not until 2027 – or even later?
Analysis: Good news for upgrades
What does this mean for the consumer? Well, if you just bought an AMD Ryzen 7000 CPU, it’s installed in a motherboard with the AM5 chipset, and this means that you’ll be able to plug future generations of processors into that motherboard for at least another three years.
When the chipset and socket is changed, you can no longer just plug a fast new CPU into your motherboard, as it won’t fit that socket – meaning you’ll have to upgrade not just the processor, but the motherboard as well. (And that’s considerably more expensive, not to mention a lot more hassle in terms of the upgrade process).
The previous chipset and socket, AM4, debuted in 2016, to be replaced by AM5 last year – so it actually reigned for six years as the current-gen chipset. This was why folks were a little disappointed that AMD only ‘guaranteed’ AM5 will reign until at least 2025, but now there’s an indication that this will possibly be extended. A similar six-year cycle would mean AM5 wouldn’t become outdated until 2028, of course.
Next-gen Zen 5 processors (Ryzen 8000, or maybe 9000) are set to arrive next year, possibly around the middle of 2024, and will certainly be on AM5. So, assuming the following generation pitches up around 2026 – and if it maintains support for AM5 again – we would then be looking at around 2028 before we’d have a switch in the chipset. That’s a sizeable ‘if’ mind, but at least Team Red is making relatively positive noises about socket longevity here.
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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).