AMD socket AM3 processors to work in AM2 boards

AMD socket AM3 processors to work in AM2 boards

AMD's future 45nm socket AM3 processors are said to work in current socket AM2 motherboards.

According to sources cited in a report on The Inquirer, AMD’s future 45nm processors will work in current socket AM2 motherboards.

Before socket AM3 hits though, socket AM2+ will be introduced later this year. This implements a bunch of features like HyperTransport 3.0 and improved power management technologies, but still continues to support DDR2 memory.

On the other hand, socket AM3 will be AMD’s first processor socket to support DDR3 memory.

Interestingly though, AMD is apparently planning to allow end users to not only drop in an AM2+ processor into their AM2 motherboard, but also future 45nm socket AM3 processors too. These processors aren’t scheduled for launch until sometime in the second half of 2008.

Today’s socket AM2 processors will not work in either AM2+ or AM3 boards as they don’t support the new features that will be implemented. Additionally, AM2+ processors won’t work in AM3 boards either, as they will not feature an integrated DDR3 memory controller.

What’s more, AMD will apparently not be changing its power requirements for motherboard makers to follow. High-end motherboards have to support 125W processors with PWMs that can deliver at least 95 Amps – this isn’t going to change for either AM2+ or AM3 motherboards. In the mainstream, the PWMs have to deliver at least 80A of current for AMD’s 89W power envelope and finally at the low-end, boards based around AMD’s DTX form factor have to deliver 45A for AMD’s processors with a 65W TDP.

If this proves to be the case, would it make buying an AM2 system now more attractive than an Intel-based system that supports 45nm Yorkfield and Wolfdale processors? Share your thoughts in the forums.


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DougEdey 20th July 2007, 19:11 Quote
This has been known about for ages, it's called AM2+.
Tim S 20th July 2007, 19:13 Quote
Originally Posted by DougEdey
This has been known about for ages, it's called AM2+.

AM2+ is a bridge between AM2 and AM3... AM2+ has HT3.0 and improved power management (as stated in the article) and AM3 adds DDR3. However, the good thing is that AMD isn't changing the power requirements for AM2+ or AM3, which ultimately means there should be no physical issue preventing AM3 chips running in AM2 boards.
DougEdey 20th July 2007, 19:15 Quote
But as I say, it's been known about since June 2006!
DarkLord7854 20th July 2007, 19:56 Quote
I'd rather have a faster/more efficient CPU then a CPU which I can drop into older motherboards and stuff. I'm still skeptical bout AMD's upcoming lineups, especially given the arrival of Penryn not too far from now
cpemma 20th July 2007, 20:24 Quote
Originally Posted by DarkLord7854
I'd rather have a faster/more efficient CPU then a CPU which I can drop into older motherboards...
So would everybody, but the point is, when, in the not-too-distant future, you can't buy a new AM2 processor for your "old" AM2 motherboard you can drop in an AM3. Sure, you'll be crippling it, but you won't be lashing out on a new mobo and new memory. Good for most business and SOHO systems. ;)
DXR_13KE 20th July 2007, 20:36 Quote
i am still waiting for this phenom and the Bit-tech review.
devdevil85 20th July 2007, 20:38 Quote
/\ ditto, and how about a few more DX10 games while we're at it....
proxess 20th July 2007, 23:45 Quote
Its good if you wanna upgrade your pc slowly (or you have no other option, like me).
Tyinsar 21st July 2007, 03:48 Quote
I guess this is good news for me since I just bought an AM2 board but realistically if I later bought an AM3 processor for it what would I do with the old CPU? (Yes, I could sell it IF I found someone who had an AM2 board without a CPU but at that time I suspect those will be like finding a new 754/940/939 board is now.) I find it best to just upgrade the MB & CPU at the same time.

Still, to me it shows AMD is thinking of it's customers (because sometimes changing the board causes way too many hassles - especially in a business) ;)
kickarse 21st July 2007, 08:57 Quote
So I guess the idea is that an AM2 chip isn't forward compatible to AM2+ nor AM3 but any chip from AM2+ and AM3 is backwards compatible, it'll just be slower. So it's not really a new socket just a new specing for the chips.
BUFF 21st July 2007, 21:09 Quote
afaik an AM2 CPU should be usable in an AM2+ board & in theory would also be in an AM3 board except that an AM3 board is unlikely to have DDR2 sockets for RAM (mind you someone like Asrock may make a combo).
Of course an AM2 CPU wouldn't be able to use the extra features (split power planes etc.) that the future sockets will offer.
Cthippo 22nd July 2007, 05:40 Quote
Granted this may be of questionable value, but it feels good to see a company NOT trying to shaft their customers by making them buy hardware they don't really need. It's stuff like this that keeps me an AMD fanboi!
roadie 24th July 2007, 11:29 Quote
I upgraded to AM2 specifically for this reason when DDR2 hit its lowest price point. Ended up getting a X2 3600 (now at 2.8Ghz), an abit KN9 Ultra and 4Gb of cas4 DDR2 for just over £200. When the new AMD CPUs are released, it should offer a decent upgrade path.
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