AMD socket AM3 processors to work in AM2 boards

Written by Tim Smalley

July 20, 2007 // 7:02 p.m.

Tags: #30 #45nm #am2 #am3 #amd #cpu #ddr2 #ddr3 #ht30 #hypertransport #memory #motherboard #power #processors #pwms #regulators #requirements #tdp

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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