AMD condenses its desktop platforms with Socket AM4

CES – We met with AMD at CES this week to discuss the present situation of its desktop CPU lineup and its future plans for its desktop platforms. The company acknowledges that today's platform situation for its desktop CPUs is a somewhat confusing one. The company's Vishera CPUs require Socket AM3+ motherboards, while Kaveri and Godavari APUs need Socket FM2+ boards. Furthermore, Kabini Athlons and Semprons need the AM1 platform.

To remedy all that, AMD revealed some details of its future desktop platform roadmap. The company's next-generation CPUs, called "Summit Ridge," and next-gen APUs, called "Bristol Ridge," will both use a single socket called AM4. AMD was tight-lipped about any details of these products beyond their code names and shared socket.

In the meantime, AMD wants to make systems built around select AM3+ FX CPUs easier on the ears of system builders. It's introducing a new boxed CPU cooler called Wraith that represents a major improvement over its past stock heatsink solution. The Wraith cooler offers more of what we want in a heatsink, like more surface area and airflow, while reducing the one thing we don't want: noise.

Interestingly, the Wraith uses a constant-speed fan that produces 39 dBA at all times. While that may sound like nothing special for a CPU cooler, AMD says that figure comes from testing in its own anechoic chamber. The company thinks that in the real world, the Wraith cooler will be one of the quieter components in a PC. The constant-speed fan could also be less noticeable than a cooler that has to ramp its fan speed up and down often.

AMD had some systems with Wraith coolers on display, and going by the tried-and-true "put your ear right up next to it" method, the Wraith seems to live up to the company's claims. While overclockers will still want to set the Wraith aside for a more capable solution, this boxed heatsink is a nice improvement over the older boxed cooler for FX CPUs, which could reach 53 dBA under load in AMD's testing.

Comments closed
    • mcarson09
    • 4 years ago

    AMD’s new cpus better be good this time around, or they can take their packaging and shove it where the sun don’t shine. It has been almost 15 years (2003) since AMD was on top of Intel in the cpu game and sadly they seem to be making only bad choice after bad choice. I’d like Zen to be awesome, but I will be getting a 10 core broadwell regardless because I already have a motherboard for it.

    • Geonerd
    • 4 years ago

    Since when does a ‘constant speed’ DC-powered fan even exist?

    I’ll assume the thing gets its power from a 5v power supply cable instead of a PWM capable Mobo header. Right? That sounds like a slight step backwards…

    As for AM4, I thought that was pretty much a given. IMO, the real question is “How good is the outsourced chipset going to be?”

      • chuckula
      • 4 years ago

      [quote<]Since when does a 'constant speed' DC-powered fan even exist?[/quote<] I've got several case fans that run that way right now. It's nothing new, take any basic DC fan and run it from a battery at constant voltage: voila, a constant speed fan. [quote<] I'll assume the thing gets its power from a 5v power supply cable instead of a PWM capable Mobo header. Right? That sounds like a slight step backwards...[/quote<] Oh yeah, there's absolutely nothing new about having a fan run at a fixed speed. Back in the day it was a big deal when motherboards came with PWM fan headers so that the fans could cycle up and down based on a temperature sensor readout.

        • swaaye
        • 4 years ago

        Back in the day motherboards varied voltage instead of having PWM. Assuming they even had fan speed control, yes.

    • albundy
    • 4 years ago

    would be nice if the AM4 boards would support intel chips like back in the K6 days.

      • just brew it!
      • 4 years ago

      Socket 7 was an Intel thing, so the only way we’re going to see something like that happen again is if AMD goes back to making chips that use Intel’s sockets. (I imagine that would require an additional IP license of some sort, so probably not gonna happen.)

        • mcarson09
        • 4 years ago

        Part of the reason AMD purchased ATI was not having to go back to doing those things like they did in the old days.

          • just brew it!
          • 4 years ago

          Does anyone know if the rumor about them outsourcing the AM4 chipset to Asmedia has any legs? If that turns out to be true, then that doesn’t bode well for the platform.

            • NTMBK
            • 4 years ago

            All the difficult and important parts of the “platform” are integrated into the CPU these days- PCIe controller, memory controller, graphics. The only stuff left in the southbridge is just a bunch of legacy I/O, some legacy USB, and PCIe switches, and it all just connects over a standard PCIe link. I don’t really expect any problems there.

            • just brew it!
            • 4 years ago

            Asmedia’s USB3 controllers have a less than stellar reputation. With both eSATA and Firewire seemingly going the way of the dodo, having stable and decently performing USB3 is critical.

            Isn’t the SATA controller still on the southbridge too?

            • NTMBK
            • 4 years ago

            Yeah, but who uses SATA these days? M.2 is where it’s at 😛

            Good point about the USB3 controller, though.

            • Mr Bill
            • 4 years ago

            Ah, this is why the AM3 and AM3+ CPU’s were left in the cold for FM2+. No way to give that support if it was not in the CPU.

        • ronch
        • 4 years ago

        I think Intel started not letting other chip companies use their sockets with Slot 1, which was first used by the Pentium II. Before the Pentium II the Pentium MMX was the last CPU whose Socket was pretty much open for anyone to use. Hence, the Super 7 days were some of the most interesting and unique days of computing. I remember poring over an Asus P5A-B manual while putting a Cyrix machine together for my uncle and seeing a myriad of chips from the PMMX, K5, K6-x, Winchip, and Cyrix M1/M2. Good times.

        Now, I know Socket 370 was also used by VIA at the tail end of the S370 era but I don’t think Intel would’ve let AMD use it. AMD knew early on that the days when Intel will no longer let them use their sockets were coming, which was why they made the transition to their own sockets beginning with K7.

          • just brew it!
          • 4 years ago

          Bit of trivia: The original Slot A design was borrowed directly from the DEC Alpha. I remember reading somewhere that if you re-flashed the BIOS you could even run a DEC Alpha on an AMD Slot A motherboard.

            • ronch
            • 4 years ago

            Yup. I know. Nonetheless, AMD stopped using Intel’s sockets and went their own way, however they did so.

            • Anonymous Coward
            • 4 years ago

            I remember seeing Alpha machines advertised that were sporting AMD chipsets. These were the low-end Alpha boxes. I wanted to get an Alpha for quite a while…

            • Mr Bill
            • 4 years ago

            Slot 1 and Slot A designs came about because it was easier to redo that riser card cache ram if there was a defect before attaching the CPU rather than trash the whole package. At least that is what I’ve heard.

            • just brew it!
            • 4 years ago

            I thought it was because then-current process tech would’ve made the die too big if they’d integrated the cache. Either way, yeah the issue was the cache chips.

            • Krogoth
            • 4 years ago

            There was also the yielding issue with the 350mm process that made it economically unfeasible to premit on-die L2 cache.

            Intel waited until 250nm process and beta-test on-die L2 cache (128KiB) with Mendocino-based Celerons and later expanded it with 180nm process/P3 Coppermine.

            AMD waited until 250nm with K6-III to try out on-die L2 cache and K7 got the treatment with 180nm-based Thunderbirds.

    • tootercomputer
    • 4 years ago

    I would love it if AMD could create a cpu somewhere between a desktop i5 and i7 in performance and price. With a decent cooler that would allow some OCing, that would be icing on the cake. They are due to a new chipset that runs with ddr4. I have not built an AMD system in almost 10 years, ever since core2due came out, but I’d love the option and competition of a compelling chip that will not heat my house.

      • bfar
      • 4 years ago

      I’d love if they came out with a 6-8 core part in the mainstream price range. Would certainly ruin Intel’s HEDT party.

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    Look at that AMD sticker on the cooler.

    I know relatively few people would care, but somehow, when you buy an Intel processor it just feels like a more professionally built and packaged product. The box feels more professional. The manual feels more professional. The heatsink feels more professional, with the usual hologram stickers on them that seem like even the placement of the sticker was done very carefully. By machine, even.

    Compare that to how AMD packages their CPUs. I remember seeing a stock AMD cooler with the sticker so off-center it looked like a guy in a sweatshop in Malaysia or China had to meet the quota of sticking 120 stickers on 120 coolers per minute to earn his below-minimum salary. It just felt so cheap. And the boxes. I’ve talked about this before already. AMD uses boxes that look worse than some cereal boxes I’ve seen during breakfast. Heck, compare AMD’s boxes with the boxes everyone else in the computer industry uses. Go to YouTube and search for CPU unboxings and compare Intel and AMD (specifically FX and recent APU models… the Phenoms and Athlon 64s back in 2003-2010 we’re packaged quite a bit more professionally).

    It’s like AMD doesn’t care about product perception. They know this but it’s like they’re more interested in saving a few cents on packaging than trying to make their products look and feel more special to buyers who actually hold them in their hands and ponder whether they should buy them.

    Edit – look guys, if you’re all totally fine with how AMD makes their already ‘behind’ products look even cheaper by using el cheapo cardboard boxes, that’s fine by me. All I’m saying is packaging needs to give a sense that you’re getting a product that’s carefully put together. A product that speaks for how a company does things. After all, this isn’t chewing gum they’re selling. I’m not saying they should draw all sorts of stupid crap on the packaging (although a little bit of it could help), I’m saying they should pay more attention to quality and quality perception (those are not quite the same).

      • mesyn191
      • 4 years ago

      I’ve seen people bitch about some stupid shit but this takes the cake.

      No computer enthusiast who is building their own system is going to care if the sticker on the HSF is a little off center or the packaging is a little frayed around the edges.

      People bought AMD back when the mobo’s were white box only with non existent labeling and the CPU packaging was even more mundane. Enthusiasts just don’t care much about packaging or stickers when it comes to these things. They care about total performance or bang vs buck ratios.

        • ronch
        • 4 years ago

        Yeah? So why do you think companies like Asus, Gigabyte, Intel, EVGA, Powercolor, etc. put their stuff inside great looking boxes? Have you seen Powercolor’s Devil 13 package? Or why do you think AMD sold the first FX 8-core models inside flashy tin boxes? You may be a geek, but product perception still counts for a lot. It’s not just about you.

          • Chrispy_
          • 4 years ago

          I kind of agree and disagree with both of you.

          mesyn191 has a point, in that an off-center sticker is really such a petty little whine, and quite frankly, off-center stickers are part for the course for GPU fans, case fans, heatsink fans from everyone, even the big boys like Asus, MSI, Gigabyte, Corsair, Coolermaster etc.

          At the same time, yes it irks me. If there’s an off-center fan label, I’ll often remove it. Why do you think they bother balancing car wheels with tiny little 50g weights, even though the wheel and tyre probably weigh 300x that? It’s because even the slightest imbalance can vibrate at speed, and unlike a car wheel, the fans in computers rotate a couple of orders of magnitude faster!

          • mesyn191
          • 4 years ago

          Some of AMD’s biggest sales were back when their packaging was far more ho hum than the modern stuff. That companies in general feel the need to do flashy packaging today is them trying to squeeze an extra fraction of 1% worth of sales out.

          And I was pretty clear that I wasn’t just giving my personal opinion too in the previous post so I don’t know what you’re talking about.

            • mcarson09
            • 4 years ago

            White box packaging and an ERA of bad caps on motherboards for both intel and AMD. I voted you up because the down vote you got was BS. This whole bling with motherboards, case lights and PCs in general actually annoys me. My best purchase of 2015 was a lamptron CF525 fan controller just for the fact that unlike my FC2 it has no LEDs, I actually put electrical tape on my FC2 because the BLUE light was actually bright at night.

            • ronch
            • 4 years ago

            No. I remember holding the box of a retail Athlon 64 back in 2004 and it felt very solid. The cardboard box was thick, big (not mini-sized like today’s AMD retail chips), and even had embossed patterns. A far cry from the cheap, thin boxes they use for FX 6- and 4-core chips. Not sure the boxes they use today even provide ample protection.

            Also, these are retail boxes. Why do you think companies (not just tech companies) go to so much trouble making their stuff look good on the shelves?

            Also, this isn’t just about product perception. AMD simply is sloppy and their products show it. Intel is more professional and you could see it all the way from their benchmarks to their packaging to their after sales support to their website to how their engineers talk behind the camera. Oh, have you seen how they package their (once expensive) FX-9590 chips? The label on the flap overlaps with a lot of the text on the box, text that’s supposed to be visible (otherwise why is it even there?). Sloppy, even the guy who did an unboxing video I saw said, especially considering how AMD initially tried to charge ~$800 for what is essentially an FX-8350 that’s pushed beyond acceptable desktop model TDPs). Frankly, I thought AMD was taking advantage of their fanbois who’d buy anything AMD sold them even to the point of absurdity.

            AMD fan here, BTW.

            • mesyn191
            • 4 years ago

            Uhh those boxes were normally beat to crap, the inner packaging was half disintegrated from the HSF knocking around, and everything about the fan and HSF felt cheap as shit.

            I don’t recall if the stickers were off center but they probably were and I didn’t care back then either.

            The K6 and K7 boxes looked dumb as hell and were for some reason always scuffed up at Frys. I don’t remember how they were on the inside but I’m sure they were blah too. They protected the CPU so they did the job, IDGAF.

            I’ve been using AMD since the K5 days BTW. K5 PR90 was awesome bang for the buck back then. I wish I still had it for nostalgia reasons but its long gone now.

          • just brew it!
          • 4 years ago

          I would still buy Asus motherboards and video cards even if they came in a plain brown or white box.

          TBH I find the packaging of a lot of enthusiast hardware (video cards, especially) to be unintentionally funny, in how it seems geared to appeal to middle-school age boys.

            • mcarson09
            • 4 years ago

            I just purchased a refurb asus router that came in a white box. I was shocked because I was expecting a lame cartoon character to be on it.

            • ronch
            • 4 years ago

            I wouldn’t mind it either. Heck, I’d be totally OK with buying tray CPUs with no box at all! I find those fancy boxes ridiculous at times too.

            Point is, and I’ll say this again, AMD packaging is so cheap. I’ve seen better quality packaging with toothpaste.

          • the
          • 4 years ago

          Presentation still matters as stores like MicroCenter are still around who will display the product up front. I’d argue that it matters less today than it did 20 years ago due to the migration of online shopping. Most people don’t even know what the packaging will look like until it arrives on their door step.

          I will say that case manufacturers have been doing things right. Most of them are the stereo typical brown shipping boxes but they will take the effort to have all key information printed on it. Browsing cases at my local MicroCenter is comparably ugly to the motherboard section but oh is it more functional (though my MicroCenter will often have a unit out on display to negate the bland packaging). A box doesn’t need to be flashy, but it does need to say clearly that is inside of it and offer the necessary protection for the devices inside of it.

          *At this point I’d like to go on a bit of a rant about SuperMicro and how they box things. While I don’t need a glossy printed graphic on my motherboard packaging, I do need packaging to clearly state what is inside the box. This isn’t [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLDhMU5JvMk<]Se7en[/url<], I want to know specifically the model I'm getting. SuperMicro has the overly annoying habit of put a product table on the back for 5,673,634 different models based up on every [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3sLhnDJJn0<]inconceivable[/url<] product combination. Then they put a crappy sticker elsewhere on the box to indicate what is actually inside where half time that ticket is pealed or damage to make it unreadable.

      • KingLear
      • 4 years ago

      Who cares about the cooler. Every time I bought AMD or Intel I scrapped the cooler and installed a good one. As for the box, who cares. It’s not like they sit on the shelve at your dealer and you buy the one in the nicest box. After I remove the CPU from its package it ends up in the garage and I never look at it again. Give me an OEM package and save me a few bucks.

        • mcarson09
        • 4 years ago

        Stock coolers are always good for POST testing before going to through the trouble of mounting the good stuff.

        • swaaye
        • 4 years ago

        You probably should care about the cooler because you paid for it with that CPU.

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    How about they disable Cool & Quiet, run their chips at full speed all the time, and say it’s a good thing because now the system will also feel snappier because now the cores will no longer have to take a few nanoseconds to ramp up.

    Oh and they should give it a new name: Consistent Speed Technology™.

    Innovation. I love it.

    Edit – meant as sarcasm.

    • TopHatKiller
    • 4 years ago

    noticed this from grumble rumour mill of extreme proportion:
    “summit ridge” octo-core zen cpu, “bristol-ridge” quad core excavator apu.
    there should be a massive cpu performance gap [ and p/w gap]
    the bristol might even be a re-toasted carizzo thingy. on bulk 28.
    how can amd sell both at the same time? [is there going to be a massive price gap? a summit cpu… summiting at $300+? and bristol at $100?]
    This is weird even for AMD.
    Cheers!

      • mesyn191
      • 4 years ago

      The mobo’s are coming well before Zen CPU’s show up and they want to have something to go into the mobo’s until Zen comes.

        • TopHatKiller
        • 4 years ago

        oh. are you sure? I though the release dates were about the same.

          • mesyn191
          • 4 years ago

          They’ll probably be out in a few months near the end of Q1 or the start of Q2.

          [url<]http://wccftech.com/amd-am4-cpu-apu-motherboard/[/url<]

            • TopHatKiller
            • 4 years ago

            Don’t quote from wccftech – apart from the fact they banned me, they are idiots!

    • RdVi
    • 4 years ago

    Considering their “high end” socket still had dual channel memory this is an obvious move. I do wonder though if HBM and the like will eventually make the need for more than dual channel RAM diminish even in the server/HPC markets.

      • smilingcrow
      • 4 years ago

      Some servers are using 64GB – 1TB of RAM so I don’t think HBM is ready to replace that any time soon.

    • jihadjoe
    • 4 years ago

    Great stuff. And man, I miss Socket 7!

      • ronch
      • 4 years ago

      I had a VIA MVP3-based board back then. Replaced it with one that had an ALi Aladdin V when I blew the VIA board accidentally.

      Good times.

    • smilingcrow
    • 4 years ago

    Of course Intel has more sockets than AMD and for a number of reasons:

    1. They regularly release a new platform with new features on a new socket.
    2. They cover a much wider base performance wise requiring multiple sockets/platforms.
    3. The breadth of their platforms which is partly due to the frequency of new releases and the scale of their manufacturing volumes means they will have several competing platforms in production at the same time.

    Is this a bad thing or is AMD’s stagnancy and proliferation of multiple sockets covering a fairly small performance range preferable?
    People moan about Intel changing the socket every other platform upgrade when the vast majority of systems are never upgraded and with CPU performance stagnating the reason to upgrade to a new CPU from a future incompatible socket is less of an issue.
    With Skylake the new chipset seems more interesting than the CPUs!
    It makes sense overall for Intel to design the best platform that they can and not focus on backward compatibility.
    Do they ever deliberately change socket when there is no reason to from an electrical perspective? I have no idea but they do make a lot of changes VRM wise for example that likely do require a change.
    It will be annoying when Intel finally offer more than 4 cores for the mainstream platform for those that are one socket behind but that is a matter of money as much as anything. When you look at the overall cost of computing in terms of all hardware and software the difference between an i7K with a Z chipset and the current 6 core X99 starts at roughly £100 for the whole platform which is not a big deal.

    • thebluebumblebee
    • 4 years ago

    So does a unified socket mean that all AM4 motherboards will have video out? Does this mean that all AM4 CPU’s will have iGPU?

      • maxxcool
      • 4 years ago

      *ahem* .. ‘compute cores’ ;0)

      • Demetri
      • 4 years ago

      No, the article makes a distinction between Summit Ridge (CPU) and Bristol Ridge (APU), so there should be parts without iGPU. Even now, there are AMD chips for FM2 that don’t have iGPU, and Intel has done the same thing in the past.

      • kuttan
      • 4 years ago

      The AM4 motherboards may have video ports that can be used with an APU. Just like that of the first generation Core i5 650/i3 540 which had IGPs built in that can be used on H55, H57 chipset motherboards. But more high end Core i5 700, i7 800 series where they are pure CPUs without IGPs that still can be used on motherboards with video ports, but the ports are useless then due to lack of IGP on the CPU.

    • hans
    • 4 years ago

    So the solution to too many sockets is….another socket?

      • mesyn191
      • 4 years ago

      The others are being canned in favor of this which will be 1 socket for everything desktop. Definitely a good thing.

    • Demetri
    • 4 years ago

    Looks like it’s the same clip-style mounting hardware as AM3, which I actually prefer over the push pins that Intel (and AMD w/ AM1 socket) uses. That would be good for those of us with aftermarket coolers that support AM3; I sure would like to carry over my Noctua to a new Zen system.

    • Meadows
    • 4 years ago

    At least it’s encouraging that they have an upcoming platform.

    That it will be a “one size fits all” once again, akin to the AM2+ and AM3+ of old, is only more promising.

    • DancinJack
    • 4 years ago

    Much more info on “Wraith”

    [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/show/9925/amd-reveals-wraith-nextgeneration-cooler-for-microprocessors-in-development[/url<]

    • LoneWolf15
    • 4 years ago

    Summit Ridge, Ivy Bridge?

    I see what you did there. 😉

      • Ninjitsu
      • 4 years ago

      Alpine Ridge?

      • ronch
      • 4 years ago

      If you look at Summit Ridge from afar, it kinda looks like ‘Sandy Bridge’.

      Bristol Ridge, I’m not sure, but the ‘Br’ reminds me of Broadwell.

    • Unknown-Error
    • 4 years ago

    Thats positive news. Any chance of AM4 being LGA?

      • Meadows
      • 4 years ago

      Out of curiosity, does LGA provide meaningful advantages?

        • mesyn191
        • 4 years ago

        For desktop CPU’s? Not really. Technically its a little better from a electrical perspective but the big gains are to allow you to put huge numbers of contacts on the CPU package and to shrink the size of the CPU package if you don’t need huge amounts of contacts.

        So they make a lot of sense if you’re doing a server CPU that’ll have 8+ cores and 4+ channels of memory and will need 2,000+ pins or for use in laptops where space is at a premium but for desktops: nada.

        Well actually come to think of it Intel did say it helped a bit with heat dissipation through the motherboard. I don’t think that was ever a big deal though for desktops.

        • Phartindust
        • 4 years ago

        Well not having to worry about bent pins would be a plus to me.

          • mesyn191
          • 4 years ago

          You still have to. The pins bend in the socket instead of on the CPU now. They’re also harder to fix that way.

            • Klimax
            • 4 years ago

            There are some companies which can replace these LGA sockets including LGA2011.

            • mesyn191
            • 4 years ago

            Sure they existed for pinned CPU’s too, but they’re not cheap or convenient. Shipping a whole mobo to get repaired sucks.

          • just brew it!
          • 4 years ago

          Do you tend to spend more on your CPU or motherboard? I’d prefer whichever one is easier to damage to be the cheaper one! OTOH it is more of a hassle to replace a motherboard, so that tilts the balance a little, even if the CPU costs more.

          Either way, just exercising reasonable care will prevent damage. My home builds have been all AMD for the past 15+ years, and I’ve only bent CPU pins once; it was minor enough that I was able to straighten them without breaking them. I’ve also built over a dozen servers at work with LGA CPUs, and haven’t bent any socket pins so far.

        • Krogoth
        • 4 years ago

        Cleaner power delivery and less thermal dissipation. This was most apparent with LGA775 Prescott versus Socket 478 Prescotts.

        The drawback is that pins on LGA socket are pretty dang fragile and only allows limited number of “installations”. It is next to impossible to fix “bent” pins.

        Back in the day when the whole ZIF to LGA transition took place. Motherboard manufacturers were upset about it since they would take the brunt of QA liability. They update their warranty/RMA policy that you must put on “protective” cover if you need to return the motherboard.

      • mesyn191
      • 4 years ago

      There have been rumors of it being LGA or a socket. No one really knows at this point but maybe we’ll know for sure in a few months if news of the motherboards coming out a bit early are true.

        • Krogoth
        • 4 years ago

        AMD has gone LGA with their server-tier chips, so it wouldn’t surprise me that they would do the same for their desktop platform.

        LGA has benefits in power delivery and thermal dissipation.

    • tipoo
    • 4 years ago

    Interesting – constantly on fan at a low noise should allow for hitting Turbo more frequently, no? As it would have more thermal headroom gained faster every time it went to idle.

      • willmore
      • 4 years ago

      Yes.

      If the two options are:

      1) A variable fan speed that keeps the CPU at a target temperature then the ‘thermal headroom’ is the difference between that target temperature and the maximum allowable temperature.

      2) A fixed fan speed that keeps the CPU cooler than the ‘target temperature’ in #1, then the thermal headroom is going to be larger and allow longer or higher ‘turbo’ clocking.

      But, if the fixed fan speed in #2 is less than the max fan speed in #1, long term clocks might suffer. Because you transition from thermal mass of the chip to how much heat the HSF can remove. So, this is a bit of a mixed bag.

      If the fixed speed is sufficient for the long term cooling of the chip at max clocks, then you’re golden. I suspect that’s going to be the situation for all of the Zen chips. Older 28nm parts shipped with these HSF might not be as well taken care of. We’ll have to see.

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    If this new cooler is called ‘Wraith’, they should call the original stock cooler ‘Banshee’.

      • odizzido
      • 4 years ago

      Turbines to full.

      • EndlessWaves
      • 4 years ago

      I’d go for Goa’uld myself.

      • Mr Bill
      • 4 years ago

      Cue LOTR Wraith reference.

        • Theolendras
        • 4 years ago

        I would think it’s more of a Starcraft reference !

      • UberGerbil
      • 4 years ago

      I think 3DFX had the trademark on that name, which means it is now (probably) owned by nVidia.

    • NoOne ButMe
    • 4 years ago

    APUs are a 1 Module 3 or 5 CU part and a rebrand of Carrizo for desktops.

    The 1 module APU is designed that way, not a cut down part if memory serves.

    There is also rumors of a second socket coming, but it sounds more like a rebranding of the socket of servers for people who want to push Zen to the extreme.

      • Sam125
      • 4 years ago

      That really didn’t deserve a Silver level max thumbs down but here’s a thumbs up from me.

    • anotherengineer
    • 4 years ago

    One motherboard to fit them all!!

    Doesn’t Intel also have 3 sockets??

      • DPete27
      • 4 years ago

      Q170, Q150, B150, H110, H170, Z170 – physically same socket
      C232, C236 – physically same socket
      X99

      I’m not familiar with the C232/236 chipsets. Are those phyically socketed differently?

      Also, you’ve got the Atom/Pentium/Celeron Intel processors that aren’t socketed which are most comparable to the AM1 platform performance…so.

        • Kretschmer
        • 4 years ago

        Chipsets aren’t sockets.

          • DPete27
          • 4 years ago

          I know, I was asking if the C232/C236 chipset motherboards are socket compatible with either the LGA 1151 and LGA 2011 sockets listed above and below it.

      • ImSpartacus
      • 4 years ago

      I think just two and a lot of socketless bga CPUs.

      There’s one for the ~95W cpus and then another for anything larger that (based on server chips).

      • the
      • 4 years ago

      By my count, Intel has 5 active sockets with another socket form a previous generation still hanging around.

      Intel is currently phasing out the consumer Haswell LGA1150 which has been replaced by the SkyLake LGA1151 socket.

      Workstations and some dual/quad socket servers use socket 2011-3 for Haswell-EP and soon Broadwell-EP.

      Quad and eight socket servers using Ivy Bridge-EX and Haswell-EX have socket 2011-1. It is a bit confusing here as the number of contacts is the same as the lesser dual and some quad socket systems but the pin configuration is different to work with unique serial based memory bus to some memory buffer chips.

      The new Xeon Phi chips has a new socket whose formal name I do not know. What I do know is that it is physically huge, connects to six DDR4 memory channels and allows the processor package to have a ‘wing’ for optional on package Omnipath interconnect. This same socket could used for Skylake-EP as the specs line up but Intel has made no indication either way.

      Socket 1356 for dual socket blades and industrial embedded systems continue to hang around. The unique thing here is that Haswell-EN continues to use a triple channel DDR3 memory configuration. Intel still offers these chips but for the most part they have been replaced by Broadwell-D which is soldered onto a motherboard.

        • slowriot
        • 4 years ago

        The “good” part of this situation is that for consumers there’s typically only one socket to be worried about… now it’s LGA1151. Though with Intel you can basically be certain that any CPU upgrade you want to make will also require a new motherboard/socket.

        The worst part with AMD was that there were 3 different “consumer-level” sockets, not to mention a couple more for Opterons.

          • the
          • 4 years ago

          Socket 2011-3 is out there for the six core and higher i7s. That’d make two active in the consumer space.

          I’d also say that socket 1150 is lingering around even though its replacement is already here. Intel has the i7 5775C on their consumer roadmap for the first half of 2016.

            • slowriot
            • 4 years ago

            We differ a bit in what we’d consider consumer. I wouldn’t consider 2011-v3 consumer, it’s pretty firmly in the professional/workstation market IMO. People who overbuild their gaming desktops don’t count (feel free to disagree).

            As for the i7 5775C… yeah… it’s a confusing product to me. I guess it fits a niche.

            • bhtooefr
            • 4 years ago

            I’d consider 2011-3 on an X99 chipset to be consumer, whereas 2011-3 on a C612 chipset is workstation/server.

            (Note that X99 and C612 are basically the same thing except for C612 supporting two sockets, but still.)

            • the
            • 4 years ago

            I’ll respectfully disagree due to the pricing structure and market segmentation. The i7 5820K overlaps with the high end socket 1150 and 1151 chips. Same for motherboard pricing of the platforms. Socket 2011-3 and X99 motherboard certainly go from there to incredibly highend prices. I can see a point that the i7 5960X is a prosumer chip as it generally takes professional level software to utilize all the cores or make use of all the IO capabilities on the platform. Intel for nearly two decades now has kept their flagship consumer chip priced at ~$1000. While PC prices certainly have dropped making that price tag more of a luxury, Intel has made chips in this price bracket more premium with extra cores and/or cache to help justify the expense.

            Then you may also compare to what Intel does for the workstations market. The entire Xeon lineup has ECC support, a big feature for many professional workflows. The Xeon E5s generally support dual sockets though the importance of that feature is disappearing as the core count and memory capacity of a single socket increases. Other features like 10 Gbit Ethernet are just now starting to his consumer systems on motherboards where as this feature has been an optional extra on workstations for years now. Dual 1 Gbit Ethernet ports are a premium feature on the consumer side but pretty much standard on workstations. Workstation boards also have options for more storage via the chipset or dedicated controller on the motherboard. The workstation market has been in decline for roughly a decade now but continues to have a well defined niche to separate itself from consumer systems.

        • ImSpartacus
        • 4 years ago

        I forgot that ep and ex chips technically have a different socket.

          • the
          • 4 years ago

          Indeed it is confusing as the 12 core Ivy Bridge-EP and 18 core Haswell-EP chips in fact use the same die as Ivy Bridge-EX and Haswell-EX. Intel simply baked in both types of memory controllers in the design. Classic market segmentation from Intel here as you’ll need to pay a premium if you want the extra memory capacity permitted via the buffer chips.

      • AJSB
      • 4 years ago

      Intel have several sockets *and* chipsets…all with intention to segregate customers and to make them “constantly” buy new MoBos for products that actually are similar.

      I believe that AMD got the right idea & unified their socket for all desktop parts…that and the fact that ALL CPUs and APUs for AM4 will be SoC, means easier to upgrade & cheaper MoBos.

        • the
        • 4 years ago

        AMD has the right idea now by unifying their platform now.

        AMD hasn’t been much better than Intel when it has come to platform updates over the past few years. The socket AM2+ to AM3 transition was handled incredibly smooth: the first AM3 chips could also work in socket AM2+ motherboards using DDR2 memory. AM3 eventually lead to AM3+ which was a minor update but ultimately something AMD should have prepared for in advance with the original AM3 spec.

        I’ll cut AMD some slack when they started to integrate GPUs on-die as there was a genuine need for a new socket: AM3/AM3+ didn’t have any facility for video output. However, FM1 only served a single generation of chips. (According to rumor, there was supposed to be a chip before Llano but was cancelled due to never ending delays.) FM2 was supposed to be long lived but it too only lasted a generation and a half as I consider Richland a re-spin of Trinity. FM2+ should have been what FM2 was originally. On the bright side FM2 chips could run in FM2+ motherboards without issue. There was also only a single generation of FM2+ only chips as AMD cancelled the release of the desktop Carrizo chips. AMD also ditched plans for Kabini to use socket FM2+ and created socket AM1 for it. This was again another socket that only lasted a generation.

        Intel on the other hand has released socket 1156 for single generation, 1155 for two, 1150 for technically two (Broadwell where are you?) and now 1151. I’d have been nice if Intel were able to have consolidated some of those releases further. While the on package IVR was a good idea for mobile, it is rather unnecessary on the desktop. Haswell/Broadwell should have been on 1155. I’ll forgive SkyLake coming out on a new socket as it at least brings DDR4 support. It would have been nice if Intel released SkyLake where it could fit both 1155/0 and 1151 sockets as it does have both a DDR3L and DDR4 memory controller.

        The need for perpetual upgrades of motherboard and CPU is one of the reasons why I see the DIY market declining. If you want to upgrade, you generally have to upgrade more than one component at a time.

          • AJSB
          • 4 years ago

          There’s indications that Carrizo not only will be launched as an APU for AM4 but as an CPU for FM2+, and, speculation from me, i have a feeling that *after* ZEN *APU* is launched for AM4, AMD will make a final update for FM2+ with Carrizo APU.

          Carrizo as an *APU* for AM4 *and*at same time for FM2+ , or, with Carrizo as an APU for FM2+ *before* Carrizo APU for AM4 would/could hurt AM4 market perception because it could lead to direct comparison between both versions like it was done with Intel and in most games DDR4 lost….that would give a negative perception for AM4 platform and AMD & its MoBo partners need to start soon move away AM4 Mobos.

          OTOH, if AMD launches Carrizo as an *APU* for FM2+ *after* theres already in the market ZEN *APU* for AM4, that can NOT hurt in anyway AM4 platform because Zen will sweep away Carrizo anyway.

          Its all about marketing and timing.

            • the
            • 4 years ago

            Carizzo could certainly make an appearance on FM2+ as that was AMD’s original intention. However, sometime in 2015 AMD pulled the plug on that idea and focused it on mobile. There shouldn’t be a technical reason as to why it can’t make its way to FM2+, rather AMD just made the business case not to. Kaveri/Godveri could simply be a repeat of the Trinity/Richland scenario where AMD flooded the market with chips that simply didn’t sell. It’d make no sense to go backwards to release a chip for FM2+ after AM4 has launched unless there is a supply shortage of chips and AMD doesn’t want to order more Kaveri dies. Recall that [url=https://techreport.com/news/24026/amd-lowers-wafer-orders-will-pay-320-million-charge<]AMD paid $320 million to Global Foundries[/url<] not to make chips it originally had on order just over 3 years ago. Less clear is if Carizzo could appear on AM4. The biggest hurdle is DDR4 support which interestingly enough it does have on-die. (Embedded Carrizo versions launched back in October have DDR4 options.) Supporting the rest of the IO for AM4 is an open question. AMD is going to be releasing Excavator based chips for it prior to Zen so using Carrizo, an existing design, would make sense if possible.

      • Mr Bill
      • 4 years ago

      …And in the darkness bind them.

    • cheesyking
    • 4 years ago

    It’s a bit hard to tell from a photo but the fins look far too close together. It’s just going to clog up with dust too quickly and it’s only going to be made worse by the fan spinning fast all the time.

    Though thinking about this, maybe it’s a good thing to have the idle cpu as cool as possible. Wouldn’t that mean there’s a bit more headroom for running on boost/turbo clockspeed when it’s needed?

    • meerkt
    • 4 years ago

    Constant fan speed is now a good thing? Why not just more slow-down hysteresis by default?

      • continuum
      • 4 years ago

      Seriously. Reeks of cost-cutting to me. But then, so long as it’s quiet and capable enough…?

    • BillyBuerger
    • 4 years ago

    Wha wha what? Good on them for including what looks like a decent cooler with their CPUs. I would expect it would be good enough for most users. But why would you even mention a constant speed as some sort of good thing? It’s supposed to be able to cool a 125W CPU. That’s a lot more cooling power needed over an idle system. Even taking noise out of the equation, you’re introducing a lot more dust to the heat sink by running the fans faster then required.

    I assume by constant speed they mean it doesn’t use PWM. Variable CPU fan speeds have been around before PWM. And most motherboard can still use voltage to control fan speeds. Although I think most only do PWM on the CPU header. So it’s not like people have to run it at a constant speed. They’re just making it more difficult to control.

    And I checked out the fudzilla link that DPete27 posted. While it sounds way better then the old stock cooler, it’s far from silent. And for the more noise conscience of us, far from quiet. It also sounds clicky and not smooth. I would not want that noise coming from my PC on a regular basis.

      • mesyn191
      • 4 years ago

      The continuous speed produces a consistent and continuous noise which tend to get blocked out automagically by your brain eventually making it seem silent to your perception.

        • BillyBuerger
        • 4 years ago

        Noise that blends in and you ignore is not the same as silence. We have some white noise machines at our office. When they’re running, I do generally block them out. But when they turn off…. Awww gawd, the silence is so nice.

          • ImSpartacus
          • 4 years ago

          But you only notice that the white noise is “bad” even turns off, right?

          The idea is that this sound is so consistent that you might never notice how “bad” it is.

          It sounds like a left handed compliment, but perception might as well be reality. If you don’t notice it, then it might as well not there.

          • mesyn191
          • 4 years ago

          No it isn’t but neither I nor AMD are saying its silent nor does it have to be in order to be a good solution for most if not nearly all people.

        • smilingcrow
        • 4 years ago

        I’ve noticed that when I use my PC in a quiet environment that any continuous PC noise can be irritating. Since my PC is usually not under a heavy load I’d much rather it was truly silent under those conditions and was noticeable when under a heavy load. YMMV.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 4 years ago

      [quote<]It's supposed to be able to cool a 125W CPU. That's a lot more cooling power needed over an idle system.[/quote<] I'm not sure one follows from the other. It also uses more power at idle.

        • BillyBuerger
        • 4 years ago

        The difference in idle power between a low-end Pentium and a Core i7 (not including the -E CPUs) is minor if non-existent. All of these CPUs shut down all of the parts that aren’t needed at idle so they use very little power. It’s been a while since I saw and AMD CPU reviews but I know many of their CPUs were comparable to Intel at idle. They just needed a lot more under load to complete the same task. So no, a higher power CPU doesn’t have to use more power at idle.

          • BobbinThreadbare
          • 4 years ago

          Is 10 watts “non-existent”?

          [url<]https://techreport.com/review/26996/amd-fx-8370e-processor-reviewed/3[/url<]

            • Concupiscence
            • 4 years ago

            No, but in the scheme of things – especially for a single PC – it’s pretty trivial unless your power costs are astronomical.

            • w76
            • 4 years ago

            It’s a tiny fraction of 125 watts at load, which I think is the relevant point since you guys were talking in respect to cooling needs.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 4 years ago

            Since people didn’t read the link I provided. The difference in Intel chips was 10 watts. The difference from the lowest Intel to an AMD FX was 25 watts.

            • BillyBuerger
            • 4 years ago

            Good point. Although the 4790K is maybe a different beast since it has a much higher clock speed then anything else. The 4590 is only 5W more at idle then the Pentium. I guess I was thinking of other articles I’ve seen where the different between low powered models and normal ones is minor to non-existing. Like this one from SPCR where an i3-2100T(25W), i5-2400S(65W) and i5-2400(95W) all have basically the same idle power draw…

            [url<]http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1202-page3.html[/url<] Although that doesn't change the fact that the idle power is still much less than under full load. And therefore doesn't require the fan to be at a constant full speed.

    • f0d
    • 4 years ago

    its a bit late for this improved heatsink isnt it?
    just about everyone who is going to buy an amd fx has already bought one and thrown away the heatsink

      • DancinJack
      • 4 years ago

      It will presumably come with Zen too?

        • ronch
        • 4 years ago

        But he was referring to the FX series, specifically.

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    Isn’t this a little too late? AMD should’ve done these things long ago. I’m referring to both the Unified Socket and the new cooler.

    Edit – down thumbs? So you guys don’t think AMD should have bundled a decent cooler with their 8-cores earlier? So the new cooler came out at exactly the right time? And having sockets all over the place is fine?

      • w76
      • 4 years ago

      Gotta rearrange the Titanic’s deck chairs, in lieu of being able to do much else. 😉

      • Phartindust
      • 4 years ago

      No, I think now is a good time to do this. With 14nm and DDR4 on their way a socket change is pretty much necessary I believe along with a new chipset, and I have a feeling the new cooler will find itself being packaged with those 14nm products too. Certainly it would have been nice if Wraith had come along much sooner though.

        • ronch
        • 4 years ago

        I’m saying they should’ve thought about having a simpler socket strategy a long time ago. As it is, AMD’s sockets are all over the place. To make things worse, they practically broke their promises of socket forward compatibility with their APUs. Remember when FM1 and Llano came out? They said Trinity would fit right in. When Trinity came out it required a new socket, FM, so buyers who bought into FM1 were left out. To steer attention away from the criticism brought towards FM1, they said FM2 will support future APUs such as Kaveri this time. But Kaveri came out and also brought with it the new socket FM2+ and wouldn’t work with FM2 boards generally. That’s twice breaking their promises already! This happened with AM1 buyers too who thought they’ll have an upgrade path when they bought Kabini. “Never mind if it’s slow, there will be faster AM1 chips out.” Yeah, we know what happened with this one.

        What a mess. And what a way of leaving loyal AMD fans out in the cold.

          • Mr Bill
          • 4 years ago

          AM3+ has few decent modern features compared to FM2+. AMD left all the old silicon behind and killed the upgrade market for better boards. This AM4 socket had better have a much better and more flexible chipset but I’m not holding out a lot of hope.

      • VincentHanna
      • 4 years ago

      Nah. Honestly, it’s a waste, at any time.

      The stock cooler’s only purpose is to make PC builders happy. Most consumers who bother to buy a high end CPU buy/have a cooler also. Bundling a high end cooler means just one more piece of junk that a full 50% of your consumers will just toss and would rather not pay for.

        • captaintrav
        • 4 years ago

        Most customers who bother to buy a high end CPU….aren’t buying AMD. BOOM!

        • ronch
        • 4 years ago

        No, the only reason AMD bundled a basic and noisy cooler with their FX processors is so newbies would know they need to install the fan too. If there’s no HSF included newbies might think there’s no need for an HSF and they’ll totally smoke their CPU, voiding the warranty!

        Come to think of it, the fine print also says your 3-year warranty is void if you use a cooler other than the one included, so technically, if AMD wants to be bitchy about it, all enthusiasts who went with anything other than the stock cooler have voided their warranty. IIRC the fine print also says your warranty is void if you overclock. So, yeah, so much for [b<][u<]UNLOCKED[/b<][/u<] FX PROCESSOR.

          • BobbinThreadbare
          • 4 years ago

          [quote<]Come to think of it, the fine print also says your 3-year warranty is void if you use a cooler other than the one included[/quote<] citation needed According to their website unless the chip is physically damaged, it's covered. [url=http://support.amd.com/en-us/warranty/pib/step2<]CITATION[/url<]

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    The frickin’ stock cooler that came with my FX-8350 was sooooo frickin’ loud I actually thought there’s something wrong with my CPU. Like it was getting too hot even with good cooling. Should’ve saved myself all the trouble and tossed the piece of junk in the bin from the beginning.

    Crazy thing is how it says on the box or manual that the 3-year warranty is void if a cooler other than the stock cooler is used. Is this a technicality AMD silently placed in the fine print so it doesn’t have to honor warranties?

    • DPete27
    • 4 years ago

    Good for them for “fixing” their horrible stock heatsink. If anyone is interested [url=http://www.fudzilla.com/news/motherboards/39612-amd-is-so-proud-of-its-stock-cooler-that-it-is-actually-demoing-it<]fudzilla has a soundbite.[/url<] However, I think the choice of a fixed speed fan is a poor one. While it's nice that the fan is much quieter under load, there's no doubt in my mind that it could be even quieter/silent when the CPU is idle or lightly loaded.

      • RdVi
      • 4 years ago

      I have a stock cooler on a Phenon II 3.4GHz at my work, the case is sound deadened also although the intake and exhaust fans hardly spin at all (400-700rpm). While the constant high speed is the most annoying, having it move up and down with temporary load is more noticeable. Also, not having a good enough fan profile and instead having a reactionary one as most tend to be means that when it does ramp up the fan is always playing catch up so ends up needing to go higher rpm than it otherwise would.

      My work at inbetween times of the year will either not use air-con at all or keep it off until mid-day or so since we can just leave front and back doors open for airflow.

      I also notice this on my current video card when skipping through HD videos, it ramps up as a reaction to the sudden clock speed and voltage increase and then ramps straight back down again. Having it at a constant speed that is a middle ground for video wouldn’t be great either, but it is definitely more noticeable with it ramping up and back down again like it does.

      All that said, I still think having a more aggressive fan profile would be better. Set the base level at 60% of maximum speed and ramp it up aggressively but steadily and keep it there until temps drop all the way back to idle would be what I’d imagine to be the best trade off.

        • DPete27
        • 4 years ago

        I definitely agree with setting a fan profile that doesn’t ramp the CPU fan down so far that the fan speed is always changing. Most/all mobos these days, no matter how rudimentary their fan speed curve control (or lack thereof) at least offer the ability to set minimum fan speed.

        This also makes me wonder if some mobos will still be able to change the fan speed of the [assumedly] 3-pin wraith cooler fan.

      • hbarnwheeler
      • 4 years ago

      [quote<]However, I think the choice of a fixed speed fan is a poor one. While it's nice that the fan is much quieter under load, there's no doubt in my mind that it could be even quieter/silent when the CPU is idle or lightly loaded.[/quote<] Presumably, the engineers and decision-makers are aware that a fan can be made quieter by rotating slower and that slower rotations provide sufficient cooling at lower CPU load. The author suggests that they may have opted for a constant speed in order to avoid the conspicuous nature of fan speed increases and decreases.

    • Duct Tape Dude
    • 4 years ago

    That’s a stodgy-looking fan. Maybe the secret to quiet cooling is quiet styling?

    • Chrispy_
    • 4 years ago

    Consolidated sockets are a good thing.
    Included heatsinks that don’t need to be discarded immediately are also a good thing.

    Why does TR have to suffer the loss of Scott to generate any sensible results from AMD? 😛

      • vargis14
      • 4 years ago

      Agreed Chrisp….I think this is a fantastic Idea for AMD…The cooler is much improved but I do not think it is that important to us mainstreamers, we always look for better cooling in our own ways.

      But The Mutual motherboard Socket for A dedicated CPU and APU is genius, It may be a little more complex and I am curious if the Dedicated CPU will take advantage of the extra pins the APU needs in some way….Possibly extra Access/Multiple Paths or something to memory bandwidth. I do not know but it will be interesting to find out.

        • DancinJack
        • 4 years ago

        You mean enthusiasts? I wouldn’t call you, Chrispy, or myself a “mainstreamer.”

      • Neutronbeam
      • 4 years ago

      I maintain that any good, sensible products and software coming out of AMD now are ALL the result of Scott’s influence at the company–the Wassoning of AMD!

        • Welch
        • 4 years ago

        I can only imagine Scott walked in with a notepad day one and went “Uhhh, so I’ve got some ideas for you…”

        Day 1, changed the entire AMD culture.

          • DancinJack
          • 4 years ago

          he works for RTG specifically. let’s at least keep it in the graphics world.

        • nanoflower
        • 4 years ago

        So long as he doesn’t get lost in Schindler’s lift.

        No one reads Scott’s tweets?

      • Ninjitsu
      • 4 years ago

      Inb4 Scott is next AMD CEO

    • RoxasForTheWin
    • 4 years ago

    Finally. I threw my stock heatsink out on my old 8350 the day I got it.

      • vargis14
      • 4 years ago

      Confused…Old or New Design?
      The Finally is what is confusing me.

        • RoxasForTheWin
        • 4 years ago

        I had the old design, Wish I had the newer one

          • ronch
          • 4 years ago

          Well of course you have the old cooler design. This article doesn’t even mention when this bundle will be available and how much it’ll cost. And I don’t think these will be shipped by the boatloads either. It’ll probably be just like those CPU + water cooling bundles.

          It’s a nice package though. Nice box. Definitely better than what AMD has been using for all their FX CPUs and APUs. I’m surprised it took AMD this long to realize they needed to bundle a decent cooler with their FX chips. There have been tons of complaints about the cooler bundled with FX chips especially the higher end 125w ones.

      • ronch
      • 4 years ago

      Why finally? When you threw out your stock heatsink the day you got your CPU I’m sure you already bought an aftermarket cooler, which means this is irrelevant to you. Or is your CPU just sitting pretty because you already threw the stock cooler away and haven’t used it since? 🙂

      Buy this new package, get the Wraith cooler, and throw the CPU away. 🙂 Throw it my way. I’ll pay for shipping. 🙂

      • chuckula
      • 4 years ago

      It doesn’t run very well without a heatsink…

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