MSI Introduces Socket AM5 and Dual X670 Platform Chipsets

MSI showcased some of the brand’s new X670 motherboards in the latest installment of the MSI Insider Show (opens in a new tab). In its video, the company takes us on a quick tour of the AM5 socket and dual-chipset design for AMD 600 series motherboards.

Socket AM5, consisting of 1,718 pins, will house AMD’s upcoming Ryzen 7000 (Raphael) processors. New features of the new socket include an LGA (Land Grid Array) design, socket power up to 170W, DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 support. The AM5 socket brings all of this while retaining support for AM4 CPU coolers. This isn’t the first time MSI has shown us the AM5 socket up close. In a previous installation video, the company demonstrated how installing an AM5 processor is similar to installing an Intel chip.

Despite changing from a PGA (Pin Grid Array) design to an LGA design, socket AM5 retains the same package size and z-height as socket AM4. Therefore, AM5 is compatible with previous AM4 CPU coolers without the need for additional support. However, MSI’s photographs showed that the AM5 socket only contains pins and there is no designated center area for capacitors, unlike Intel’s LGA115x sockets. The reason is that the surface mount capacitors are no longer under the AMD processor. With Zen 4, AMD moved the capacitors to the top of the chip, which is why the funky design has multiple cutouts. Only time will tell if it’s a good decision to relocate the capacitors, as many users are concerned about excess thermal compound falling on the capacitors.

One of the good things about 600 series chipsets is that they don’t require active cooling, unlike X570 motherboards, which come with annoyingly tiny cooling fans. The use of passive heatsinks means that the X670 chipset is very power efficient. For comparison, the X570 had a TDP of around 15W. AMD then introduced the X570S chipset which only required passive cooling, so it’s refreshing to know that the X670 will be quiet from the start.

The X670 enthusiast platform will feature two chipsets to provide double the connectivity. As expected, ASMedia designed the X670 chipset, a product of TSMC’s 6nm manufacturing process. It’s a nice upgrade since X570 was on GlobalFoundries’ 14nm process node.

The photograph of MSI’s MEG X670E Ace motherboard confirms that both chipsets are the same size. Although AMD has announced Zen 4, the chipmaker is still holding back the juiciest details of the Ryzen 7000 processors and 600 series chipsets. For example, whether connecting the Zen 4 processor to the chipset of the 600 series will be PCIe 4.0 or PCIe 5.0. So far, PCI-SIG has only validated the 600 series chipset for PCIe 4.0 x4.

AMD will launch Ryzen 7000 this fall, so we’re only a few months away from hearing more about the chipmaker’s cutting-edge Zen 4 chips.

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