AnandTech says socket AM2 will require new processors, memory and possibly new heatsinks but you get DDR2

Details of AMD's upcoming DDR2 processors and platform are now emerging pretty rapidly. AnandTech reports on AMD's new AM2 socket, which is based on the 940-pin standard that the company has established. However, the new AM2 socket as well as AM2 based processors will not be backwards compatible with current 940 sockets.

The new AMD processors will incorporate a new DDR2 memory controller and thus will require different electrical requirements and routing than current generation units. Upon closer examination, AnandTech said that AMD could have technically used the same socket, but it chose to reposition certain pins in order to avoid customers using the new DDR2 processors on older DDR platforms.

The new AM2 socket will also be accompanied by a new heatsink retention design which might present a compatibility problem for many current socket 940 heatsinks. The heatsink "hook" locking latch that's used currently is no longer there and the overall retention cage is redesigned and held in by 4 screws instead of 2. AnandTech says the new design definitely improves durability and ruggedness.

Several weeks ago, it appeared likely an AM2 launch would happen in the Cebit (early March) to end-of-April time frame. Announcements of delays the last few weeks now point to a July release date. Whenever the launch happens, those moving to AM2 will at a minimum need a new processor for a new Socket 940, new DDR2 memory to replace existing DDR memory for Athlon 64, and a new or revised heatsink/fan cooling solution.

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