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AMD Socket AM3 reference design overview.   (Source: ChileHardware, AMD)
As AMD looks forward at DDR3 implementations, motherboard manufacturers begin rolling out designs

Reference plans for motherboards based on AMD's desktop AM3 processors are already starting to mature. Socket AM3 is the successor to AMD's Socket AM2+, and is not expected to make an official release until 2008.

Current AMD guidance suggests its AM3 processors will be compatible with existing chipsets. AM2 processors, however, will not be compatible with AM3 motherboards. This same guidance claims AM3 processors will work with AM2+ motherboards.

The initial reference boards that support AM3 processors will be based on an AMD RS780 northbridge and an AMD SB700 southbridge. The northbridge and southbridge communicate with each other via a 4X PCIe lane. The northbridge communicates directly with the CPU using a HyperTransport link.

The RS780-based AM3 reference boards will feature 12 USB 2.0 ports along with 6 SATA II ports. For audiophiles the board also features integrated AZALIA HD Audio.

Also making its appearance for the first with AM3 will be DDR3 memory support. Since AMD places its memory controllers directly on its processors, the DDR3 DIMM slots will communicate directly with the processor using a 128-bit bus. According to current AMD reference posted at ChileHardware, there will be a total of four DIMM slots. 

AMD has not publically announced DDR3 support for its Phenom or Barcelona family processors.  Previous roadmaps indicate that DDR3 support will likely come with its 45nm shrink next year, but the company has also confirmed DDR3 will be present on the Bulldozer CPU architecture.

The RS780 AM3 chipset will also come with integrated graphics. The AM3 reference boards will feature a VGA and HDMI connection, along with a TV-out composite cable that features S-Video along with HD TV-Out.  This is only a reference design, so there is no guarantee these features will pan out in production products.


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RE: Why the need for ANOTHER AMD socket???
By Zurtex on 11/12/2007 3:31:32 PM , Rating: 4
Yes, because all LGA775 mobos work with all LGA775 CPUs very well ¬_¬

And it's probably worth noting that AM3 will probably be coming out over 2 years after AM2. And give that AM2+ and AM2 are intercompatible, it's hardly worth kicking a fuss over.

It's also worth noting that AM3 is likely to come out at roughly the same time Intel's new socket will be coming out and that won't be backwards/forwards compatible in anyway with LGA775.


RE: Why the need for ANOTHER AMD socket???
By Parhel on 11/12/2007 3:46:47 PM , Rating: 2
You're right, Intel is no better than AMD in that regard. Case in point, I purchased an Intel DP35DP motherboard recently. I downloaded and read the manual for the board before I purchased it and it said it supported "all socket 775 processors." Great, I thought, I'll use my old P4 with it and buy a new processor when the 45nm ones come out. I ended up having to buy a new processor immediately since the P4s are not supported. So, not only is Intel not supporting their older processors on newer board, but they apparently have forgotten that some of then even exist.


By MrTeal on 11/13/2007 12:40:45 AM , Rating: 3
If I were Intel I'd probably be trying to forget Prescott existed, too.


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