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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: Finally
By DallasTexas on 11/12/2007 3:57:02 PM , Rating: 1
It doesn't mention Intel because by now it's a given that Intel has creamed AMD top to bottom. It's now about if AMD will ever come out with anything marginally interesting.

RE: Finally
By clovell on 11/12/2007 4:03:47 PM , Rating: 1
wow, do you feel better after that?

RE: Finally
By Regs on 11/12/2007 4:44:53 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know about him but I would like to vent as well. AMD preps, but when it comes time to release they seem to push everything under the rug. What was once a 2.6 Phenom is now a 2.4 Phenom and a 2.2 Phenom. It's like everything that comes from AMD is now discredited. Like this article.

I think he had a valid point even though worded as a frustrating feud as we all are at AMD right now.

RE: Finally
By clovell on 11/13/2007 3:59:20 PM , Rating: 1
Well, I'm there in that number, but I don't use it as justification for the writers here continually beating AMD with the Intel stick in every AMD article. I swear in some of those articles, I've come away with more info on Intel's lineup than AMD's.

RE: Finally
By DallasTexas on 11/12/2007 8:13:48 PM , Rating: 3
I feel terrific. Thanks for asking.

RE: Finally
By clovell on 11/13/2007 3:56:24 PM , Rating: 1
Hey, anytime - just try take it easy, you could stroke.

RE: Finally
By mindless1 on 11/12/2007 6:00:29 PM , Rating: 2
Wrong. Intel has not creamed AMD in the bottom or low end, which is where most system sit as-sold. You will have to overclock, something the average owner does not do, for there to be significant difference in the low end.

RE: Finally
By DallasTexas on 11/12/2007 8:11:53 PM , Rating: 1
You're right. AMD has locked up the bottom feeder category of buyers quite well. I agree with you.

RE: Finally
By Spuke on 11/13/2007 12:30:38 AM , Rating: 5
You're right. AMD has locked up the bottom feeder category of buyers quite well. I agree with you.
Oh yes, the bottom feeders category! The one's that buy all of those Dell $549 machines. The one's that bought those $98 HD-A2's. The one's that keep EVERY single corporation in business and enable us, the geeks, to brag about our OC'd QX6850's.

Cause you and I both know that the geeks keep the market running!!!! The last time I checked, Walmart makes more money than Newegg so guess who runs the market in reality.

RE: Finally
By HVAC on 11/13/2007 11:06:13 AM , Rating: 5 need to reload gave him both barrels....

RE: Finally
By knipfty on 11/14/2007 10:57:05 AM , Rating: 2
That's right. AMD is losing money on every low end CPU they sell, so they try to make it up on volume...

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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