AMD launched the Am4 socket back in September 2016 and since then there weren’t any latest upgrades until last year. When they released the latest Am5 socket after 6 years of waiting. With the launch of this new socket, many people have been concerned about whether they should buy the Am5 or just stick with the older Am4. I’m assuming you too are going through the same dilemma, aren’t you?
If I guessed it right then you’ve come to the right place my friend. Here, I’ll be putting both these sockets up against each other in terms of performance, memory, price, and much more. So keep reading to find out which one is a better fit for you.
Am5 vs Am4: One-on-One Comparison
Before we go into any detailed comparison, you should take a look at this brief specs battle of the two sockets.
|Ryzen 1000-5000 series
|Ryzen 7000 series
|Zen, Zen 2, Zen 3
|Gen 3.0, Gen 4.0
|Socket power delivery
Now let’s move on to a more thorough feature comparison of the two platforms;
Starting with architecture, the Am5 socket stays far ahead of the Am4 in terms of performance and features. With the latest Zen 4 microarchitecture, you’ll get a considerable increase in core uplift (13 %) and enhanced power delivery capability. The Am5 has an exceptional 1718-pin LGA configuration compatible with the hefty Ryzen 7000 series processors. Do you know what that means? It means boosted peak frequencies and higher TDPs than the old Am4 socket. Plus, Am5 has advanced PCle 5.0 technology that gives you double the transfer rate over PCle 4.0 technology.
On top of that, the Am5 socket is way more future-proofed than its predecessor Am4 because it supports DDR5 memory and PCle 5.0 storage devices. It may seem expensive but the high performance gains make it worth every penny. Moreover, Am5 comes with AMD Expo technology that enables you to overclock your RAM with just one click, making your gaming experience 11% faster.
What’s more, is that AMD has claimed to support the Am5 platform until 2025. So if you plan to go for an Am5 socket, you won’t have to worry about upgrading it for the next couple of years. I mean that’s money well spent! Isn’t it?
Sadly, if you switch to the Am5 socket, you won’t able to enjoy any of the AMD processors that are compatible with the Am4 socket. So you’ll have to buy a new processor along with a new motherboard and DDR5 memory. In short — you’re getting a new system!
I understand that it is a huge investment but should you go for it? Well if you’re looking for immense performance gains and willing to spend a fortune for it then the Am5 socket is made for you. But if you’re not comfortable with spending it all on a new system then I think you should just hang back with the Am4 socket.
When you’re choosing between two pieces of tech, you must know how they compare performance-wise, right? So let’s take a look at how these two differ in their performance.
As far as power delivery is concerned, the Am4 with 142W TDP doesn’t even come close to the Am5 socket with 230W of power delivery. Moreover, the Am5 supports the newer DDR5 memory and PCle Gen 5 which gives it a sharp edge in terms of performance. Here are a few reasons why Am5 is better than Am4;
- With the latest DDR5 memory, you’ll enjoy a faster gaming experience than ever — 11% more than Am4.
- Overclocking your RAM has never been this easier before. I mean with the AMD Expo technology, you can do this with a single click without going into any confusing settings.
- The PCle 5.0 technology will give you double the transfer rates as PCle 4.0 with lightning-fast storage access.
- You’ll be happy to know that every processor compatible with the Am5 socket has integrated graphics. This means you won’t have to worry about buying a new graphics card, EVER!
The well-known Ryzen 7 5800X3D gives you an idea about what performance levels are we talking about if you’re settling upon Am5.
Along with other improvements, you can also expect a larger cache size with the Am5 socket. For instance, the L3 cache size of AMD Ryzen 5 has been doubled from 8MB to 16MB and the Ryzen 9 processor has a 32 MB of L3 cache size. You can’t even picture this much cache on processors compatible with the Am4 socket. This means you’ll have more space to store data locally on your processor reducing the latency rates.
But all this comes at a price, so you need to be sure whether you want faster speeds or not. I mean a larger cache size would only benefit you if you’re into gaming or any heavy content creation tasks. But if you’re all about web browsing or other light work then you don’t need a higher cache size.
Power and efficiency
As I’ve told you earlier, the Am5 socket is built on Zen 4 architecture. This makes it 49% more powerful while consuming the same power as Am4, and it’s 62% more efficient in terms of performance level. All thanks to the newer Zen 4 design and the latest Ryzen 7000 series Graphics card family, the Am5 socket can reach such high-performance benchmarks. And the increase in IPC (instructions per cycle), adds up to this effect! (15% additional processing capacity)
See processors built on the Zen 3 architecture could reach as high as 105 watts TDP as the Am4 socket had a maximum TDP of 142 watts. As for CPUs compatible with the Am5 socket, they can have a TDP as high as 170 watts because the Am5 has a maximum power delivery of 240 watts. With this upgrade, the latest processor like the Ryzen 7 5800X3D can hit clock speeds of up to 5.7 GHz which would’ve never been possible on any older sockets. After hearing this, I know how hard it is to keep your hands off this new platform. Even I started thinking about selling my Mac for it.
Here’s a table with a brief overview of the power delivery capabilities of the two sockets;
|Max TDP allowed for the CPU
|Max clock speed
Now that we’ve talked about the power efficiency of the two sockets, it’s only fair that we know about the heat output of the two. Obviously, you wouldn’t want a system that overheats just because it performs well, right? Although it may seem that Am5 would have more heat output because it has a higher TDP, it’s not the case. Thanks to the Zen 4 architecture, Am5 is way more power efficient than any of its predecessors offering better performance per watt. So you don’t need to worry about overheating while enjoying the top-end performance.
No matter how much you like something, it all comes down to this very question; does this fit my budget? I’ll be honest! If you have your heart fixed on the Am5 then you should know; it won’t come cheap! If you go for the upgrade, you’ll not only be spending on the socket but also you’ll have to buy a new motherboard, a processor (this is optional), and a new memory — basically a new system!
You can stick to your old Ryzen 5000 series processor but what’s the point in spending all that money if you’re not going to enjoy the thrilling experience of the 7000 series processors?
Conversely, if you can’t afford to invest in a new system and want a cost-effective way out then Am4 would be the way to go. At the end of the day only you can decide whether you want that extra performance or not.
Now it’s safe to say that you know enough to make an informed decision considering your needs and budget. So my job here is done! Now it’s up to you if you decide to make that upgrade or choose to stick with the Am4.
While both sockets are reliable options, the Am5 has an edge in performance and power efficiency. So if you can bear the high price, the lightning-fast processing speeds would make it worth it. But if you’re a little low on cash or don’t want to invest in a new motherboard, the Am4 is a reliable option for you.
Muhammad Allayhan, a gaming and PC hardware virtuoso, breathes life into pixelated worlds. A legendary overclocker, he unlocks hidden power in gaming rigs. Navigating from 8-bit realms to today’s masterpieces, Muhammad’s words immerse readers in an ever-evolving digital odyssey. Join him as he reveals the secrets of gaming’s cutting edge.