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AMD to keep FM2+ socket till 2016, no DDR4 for AMD’s chips next year

Advanced Micro Devices has reportedly chosen to take a rather conservative approach to development of its desktop platforms. Instead of adding support of the DDR4 memory to its next-generation code-named “Carrizo” accelerated processing unit, the company decided to stick to the DDR3 and therefore the FM2+ socket. While this is a good news for owners of current-generation platforms and PC makers, it also means that the evolution of AMD’s platforms will slowdown.

Earlier this year it transpired from a document aimed at developers that AMD’s upcoming “Carrizo” accelerated processing units (with Excavator x86 cores and Radeon “Volcanic Islands” GCN 3.0 graphics engine) supports both DDR3 and DDR4 types of memory. While it was clearly said that the “Carrizo” was compatible with the FM2+ platform, the support of DDR4 implied that there will be other platforms with the new memory support as well as other innovations.


Apparently, something has changed in AMD’s plans. According to Bitsandchips.it, the desktop Carrizo APUs from AMD will exclusively support the DDR3 memory and will thus fit only into the FM2+ sockets. As a result, the FM2+ will remain on the market till 2016, whereas AMD desktop platforms will not support the DDR4 memory for quite a while. Given the fact that AMD officially supports DDR3 at 2133MHz transfer-rate, the support for DDR4 memory would not provide it a lot of advantages in case of “Carrizo”, which is pretty similar to “Kaveri”.

From AMD’s presentation released in November, 2013, it is obvious that the “Carrizo”/”Toronto” silicon (“Toronto” is a server version of “Carrizo” SoC) does support DDR4 memory, hence, dropping its support from the desktop version of the APU was something AMD did intentionally. The main reason why AMD could do this is pretty clear: the company does not want to support two different desktop APU platforms. It is possible that server-class “Toronto” APUs due next year will support the new memory type.


It looks like DDR4 memory will be supported only by AMD’s platforms due in 2016. Unfortunately, we know almost nothing about AMD’s plans for 2016, except the fact that by that time the company is expected to roll-out an all-new high-performance microprocessor architecture developed under supervision of the legendary Jim Keller.

AMD did not comment on the news-story.

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KitGuru Says: AMD is traditionally very conservative when it comes to support of new types of memory. Since the DDR3 will most likely be more affordable that the DDR4 next year, such approach is justified. However, this indirectly proves that AMD’s next-generation APUs will simply not need a new type of memory and their performance will not be limited by memory bandwidth simply because that performance will not be considerably higher compared to today’s APUs.

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  • Alistair Hardy

    They’ve shot theselves in the foot there.

    It will make Intel look ahead of the game and AMD look dated

  • Pingback: NO DDR4 for AMD, for now anyway |()

  • Георги Вълчанов

    If You are talking about the lack of DDR4 support, at this early stage of the production DDR4 will be comparable to DDR3 as performance, will run cooler (not that I’ve heard of s.o. having overhearing problems with DDR3) but at a higher cost. Only error correction should be better, but for 4-8GB sticks that should be negligible influence.

  • Sam al

    DDR4 will be a pretty niche and expensive hardware in 2015. It doesn’t really matter really. Not a lot of people will pay 250$ or 300$ for a 16GB dual channel kit.

  • Erik Hiebert

    I don’t think so. The difference between DDR3 and DDR4 isn’t huge, it’s more important for servers and for professional workloads… neither of which are too relevant to AMD’s desktop market (since they don’t offer “professional” grade CPUs).

    I only hope they make some good advancements in the CPU side of things. I doubt we’ll get anywhere near 30% performance increase in higher TDP parts (such as the desktop A10 CPUs), but even a 15-20% performance increase is significant. If they can offer performance 15% greater than the A10-7850K and offer a SKU with the IGP disabled at a lower price point, they’ll be back in the game.

    IMO they should themselves in the foot with Kaveri. The A10-7850K’s performance is basically an Athlon 760K with an HD 7750 DDR3… but for the price of the 7850K, you can buy an Athlon 760K and GTX 750 or R7 260. Kind of defeats the purpose since it’s not an affordable solution compared to getting dedicated graphics.

    I guess right now they’re focusing on the mobile industry to try and get more funds for R&D :/

  • Alistair Hardy

    I completely see what you’re saying to be fair.
    I just think you should always push tech.

    Though logically thinking about it, they are pushing the tech, just in cost and power efficiency.

    I figured that since they were doing so well in the graphics world at the moment (in my opinion, they’re level pegged, if not marginally better, than nvidia right now) that they would be happy to push the CPU market again.
    especially as they’ve got the money from the XBone and the PS4 units.
    I would prefer it if they made an enthusiast chipset with DDR4 at least, just to show they can.

  • Alistair Hardy

    It will cost a lot, granted, more so that the market will be split.
    Memory manufacturers are going make DDR4 in smaller quantities and the price will remain higher for longer as a result.
    Anyway, remember how much DDR3 triple channel used to cost? that was still pretty popular.

  • Christopher E. Stith

    If you want performance from AMD you don’t generally count on the FM2+ chips anyway, do you? What about AM3+?

  • Goran Petrevski

    The 860K (4-core chip) performance is close to a 6-core Piledriver chip, especially in games here. The only advantage of a 6-core Piledriver is the big cache size that can help on some workloads (such as server/virtualization workloads).

    So if Carrizo gets >15% IPC increase, than it could be a better gaming chip than a FX-8350, no question asked.

  • Christopher E. Stith

    What about the higher clocked 8-core chips (the 8350 is an 8-core BTW)? The 8370, 9590, and such are pretty high-end parts. Look at the benchmarks somewhere like Tom’s Hardware. The FX-8350 and FX-78320 land well within the range of the mid-to-high end i5 and the lower-end i7 series on most benchmarks.

    The A10 and A8 series tend to end up bunched with the Phenom II, the FX 4300 series, low-end i5 and high-end Core 2 chips.

  • Goran Petrevski

    True. In my experience, not many people want to overclock their CPUs. There was a boy that really wanted the FX-9590 with a Gigabyte motherboard. I suggested the Asrock 990FX Extreme9 with a big (480 mm) radiator to cool the CPU and the GPUs (he wanted water-cooled graphics cards – two R9-290X, so I fitted in an EK water blocks and pump). He agreed and asked for the highest possible overclock on all components (CPU and GPUs). Power supply was Corsair AX1500i so I had no problems doing that. The highest clock I managed to get on that CPU was 6.4GHz, and I set it for 6.2GHz to be stable as a mountain). On the GPU side, I managed to get ~1240 core clock with 6GHz (effective) memory clock. I’m proud of that system I’ve built for him and he didn’t regret the money for it. Hell, he was happy.

    Aside from this story I wrote here, I wanted to point out that the 860K doesn’t draw that much power for the performance it gives (comparing only AMD processors). In Germany, the 860K is ~70 Euros, and for that price I would definitely go with it over any other AMD processor. On top of that, FM2+ high-end motherboards cost 100-120 Euros here, a lot less than any high-end AM3+ motherboard out there. Cheers.

  • Steve Tam

    Still waiting for a 6 core Athlon 960K…. ._.

  • bladerunner6978

    … for AMD FM2+, “NOT” to support DDR4 is a pathetic joke.

    The whole reason behind their builtin GPU/APU’s is their ultra-fast memory dependencies.
    AMD is a pathetic shell of what it used to be.
    Beagleboard, or Raspberry Pi 2, …, is now a better alternative than anything AMD.
    -sad to say, and even sadder to face it.
    But hey, this is what happens when you put a “salesman” in charge of AMD, instead of a “real” Engineer. 🙁

  • We are talking a 10-20% difference in performance for 2x the price. A niche market still 8 months after you wrote this.

  • the niche is over ?


  • Ghis1964

    ….so it’s now Q3 2016 and…….. then/when what/when?