At Computex 2022, AMD reconfirmed that the AM4 motherboard platform was not going anywhere and will continue to serve the PC gaming segment for the foreseeable future and it appears that the company is considering a variant of Zen 4 before.
AMD May Consider Launching Ryzen ‘Zen 4’ With DDR4 Support on Existing AM4 Motherboards
The rumor comes from Greymon55 who has stated that according to an AMD CPU reseller, the red team may be planning to bring Ryzen CPUs based on the Zen 4 core architecture on the AM4 chip platform. The leaker isn’t sure if these plans will pay off, but it would be an interesting decision nonetheless.
According to an AMD CPU reseller, AMD plans to have AM4 DDR4-compatible ZEN4 products. But it’s just a plan, not sure if it will be available.
— Greymon55 (@greymon55) June 17, 2022
All things considered, AMD has already announced that Zen 4 CPUs, Ryzen or EPYC, will only support DDR5 memory, so this means there will be no DDR4 IMC on the Zen 4 core. If the red team were to bring Zen 4 to the existing AM4 motherboards, then it would have to make special variants of the chip that include the necessary DDR4 IMC, since AM4 is a full DDR4 platform.
Additional information is shared by TechPowerUp which states that the new Ryzen CPUs for the AM4 motherboards will include Zen 4 chiplets and may interface with the existing cIOD (IO-die) that supports PCIe Gen 4.0 and DDR4. With the probability that AMDs Ryzen 7000 ‘Zen 4’ Lineup Is Likely To Enter The High-End Segment FirstAMD would want some kind of action in the low-end and mainstream segment and that is certainly not what AM5 with DDR5 will offer at the start of its journey.
In an interview, AMD’s Robert Hallock confirmed that AM4 and AM5 will coexist and that there may be new CPUs for the existing platforms:
“AM4 + AM5 coexist, still markets adopting AM4. From a global point of view, AM4 has a lot of life. There may be new CPUs for AM4, but nothing specific is planned right now.”
AMD will be in a very difficult position against Intel’s Raptor Lake, which will not only offer full support on the existing 600 series motherboards, but also come with both DDR5 and DDR4 support. To tackle Alder Lake, AMD quickly launched a slew of mainstream Ryzen 5000 parts and the top end 5800X3D CPU† It will have to do the same to keep Intel’s mainstream Raptor Lake CPUs remotely and this time the only possible solution would be either more X3D parts on the existing Zen 3 core architecture or a version of Zen 4 with DDR4 compatibility.
That said, the Zen 4 Ryzen CPUs for AM4 socket won’t be aimed at the high-end market and we can expect up to 8 cores and 16 threads, but that’s if AMD actually goes through with the plan. So for now this is just a rumor, but it will be interesting to see what AMD cooks up for its AM4 users who may want to put off the Zen 4 purchase for a generation or two.