Hot take alert: AMD’s awesome, multi-generational AM4 CPU socket is actually a bad thing. Wait, stop, I can hear you typing out a letter to the editor right now. Address it to Gordon Mah Ung, because this take belongs to him. Why could one of the most beloved CPU socket designs ever be bad for AMD? You’ll need to watch the latest PCWorld video to find out.
If you’re short on time, here’s the gist: Gordon says that customers who may be using hardware as old as the original Zen gen 1 processors from 2017 aren’t in any hurry to jump to the new AM5 platform and Ryzen 7000 processors, fantastic as these new designs are. Why would they want to buy a new motherboard, new RAM, and new processor, when they can toss a Ryzen 7 5800X3D onto their dusty motherboard, and still get a massive performance increase for just $350 or so?
Perhaps the bigger problem for AMD is those customers who are ready to upgrade. After all, if you’re prepared to spend over a thousand bucks on a new CPU, motherboard, and RAM…then there’s nothing stopping you from jumping over to the Intel side of things to check out what’s new in the ferocious 13th-gen Core series. Intel has apparently recognized AMD as a legitimate threat, and is competing on both raw core counts and prices once again.
These options are great for consumers, but they might not work out great for AMD in the long run. In fact, it might be such a strategic disadvantage that it causes AMD to rethink its upgrade-friendly approach. (The company has committed to making new processors for AM5 through 2025.) For more head-scratching takes on the PC market, be sure to subscribe to PCWorld on YouTube!
Michael is a former graphic designer who's been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.