Left: socket FM1. Right: socket AM3+
The long awaited AM3+ to support the ground up designed Bulldozer architecture CPU Zambezi
and AMD's first desktop Fusion platform FM1, supporting the Stars K10.5 based APU Llano.
Is all as it seems? New architecture, new sockets?
In restrospect, the AM3 platform brought little performance gain to the table over the previous AM2+ but with Asus, MSI and Gigabyte saying that they now support AM3+ CPUs on selected motherboards with a BIOS update, current owners of AM3 motherboards have a glimmer of hope that they will have a cost effective upgrade to some next-gen processing power.
At first when Asus released a statement saying that certain motherboards will support AM3+ CPUs, there was confusion over compatibility, but leaked photos of an engineering sample of what would appear to be a Bulldozer CPU, clearly shows that the pin layout IS compatible with AM3 motherboards despite the statement made by John Fruehe over at XS.
So what would that mean for AM3+?
Well there are bound to be new features such as Hyper Transport 3.1 and SLI to name but two.
However for anyone that currently owns a compatible AM3 motherboard, would a change to an AM3+ motherboard really be worth it?
Considering that Bulldozer based APUs are due Q4 2011/Q1 2012?
Of course being APUs they will surely need a completely new socket too!?
Edit: My mistake, the next-gen Bulldozer based processor 'Komodo' is actually a CPU not an APU, this is relatively old news and will signal that there is Life in AM3+, along with the questionable stability of AM3 supporting AM3+ CPUs put forth by ASRock recently this markedly increases the feasability of buying into the AM3+ platform. In the short-term, owners of AM3 motherboards may choose to see the results of compatibility before making any investments.