AMD has made it very clear that its current AM4 socket will be removed when its Zen 4 chips are released next year. The new socket, which is generally believed to be called AM5, will change to an LGA design, where the pins are on the motherboard socket and the CPU has contact pads unlike the current configuration that the pins have on the CPU. . That's what Intel has been doing for years, and apart from a few motherboard incidents, we've all learned to live with change.
Leaks on the AM5 socket appeared earlier this year, but the specifications and images of @TtLexington suggest that the new plinth could be widely compatible with existing refrigerators. New brackets may be needed, which often happens with a change in a plinth, but it doesn’t look too different from what we currently have.
if you have am4 computer coolermaybe can use if for am5! pic.twitter.com/sMnM5Fvzq4August 17, 2021
This is definitely good if you plan to upgrade it and want to stream as much of the current system as possible. If you in particular have a decent AIO refrigerator, that should be good news. Zen 4 is expected to switch to DDR5 support, so you'll want to keep as much of the system as possible as you upgrade.
Along with some socket outlets and mounting points, as well as the space required (which is just under 8mm), there is a table of specifications that covers the different TDPs of the processor that will need to be supported. There are six different classes of chips, which start at 45 W and increase up to 170 W, which will require the use of a 280 mm or larger liquid refrigerator.
To put it in some context, the current top-dog of the consumer desktop line is the 32-core 16-core Ryzen 9 5950X, which has a TDP of 105W. Overclocking can achieve this, but the fact that AMD is already looking at 170W suggests that Zen 4 may be looking to push harder than its predecessor. And in case you’re wondering, here we are not in Threadripper territory, which has a default TDP of 280W.
These are just rumors right now (Zen 4 isn't expected another year), so there's plenty of time to change things. But reverse compatibility with existing refrigerators and the potential of some monster chips could turn into interesting processor battles next year. Particularly, as we expect Intel to mix things up with Alder Lake before the end of the year.
AMD’s Zen 4 architecture is expected to fall in 2022, with “Raphael” being the first consumer processors to offer up to 16 cores and 32 threads, but also include integrated RDNA 2 graphics.