Friday, June 5th 2015

AMD Socket AM4 Platform Demo Motherboard Pictured

AMD at its pre-Computex media event, showed off the first next-generation socket AM4 processor based on the 14 nm "Summit Ridge" silicon. That processor wasn't alone, it also came with a platform demonstrator for the company's industry partners, behind closed doors. This includes a platform demonstrator motherboard by AMD. Earlier this year, a Chinese tech-site caught a glimpse of this board. There's never anything glamorous about platform demo boards (from either AMD or Intel), they tend to be a haphazard bunch of slots and ports that max out the platform's feature-set. The same applies to this AM4 board.

The picture reveals a few big things about the AM4 socket, and the platform in general. To begin with, the 1331-pin PGA socket is somewhat the same size as AM3+, but likely features finer pins. It features CPU cooler retention holes in a "square" layout, rather than the rectangular layout that AMD has been using way back since socket 754. It will be interesting to see if these mount holes are compatible with any of Intel's sockets. The second and perhaps the biggest change of this platform, of course, is that the chipset is completely integrated with the processor, and so there's no chipset on the board. The processor socket wires out all the connections a southbridge, FCH, or PCH normally would, plus all the I/O of a northbridge (PCIe, memory, etc). The platform supports dual-channel DDR4 memory, and PCI-Express gen 3.0 across its PCIe budget.
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16 Comments on AMD Socket AM4 Platform Demo Motherboard Pictured

#1
Evildead666
Thanks for the Pic.

The power connector is very short no?

I can't see a 24-pin connector, only what looks like two PCIe 6-pin connectors.

Unless that vertical white connector to the left is also power?

edit : they seem to be for the PCIe slots, one for each slot.
The cpu just seems to have the 4-pin connector.
Posted on Reply
#2
ShurikN
The position of the blue SATA connectors is weird to say the least.

Lack of 24 pin powercon is intriguing as well, but as stated this is a prototype.
Posted on Reply
#3
Evildead666
The Sata and USB3 connectors are also very close to the socket.
Awkwardly so. I hope thats not an indication of PCB routing problems.
Its a lot of signals to route from the cpu all over the board.

Maybe its time to relocate the CPU socket?
Move the memory up to the top of the board, and shift the cpu nearer where the memory is now?

ShurikN said:
The position of the blue SATA connectors is weird to say the least.

Lack of 24 pin power con is intriguing as well, but as stated this is a prototype.
Yes, but there would be power components on the board for that, and i can't see them except where the connectors are now.
It wouldn't be unthinkable to do away with the 24 pin, but how would you start the PC (green wire on psu) ?

Theres also a slanted "hp" just next to the socket. could a proprietary board for one of their systems.

edit : i'm pretty sure its an HP workstation board, for sff systems or something.
They love to have non standard PSU's, with only a few connectors for drives and board power.
The white vertical one next to the PCIe power connectors is probably the ON/OFF and such for the psu.

TRIPLE POST MADNESS MERGED!
Posted on Reply
#4
Tatty_One
Senior Moderator
When are we expecting this lot to go retail?
Posted on Reply
#5
bencrutz
i'm pretty sure it's soon-to-be retail hp boards as hp is famous for using non-standard psu, especially the proprietary 2 x 6 pin for board + 4 pin for CPU for lower end system.
my guess is that this would be the retail APU platform (bristol ridge) instead of zen (summit).
Posted on Reply
#6
Caring1
Is that a PCI slot?
I thought those things died out.
Posted on Reply
#7
TheLostSwede
I'm curious as to what the AMD chip on the board is, the one near the rear ports. There's no obvious purpose for it.

Caring1 said:
Is that a PCI slot?
I thought those things died out.
Looks like a white PCIe x16 slot to me. Although it seems to only have pins for four lanes.

bencrutz said:
i'm pretty sure it's soon-to-be retail hp boards as hp is famous for using non-standard psu, especially the proprietary 2 x 6 pin for board + 4 pin for CPU for lower end system.
my guess is that this would be the retail APU platform (bristol ridge) instead of zen (summit).
Sharp eyes there Mr - http://wccftech.com/amd-am4-motherboard-bristol-ridge-apu-spotted/

HOLY TRIPLE POST BATMAN :)
Posted on Reply
#8
ZoneDymo
Caring1 said:
Is that a PCI slot?
I thought those things died out.
I only see PCI-E x16 and PCI-E x4
Posted on Reply
#9
Pathfinder
The motherboard looks standard for an HP computer.

I have an HP 705G1 with a A10 7800B, and the 4 pin is standard, plus the six pin power connector over near the RAM slots. My motherboard in my computer has the same power configuration, for a custom HP OEM power supply. This is because HP runs those setups off a minuscule 200w or so, and expansion isn't much of an issue.

My 705G1 Configuration:
A10 7800B
16GB DDR3 1600Mhz (Corsair XMS)
R7 250 OEM (Hybrid Crossfire)
Creative Recon 3D Platinum
802.11N Network Card
240GB SSD
500GB SATA Drive
Slimline DVD Player

From my experience, HP has these motherboards and power supplies very fine tuned to last watt. I have to keep it on "Always on" because of the draw I put on my system (I use it as an Audio Workstation) and when stuff goes to sleep it doesn't always wake up. But anyway, that seems to be the rundown on that board configuration. Forget dropping an R9 480 into this motherboard... which if you think about it could be the reason the computer didn't show up on the Computex stage.

For your reference, here is the 705G1 Service Manual:
http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/globalcitizenship/environment/productdata/Countries/_MultiCountry/disassembly_deskto_2014820234539664.pdf
Posted on Reply
#10
Caring1
ZoneDymo said:
I only see PCI-E x16 and PCI-E x4
Yep you're right now that I look closer at it.
Posted on Reply
#11
ZeDestructor
Evildead666 said:
Thanks for the Pic.

The power connector is very short no?

I can't see a 24-pin connector, only what looks like two PCIe 6-pin connectors.

Unless that vertical white connector to the left is also power?

edit : they seem to be for the PCIe slots, one for each slot.
The cpu just seems to have the 4-pin connector.
ShurikN said:
The position of the blue SATA connectors is weird to say the least.

Lack of 24 pin powercon is intriguing as well, but as stated this is a prototype.
bencrutz said:
i'm pretty sure it's soon-to-be retail hp boards as hp is famous for using non-standard psu, especially the proprietary 2 x 6 pin for board + 4 pin for CPU for lower end system.
my guess is that this would be the retail APU platform (bristol ridge) instead of zen (summit).
Pathfinder said:
The motherboard looks standard for an HP computer.

I have an HP 705G1 with a A10 7800B, and the 4 pin is standard, plus the six pin power connector over near the RAM slots. My motherboard in my computer has the same power configuration, for a custom HP OEM power supply. This is because HP runs those setups off a minuscule 200w or so, and expansion isn't much of an issue.

My 705G1 Configuration:
A10 7800B
16GB DDR3 1600Mhz (Corsair XMS)
R7 250 OEM (Hybrid Crossfire)
Creative Recon 3D Platinum
802.11N Network Card
240GB SSD
500GB SATA Drive
Slimline DVD Player

From my experience, HP has these motherboards and power supplies very fine tuned to last watt. I have to keep it on "Always on" because of the draw I put on my system (I use it as an Audio Workstation) and when stuff goes to sleep it doesn't always wake up. But anyway, that seems to be the rundown on that board configuration. Forget dropping an R9 480 into this motherboard... which if you think about it could be the reason the computer didn't show up on the Computex stage.

For your reference, here is the 705G1 Service Manual:
http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/globalcitizenship/environment/productdata/Countries/_MultiCountry/disassembly_deskto_2014820234539664.pdf
Looks like the wholesale move to 12V-only desktop is moving along at full-swing.

Incidentally, that's why the PSUs connections are "proprietary": once you slice off the 5V, 3.3V and -12V connectors, there's only 6-8 pins worth of stuff left in the main ATX connector, so there's no point keeping the whole thing.

By the looks of it, that HP platform will have the PSU do the 5V and 3.3V lines for HDDs and SSDs, but even those will be simplified further to be something like Dell's current line of Skylake Optiplex machines.

Personally, I can't wait for custom desktops to follow up already: my servers already run on 12V and 12Vsb (and have done so for well over 7 years now), cause it means simpler, cooler-running PSUs, with fewer parts in them.
Posted on Reply
#12
Assimilator
I don't even think this is an AM4 board. There's clearly an additional AMD-branded chip (the south bridge) and there is no way to see whether the CPU/socket is AM4 or (as I suspect) AM3+. Furthermore, considering AMD only showed off demo boards just before Computex, I can't imagine they have already provided OEMs (in this case HP) with board diagrams AND those OEMs have already designed and fabbed their own boards.

The 6-pin power inputs are typical of HP OEM boards and the weird cooler spacing is likely to allow HP to use the same cooler across all their machines (AMD and Intel) for easier maintenance.

tl;dr obvious hoax is obvious.
Posted on Reply
#13
GoFigureItOut
Assimilator said:
I don't even think this is an AM4 board. There's clearly an additional AMD-branded chip (the south bridge) and there is no way to see whether the CPU/socket is AM4 or (as I suspect) AM3+. Furthermore, considering AMD only showed off demo boards just before Computex, I can't imagine they have already provided OEMs (in this case HP) with board diagrams AND those OEMs have already designed and fabbed their own boards.

The 6-pin power inputs are typical of HP OEM boards and the weird cooler spacing is likely to allow HP to use the same cooler across all their machines (AMD and Intel) for easier maintenance.

tl;dr obvious hoax is obvious.
I'm no AMD expert, but I have yet to see any AMD motherboards with holes for the cooling system
Posted on Reply
#14
Pathfinder
Well the mounting holes are also typical for an AMD powered HP. To be honest, except for the motherboard layout I wouldn't have any reason to think this wasn't a Socket FM2+ motherboard. If the "AMD" labeled chip is a FCH or Southbridge as speculated, then it's even less lilely to be AM4 as Bristol Ridge and Zen are supposed to be SOC designs.

It could be possible this is actually a FM2+ version of Bristol Ridge / Carrizo considering the fact that the Athlon x4 840 is a FM2+ Carrizo chip with the GPU disabled. If they want to reserve Socket AM4 for ZEN and regulate Bristol Ridge to Socket FM2+ (and possibly AM3+) there wouldn't be anything to stop AMD from the approach. And actually, an Excavator for Socket AM3+ might give AMD a revenue shot in the arm and give the dying AM3+ platform a last hurrah.
Posted on Reply
#15
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
Assimilator said:
I don't even think this is an AM4 board. There's clearly an additional AMD-branded chip (the south bridge) and there is no way to see whether the CPU/socket is AM4 or (as I suspect) AM3+. Furthermore, considering AMD only showed off demo boards just before Computex, I can't imagine they have already provided OEMs (in this case HP) with board diagrams AND those OEMs have already designed and fabbed their own boards.

The 6-pin power inputs are typical of HP OEM boards and the weird cooler spacing is likely to allow HP to use the same cooler across all their machines (AMD and Intel) for easier maintenance.

tl;dr obvious hoax is obvious.
It has DDR4 ram slots not DDR3, so unless AMD shit out a DDR4 board while no one was looking this is likely one of the inbetween items that were talked about. This will be excavator based AM4 is my assumption.
Posted on Reply
#16
Pathfinder
If the slots are DDR4 then there is little question. On the other hand we can't see the socket pin configuration. I guess we need to wait to know more.
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