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Is it time to upgrade from AM4? – A look at how AM4 does in 2024

A love letter to AM4
Last Updated on April 17, 2024
Two AMD Ryzen processor boxes, a Ryzen 9 and Ryzen 7 from the 5000 series, displayed side by side with a colorful blurred background. Is it time to upgrade from AM4?
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AMD’s AM4 platform is possibly the best PC platform ever made. But unfortunately, that doesn’t stop it from aging. If AM4 was a human, it would have more than a few wrinkles on the old brow, but how well does it hold up in 2024? Is it time to upgrade from AM4? Here’s our PC Guide opinion on where AM4 is in the industry (and market) right now.

What makes AM4 so great?

AM4 was released back in September 2016 and remained AMD’s platform of choice for over six years. During that time, the AM4 socket was at the center of 11 different chipsets and supported 153 different processors; which is an impressive feat on its own if you think about it. (linked source does not include 5700X3D).

What makes this even more impressive is that at the same time, Intel went through 4 desktop sockets. AMD managed to keep up. It AMD took this tired socket and kept it relevant for over 6 years, through constant upgrades and supportive updates, AMD managed to go toe-to-toe with Intel in terms of performance for that whole period. It’s like racing the same car for 6 years, while your competitors constantly upgraded theirs.

Of course, AMD upgraded the chipsets on subsequent motherboards, but it was all based around that same socket. Here’s a grab to show just how deep the AM4 chipset range is…and the CPU releases that followed it.

Table listing amd and intel processors by release year, model name, series, platform type, and socket, ranging from 2016 to 2020. Is it time to upgrade from AM
AMD and Intel socket and CPU family releases including AM4 (2016 to 2022).

One of the biggest complaints among Intel users in the early 2020s was that Intel changed sockets too often, meaning users needed to buy a more expensive motherboard every time they got a new Intel CPU. Not the case on AMD; if you wanted to, you could run a 5950X on an A320 motherboard. Should you? Probably not, but it was nice to have the opportunity.

Can AM4 still perform?

Absolutely! As you may know, the GPU does most of the heavy lifting when it comes to gaming. So if that’s your primary focus, then you may just need a good GPU to cut through most of the workload.

When I tested the 5900X for the Ryzen 5900X review, I used my own hardware – which consists of an old AM4 X470 motherboard, an RX 7900XT, and 32GB of 3200MHz DDR4 memory. And the results I got may shock you. Here’s a snippet of the gaming performance of the 5900X from the review:

GameAverage FPS – 1080p LOW
Far Cry 6147
BeamNG Drive468
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey145
Fps results from an AM4 Ryzen 9 5900X system running at 1080p low

Yes, the 7900XT is a pretty expensive card, but it serves to make my point that the GPU does most of the work when it comes to gaming, and if you’re wondering whether to upgrade your current AM4 rig for more performance, you might just be able to upgrade your GPU for the time being and see some positive results.

Is it time to upgrade from AM4? - An AMD Ryzen 9 5900X box ©BGFG
The AMD Ryzen 9 5900X is still a fantastic option for many users ©BGFG

Is it time to upgrade from AM4?

As always, it depends on what you use your PC for. Personally, as mentioned, I run AM4 and I’m not planning to upgrade until GTA 6 launches. But that’s not through necessity…it’s just because I want to. Never once have I encountered a time when playing Beam.NG, RDR2, Fallout, streaming videos, running benchmarks, and gone “Man, this CPU sucks”. Truth be told, it had better not suck, it’s a 5900X! But it’s still AM4 driving everything at the heart of the system.

One nice thing about AM4’s successor, AM5, is the PCIe Gen 5 storage opportunity; if you’re a certified speed freak, then this could be the feature that tips you into AM5. But in all honesty, storage speeds are still fine. Even on my X470 motherboard. That’s right! I’m happy, and I’m not even rocking the latest AM4 hardware.

What does AMD think?

Not even AMD thinks it’s time for you to leave AM4 behind, or else they wouldn’t have released the AMD Ryzen 7 5700X3D this year for AM4. Even in the era of AM5, AMD is still releasing hardware for AM4, which is surprising. I sincerely thought that the Ryzen 7 5800X3D would be the last AM4 CPU.

So if the performance is still great, and the speeds are still good, why upgrade at all? Well it’s all down to personal preference, and your needs may be much greater than mine. Maybe you’re a data science student, or maybe you run massive, complex simulations on your home rig. I don’t do that, so what I have works for me. But there’s no glaring reason to upgrade from AM4 that I can see.

How long will AM4 still be supported?

When AM5 was released, many feared for the future of AM4. But AMD put those fears to rest, assuring us that AM4 would still be supported for a long time. Thankfully, we have been reassured yet again that AM4 will see continued support until at least 2025, per a recent article from TechSpot.

If you ask me, this is what separates AMD from the likes of Nvidia, and even Intel to some degree. We know that AMD is a business above all else, but I’d like to commend them for thinking of the consumer and working hard to support the systems that are still in use, seemingly regardless of the likely cost implications. I’m sure it’d be far cheaper for AMD to cut ties with AM4 and stop supporting the socket. But here we are in 2024 and AM4 is still going strong.

Final Word

So is it time to upgrade from AM4? No, not for me. AMD’s AM4 was, and continues to be, probably the best consumer PC platform that has ever been made. The fact that AMD kept the same platform and continued to improve its performance against Intel, which constantly updated its platform, is phenomenal. Even now with the release of AM5, AMD continues to keep AM4 alive; seemingly purely because of how many of its customers use it.

I won’t be moving to AM5, at least not until 2025, and maybe beyond that. I realize this reads more like a fanboy love letter to a platform, but I just want to draw attention to everything AMD achieved with AM4. And how I hope it’ll be in support for years to come. Honestly, it’ll be a sad day for technology the day that AM4’s support is discontinued.

Jack Howarth, a Tech Writer at PC Guide, is deeply passionate about technology. He started his journey during college, earning an Extended Diploma in ICT, and CompTIA A+ later in life.