Backwards compatibility throughout the range.
It was only a matter of hours ago that I suggested AMD needed to come up with some kind of incentive for people to buy its next generation of processors over those of Intel, and it looks like somebody was listening over in Sunnyvale. Currently if you want to upgrade from an AMD processor older than the AM2 socket you’re going to have to buy a new motherboard. This means that while the prices of the processors themselves may be enticing, the prospect of potentially changing your entire system may change your mind.
However, with its AM2+ and AM3 CPUs (which are pin-identical to AM2) AMD will be ensuring that they are backwards compatible with current motherboards, by keeping the power and voltage requirements the same as they currently are. In layman’s terms this means that when Phenom finally hits the streets socket AM2, Athlon 64 X2 and FX owners will be able to purchase the new model chips as a drop-in replacement for their current motherboards. And, unlike last year and some supposedly ‘Core 2 Duo Ready’ motherboards, there should be nary a required bios update in sight.
The question remains though: will AMD allowing you to upgrade your existing setup with a new Phenom processor tempt you? Or have you already switched over to Intel and Core 2 Duo?