In preparation for the release of its eight-core 'Zambezi' processor line later in the summer, AMD has rolled out its 9-series chipset, debuting with it the AM3+ socket.
As well as being compatible with AMD's forthcoming CPUs, the 9-series chipset supports up to 1,866MHz DDR3 RAM, can power up to four Crossfire X graphics cards and overclocking capabilities via its AMD OverDrive software. AMD is also touting the I/O capabilities of its 9-series chipset, which can provide up to 14 USB 2.0 ports and up to six SATA 6Gbps ports.
AMD's 9-series chipset provides the backbone for its "Scorpius" desktop platform which comprises a 9-series motherboard, a Radeon HD6000-series GPU and a 'Zambezi' CPU. The AM3+ socket is backwards compatible with older AM3 parts, making it possible to upgrade to the new platform in stages - a useful consideration.
Most of AMDs motherboard-manufacturing partners already have 9-series parts ready, with prices ranging from about £100 to £170, depending on the exact configuration.