arcticstoat writes to tell us that despite a poor economic climate, AMD is moving forward with a new processor socket launch, although they are trying to make it as upgrade-friendly as possible. "As you probably already know from the AM3 motherboards that have already been announced, AM3 is AMD's first foray into DDR3 memory support. As Phenom CPUs have integrated memory controllers, it's more accurate to say that it's the new range of Phenom II CPUs (see below) that are DDR3-compatible. However, the new DDR3-compatible Phenom II range is also compatible with DDR2 memory. As the new CPUs and the new AM3 socket are pin-compatible with the current AM2+ socket, you can put a new AM3-compatible CPU into an existing AM2+ motherboard. This means that you can upgrade your CPU now without needing to change your motherboard or buy pricey new DDR3 memory."