With the announcement of AMD’s Ryzen 5000 desktop CPU series, we talked a lot about the B450 and B550 motherboards. It seems that many potential buyers are not clear on the difference between these chipsets and as a result we have seen many current B450 owners worried about whether they need to upgrade.
In this article we will explain how these chipsets differ and talk about why you may or may not need to upgrade to support the Zen3 processor.
You may remember that AMD originally announced that they would support support for the Zen 3 on all 300 and 400 series motherboards. However, due to a retreat from the community and publications like ours where we strongly suggested reconsidering AMD, they quickly withdrew the decision and announced that 400 Series boards (B450 and X470) had support for Zen 3 processors. Will be received, which is now. Raigen 5000 Series.
This means that processor support on the B450 motherboard includes the Ryzen 1000, 2000, 3000 and now upcoming 5000 Series, although a single BIOS revision is unlikely to support all of them. Compare this to the B550 chipset that only officially supports the Ryzen 3000 and upcoming 5000 series, although please note that Ryzen 3000 series APUs such as the 3200G and 3400G are not supported on B550 boards, APU support is limited to Renoir APUs , Which Ryzen 4000 series … which we should add, are not supported on B450 boards as far as we know.
The main advantages of the AMD B550 chipset are PCI Express 4.0, but this is a bit confusing as this feature is not actually enabled by the chipset. Technically speaking, there is no reason why B450 boards cannot offer the same level of PCIe 4.0 support as B550 boards, because this support comes directly from the Ryzen 3000 processor, they are just 20 PCIe 4.0 from the CPU. Using the lane. In fact, we’ve seen BIOS modifications from the likes of Gigabyte, which enabled PCIe 4.0 operation on B450 boards, but were later removed due to AMD’s pressure. We won’t get into that, but the point is the PCIe B550 comes from 4.0 CPUs on the boards, not the chipset itself.
All AMD B550 motherboards only support PCIe 4.0 for the primary PCIe x16 slot for graphics cards, as well as PCIe 4.0 for the primary M.2 slot for high-speed storage. As it stands, neither feature is very beneficial for most consumers as PCI 4.0 does not yet offer any kind of performance advantage for graphics cards. Even the RTX 3090 only achieves around 3% more performance on average at a lower resolution.
When it comes to PCIe 4.0 storage, the benefits look good on paper and certainly good for raw file transfers, but when talking about general PC usage and gaming, the PCIe 4.0 and 3.0 modes The difference between a good NVMe SSD running in is almost zero. . This is not to say that PCIe 4.0 will not be important in the future, but it is a technology that is preferable for high-end systems using the X570 motherboard or HEDT systems using expensive Thrisper CPUs.
Now, the next most important upgrade on the B550 chipset has to do with the PCI Express lane provided through the chipset. As mentioned earlier, PCIe 4.0 support is provided by the CPU, but the chipset still has its own PCIe lanes, 8 in the case of the B450 and 10 on the B550. Both CPUs use a PCIe 3.0 x4 link, but the lanes provided by the chipset are different. While the B450 chipset offers 8 PCIe 2.0 lanes, the B550 chipset offers 10 PCIe 3.0 lanes.
This increased bandwidth means faster devices can connect to chipsets, although it’s hard to say how useful it is for most of you. The more premium AMD B550 motherboards offer features such as Wi-Fi 6 and 2.5 Gbit LAN, but unless you have invested in the latest wireless routers and network switches, none of these features will be particularly useful because you Will be limited By your networking hardware. In addition to better networking, the increased bandwidth means that USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports are standard, although this is a feature that you can also find on select B450 motherboards.
Finally, the B550 chipset also brings support for dual GPUs, but honestly this is probably the most pointless feature it offers on the B450 as no one uses SLI or Shootout, the budget is not low on the motherboard. Some B450 boards may support dual GPUs, although the second card will be severely handicapped with PCIe 2.0 x4 bandwidth.
The key point here is that the AMD B550 motherboard provides better PCI Express support from both CPU and chipset, but how relevant it is to you is going to be questionable. If you only have one gigabit switch and don’t want to spend big bucks on 2.5 Gbit networking or better, paying extra for a board with a 2.5 Gbit LAN can be a waste of money, and of course, for the Y too This is true. -६६ support.
Right now PCIe 4.0 does not seem like a big thing, there is no hardware configuration for desktop PCs that can really take advantage of it, and until it starts showing a meaningful advantage we are looking at hardware that includes a Serious premium costs, so nothing you will stick on the B550 board anyway. So what does all this mean, just because the B550 motherboards are new and offer some fancy sounding features like PCI Express 4.0, it does not mean that the B450 owners need to upgrade or even someone cheaper Need to buy AM4 motherboard. A B550 board.
Right now you can buy the MSI B450 Tomahawk Max for $ 110, while an equivalent B550 board like the MSI B550-A Pro costs $ 140. While $ 30 is not a very large premium and we usually recommend the B550 model, which is looking to save as much money as possible, the B450 option is likely to be better priced. In this example, with the B550 board you are getting slightly better VRM, 2.5 Gbit LANs, and PCIe 4.0, although depending on what you are doing with the system, there is a good chance that you will have any of these features Will take advantage of
In short, for those who want to upgrade their current Ryzen 2000 or 3000 CPU with a shiny new Ryzen 5000 model that already owns a decent B450 motherboard, we see no reason why you need to upgrade to a B550 board Is required or not.
Again, if you have something like the MSI B450 Tomahawk Max, very little can be gained by upgrading to the B550 board. In fact, you’ll need to spend upwards of $ 160 for a meaningful upgrade, and at that point you’ll be halfway to buying a Ryzen 5 5600X.
Our advice is this: If you have a B450 motherboard and plan to upgrade to the Ryzen 5000, keep the board and wait until January 2021 for the Zen3 BIOS and then upgrade.
Speaking of Zen 3 support, we have confirmed with AMD that there will be no performance difference between the B450 and B550 motherboards when a rifle runs 5000 CPUs. The work is already in place in their labs, so AMD B450 support is already a thing, delays after release will allow board partners to speed up their B550 and X570 boards and take out any bugs Which can sweep the surface at any time. The public starts upgrading to new processors.
AMD has also confirmed that the VRM load is practically identical between the same Raijan 3000 and Raijan 5000 processors. In other words, expect the Ryzen 9 3900X and 5900X to place roughly the same load on the motherboard’s VRM.
VRM thermal performance, while useful information that can help you buy a better quality motherboard, is not the be-all and end-all of motherboard performance. How you configure the computer and what you plan to do with it will determine how much focus you need on VRM performance. For example, if you plan to run a 12 or 16-core Ryzen processor with the intention of executing a core heavy workload for extended periods of time, then VRM thermal performance is something you want to keep in mind, especially if You live in a warm climate.
However, VRM quality is nothing short of a problem if you plan to run only 6 or 8-core Ryzen processors with no intention of upgrading soon. Likewise, if you play most games, VRM quality is less of a problem because you will not be 100% taxed on all cores for extended periods.
We hope that this article has helped clarify any questions current AMD B450 owners have about upgrading to a new Risen 5000 series processor, as well as those currently running a B450 or B550. Tossing between motherboards.
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