AMD Chipset Comparison: B550 Specs vs. X570, B450, X370, & Zen 3 Support (2020)

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fairly easy
This includes the intent of the 500-series chipsets to support Zen 3 architecture (reminder: that's not the same as Ryzen 4000 mobile, nor is it the same as Ryzen 3000 desktop), while the existing B450 and X470 boards are left to cap-out at Ryzen 3000 series (Zen 2) parts. -
We have some additional discussion of the basics of naming, including CPU naming distinctions, in our video component that accompanies this article. You may get more information on the differences between AMD Zen generations and Ryzen generations in that content.

In this content, we're going to be breaking-down the AMD B550 vs. X570, B450, X470, X370, and A320 chipset specifications number-by-number. Our goal is to look at this purely from a facts-based angle of what the differences are, and those differences will include both numerical specification differences (number and type of lanes afforded) and forward or backwards compatibility differences. This includes the intent of the 500-series chipsets to support Zen 3 architecture (reminder: that's not the same as Ryzen 4000 mobile, nor is it the same as Ryzen 3000 desktop), while the existing B450 and X470 boards are left to cap-out at Ryzen 3000 series (Zen 2) parts.

B550 vs. B550A

First off, B550A, which has already been out and which we have covered, is not the same as B550. B550A is made only for OEMs and SIs (system integrators) for pre-built systems. The entire point of B550A was to basically get the number "500" onto the box to make it seem new. B550A is just B450. It's identical. The only difference is that the name was changed for pre-built PC providers.

That out of the way, B550 is the actually new one that's interesting. The AMD B550 chipset release date is June 16, with most manufacturer motherboards shipping by July. Outside of chipset choice, the biggest consideration would be VRM quality, PCIe generation usage, and BIOS quality, but that's a different topic.

Future Support

Outside of the I/O differences that we'll discuss, the primary advantage for the 500-series chipsets going forward is that AMD is segmenting its support for future CPU architectures. The B550 and X570 chipsets will both support the unreleased Zen 3 architecture when it launches, presumably later this year, while B450 and X470…
Steve Burke
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