With every passing day selecting the right motherboard is getting challenging. The market is already saturated with the AMD motherboard chipset, but the release of B550 made the process more confusing. It forced the users to rethink their options and ignited the B550 vs X570 comparison as the new chipset offers a range of budget and expensive models that compete with the X570 motherboard chipset.
We are here to simplify choosing these cutting-edge and performance-packed motherboards for building a new machine. We have compared two of the most popular choices: the X570 and B550, and will share with you what each of them brings to the table. Once you have read this, it will get easier to choose wisely and enjoy your new AMD build.
- AMD B550 Chipset Motherboards
- AMD X570 Chipset Motherboards
- Comparison of AMD B550 vs X570 Motherboards
- Differences Between B550 and X570 Motherboards
- Why Do X570 Motherboards Have Fans
- Which Motherboard to Buy, X570 or B550
The AMD B550 chipset does not only offer better price value than the previous mid-range chipset (B450), but it’s also in direct competition with the B450 and high-end enthusiast X570 lineup. Many B550 motherboards are similarly priced and sometimes even more expensive than cheaper X570 models.
There are some key differences between B550 vs X570 performance and features, which we will get to below. However, if you have a time shortage, in a nutshell, either chipset is simply fine for building an excellent modern AMD gaming/work PC with the fastest available CPUs on the market, such as Ryzen 7 or higher.
1) AMD B550 Chipset Motherboards
The B550 chipset motherboards, released in June 2020, allow computer enthusiasts to enjoy the benefits of a new level of Intel innovation by pairing with the new generation of Zen 3 Ryzen 5000 Series CPUs and supporting AMD AM4 socket. It costs less than the X570, and it replaces the older generation’s B450 chipset motherboards.
Also of interest is that you can pair the new motherboards with the previous generation Zen 2 (Ryzen 3000 CPUs and Ryzen 4000 Series APUs). B550 specs lack PCIe 4.0 support as the lanes from the CPU only have a PCIe 3.0 link to the B550 motherboard. There are 4 PCIe 3.0 lanes that connect the chipset and motherboard.
- Few models offer better value than the X570 chipset motherboards
- Better VRMs in few models despite being affordable
- Better networking features for less cost
- More options for mATX motherboards compared to the X570
- It comes with internal USB Type-C support at an economical cost
- It has zero sound levels due to the lack of fan noise
If the CPU has PCIe 4.0 lanes for the storage and graphics card, it could perform slightly better than its current potential. Even lacking the PCIe 4.0, the B550 is an excellent choice for content creators, gamers, and high-end video editing. It has all it takes to compete with the more expensive X570 chipset motherboard.
The compatibility is the big plus for the B550 chipset motherboard as it primarily aims for the Zen 3 based CPU series like Ryzen 5000. It is also compatible with the AMD Ryzen 3000 series CPUs. Due to the lower maximum power draw of 6W in the B550 motherboards, they lack cooling fans and don’t have an extensive cooling system like X570.
2) AMD X570 Chipset Motherboards
The AMD X570 is a one-year model than the B550 motherboard as its launching dates back to July 2019. It is a better-upgraded motherboard than the MSI X470 while having support similar to the B550 chipset motherboard. It supports AMD-based Zen 3 5000 series CPUs. X570 is also the pioneer of supporting the PCIe 4.0 NVMe storage and graphics cards.
Few models offer better pricing than B550 models
It supports NVMe storage and GPUs with PCIe 4.0 lanes
It packs more USB 3.2 ports
Supports innovative multi-GPU support
Supports Ryzen 2000 CPUs and 3000 APUs
Better for extreme overclocking
The X570 specs aim at content creators, gamers, professional video, and photo editors. It is best suited for the AMD AM4 socket CPUs meaning that it can support the Ryzen processors from the previous generations. However, there is some limitation for the CPU selection as you cannot select the 1st gen Ryzen 1000 series CPU, but anything beyond that is equally supported.
The power generation by the X570 PSU is better than the B550 motherboard. It can draw anywhere between 11W to 15W depending on PCIe 4.0 lanes. The difference is significantly higher compared to the B550 motherboard. It results in a better cooling mechanism on most X570 based motherboards due to cooling fan support.
3) Comparison of AMD B550 vs X570 Motherboards
It was a brief introduction to the B550 and X570 chipset motherboards. We have seen their specifications and the potential they offer. We have put together a specifications table with the quick B550 vs X570 comparison to make things clearer.
|General Purpose Lanes
|X16 PCIe Gen 4
|X16 PCIe Gen 4
|Dual Graphics Support
|PCIe Gen 4
|PCIe Gen 4
|PCIe Gen 3
|PCIe Gen 4
|USB 3.2 Gen 2
|USB 3.2 Gen 2
So, there are similarities that exist between the two motherboards. These similarities are evident in the support they offer. For example, they carry PCIe Gen 4.0 CPU storage support, PCIe Gen 4.0 CPU graphics support, and USB 3.2 support regardless of their variety in versions. Although each also has a specific uniqueness that makes it more suitable for different applications.
But there’s more to it than just those specific updates. For starters, B550 motherboards do not support PCIe Gen 4.0 or CPU chipset based on PCIe Gen 3.0, both of which are present in X570 motherboards. That’s pretty much it as far as specs go through because the two motherboards share many features that make them equally attractive to overclockers and power users alike.
Although it is clear from the comparison that both B550 and X570 support overclocking, the potential can vary. The X570 features built-in fans, while B550 lacks them. These fans can help the X570 to remain in cooler thermals while providing maximum performance. However, B550 lacks this support that makes it slightly underpowered than the X570 on the specifications sheet.
4) Differences Between B550 and X570 Motherboards
After a brief AMD B550 vs X570 comparison, let’s highlight the primary differences between both motherboards. We have tried to cover major differences and explain both chips’ specifications in detail.
Although both the B550 and X570 motherboards offer virtually identical technical specs and performance capabilities, one area where they differ is in their compatibility with previous generation Ryzen CPUs. AMD designed the B550 motherboards based on future-proofing and excellent compatibility. One of the main differences between the B550 and X570 is that the former supports fresh AMD chipsets (Ryzen 3000) while the latter supports older 1st and 2nd generation Ryzen CPUs.
So, for those looking to purchase and install a new motherboard into their Ryzen 2000 (or older) series desktop computer, the B550 is not what you are seeking. B550 does not support the current APUs under AMD’s Ryzen 3000 series, making matters even more confusing.
While these APUs are part of AMD’s latest batch of CPUs and technically Ryzen 3000 series CPUs, they are not compatible with Zen 2 architecture. The 3200G and 3400G CPUs run on AMD’s older Zen+ architecture rather than their more recent Zen 2 architecture, which means that B550s will unfortunately still not be able to handle them.
Chipset PCIe Support
The main difference between B550 and X570 is that X570 has upgraded PCIe lanes than the standard B550. Ignoring the direct PCIe lanes from the CPU for a moment, the X570 sits right next to the CPU where it is linked through those PCIe 4.0 lanes while the B550 connects to the CPU using PCIe 3.0 lanes. It is not much deal for normal users, but it counts for gamers and power users.
It means that the B550 only carries PCIe 3.0 lanes, while additional lanes on the X570 are PCIe 4.0. In contrast, the GPU connectivity on both motherboards is similar to PCIe 4.0 direct connectivity directly from the CPU. If you think that direct PCIe connectivity is enough for your needs, opt for the X570 chipset. Otherwise, B550 remains sufficient for most needs.
Overclocking and Performance
When comparing the different X570 motherboards and the B550 motherboards, we noticed that the more expensive of the two tend to come with better VRMs. We recommend choosing an X570 motherboard to provide you with better overclocking capabilities.
As we already mentioned that all the PCIe lanes on the X570 are PCIe 4.0. There is better overclocking and cooling potential on these motherboards. A typical X570 draws around 15W of power from the PSU compared to the 6W of the B550 chipset. Due to more power and fan power, X570 is the best in both models regarding overclocking and performance.
Dual GPU Support
If you are looking to install two graphics cards in your build, it is best if your motherboard and processor support Nvidia’s SLI or AMD’s Crossfire. Currently, both the X570 and B550 motherboards support PCIe 4.0, depending on the motherboard model – but only higher-end B550 options will give you room for the GPU support. To determine which motherboard works best for your rig, comparing CPU pairings with your GPUs is better.
USB and SATA Connectivity
PCIe connectivity aside, both B550 and X570 offer SATA and USB connectivity options. The X570 can support the USB 10Gbps speeds up to 8 ports, while the B550 limits only two USBs. If you are looking for USB 5 Gbps support, X570 lacks it, while there are two on the B550 chipsets.
The USB 2.0 480Mbps support is present on both X570 and B550 motherboards. The X570 offers 4 USB ports, while there are 6 of them in the B550 motherboard. The dedicated SATA III 6Gbps ports are equal for both B550 and X570 motherboards. Both have four of these ports, while you can get eight additional ports on X570 and two in B550 – if needed.
The reason the B550 motherboard was introduced was due to unhappy customers. They couldn’t get PCIe Gen 4.0 without buying an expensive X570 motherboard. So, they took a decision to bring this inexpensive substitute to life in a move like AMD’s.
It supports next-gen AMD processors and provides PCIe Gen 4.0 support for any consumer interested in improving their system’s performance and wants to use the latest improvements that PCIe Gen 4 has had to offer so far.
Despite recent events in the world of tech, AMD has claimed that the B550 motherboard is much more affordable than its X570 counterpart. However, after extensive market analysis, we believe the claims are unrealistic and wildly exaggerated from techies.
The X570 sells relatively high, despite AMD claiming its competitive prices. What’s worse, however, is that this claim has damaged what could have been a favorable product branding endeavor – leaving us with no other choice but to get the confusing hands-on B550 price for their motherboards.
Sadly, AMD’s upcoming generation of Ryzen CPUs will not be compatible with the B550 and X570 motherboard chipset. We understand that the recent announcement regarding a newer AM5 socket for their existing Ryzen CPUs might have left some users scratching their heads. It makes both these motherboards not a good future-proof investment if you frequently upgrade your rig to the latest hardware.
5) Why Do X570 Motherboards Have Fans
It is a common confusion for the gamers and enthusiasts that despite being the same on almost every aspect, why does X570 has fans while B550 lacks it. Since the X70 consumes more power and has more PCIe 4.0 lanes, it will heat more. It is why all the X570 motherboards have fans for cooling the heat, with only one exception of Gigabyte Aorus Extreme.
Some enthusiasts are ruffled about the return of fans on motherboards for the X570, as they create extra noise. Chipset fans are not common these days on motherboards and outdated for a long time, and some may not be too fond of their return due to the potential for extra noise. Moreover, small fans produce higher noise than large standard fans.
This phenomenon is that a smaller fan has to push to the limits to dissipate the same amount of air. Continuous fans noise at higher pitches can get annoying. The good thing about the X570 fans is that they don’t have noticeable noise for the most part. They don’t work continuously and only start to push the air out when the PCB reaches certain thermals.
There are two potential downsides to having the chipset fan present on an X570 motherboard. One is that it increases the risk of a failure, and two, since this is a proprietary fan, it isn’t typically easy to replace yourself. When deciding between B550 features and X570, it’s worth considering these points – but I wouldn’t plan on not going with B550 or X570 strictly because of the chipset fans’ presence or absence.
6) Which Motherboard to Buy, X570 or B550
From the comparison and difference between the B550 and X570 motherboards, it is clear that the main difference between these two is the connectivity. The presence of PCIe 3.0 and PCIe 4.0 separates them from each other.
Both motherboards offer dual graphics card support with the M.2 NVMe drive potential. These are the important factors that can potentially affect the performance of these motherboards. If you don’t want additional PCIe 4.0 lanes and can set for the cheaper option with the potential of handling your components with compatibility, B550 is the best choice. It can offer good VRMs, connectivity, and comparatively good value for overclocking.
From the above comparison between B550 and X570 motherboard, it is clear that the main factor that separates these two options is the PCIe connectivity from the chipset. All the PCIe lanes from X570 are PCIe 4.0, whereas they are only PCIe 3.0 in the case of B550.
If your priority is getting the PCIe 4.0 connectivity with some additional perks of stable overclocking performance, X570 is the motherboard you can utilize in the rig. It also supports the high-end offering by AMD, including Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 9 CPUs.
Is the X570 platform better than B550?
Technically yes. But for most people, the quality of the B550 and its high-quality features are more than enough for their needs. The B550 motherboard resembles that of B450 and is considered a shoo-in replacement rather than a direct upgrade from last year’s offering. Capability wise, the X570 platform blows its predecessor out of the water but allows users to enjoy the same value level experienced with the platform the last generation.
One example of why you would choose X570 over B550 is because it can run multiple PCIe Gen4 M.2 SSDs. Still, unless you are building a high-end video editing production line and putting extra cash into your storage, this likely won’t make much of a difference. X570 RAM speed offering matches with the B550 RAM support too.
X570 has its place, which is quite respectable, but B550 is no slouch either – especially when you consider the price. Plus, the VRMs on B550 motherboards are often just as good, if not better, than those on X570 boards in their price range. And many have more features too. There’s a lot more choice for an mITX build with B550 if that’s what you are looking for. While both B550 and X570 will serve you well in a powerful AMD Ryzen build, it’s best to examine each one on its merits and think about which type of motherboard would best suit your needs within your price range. That way, you are less likely to end up dissatisfied with your choice.
When deciding on an AMD offering, it’s best to think about where you will want your computer to take you in the future. The latest refresh of the AM4 platform has a lot to offer, and we’d like to help make that as clear as possible by comparing two different platforms – either X570 or B550. If you value adaptability and connectivity, be sure to understand which option is right for you.FINAL WORDS