Since the initial launch of Ryzen CPUs back in 2017, their popularity has been unstoppable, and ever more people have been taking the plunge into team red. This trend has continued with their newest line of CPUs: AMD Ryzen 3000. However, for someone who has traditionally been an intel user, or someone new to PC gaming, questions of AMD compatible motherboards might be puzzling.
More specifically, choosing the B450 or X570 chipset, and how they might suit different PCs with different purposes. But fear not! By the end of this article, you’ll be brimming with confidence, and ordering the perfect motherboard for your PC in a blink.
Before Jumping In: Questions To Ask Yourself
With PC components, it’s best not to rush into things, and this is certainly the case here. It isn’t often that one product is simply better in every scenario than its competitors, and if you’re on a tight budget, compromise is the key.
So sit down, get yourself a cup of coffee, and get ready to think about exactly what it is that you want out of your machine. Here are some questions which you might want to have addressed in your head:
– Budget. What is your budget for the entire rig?
– What sort of games do you intend to play, if any?
– Do you think you’ll be interested in overclocking?
– Will you need support for 2 or more Nvidia graphics cards?
– What non-gaming tasks, if any, will you use your PC for?
It’s also worth noting, for those new to PC building, that it’s usually best to have a clear build plan of all the components you intend to use. This is useful for budgeting, getting the best out of your PC, and of course confirming that your chosen components will be compatible with each other.
I wholly recommend the website P C Part Picker for making easy work of this. Once these questions are happily answered, then we can move on to a brief overview of each chipset, and then decide which is best for you. B450, or X570?
Firstly, the B450. The B450 is an older generation of motherboard than the X570; 1 year and 4 months older, to be exact. It generally has less features, but we’ll address them in more detail later. Because of this, it is cheaper, and generally marketed towards gamers on a budget.
It’s possible to pick a new one up for as little as £50. Don’t let this make you think that you’ll be playing minecraft at 35fps with this chipset, though. With a fancy GPU, it’s more than capable of playing the newest games on the highest settings!
The X570 was released in mid 2019 and generally have more features than B450 motherboards, however they more expensive with most of them setting you back at least £150. Because of this, they are usually marketed towards more enthusiastic gamers, who have things such as dual GPU rigs and overclocking in mind.
B450 vs X570 For Those Of You On A Budget
Let’s address the easiest demographic first: those on a budget. If you’re building a gaming PC on a low or medium/low budget (ie under £500), then choosing a B450 motherboard should be a no brainer.
Even the cheapest X570 motherboards are normally more than twice as expensive as their B450 cousins, and if you’re wallet isn’t exactly bursting, then concentrating your money on the CPU and GPU will almost always lead to better gaming performance.
For example, the Gigabyte X570 GAMING X is roughly £80 more dear than Gigabyte’s Gaming B450 variant. If sheer gaming performance is what your after, then that £80 could be the difference between a decent GPU, such as the RX 5500XT, and an awesome one, such as the RX 5600XT.
This sort of strategy on smaller budgets can help to gain vital frames per second – a desire which I’m sure we all share!
Best Overall For Performance
A more difficult choice occurs for the enthusiasts among us, and the answer for them is more dependant on their exact situation. Firstly if you have two Nvidia GPUs which you desire to run in SLI (whether that’s because you’re upgrading an existing rig, or you have already bought the GPUs), then the choice is easy. You’ll want to go with an X570 motherboard, as B450 doesn’t support SLI at all.
Similarly, if high end overclocking is your custom, then you might want to side with X570 also. While B450 does indeed support overclocking with the weaker end of the Ryzen spectrum of CPUs, it appears that with high end Ryzen chips, it might fall short compared to other chips.
It’s worth noting, however, that this mostly applies to the most powerful systems, as B450 appears to handle mid tier overclocking surprisingly well. One final feature of X570 which might entice the more performance focused gamers among us is the higher memory speeds. Speeds in excess of 5000 MHz have been rumoured.
While it’s true that Ryzen does benefit from higher memory speeds, it’s unclear how large this advantage is at the extreme. Like many PC components, it may be a case of diminishing returns.
Future Proofing Your Build
A different line of thought which might bring you to consider X570 is the longevity of your machine, otherwise known as the dreaded term ‘future proofing’. X570 boasts PCI-E 4.0, which means that it’ll give your GPU twice as much bandwidth to work with.
This might mean that three years in the future, when you upgrade your GPU, your motherboard is up for the task, whereas a B450 motherboard may create a bottleneck in performance, forcing a pricey upgrade.
I described ‘future proofing’ as dreaded, however, because a common opinion among PC gamers is that future proofing is a hopeful but false concept due to the rapid technological advancements which occur in the industry.
In other words, it may be that an unforeseen yet game changing technology is just around the bend, for which your sparkly new £300 X570 may not be prepared for, causing it to be obsolete far earlier than you may have guessed.
Dont Forget About This..
There are a couple more scenarios you may be in which make the choice dead easy too. Firstly, if small form factors are your thing, then there is reason to believe that the X570 chip would be unnecessary for your mini ITX build.
There is no room for an SLI setup in this form factor, and it’s unlikely that the cooling will be powerful enough to tango with the slight overclocking advantage which the X570 brings.
Despite this, Some of the extra features which occur on X570 boards may be vital to your dream PC.
For example, they support multiple M.2 slots. So, if what you have in mind is an array of mind-boggling-uber-fast SSDs, then there’s no question. Similarly, if transferring data between various devices is an everyday thing for you, then the support for multiple USB 3.2 connections which the X570 chipset showcases may save you enough time to be worth it.
Alternative Options vs B450 & X570
Before you open up a tab and get your card details out, there are a couple more things which I believe are worth consideration:
– The evolution of B450, unsurprisingly titled B550, seems to be just around the corner. It may be that this evolution caters to your needs better than either of the main contenders in this article. Perhaps it’s best to hold on to your wallet for just a second.
– You may have been screaming ‘what about the X470!?’ throughout this article, and perhaps you’d be right to do so. It can be picked up noticeably more cheaply than its evolution, the X570, and it too still holds as an enthusiast tier motherboard. It should be seen as a midway point between the other two – while it has more overclocking opportunities and dual GPU support than the B450, it doesn’t have the high speed memory or PCI-E 4.0 of the X570.
– As always, I think it’s worth venturing into the world of used PC components, particularly if you have a budget of any sort. It may surprise you how cheap top tier components from only a few generations ago often go for.
So it seems that between the X570 vs B450 if you are on a budget go with the B450 such as the Gigabyte B450M GAMING. If you can stretch your budget to the X570 then it could be worth it in the long run to help future proof your build.
The X570 should also be your choice if you plan to run 2 GPUs in your system.
Overall it comes down to what your budget is and what you plan to do with your rig.