AMD’s Ryzen and the AM4 socket has been out for quite a while now and is established as a dominant platform in the PC industry. There are a lot of AM4 socket chipsets available right now which make it difficult for a newcomer to choose the best one. Among the different chipsets for AM4, today we will be focusing on the four most popular ones: B450, X370, X470 and X570.
Our intent with this article is to look at it from all possible angles, including the specs, compatibility as well as the specific needs of users with different budgets. We’ve also put together a dedicated roundup of the best AM4 motherboards for your reference.
Whether you can do well enough with the affordable B450, or you need the expensive X570 to get that Ultra-HD gaming juice out of your rig, we will examine the differences and help you make the best decision for your next motherboard purchase.
We have detailed down on the important specifications of each chipset, as well as curated a comparison guide for our readers. So without any further ado, here’s the breakdown for the different chipsets and what each one offers, starting with the cheapest and working our way up from there.
B450 vs X370 vs X470 vs X570: Main Features
Main features of AMD B450 Chipset
The B450 chipset opens overclocking possibilities for budget PC gamers who want more than just a basic gaming setup. This is the sweet spot for anyone looking for an upgrade over a barebones chipset like the A320, but don’t want to go overboard with their budget.
B450 motherboards are designed to deliver high performance and great flexibility at an affordable price, and come with a few upgrades over B350 chipsets such as Precision Boost 2.0, StoreMI, XFR 2.0 and AMD StoreMI.
As mentioned above, B450 and higher chipsets come with StoreMI, which is a storage acceleration software that gives you access to combine multiple storage devices into one larger virtual drive to achieve the fastest possible transfer speeds. This works by creating one virtual drive with two physical locations, which can be any storage: SSD, HDD, RAM or Optane storage.
You can create a virtual drive by combining two drives where one drive is much faster than the other, for example, a hard drive and an SSD. The software then automatically detects the important data to be stored on the faster drive. StoreMI is supported by 400 series motherboards and above.
Motherboards incorporating the B450 chipsets are available in a variety of price ranges starting from very affordable ones to upper mid-range ones. They offer the best bang for your buck, and as long as you stick to any quality B450 board like the MSI B450 Tomahawk Max or ASUS ROG Strix B450-F Gaming, you will get a solid set of features and powerful enough VRM.
The B450 is an excellent mainstream option for any mid-range or budget Ryzen PC. We’ve also put together a dedicated roundup of the best B450 motherboards for your reference.
Main features of AMD X370 Chipset
Here’s where we enter the enthusiasts’ territory with the X370 chipset. As compared to B450, they have improved VRMs and better power management. These also add more USB ports, more SATA ports, multi-graphics capability and better overall build quality. Power users can save some money if they don’t care about the extra bells and whistles of the more expensive X470 chipset.
The X370 comes loaded with features to let enthusiasts fully max out their luxurious setups, without having to make a colossal investment. Being an older generation flagship chipset, they will cost you much less than their X470 counterparts.
The AMD X370 chipset offers extensive control for tweakers and overclockers who need robust platforms. Also, the addition of two PCIe 3.0 x8 slots gives you access to both CrossFire and SLI multi graphics card configurations.
Overclocking performance would be much better than B450 motherboards; however, the max RAM speeds are similar. X370 has six 5Mbps USB 3.0 ports and 2 USB 3.1 Gen2 10Mbps ports, and also supports RAID storage and multi-GPU setups.
X370 vs B450
The key differences between B450 vs X370 motherboards are mainly better VRMs and SLI support on the latter. Since X370 is a 1st gen Ryzen chipset, you would likely need a 1st Gen chip to boot up and then only you can update the BIOS to support 2nd Gen. If you already have a 2nd Gen Ryzen, it would make sense to go for 400 or 500 series chipsets to support it out of the box.
Nonetheless, Ryzen 2nd gen performance won’t be impacted much by choosing either chipset. There are two more SATA3 ports on the X370, but it’s missing StoreMI. Apart from that, these two boards are pretty much identical but B450 being the newer chipset has an edge in terms of future-proofing.
However, on comparing the X370 vs X470 chipset, the difference is very minimal, and it might be a good opportunity to save some bucks if you can get around with the latest gen compatibility. The X470 mobos will have Precision Boost for higher clock speeds, as well as StoreMI, but we suggest that the decision, in this case, should be based upon the motherboard implementation and user preferences. We’ve also put together a dedicated roundup of the best X370 motherboards for your reference.
Main features of AMD X470 Chipset
X470 is the flagship chipset for the 400-series and comes with nifty upgrades over the X370 chipset, while still maintaining all the good aspects of the previous generation. The X470 is where AMD provides the premium enthusiast-class features and control. Like the X370, this chipset has multi-GPU and RAID storage options and has six 5 Mbps USB 3.0 ports as well as two 10Mbps Gen2 ports.
Overclocking is also slightly better than X370, especially when paired with newer Ryzen processors. One major improvement comes under the memory support, with the X470 supporting a maximum RAM speeds of 2933MHz, which results in an exceptional performance.
X470 vs B450
When we compare the AMD B450 vs X470 chipsets, X470 features 8 PCIe 2.0 lanes, two more than B450. Also, it comes with 4 SATA-III ports and six USB 3.1 Gen1 ports, whereas we get only 2 of each with B450. The max RAM speed supported by X470 is 2933MHz, as compared to 2667MHz on the B450. Overclocking-wise, both have almost the same OC capabilities and use very similar technologies.
X470 also has SLI support, a feature that is missing on B450 although its utility is not as great as it used to be. The main difference between them is the price, and the B450 wins by a significant margin when it comes to the price-to-performance ratio. For most people, the extra features are not required and they will be better off saving some money to spend on other parts.
That being said, X470 is designed to be an advanced AM4 socket platform for overclockers and tweakers who need exceptional performance. This chipset offers comprehensive, low-level control, and supports dual graphics card configurations due to the availability of two PCIe 3.0 graphics card slots.
Users who are willing to spend a bit more on their motherboards have some amazing options in the X470 category, and it would still provide top-notch performance for intensive gaming or overclocking. AMD has also announced BIOS updates for 400-series chipsets which will enable the support for Ryzen 5000 Series CPUs. We’ve also put together a dedicated roundup of the best X470 motherboards for your reference.
Main Features of AMD X570 Chipset
The X570 is the first-ever chipset to offer PCIe 4.0 support across the board. It is an upgrade over the X470 and incorporates enthusiast-class control and top-notch features. X470 motherboards already had excellent VRMs and fast memory support, but the X570 takes it to the next level, and expectedly all of this comes at a premium.
AMD has also included support for AMD Ryzen 5000 Series processors with these chipsets. Let’s look at the key specs of the X570 chipset. As you can see from the specs, the main highlights of this chipset are up to 16x PCIe 4.0 Lanes, up to 12 SATA 6Gbps ports (including M.2 slots on the motherboards) and eight USB 3.1 Gen2 10Gbps ports.
These chipsets can support much powerful VRMs for a reliable and stable overclocking setup and have the most bandwidth for graphics and storage as compared to every other chipset on this list. Not only that, the official supported memory speed is 3200MHz, which can reach 4800MHz and higher when overclocked.
X470 / B450 vs X570
The key highlighting difference between X570 and previous generations is the addition of PCIe 4.0 and Gen4 M.2 support. This results in much faster graphics cards, networking cards, storage devices and more. PCIe 4.0 features double the speed and bandwidth over the previous PCIe 3.0 standard found on the B450 and X470 chipsets.
This makes X570 much more future-proof for the upcoming years when PCIe 4.0 would be the new standard. Besides that, X570 comes with upgraded USB connectivity and also increased RAM speeds. While PCIe 4.0 offers much greater flexibility when it comes to expansion slots, an average user will only have one PCIe 3.0 GPU and a single M.2 SDD in their setup, so it becomes harder to justify the expense for them.
But X570 is at such a high-end spectrum of hardware where value-for-money is not a thing. We’ve also put together a dedicated roundup of the best X570 motherboards for your reference.
B450 vs X370 vs X470 vs X570: Difference
|Officially Supports||Zen 2||Zen+ / Zen 2||Zen 2||Zen 3|
|Chipset Link||PCIe 3.0 x4||PCIe 3.0 x4||PCIe 3.0 x4||PCIe 4.0 x4|
|Usable PCIe lanes||6 x PCIe 2.0||8 x PCIe 2.0||8 x PCIe 2.0||16 x PCIe 4.0|
|USB 10 Gbps||2||2||2||8|
|USB 5 Gbps||2||6||6||0|
|USB 480 Mbps||6||6||6||4|
B450 vs X370 vs X470 vs X570: Which One to Choose?
Why Choose B450
The B450 delivers a bang-for-the-buck solution for casual to moderately heavy gamers who are comfortable with single-GPU setups. If you are a PC enthusiast who is not willing to pay extravagant prices for a premium motherboard will find great value in the B450 chipset.
You can find it in any form factor including ATX, micro-ATX or mini-ITX and a lot of good options exist in the sub $100 segment as well. For most users, B450 will be more than enough, unless you want that SLI or PCIe 4.0 functionality.
B450 chipset is excellent for moderate to heavy users who need overclocking control and flexibility. It’s suitable for gamers who are content with single GPU setups and don’t need the maximum PCIe bandwidth required for multi-GPU configurations.
The best thing about AMD is that the lowest tier motherboards also support overclocking, unlike Intel where it is only a royalty on the higher-end chipsets. AMD has promised BIOS updates which will enable the support for the Ryzen 5000 Series processors on the 400 Series chipsets, thus making it future-proof in the long run.
Why Choose X370
X370 is kind of in a unique spot on our list. Firstly, if SLI support is a priority for you and you don’t want to spend a lot on the costlier X470 boards, the X370 will do that job perfectly for you. Also, if you plan to upgrade your motherboard in the near future, then it might make sense to go for X370 over a B450 mobo since you will get better overclocking and better overall specs that way.
You will get very similar overclocking as the X470 but slightly worse RAM speeds. If we are talking about the real-life performance difference between X370 vs X470, then that is minimal.
The biggest catch with these is that you need to have a Gen1 Ryzen CPU to load the BIOS, and it can not be updated using Ryzen 5, 7 or 9 CPUs. So make sure to get it updated by the retailer if possible. Apart from that, it is a solid choice for heavy-gamers and as well as enthusiasts. You can get it for much cheaper prices than the X470 versions which make it a very compelling purchase for entry-level gamers.
Why Choose X470
We have already discussed how X470 is the flagship chipset from the 400 series and offers many advanced capabilities as compared to the B450 chipset. If you are someone who would like a bit more juice than the entry-level B450, the X470 would be perfect for you.
These come in many compelling motherboard options and are also targeted towards PC enthusiasts and mid-to-high-end gamers. Unless you need the PCIe 4.0 support, this is what we recommend for serious overclocking and control, as they provide as much better VRMs and multi-GPU functionalities as the X570 chipsets.
Budget users looking for basic functionality would not have many reasons to justify the few extra features, and for them, we would recommend sticking to the B450 or even X370 mobos. Since with X470, you will anyway be spending extra money and still not get the fastest drive speeds or future-proofing that you get from the X570 chipset. But for entry-level enthusiasts and overclockers, the X470 is the best choice for their Ryzen builds.
Why Choose X570
With the X570 chipset, AMD is targeting the premium enthusiasts and power-users out there. If you want the latest and greatest PC hardware and like to keep your system up-to-date, then this is what you might be interested in.
You will get PCIe 4.0 support for the CPU, multiple-GPUs as well as M.2 devices, which means you will get the fastest SSD speeds in the market. These chipsets can handle 12 to 16-core Ryzen processors without breaking a sweat. However, even with all these incredible qualities, the outrageously high price makes them out of reach for most of us.
As much we want to love the extra bling, there is a less practical use for it as of now. For someone who intends to use multiple PCIe Gen4 SSDs, likely, budget is not an issue, and in that case, it’s a no-brainer. But for an average user, it’s next to impossible to come close to even maxing out this chipset.
Long story short, if you plan to use the motherboard for 4-5+ years and have a premium budget, you should get an X570 motherboard as it will be able to handle any crazy high-speed RAM and GPUs you throw at it in the future.
If all you need is something to run a Ryzen setup or if you don’t plan to overclock, any chipset is fine, and you would likely save money to upgrade other parts. But, if overclocking is one of your requirements, then the more premium chipsets provide more room for that.
While purchasing a motherboard, the number one priority should be cooling and VRMs since that is what bottlenecks the performance. And if you already own a 2nd Gen Ryzen or newer Ryzen APU, the 300 series chipsets will require a bit of BIOS upgrade hassles; thus it makes much more sense to go for newer chipsets as well.
You should still be doing thorough research if you want specific features such as Wi-Fi, RGB, Automatic OC features and premium audio technology, as these features depend on motherboard manufacturers. But now that you’ve read this article, you have a clear idea about the different AM4 chipsets, and this should provide you with a good starting point to narrow down on the perfect motherboard for you. Unlike Intel, AMD tends to extend the support for AM4 socket to at least the coming few generations.