Thursday, May 7th 2020

AMD B550 Chipset Detailed, It's Ready for Zen 3, Older AM4 Motherboards not Compatible

In their briefing leading up to today's Ryzen 3 3100 and 3300X review embargo, AMD disclosed that its upcoming "Zen 3" 4th generation Ryzen desktop processors will only support AMD 500-series (or later) chipsets. The next-gen processors will not work with older 400-series or 300-series chipsets. This comes as a blow to those who bought premium X470 motherboards hoping for latest CPU compatibility running into 2020. At this time only B550 is available, but we expect more news on enthusiast chipsets as the Zen 3 launch date comes closer. AMD B550 is a fascinating new mid-range chipset by AMD. Launching today as a successor to the popular B450 chipset, B550 is a low-power silicon with roughly the same 5-7 W TDP as the older 400-series chipset. Although AMD won't confirm it, it's likely that the chipset is sourced from ASMedia. It brings a lot to the table that could draw buyers away from B450, but it also takes some away.

The AMD B550 currently only supports 3rd generation Ryzen "Matisse" processors. Ryzen 3000 "Picasso" APU are not supported. What's more, older Ryzen 2000 "Pinnacle Ridge," "Raven Ridge," and first gen Ryzen 1000 "Summit Ridge" aren't supported, either. The Athlon 200 and 3000 "Zen" based chips miss out, too. AMD argues that it ran into ROM size limitations when trying to cram AGESA microcode for all the older processors. We find that hard to believe because B450 motherboards with the latest ComboAM4 AGESA support 2nd gen and 3rd gen processors, including APUs and Athlon SKUs based on the two. On the bright side, AMD assured us (within its marketing slides for the B550), that the chipset will support upcoming processors based on the "Zen 3" microarchitecture. The company also came up with a new motherboard packaging label that clarifies that the processors won't work with the 3400G and 3200G.
AMD B550 chipset highlights AMD B550 processor support AMD B550 vs B450
AMD B550 motherboards will feature partial PCI-Express gen 4.0 support. The main PCI-Express x16 slot, and one of the M.2 NVMe slots that are wired to the "Matisse" processor will be PCI-Express gen 4.0, however, all downstream PCIe lanes put out by the B550 chipset are gen 3.0. This is still a step up from 400-series "Promontory" chipsets, which are limited to gen 2.0. B550 puts out eight PCIe gen 3.0 lanes, which combine with the 20 usable processor lanes from "Matisse" to take the platform's total PCIe budget to 28 lanes (x16 gen 4.0 + x4 gen 4.0 + x8 gen 3.0). The B550 chipset itself connects to the "Matisse" processor via a PCI-Express 3.0 x4 connection.

In terms of connectivity, AMD's B550 chipset puts out up to six SATA 6 Gbps ports with AHCI and RAID capability; two each of 10 Gbps USB 3.2 gen 2 and 5 Gbps USB 3.2 gen 1 ports; and six USB 2.0 ports. PCIe, SATA, and USB connectivity from the "Matisse" processor is unchanged: four 10 Gbps USB 3.2 gen 2 ports, and up to two SATA 6 Gbps ports.
AMD B550 platform layout
The processor includes a PCI-Express 4.0 x16 PEG connection that can be split between slots. AMD is allowing motherboard designers to have multi-GPU capability with the B550, where the x16 PEG link is split between two x16 slots (electrical x8). Previously this capability was limited to the top-tier X370 and X470 boards. The processor also puts out one PCI-Express 4.0 x4 link meant to drive one M.2 NVMe slot or U.2 NVMe port. Every B550 motherboard we've seen so far features one M.2 PCIe gen 4.0 x4 (64 Gbps) slot.
AMD B550 motherboards
As with both its predecessors, the B350 and B450, the new B550 chipset enables full multiplier-based CPU overclocking, along with broad memory overclocking support. Motherboard designers are at liberty to kit out the B550 with the most elaborate CPU VRM solutions. Expect some of the pricier B550 boards to match their X570 counterparts in overclocking capability.

Motherboards based on the AMD B550 chipset are expected to launch on June 16, 2020. Prices start at $100, according to AMD.
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434 Comments on AMD B550 Chipset Detailed, It's Ready for Zen 3, Older AM4 Motherboards not Compatible

#1
ChristTheGreat
Well, I'll grab a lower price 3700/3800/3900 , except if zen 3 is incredible. Inwant to swap my 1700 for my 3600x for faster IPC.

Well, it will be the time to upgrade my Sister's computer
Posted on Reply
#2
bug
Although AMD won't confirm it, it's likely that the chipset is sourced from ASMedia.
What do you mean AMD won't confirm it? i thought this was common knowledge from day 1.
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#3
the54thvoid
Wait? No. So my planned 3 generation CPU path on one, original mobo is shafted? I'm pretty sure it was never promised but I'm certain future upgrade on the old X370 was spoken on for Zen 3?

If true, this sucks big time.
Posted on Reply
#4
R-T-B
the54thvoid
Wait? No. So my planned 3 generation CPU path on one, original mobo is shafted? I'm pretty sure it was never promised but I'm certain future upgrade on the old X370 was spoken on for Zen 3?

If true, this sucks big time.
I thought Ryzen was always only promised out to Ryzen 2, aka you get a refresh and a new arch, but thats it. Could be wrong though... I rode that train quite a while ago.
Posted on Reply
#5
TheLostSwede
I guess people that have invested in an X470/B450 motherboard are going to be pissed off that they can't use a Ryzen 4000 CPU in their boards...

Shame the CPU uplink isn't PCIe 4.0.
Posted on Reply
#6
theoneandonlymrk
the54thvoid
Wait? No. So my planned 3 generation CPU path on one, original mobo is shafted? I'm pretty sure it was never promised but I'm certain future upgrade on the old X370 was spoken on for Zen 3?

If true, this sucks big time.
Same here bro , though I was waiting on x670 in the hope it will support Ryzen 3#££ , I wanted pciex 4 but it's looking dubious.
Posted on Reply
#7
trom89
After waiting for the B550 boards so long, gave up on a B450+3600... not being able to upgrade to the next gen kinda sucks.
Posted on Reply
#8
Caring1
"The company also came up with a new motherboard packaging label that clarifies that the processors won't work with the 3400G and 3200G."
:rolleyes:
Posted on Reply
#9
TheLostSwede
theoneandonlymrk
Same here bro , though I was waiting on x670 in the hope it will support Ryzen 3#££ , I wanted pciex 4 but it's looking dubious.
From what I've been told, there is no X670.

Also, if those board images are of actual B550 boards, there's going to be sooooooooo much consumer confusion, as half of the slots are never going to be usable, based on the PCIe lane count of the platform. I think this is a poorly done job by the board makers.
Posted on Reply
#10
dj-electric
dj-electric
...
Wait until they hear about 400 series support for upcoming Zen3 chips
...
:)
Posted on Reply
#11
lynx29
Wait I was planning on upgrading my 3600 to a 4800x on my b450 tomahawk max... now your telling me I can't... wtf????
Posted on Reply
#12
Chomiq
Lots of people will be upset by this.
Posted on Reply
#13
theoneandonlymrk
TheLostSwede
From what I've been told, there is no X670.
What ever?, I have not heard anything about it tbf but they're going to release zen 3 on something.
Or is x570 expected to last until am5
Posted on Reply
#14
lynx29
Luckily I am in the refund window still thanks to extensions. I will be refunding my tomahawk max now and waiting for B550, wow this is a shitty move, everyone told me it was a safe move to go from 3600 to 4800x on tomahawk max b450.

I have a half a mind to sell my ryzen 3600 cpu now and just go back to intel and z490 since its about to come out, if I have to buy a new mobo every two generations might as well go with Intel, and Navi drivers are a disappointment, so might as well stick with tried and true Intel and Nvidia combo yet again. so long AMD you had a good run
Posted on Reply
#15
TheLostSwede
theoneandonlymrk
What ever?, I have not heard anything about it tbf but they're going to release zen 3 on something.
Or is x570 expected to last until am5
Possibly, yes. This is coming from people I know at the motherboard makers. Maybe there's no point for another chipset from AMD's side, until they move to their DDR5 and potentially PCIe 5.0 supporting CPUs. Keep in mind that the X570 was sort of forced, since ASMedia couldn't deliver on PCIe 4.0, so they took the I/O die of the Zen 2 and turned it into a chipset.
I don't have a source at AMD, so maybe they're planning something else, but so far, it's not something that's known outside of the company, if that's the case.
lynx29
Luckily I am in the refund window still thanks to extensions. I will be refunding my tomahawk max now and waiting for B550, wow this is a shitty move, everyone told me it was a safe move to go from 3600 to 4800x on tomahawk max b450.

I have a half a mind to sell my ryzen 3600 cpu now and just go back to intel and z490 since its about to come out, if I have to buy a new mobo every two generations might as well go with Intel, and Navi drivers are a disappointment, so might as well stick with tried and true Intel and Nvidia combo yet again. so long AMD you had a good run
Everyone being? People on forums? But AMD never said this would be the case, right?
If you'd bought into the first gen Ryzen, you could've used your CPU on an X370 board, so that's three generations...
Sorry you feel like you got screwed, but it's not really the case.
Posted on Reply
#16
Nioktefe
Waiting for zen 4 it is then, what a bad move, thanks crybaby motherboard maker
Posted on Reply
#17
lynx29
first gen ryzen couldn't keep ram stable for it's life. so not really, 2 generations if we talking stable performance.
Posted on Reply
#18
bug
the54thvoid
Wait? No. So my planned 3 generation CPU path on one, original mobo is shafted? I'm pretty sure it was never promised but I'm certain future upgrade on the old X370 was spoken on for Zen 3?

If true, this sucks big time.
Yeah, well, I already pointed out the X570 doesn't support first gen Zen, we already knew only a couple generations are supported at one time.
Here's hoping X570 does support Zen3 (considering how AMD blames the lack of space for enough AGESA variations).
Posted on Reply
#19
ShurikN
The slide says Ryzen 3000 not supported on X370, but if I recall correctly, a lot of X370 boards support 3rd gen Ryzen. I wouldn't be surprised if board vendors give X470/B450 support for 4th gen Ryzen.
Posted on Reply
#20
theoneandonlymrk
lynx29
first gen ryzen couldn't keep ram stable for it's life. so not really, 2 generations if we talking stable performance.
That's a skewed perspective, yes Ryzen 1 was shit at Xmp but if you got compatible memory and didn't try to exceed it's limit it worked stable and without issue, I have two within my fixit remit that I have not fixed in two years and their owners are not enthusiasts and are very happy with them but I did learn the hard way.
Posted on Reply
#21
TheLostSwede
Nioktefe
Waiting for zen 4 it is then, what a bad move, thanks crybaby motherboard maker
What does this have to do with the board makers?
lynx29
first gen ryzen couldn't keep ram stable for it's life. so not really, 2 generations if we talking stable performance.
Huh? What are you talking about? There was some compatibility issues, especially at higher speeds, but mine work fine for two years at 2933MHz and later 3000MHz. It wasn't ideal maybe, as it was a 3200MHz kit, but it was stable as stable could be.
My 3800X was just as flaky and it wouldn't run that memory over 3000MHz either. It took three months of updates until my current system worked properly.
bug
Yeah, well, I already pointed out the X570 doesn't support first gen Zen, we already knew only a couple generations are supported at one time.
Here's hoping X570 does support Zen3 (considering how AMD blames the lack of space for enough AGESA variations).
It's in the slide up top...
Posted on Reply
#22
dicktracy
Always knew they were scumbags after increasing mainstream and HEDT prices. Don’t let their cultists tell you otherwise!
Posted on Reply
#23
bug
TheLostSwede
It's in the slide up top...
Indeed it is.
Posted on Reply
#24
Cheeseball
Not a Potato
Wooooooo so it was a good idea to invest in a X570 board early on. :love:
Posted on Reply
#25
apoklyps3
now this is an intel like dickmove :))
Posted on Reply
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