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

#76
logain
tfdsaf
If the mobo doesn't support ANY 1st and 2nd gen, how can they support 2nd gen 3200g and 3400g?

Why they don't support older gen? Probably because everyone whines and cries like little babies if they try to run B550 with a old R5 1600 and its got issues or instability or whatever, everyone readies their pitchforks. AMD would rather not deal with that shit, and have a clean slate, where they can focus on having amazing and stable experience for the 3000 and 4000 series!

Why hear you cry like baby if it has issues, demanding endless support, maybe some would like Athlon 64 support too on these boards?

Intel literally changes chipset compatibility every year, every generation, no one cries about it, everyone accepts it as if its word from god, but AMD does it in order to have a clean slate and be better positioned for stability and good experience and everyone brings their torches and pitchforks!

They can't win, everyone is so freaking entitled!
They can do a per sku support. It has been done before, as I mentioned earlier. It might be 2nd gen based, but it is still a 3000 series CPU, which not having support, on B550, is going to do nothing but confuse people, that are not as tech inclined as many here would be.

This is nothing about entitlement.

Intel's chipset compatibility is a bs move, on their part, as well. Hate to think of how many threads, that I have seen, on other forums, of non tech savvy people dropping an Intel CPU into their board, that was socket, but not chipset compatible.
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#77
sepheronx
TheinsanegamerN
"fact" What fact? AMD is supporting the socket, except it inst if you have the first two generations. That wasnt stated back in 2017.

Given AMD's history, it was reasonable to assume there would be forwards compatibility for all generations. AM2 motherboards could run AM3 CPUs, hell a few could run AM3+, and AMD didnt even have to promise those.

If the newest CPUs only support certain chipsets, then pray tell how is this any different then Intel switching sockets every 2 years? If you want to move forward you have to buy a new mobo either way.
Intel didn't event switch sockets every two years. They have been on 1151 for a while now but switched chipsets instead. So you can't upgrade from 6xxx series to 7xxx series without a new motherboard.
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#78
oxrufiioxo
Kinda feel bad for recommending the B450 Tomahawk now..... Nothing is ever guaranteed though people should also know that buying older chipsets is always a risk for future compatibility. 3 gens of cpu on 1 platform is still pretty decent compared to intel where we typically get 2 max.


Although I must be in the minority because the new motherboards excite me as much as the new cpu's
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#79
Cybrshrk
ERazer
hopefully by you next next upgrade intel got 7nm out
That would be perfect I like to upgrade when it's a serious upgrade (a 7700k did me just fine at 5.0ghz delid for 3 years) and now a 10900k will hopefully be just as good to me. I also like the fact that the motherboards are ACTUALLY coming with real upgrades that I'll actually enjoy having (2.5g ether net is going to be an amazing cheaper alternative to 10g and I'm already set to go with wifi 6.

Not as big a deal but my board didn't even have a-rgb just the old style and now I'll have that too.

My rig isn't just some box it's a bit of a show piece for my work and rgb sells.
Posted on Reply
#80
logain
sepheronx
Intel didn't event switch sockets every two years. They have been on 1151 for a while now but switched chipsets instead. So you can't upgrade from 6xxx series to 7xxx series without a new motherboard.
Yea reminds me of the LGA 775 days. New CPU, new chipset, same socket.
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#81
HD64G
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.
Exactly! The best selling and made B450, X470 boards will get BIOS for Zen3 CPUs. My 5c.
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#82
windwhirl
TheinsanegamerN
If you're not going to support forward compatibility, why bother using the same socket?
The thing about it is that keeping the same socket allows for some "mobility", so to speak, between CPUs and mobos from different generations:

You could use Zen1 with a 300 series board or 400 series board. Both series also allowed you to use Zen 1 or Zen+ CPUs while at least most of them (the full 400 series and a range of 300 series boards) support Zen 2. X570 supports both Zen+ and Zen 2, and now we know that Zen 3 will be supported too, while keeping the same socket.

Regarding 300 and 400 series being not officially supported for Zen 3, one could argue that everyone should have seen it coming after the woes to support Zen 2 on 300 series chipsets, but the problem in my opinion lies mostly in AMD's communication. AMD should have said "hey, we are supporting AM4 through 2020, but older chipsets may not be supported as newer processor microarchitectures come out"
Posted on Reply
#83
sepheronx
I watch techyes and I recall seeing an A320 Mobo running a ryzen 3500x which if I recall as well it wasn't officially supported at first. I know this can ruffle some feathers and seeing some of the overreaction going on; it has. But I wouldn't jump the gun just yet. I'll wait and see. I myself was waiting for B550 anyway but I'll wait and see.
Posted on Reply
#84
theoneandonlymrk
TheinsanegamerN
"fact" What fact? AMD is supporting the socket, except it inst if you have the first two generations. That wasnt stated back in 2017.

Given AMD's history, it was reasonable to assume there would be forwards compatibility for all generations. AM2 motherboards could run AM3 CPUs, hell a few could run AM3+, and AMD didnt even have to promise those.

If the newest CPUs only support certain chipsets, then pray tell how is this any different then Intel switching sockets every 2 years? If you want to move forward you have to buy a new mobo either way.
So when one came out they stated the socket would be supported through 2020.

That's all she wrote back then.

You can assume what you want that doesn't mean AMD said or that your right.

Every two year's, that's not always the case though it is at the moment.

AMD legit did three, one better.

And it's more the case that the OEM decided support by their initial part selection.

They picked it will do for now style small ROMs, it was there choice.

With Ryzen 4000 not out yet who knows what has changed.


So in 2017 they should have had the next four years mapped out, knowing Intel's every move and counter, had a plan and pre designed generations of chip's, cool story bro but it doesn't align well with competitively producing generational improvement or countering an opponent company in any way.
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#86
trparky
btarunr
AMD disclosed that its upcoming "Zen 3" 4th generation Ryzen desktop processors will only support AMD 500-series (or later) chipsets.
Wait. What?!?! :twitch:
Posted on Reply
#87
dyonoctis
trparky
Wait. What?!?! :twitch:
Apparently the bios chips aren't large enough to store data about every single cpu
Posted on Reply
#88
bencrutz
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.
yep, running a 3950X on X370 taichi here.....
Posted on Reply
#89
trparky
Yeah, but they could have at least allowed for the X470 boards by making it so that the X470 boards dropped support for 1000 and 2000 series chips while gaining support for 4000 series chips.
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#90
ilyon
Wait and see.

According to this slide, no support of Ryzen 3000 on AMD 300 series motherboards.
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#91
ensabrenoir
....good thing i only paid $50 for my Asus Rog Strix B450-F gaming. Bought it new off someone who couldn't finish their planned build. Looking to do the same again on this upcoming generation.
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#92
dyonoctis
trparky
Yeah, but they could have at least allowed for the X470 boards by making it so that the X470 boards dropped support for 1000 and 2000 series chips while gaining support for 4000 series chips.
The only reason that i could think of is that they wanted to avoid horror stories about people constantly uppgrading their uefi, and then wonder why their system doesn't post anymore...
Posted on Reply
#93
milewski1015
Can see why people feel cheated since AMD stated the AM4 socket would be supported through 2020, but I don't recall them ever mentioning anything about chipset forward compatibility. Does seem kind of silly to keep the same socket if the chipset won't be forward compatible though. Was thinking of picking up an X570 Tomahawk Wifi once that's released (or maybe a B550 board depending on how their reviews are) to replace my B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC anyway.
Posted on Reply
#94
trparky
milewski1015
Can see why people feel cheated since AMD stated the AM4 socket would be supported through 2020, but I don't recall them ever mentioning anything about chipset forward compatibility.
Sounds like AMD was speaking out of both sides of their mouth.
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#95
djisas
Good thing I didn't cheapen on my mobo when everyone was crying to get a B450, I knew from the start i would be running into upgrade issues...
Though a 100€ mobo would be very limiting anyway...
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#96
AnarchoPrimitiv
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.
I have an X470 with a 2700x and plan on upgrading to Ryzen 4000, and even if I could put a Ryzen 4000 CPU in my X470 board, it'd be a waste as I'd be denying myself most of the newest features. I'm not disappointed at all.
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
Anyone else think this guy is just an Intel Fanboy lying about owning a B450 motherboard? Yeah, sure, go back to intel to gain absolutely nothing AND lose better IPC...go ahead and cut your nose off to spite your own face....maybe he's not a fanboy, but I find it exceptionally weird and peculiar, that anyone would return a SUPERIOR platform and CPU to return to an inferior one, all because AMD isn't letting a motherboard support four generations of CPUs and just three, which BTW, is still way better than intel....so it just sounds completely disingenuous that someone would go from a superior platform on all metrics to an inferior one, over a single issue in which AMD is STILL better than intel....that makes absolutely no sense.
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#97
theoneandonlymrk
trparky
Sounds like AMD was speaking out of both sides of their mouth.
Did you receive a full report from Intel in 2017 about what their socket support was or for what chips were due out?, No.

Neither did AMD they cannot compete with Intel's present evolved strategy and retain support for a board without all the hardware to support the chip anyway.

X370/470 simply doesn't fully support the third generation , IMHO it's fair enough that technology has evolved beyond them, I want that.
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#98
Metroid
Well i guess it could not be helped given the size of the bios of the older boards, my msi b450 gaming plus hit the bios size limit with ryzen 3xxx, I fully understand why my board cant support newer not yet released cpus but given some boards have enough room for that magic upgrade where bios size is not an issue, amd let them down. I think AMD should have given the choice to board partners whether or not they decide to support 4xxx in their old boards.
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#99
TheLostSwede
windwhirl
That aside, how much more expensive would it be for a consumer if motherboard makers used 256 Mbit ROMs? I think someone said it was like just an extra dollar per board to switch from 128 to 256Mbit per ROM chip...
Less than that in the kind of quantity we're talking about. However, when you make a million plus boards, that's a million plus dollars in your pocket...
IceShroom
If the MB maker put more money on big ROM chip, they cant put more useless RGB and RGB header on the board. RGB is more usefull than bigger ROM chip.
Headers are virtually free. But yeah, I agree.
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#100
djisas
If bios size is an issue, cant they just make a bios with support for a specific cpu generation saving rom space?
Posted on Reply
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