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GIGABYTE AMD B550 Motherboard Pricing Revealed

A GIGABYTE Community Manager on Reddit updated the "cheat sheet" of the company's AMD B550 motherboard lineup with MSRP Pricing. While prices of these boards start at USD $99, they go all the way up to $279. The top model, the B550 AORUS Master, leads the pack with a USD $279 price that puts it firmly in the premium segment where it matches features with boards based on the X570 and Intel's Z490 chipset. The B550 AORUS Pro AC is the next best model in the lineup, priced at $189. Its sans-WLAN twin, the B550 AORUS Pro, goes for $10 less at $179. The B550 AORUS Elite is priced at $159. The B550 Gaming X is part of the company's mainline brand, and goes for $139. The micro-ATX B550M AORUS Pro goes for $129, and the B550M AORUS Elite goes for $109. There's a token "sub $100" product, the B550M Gaming, at $99.

These prices indicate that B550 motherboards are on average 20% higher than B450 motherboards. For example, a reasonably well-endowed board like the B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC could be had for $150, as could the ASUS ROG Strix B450-E, and a decent board like the ROG Strix B450-F Gaming could be had at $130 even before "Zen 2" hit the market. Plenty of B450 boards could be had under the $100-mark. It looks like $99 will be a token value at best, with board vendors releasing only their most stripped down products at that that price. Find the GIGABYTE B550 motherboard cheat sheet in the source link below.

AMD B550 Motherboards to Restart AGESA with v2

Apparently, AMD will be taking a slightly confusing step with its new AGESA codes - at least for the B550 platform. A report via Hardwareluxx has AMD rebooting AGESA (the most basic firmware for your motherboard and chipset support that's a requirement for correct CPU and feature support) versions back to version 1.0.0.0, but with a catch. The new AGESA version that's supposed to allow for support for AMD's Zen 3 CPUs will be coded as ComboAM4 v2 1.0.0.0 - instead of the next version in the current AGESA nomenclature, 1.0.0.6. It is still unclear if this change only refers to AMD's B550 or if it will also move on to X570's next AGESA releases.

It's expected that new motherboards based on AMD's B550 chipset will start landing in June. For now, there's confirmation on at least two motherboards running with this V2 of AGESA: MSI's MAG B550 Tomahawk (ComboAM4 v2 1.0.0.0), and the Gigabyte B550 Aorus Master (ComboAM4v2 1.0.0.1). So if you're looking to use AMD's B550 motherboard (or even X570) with AMD's upcoming Zen 3 CPUs, make sure to read your motherboard manufacturers' release notes for each AGESA version, so that you install the correct one and avoid yourself a potential load of pain with a non-functioning AGESA for your shiny new Zen 3 CPU.

AMD Readies 3rd Gen Ryzen "Matisse Refresh" Ryzen 7 3850X and 3750X Processors

AMD is planning to immediately update its product stack to counter the Intel 10th gen Core "Comet Lake-S" desktop processor family. Codenamed "Matisse Refresh," the processor will use existing IP, based on the 7 nm "Zen 2" microarchitecture, but could improve in areas such as clock-speeds. As it now stands, the Ryzen 9 3900X appears unfazed by the i9-10900K and i7-10700K at its new $410 price, however, competitiveness of the 3800X and 3700X could buckle under pressure from the i7-10700 series (K, KF, non-K, and F), as well as the Core i5-10600 series. To this effect, we're hearing rumors of a "Ryzen 7 3750X" and "Ryzen 7 3850X" seeing the light of the day soon, with an early-June announcement, and early-July market availability. References to the 3750X date back to October 2019.

Rumors of "Matisse Refresh" gained traction when WCCFTech editor Hassan Mujtaba tweeted a slide from a GIGABYTE AMD B550 motherboard series pre-launch presentation, which references GIGABYTE's own interpretation of AMD's roadmap. It lists out every CPU microarchitecture for the AM4 platform, and right next to "Matisse" is "& Refresh," confirming that "Matisse Refresh" is real. A microarchitecture "refresh" needn't even involve any physical changes to the processor design, core-counts, or architecture, and can sometimes even indicate something as simple as a second major wave of SKUs that replace existing SKUs in the market, leading to their phase-out (eg: Intel "Haswell Refresh" retaining the 4th gen Core model numbering). The slide also adds weight to the theory that desktop "Renoir," like its mobile counterpart, lacks PCIe gen 4.0. The slide also talks about AMD introducing the entry-level A520 desktop chipset in August, which will support PCIe gen 4 when paired with a capable processor.

MSI Announces its B550 Motherboard Family

MSI, the world-leading motherboard brand, continues to be dedicated to the AMD AM4 platform with the launch of the new B550 motherboards. Since AMD launched Ryzen Desktop Processors with AM4 platform, MSI has been occupied the market with our AM4 motherboards. For the B450 platform, MSI undoubtedly is in the market leadership with our iconic TOMAHAWK and MORTAR motherboards. This year, together with the 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen processors and readiness of PCIe Gen 4 technology, MSI offers a complete B550 motherboard lineup from MPG, MAG to PRO series with advanced technology and MSI exclusive features to satisfy all types of gamers and users' need.

"We are seeing increasing user demands for flexible systems that perform well in a multitude of tasks from gaming to content creation more than ever before," said Chris Kilburn, corporate vice president and general manager, client component business unit, AMD. "AMD is excited to bring the power of 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen desktop processors and cutting edge PCIe 4.0 support to the mainstream users with our latest AMD B550 chipset. With an extensive platform lineup from our partners at MSI, AMD is confident these new B550 platforms will provide flexibility and power never seen before on a mainstream platform."

ASUS Announces its B550 Motherboard Series: ROG, TUF Gaming, and Prime

ASUS today announced new motherboards featuring the latest AMD B550 chipset that bring the potential of PCI Express 4.0 to mainstream builds everywhere. AMD B550 motherboards enable 20 general-purpose PCIe 4.0 lanes from 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen desktop processors. The primary PCIe slot on all new ASUS B550 boards offers 16 lanes of PCIe 4.0 connectivity, and 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen parts feature as many as four USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports running at up to 10 Gbps direct from the CPU itself.

ASUS also has exciting features to enhance its B550 motherboards like WiFi 6, 2.5 Gbps Ethernet, robust power delivery, increased DRAM speed and BIOS Flashback. The B550 chip itself gets an upgrade to PCIe 3.0 for its built-in lanes. These upgrades make B550 a tantalizing platform for mainstream builders throughout the world.

GIGABYTE Launches its B550 Motherboard Lineup

GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd, a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, announced the launch of the newest B550 AORUS motherboards primed to unleash the potential of 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen desktop processors. The all new B550 AORUS motherboards kick off the PCIe 4.0 era with extensive feature sets, and equip up to Direct 16 phases of digital power design with advanced thermal solutions that provide the processors and chipset more stable power supplement. Select GIGABYTE B550 AORUS motherboards feature a native USB 3.2 Gen2 interface, feature-rich I/O with a pre-installed I/O shield, the latest wireless connection, and Ultra Durable technology, set to deliver an unmatched user experience. "

We are seeing increasing user demands for flexible systems that perform well in a multitude of tasks from gaming to content creation more than ever before," said Chris Kilburn, corporate vice president and general manager, client component business unit, AMD. "AMD is excited to bring the power of 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen desktop processors and cutting edge PCIe 4.0 support to the mainstream users with our latest AMD B550 chipsets. With overwhelming platform support from our partners at Gigabyte, AMD is confident these new B550 platforms will provide flexibility and power never seen before on a mainstream platform."

ASRock Launches AMD B550 Motherboard Range

Leading global motherboard manufacturer, ASRock, proudly announces its latest range of motherboards featuring the new AMD B550 chipset, supporting AMD Ryzen desktop processors. "ASRock AMD B550 motherboard series brings exciting and innovating features such as PCIe 4.0 to the mainstream, ASRock offers a comprehensive range of motherboards from entry to premium, including the Taichi, PG Velocita, Extreme, Steel Legend and Pro4 series, leading features and excitement into the market." says Chris Lee, general manager of ASRock motherboard business unit.

"We are seeing increasing user demands for flexible systems that perform well in a multitude of tasks from gaming to content creation more than ever before," said Chris Kilburn, corporate vice president and general manager, client component business unit, AMD. "AMD is excited to bring the power of 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen desktop processors and cutting edge PCIe 4.0 support to the mainstream users with our latest AMD B550 chipset. With a wide range of form factors, power delivery options, and designs from our partners at ASRock, AMD is confident these new B550 platforms will provide flexibility and power never seen before on a mainstream platform."

ASUS Prime B550M-A and TUF Gaming B550 Micro-ATX Boards Pictured

Slightly ahead of its launch, ASUS flashed a banner of its AMD B550 chipset motherboard lineup, revealing two other boards than the premium ROG Strix B550-E Gaming AMD unveiled in its platform unveil. These include an unnamed micro-ATX board slotted in the TUF Gaming series, and a entry-level Prime B550M-A micro-ATX board. The Prime board has our attention as its spartan layout could indicate that there will indeed be socket AM4 boards based on the B550 starting at $100, as AMD promised. The B550 has a distinct advantage over the B450 in the form of PCI-Express gen 4.0 for the main PEG and at least one M.2 NVMe slots; and an easier upgrade path toward 4th gen Ryzen "Vermeer" and "Renoir," than AMD's 400-series chipsets have.

BIOSTAR Launches its B550 Series Motherboards

BIOSTAR, a leading brand of motherboards, graphics cards, and storage devices, today introduces the new RACING B550GTA and RACING B550GTQ motherboards designed around the B550 Chipset from AMD. Built to run the latest and greatest AMD 3rd Gen Ryzen Processors, BIOSTAR's RACING B550GTA and RACING B550GTQ motherboards are designed to be the best in business. With a flawless design language carried down from their RACING family motherboards, engineered with bleeding-edge technology to support the best hardware in the market, BIOSTAR RACING B550 series motherboards are ready to leave all competition in the dust.

The RACING B550GTA motherboard comes in an ATX form factor suitable for consumers looking to build a full-blown gaming rig that can take advantage of the additional expansion slots and connectivity that comes with the ATX architecture, while the RACING B550GTQ motherboard is built around the Micro-ATX form factor for builds that need the same level of technology and power as its ATX counterpart but take less real estate from a PC case.

GIGABYTE B550 AORUS Master Waltzes Around Chipset Limitations to Provide Three Gen 4 M.2 Slots

GIGABYTE B550 AORUS Master is the company's most premium socket AM4 motherboard based on the upcoming AMD B550 chipset. We described this board in some detail in our older article covering an assortment of top B550 motherboards from manufacturers, but missed a key bit. At the time we assumed that the PCI-Express lane switches located below the board's main PCI-Express slot merely split its x16 connection from the AM4 SoC down to two x8 connections to share between two slots, given that AMD allows multi-GPU (including SLI) with the B550. Apparently, the lane switches are there for a different, more fascinating reason.

A BenchLife.info report points to the possibility of all three M.2 slots on this motherboard having PCI-Express gen 4.0 wiring - something that shouldn't normally be possible, since all downstream PCIe lanes put out by the B550 are gen 3.0. The way we see it, the topmost M.2 slot has a direct PCI-Express 4.0 x4 connection from the AM4 socket (as it normally should). The second- and third slots, however, pull their wiring from a series of lane switches that split the main x16 PEG slot to gen 4.0 x8/x4/x4. It's possible that one of the two x16 (electrical x4) slots has a further lane sharing arrangement with one of the two M.2 slots.

MSI B550 Motherboard Lineup Hits the Radar

MSI registered five new motherboard SKUs with the Eurasian Economic Commission, based on the AMD B550 chipset. The five new socket AM4 motherboards cover a wide range of sub-$200 (expected) price-points. The lineup is led by the MSI Performance Gaming (MPG) B550 Gaming Carbon WiFi, which was part of AMD's chipset reveal presentation; followed closely by the MPG B550 Gaming Edge WiFi, its Mini-ITX sibling, the MPG B550I Gaming Edge WiFi; the MSI Arsenal Gaming (MAG) B550M Mortar WiFi; and the B550M PRO-VDH in the entry-level. The lineup is missing a "MAG B550 Tomahawk," possibly because MSI wants to launch it later. The company launched its MAG X570 Tomahawk rather recently, and probably still has inventories of its popular B450 Tomahawk MAX motherboard launched with large 32 MB BIOS ROM chips. AMD and its motherboard partners are expected to launch B550 chipset motherboard in mid-June, 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

Assortment of Five AMD B550 Premium Motherboards Pictured

Here are the first pictures of an assortment of five premium AMD B550 chipset motherboards by five different manufacturers. With PCI-Express gen 4.0 (where it matters), CPU+memory overclocking, and multi-GPU being enabled for the B550, and more importantly, the chipset not needing any fan-heatsink, the B550 could be an important chipset for AMD in the battle to come against the 10th generation Core processor and Intel B460 chipset.

We begin with the MSI MPG B550 Gaming Pro Carbon WiFi, the company's most premium B550 offering, picking up the mantle from the immensely successful B450-based predecessor. The MSI board offers a single PCI-Express 4.0 x16 slot, that's reinforced, one M.2 PCIe gen 4.0 x4 slot, a second M.2 slot that's gen 3.0 x4; and a number of x1 slots. The board uses a 14-phase CPU VRM to support CPU overclocking. Connectivity includes 802.11ax WLAN, 1 GbE wired networking, a premium ALC1220-based AudioBoost solution, and heatsinks over both M.2 slots. As a Carbon, it features plenty of RGB LED embellishments.
MSI MPG B550 Gaming Pro Carbon WiFi ASUS ROG Strix B550-E Gaming Gigabyte B550 Aorus Master ASRock B550 Taichi BIOSTAR Racing B550 GTQ

AMD B550 Chipset Motherboards Priced Roughly on-par with B450 Based Ones

AMD's upcoming B550 desktop chipset, which plays second-fiddle to the premium X570, could bring relief to gaming PC builders wanting to put together 3rd gen Ryzen desktops with PCI-Express gen 4.0 graphics and M.2 SSD connectivity on the cheap. Pricing of a handful ASUS B550 motherboards was leaked to the web by Australian retailer ICIT.net.au, who listed the somewhat premium ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming for AUD $262.90, including GST (converts to USD $167 including all taxes). The retailer also lists TUF B550-Plus Gaming and Prime B550M-A at the same exact price, which could be pre-launch inflation (so we're going by the price of what could be the best-endowed SKUs among the three).

If this pricing holds up, B550 based boards could launch at prices close to those of B450 boards at launch. The B550 is AMD's mid-range desktop chipset that is expected to enable PCI-Express gen 4.0, at least where it matters the most (the main x16 slot and the M.2 slot that's wired to the AM4 SoC). Much like its predecessors, the B450 and B350, it could enable CPU- and memory overclocking. Reports dating back to Q3-2019 point to the B550 being ASMedia-sourced, and having a far lower chipset TDP than the X570 (making do with passive heatsinks like the AMD 400-series).

AMD Ryzen 3 3300X Single Core Cinebench Score Suggests Performance Close to i7-7700K

Intel's Core i7-7700K "Kaby Lake" quad-core processor may fall significantly behind its 9th generation successor and today's Ryzen 7 chips, but it remains a formidable piece of silicon for strictly-gaming builds. Can it be bested by a $120 AMD Ryzen 3 3300X? A leaked, alleged Cinebench R15 score suggests that something very fascinating is brewing at AMD. The score points to the i7-7700K having a single-thread score just 0.5 percent higher than the 3300X, which means the multi-threaded score of the 4-core/8-thread AMD chip could end up within striking distance of the i7-7700K.

If this holds up, then AMD has a shot at bringing i7-7700K levels of gaming performance down to $120 (SEP). That would have the potential to seriously disrupt the sub-$200 processor market for gamers, enabling them to build fairly powerful 1440p (or higher) gaming builds. The low price will also let builders allocate more money to the graphics card. Adding to its gaming credentials could be the fact that the "Matisse" MCM features PCI-Express gen 4.0 x16 when paired with an X570 or upcoming B550 chipset motherboard, as detailed in AMD's announcement of the processor. The Ryzen 3 3300 is a 4-core/8-thread processor based on the "Zen 2" microarchitecture, clocked at 3.80 GHz, with 4.30 GHz boost frequency, and featuring 18 MB of total cache. It is expected to be available from May 2020.

AMD Announces 3rd Gen Ryzen 3 Quad-Core Desktop Processors and AMD B550 PCIe 4.0 Chipset

Today, AMD announced the newest additions to the 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen desktop processor family, the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 and AMD Ryzen 3 3300X processors and AMD B550 Chipset for Socket AM4 designed for 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen desktop processors with over 60 designs in development. Taking advantage of the AMD world-class portfolio of technologies, these new Ryzen 3 desktop processors bring the groundbreaking "Zen 2" core architecture to business users, gamers, and creators worldwide, leveraging Simultaneous Multi-Threading (SMT) technology for increased productivity. With double the threads, twice the bandwidth, and a wide selection of motherboards in development the AMD B550 chipset and Ryzen 3 desktop processors deliver the ideal processing solution from top to bottom.

"Games and applications are becoming more and more demanding, and with this, users are demanding more from their PCs," said Saeid Moshkelani, senior vice president and general manager, client business unit. "AMD is committed to providing solutions that meet and exceed those demands for all levels of computing. With the addition of these new Ryzen 3 desktop processors we are continuing this commitment with our mainstream gaming customers. We've taken performance up a level, doubling the processing threads of our Ryzen 3 processors to propel gaming and multitasking experiences to new heights."

AMD Reportedly Launching B550 Motherboards Come June 16th

AMD is reportedly looking to launch their B550 mainstream motherboards this coming June 16th, with an announcement being pegged for May 21st. WCCFTech, quoting industry sources, says these motherboards will now finally be released to the public, nearly a year after the launch of AMD's Ryzen 3000 series and accompanying X570-based motherboards. This will mark the first time PCIe 4.0 will be available in a mainstream-geared platform and chipset; until now, users looking for more cost-effective builds to support their Ryzen CPUs had to make do without PCIe 4.0 support with a motherboard from previous generations, since the feature was only available on the (more expensive) X570 motherboards.

The B550 chipset should thus become the new choice for users looking to build new systems on a budget; and part of the reason for AMD delaying the launch of this chipset as much as it has could certainly be an effort to increase revenues due to the X570's higher ASP. It's expected that B550 motherboards will be had for higher pricing than AMD's previous mainstream B450 motherboards, though, due to increased costs with improved I/O and the additional requirements for PCIe 4.0 wiring. Considering AMD's X570-based motherboards can be had from the $150 barrier upwards, it's likely (via an educated guess only) that B550 will occupy the $90-$150 range.

First Picture of AMD B550 Motherboard Appears

The B550 chipset has been absent for a while, meaning that mid-tier motherboard models were lacking and that space is about to be filled. So far, the only thing we got was a B550A chipset, which lacked proper support for PCIe 4.0 connection, based on the refreshed B450 chipset. The B550A supports only one PCIe 4.0 slot, the one connected directly to CPU, while the regular, non-A version is said to deliver proper PCIe 4.0 configuration. The first picture of AMD's upcoming B550 motherboard has appeared.

Thanks to the findings of VideoCardz, we have a picture of a B550 motherboard manufactured by SOYO, a Chinese motherboard manufacturer, and the brand behind Maxsun. Pictured below is a Micro-ATX format motherboard featuring two x16 PCIe 4.0 slots and one smaller, x1 slot. There are two DDR4 slots, along with M.2 PCIe 4.0 connector. Additionally, it has some interesting dragon-inspired masking as well.
AMD B550 Chipset Motherboard

GIGABYTE Lists AMD B550 and Intel Z490 Motherboards

Thanks to the findings of VideoCardz, we have information that GIGABYTE has listed its upcoming motherboards for AMD and Intel platforms. Starting with AMD's upcoming mid-range chipset, the B550 model is supposed to bring PCIe 4.0 connectivity options to lower-priced motherboard variants. So far, only high-end chipset versions like X570 had PCIe 4.0 support, while the mid-range option was lacking. GIGABYTE has prepared a total of six B550 AORUS models, along with a GAMING series which is supposed to be a tier below AORUS models. The B550 chipset will span all motherboard sizes, including ATX, Micro-ATX, and Mini-ITX.

In the EEC listing, GIGABYTE also submitted Intel's upcoming Z490 motherboards for Comet Lake-S CPUs. In the listing, we see a total of 15 motherboards listed with an unusable entry. Again the W480 chipset appears, which is meant to power workstation motherboards. This chipset will go inside a new motherboard lineup called the "VISION" series. While we don't know what this new series brings, we know that both the workstation enabled W480 chipset and regular Z490 chipset will be a part of it.

New Report Pins ASMedia B550 and A520 Chipset Production to begin Only in Q1 2020

While many users were likely expecting AMD to launch their lower-tier alternatives B550 and A520 chipset solutions for their Ryzen 2 CPUs shortly after their release to the market last year, users who want to pair a more inexpensive motherboard have had to wait in the rain until now. At the time, industry sources pointed towards fabrication of ASMedia's B550 and A520 chipsets for the AM4 platform to begin shipping to motherboard manufacturers in Q4 2019.

Now, new reports say that production of these chipsets (simpler in features, and thus, in price, whilst also not requiring active cooling) will only begin in Q1 2020, which means likely retail availability (at least in significant volumes) in Q2 at the earliest. It seems that users will, for the time being, have to make do with the usually top-of-the-line chipset option for the AMD platform - which is, coincidentally, the one with bigger margins for AMD.

AMD X570-successor to be Third-Party Sourced

AMD X570 chipset is the industry's first PC platform core-logic to support PCI-Express gen 4.0, but has proven to be expensive and hot. Its 600-series chipset successor will be third-party sourced much like its 400-series predecessor, according to a MyDrivers report citing sources in the motherboard industry. AMD is reportedly sourcing its 500-series mid-range chipset, the B550, from ASMedia. The B550 uses PCI-Express 3.0 x4 as its chipset bus, and puts out eight PCIe gen 3.0 downstream general purpose lanes, however, B550 motherboards could still feature PCI-Express 4.0 x16 slots from the socket AM4 SoC (provided a 3rd gen Ryzen processor is installed), and at least one of the M.2 NVMe slots on B550 motherboards could have PCI-Express 4.0 x4, since they're wired to the SoC instead of the chipset.

The MyDrivers report predicts that the successor to X570, the supposed "X670," could be sourced from a third-party firm, much like the B550, and implement PCI-Express gen 4.0, not just as chipset-bus, but also putting out PCI-Express gen 4.0 general purpose lanes. A possible design goal of the X670 could be to implement PCIe gen 4.0 switching fabric without running too hot, resulting in a cooler chipset than can make do with fanless cooling solutions, much like the X470. AMD will continue to make "chipsets" in the form of I/O controller dies for use in its MCM processors, although the relatively low-margin motherboard chipset business could be axed.

ASRock AMD B550AM Gaming Motherboard Spied

Here is the first picture of a motherboard based on AMD's upcoming mid-range desktop motherboard chipset, the AMD "B550A," the ASRock B550AM Gaming. The board was spied inside a pre-built desktop at a Best Buy store. This is the first time we've seen the mid-range chipset being referenced as "B550A" and not "B550." The "A" may not be part of the motherboard's model name as the "M" denotes Micro-ATX and usually succeeds the chipset model in ASRock's nomenclature. The B550(A) will be an important chipset for AMD as it will enable motherboards priced under the $150 mark that support AMD's 3rd generation Ryzen processor's I/O natively.

While the X570 is an in-house development by AMD, the B550 is sourced from ASMedia, and is expected to be a new version of the "Promontory-LP" silicon. The only thing that sets this chip apart from the 400-series "Promontory-LP" is PCI-Express gen 3.0 certification. The chipset talks to the AM4 SoC over a PCI-Express 3.0 x4 link, and puts out up to 8 PCI-Express gen 3.0 downstream lanes. A 3rd gen Ryzen processor on a B550 motherboard still puts out PCI-Express gen 4.0 connectivity, which means you get one PCI-Express 4.0 x16 slot, and one M.2 slot with PCI-Express 4.0 x4 wiring. The rest of the chipset's I/O will be similar to the 400-series, which includes six SATA 6 Gbps ports, up to two 10 Gbps USB 3.1 ports, up to four 5 Gbps USB 3.1 ports, and eight USB 2.0/1.1 ports. If the AM4 SoC installed is a 3rd gen Ryzen, then you'll get a couple more 10 Gbps USB 3.1 ports. AMD partners could use the opportunity to launch some of the more upscale B550 motherboards with the latest 2.5 GbE wired LAN, and 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6.

Update (16/10): We learn later down in the referenced Reddit thread, including from comments by AMD's Robert Hallock, that the B550A is a rebranded B450 targeted at OEMs. The B550 (non-A) is what is the upcoming chipset detailed in this article.

Reported Specifications on AMD B550 Chipset Surface

We've known for some time that AMD's mainstream-segment B550 chipset wouldn't bring all the bangs and whistles of its bigger, enthusiast-class cousin X570. For one, it wouldn't make sense to increase development and implementation costs of both the chipset and motherboards built for mainstream enthusiasts by adding PCIe 4.0 support and the more stringent signaling and power requirements the new standard entails. As such, B550 reportedly cuts down fully on PCIe 4.0 support, as well as on the latest USB standards, to offer a product that's sufficiently rounded up on I/O while offering overclocking support for users that demand it.

Reportedly, AMD's B550 will only support up to 2x USB 3.2 Gen2 devices, 6x USB 2.0, 4 + 4 SATA3 connections, and the interlink between the chipset and the CPU occurs via a 4x PCIe 3.0 interface, which means there's less bandwidth for communication between the CPU and the chipset than on X570 - not that that was a real problem on AMD's previous-gen Ryzen products, though, so that's more of a technicality at this point. Ryzen 3000 CPUs still offer 4x PCIe 4.0 ports, though, so these could be used for speeding up a PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD, for instance. The launch of B550-bound products is expected towards October.

Radeon RX 5300 XT and AMD B550 Chipset Coming to OEM Systems in October

HP has listed new desktop consumer prebuilts that use previously unannounced hardware from AMD, namely the Radeon RX 5300 XT graphics card and the B550 chipset. B550 has been expected for a while — it's a lower-cost chipset for Ryzen 3000 "Zen 2" processors with reduced feature set. HP calls the chipset "AMD Promontory B550A" in their sheets which seems to be designed and produced by ASMedia (unlike X570, which is a fully AMD in-house design). One of the major differences between X570 and B550 is that the latter has no support for PCI-Express 4.0, which won't matter one bit in its target segment. This move not only reduces chipset cost, it also drives down the cost of motherboards significantly, as the more stringent signal integrity requirements for PCIe 4.0 won't apply here.

While we have heard rumors that AMD is working on a smaller chip for their "Navi" architecture (Navi 12 and Navi 14), it's uncertain whether RX 5300 XT is really based on Navi, or whether it will be yet another rebrand — we wouldn't be surprised if Polaris is making a comeback yet again. Both systems are listed for € 699 and € 899, with shelf availability expected for October 8th.

AMD B550 and A520 Lack PCIe Gen 4 Capabilities?

Last Friday, we reported ASMedia working on new-generation socket AM4 motherboard chipsets that succeed the AMD B450 and A320, which could hopefully offer significantly cheaper alternatives to boards based on the feature-rich AMD X570 chipset. The DigiTimes story we cited was updated to clarify that the chipset only supports PCI-Express gen 3.0, and not the newer PCI-Express gen 4.0. There are two distinct ways of interpreting this information.

One, that motherboards based on B550 and A520 completely lack PCIe gen 4.0, including the main PCI-Express x16 (PEG) slot and the M.2 slot wired to the AM4 SoC; and two, that only the downstream PCIe lanes and the chipset bus are PCIe gen 3.0, while the main PEG slot and M.2 slot from the SoC remain gen 4. We lean toward the latter interpretation being more plausible, that AMD B550 and A520 motherboards will at least feature one PCI-Express 4.0 x16 slot, and one M.2 slot that has PCI-Express 4.0 x4 wiring from the AM4 SoC; while the ASMedia chipset is connected to the SoC over PCI-Express 3.0 x4, and downstream PCIe lanes put out by the chipset are gen 3.0, too. These ASMedia-sourced AMD 500-series chipset motherboards could also implement the latest PCB, CPU VRM, and memory wiring specifications released by AMD that enable CPU and memory overclocking levels unattainable on motherboards based on older chipsets.
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