B450 Chipset For Ryzen Is Now For Sale

Posted by at 2:49 pm on August 1, 2018

AMD has their latest chipset product supporting both first and second generation Ryzen CPUs and APUs – B450. When Ryzen gen was launched was launched, there robust selection of boards based on the A320, B350, and X370 chipsets. Now availability was rocky at first but there were a ton of choice up and down the price range.   These products brought AMD  onto  a single socket – AM4.  AMD no longer bifurcated their sockets and chipsets in regards to AM3+ and FM2+. AMD plans to support this socket til at least 2020, and most AM4 boards should be able to handle upcoming CPUs with a BIOS update.

The release of the new Ryzen 2000 parts brought in the new X470 chipset which provided some extra features as compared to the X370. While I/O was the same – we were hoping for thunderbolt 3 support since Intel has opened up it use to the rest of the industry.  X470 did add support for Precision Boost 2 as well as the free StoreMI storage functionality. X470 is the no-brainer especially if you pan on using multiple graphics cards. But for single GPU builders on a budget,  it can be too costly.

AMD is pitching  the new B450 chipset that looks to fill the gap that the new X470 leaves. It is a partial redesign of the B350 and it provides a couple of extra features. Most interesting is that the chip actually runs about 2 watts lower in power than the B350 did at idle. The B450 joins the X470/370 in having StoreMI support as well, which the B350 does not offer. Unlike the X470, the B450 parts do not allow the bifurcation of the CPU’s PCI-Ex16. Without utilizing the 6 PCI-E lanes off the southbridge the B450 will not support multi-GPU off of the CPU PCI-E controller. Motherboard manufacturers may in fact use a x4 electrical connection in a x16 slot to utilize CrossFire, but AMD did not intend that to be a standard feature.

On the the  side, AMD does users the ability to overclock any CPU they have. While AMD has the “x” designation after certain SKUs, they are not the only ones that can be overclocked (unlike Intel and their non-K variants). Even though AMD may specify that a CPU can only go up to a max of 2933 speeds, it is easy to get those memory targets well above that. 3200 is very common for these parts and should almost be the specification for the Ryzen 2000 series chips.

Plus you still get support for StoreMI with the B450 chipset, which is a large bonus over the B350.  StoreMI has significant performance benefits for users who rely on smaller SSDs for the OS. Applications are intelligently managed so that they act like they are installed on the SSD only. AKA you gain major speed while saving on your storage budget.

Most of the boards will be under $120 with may selling at retail around the $70 to $85 range.  Even the lower price board will sport a fair of SATA ports, one NVME, USB 3.0/3.1/Gen1/Gen2, and the six PCI-E lanes which can have multiple uses.



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