GuidesComparisonsAMD B550 Vs B650 Motherboards: Which Is Better

AMD B550 Vs B650 Motherboards: Which Is Better [2024]

We compare the AMD B550 vs B650 and explain the key differences between the two motherboards.

AMD’s B650 chipset is the new mainstream option for those looking to rock their new Ryzen 7000 CPUs. With this chipset following the same naming pattern and succeeding B550, what else has changed besides the CPU support? Let’s find out today as we compare AMD B550 vs B650. 

Similar Comparison: X670 vs B650

Key Takeaways

  • Both the B550 and B650 are AMD’s mainstream chipsets for their Ryzen lineup.
  • Regarding CPU support, the B650 chipset supports AMD’s Ryzen 7000 series (and all Ryzen CPUs until 2025), while the B550 chipset is limited to the Ryzen 3000 and Ryzen 5000 CPUs. 
  • With the upgrade to Ryzen 7000, B650 also supports DDR5 memory and drops DDR4 support. B550, on the other hand, only supports DDR4.
  • B650 motherboards have support for more I/O than B550, including more M.2 slots
  • As of May 2023, entry-level B550 motherboards cost at least $85, while B650 motherboards start at $125. Premium B550 and B650 options can cost up to $300 or beyond. 

The BX50 Chipset Lineup

AMD’s B-series chipset lineup is the mainstream chipset for their Ryzen lineup. This chipset lineup has been the option for most users since it supports (at least) one high-end graphics card and one speedy NVMe SSD. It also supports CPU and memory overclocking. The only “downgrade” compared to the enthusiast “XX70” (Read: X570 vs B550) lineup is less bandwidth and, consequently, less I/O. However, the amount of I/O is still plenty for the average user. 

AMD B550 Chipset
AMD B550 Chipset specifications – Image Credits (AMD)
AMD B650E and B650 Chipsets
AMD B650 (and B650E) Chipset specifications – Image Credits (AMD)

The key difference between B650 and B550 is, of course, the CPU support. With Ryzen 7000, AMD has moved to a new socket called AM5. As a result, any older chipsets cannot extend support to these AM5 CPUs. Summing up, the B650 chipset supports Ryzen 7000, while B550 supports Ryzen 3000 and Ryzen 5000 CPUs.

Other than CPU support, the B650 gets the upper hand regarding I/O and memory support, which we will discuss next.

Also Read: B550 Vs X570

B550 Vs B650

Let’s see how the two chipsets compare.

Note: When discussing PCIe lanes (and I/O in general), remember that “up to” refers to a best-case scenario. Using the B650 chipset as an example, it can hold four PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 lanes ONLY if it sacrifices a PCIe 5.0 x4 slot. 

Chipset B650 B550
Socket AM5 (LGA1718) AM4 (PGA1331)
Supporting Lineups Ryzen 7000 Series Ryzen 3000 Series
Ryzen 5000 Series
CPU Overclocking Yes Yes
Memory Support DDR5 (Up to 6400 MT/s) DDR4 (Up to 5400 MT/s)
No. of DIMMS per Channel 2
Memory Overclocking Yes Yes
Chipset Link PCIe 3.0 x4 PCIe 4.0 x4
Chipset PCIe Revisions PCIe 4.0, PCIe 3.0 PCIe 3.0
Total no. of PCIe Lanes 36 30
No. of Chipset PCIe 3.0 Lanes Up to 4 Up to 10 
(2 reconfigurable as SATA 6 Gb/s)
No. of Chipset PCIe 4.0 Lanes Up to 8
No. of (Usable) CPU PCIe Lanes 20 (PCIe 4.0)
+ 4 (PCIe 4.0/5.0)
20 PCIe 4.0
No. of M.2 Slots Up to one PCIe 3.0 x4
Up to four PCIe 4.0 x4
Up to one PCIe 5.0 x4
Up to one PCIe 4.0 x4
Up to two PCIe 3.0 x4 + one PCIe 3.0 x2
USB Revisions USB 3.2, USB 2.0 USB 3.2, USB 2.0
Total No. of USB Ports Up to 16 Up to 12
No. of USB 3.2 (20 Gb/s) Ports Up to 1 N/A
No. of USB 3.2 (10 Gb/s) Ports Up to 10 Up to 6
No. of USB 3.2 (5 Gb/s) Ports Up to 10 Up to 2
No. of USB 2.0 Ports Up to 7 Up to 6
SATA 3.0 (6.0 Gb/s) Ports Up to 4 Up to 6
Wi-Fi Support Wi-Fi 6/ Wi-Fi 6E Wi-Fi 6/ Wi-Fi 6E
RAID Configurations 0/1/10 (NVMe / SATA) 0/1/10 (NVMe / SATA)
Supported CPU PCIe Configurations 1×16 + 1×4 OR 2×8 + 1×4  1×16 + 1×4 OR 2×8 + 1×4
Thermal Design Power 7 watts 5 watts
Launch Date Oct 4th, 2022 Jun 16th, 2020
Starting MSRP (as of May 2023) $125 $80
Best Motherboards Best B650 Motherboards Best B550 Motherboards

B650 vs B550 Comparison Table 

Among the similarities between the two chipsets are CPU and memory overclocking support as well as Wi-Fi support. They also support the same RAID configurations. Now let’s dive into the differences between the two. 

Socket Design

The socket design is the most notable difference between B650 and B550, which also creates a difference in CPU support. With AMD Ryzen 7000 series, AMD has made the switch to the LGA socket design for the first time. In the LGA design, the contact pins are placed on the CPU, while in PGA, they are located on the motherboard. The LGA design provides more pin density than PGA. You can read our LGA vs PGA comparison to learn more about them. 

Also Check: LGA 1200 Vs LGA 1700

Codenamed “AM5“, the B650 motherboards use the LGA1718 socket (it has 1718 pins). Meanwhile, the B550 chipset uses the AM4 socket, a PGA design socket with 1331 pins. Read our AM5 vs AM4 guide to see the detailed comparison of the two sockets.

CPU Support

As briefly discussed above, the key difference between the two chipsets is the CPU support. The B650 chipset enables support for the Ryzen 7000 series CPUs. Furthermore, AMD plans to support this AM5 socket until 2025, so this chipset will support all CPUs released up to 2025. This will likely include the (alleged) Ryzen 8000 series, as well as Ryzen 9000.

Gigabyte B650 AORUS ELITE AX
Gigabyte B650 AORUS ELITE AX Motherboard. Image Credits (Tech4Gamers)

In contrast, the B550 chipset is limited to the Ryzen 3000 and Ryzen 5000 series CPUs. 

Memory Support

Talking RAM support, the B650 chipset upgrades to DDR5 support and, unlike Intel’s 12th and 13th gen, does not support DDR4. As for transfer speeds, the B650 can facilitate rates of up to 6400 MT/s. As usual, a total of 4 DIMMs are supported, with 2 DIMMs per channel.

When it comes to B550, it supports DDR4 memory with transfer rates up to 5400 MT/s. It also has the same 4 DIMMs support as B650. 

Read: DDR4 vs DDR5 Memory

The B650 chipset also upgrades the CPU’s link to the chipset to PCIe 4.0 x4. The B550’s link is 4 lanes of PCIe Gen 3. Consequently, the B650 chipset gets twice the bandwidth for I/O compared to the B550. You can learn about the differences between PCIe 4.0 and PCIe 3.0 in our comparison. 

PCIe Support 

The B650 chipset upgrades PCIe connectivity support as well. The CPU now provides 24 lanes of PCIe 5.0, 16 reserved for a graphics card, and 8 reserved for NVMe configurations. The chipset supports up to 8 lanes of PCIe 4.0 and 4 lanes of PCIe 3.0.

With regard to B550, there are 20 lanes of PCIe 4.0 coming from the CPU, 16 for the GPU and 4 for NVMe (and SATA) configurations. There is also support for up to 10 PCIe 3.0 lanes as far as the chipset lanes are concerned. 

Also Read: Z790 vs Z690

In total, the B650 chipset supports up to 36 PCIe lanes, while B550 is limited to 30.

USB Ports 

Starting with the USB ports, B650 supports up to 16 USB ports in total. This includes up to 1 USB 3.2 20 Gb/s, 10 USB 3.1 10 Gb/s, and 7 USB 2.0 ports. On the other hand, the B550 chipset supports up to 12 ports overall. Among the 12, there is support for as many as 6 USB 3.2 10 Gb/s, 2 USB 3.2 5 Gb/s ports, and 6 USB 2.0 ports.

B550 does not have USB 3.2 20 Gb/s support. We also have a detailed guide on how to add more USB ports to a PC, in case you currently don’t have enough of them. 

SATA 3.0 Ports 

Another difference in the B650 vs B550 comparison is in the number of SATA 3.0 ports. B650 motherboards can support up to 4 of these ports, while B550 can run as many as 6. Note that the B550 chipset must sacrifice 2 PCIe lanes to make it 6 ports; otherwise, it’s limited to 4 like its successor. 

M.2 Slots

The two chipsets also differ with respect to the amount of M.2 slots configurable for NVMe SSDs. The B650 chipset supports three PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots from the chipset, plus an additional PCIe 4.0/5.0 x4 (depending on the motherboard). It also has room for 4 lanes of PCIe Gen 3.

B550 motherboards are limited to two PCIe 3.0 x4. It also gets an additional two lanes of PCIe 3.0, but two SATA 3.0 ports must be sacrificed.

Thermal Design Power

Regarding power consumed by the chipset, the B650 has a slightly higher rating at 7 watts. In comparison, the B550 chipset draws 5 watts of power at most.

Prices

The price tag is the most important part of our AMD B550 vs B650 comparison. The B550 motherboards, when launched, had a starting MSRP of around $115. However, as of May 2023, you can find entry-level boards for as little as $85, while most mid-range offerings cost between $100-$150. Overall, it’s a pretty affordable option for those looking to run a Ryzen 3000 or Ryzen 5000 CPU. Although, if you plan to step into Ryzen 9 territory, it will be best not to cheap out on the motherboard.

Similar Comparisons: Z690 vs H670 vs B660

As for B650, AMD promised a starting point of $125 for both B650 and B650E boards. This promise wasn’t initially delivered, but at the time of writing this, a few options were available for that very price. Mid-range options start at $170, though. And again, if you’re running a high-end Ryzen 7 or Ryzen 9 CPU, be sure to get a motherboard with decent VRMs.

Premium B550 and B650 motherboards can cost as much as $300 or more. 

Final Words

This marks the end of our AMD B550 vs B650 guide. It’s safe to say that both chipsets serve their primary purpose well: supporting their respective Ryzen CPUs. However, there’s a clear contrast between the B650 and B550 when it comes to I/O support. 

Obviously, the one characteristic in terms of I/O that most people will consider is the M.2 slots. The B650 chipset provides more room for M.2 slots, with up to four PCIe Gen 4 x4. B550, on the other hand, only supports one of these lanes, and the rest is all PCIe Gen 3. The B650 motherboards also support more SATA 3 ports and more USB ports. 

Again, the main factor to keep in mind is the CPU support. If you’re looking to choose between these two chipsets, you will need to choose B650 if you want to run a Ryzen 7000 CPU. The opposite applies if you’re opting for Ryzen 3000/Ryzen 5000. If you’re looking to upgrade from B550 to B650 for the latest Ryzen support, it’s a pretty good upgrade.

Once you have decided on the chipset, check out our guide on how to choose a motherboard to learn what other factors you should consider. Also, before leaving, do give our Z590 vs B560 comparison a read as well. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are B650 motherboards more expensive than B550 motherboards?

As of May 2023, B550 motherboards start at $85, while entry-level B650 motherboards cost at least $125. So there’s a fairly significant difference in their prices.

What are the main similarities between B650 and B550 motherboards?

Both the B650 and B550 motherboards are enabled for CPU and memory overclocking. Also, they both (depending on the motherboard) support dual GPUs.

What is the biggest advantage that the B650 chipset has over B550?

The B650 chipset supports DDR5 memory, making it more future-proof. It will also support all Ryzen CPUs until 2025, as promised by AMD, adding to that future-proofing value.

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