Contemplating whether to go for one of the B550 Motherboardsor make the gamble for an entry-level X570 Motherboard? Perhaps you’re having some trouble deciding whether it’s worth splurging on the X570 Motherboards or saving some capital by going for the dependable and reasonably affordable B550 chipset? Nothing to fret about, we’ve got you covered with everything to know about B550 vs X570.
To begin with, both the B550 and X570 chipsets are based on AMD’s longstanding AM4 CPU platform, with the B550 superseding the X570 as the former was released in June 2020 and the latter in July 2019. Nevertheless, the older X570 still trumps the B550 from an overall performance perspective. That being said, you don’t have to take our word for it. To prove our point, we’ll take a brief look at the spec list of each of these two relatively high-performance chipsets from AMD.
For starters, the B550 only supports PCIe Gen 4.0 for the x16 GPU slot, with up to 20x usable PCIe lanes emerging from a compatible Ryzen CPU, since the chipset itself does not bear any PCIe 4.0 lanes at all, instead sporting a meagre number of 10x PCIe 3.0 lanes.
In addition, the B550 supports up to 8x SATA III 6 Gbps ports for connecting conventional means of storage media, accompanied by a potential maximum of 6x USB 3.2 Gen 2×1 ports as well as a pair of USB 3.2 Get 1 and 6x USB 2.0 legacy ports. The B550 chipset can also manage to run a single PCIe Gen 4.0 SSD at peak performance (using the PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 SSD slot), alongside a PCIe 4.0 GPU, a combo that would utilize all of the existing 20x PCIe 4.0 lanes.
As far as the X570 is concerned, the chipset has up to 36x PCIe 4.0 lanes, including the General Purpose PCIe lanes, meaning you can run the latest GPUs from the likes of Nvidia and AMD and up to 5x M.2 SSDs with PCIe Gen 4.0 at full speed. The X570 also boasts a staggering 14x SATA III ports, which is twice or thrice the amount of SATA ports you’ll ever use. Furthermore, the X570 supports a maximum of 12x USB 3.2 Gen 2×1 ports as well as 4x USB 2.0 Type-A ports.
It goes without saying that your processor will also establish a connection to your X570 motherboard using PCIe 4.0 lanes versus the B550’s PCIe Gen 3.0 CPU Chipset Uplink, with the former understandably delivering the fastest overall gaming performance.
Both the B550 and X570 support CPU and Memory (RAM) overclocking, although X570 motherboards generally tend to possess enhanced VRMs (Voltage Regulator Modules) and active cooling mechanisms since the power draw for the X570 chipset is rated at 15W in sharp contrast to the 6W of power that a B550 motherboard sips. Resultantly, the best X570 motherboards will net you far better overclocking results for your Ryzen CPU and RAM.
Last but not least, both chipsets also have support for dual GPU setups using Nvidia’s relatively obsolete SLi architecture or AMD’s CrossFire technology (even though we’re fairly certain this feature won’t appeal to a majority of our target audience thanks to the comparative outdatedness of multiple GPU setups).
Getting to Know the B550 and X570
As stated above, the B550 is a newer chipset model than the X570. Does this mean that it is better than the X570 motherboard? No, not really. There is simply a small difference between these two chipsets, which you most likely won’t even notice in everyday tasks. This table will showcase the on-paper specifications of both — the B550 vs X570 motherboards — along with the B450 as well.
Looking at the specifications, the B550 has 16x PCIe Gen 4 CPU Graphics Lanes. The same as the X570 motherboard. Both chipsets also support PCIe Gen 4 for storage — with a minor inconvenience for the B550 which we shall look at later on. Both B550 and X570 also support USB 3.2 Gen 2 Ports, with the X570 inherently having more.
The true difference starts showing once we look at the second half of the chart. Although, on paper, the B550 supports Dual Graphics Support, also known as Nvidia SLI or AMD Crossfire, except for the x16 slot being PCIe Gen 4, all the others (x8, x4 and x1) are PCIe Gen 3. On the X570, all of the slots are PCIe Gen 4. You can read more on this in our PCIe GEn 3 vs PCIe Gen 4.0 Article.
Lastly, the General Purpose Lanes and CPU Chipset Uplink are both PCIe Gen 3 for the B550 and PCIe Gen 4 for the X570. This only affects data transfer speeds that an average user wouldn’t really notice. Of course, both the B550 and X570 motherboards support overclocking — but we shall look at that issue later on in the article.
B550 Vs X570
Alright, with the basic layout out of the way, let’s look at what differentiates the B550 from the X570 motherboard. It’s clear that the X570 is better than the B550, but by how much exactly? Is the improvement worth the price difference? There are a few differences between both the motherboards. Here is a table showing the clear differences between B550 vs X570.
Last update on 2022-12-06
The first point we’re going to discuss is backward compatibility. As you may remember, when AMD’s CEO, Dr. Lisa Su, first introduced the Ryzen CPUs in 2016, she promised that the AM4 Socket wouldn’t change for 5 years. Almost true to her word, the AM4 Socket truly did not change from 2016 until 2020. But a few things did change in terms of chipset support.
For example, older motherboards weren’t compatible with newer generation Ryzen CPUs. Like, the A320 motherboards weren’t compatible with Ryzen 3000 series processors. Where did this lead us? Well, AMD decided to introduce something known as “Beta Bios” for those motherboards so that they could be compatible with newer gen processors. The Ryzen 300 series includes list of processors, including 3600, 3600x, 3700x, and 3900x.
This, of course, led to a sacrifice. That sacrifice was the compatibility removal for Ryzen 1000 series processors. Fast-forward to 2019 with the X570 launch and then the B550 launch, we see that the X570 — although an “older” motherboard, is compatible with the Ryzen 2000 series processors, whereas the B550 motherboard is not.
Like the backward compatibility, the X570 motherboard is compatible with all Ryzen 2000, 3000, and 5000 series processors (including 5900x and 5950x), apart from the Ryzen 1000 series. There are no problems with that. However, the B550 motherboard is only compatible with Ryzen 3000 and 5000 series processors excluding the Ryzen 1000, 2000, and Ryzen 3000 series APUs. These would be the Ryzen 3 3200G, Ryzen 5 3400G, and so on. The following image clarifies this compatibility issue further.
Multiple PCIe 4.0 PCIe Slots
In the X570 and B550 motherboards, you’re going to find a complete x16 PCIe 4.0 slot for your graphics card. However, the B550 doesn’t sport the same PCIe 4.0 slot for the x8, x4 and x1 slots. The X570, on the other hand, may come with PCIe 4.0 for these expansion slots depending on the manufacturer.
In-built Motherboard Cooling
Although kind of weird, the X570 motherboard has an in-built motherboard fan in order to keep the chipset cooler. The B550 doesn’t come with any such features as its power consumption isn’t too high and doesn’t create as much heat as the X570, though few manufacturers later launched S variant motherboards without chipset fans. This chipset fan has both positive and negative points in the X570 motherboards. Good, because it reduces heat and cools the motherboard chipset, however, the noise created by the fan can be bothersome for many enthusiasts.
Better LAN Support
While both the B550 and X570 motherboards have LAN ports, the B550 only has 1G and 1.5G LAN ports, whilst multiple X570 motherboards can have up to 5G and even the insanely fast 10G LAN ports. Of course this does not — by any means — imply that 1G and 1.5G LAN ports are slow. No, these two are more than fast enough for most consumers. Even gamers wouldn’t feel any form of stuttering or lags according to their internet.
Abundance of PCIe 4.0 Lanes
Not to be confused with PCIe 4.0 slots — these lanes are connected to the CPU. These lanes also connect the CPU with the motherboard chipset. The X570 uses PCIe 4.0 lanes whilst the B550 uses PCIe 3.0 lanes to do these tasks. What does this mean? Simply put, the X570 has faster Input/Output compared with the B550.
Multiple PCIe 4.0 M.2 Slots
Unlike the B550 motherboard which only supports 1 PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD drive, the X570 has compatibility for at least 2 PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD drives. Only a few B550 motherboards sport 2 PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD drives. Such as the Gigabyte Aorus Master B550 and the MSI MEG B550 Unify Gaming Motherboard.
Greater Support for USB 3.2 Gen 2 Ports
With correspondence to multiple PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots, the X570 also has greater support for more SATA and USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports. The actual count differs from model to model, and that is usually the case. A high-end B550 might have more USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports when compared with an entry-level X570.
Less Options for mATX Form Factors
Looking at the X570 chipset, there are significantly lesser mATX options. The B550, on the other hand, houses a greater number of mATX options for consumers. This would only be relatable with people who lack space to place their PC and thus go with a smaller form factor.
Although most of these differences won’t affect the average consumer, they were still worth pointing out.
At this point, both of these chipsets have almost reached their lifespan. Seeing how Zen 4 processors will come with a new AM5 socket, both the B550 and X570 chipsets will become unable to support the next-gen Ryzen 7000 series processors. That simply means that the X570 and B550 chipset are only viable up to the Ryzen 5000 series processors and no more.
This shouldn’t really be a problem for you, though, unless you’re an enthusiast who upgrades their PC every quarter. Even something “basic” like the Ryzen 5 5600X should last you a couple of years before you’ll need to upgrade again. Therefore, although the X570 and B550 chipsets will not be compatible with Ryzen 7000 series processors, they should still suffice for at least the next few years, of course, if you’re building a computer around the Ryzen 3000 or 5000 series processors.
Pricing of the X570 Vs B550
The most controversial part of the B550 vs X570 motherboard debate has always been the pricing. Let’s take a closer look at that. Since the dawn of the B550 motherboards, their pricing has been neck and neck with the X570. At least at the entry-mid level, that is.
Starting off with the B550, let’s look at the MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk. At the time of writing this article, the current price for this motherboard is at an extremely competitive $180.
The motherboard houses 6x USB ports — out of which, 1 is a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A and the other is a Type-C. There are 2x USB 2.0 ports and 2x front USB Type-Cs.
The motherboard also houses a PCIe Gen 4.0 Slot for the x16 slot (for the graphics card) and a PCIe Gen 3.0 Slot for the x4 slot (the expansion slot). There’s room for 2 NVMe M.2 SSDs out of which the upper one is PCIe Gen 4.0 and the other is limited to PCIe Gen 3.0.
The motherboard also supports 128 GB DDR4 RAM at a maximum XMP-enabled speed of 5100 MHz.
Another important factor to look at in this particular motherboard, are the Voltage Regulatory Modules (VRMs). These little knobs that are placed near the CPU help in spreading voltage all over the CPU and the chipset. The better a VRM is, the better it will be able to control the voltage and thus maintain stability within the system and keep it cool as well.
Now, what do these VRMs help out with? Well, VRMs are one of the essential things to look at when you’re going to overclock your PC. Stable voltages equate to stable overclocks. The cooler your components are, the better you can overclock your PC. As you can see in the picture of the B550 Tomahawk, the VRMs have a heatsink on them. This only proves that the motherboard houses some good quality VRMs, which would be extremely helpful for overclocking your PC.
It’s not that VRMs aren’t important if one doesn’t plan on overclocking their PC. Rather, if you’re going to pair a Ryzen 9 or an Intel i9 processor at stock settings with a weaker motherboard that maybe doesn’t have good VRMs, then it could cause heating problems, damage or overall system crashing.
Now, looking at the Gigabyte X570 Aorus with a total of 10 USB ports. 4x USB 2.0 ports, 4x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports and 2x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A ports.
The Aorus Elite also houses a total of 3 expansion slots. A PCIe Gen 4.0 x16 slot, a PCIe Gen 4.0 x4 slot, and a PCIe Gen 4.0 x1 slot.
Looking at the memory, the motherboard can support up to 128 GB DDR4 RAM with a maximum speed of 4000 MHz with XMP enabled.
The VRMs in the Aorus Elite motherboard is similar to the MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk, with only a negligible improvement over the latter.
Overall, the Aorus Elite doesn’t come with a 2.5G LAN as opposed to the Tomahawk and neither does the Aorus Elite have any USB Type-Cs compared with the Tomahawk. It does, however, provide PCIe Gen 4.0 support for all expansion slots and 2 M.2 SSDs against the 1 from Tomahawk. The Aorus Elite also has slower RAM speeds going at 4000 MHz whilst the Tomahawk’s RAM speeds go all the way up to 5100 MHz.
So is the $20 extra price worth it? Maybe it is. If you’re someone with a Ryzen 3000 Series APU then the Aorus Elite is most likely a steal for you. If you’re someone who needs to use SLI or Crossfire for any purpose, then again, the Aorus Elite takes the win. However, if you’re someone who doesn’t care about the PCIe Gen 4.0 benefits nor has an APU or needs to use SLI, then you’d be eyeing over the Tomahawk.
Simply looking at the price and immediate benefits, I would personally pick the MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk over the Gigabyte X570 Aorus Elite. Your opinion may be different depending on your own use case scenario. Oh, and did I forget to mention? The Tomahawk lights up with pretty RGB lighting while the Aorus Elite doesn’t. That’s simply another motive for me to go with the Tomahawk over the Aorus Elite as a fellow gamer, that is.
Looking at some of the B550 motherboards and X570 motherboards, the price difference becomes more apparent, and the overall build quality and specifications start to differ as well. At that point, looking at your budget and processor, I’d recommend going with the X570 rather than the B550.
Overclocking: B550 vs X570
Now that we have seen the prices of both the B550 vs X570 chipsets, let’s see whether the B550 is a good overclockable motherboard chipset or not.
As I previously mentioned, VRMs are essential when we talk about overclocking our system. VRMs help in voltage control which stabilizes the amount of voltage that goes to the CPU and RAM. Better stability also provides better cooling, allowing you to overclock your components even more. VRMs in a good B550 motherboard might even be better than the VRMs in an entry-level X570. For example, the B550 Tomahawk’s VRMs are almost as good as the X570 Aorus Elite’s.
Another thing we need to look at is the PCIe 3.0 vs the PCIe 4.0 CPU Lanes in the X570 and X570 motherboards respectively. Because the X570 has PCIe 4.0 Lanes, it will have overall better overclocking capabilities than the B550.
Now looking at power draw, the B550 only draws about 6W of power from the PSU. The X570, on the other hand, draws about 15W of power. What does this mean? Due to greater power draw, the X570 may become hotter, but it will also deliver better performance and overclocking potential. The onboard fan on the X570 chipset also helps in keeping the motherboard cool.
Going back to the VRMs, the B550 chipset VRMs are as good as, if not better, the X570 chipset VRMs. So, which motherboard is better at overclocking? Simply looking at the raw specifications, it’s evident that the X570 (obviously) is better at overclocking than the B550. However, the B550 is no slouch, for that matter.
For its affordable price, the overclocking potential is amazing. Especially with a motherboard like the MSI B550 Tomahawk or the ASUS ROG Strix B550-F. Heck, I’d even suggest going for a high-end B550 motherboard rather than an entry-level X570, if you don’t care about the PCIe 4.0 lanes and slots. The VRMs in those B550 motherboards are surely better than their X570 entry-level counterparts.
B550 or X570 for Ryzen 5000 Processors?
Maybe in 2020 a debate regarding which chipset one should go for in order to run Ryzen 3000 processors would have been necessary; however, today, the 5000 series processors are the latest trend. Taking note of all the specifications of the B550 and X570 chipsets, running a 5000 series processor would definitely be more beneficial with a X570 motherboard in some cases.
Why is that the case? Due to the latest Zen 3 architecture, which AMD has introduced, power consumption has greatly increased along with base clock speeds. To run such a processor would be difficult for a motherboard that doesn’t have decent VRMs. Also, PCIe Gen 4.0 lanes and slots only help in milking all of that performance out.
If you’re looking to buy something like a Ryzen 5 5600X then a B550 motherboard would suffice for the most part. You would lose out on a few overclocking capabilities and need to make do the PCIe 3.0 galore. Though, both X570 and B550 chipsets will do the job even for flagship processors like Ryzen 9 5950x.
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Should You Buy B550 or X570?
Okay, so who wins? Should you pick a B550 chipset or an X570 chipset for your next Ryzen build? The simple answer is; it depends. It depends on your requirements. Are you trying to run Nvidia SLI or AMD Crossfire? If so, then you’d be going for the X570. Do you want more performance per dollar? If so, then you’d be going for the B550. But, if you want more PCIe 4.0 support, you’d be going with the X570 again.
On the other hand, if you’re buying an entry-level Ryzen 3000 series or Ryzen 5000 series processor, then a B550 motherboard will do. In the case where you’re buying a high-end Ryzen 5000 series processor, then going with a high-end X570 motherboard should be your go-to option. Whereas if you want more USB 3.2 and USB-C support, then going for the X570 would be beneficial. Lastly, supposing you’re looking to overclock your PC a lot, I’d suggest looking into high-end X570 motherboards for their amazing VRMs.
At the end of the day, everything depends on how you plan on using your computer. Getting an answer to that question will help you decide which motherboard to go for. All-in-all, both the B550 and the X570 chipsets are solid picks for an average consumer, and one would not notice any differences in the performance. For the most part, that is.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, the B550 is not better than the X570. A high-end B550 motherboard may have better specifications than an entry-level X570 motherboard, but if we keep the ground balanced, then the X570 wins.
The main difference between the B550 and X570 is the availability of PCIe Gen 4.0 lanes, slots, and drives. There are also more USB-C ports in the X570 too. A detailed differentiation has been given at the start of the article.
It depends on your use case scenario. If you have a low budget, the B550 is the only option for you. If you’re going with a high-end Ryzen 5000 processor, go for the X570. If you want to overclock your PC, the X570 should be your best option.
Oddly, the B550 chipset is newer. The X570 chipset was released in July 2019, while the B550 chipset was released in June 2020, almost a year later. This, by no means, states that the B550 has better performance than the X570. Rather, the X570 is still the motherboard chipset king when it comes to AMD.
The X570 supports PCIe Gen 4.0 CPU lanes and more Graphics Card slots along with NVMe M.2 SSD drives. The X570 also houses an onboard fan to keep everything nice and cool, while the B550 motherboard doesn’t.
Yes. The X570 is faster than the B550. On the level ground, an X570 motherboard will almost never lose to a B550 motherboard. Maybe theyou’re models you’re comparing show something different, but in general, X570 wins over the B550.
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