Recently AMD announced and launched their new AM5 architecture Ryzen 7000 series processors. In addition to architectural improvements, the AM5 socket has shifted from PGA (Pin Grid Array) to LGA (Land Grid Array). Therefore, the older X570 and B550 motherboards don’t support the 7000 series processors. Previously, we did a guide on X570 Vs B550 motherboards. Today, we will focus on X670 Vs B650 motherboards.
- The X670 chipset takes the crown, similar to the X570 chipset.
- AM5 might be the key to making AMD the top dog in the CPU market.
- While the B650 chipset is more affordable, most motherboards cost more than the processors.
- Some of the latest features in the X670 Vs B650 motherboards are mere gimmicks and hold no actual performance value.
However, before we look into the similarities and differences between both motherboard chipsets, let’s first talk about the AM5 chipset. If you don’t know, many things have changed with AM5, some good, some not-so-good. Seeing that, the motherboard features have taken a hit too.
Before we talk about the different motherboards, it’s crucial to know the main features of the new AM5 platform. AMD, over the years, has improved its architecture, especially since it released its Zen core platform in 2016. Similarly, AMD stayed on the same AM4 chipset for five years with the Zen platform.
Now, with the latest Zen 4 platform in Ryzen 7000 series processors, AMD has shifted to a newer AM5 chipset. Therefore, let’s look at the features of AM5 and how it differs from AM4. We also have a detailed guide on AM4 vs AM5 if you want to check it out.
While AMD always uses PGA (Pin Grade Array) sockets and Intel, LGA (Land Grid Array) sockets, things are changing. Additionally, with the AM5 socket, AMD has shifted to an LGA socket, providing them with higher wattage output.
To explain, a PGA socket has pins on the processor itself. On the other hand, the pins are on the motherboard for LGA sockets. By comparison, there aren’t a lot of differences between both sockets. However, PGA socket processors are more likely to break because of the sensitive pins on the processor bending during shipping.
In brief, as you can see from the picture, there is a major difference between LGA and PGA sockets. Also, because LGA pins are smaller, manufacturers can fit more pins in a shorter space.
DDR5 Memory Support
Unlike Intel, AMD’s latest platform only supports DDR5 RAM. While we can’t state whether it’s a good move or not, backward compatibility is never a bad idea. In a similar fashion, depending on the motherboard you’re choosing, you can get better DDR5 memory support.
To clarify, without DDR4 support, the AM5 platform is banking on DDR5’s amazing speeds, which are crucial for Ryzen processors. Although, by adopting AM5, cost-cutting won’t be an option for first-time upgraders. As DDR4 RAM won’t work, and DDR5 RAM isn’t the cheapest in the market. So, if you have a limited budget, we don’t recommend looking at AM5 right now.
RDNA 2 Graphics
If you recall, not all AMD processors come with an integrated graphics card (iGPU). On the other hand, all Intel processors have an iGPU except for the “F” suffix processors. As a result of the non-stop competition, AMD announced its revolutionary RDNA graphics in 2019. But, even before that, the PlayStation and Xbox consoles have used AMD graphics technology.
Although, with early Ryzen until the 5000 series, only processors with the “G” suffix had an iGPU. In contrast, with AM5, every processor has an RDNA 2 iGPU, improving the processor’s value by leaps and bounds. Furthermore, we already know AMD’s iGPUs are far better than Intel’s. So, you can enjoy gaming if you don’t buy a dedicated graphics card and only upgrade to the newer platform.
PCIe Lane Improvements
With Intel’s 12th gen Alder Lake processors, we saw a quick adoption of DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 lanes. So, to keep their competitors in check, AMD’s AM5 platform supports PCIe 5.0 lanes too. Also, depending on the motherboard, the number of lanes you get will vary. But it’s important to remember that faster PCIe lanes don’t necessarily mean better performance.
Sabrent USA Official explains in detail the advantages and disadvantages of PCIe 5.0. While AMD and Intel processors support the latest PCIe technology, in terms of graphics cards, don’t expect performance improvement.
Even so, as Sabrent explains, PCIe 5.0 SSDs should be more beneficial for everyday consumers. At any rate, faster data transfer speeds mean less time wasted and more work done.
CPU Cooler Compatibility
Although AM5 has many compatibility issues, cooler compatibilities aren’t one of them. Because of the new socket, initial beliefs pertained that AM4 coolers would not be supported on AM5. However, AMD has changed the AM5 design to accommodate older coolers.
But these design changes aren’t all too amazing. By all means, it’s great that we can use older coolers, but stock temperatures stay at 90-95C. While AMD insists these temperatures aren’t harmful to the processors, and there aren’t any performance dips, it should be fine. On the other hand, consumers aren’t generally looking for furnaces in their builds.
Of course, there is a way to fix these temperatures, but it requires a lot of physical modifications. For example, de-lidding and Direct Die Cooling (DDC) are two ways we can reduce temperatures in AM5 processors.
In the following video by der8auer EN, we can see how de-lidding the Ryzen 9 7900X reduces its temperatures drastically.
Lastly, this concludes most of the features that come with the AM5 platform. Now, let’s discuss the X670 and B650 motherboards and look into their differences and key features.
Also Read: AM5 Socket – Everything We Know
X670 Vs B650 Motherboards
Looking at both motherboard chipsets, we realize they follow the older X570 Vs B550 motherboard mindset. While the X670 is the better chipset, the B650 likely offers better pricing. Meanwhile, we expect the X670 to bid a few extra features than its competitor. For that reason, let’s take a closer look at what users get with both motherboard chipsets.
PCIe 5.0 For GPUs And SSDs
Although we discussed PCIe Lane improvements above, let’s delve into these improvements in more detail. For example, the number of PCIe 5.0 lanes offered by the X670 Vs B650 motherboards. Also, the number of lanes dedicated to graphics cards and storage. While PCIe 5.0 isn’t extremely useful for graphics cards, it can be a game changer for storage devices.
Firstly, you can find an x16 or x4 PCIe 5.0 slot in a cheaper X670 motherboard. Additionally, with AM5, we see a total of 28 lanes instead of the previous 24. So, that’s an increase of 4 lanes off the bat, providing for more efficiency. Couple the extra lanes with the PCIe 5.0 speeds of 4.0Gb/s/lane, and we notice faster speeds.
For example, the Gigabyte Aorus X670 offers 1* PCIe 5.0 x4 M.2 and 3* PCIe 4.0 M.2 ports. Then again, the Aorus Elite X670 motherboard is one of the cheaper X670 chipset options.
On the other hand, if we look at a B650 motherboard, higher-end B650s are likely to have PCIe 5.0 lanes. Otherwise, entry-level B650 motherboards will likely not house any PCIe 5.0 lanes.
For instance, if we look at the MSI B650-P motherboard, we don’t get to see any PCIe 5.0 lanes. Mainly that’s because PCIe 5.0 lanes are a feature for B650E motherboards. However, the MSI B650-P does have 28 PCIe Gen 4.0 lanes, which should be plenty for massive data transfers.
When talking about motherboards, overclocking capabilities are one of the most important aspects consumers look into before purchasing. To clarify, overclocking a processor, graphics card, and RAM requires a stable voltage supply. As a result, all the voltage flows from the power supply through the motherboard to the components. Therefore, a motherboard that can properly handle voltage transfer is important for overclockers.
Moreover, as we have seen through the X570 and B550 motherboards, the X-series chipset has better overclocking capabilities. Although, higher-end B550 motherboards can compete on the same level as entry-level to mid-range X570 motherboards.
Similarly, looking at the X670 and B650 motherboards, we realize that the X670 motherboards have better overclocking capabilities. Also, it’s important to note that both motherboard chipsets offer and allow overclocking. However, with the temperatures of the Ryzen 7000 series processors, overclocking doesn’t seem like an option for now. It will be wise to learn about the ideal CPU temperature while gaming to stay on the safe side. Overclocking can also damage the GPU, so make sure to keep this in mind as well.
Additionally, a motherboard has better overclocking capabilities through its MOSFETS and VRMs. In like fashion, these two components within a motherboard regulate and transfer voltage to all other components within a computer. So, a motherboard with thicker VRMs and more MOSFETS probably overclocks better.
Because the X670 chipset is more expensive, we expect them to have better-quality VRMs. On the other hand, the B650 chipset is a curve ball for consumers. Entry-level B650 chipsets are great for their price, but mid-range options barely match with entry-level X670 motherboards. In conclusion, while the X670 chipset overclocks better, depending on the B650 motherboard you buy, you might get better results.
AMD EXPO Technology
Although AMD’s latest EXPO technology isn’t much of a difference but rather a feature, it’s one we should discuss. In summary, with the Zen 4 release, AMD has launched a new technology named “EXPO Technology.” In essence, EXPO is an upgrade of the Smart Access Memory (SAM) technology introduced by AMD with Zen 3.
That is to say; SAM allows users to overclock their AMD GPUs and processors in one click. Similarly, EXPO allows users to overclock and fine-tune their RAM sticks in one click. However, because the technology is still fairly new, there are a few ups and downs.
For example, after you enable EXPO, your computer will shut down and optimize the RAM timings to the tightest possible. While that sounds amazing, the process can potentially make you skip a few beats. Because after every optimization, the PC will restart, and you won’t see any display until around ten consecutive cycles. But, after the optimizations are complete and the PC shows display, you won’t have to go through the process again. Unless, of course, you change the RAM settings again.
Subsequently, both the X670 Vs B650 motherboards offer EXPO technology without any problems. Also, there are no changes within the technology through both chipsets. Therefore, EXPO technology is more of a feature than a difference. Although one can argue that X670 motherboards are compatible with faster and more diverse RAM, we digress.
Usually, when comparing motherboard chipsets, we see a diverse number of USB ports. Similarly, we see an identical depiction in the two motherboards, where the X670 has more USB ports.
Additionally, the X670 motherboards have more USB 4.0 and USB 3.2 ports than the B650 motherboards. Consumers are also more likely to find 2.5 Gigabit LAN connections on X670 motherboards. To that end, these differences exist as a form of cost-cutting for the more affordable B650 motherboards.
However, the more expensive B650 motherboards will likely have USB 4.0 ports and fast LAN connections. For example, the MSI B650 PRO, costing $220, offers 2x USB 4.0 ports and a 2.5 Gigabit LAN connection.
In comparison, even affordable X670 motherboards, such as the Aorus Elite X670, offers USB 4.0 ports. But it’s important to note that faster USB ports are useless if your peripherals don’t support the technology.
By and large, consumers buy products based on their pricing more often than not. Therefore, looking at the pricing of different X670 and B650 motherboards is crucial. As we stated above, most X670 motherboards cost more than B650 motherboards. But, prices start to overlap for higher-end B650 chipset motherboards and entry-level X670 pieces.
Firstly, looking at entry-level X670 motherboards, the cheapest X670 motherboards cost around ~$250-$350. Meanwhile, the higher-end X670 motherboards in the X670E chipset cost over $1000. Of course, with the X670E chipset, consumers gain many features and amazing overclocking support.
Secondly, looking at entry-level B650 motherboards, the cheapest B650 motherboard, the MSI B650 PRO, costs ~$220. Also, a cheaper variant, the MSI B650M-A, costs ~$190. Although, that particular variant is for mATX cases.
Furthermore, looking at the more expensive B650 motherboards, we have the MSI MPG B650 Carbon WiFi at ~$330. In contrast, even the most expensive B650 motherboard costs less than the affordable X670 options. But, not all of these B650 motherboards offer the same compatibilities and optimizations as the X670 motherboards.
X670 Vs B650 Motherboards Conclusion
In summary, while B650 motherboards might have better pricing in the lower-end range, the story changes in the higher-end market. So, if you’re planning to buy a high-end B650 motherboard, you might be better off buying an entry-level X670 variant.
Not only will you get all of the features of the B650 variant, but you will save some money too. Overall, if we look at the prices, both chipsets are extremely costly, even costlier than the processors they support. Therefore, AMD plans to release a B650 chipset later to save on costs. However, you can potentially forget PCIe Gen 5.0 and USB 4.0 ports on those motherboards.
Ryzen 7000 Series Key Points
After looking through a few motherboards suited for the Ryzen 7000 series, let’s talk about Zen 4. There are a few unique points with the Ryzen 7000 series and a few problematic features. Also, with Intel’s 13th gen processors around the corner, it will pave the way for future comparisons.
If we look at the past, since the advent of the first Ryzen processors, we have seen a steady uplift in clock speeds. For example, Zen 1 processors had a max clock speed of 4.1 GHz, Zen+, 4.3 GHz, and a 200 MHz increase. Similarly, Zen 2 supported a max clock speed of 4.7 GHz, a 400 MHz increase. Furthermore, Zen 3 goes up to 4.9 GHz, another 200 MHz uplift. On the other hand, Zen 4 breaks the roof with a max clock speed of 5.7 GHz!
In comparison, while previous generation processors offer a 5-7% clock speed increase, Zen 4 offers up to 16% greater frequencies! Moreover, similar prices with a slight increment make us see more performance per dollar than ever.
Now, how will greater clock speeds benefit a consumer? Besides gaming, processors are crucial for programming tasks too. What’s more, a faster clock speed ensures a faster data transfer cycle. So, users will find greater FPS in games and faster productive scores.
Additionally, Zen 4 houses the fastest clock speeds in the market. However, the above claims might be broken again with Intel’s Raptor Lake right around the corner. Therefore, while the Ryzen 7000 series processors are extremely fast if you’re planning to buy one, we recommend waiting for Intel 13th gen to release.
Zen 4 has improved its Instructions Per Second (IPC) alongside its faster clock speeds. Seeing up to a 13% increment in IPC can mean up to ~15% and above performance increase.
Because Ryzen processors love faster RAM and fast IPC, we can accredit the IPC improvements for the overall performance uplift. On the contrary, calculating IPC is difficult due to its various discrepancies. Even so, in their keynote, AMD is seen to compare the IPC scores on a total of 22 varying workloads.
To that end, we see a 39% uplift in the wPrime test and a measly 1% uplift in CPU-Z. So, the IPC improvements will vary depending on the tasks you want to perform. Of course, games are affected by IPC too, so if you’re looking for gaming, you might be in luck.
Lastly, while AMD’s multi-threaded IPC improvements are usually better than Intel’s, their single-threaded performance is sub-par. For that reason, if you’re looking to buy Ryzen 7000 series processors, we recommend waiting for Intel’s 13th gen release. By all means, buy Zen 4 for productive tasks, but wait it out if your main use is related to gaming.
Although AMD is famous for its low wattage requirements, AM5 has upped the game with its increased power consumption. For example, Zen 3 processors have a TDP of 105W, while Zen 4 processors have a base TDP of 170W.
However, because AMD does not use the term “TDP” to define its power consumption, we shall look at “PPT.” To clarify, TDP is the power coming directly from the CPU. On the other hand, PPT is the power measurement that comes from the CPU socket rather than the CPU itself. So, if you set the wattage to 60W TDP, your CPU will get all 60 watts. But, if you set the wattage to 75W PPT, your CPU might get around 60 watts.
That is to say, the 170W TDP requirement for AMD is around 230W PPT. The increased wattage allows AMD to push its processors more to get better performance at the same price. On the negative side, higher power requirements mean getting a beefier power supply and a better CPU cooler.
In conclusion, it looks like AMD is starting to use the same tactics as Intel to get more performance. While Intel increased its wattage requirements drastically for its 12th gen CPUs, AMD did the same for Zen 4.
Even though we discussed the abnormal temperatures experienced with high-end Ryzen 7000 series processors before, let’s look at the problem in detail. Firstly, AMD claims going up to 95C is perfectly fine and does not affect the processor negatively. However, constantly pushing a processor’s thermal limits to the edge will wear it out earlier than its expected life.
Secondly, we’re experiencing that the processor is not thermal throttling even through high temperatures. So consumers are not losing any performance the processor should provide.
Thirdly, no matter how much you cool the processor, until a certain point, the temperatures will keep rising to 90-95C. Of course, the temperatures will drop once you reach the maximum performance threshold. Although, the amount of cooling required to reach that state is a problem in itself. JayzTwoCents, a popular computer hardware enthusiast, looked at the temperature issue by conducting various benchmarks.
If you watch the video, you’ll quickly realize that using a liquid cooler barely improves the temperatures. That is to say, Jay has conducted these tests in an open-air testbench. Therefore, cooling might be better in a chassis with inflow and outflow fans on either side.
Lastly, if you’re planning to buy a Ryzen 7000 series processor, you will need to keep the temperatures in mind. While they might not affect the processor in the short term, we can’t say what will happen later.
Who Is This Article For?
The X670 Vs B650 motherboards article is for consumers considering adopting AMD’s latest Zen 4 architecture. For that reason, we have broken this article down into three parts.
Firstly, we discussed what AM5 is and its features. In essence, we talked about the differences between PGA and LGA sockets. Furthermore, we looked into DDR5 memory support, PCIe 5.0 support, RDNA 2 graphics, and CPU cooler compatibilities.
Secondly, we observed both motherboards in terms of pricing, USB ports, PCIe 5.0 lanes, and overclocking capabilities. Moreover, we analyzed AMD’s latest EXPO technology.
Lastly, we looked into some of the key points of the Ryzen 7000 series processors. For example, the clock speeds of Zen 4, IPC improvements, power consumption, and temperatures were discussed.
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