The B450 and X470 motherboards are, to be honest, increasingly out of date thanks to next generation AMD products – especially the X570 and newer B550 chipset offerings. Will B450 and X470 motherboards with a whole host of exciting new hardware still have a place in today’s mainstream consumer market? This is one of the biggest questions about outdated hardware and one that has been answered recently.
Since AMD has basically confirmed that Zen 3 will be available for B450 and X470, the relatively short-lived debate has been put on hold for the time being. With this new information, we thought it was now a good time to take a closer look at some of the key differences between the B450 and X470 motherboards.
While both use the AM4 jack, there are some subtle differences that can actually affect your buying decision.
So let’s not waste any more time and dive right in!
What is a B450 / X470?
The B450 and X470 motherboard chipsets belong to the AM4 socket family. They are AMD’s mid-range motherboard options for people who want to build more budget-oriented PCs – mainly for general purposes and gaming purposes.
Although both the B450 and X470 boards are now being replaced by newer iterations, there is still a large market for the cheaper (but perfectly acceptable) 400 series motherboard chipsets. I mean, unless you’re planning on using PCIe Gen 4.0. There’s really no reason why you shouldn’t get a B450 / X470 over the latest 500 series cards.
At this point, many could point to the fact that AMD is in the process of launching its latest Ryzen Zen 3 processor line, which at first glance will not be compatible with 400 (and older) series motherboards. Thanks to a statement released not long ago by AMD, this is no longer the case. B450 and X470 manufacturers receive the appropriate code for BIOS updates that make 400 series motherboards compatible with 4000 series CPUs.
Although the 400 series boards, with their newfound support, are not the most efficient choice for the latest CPUs, there is no reason why you wouldn’t choose one for your next CPU upgrade.
B450 Vs X470: A quick comparison
One of the big questions we are asked here is: “Which chipset is best suited for my CPU of the 3000 series?”. Given recent developments to support the 4000 series, we thought it was a good time to examine some of the fundamental differences that separate the X470 from the B450 chipsets. Although the differences are fairly limited, there are still some advantages in the corner of the X470 that could affect your next purchase decision.
Let’s get the basics out of the way beforehand:
B450 vs. X470
|Processor support||Zen 2 (including BIOS updates for Zen 3)||Zen 2 (including BIOS updates for Zen 3)|
|PCIe lanes for chipsets||PCIe 3.0 x4||PCIe 3.0 x4|
|Usable PCIe Gen 4||0||0|
|Usable PCIe Gen 3||0||0|
|Usable PCIe Gen2||8th||6|
|SATA III (6 Gbit / s)||4th||2nd|
|SATA Express||2x (or 4x SATA)
(or x4 NVMe Gen 3)
|2x (or 4x SATA)
(or x4 NVMe Gen 3)
|USB 10 Gbit / s||2nd||2nd|
|USB 5 Gbit / s||6||2nd|
|USB 480 Mbit / s||6||6|
So you can see right away that the two chipsets are quite similar in technical design. Both offer the same processor support, PCIe lane support for chipsets and SATA Express access. Although there are few differences, there are a few different factors that can affect performance.
First, let’s discuss the PCIe Gen 2.0 lanes that can be used. For those of you who don’t know, PCIe lanes, for lack of a better expression, are the connections that connect expansion devices (such as GPUs, sound cards, SSDs, HDDs, etc.) to your motherboard. Each track consists of two pairs of wires, one for sending data and one for receiving. Each PCIe slot is divided into tracks that range from 1, 4, 8, and 16.
So if you look at the table, you can clearly see that the X470 chipset has the advantage when it comes to available PCIe Gen 2.0 lanes. Although the difference is only two (with B450 with six lanes available), it is still sufficient to allow motherboard manufacturers to equip the X470 with more available expansion slots over B450.
SLI / Crossfire support
SLI (Scalable Link Interface) and Crossfire are brand names for the multi-GPU technology from Nvidia and AMD. The technology enables two or more GPUs to be connected at the same time and functions as a single, more powerful GPU than the individual parts. One of the big pluses of the X470 was the SLI / Crossfire compatibility. It was a feature that B450 motherboards could not boast of. However, the dual-GPU train seems to have left the station in recent years, and the youngest PC makers and enthusiasts have stayed away from it.
While it’s still a feature that X470 motherboards have over the B450, it is ultimately nowhere near as useful as it used to be.
SATA III availability
Next we have the availability of SATA III. This is another area where X470 motherboards win. As you can see from the table above, only two SATA III are available on B450 motherboards. In contrast, the X470 has twice as much as four, which means that it supports faster SATA interfaces.
In principle, an X470 for users who still use SATA SSDs, HDDs or optical drives can host two additional 6 Gbit / s SATA connections via the B450. I think this might actually be useful for some people, but for the most part it seems a little banal.
Finally, we have the price. As with most hardware components, price plays an important role in the differences between X470 and B450 motherboards. As you can probably imagine, X470 motherboards have a higher price. Why? For the reasons mentioned above. They have more accessible PCIe lanes, more SATA III options and can support dual GPU setups.
The only question you really need to ask yourself is: Do I really need any of it?
B450 Vs X470, which one should you buy?
So this leads us well into the section “Which should you buy?” In this manual. If you asked me this question some time ago, I would find the answer much more difficult, especially at the time when the B450 and X470 motherboards first came on the market. They have been here for a while now, my opinion has changed considerably.
Ultimately, it depends on whether you buy an X47
0 or a B450 – do you really need the additional extras that X470 motherboards offer? And for me the answer is mostly no.
If you want to build your PC around a B450 / X470 motherboard, you’re probably looking for a mid-range PC that costs (at most) about $ 1,000. At $ 1,000, the additional features of the X470 motherboard come into play. I’m pretty sure that most people don’t use dual GPUs or multiple SSDs that need SATA III speeds in this price range. Save yourself a few dollars, buy an equally powerful B450 motherboard, and spend the extra money on a slightly better GPU or a more spacious SSD.
For me, the B450 gets my money almost every time.
So there you have it, our quick comparison between X470 and B450 motherboards. We hope this answered some of the questions you may have about the differences between these two chipsets. However, if you still have questions that need to be answered, you can send us a comment in the section below. We will get back to you as soon as possible. Even better, you can now go to our community hub, where you can discuss PC and gaming issues with like-minded people.