New AMD B550 Motherboards Are Incompatible With Earlier Ryzen CPUs

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AMD has declared its new B550 motherboard family as the observe-on successor to the B450, with new options like PCIe 4. and multi-GPU guidance, nevertheless that attribute is of questionable price these times. However, it’s an update to the B450 that delivers a a lot quicker interface — as nicely as a new wrinkle for AMD lovers.

When AMD released Ryzen in April 2017, it declared it would guidance Socket AM4 at least by 2020. Lots of lovers examine this as a guarantee that AMD would guidance the similar motherboard chipsets for the period of the AM4 socket. That big difference of interpretation has triggered some confusion about what type of guidance matrix AMD would give for Ryzen motherboards as the CPU family advanced.

With the launch of the B550, AMD is creating a crack in between present and long run CPU guidance. The following chart points out which motherboards guidance which CPUs, now and in the long run:


This chart suggests that AMD Ryzen 3000 CPUs aren’t supported on X370, but that may replicate the actuality that guidance is on a situation-by-situation basis for that platform. In any occasion, what we see right here is that there will be no guidance for long run AMD Zen 3 microprocessors on possibly the 300 or 400 sequence boards. If you want a platform that’s guaranteed to be upgradeable in the long run, you are going to have to have to shift to X570 or B550 to do it.

How considerably upgradeability will that get you? Which is unsure. We never know when DDR5 will be launched, and AMD is envisioned to use AM4 till it is. It appears very likely we’ll see at least one extra DDR4 cycle after Zen 3, and AMD has promised to continue on to retain advancements rolling in, era-on-era. So considerably, the corporation has accomplished an great position providing on those guarantees.

Did AMD Provide on the Spirit of Its Promise?

AMD may not have promised to supply chipset guidance by 2020, but plenty of people read the statement that way. So, did the corporation supply the update route it implied existed? I would argue yes.

In April 2017, a major-finish Ryzen process consisted of an X370 motherboard and an 8-main Ryzen 7 1800X CPU. Nowadays, just around three several years later on, that similar motherboard is very likely capable of stepping up to a Ryzen 9 3950X. In nicely-threaded tests, the 3950X can hit around 2x the speed of the 1800X. Even in solitary-threaded tests, the 3950X is typically 1.25x – 1.35x a lot quicker than the 1800X.

None of this automatically would make a 3950X a good update for an 1800X proprietor — if you never have any workloads that can scale up to 12-16 cores, you aren’t going to see the similar advantage as a person who does.

This is not the initial time we’ve observed a motherboard deploy with guidance for, say, dual-main CPUs, only to increase guidance for quad-main or even six-main chips as those alternatives turned offered, so I can not say that Ryzen 7 delivers a completely unparalleled update. But it’s absolutely one of the most effective overall update values that we’ve traditionally observed. Realistically, I’d be expecting an X370 process rebuilt on Ryzen 9 3950X to however be an effective performer in 4-6 several years. Desktops never age like they employed to — I’m typing this on a Main i7-4960X that’s ongoing to supply beautifully adequate general performance for gaming and desktop operate. Even if a man or woman swaps out in 2024, that’s a seven-yr lifespan for the AMD process.

Granted, it is a minor irritating to have to retain keep track of of all the diverse guidance diagrams, so make certain you know what you are getting into right before you acquire. It’s not distinct how a lot of extra product cycles we’ll see on AM4, but the relatively sluggish charge at which desktops age would make this considerably fewer of an concern than it employed to be.

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