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AMD B550 chipset missing PCIe Gen 4 & Ryzen 3500X specs detailed

AMD fans have reason to be cheerful this week, with news of its highly anticipated B550 Chipset specs being detailed online. This could give users a more budget-friendly incentive to upgrade to the new Zen 2, Ryzen 3000 platform.

Hong Kong media HKEPC dropped the leaked specifications for the B550 chipset in a recent post. In a nutshell, the B550 chipset specification is very similar to that of the current X470, meaning PCIe Gen 4 has been dropped in B550 and instead AMD is opting for Gen 3. This comes as no surprise as these types of features are usually only available on high-end chipset offerings, which come with a premium price.

With the B550 expected to be the budget successor to the popular B350 and B450 motherboards, we expect them to be less feature-packed than the current X570 lineup, and therefore should be a more affordable way for users to migrate over to the new Zen 2 Ryzen 3000 platform.

Compared with the high-end X570 boards, the B550 will offer fewer USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gb/s) connectivity ports. Since the B550 does not support PCIe Gen 4 it will be linked to the Ryzen 3000 CPU via four PCIe 3.0 lanes instead of four PCIe 4.0 lanes like X570, meaning bandwidth will be significantly lower. However, PCIe Gen 4 support should still be available to B550 users via the CPU, so B550 boards could feature a PCIe 4.0 X16 Slot and a PCIe 4.0 M.2 interface to connect high-speed PCIe 4.0 SSD drives.

However, the B550 is likely to offer more PCIe 2.0 lanes over the previous generation B350 and B450 chipsets, with the B550 chipset offering a total of eight, while B350 and B450 only have six. According to HKEPC, the B550 chipset will be equipped with two USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gb/s) and six USB 2.0 ports. In terms of storage, the B550 chipset will provide up to eight SATA III ports, only four fewer than the high-end X570 but still offer more capacity compared to the previous B350 and B450 chipset equipped motherboards.

We are unsure in terms of release. However, a recent posting for a German retailer suggested pre-built desktops that feature AMD’s B550 motherboards could ship as early as next month, with DigiTimes saying motherboard manufacturers are expecting to receive their B550 orders in the fourth quarter.

With Ryzen 3500 and 3500X support being spotted on AMD's partner websites this week too, we could see a timely release of both the new budget Zen 2 CPUs, which would be the ideal candidate to run on the B550 chipset with lower-priced motherboards coming at a similar time.

AMD's 3500X is believed to be packing six cores with a base frequency of 3.6 GHz, including  3 MB L2 cache, 32 MB L3 cache and a 65W TDP, as seen in a BIOS update for the MSI X570 Godlike motherboard. The six-core Ryzen 3500 will have a slightly lower base frequency of 3.4GHz, according to listings on Amazon.

KitGuru says: Have you been looking to migrate to an AMD Ryzen 3000 system but found the X570 motherboard cost putting you off? Well, this could be good news, offering a cost-effective solution.

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