AMD’s previous B350 and B450 motherboards gave savvy PC gamers and enthusiast a more cost-effective way to migrate to the AM4 platform compared to X370 and X470 with the first two generations of Ryzen processors. Since Ryzen 3000 launched in the middle of 2019, very little has been officially revealed about the specification of a potential budget B550 platform.
Even though the B550A platform has been available to OEM system builders for some time, there is still quite a bit of mystery surrounding retail B550 motherboards and just what spec they will arrive in when they become available to consumers. B550A officially supports the Latest 3rd generation AMD Ryzen processors and to reduce cost, some of the new specifications that arrived with Ryzen 3000 are missing from the B550A OEM motherboards.
The most noticeable omission in B550A motherboards is PCIe gen 4 support. All B550A motherboards are supposed to feature PCIe 3.0 and obviously the lower bandwidth that it provides. However, a recently leaked document on Twitter, found by Komachi Ensaka from an ASRock motherboard tells us a different story.
— 比屋定さんの戯れ言@Komachi (@KOMACHI_ENSAKA) February 13, 2020
It is a little uncertain whether this B550AM Gaming motherboard is an OEM system builder only B550A motherboard or a new mainstream B550 motherboard that would be a welcome addition for retail customers. One thing that isn’t uncertain is that the leaked user manual for this ASRock B550AM Gaming motherboard clearly states PCIe 4.0 support in the specifications for ASRock Hyper M.2 (PCIe Gen4x4) and shows a PCIe 4.0 x16 expansion slot for AMD Ryzen Matisse, Summit Ridge and Pinnacle Ridge processors.
As well as posting the B550AM Gaming user manual on Twitter, Komachi Ensaka also posted an image of the motherboard in question. Since AMD’s Robert Hallock officially confirmed on Reddit back in October 2019 that B550A motherboards will not feature PCIe 4.0, it is likely that this ASRock B550AM Gaming motherboard could be one of the first B550 motherboards available for consumers and the fact that PCIe 4.0 is present, will make potential customers very happy.
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KitGuru says: Although PCIe 4.0 support in the cost-effective B550 platform will be welcomed by many, early adopters to the X570 platform may feel a little hard done by if the cheaper platform does support the premium features of the more expensive X570 motherboards. What do you guys think?