New AMD B550 Motherboards Are Incompatible With Earlier Ryzen CPUs

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AMD has announced its new B550 motherboard spouse and children as the adhere to-on successor to the B450, with new options like PCIe 4. and multi-GPU assistance, while that characteristic is of questionable worth these times. Still, it is an update to the B450 that provides a quicker interface — as well as a new wrinkle for AMD followers.

When AMD released Ryzen in April 2017, it declared it would assistance Socket AM4 at least by means of 2020. A lot of followers read this as a guarantee that AMD would assistance the very same motherboard chipsets for the period of the AM4 socket. That variance of interpretation has prompted some confusion about what sort of assistance matrix AMD would offer you for Ryzen motherboards as the CPU spouse and children advanced.

With the launch of the B550, AMD is building a split concerning existing and foreseeable future CPU assistance. The next chart describes which motherboards assistance which CPUs, now and in the foreseeable future:


This chart suggests that AMD Ryzen 3000 CPUs aren’t supported on X370, but that could replicate the reality that assistance is on a scenario-by-scenario foundation for that system. In any function, what we see listed here is that there will be no assistance for foreseeable future AMD Zen 3 microprocessors on possibly the 300 or 400 collection boards. If you want a system that is assured to be upgradeable in the foreseeable future, you will need to have to go to X570 or B550 to do it.

How significantly upgradeability will that get you? That is unsure. We really do not know when DDR5 will be released, and AMD is envisioned to use AM4 right up until it is. It would seem likely we’ll see at least a person more DDR4 cycle following Zen 3, and AMD has promised to continue to continue to keep enhancements rolling in, era-on-era. So far, the enterprise has done an superb task delivering on those people claims.

Did AMD Deliver on the Spirit of Its Assure?

AMD could not have promised to deliver chipset assistance by means of 2020, but a great deal of folks listened to the statement that way. So, did the enterprise deliver the enhance route it implied existed? I would argue yes.

In April 2017, a prime-conclude Ryzen process consisted of an X370 motherboard and an eight-main Ryzen 7 1800X CPU. Today, just above 3 decades afterwards, that very same motherboard is likely able of stepping up to a Ryzen 9 3950X. In well-threaded assessments, the 3950X can strike above 2x the pace of the 1800X. Even in one-threaded assessments, the 3950X is frequently 1.25x – 1.35x quicker than the 1800X.

None of this instantly helps make a 3950X a wonderful enhance for an 1800X proprietor — if you really do not have any workloads that can scale up to 12-16 cores, you aren’t going to see the very same benefit as someone who does.

This is not the initial time we’ve witnessed a motherboard deploy with assistance for, say, twin-main CPUs, only to increase assistance for quad-main or even 6-main chips as those people remedies became available, so I cannot say that Ryzen 7 provides a totally unprecedented enhance. But it is definitely a person of the greatest total enhance values that we’ve historically witnessed. Realistically, I’d hope an X370 process rebuilt on Ryzen 9 3950X to still be an productive performer in 4-6 decades. Desktops really do not age like they utilized to — I’m typing this on a Main i7-4960X that is continued to deliver flawlessly suitable functionality for gaming and desktop work. Even if a individual swaps out in 2024, that is a seven-12 months lifespan for the AMD process.

Granted, it is a minimal irritating to have to continue to keep keep track of of all the diverse assistance diagrams, so make certain you know what you are receiving into before you acquire. It’s not obvious how numerous more product or service cycles we’ll see on AM4, but the reasonably gradual rate at which desktops age helps make this significantly much less of an situation than it utilized to be.

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