Maybe you’ve got your eye on the latest set of AMD motherboard releases but you’re unsure how they compare. Placed at the high end and mid-range of the new AM4 chipset releases, analyzing the X570 and the B450 is a great way to see which motherboards are worth your time.
Like GPUs, it’s possible for different brands to offer these motherboards with additional features, so we’ve tried to keep our information to the technical basics. This means you know what to expect whether you’re getting your board from MSI, Gigabyte, or ASUS.
ASUS ROG Strix B450-F Gaming
GIGABYTE X570 AORUS Master
Let’s start with some of the basics, those being the form factor. The main form factor metric you’ll want to know is the physical dimensions of the board because you want it to actually fit into your casing, along with how many mounting points the board has since you’ll use these to anchor it.
Starting with the dimensions, the B450 motherboard is built with the standard ATX style you can expect of many modern motherboards that build on Intel’s quintessential circuit board design. This means that the board is 12 inches by 9.6 inches, or 304.80 by 243.84 millimeters to be specific. The same can be said for the X570 since it’s also fabricated with the ATX form factor.
So, what does this mean for the mounts on these motherboards? They are both mounted with four screws situated at the back of the board. Each hole on these new motherboards has a lateral length of 54 by 90 millimeters thanks to their AM4 sockets.
Both of these motherboards are AMD models but, having mentioned Intel and their standardized ATX motherboard design, it’s worth discussing these competing parts manufacturers.
While most motherboard manufacturers use Intel’s ATX design for the circuit board, these AMD boards use AMD’s own chipsets that are unlike the Pentium and LGA chipsets that Intel uses.
It’s impossible to compare the entirety of each company’s chipset catalog in a few words, but what we can say is that the motherboard you’re using is designed to work with everything else in the computer. Just like how Nvidia optimizes their GPUs and motherboards to work well with Intel’s motherboards and CPUs, respectively, if you have an AMD CPU, GPU, or both, you’re probably better off going for the AMD motherboard over any other brand.
The socket type that a motherboard uses determines a board’s pin count and their configuration, which has an effect on the operation and cooling ability of the board, and so your computer at large.
Both the B450 and the X570 motherboards operate off of the Socket AM4 microprocessor socket, which is their latest socket innovation that has been designed to be compatible with AMD’s Zen 2, Zen 3, and Excavator microarchitectures. This all means that it’s a fairly robust socket that was future-proofed at the time of release, as many elements of the Zen 2 architecture were.
Socket AM4 makes use of 1331 pin slots and can support DDR4 memory, something that the prior AMD releases were lacking.
AM4 did introduce a potential barrier in the form of their heatsink compatibility, however, where the lateral length of heat sink fastening holes changed from 48 by 96 millimeters into 54 by 90 millimeters.
This change made some heat sinks incompatible with the motherboards, so if you’re grabbing a cooler you should check to see if it comes with an AM4-compatible bracket to use. You may be able to find motherboards that have mounting holes for both AM3 and AM4 configurations that can help you get over this issue.
Along with the physical socket microprocessors used by AMD, the virtual chipset that accompanies them must be considered. Here the name of the motherboards is their chipset, so the chipset of the B450 is B450, and the same is true for the X570 board. So far, these motherboards have been fairly similar but it’s the chipsets where they differ the most.
The B450 belongs to AMD’s 400 series while the X570 is from the 500 series, so you should be able to figure out which is the technically advanced motherboard. The AMD B450 chipset is a good mid-range motherboard out of AMD’s latest motherboard offerings, making them great for those who want to have a board that can handle overclocking without supporting multiple GPUs.
The X570, on the other hand, is AMD’s most advanced overclocking platform and can support dual-graphics card configurations because of its world’s first PCIe 4.0 support, which we go into more later. This makes the X570 the clearly superior option for gamers who want performance or enthusiast levels of graphics.
A big difference between these chipsets is their compatibility, which actually leans in favor of the B450. This is because the B450 is compatible with Athlon and Ryzen 1000 series to 3000 series CPUs, and maybe 5000 depending on a BIOS update. This means it’ll play nice with your older parts. The X570 is only compatible with the Ryzen 2000 to 5000 series instead.
Now that we’ve covered some of the larger factors you should take into account, there are still other features that we can cover. Check out the small sections below for more information on the B450 and the X570 and how they compare.
Desktop motherboards don’t often have wi-fi built in to them and, when they do, it’s usually because of specific branded variants of the motherboard instead of wi-fi being built into the actual chipset of the board by AMD.
To that end, many commercial variants of the B450 motherboard don’t have wi-fi capability built into them. We have seen exceptions to this on the market, however, namely from MSI who have B450 motherboards with an 802.11AC wi-fi solution integrated. The same can generally be said for X570 boards too, with MSI and ASUS offering priced up variants that feature wi-fi capability.
Only one of these motherboards has a PCIe 4.0 port and you can probably guess which. The X570 comes with two PCIe 4.0 x16 slots into which GPUS can be placed. If you have any other PCI hardware that needs installing, there are another two PCIe 4.0 x1 slots.
The B450 instead has a PCIe 3.0 x4 port, a 3.0 x16 port for the graphics card, and then a 2.0 x16 and two 2.0 x1 slots. An M.2 slot works with the 3.0 x4 port to increase performance speeds too, and six SATA III ports are available for storage.
The memory speed is where we see the X570 win out over the B450. This is because, while they both have four memory slots, the B450 will max out at 64GB of DDR4 RAM and overclocks at 3466 MHz.
The four memory slots of the X570, however, have dual-channel DDR4 RAM functionality and so reach a maximum of 128GB. When overclocked, they achieve a memory speed of 4400 MHz.
You want to make sure the memory capacity and speed are as close to the CPU as possible so that you don’t need to wait for a response when your processor is doing its work.
ASUS ROG Strix B450-F Gaming
GIGABYTE X570 AORUS Master
Clear CMOS/Flash BIOS
The BIOS pre-installed into the motherboards, and the CMOS that contains it also needs to be considered. If this isn’t your first computer, then you’ll likely know the BIOS as the interface you’ll see upon your first boot up, and from there you can access it during the boot process by pressing the indicated F key.
While not native to each motherboard, certain retailers will sell motherboards that have clear CMOS, for flash BIOS, buttons. When fundamental updates to the BIOS software come out, you can’t just download them to a drive on your computer. The BIOS is kept in the CMOS chip which is accessed and upgraded through flashing.
Buttons make this process much more convenient since you can use a USB with the requisite files and a button to flash the BIOS instead of having to install a new motherboard part. Since both boards can have these buttons and their CMOS chips are functionally identical, there’s no real point of comparison here.
When looking at the b450 and the x570 motherboards it’s clear that they’re very similar – for instance sharing a manufacturer, and form factor. It seems the only appreciable differences between them are with the socket and chipset specs which, as the later motherboard model, the x570 wins out with.
This doesn’t mean the x570 will be the best fit for you. Though future-proofed, the x570 abandons older AMD hardware compatibility to prepare for newer models, and this can mean that the b450 will be the better purchase if you can’t or won’t upgrade other parts of your desktop.
If you’re buying a motherboard for a new PC build, you can get the x570 for a small leap in price over the b450. If you’re upgrading a motherboard, however, we’d advise that you take stock of the other components you’re working with and make sure that they’re compatible with the x570.