As a PC gamer, you probably already know that one of the most fundamental components of your PC build will be the motherboard.
Unfortunately, the motherboard is too often overlooked when it comes to PC builds, with more focus being directed towards GPUs and CPUs.
However, the motherboard is responsible for enabling interaction between essential components of the PC, including the CPU and RAM. Seamless and effective communication between all components is key to a positive gaming experience.
In this article, we’ll be focusing specifically on X470 and X570 motherboards. The X470 chipset was developed by AMD in 2018 as a follow-up to the X370. The X570 chipset is the more recent model, having been released in 2019. X470 and X570 boards are manufactured by several established brands such as MSI, ASUS, and Gigabyte.
The X570 is considered to be an upgrade from the X470 because of its more advanced specifications (more on this later). In the PC gaming world, with new technologies being developed constantly, there is definitely a certain pressure to upgrade your build with each new release.
However, it’s worth breaking down the individual factors and components of each board to reach an informed perspective on the observable differences in terms of playability.
This article will compare the features of each motherboard type, and consider what implications these features have for overall gaming performance. Hopefully, this will help you to decide which board best fits your current and long-term gaming priorities.
It’s important to note that the specifications of X470 vs X570 motherboards can vary according to different manufacturers. Where things do tend to remain relatively consistent between models is in the PCIe and USB support, as this table indicates:
Dual ethernet with 1 x 2.5GbE
Triple PCI-Express 4.0 M.2 slots with heatsinks
Plethora of features including Wi-Fi
Steel back plate adds quite a bit of weight
High end AMD builds
Brilliant price to performance figures
Fins-Array Heatsink & Direct Touch Heatpipe for increased heat dissipation
Very attractive aesthetically, especially when RGB is running
A very expensive board
In addition to PCIe, there are several other aspects of X470 and X570 motherboards that can be compared on a broader level. Let’s get into some of these features now.
When it comes to motherboard construction and performance, there are a few key features that have the potential to impact gameplay.
These are CPU compatibility, PCIe support, RAM speed, VRM, and internet (WiFi and ethernet) connectivity. In this section, we’ll run through how each feature differs between X470 and X570 boards.
Your motherboard will determine what CPU you can incorporate into your system.
Both X470 and X570 boards support the AM4 CPU socket. However, that does not mean they are equally compatible. With X570 being a more modern chipset, you can expect more future-proofing support and updates when compared with an X470.
X570 supports Ryzen 3000 out of the box. This is not the case for all X470 chipsets, where a BIOS update may be required, which can be a daunting task for those that prefer a plug-and-play experience and comes with its own risks.
For the latest generation Ryzen series (Ryzen 5000), X470 does not currently have any support, although this is likely to change next year. The X570 does have support for Ryzen 5000 but would require a BIOS update and would not run out of the box.
A PCIe (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express) slot is a type of hardware bus that allows for additional components to be connected to a motherboard using an extension card. These components include graphics cards and other essential gaming technologies.
X570 motherboards support PCIe-4.0 for the M2 storage, which would mean a faster overall system if booted from a PCIe 4 M2. This is because PCIe 4 enables a faster data transfer rate. Additionally, games stored on a PCIe 4 M2 will potentially have faster game loading times than other SSDs or previous-generation M2 drives.
X470 motherboards, however, generally only support PCIe-2.0. This generation of PCIe is still able to hold its own in the gaming world, providing a very playable experience, but it yields a much slower transfer rate and is starting to show its age.
It should be noted, though, that the overall impact on game performance is likely to be fairly minimal because the PCIe 4 is, for the most part, underutilized by current gaming software.
The X570 chipset also has an advantage over the X470 in terms of USB support. X570 boards support the use of newer, high-speed USB Generation 3.2 ports. This allows users to connect newer and more powerful peripheral devices and achieve faster upload and download speeds.
Another factor related to PCIe is SATA, which is a motherboard bus interface that uses both data and power cables to allow the motherboard to communicate with the rest of the PC system.
In short, more SATA ports on a motherboard means a greater capacity for fast data transfer. However, it’s difficult to make a judgment on SATA between X470 and X570 boards because SATA port numbers are quite variable from manufacturer to manufacturer.
The bottom line is, an X570 motherboard is less likely to bottleneck current and future hardware like GPUs. So if you want to get the most out of your new RTX 3000 or RX 6000 serious gaming graphics card, then PCIe-4 is the way to go.
RAM speeds can have a real-world impact on gaming performance, specifically when using Ryzen processors.
Both X470 and X570 motherboards support high-speed RAM. However, X570 certainly has a lot more headroom. X570s are able to reach speeds of 4800 MHz. Meanwhile, X470 motherboards support a maximum of 3600 MHz.
As a rule, RAM speeds over 3000 MHz are sufficient for most gamers’ needs. Therefore, both the X470 and X570 provide RAM speeds fast enough for the majority of PC gamers.
The increased speed available with the X570 chipset may yield an increase in frames per second during gameplay, but this is unlikely to result in any substantial, observable difference compared to upgrading your CPU or GPU directly.
Nonetheless, the X570 has the edge and is likely to be the more future-proof of the two, as game developers start to better utilize the current and forthcoming massive improvements in hardware.
VRM is, technically speaking, quite a complex motherboard component. Actually, it’s not strictly a component in itself so much as a collection of components.
The VRM of a motherboard is the combined result of the functioning of three separate components: the chokes, capacitors, and MOSFETs (Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor).
We don’t need to go into too much detail regarding these components, other than to note that the MOSFET is primarily responsible for interacting with the CPU and maintaining the optimal voltage for your system.
VRMs don’t really impact gaming performance itself, but they can have an effect on how your system responds to the heavier voltage loads often sought after by gamers.
As a general rule, X570 motherboards have better VRMs than X470 models. VRM stands for Voltage Regulator Module. The function of a VRM is, as its name suggests, to regulate the voltage from the power supply as it enters the CPU.
Better and beefier VRMs allow your motherboard to run cooler when working under heavy loads. This is especially beneficial when overclocking (manually increasing CPU clocking speed by increasing voltage input for better performance) because it means that you will be able to reach a higher limit of performance before your system overheats.
So again, when it comes to getting the absolute most out of your PC components, the X570 leads considerably.
WiFi And Ethernet Connectivity
Increasingly, motherboards are being manufactured to provide better WiFi and ethernet connectivity. This is a particularly appealing feature for online gamers.
Again, specifics may vary by manufacturer, but X570 motherboards tend to provide more overall support for current WiFi standards and faster ethernet speeds.
For example, MSI X570 boards such as MEG X570 Godlike and the Presitge X570 Creation support WiFi 6 and 10GbE ethernet, which allow for improved bandwidth with a faster and more stable connection.
The only downside is that X570 boards with built-in faster WiFi and ethernet support are usually considerably more expensive than your average X570 (see Price and Availability).
From the breakdown of features above, it is clear that X570 boards surpass X470 chipsets in several areas. But what does this actually mean in terms of performance?
The overall gaming performance of X470 vs X570 motherboards will be impacted by a few factors, such as which processor or graphics card you use. But when it comes down to like for like comparison, there is clearly a difference between these two motherboards.
Features like improved RAM support, better power delivery, and full PCIe 4 compatibility, have all shown improvement in performance now, but also allow a lot more headroom as games become more demanding on hardware.
Typically speaking, overclocking is going to be a smoother process on X570 boards. Being the newer option, BIOS support for X570 boards is a bigger priority for many board partners, and so fine-tuning your components in BIOS should be more straightforward.
The bumps in VRM quality on offer with X570 boards mean that you will be able to overclock your processor to faster speeds without compromising on stability.
As a breakdown of the individual features and performance implications of X470 and X570 motherboards have demonstrated, the X570 is clearly the more advanced model, and the best suited to serious PC gamers.
However, the advanced features of the X570 come at the cost – quite literally – of a significantly higher price tag. Individual board prices vary by manufacturer, but on average, there is a price gap of roughly $100 between these two chipsets. The price difference may also be increased by factors such as built-in WiFi 6 and 10 GbE ethernet support.
Currently, there is a higher demand for X570 motherboards than for X470 as PC users seek to take advantage of the more advanced specs. That being said, both types of boards are still widely available through Amazon.com and other retailers.
Of course, the price of the X570 is likely to drop as new chipsets are released, but by that point, the future-proofing advantages of this model will be minimized compared to newer boards.
Now, if you’re serious about gaming and can afford to spend the money, the X570 seems like the obvious choice.
However, it’s worth reiterating that the X470, while it technically ranks lower on several specifications, still delivers more than enough in terms of functionality and playability. This means that if you’re working to a budget, an X470 motherboard will be more than enough to support effective inter-component communication for gaming without breaking the bank.
So, it’s time to come to a final verdict regarding X470 vs X570 motherboards. As is often the case when comparing new and previous generations of any technology, the answer isn’t necessarily clear-cut.
While the specs suggest that the X570 chipset is the more advanced option, the actual impact of most of these advancements on gameplay is unlikely to be significant, if even noticeable.
The bigger advantage of X570 over X470 motherboards is the former’s greater compatibility with future component generations. In other words, if you’re looking for a motherboard that will provide you with solid system compatibility for the foreseeable future, an X570 board is the way to go.
However, if you’re constrained by your budget, you can rest assured that your game performance will not be negatively impacted at all by using an X470 board.
The question of whether it’s worth upgrading from your X470 motherboard to an X570 can only really be answered based on your personal priorities. If you’re hoping to see a significant overall improvement in your PC’s gaming performance, this particular upgrade may not satisfy you, especially for the price point.
On the other hand, if your main priorities are overclocking potential and future-proofing your system for future gaming component upgrades, the switch from X470 to X570 is well worth considering.