AMD Ryzen motherboards explained: The crucial differences in every AM4 chipset

    For AMD’s disruptive Ryzen processors, choosing the right motherboard is each simpler and extra essential than ever.

    First, the excellent news: AMD’s getting rid of the frightful hodgepodge of motherboard platforms to unite across the AM4 socket with Ryzen CPUs, Radeon-bolstered APUs, and all different chips launched within the foreseeable future. Huzzah! However there are all kinds of chipsets obtainable for AM4 motherboards, and every unlocks totally different capabilities in your PC, from USB help to overclocking to what number of graphics playing cards you possibly can set up.

    Do you have to purchase an X370, B350, or A320 motherboard? The place do X300 and A300 slot in? Let’s study what every AM4 chipset presents so you can also make the correct determination while you purchase a motherboard to your Ryzen processor.

    Editor’s notice: This text initially printed on March 1, 2017, however has been up to date repeatedly with new data, most just lately to incorporate data on the finish about AM4 motherboard BIOS updates that add help for the primary Ryzen APUs. 

    Ryzen: Greater than only a processor

    am4 procs AMD

    As you possibly can see within the graphic above, Ryzen—and AMD’s Bristol Ridge APUs—truly resemble a system-on-a-chip design greater than a standard CPU. AMD’s processors combine help for a lot of interfaces on-chip, together with SATA, USB, NVMe, and PCIe.

    The totally different AM4 motherboard chipsets construct extra capabilities on high of that. Listed below are AMD’s slides describing every, although we’ll embrace our personal easy-to-read comparability chart later on this article.

    ryzen slide AMD
    am4 chipset AMD

    One factor to notice: All the customary motherboard choices embrace help for 2 SATA Specific ports and, properly, SATA Specific by no means actually acquired off the bottom. However these lanes can simply be repurposed by motherboard makers for different makes use of, akin to conventional SATA III ports or M.2 help, so its inclusion isn’t nugatory by any means.

    Right here’s the plain-English breakdown of what every motherboard presents past what’s obtainable within the Ryzen chip itself, beginning with the entry stage boards and dealing up from there.

    A320 motherboards

    asrock a320m Brad Chacos

    ASRock’s A320M Pro4 motherboard, at CES 2017.

    These are your fundamental, no-frills AM4 motherboards, supposed for price range techniques and (presumably) inexpensive big-box PCs from the likes of Dell and HP. These motherboards help a single 10Gbps USB three.1 gen. 2 port, a pair of 5Gbps USB three.1 gen 1 ports (augmented by the 4 USB three.1 gen. 1 ports baked into Ryzen itself), and as much as six USB connections. The A320 chipset additionally helps a pair of SATA III and SATA Specific connections, together with as much as 4 PCIe gen. 2 lanes for extra PCIe gadgets, akin to M.2 SSDs, third-party networking playing cards, and sound playing cards.

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