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B350 vs B450: Which midrange AMD chipset takes the win?

The release of AMD’s second-Generation Ryzen CPUs in 2018 (with 12nm cores) brought forth the 400-series chipsets. However, despite this, the current B350 chipsets remained a popular midrange choice for quite some time, especially among the more budget-oriented users.

In this article, we’ve compared the B350 vs B450 chipsets to find out if the upgrade makes sense — and which one is better.

B350 vs B450 – General Overview

AMD Ryzen 3600 on motherboard
AMD B350 Chipset FeaturesAMD B450 Chipset Features
USB 2.0 (6)USB 2.0 (6)
USB 3.1 (2x Gen 1, 2x Gen 2)USB 3.1 (2x Gen 1, 2x Gen 2)
SATA Ⅲ (2)SATA Ⅲ (2)
PCIe (6x 2.0, 1x 3.0)PCIe (6x 2.0, 1x 3.0)
GPU (1x 16)GPU (1x 16)
Overclock (Yes)Overclock (Yes)
Precision Boost Overdrive (No)Precision Boost Overdrive (Yes)
AMD StoreMI (No)AMD StoreMI (Yes)
Flash BIOS (No)Flash BIOS (Yes)
Core Boost (No)Core Boost (Yes)
Extended Heatsink (No)Extended Heatsink (Yes)

Although they were released a year apart, the difference between B350 and B450 chipsets is not huge. 

For the most part, you’ll find the specs of the B450 matches the B350 — six USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 and Gen 2 each, two SATA III, six PCI-express 2.0, and one PCIe 3.0. You also get the ability to overclock both motherboards.

However, where B450 ups the game is the addition of Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO), AMD StoreMI technology, Flash BIOS button, Core Boost and Extended PWM Heatsink (more on these features below).

So, although they are similar, the extra features make the B450 chipset more suitable for overclocking.

B350 vs B450: Socket and CPU Compatibility

Compatible CPUsAMD B350AMD B450
Bristol Ridge
(AMD APUs with Radeon R7 Graphics (A6, A8, A10, A12)
YesNo
Summit Ridge
(1st Gen Ryzen CPUs)
YesYes
Pinnacle Ridge
(2nd Gen Ryzen CPUs)
YesYes
Raven Ridge
(AMD APUs New Generation with Radeon Vega Graphics)
YesYes
Zen 3
(Ryzen 5000 Processors)
NoYes

Both B350 and B450 belong to the AM4 socket family of chipsets.

Officially, the AMD B350 supports the older Zen and Zen+ CPUs. However, a simple BIOS update also makes it compatible with Zen 2. As a result, the older B350 supports a wider range of processors than the B450.

But don’t let this fool you. Most of these older CPUs ceased being relevant long ago, even when B450 was released in May 2018, so that’s really not an advantage.

Still, if you’re running your computer on an older Bristol Ridge CPU with AMD APUs with Radeon R7 graphics, I guess you can go for the B350.

B350 vs B450: GPU Compatibility

AMD

Both B350 and B450 support a wide range of graphics, from the 69mm EVGA GeForce GT 730 to the 394mm Palit GeForce RTX 3090, so the GPU shouldn’t be an issue when using these chipsets.

Likewise, unlike the AM4 “X” models, which support both CrossFire and SLI for multi-GPU, the “B” models, including B350, B450 and B550, have no SLI support (check out our B450 vs X470 comparison to learn why SLI isn’t all that useful).

B350 vs B450 Performance

Overclocking

If you’re a fan of overclocking your machine, you’ll be glad to hear that both B350 and B450 support overclocking.

However, B450 just does it better.

One of the reasons for this is the Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO) feature.

PBO combines Precision Boost 2.0 and Extended Frequency Range 2.0 to better scale boost clocks depending on the number of cores that need boosting (Precision Boost 2.0) while at the same time making the chipset less prone to overheating by better controlling the temperature (Extended Frequency Range 2.0).

In addition to this, B450 also includes a 40% greater thermal surface area thanks to the Extended PWM Heatsink. With that much greater surface, there is significantly less chance of overheating, thus allowing you to overclock your CPU more safely and without worrying about stability.

Data Transfer Speeds

You’ll find six USB 2.0 ports in both B350 and B450 motherboards, allowing data transfer speeds of up to 480 Mbps, and two USB 3.1 generation 1 and generation 2, respectively, with 4.8 Gbps speeds in both B350 and B450.

Memory Speed and Compatibility

The B350 Tomahawk supports a maximum RAM of 128GB, with speeds of 1866, 2133, 2400, 2667 (OC), 2933 (OC) and 3200 (OC) MHz DDR4 — it has a dual memory channel and four DIMM slots.

It’s a similar story with the B450 Tomahawk, which also supports a max memory of 128GB and has a dual memory channel and four DIMM slots. 

However, while B350 only supports speeds up to 3200 MHz, B450 is compatible with DDR4 memories of 3466, 4000 and 4133 MHz.

Since we’re talking about performance, we should also mention the AMD StoreMI Storage Acceleration Technology that B450 has.

StoreMI Acceleration Technology combines SSD (Solid State Drive) and HDD (Hard Disk Drive), which can greatly improve the speed and performance of your drives and use the maximum storage capacity.

B350 vs B450: Other Features

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

WiFi Compatibility

The B350 motherboards don’t include an onboard WiFi card. The B450, on the other hand, uses an integrated Intel 802.11ac WiFi module for 433Mbps Dual Band.

Ports

When it comes to the number of ports, there’s no difference between B350 and B450 chipsets. 

Namely, both have two SATA III, six USB 2.0, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 and Gen 2 ports each, six PCIe 2.0 lanes and a single PCIe 3.0 slot.

BIOS

Both MoBos support the latest BIOS version, 7A34v1Q7 (Beta). However, the B450 also includes the Flash BIOS button.

This extra feature allows you to flash your BIOS even without the CPU, GPU, or RAM installed (it works with those as well, don’t worry). 

So when would you use this feature? Let’s say you install a new CPU but one which does not support the current BIOS version on your motherboard. A simple Flash BIOS can solve this little problem and allows you to update BIOS to a version your CPU supports.

Future Proofing

Having been released in 2017 (B350) and 2018 (B450), the two chipsets are beginning to show signs of age and are being overtaken by newer (and more advanced) models, specifically the B550.

That said, while similar in specs, the fact that the B450 chipset offers some features that are specifically tailored for overclocking still makes this chipset a good budget option.

Also Read: If you’re interested in B550, take a look at this X470 vs B550 comparison we wrote.

ASUS Prime B350-Plus
ASUS Prime B350-Plus Motherboard

Here are some B350 motherboards that we recommend checking out:

  1. ASUS Prime B350M-A/CSMCheck Price on Amazon
  2. ASUS Prime B350-PlusCheck Price on Amazon
GIGABYTE B450 AORUS M
Gigabyte B450 AORUS M Motherboard

And we also have some B450 motherboards to recommend:

  1. MSI B450 Tomahawk MAXCheck Price on Amazon
  2. Gigabyte B450 AORUS ProCheck Price on Amazon
  3. Gigabyte B450 AORUS MCheck Price on Amazon

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a mid-range motherboard without splurging too much money, between B350 vs B450, both chipsets are a good choice.

The B350, in particular, can be a good choice for the budget-conscious, but the additional features like PBO, Extended Heatsink, Flash BIOS and some other features puts the B450 a step ahead of its predecessor and therefore, our recommendation goes to it.

About Alex

Hello, I'm Alex and this is my website, Spacehop. I started the site as a way to talk about myself, and a few years later we're now a team of 6! I still work full time at a major PC retailer in the UK, and I'm a bit of a tech whizz (self-proclaimed, unfortunately!).

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