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B450 vs X470: Which motherboard is better for your rig?

With AMD’s newer B550 and X570 chipsets, it seems that the clock is ticking on the B450 and X470. After all, both of the latter two were released in March 2018, but do they still have something to offer after all?

And more importantly — which chipset, between B450 and the X470, is better for your rig?

B450 vs X470 – General Overview

B450X470
Release DateMarch 2018March 2018
CPU SupportRyzen Zen 2 (Includes BIOS updates for Zen 3)Ryzen Zen 2 (Includes BIOS updates for Zen 3)
PCIe SupportPCIe 2.0 x6 (Gen2)PCIe 2.0 x8 (Gen2)
Chipset PCI3 LanesPCIe 3.0 x4PCIe 3.0 x4
USB Support (10Gbps, 5Gbps, 480Mbps)2, 2, 62, 6, 6
SATA Ports48
RAID0, 1, 100, 1, 10
CrossFireYesYes
SLINoYes
OverclockingYes (with Processor Boost Overdrive)Yes (with Processor Boost Overdrive)

The B450 and X470 motherboard chipsets are considered mid-tier options, so don’t expect to be able to use them to build a very powerful gaming rig. But, if you’re on a tighter budget, these two should do the job for occasional gaming and general stuff.

The two chipsets are very similar, however, there are some differences between them. Most notably, the X470 supports BOTH CrossFire and SLI and has a few more SATA ports.

AMD says the following on its website about the B450 and X470 chipsets:

B450:

“perfect for power-users who value flexibility and overclocking control, but don’t need the maximum PCIe bandwidth required by multi-GPU configurations.”

X470:

“The advanced Socket AM4 platform for overclockers who need exceptional performance, the AMD X470 chipset offers comprehensive, low-level control and supports dual graphics card configurations thanks to two PCIe 3.0 graphic card slots.”

Now let’s take a look at their specs and what B450 and X470 have to offer.

Also Read: Want to know how the AMD B450 compares to other chipsets? Take a look at our B450 vs X370 comparison.

B450 and X470 Socket and CPU Compatibility

Socket Type Supported

Both of these belong to the AM4 socket family, which was launched in September 2016, two years before either the B450 or X470 was released.

The socket first saw use with the A320 (launched in February 2017), B350 and X370, followed by B450 and X470 in March 2018. Next came X570 in July 2019, B550 in June 2020 and finally A520 in August 2020.

CPU Support and Compatibility

When it comes to the brain of the computer, or the CPU, as part of the 400 motherboard line, the B450 and X470 chipsets were built to support Zen 2.

However, as AMD released Zen 3 processors, a question that started worrying owners of older motherboard lines (including 400) was: “Will I have to buy a new motherboard now?”

Well, good news from AMD as they sent out the necessary code for BIOS updates to B450 and X470 manufacturers, making these chipsets compatible with Zen 3 architecture.

As for individual CPU support, both the MSI B450 Tomahawk and X470 Gaming Plus Max support all AM4 processors. This includes all currently available Ryzen processors up to Ryzen 9 series, excluding the powerful, 64-core Ryzen Threadripper, as well as some AMD Athlon processors.

B450 and X470 GPU Compatibility

Although the B450 and X470 have very similar specs and features, one thing that may give the X470 a slight advantage is the SLI and CrossFire support. This basically allows the motherboard to use dual GPUs at the same time and link them together, so they work as one.

The problem with this is that, while in theory, two heads are better than one, when it comes to GPUs, they cause more problems than they are worth.

Namely, if you run two GPUs, that means more heat and noise, and your computer will have to use more power; plus, many games don’t like multiple GPUs and run slower.

As a result, NVidia killed off SLI, and as of its GeForce RTX 30 series, none of its GPUs include the NVLink (the connector that makes it possible to use multi-GPU) and thus support SLI.

Regarding the GPUs they support, both B450 and X470 (we used the MSI B450 Tomahawk Max ATM AM4 for this) support a large variety of NVidia’s GeForce graphic cards — all the way up to the 394mm-long Palit GeForce RTX 3090 24GB Gaming Pro.

B450 vs X470: Performance

So, how do these chipsets perform?

Overclocking

First, a question that is on most gamers’ minds.

Can you overclock these two chipsets?

And the answer for both B450 and X470 is yes.

However, while they do support overclocking, you shouldn’t push them too far and stick to low and mid-level overclocking, as higher overclocking, especially over a long time, can cause overheating and decrease the longevity of the CPU.

Memory Speeds and Compatibility

When it comes to memory, the B450 Tomahawk MAX, for instance, has a maximum memory of 128GB, 4 RAM slots, a dual memory channel and supports DDR4 memory of up to 4133MHz.

It supports these SDRAM modules:

  • JEDEC’s 1866, 2133, 2400 and 2667 MHz
  • A-XMP OC MODE 2667, 2800, 2933, 3000, 3200, 3466, 4000 and 4133 MHz

On the other hand, the X470 Gaming Plus also supports up to 128 GB of memory, with 4 RAM slots, a dual memory channel and DDR4 memory up to 3466MHz.

It is compatible with the following DDR4 modules:

  • JEDEC 1866, 2133. 2400, 2667 MHz
  • A-XMP MODE 2667, 2800, 2933, 3000, 3066, 3200 and 3466 MHz

Other Features

We’re not done yet. Let’s take a look at some of the other features that B450 and X470 chipsets have to offer:

WiFi compatibility

The B450 includes an integrated Intel 802.11ac WiFi module with Dual Band up to 433Mbps, which is 3x faster than 802.11n, as well as Bluetooth version 4.2.

The X470’s WiFi compatibility depends on the motherboard — some manufacturers include it, while others do not.

Ports, PCI slots, USB, SATA

When it comes to PCI slots, both B450 and X470 use PCIe Gen 2.0 lanes. However, X470 has eight lanes available, while B450 has two fewer (six). This means that you can have more expansion slots on X470 motherboards than on the B450.

Both chipsets also support 480Mbps, 5Gbps and 10Gbps (USB 2.0, 3.0, and 3.1). While they’re tied at two each for USB 10Gbps and six each for 480Mbps, the X470 has six USB 2.0 slots, while B450 has only two.

Both the B450 and X470 use PCIe Gen2, with X470 having two more slots (eight) while B450 has six.

When it comes to SATA connections, the X470 has a slight advantage here as well, with four available SATA III connections at 6Gbps each, compared to B450’s two.

MSI B450 Tomahawk MAX
MSI B450 Tomahawk MAX

Here are some B450 motherboards that we recommend:

  1. MSI B450 Tomahawk MAX – Check Price
  2. Gigabyte B450 AORUS Pro – Check Price
  3. ASUS ROG Strix B450-E – Check Price
ASUS Prime X470 Pro DDR4 Gaming Motherboard
ASUS Prime X470 Pro DDR4 Gaming Motherboard

Also, here are some X470 motherboards that might be worth taking a look at:

  1. ASUS Prime X470 Pro DDR4 Gaming Motherboard – Check Price
  2. ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero – Check Price
  3. MSI AMD X470 Gaming Motherboard – Check Price

Conclusion

It has been four years since AMD launched both B450 and X470 chipsets. In the meantime, the company released the B550 and X570 in early 2020 to replace them and announced B650 and X670 for Fall 2022.

Check out our X470 vs X570 detailed comparison to see which one is better.

Does this mean that B450 and X470 are now obsolete?

Not at all. Yes, there are newer and shinier motherboard chipsets now, but for a budget option and standard use, the B450 and X470 are still worth the investment. For something more, though, like heavy gaming, you are better off with a newer chipset like the B550 or X570 (or wait until B650 and X670 are released in October).

But which one is better between these two? B450 or X470?

Well, there’s not much difference to really speak of. Other than the X470 having a few extra PCIe, SATA III, USB and SLI support for dual GPUs. While these extras perhaps made a difference when the chipsets were released, today, not so much (especially SLI, who uses multi-GPU anyway?).

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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