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X470 vs B550: A detailed AMD motherboard comparison

Building a new PC configuration always starts with a new motherboard. The motherboard is the most significant computer part since all other parts are connected to it. So, whether you want to enhance your configuration with a new graphics card or processor, you have to pay attention if they are compatible with your motherboard. This time we compare the X470 vs B550 models.

X470 vs B550 – General Overview

People are often confused by these numbers. Generally, they have two meanings. Of course, manufacturers had to give each motherboard a different number so you could differentiate them. 

But the X470 and B550 are also the names of chipsets. In other words, these numbers help you choose components compatible with your motherboard. For instance, if you choose to buy the X470 motherboard, you need to make sure your processor and other computer parts are compatible with it. 

So, compatibility is essential, and you need to pay attention to it. However, there are other important questions you can ask yourself — for instance, what do you plan to do with your computer, and what is your budget? These two questions can help you in determining which of these motherboards is more suitable for your needs. 

These two chipsets have a lot in common. They support the same AM4 socket and can have almost the same specification depending on the model and manufacturer. However, we have highlighted the differences.

X470

X470 Logo

Pros: 

  • AM4 support
  • Wider range of compatible CPUs
  • Better aesthetics and more PCIe slots
  • USB 4 speed
  • Support SLI/Crossfire

Cons: 

  • Expensive
  • BIOS update is required for the latest AMD Ryzen CPUs

B550

B550 Logo

Pros:

  • Faster memory speed
  • Higher memory capacity
  • Affordable
  • WiFi 6 standard

Cons:

  • CPU compatibility
  • Data transfer speed

X470 vs B550: Socket and CPU Compatibility

Socket Type Supported

Motherboards establish a connection between different parts of a computer. In other words, all components need to be connected to the motherboard physically. To do this, we have a large number of connectors. 

The most significant connector when it comes to CPU compatibility is a socket. The socket determines which CPU model we can connect to the motherboard

It is important to remember that not all CPUs are compatible with all motherboards. This is why this segment is so crucial. For instance, it is not possible to place an AMD processor into a motherboard with an Intel socket. You can’t mix these things because your computer won’t work.

If you want to buy an AMD processor, you can choose either the X470 or B550 motherboard since both support the AM4 socket

CPU Support and Compatibility

If you want to have more options when it comes to choosing a new processor, the X470 motherboard would be a better choice. 

The X470 chipset is compatible with more CPU models than the B550, such as AMD Athlon with Radeon Graphics, AMD Ryzen 1000, and so on. Find out more details in the table below. 

ProcessorsX470B550
AMD Athlon with Radeon GraphicsYesNo
AMD Ryzen 1000YesNo
AMD Ryzen 2000 with Radeon GraphicsYesNo
AMD Ryzen 2000YesNo
AMD Ryzen 3000 with Radeon GraphicsYesNo
AMD Ryzen 3000YesYes
AMD Ryzen 5000BIOS update neededYes

However, if you would rather get a newer model such as the AMD Ryzen 3000 or 5000, you have the option to choose either of these two chipsets. 

Form Factor

Motherboards come in different shapes and sizes, and this is known as form factor. In other words, the term means the specification of a motherboard. Therefore, it includes things such as:

  • Size
  • Number of ports and slots
  • Number of power connectors, and so on. 

All these parts should be compatible with a specific motherboard you want to buy. The most common form factor is ATX. ATX stands for Advanced Technology Extended. This specification was standardized in 1995, and most PCs use it today. 

The standard dimensions of an ATX motherboard are 12 x 9.6 inches and can have a 20 or 24-pin power connector. This segment is essential if you want to build your own PC configuration. 

Form factorsProsCons
ATX (12 x 9.6 inches) More PCIe slots
More RAM capacity
Good for overclocking
Great aesthetics
Expensive
It requires more space in a computer case 
Micro ATX (9.6 × 9.6 inches) Suitable for average configurations
Affordable
Compatible with most cases
Not ideal for overclocking
Poor aesthetics

There is also a smaller form factor called Micro-ATX. It is similar to the ATX except for its dimensions which are 9.6 × 9.6 inches. If you want to build a budget-friendly PC for office work or basic gaming, this form factor might lead you to the right motherboard.

The X470 motherboard supports the ATX form factor, while the B550 model mostly relies on the Micro-ATX standard. So, keeping in mind everything we said above, the X470 model is still better than the B550 because of its PCIe slots and RAM capacities and overclocking options.  

X470 vs B550: GPU Compatibility

SLI and Crossfire Compatibility?

If you want to upgrade your computer with a brand new graphics card, the only thing you need to have is one free PCle x 16 slot. The good news is that all modern motherboards have this slot. 

So, if you choose to place a new graphics card into the slot, all graphics operations will be switched from your integrated graphics to your new graphics card. From the moment you power on your computer, you will start noticing the difference in performance. 

But what do we do if we want an even better experience? Could we insert one more graphic card of the same caliber? Technically, yes! Nvidia calls this technology SLI, and AMD calls it Crossfire. 

AMD Crossfire
3D Mark graphics performance with Crossfire 

SLI and Crossfire have the same meaning. The technology allows you to place two or more graphics cards on the same motherboard and experience much better performance

For instance, if you are a huge gaming fan, you can get the most out of this technology. But pay attention to which games actually support this technology. 

Not all games support running two graphics cards at the same time. Here are some popular games with SLI support that you might be interested in.

  1. Grand Theft Auto V
  2. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  3. Far Cry 5
  4. Fallout 4

So, if you want to try out this technology, make sure to read the specifications before buying a motherboard. Each particular model in this X470 vs B550 comparison can have different manufacturers and, therefore, different specifications. This is why you should read the fine print carefully before putting your money down. 

Also, watch the video below for more useful information. 

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

X470 vs B550: Performance

Overclocking

If you don’t like the idea of ​​putting two cards in your computer case, you might want to consider other methods to improve your graphics performance. One of these options is overclocking. But what does this term mean? 

Overclocking increases the speed of a computer component to go above manufacturer-defined speed. This can help you achieve better performance without investing money in new components. 

Basically, you can overclock everything from your monitors and graphics cards to CPUs and even RAM. In other words, any computer components that have a timer or clock. 

Before Overclocking

There are some things to consider before starting the process. 

  • Check your PC cooling system — Once you overclock one or more PC components, they can generate more heat than usual. In this environment, your components could be damaged. For instance, if you overclock your processor, you need to keep a normal CPU temp all the time. The Ryzen 5 2600 or Ryzen 5 3600 coolers can help you with that. 
  • Get a motherboard that supports overclocking — Whether you choose the X470 or B550 motherboard from this comparison, you can perform the overclocking process with either. 

Data Transfer Speed

Data transfer speed should be considered if you want to have a fast computer. Therefore, your motherboard should be an adequate platform for all your components so that they can achieve their full potential.

USB specificationSpeedMegabits per second
USB 1.0Low Speed1.5 Mbps
USB 1.1Average Speed12 Mbps
USB 2.0High Speed480 Mbps
USB 3.0Very High Speed5 Gbps
USB 3.1Super Speed10 Gbps
USB 4.0 Super Speed40 Gbps

Depending on the manufacturer, the X470 and B550 can have different types of USB ports. For instance, if you have 2 x USB 3.1 ports, you can transfer files at speeds of 10 Gbps.  

Most X470 motherboards support USB 4 speeds which go up to 40 Gbps. The B550 offers speeds up to 10 Gbps (USB 3.1).

Memory Speed & Capacity

When comparing memory speeds, without a doubt, the B550 wins the battle. Its RAM speed can reach an amazing 5400 MHz. When it comes to the X470 model, its maximum speed is  3466 MHz. 

Memory Speed & CapacityX470B550
Maximum speed3466 MHz5400 MHz
Maximum capacity64 GB128 GB

Pay attention to this segment if you like to play the latest video games. Faster RAM speeds can have a significant impact on game performance. Therefore, the B550 models have an advantage here, especially if we take its maximum memory capacity into consideration. 

X470 vs B550: Other Features

WiFi Compatibility

Some X470 motherboards don’t support WiFi. But this depends on manufacturers. If you want to be sure that your new motherboard supports WiFi, the B550 might be a good choice since it comes with the WiFi 6 standard

Ports, PCI slots, M.2 generation, USB version, SATA

Again, it all depends on manufacturers. In the table below, we are going to compare two interesting models, the ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero (X470) and MSI B550-A PRO ProSeries (B550). It can help you make a decision about which chipset and/or manufacturer is better.

motherboard parts
Motherboard connectors, ports, and slots
FeaturesASUS ROG Crosshair VII HeroMSI B550-A PRO ProSeries
Total USB ports88
M.2 Slots22
SATA Ports66
PCIe 4.0 x16 Slots1
PCIe 3.0 x16 Slots21
PCIe 2.0 x16 Slots1

The significantly cheaper MSI B550-A PRO motherboard has the same number of USB, M.2 and SATA ports. It also features one PCIe 4.0 x16 slot. So, if you are looking for the best value for money, this model might be ideal for you. 

BIOS

If you want to use the latest Ryzen CPUs on the AMD X470 motherboard, you might need to update your BIOS.

In most cases, the B550 doesn’t require BIOS updates to run the latest Ryzen processors. So, you can skip this process by choosing this chipset. However, keep in mind that the B550 doesn’t support older models of Ryzen CPUs such as AMD Ryzen 1000 or 2000. 

Related Post: X470 vs X570: An AMD motherboard detailed comparison

The ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero is still one of the best motherboards on the market when it comes to the X470 chipset. It can be a perfect solution for your PC since it has a lot of ports and slots. The memory speed is 2133 MHz, and the memory capacity is 64 GB. 

ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero
ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero

If you want to have WiFi support, then why not set some money aside and invest it in the ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero WiFi version? You can then get rid of ethernet cables.  

True gamers should also consider the MSI MAG B550 TOMAHAWK gaming motherboard. This is an impeccable ATX motherboard that has everything you need for good gaming. Whether you want high memory speed or high capacity, lots of slots, and ports, you have everything in one place. 

MSI MAG B550 TOMAHAWK Gaming Motherboard
MSI MAG B550 TOMAHAWK Gaming Motherboard

Conclusion

So, which motherboard will prevail in this X470 vs B550 comparison? It is difficult to answer this question because everything depends on your needs. 

If you want a motherboard compatible with a vast range of CPU models, then X470 could be the right choice. This chipset is also fast when it comes to data transfer speed. 

However, if you want to build a gaming PC capable of running the latest games, a B550 motherboard can be the right choice. It has fast memory with high capacity. Above all, its price is affordable.

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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