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AMD Ryzen motherboards explained: The essential differences in each AM4 chipset

Editor’s note: This essay creatively published on Mar 1, 2017, yet was updated with additional details, information about wanting mini-ITX availability, and links to AM4 motherboard models after Ryzen’s launch.

For AMD’s disruptive Ryzen processors, selecting a scold motherboard is both easier and more essential than ever.

First, a good news: AMD’s doing divided with a horrifying mixture of motherboard platforms to combine around a AM4 hollow with Ryzen CPUs, Bristol Ridge APUs, and all other chips expelled in a foreseeable future. Huzzah! But there are a far-reaching accumulation of chipsets accessible for AM4 motherboards, and any unlocks opposite capabilities in your PC, from USB support to overclocking to how many graphics cards we can install.

Should we buy an X370, B350, or A320 motherboard? Where do X300 and A300 fit in? Let’s inspect what any AM4 chipset offers so we can make a right preference when we buy a motherboard for your Ryzen 5 or Ryzen 7 processor.

Ryzen: More than only a processor

AMD

As we can see in a striking above, Ryzen—and AMD’s Bristol Ridge APUs—actually resemble a system-on-a-chip design some-more than a normal CPU. AMD’s processors confederate support for many interfaces on-chip, including SATA, USB, NVMe, and PCIe.

The opposite AM4 motherboard chipsets build additional capabilities on tip of that. Here are AMD’s slides describing each, yet we’ll embody a possess easy-to-read comparison draft after in this article.

AMD
AMD

One thing to note: All of a customary motherboard options embody support for twin SATA Express ports and, well, SATA Express never unequivocally got off a ground. But those lanes can simply be repurposed by motherboard makers for other uses, such as normal SATA III ports or M.2 support, so a inclusion isn’t meaningless by any means.

Here’s a plain-English relapse of what any motherboard offers over what’s accessible in a Ryzen chip itself, starting with a entrance turn play and operative adult from there.

A320 motherboards

Brad Chacos

ASRock’s A320M Pro4 motherboard, during CES 2017.

These are your basic, no-frills AM4 motherboards, dictated for bill systems and (presumably) affordable big-box PCs from a likes of Dell and HP. These motherboards support a singular 10Gbps USB 3.1 gen. 2 port, a span of 5Gbps USB 3.1 gen 1 ports (augmented by a 4 USB 3.1 gen. 1 ports baked into Ryzen itself), and adult to 6 USB 2.0 connections. The A320 chipset also supports a span of SATA III and SATA Express connections, along with adult to 4 PCIe gen. 2 lanes for additional PCIe devices, such as M.2 SSDs, third-party networking cards, and sound cards.

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