AMD Raphael 7000 series Ryzen processors have debuted with a bang. These processors are a major step up compared to the 5000 series processors, tempting many users to upgrade from their older hardware.
To get the most out of your Ryzen 7000 series processor, you will need a comparable latest motherboard. The two popular motherboard chipsets for the Ryzen 7000 series are the B650 and the X670, but which motherboard should you choose?
On paper, both the B650 and the X670 seem like a great fit. However, these two motherboard chipsets are worlds apart depending on your computing needs.
Therefore, this article pitches these two motherboards against each other in a B650 and X670 face-off. The comparison will cover all the information you need to make a more informed buying decision regarding these two motherboards.
So, without further ado, let’s begin.
Overview of the B650 Chipset
The AMD B650 chipset falls in the middle of AMD’s motherboard hierarchy and occupies the sweet spot of the range. It is a step above the A620 chipset but a downgrade from the X670 motherboard.
Due to its being positioned in the middle, the B650 chipset has an amazing performance-to-cost ratio. It is widely accessible to the general masses and is a tempting choice for many first-time PC builders.
However, the popularity of the B650 motherboard can also present a false illusion of this motherboard being capable of anything. The B650 chipset has limitations, which we will explore in-depth in this comparison.
Ultimately, the comparison will focus on whether the limitations of its chipset affect its useability enough to warrant the purchase of an X670 over a B650.
Overview of the X670 Chipset
The X670 is the second-best chipset AMD currently offers for the Ryzen 7000 series, just behind the newly launched X670E chipset, which you can learn more about in our comprehensive comparison of X670E vs. X670.
It is designed to work with the AM5 socket and is made using the Land Grid Array (LGA) process. The X670 motherboard offers the most features and enhanced capability, but are these features necessary, or are they just unnecessary quirks? This is what I will find out in this comparison.
The “E”lephant in the Room
Both the X670 and the B650 motherboards are offered in “Extreme” versions. Therefore, you will likely encounter an X670E or a B650E; the “E” represents the “Extreme.”
The Extreme version of these motherboards supersedes the standard version. However, there isn’t much difference between the Extreme and the standard version of these motherboards.
The Extreme version of the motherboard has more PCI-Express lanes that operate at PCIe 5.0 speeds. Currently, no GPU can take advantage of PCIe 5.0 speeds, so you shouldn’t worry much.
As long as you are building a standard computer, the non-extreme versions of these motherboards should suffice. If you are still adamant about learning more about the “Extreme” version of these motherboards, check out our detailed comparison of B650 vs. B650E.
Today, we will not be comparing the “E” versions of these motherboards; all the focus will be on the plain jane or vanilla version of the B650 and the X670.
Comparison and Major Differences
When comparing the B650 and X670, I will consider all the essential factors that you would be looking for when purchasing either of these motherboards, including but not limited to CPU support, IPC, Memory, PCIe Lanes, High-speed USB, and more.
|AMD Ryzen 7000 series or newer
|AMD Ryzen 7000 series or newer
|Maximum Memory Support
|Dual GPU Support
|Chipset PCIe Revisions
|PCIe 4.0, 3.0
|PCIe 4.0, 3.0
|Usable PCIe 4.0 Lanes
|x20 PCIe Gen 4.0
|x10 PCIe Gen 4.0
|Usable PCIe 3.0 Lanes
|x8 PCIe Gen 3.0
|x4 PCIe Gen 3.0
|Total Chipset PCIe Lanes
|CPU PCIe Lanes Revision
|PCIe 4.0, PCIe 5.0* (PCIe 5.0 on select B650 only)
|PCIe 5.0, PCIe 4.0
|Useable PCIe 5.0 CPU Lanes
|0 or x4* (x4 PCIe 5.0 Lanes only on a select few B650)
|Useable PCIe 4.0 CPU Lanes
|20 or 24
|CPU PCIe Lanes Configuration
|1×16 or 2×8 + 1×4 + 1×4
|1×16 or 2×8 + 1×4 + 1×4
|Total CPU PCIe Lanes
|SATA III (6Gbps)
|USB 3.2, USB 2.0
|USB 3.0, USB 2.0
|USB 20Gbps Ports (USB 3.2 Gen 2×2)
|USB 10Gbps Ports (USB 3.2 Gen 2×1)
|USB 5Gbps Ports (USB 3.2 Gen 1×1)
|No. of Supported Displays
|2.5G or higher
|2.5G or higher
Both X670 and B650 motherboards support the Ryzen processor using the new AM5 socket only.
The AM5 socket is based on Land Array Grind (LGA), while the older versions are based on Pin Grid Array (PGA). A socket based on Land Array Grind (LGA) has pins on the motherboard itself and not the CPU. Meanwhile, on a PGA socket, the pins are attached to the processor.
Intel popularized LGA sockets. AMD used the PGA socket for silicon until recently, switching to the LGA socket in the latest Ryzen 7000 series.
Therefore, due to drastic technological changes, these motherboards do not support the older generation processors on the AM4 socket.
The reason for AMD’s switch to LGA socket is the increased power requirement of the Ryzen 7000 series processors. These new processors have higher power requirements than their predecessors, so the LGA socket suits them better.
Due to the newer socket type and the switch to LGA, the B650 and the X670 motherboards are only compatible with the Ryzen 7000 series processor. They do not contain any backward compatibility, so there is no support for older-generation hardware.
Luckily, though, AMD has promised to support the AM5 socket till 2025 at least. This means your existing B650 or X670 motherboard will be compatible with any Ryzen processor that is released in the upcoming years.
This assured support from AMD makes both of these motherboards an excellent foundation for your computer. It is highly likely that AMD is going to continue support for AM5 socket beyond 2025. So, with any of these motherboards, you will enjoy a great deal of future-proofing.
All components connected to the motherboard, like the CPU and RAM, require electrical power to function. Since they are directly connected to the motherboard, they take their power from the motherboard.
The Voltage Regulator Module (VRM) is a small electronic component that regulates the voltage to your CPU, Memory, and other components.
The VRM ensures a stable amount of voltage is fed to these components, which is essential because any variation in voltage can result in instability, leading to the PC restarting repeatedly. Therefore, the biggest disaster for a motherboard is an inferior VRM.
The X670 motherboard typically comes with a 20-24 power phase VRM, while a B650 contains a 16-power phase VRM.
For instance, the Gigabyte X670 Aorus Elite AX comes with 20 Phase VRM. On the contrary, the Gigabyte B550 Aorus Master uses a 16-phase VRM.
If you are going to use a high-end processor like the Ryzen 9, I would pair it with a Gigabyte X670 Aorus Elite AX rather than a Gigabyte B550 Aorus Master because of its better VRM.
On the contrary, if your PC build uses a Ryzen 7 or lower, I would happily opt for the Gigabyte B550 Aorus Master because its VRM is easily capable of handling the Ryzen 7 or lower.
Overclocking is one of the key traits to consider in a motherboard. If you are unaware, overclocking means tinkering with the clock speed of a processor, memory, or graphics card to extract more performance. The increase in clock speed leads to better performance.
By increasing the clock speed, you are also increasing the voltage requirement of a CPU. So, with the overclock enabled, the motherboard has to provide higher voltage to the CPU. If it cannot do so, the computer will become unstable.
As a result, the overclocking capability depends on the motherboard VRM. If the VRM can handle the voltage, the overclock will be successful. Otherwise, you are looking down the barrel of disappointment.
AMD supports overclocking on both the X670 and the B650 chipset. However, these motherboards do not display similar overclocking behavior.
Since the X670 is a premium top-of-the-line chipset, it supports higher-quality VRMs, leading to better CPU overclocking. Therefore, it has far better overclocking capabilities than the B650, and you will be able to push the overclock to its limit on this motherboard.
In terms of memory overclocking, both these motherboards display quite similar behavior. The new EXPO memory technology, which AMD launched with this new generation hardware, allows consumers to use a ‘one-click’ memory overclocking. It sort of mimics an Intel XMP profile.
The EXPO memory overclocking is available on both of these motherboards. The result obtained on both of these motherboards is quite comparable when using the EXPO memory overclock.
The PCIe lanes are the pathways that facilitate data transfer between the motherboard and other components that are connected to the motherboard. So, a higher number of PCIe Lanes leads to faster data transfer because of the larger bandwidth.
The components linked via PCIe lanes include graphics cards, NVME M.2 drives, networking cards, sound cards, etc.
There can be a total of 44 PCIe lanes on the X670 motherboard, while the B650 motherboard has a maximum of 36 PCIe lanes.
Since the X670 motherboard has more PCIe lanes, it facilitates faster data transfers. However, modern motherboards have gotten so good that for normal usage, the difference in PCIe Lane count between the X670 and the B650 does not substantiate real-world use.
While the PCIe Lane count does not affect normal usage, I wish I could say the same for PCIe 5.0 support. PCIe 5.0 is the latest PCIe technology standard, offering higher bandwidth than the previous PCIe 4.0.
An X670 motherboard has x4 PCIe 5.0 slots supporting full bandwidth on the M.2 slot. On the contrary, the B650 motherboard can either have a PCIe 5.0 slot or not have one. Most B650 motherboards don’t have one.
Therefore, a B650 motherboard may or may not contain a full-speed PCIe 5.0. When shopping for a B650 motherboard, make sure to verify PCIe 5.0 by checking the specs section.
To put it into perspective, even a low-end X670 motherboard like the MSI X670-P has one Gen 5 M.2 slot, which means you can use a Gen 5 M.2 NVMe on it and get full speeds.
On the contrary, even a high-end B650 motherboard like the Asus ROG Strix B650-A has no PCIe 5.0 4 M.2 slot, which means you cannot use a Gen 5 M.2 NVMe on it.
The Direct Media Interface (DMI) links the North Bridge CPU socket to the South Bridge motherboard chipset through DMI lanes, which carry information and allow for data exchange between the CPU socket and the motherboard chipset.
More DMI lanes mean data is carried and exchanged much more quickly. Resulting in higher efficiency at which the computer executes the day-to-day mundane tasks.
The B650 and the X670 are virtually the same when it comes to DMI. Both X670 and B650 motherboards have 4 DMI 4.0 lanes.
More and more devices and gadgets are taking advantage of high-speed USB ports, such as external SSDs. Therefore, a motherboard should contain high-speed USB ports to facilitate the growing use of such devices and gadgets.
The latest standard of USB ports is USB 4.0, which has superseded the USB 3.2 standard. The USB 4.0 and USB 3.2 support high-speed external devices such as portable SSDs.
The X670 motherboard has more USB 4.0 and USB 3.2 ports compared to a B650 motherboard. Hence, this makes the X670 the clear winner in the USB port segment.
Features are categorized as the quirks or the salient extras that a motherboard offers to attract users.
Being the high-end chipset, motherboard manufacturers put more emphasis on their X670 motherboard than the B650 motherboard. Therefore, the X670 has a distinct advantage over the B650 regarding features.
The features offered on the X670 chipset include 10G, Hi-Fi grade audio quality, and faster Wi-Fi. Other vanity features may include RGB lighting, water cooling, and more.
Besides these, some X670 motherboards also contain some technical features that greatly help users push their motherboard to the limit safely.
A B650 motherboard, in contrast, lacks all these features and is usually restricted to the bare essential features such as Wi-Fi.
The cost of a product is the most important consideration for many consumers when buying a motherboard. Features hold no weight if a person’s budget is not enough.
The X670 motherboard, as I have stated throughout the article, is more expensive than a B650 motherboard.
How much more expensive, you ask? If we take the example of the Asus TUF B650 Plus and the Asus X670 Prime, two relatively mid-range motherboards in their respective motherboard class.
The Asus TUF B650 Plus costs close to $215, while the Asus Prime X670 Prime costs $290. Comparing the two prices reflects a difference of $75.
Of course, if you opt for a cheaper B650 motherboard, it will cost much less, closer to $160. So, you end up saving more than $100 compared to an X670 motherboard.
However, you also have to consider that buying a less expensive entry-level motherboard will have fewer features, and you will also be deprived of a good VRM.
So, at the end of the day, you have to make the decision. If you can justify the $70-100 extra it costs to get an X570 motherboard over a B550, then buy it by all means. But if you are on a strict budget, then B650 seems like a fairly good choice.
Ultimately, you will be able to justify the higher cost of the X670 motherboard if you plan on utilizing its PCIe Gen 5.0 capabilities.
Who Should Buy the B650 Motherboard?
The lengthy comparison of both motherboards has made answering this question easier than ever.
The B650 chipset is a great option for normal users that are not likely to pimp their rig with multiple M.2 drives, dual graphic cards, and more.
For an average user who will install a single M.2 NVMe drive and a graphics card, the B650 motherboard should be all he needs.
The B650 motherboard is also a great choice for folks who are tight-fisted and not willing to spend a lot of money on a new Ryzen 7000 build. These motherboards are considerably cheaper than their X670 counterpart.
Ultimately, it all boils down to whether the price difference is high enough to justify the purchase of the B650 motherboard over the X670. At the time of this writing, you can save an average of $100 on a B650, which makes it worth it if you are bootstrapped for cash.
Who Should Buy the X670 Motherboard?
If you want to go all out with your Ryzen 7000 PC and don’t want to miss out on a single ounce of performance, the X670 motherboard is for you.
It provides considerably higher performance and has better storage options. You can easily run multiple M.2 NVMe storage drives on this motherboard at full 5 Gbps speed.
The X670 motherboard should also be the choice of enthusiasts who want the best overclocking experience from their motherboard.
The X670 motherboard also fits the bill if you are fascinated by features and want a motherboard that can keep you entertained with its quirks.
Only the X670 motherboard supports more than four display outputs up to a total of six. So, if you are into multi-monitor setups, the X670 is better than the B650.
All in all, if you are a power user, hardware enthusiast, or someone with highly specialized needs, you should go with the X670 over the B650.
This was our long and comprehensive comparison of the B650 and X670 motherboards. If you have followed along till now, pat yourself on the back because you are now more informed to make a definitive decision of whether you should buy a B650 or an X670 motherboard.
Check out some of the other motherboard comparisons.
- B550 vs. X570 Motherboards
- Z690 vs. B660 Motherboards
- Z790 vs. Z690 Motherboards
- X570 vs. X670 Motherboards
Check out some of our related motherboard buying guides.