As the days tick down towards the launch of AMD’s Ryzen 7000 series processors and AM5 platform, many users are beginning to think about a potential upgrade path. The first wave of X670 and X670E motherboards look mighty (opens in new tab), but they’re going to be expensive. Luckily, users won’t have long to wait to see mid-range boards. AMD is set to hold a livestream on October 4, where vendors will show off their more affordable B650 and B650E options.
AMD’s Meet the Experts presentation is called 'An Exclusive First Look at B650 and B650E AM5 Motherboards (opens in new tab)' and it's set to take place on October 4 at 10AM CDT. AMD will invite presenters from Asus, Asrock, Biostar, Gigabyte, and MSI to showcase the features and capabilities of their boards.
B650 will certainly attract a lot of interest. AMD's X670 boards include advanced connectivity features including PCIe 5.0 support. But given the high price of DDR5 memory and starting price of $299 for the Ryzen 5 7600X (opens in new tab), buying into the new platform with an X670/E board is going to be expensive. It's understandable that many users will want to wait a little for more affordable options.
Interestingly, AMD is accelerating the launch of B650, surely in order to lower the total platform cost. Whereas B550 motherboards launched almost a year after X570, this time around the gap is set to be a matter of weeks.
Unless you’re planning to build a genuinely high-end system, early indicators are that B650 boards won’t lack all that much (opens in new tab) compared to their more expensive X670 siblings. B650E boards will still include PCIe 5.0 graphics and SSD support while losing out on some USB and SATA ports, and a few PCIe 4.0 lanes from the chipset. That means a user with a next gen GPU and PCIe 5.0 SSD will potentially lose nothing by choosing a B650E board over an X670E one.
The non-E B650 loses out on PCIe 5.0 support, as does the non-E X670, but for most users, that won’t be a problem, at least not in the short term. The only exception is if you plan to run more than one PCIe 5.0 drive or really need a stack of fast USB ports.
The launch of the Ryzen 7000 series is set for later this month. The PC Gamer team will have full coverage from day one.
Oh, and the launch of Intel’s competing 13th Generation 'Raptor Lake' CPUs (opens in new tab) and 700-series motherboards is getting closer too. PC gaming enthusiasts have some tough (though pleasant) decisions ahead.