News ASMedia Reportedly Commences B550 and A520 Chipset Production in Q1 2020

Gillerer

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THIS IS WORSE THAN PRODUCT SEGMENTATION.
Having multiple options is worse than only one option? :-o Over-dramatic much?

X470 and B450 are real options even for new AMD CPUs. Also, the lower tier chipsets will be made by ASMedia (X570 was by AMD), and will definitely be lower cost, so might not be that much better than something from the 400 series.

Since X570 and the motherboards using it are so over-built, have a multitude of new features, and all the motherboard vendors have put their best foot forward with some great designs (obviously a few duds too), there really is no need for "X670" this year other than that it would be "new". By serving two CPU generations with the 500 series chipsets, both AMD and its partners could save some on development costs for both hardware and BIOS. Maybe some refresh motherboards, but that could be it.

If that is the case, the B550 and A520 releases will probably coincide with the 4000 series APUs (based on the same Zen 2 architecture as the 3000 series desktop CPUs).
 
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tennis2

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Problem is native BIOS support. You can't include launch-day support for a lineup of CPUs that don't come out until a year later. And with CPU-less BIOS update features (BIOS flashback) being fairly rare, it's just not as convenient as most would think to toss a current gen CPU into a previous gen mobo. It's also a gamble, and in no way guaranteed, that you'll get a more recent shipping BIOS version on your new mobo out of the box.

I have to praise MSI's "MAX" boards, and even AsRock has a couple boards with guaranteed Ryzen 3000 support out of the box on B450 boards. IF things like that (and/or BIOS flashback) can become more commonplace, this whole practice of delaying the more budget friendly chipsets until launch hype has worn off won't be as ridiculous.
 
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I have to praise MSI's "MAX" boards, and even AsRock has a couple boards with guaranteed Ryzen 3000 support out of the box on B450 boards. IF things like that (and/or BIOS flashback) can become more commonplace, this whole practice of delaying the more budget friendly chipsets until launch hype has worn off won't be as ridiculous.
Not only did MSI launch a refreshed lineup of their boards with out-of-box support for the 3000-series processors, but even many of their existing B450 boards supported BIOS flashing without a CPU. I think they were the only manufacturer to do that on B450, and that ended up being really useful due to the higher starting price of X570, along with B550 boards being missing in action for so long. They really thought ahead there, and those same 2000-series boards will probably also support the 4000-series processors without requiring an already-supported CPU to perform the update.
 
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wondering if there would be any noticeable gains for my r5-1600 on newer mobo, rn im using asus b450m prime and my 1600 sits on 4,0 ghz daily oc. Im not thinking about pushing it higher but im thinking about improvements in m.2 speeds etc
 
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that's not exactly true, there might be improvements in boards microcode how it will handle the m.2 connections and as much as it might not improve the speeds themselves but the data access latency. Yes it is a speculation but we dont have much of hard data on new motherboards so... who knows.
 

Gillerer

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I'm not sure where I read or watched it (or dreamt it), but I think someone mentioned B550 potentially doubling the chipset connection speed by reallocating the lanes that have up until now been used for the dedicated M.2 slot.

This would allow a PCIe Gen3 x8 (~7.8 GB/s) connection to the chipset; plenty for two M.2 drives at full PCIe Gen3 x4, essentially switched using the chipset, while allowing the dGPU to still use full x16 lanes from the CPU.

Obviously the configuration would depend on the motherboard vendor and price point. Some could only have one M.2 but more PCIe x4 and x1 expansion slots - the "put all your PCIe into M.2" is only given for the Mini-ITX form factor.

This would be like what Intel's been doing on their mainstream platforms - only better since the chipset uplink would be less likely to be a bottleneck.

I think this would be an interesting development; it would make B550 different enough from B450, despite not jumping to the expensive PCIe Gen4. I could also see motherboard vendors coming up with some really compelling designs using the extra chipset bandwidth to allow more flexibility in terms of M.2 / PCIe expansion slots / on-board controllers.

Some B550 motherboards could even have a PCIe Gen3 x8 expansion slot thru the chipset, taking over the low-end part of the dual graphics (or other high bandwidth device) market that X570 can't meet due to cost.
 
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TJ Hooker

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that's not exactly true, there might be improvements in boards microcode how it will handle the m.2 connections and as much as it might not improve the speeds themselves but the data access latency. Yes it is a speculation but we dont have much of hard data on new motherboards so... who knows.
Even if that were true, who says your B450 wouldn't get those same micro code updates? Your B450 Prime is running the same AGESA version as the X570 boards at the moment.
 
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tennis2

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I'm not sure where I read or watched it (or dreamt it), but I think someone mentioned B550 potentially doubling the chipset connection speed by reallocating the lanes that have up until now been used for the dedicated M.2 slot.
The dGPU almost always gets an x16. And since multi GPU isn't supported on B series boards, that's a non- issue.
Adding extra M.2 drives typically disables some other storage related connections.
 

TJ Hooker

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So 550/520 boards may only be out in Q2 based on the information in this article. And Zen 3 may be out as early as Q3, requiring new 600 series boards for guaranteed out-of-the-box compatibility. Seems like 550/520 may almost dead on arrival, unless AMD/ASMedia do an equally poor job of getting 600 series boards out as they did with 500 series. Seems like it'd be better to cancel 550/520 entirely and focus on timely release of 600 series, although I suppose it probably doesn't work that way.
 

tennis2

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There has to be some delay between X and A/B boards, otherwise VERY few people would buy X670 boards. This is what happens when you don't pull an Intel and fail to create enough segmentation between board families.
 

TJ Hooker

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My bad, I was going off Wikipedia for release dates of the chipsets, looks like they're wrong though. It says March 2018 for X470/B450, whereas the real dates are April and July from what I can tell.
 

Gillerer

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The dGPU almost always gets an x16. And since multi GPU isn't supported on B series boards, that's a non- issue.
Adding extra M.2 drives typically disables some other storage related connections.
I don't think B450/B350 (and presumably B550) allow bifurcation of the primary x16 slot. I only mentioned the x16 to draw attention to the fact that Ryzen CPUs have total 24 lanes, so they can spare 8 for other uses without the need to touch that x16.

AMD Crossfire multi-GPU is supported on *50 chipsets, but only with the second GPU being routed thru the chipset. Nvidia requires an x8 or x16 connection for all SLI'd GPUs, though. Setting aside the futility of multi-GPU in general, it especially hasn't been viable on Ryzen B-series motherboards with the dearth of chipset lanes and the fact they've been PCIe Gen2.

Of course there are other uses for a second fast PCIe expansion slot besides Crossfire/SLI - especially if the motherboard allows you to use multiple kinds of fast devices, and get them to share a plentiful upstream link (so not disable another slot if one is in use). Not all devices will need the maximum bandwidth at the same time, so you'll lose very little performance.
 

alextheblue

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And Zen 3 may be out as early as Q3, requiring new 600 series boards for guaranteed out-of-the-box compatibility.
As Cryo pointed out, this isn't true. They can release SKUs that are "Ryzen 4000 ready" with a compatible BIOS revision. They've done this before, actually. We also don't know if lower-end 600 series will be ready for 4000 launch, or if there will really be any upgrades. Mid-range 500 series is still worth doing, as a result.

Also, is 4000 guaranteed to be AM4?
I don't think B450/B350 (and presumably B550) allow bifurcation of the primary x16 slot.
That's up to board manufacturers, really. They just tend to do no- or low-frills designs for the cheaper chipsets.
 

TJ Hooker

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As Cryo pointed out, this isn't true. They can release SKUs that are "Ryzen 4000 ready" with a compatible BIOS revision. They've done this before, actually. We also don't know if lower-end 600 series will be ready for 4000 launch, or if there will really be any upgrades. Mid-range 500 series is still worth doing, as a result.

Also, is 4000 guaranteed to be AM4?
Sure, a mobo manufacturer could release a 500 series 'refresh' after Ryzen 4k comes out that would guarantee out of the box compatibility. But unless they're widely available almost immediately after Ryzen 4k launch (definitely wasn't the case with MSI's MAX boards and Ryzen 3K) people will still be stuck in the annoying situation where there are no mainstream boards that are guaranteed to support the new CPUs out of the box.

And as I said in my comment, I was talking about the scenario where B650/A620 does come out in a timely fashion after Ryzen 4k comes out. If that's not the case then obviously B550/A520 make more sense.

I don't think Ryzen 4k has been confirmed for AM4, although I think current rumors/sentiment point to that being the case.
 
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TJ Hooker

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Really? I've always thought that AMD (and Intel) dictate that you can only do multiple PCIe expansion slots (from the CPU) on the Z/X series motherboards, in order to upsell.
Yes, this is the case. Intel explicitly lists if/how the PCIe x16 from the CPU are allowed to be split up in their chipset specs pages (no bifurcation on anything other than Z series). AMD lists which chipsets allow the 16 link to be split into x8/x8 (X series only). However, it appears that lower tier chipsets still allow x8/x4, at least the B series anyway. I've seen at least one B450 that does this.
 
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