AMD launched the Ryzen 2000-series chips a few months ago, but your choices for motherboards have been depressingly limited. There were the high-end (and expensive) X470 chipsets, or you could hope an old board would work. Now, the new B450 chipset opens up powerful features to more price-conscious Ryzen builders.
The most important feature here support for CPU overclocking, which is rare in a sub-$100 motherboard. This works with all Ryzen chips, whereas Intel restricts overclocking to the high-end chipsets and K-series CPUs. You also get memory overclocking and AMD StoreMI, which lets you pair a spinning hard drive with an SSD to increase its speed. That was an optional add-on for last year’s Ryzen motherboards.
While the B450 has officially only launched this week, a few models from Asus, Asrock, and MSI have appeared for sale at a handful of sites like Newegg. Now, you can get a good selection of B450 motherboards at most retailers. These aren’t necessarily flashy or exciting motherboards, but they’re probably just as functional for most use cases compared to the dolled-up X470 boards that could cost twice as much. If you’ve been on the fence with Ryzen, now could be the time to jump.
If You Can’t Beat ‘Em: Thunderbolt 3 to Be Rebranded as USB4, Coming 2021
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