The latest low- to mid-range motherboards for AMD’s chips aren’t on the low-end, at least not this time around. With over forty options available today, B550 motherboards are a modest improvement over the current B450 range, yet not a single option is under $150.
So if you’re interested in building a low-cost AMD-based desktop, buying a powerful yet inexpensive CPU and GPU is an option. For the motherboard, not so much.
The major improvement is additional throughput in all directions. This means even without spending a lot more for an X570 mobo you’ll have data transfer rates to match the highest-end CPUs, GPUs, and SSDs. Assuming that you don’t have too many; AMD breaks down the options in the chart above.
These limitations aren’t crazy considering these are budget boards. The high prices aren’t exactly surprising either, when you consider the tech. Wi-Fi 6/802.11ax, Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.2, multiple PCIe 4.0x 4 M.2…this is high capacity stuff. Even without pricier components most available B550 mobos are nothing to snuff at.
If you are in the market for a new motherboard, be aware that the B550 series only works with Ryzen 3000 or newer. And it’s not clear yet whether that includes Ryzen 4000 APU; AMD hasn’t made any announcements for it just yet. So if that’s the only upgrade component you need, wait until it’s time to upgrade your CPU. AnandTech has a great breakdown of which options work best depending on your needs, and all the available options.