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Upcoming X870 motherboards offer just one improvement over the existing B650E chipset

USB4 sets them apart
Last Updated on July 2, 2024
Finger placed on Gigabyte AUROS motherboard
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It’s not long until the upcoming AMD X870 and X870E motherboards hit launch. That said, the Ryzen 9000 series they’re built for will be coming out first, at the end of July. This leaves PC builders a dilemma: if upgrading to the latest-gen Ryzen CPUs, should you wait for X870 or simply use one of the existing 600 series boards? It’s all the same AM5 socket, after all.

Well, a deeper dive into the specifications seems to imply that buyers forking out for the latest X870 or X870E boards may only see a marginal improvement, even over the existing ‘budget’ B650 range, the main difference being USB4 support.

X870’s only difference versus B650E is USB4

As noted by ComputerBase back when the newer motherboards were revealed at Computex: “The X870 is not an X670 successor, but a B650E”. Looking at the difference between the X870 and B650E, we can see that they feature an almost identical list of specifications. The key difference, however, is the inclusion of USB4 on the newer X870 board.

Graphics1 x16 PCIe 5.0 or 2 x8 PCIe 5.01 x16 PCIe 5.0 or 2 x8 PCIe 5.0
NVMe1 x 4 PCIe 5.01 x 4 PCIe 5.0
Max GPP44
PCIe total3636
PCIe 5.02424
PCIe 4.088
PCIe 3.044
USB4 supportYesNo
USB 20 Gbit/s11
USB 10 Gbit/s66
USB 5 Gbit/s44
CPU overclockingYesYes
DDR5 overclockingYesYes
X870 vs B650E specs table

Is it worth upgrading to X870?

If you’ve already made the switch to AM5, we imagine buying an 800 series board is not worth your time or money. We’ve seen several motherboard manufacturers such as MSI rolling out BIOS updates lately for the new series, ensuring that the new Ryzen 9000 series CPUs are optimized for the boards that preceded them.

On the other hand, USB4 support may be a valuable upgrade for you. If you are building afresh, you’ll need to consider the price difference between the two series, especially as the 600 series will likely be cheaper as stock is cleared out – we suspect you’ll be able to score a real bargain if you think the time has come to finally move on from your AM4 rig.

At PC Guide, Jack is mostly responsible for reporting on hardware deals. He also specializes in monitors, TVs, and headsets and can be found putting his findings together in a review or best-of guide.