The X470 chipset was released way back in March 2018, along with the B450 chipset to mark the era of 400-series AMD chipsets, based on the AM4 CPU socket. It’s a successor to the X370 chipset released in February 2017 and it’s a high-performance counterpart to the B450 chipset. Recent changes in AMD’s way of thinking have brought X470 back into the spotlight, following the statement by AMD that this chipset will support AMD Ryzen 4000 processors.
This chipset, along with other 300-series and 400-series chipsets has been developed, tested, and manufactured in collaboration with ASMedia Technology Inc., an integrated circuit design company from Taiwan owned by Asus. The main question everyone wonders is whether this chipset will be good enough to run the latest Ryzen 4000 processors based on the Zen 3 microarchitecture and if its age will affect the processors’ performance. Let’s see what X470 is all about!
Being a successor to the X370 chipset, the first upgrade that can be observed is the increased maximum supported DDR4 memory speed of 2933 MHz. X470 supports 2x USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, 6x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, and 6x USB 2.0 ports. There are 6 SATA ports and 8 PCIe 2.0 lanes. The TDP is decreased to 4.8 W and it supports StoreMI technology. Motherboards based on the X570 chipset will support overclocking.
The StoreMI technology was discontinued on March 31, 2020, and it will be replaced by an improved technology but it’s still worth mentioning as it was quite eye-catching when it was announced for 400-series AMD chipsets.
This technology allows users to create a virtual storage drive out of two different physical drives. For instance, you can combine any two drives from the following: hard drives, SSDs, RAM, or Optane drives. The general idea behind the use of this technology is to combine two drives where one is much faster than the other. A typical usage scenario would be combining a fast SSD with a slow HDD. The technology then uses its machine learning algorithms to manage where will data be stored and how will it be accessed.
So, you decide to install a game on your virtual drive. You choose it during the installation and the installation is complete. Still, you’ll have no idea on which physical drive the game is stored. However, once the algorithms figure out it’s a video game you run often and want to perform as well as possible, it will probably store the game on the high-speed drive.
There are three questions everyone interesting in the X470 chipset might ask: is it a big step forward from X370, is it that better than B450, and is it good enough to keep you from upgrading to X570? We’ll try to answer these questions by comparing X470 to these three relevant chipsets!
X470 vs X370
Well, if you wanted a massive leap from X370 to X470, you might be disappointed. There are two major specifications differences between X470 and X370: X470 supports the StoreMI technology whereas X370 doesn’t, and TDP (Thermal Design Power) was decreased from 6.8 W to 4.8 W, making the X470 chipset dissipate less and making sure it can be cooled with a simple heatsink. TDP represents the maximum power generated by the chipset that can be driven away with its cooling system at any workload and lowering this number indicates lower chances of the chipset overheating.
We’ve already mentioned the maximum DDR4 memory speed was increased from 2667 MHz to 2933 MHz. However, the thing that marks the biggest difference between these two chipsets is the processors they support. The X370 chipset natively supports the 1st and 2nd generation of AMD Ryzen CPUs and selective BIOS updates were deployed to provide support for the 3rd generation (AMD Ryzen 3000 processors). On the other hand, the X470 chipset supports everything from AMD Athlon processors to the future 4th generation of AMD Ryzen processors based on the future Zen 3 microarchitecture. Yes, you’ve read that correctly! More info on the subject will be provided shortly!
X470 vs B450
Belonging to the same 400-series chipset generation, X has always stood for Extreme and B for Basic. That being said, everyone expects the X470 to beat B450 in enough categories to be considered superior and to justify the higher price of X470 motherboards.
X470 offers 2 extra PCIe 2.0 lanes, 8 in total, and two extra SATA III 6 Gpbs ports, 4 in total. It provides a total of 6 USB 3.1 Gen 3 ports, 4 more than B450. The maximum DDR4 speed is also increased from 2667 MHz to 2933 MHz. Well, that’s pretty much it!
These two chipsets share more similarities than differences, which can be observed in the fact that they support the same overclocking technologies and are compatible with the same processors. That’s why we would always recommend B450 for gamers who might benefit from saving some money on a motherboard.
X470 vs X570
The X570 chipset was released in July 2019 and it represents a direct successor to the X470 chipset. The 500-series chipsets were released to support the third and the fourth generation of AMD Ryzen processors and they bring some new exciting features. Let’s see how X570 compares to X470.
There is a sudden jump in the PCIe interface standard between the chipset and the peripheral devices. X570 uses PCIe 4.0 whereas X470 uses 2.0. This might feel like the greatest change since the maximum supported transfer rate changes from 5 GT/s (PCIe 2.0) to 16 GT/s. While not many devices can exploit the full capabilities PCIe 4.0 has to offer, many devices would be bottlenecked by the bit rate offered by PCIe 2.0 and this step forward has indeed been a much-needed one, though perhaps not on this scale. For instance, Intel still hasn’t decided to include PCIe 4.0 in their most recent lineup of chipsets and it’s uncertain whether the future releases will offer it. They are sticking with PCIe 3.0 and it doesn’t seem to hurt their performance in any task except maybe for copying large chunks of data on high-speed SSDs.
X570 offers 8x USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, which is something X470 doesn’t offer and it compensates with a combination of USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports and USB 2.0 ports. Another significant difference X570 introduced is a significantly higher TDP of 11 W. Let’s remember that the TDP of X470 is a mere 4.8 W. This implied the change in chipset cooling. X470 is cooled passively using a heatsink whereas X570 cooling is active, fan cooling is needed to accommodate the increased power dissipation. There are speculations that PCIe 4.0 is to blame but a popular German YouTuber “der8auer” known for his overclocking skills and PC experiments has concluded that the chipset’s dissipation is high even with no PCIe 4.0 devices connected in this video.
X470 will support Ryzen 4000 in a recent twist of events
The story begins way back in 2016 when AMD’s then-new AM4 CPU socket was announced. AMD has promised to keep the socket up until and throughout 2020 to keep CPU compatibility between different chipsets. This is something Intel didn’t do as they release new CPU sockets for almost every new generation of chipsets and CPUs, rendering your current motherboards useless for the new generation. To put things short, to buy a new Intel CPU, you’ll also need to buy a new motherboard!
AMD has decided to play the good guys here and stick with AM4 for more than 3 years and counting, starting in February 2017 when 300-series chipsets were released. Everyone thought that, with an AM4 socket on their motherboard, they would be able to run all CPUs with the same socket. Well, that wasn’t what AMD thought.
Even though AMD announced that the future, AMD Ryzen 4000 generation, will use the same AM4 socket, it was initially reserved just for 500-series chipsets (X570 and B550). It’s safe to say that AMD customers were furious, especially X470 and B450 owners who thought they were ready for the Zen 3 architecture.
Customers’ voice was heard
Their rage managed to convince AMD to change their mind on May 19, when they announced that 400-series chipsets will also receive BIOS updates to enable Ryzen 4000 compatibility. However, it’s up to motherboard manufacturers to decide whether they’ll do it since installing these updates will break the motherboard’s compatibility for older Ryzen CPUs. So, once you go Ryzen 4000 on your X470 or B450 motherboard, there is no going back. Also, don’t expect these updates and procedures to be available on the first day of release.
AMD has still recommended 500-series to pair with Ryzen 4000 and this is something we also recommend if you are currently looking to be up-to-date with new technologies. However, if you already own an X470 motherboard and if you happen to be lucky enough to upgrade to Ryzen 4000 without having to buy a new one, you should take your chances!
X470 in a nutshell
X470 is a chipset with a broad range of supported CPUs and you might even get lucky enough to run the new generation with a simple BIOS update. It’s lacking PCIe 4.0 support to keep it up-to-date and it doesn’t have any USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports for increased transfer speeds. Still, when choosing different motherboards and their price relative to X570 motherboards into account, it represents a good run for your money.
Its general purpose PCIe lanes are 2.0 and that might be the worst of its characteristics. Even though it may be ready for the new generation when it comes to compatibility, you don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you have a high-performance CPU, GPU, and storage drives, only for them to be bottlenecked by PCIe 2.0 maximum bit rate of 5 GT/s. X470 was great in the past and it’s great in the present but the future was designed with 500-series chipsets in mind and you should remember that when you see your X470 motherboard on the list of Ryzen 4000-ready motherboards. Remember that there is no going back after installing that BIOS update!