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New AMD B650 Extreme motherboards are built for budget overclocking

AMD has just announced the upcoming Ryzen 7000 processors, and alongside them, new motherboards that will accommodate the freshly released AM5 socket.

Aside from the already expected high-end X670 motherboards, AMD has also confirmed that B650 and B650 Extreme boards are around the corner too, bringing new levels of performance to a more budget-oriented platform with full overclocking support. Here’s what we know about them.

An AMD Ryzen 7000 processor slotted into a motherboard.

With the new Zen 4 platform, AMD is finally saying goodbye to the AM4 socket and moving onto AM5. However, it will retain compatibility with AM4 coolers, making the switch a little bit less costly — although needing to use DDR5 RAM will eat up the savings on not needing to buy a new cooler.

As it has been previously confirmed, AM5 will support DDR5 RAM exclusively, unlike Intel Alder Lake and Raptor Lake, which will continue to support both DDR4 and DDR5. AMD also promises access to PCIe Gen 5.0, officially taking the leap into the platform’s future. Previous leaks told us that we can expect up to 24 PCIe 5.0 lanes. The company stated that you can start with PCIe 4.0 and move on to PCIe 5.0 when you’re ready, so upgrading isn’t necessary.

AMD has teased its (previously rumored) Expo technology that will provide one-click DDR5 overclocking on the Ryzen 7000 processors. The tech is said to deliver an up to 11% boost in 1080p gaming performance, lower DDR5 latency, and royalty-free memory specification. Over 15 of the best RAM kits will support this tech at the launch of Zen 4, with speeds reaching as high as DDR5-6400.

The new Zen 4 chips are going to utilize a 5nm process node, marking an upgrade over the 7nm-powered Zen 3. AMD is also switching from a pin grid array (PGA) socket to a land grid array (LGA) 1718. This could potentially make the installation process easier and more familiar to Intel users, since Intel already uses an LGA design, albeit with fewer pins than AMD. The socket will come with up to 230 watts of power delivery.

Team Red stayed true to the AM4 socket for years, and now it seems to be planning to do the same thing for the AM5 — although perhaps not to the same extent. The AM4 was launched in late 2016 and was finally replaced six years later. According to AMD, the AM5 socket will be fully supported through 2025 and beyond.

As was expected, the more expensive, high-end X670 and X670 Extreme motherboards will be the first to arrive alongside the Zen 4 processors, on September 27. However, the B650 and B650 Extreme won’t be far behind, and are now slated for an October release. We will need to wait to learn the exact models and pricing, but the cheapest motherboards will start at a reasonable $125. Like previous AMD generations, both B650 and B650 Extreme will support CPU overclocking.

During Computex 2022, it was made clear that the budget-friendly motherboards would likely not support PCIe Gen 5.0 on the x16 slot at all. Whether this will remain true for all manufacturers or not still remains to be seen. They will, however, have at least one NVMe slot with PCIe 5.0.

Previous leaks indicate that we can expect up to 14 USB ports at 20Gbps each, as well as support for Bluetooth 5.2 and Wi-Fi 6E. We might have to wait for AMD’s partners to reveal their B650 and B650 Extreme plans in order to learn the full extent of the features provided by these motherboards.

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Monica J. White
Monica is a UK-based freelance writer and self-proclaimed geek. A firm believer in the "PC building is just like expensive…
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