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Discussion Starter #1
Saw some at the local Microcenter and wondering if anbody picked up one of the new B450 boards and benched it yet.

Curious if the VRM's and BIOS have improved.
 

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Several B450 boards are on Newegg already.

VRMs are gonna depend on which exact board you're thinking of grabbing. Though if you're doing any sort of "extreme" OCing I don't know why you're looking at B450, you should probably be looking at X470.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Several B450 boards are on Newegg already.

VRMs are gonna depend on which exact board you're thinking of grabbing. Though if you're doing any sort of "extreme" OCing I don't know why you're looking at B450, you should probably be looking at X470.
I'm looking specifically at mATX, staying economical and not interested in XOC (extreme OC); I am just interested in maximizing utility.
 

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If you're still looking at B450 boards, the situation really hasn't changed much. There aren't any mATX boards to write home about right now * ; MSI B450 Pro Carbon's pricing is the deciding factor on that board because lower-end X470 ATX offerings are close in price.



* I'll be amazed if MSI decides to pull the same VRM as their Tomahawk on the Mortar Titanium or Bazooka Plus. The reason is they did cheap out on audio and LAN as well as the top VRM heatsink for the SOC.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
If you're still looking at B450 boards, the situation really hasn't changed much. There aren't any mATX boards to write home about right now * ; MSI B450 Pro Carbon's pricing is the deciding factor on that board because lower-end X470 ATX offerings are close in price.



* I'll be amazed if MSI decides to pull the same VRM as their Tomahawk on the Mortar Titanium or Bazooka Plus. The reason is they did cheap out on audio and LAN as well as the top VRM heatsink for the SOC.
I think I can understand why an SoC VRM heatsink is difficult on the Mortar (and most other mATX boards). These things have to fit cases that are often tighter yet still have a fan at the top. To fit my case, for instance, I'd have to severely trim the one on AB450M Pro4, or remove it outright (I don't intend to run an APU anyway). I have to notch the fan shroud as it is to fit the 8 pin and CPU Fan connectors.

Being somewhat cynical about the state of the AM4 motherboard market, I'm fearful you may be right about the VRM. Although, I see in pictures the SoC VRM shows 4 FET's per phase. A feature, along with the same extended and finned heatsink, that helps Tomahawk run cool overclocked and loaded. If Mortar/Mortar Titanium/Bazooka+ (all featuring that same extended heatsink design) is top of line for mATX, maybe only Bazooka and lower will use lower-cost phase designs (like their Pro-M2).
 

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How long do we think until they start accumulating bios updates for B450 boards?
A quick look at Asrock AB350m pro4 board reveals over 15 bios updates already... that's nearly 1 every month since launch.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
How long do we think until they start accumulating bios updates for B450 boards?
A quick look at Asrock AB350m pro4 board reveals over 15 bios updates already... that's nearly 1 every month since launch.
Arguably, AMD was in an existential crisis in early 2017. It appears they rushed board partners to release first gen Ryzen boards into the market place even with very immature AGESA code. The immature AGESA resulted in flaky, at best, memory compatibility at higher speeds....above 2600. And then, the board partners didn't help much as many of their BIOS were flaky as heck; Gigabyte's famous 'Cold Brick' issue comes to mind. As they fixed it, there were a TON of BIOS updates with increasingly mature AGESA code, steadily improving compatibility and generally better BIOS.

There hasn't been anything close to the same tempo of updates lately, not for my board at least, and far less hysteria about not getting 3200 memory speeds. So it appears to have calmed down since Pinnacle Ridge, and the BIOS/AGESA combo designed for it, came to market.

Even so, AMD will support this platform all the way through 2020 and that includes another generation of Ryzen: Zen2. So as each new generation of CPU/APU comes to market you can expect an appropriate BIOS update to enable it, or optimize for it, with your legacy board.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
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* I'll be amazed if MSI decides to pull the same VRM as their Tomahawk on the Mortar Titanium or Bazooka Plus. The reason is they did cheap out on audio and LAN as well as the top VRM heatsink for the SOC.
It appears the B450M Mortar will have a decent VCore VRM to go with it's decent heatsink... 4 Fet's per phase, like the Tomahawk. Still 4 phases but at least it should be decently cool for 2700X.

https://www.hardwareluxx.de/community/f12/pga-am4-mainboard-vrm-liste-1155146.html#post25344552
 

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Arguably, AMD was in an existential crisis in early 2017. It appears they rushed board partners to release first gen Ryzen boards into the market place even with very immature AGESA code. The immature AGESA resulted in flaky, at best, memory compatibility at higher speeds....above 2600. And then, the board partners didn't help much as many of their BIOS were flaky as heck; Gigabyte's famous 'Cold Brick' issue comes to mind. As they fixed it, there were a TON of BIOS updates with increasingly mature AGESA code, steadily improving compatibility and generally better BIOS.

There hasn't been anything close to the same tempo of updates lately, not for my board at least, and far less hysteria about not getting 3200 memory speeds. So it appears to have calmed down since Pinnacle Ridge, and the BIOS/AGESA combo designed for it, came to market.

Even so, AMD will support this platform all the way through 2020 and that includes another generation of Ryzen: Zen2. So as each new generation of CPU/APU comes to market you can expect an appropriate BIOS update to enable it, or optimize for it, with your legacy board.
Yes, we could see that coming with 1st gen Ryzens. I mean for high performance desktops at least, what with nothing since 2011s AM3+ unless one factors in FM2+ but that had limited cpu core count. This is why I abstain from upgrading in a rush, but watch with quite amusement the early adopters coming out onto OC forums wondering why their top dollar new gen platforms don't perform as expected.

In any case I still see the B450 range as having some "quirks" ironed out at least in comparison to B350s when they released.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
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In any case I still see the B450 range as having some "quirks" ironed out at least in comparison to B350s when they released.
What quirks are you seeing?

The only 'quirks', if you can even call it that, I can see with the B450 line is the idiotic market segmentation the board partners have settled in with. It's glaringly obvious that, seeing SLI isn't really a thing anymore, they decided to make X370/470 more attractive by coupling it with superior VRM designs so that overclocking enthusiasts would have to buy it too.

The result of this market segmentation is there are no high- capability mATX boards since they also decided to keep X370/470 out of the segment. To me, the higher connectivity of X370/470 is a natural fit in ATX: more space for more M.2's, more SATA ports, more USB ports, WiFi, Dual Internet and etc.

The lesser connectivity if B350/450 would be natural for mATX but even in the smaller form there's a substantial enthusiast crowd who'd like to have some decent overclocking headroom.
 

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What quirks are you seeing?

The only 'quirks', if you can even call it that, I can see with the B450 line is the idiotic market segmentation the board partners have settled in with. It's glaringly obvious that, seeing SLI isn't really a thing anymore, they decided to make X370/470 more attractive by coupling it with superior VRM designs so that overclocking enthusiasts would have to buy it too.

The result of this market segmentation is there are no high- capability mATX boards since they also decided to keep X370/470 out of the segment. To me, the higher connectivity of X370/470 is a natural fit in ATX: more space for more M.2's, more SATA ports, more USB ports, WiFi, Dual Internet and etc.

The lesser connectivity if B350/450 would be natural for mATX but even in the smaller form there's a substantial enthusiast crowd who'd like to have some decent overclocking headroom.
RAM compatibility & performance issues for one thing. Check out how many bios releases for AB350M Pro4 board from Asrock > https://www.asrock.com/mb/AMD/AB350M Pro4/index.asp#BIOS as 1 example, didn't check the other vendors but a perusal of OC enthusiasts forums indicates this is not an isolated issue.

But that's to be expected considering how much of a leap it is in evolution compared to AM3+ & FM2+ platforms & the yrs waiting for AM4 + Ryzen goodness.
Ironically an ITX board from Asus claims to have highest DDR4 bandwidth support for B450 platform > https://www.asus.com/au/Motherboards/ROG-STRIX-B450-I-GAMING/specifications/ ... an ITX board???? Why would they not claim that for ATX or mATX board with B450? odd!

I gravitate to ATX form factors for gaming for practical reasons rather than feature sets. I have large hands & fingers so fiddling around in restricted cases & mobos like what mATX & ITX downright annoying, drives me nuts to say the least + there's the improved air flow around ALL components in bigger form factors anyway, obviously a benefit for OC heardroom & long term thermal stability.
Connectivity is not a major issue for me, as long as the basics are covered its good enough for my usage scenario.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
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Ironically an ITX board from Asus claims to have highest DDR4 bandwidth support for B450 platform > https://www.asus.com/au/Motherboards/ROG-STRIX-B450-I-GAMING/specifications/ ... an ITX board???? Why would they not claim that for ATX or mATX board with B450? odd!...
The B350 (AM4 in general, actually) BIOS issues were endemic; everyone had to roll releases as AMD's AGESA code matured. While all the major tech reviewers agree this isn't unexpected when a totally new platform comes to market, I personally agree with the line of thought that says AMD had to goad their board partners into releasing early, further aggravating early compatibility problems.

Personally, and I'm not just being cynical about this either, I believe that 3600Tps compatibility claim is pure marketing. That '(OC)' being the major disclaimer: they are basically saying good luck trying.

The reason they would claim it here is it's an ITX board and full featured (WiFi, hi-end audio, Intel LAN, strong VRM) so that kind of claim better come with it in order to round out justification of the higher price they can command in that form factor. If you doubt Asus would stoop to such marketing tactics just look at the fake 8 phase VRM claims as they launched their B450 lines. Not only fake, but poorly executed fakes.

This board does, btw, quite precisely make my point: B450 is just as good of a chipset as X470 if you don't need it's connectivity.
 
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