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AMD Confirms B550A chipset for OEMs

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

We have been expecting B550 motherboards for quite some time, but now AMD has finally commented on the value-oriented chipset. Well, sort of.

As spotted by Computerbase.de, Robert Hallock, one of AMD’s chief marketers, made a statement on the AMD subreddit about the existence of the B550A chipset, which is apparently different from the rumored B550 chipset.

On a post about a user spotting a pre-built system using a B550 motherboard from ASRock, Hallock commented to correct the user that the OEM system uses a B550A motherboard and not a 'standard' B550 board.

“No, it has a B550A motherboard. This is a version of the PCIe Gen 3 "Promontory-LP" (e.g., X470, B450) chipset specifically for use in pre-built systems (e.g. OEM customers).”

That means B550A is basically a refresh of 400-series AMD motherboards that can be found in some prebuilt PCs. Hallock also responded when a user asked why AMD would create a B550A chipset (implying that the name was confusing).

“OEMs are customers, too, and they may have different needs and wants than a DIYer. Not every product decision is considered through the lens of a channel product.”

Basically, B550A exists because there is a special demand that OEMs have, but normal consumers do not. For example, maybe AMD doesn’t believe a refresh of older hardware would appeal to enthusiasts, but might be good for OEMs because OEMs want cheaper hardware. Consumers buying prebuilt PCs might not care about the chipset, or even know what a chipset is.

It is also notable that AMD marketing went out of its way to correct a Reddit post that didn’t really garner much attention. This might be an indication that B550 boards are coming and they won’t be a refresh of previous-gen 400 series boards; obviously AMD wouldn’t want its enthusiast community to think a lower-performance chipset for OEMs would be the same chipset they would be getting. Or it could be an indication that B550 chipsets simply don’t exist, but that’s highly unlikely because AMD probably wants cheaper current-gen boards for its userbase.

Unfortunately, this is still no confirmation on what B550 will look like with respect to pricing and features (namely PCIe 4.0), but it is surely approaching soon.

*Specifications are not confirmed
ChipsetSegmentUSB 3.2 Gen 2USB 2.0SATAUplinkPCIe LanesRAIDDual GPUOC Support
X570Enthusiast844 + 8x4 Gen 48 + 8 Gen 40, 1, 10YesYes
X470 / X370Enthusiast266x4 Gen 38 Gen 20, 1, 10YesYes
B550*Mainstream264 + 4x4 Gen 38 Gen 2 + 4 Gen 30, 1, 10YesYes
B450 / B350Mainstream264x4 Gen 36 Gen 20, 1, 10YesYes