Building a computer on a new processor is expensive at best, and that’s a triple truth to the new AMD Ryzen 7000 chips. AMD started off with its high-end chips for $ 300 and above, leaving mid-shelf options until next year. The processors only support DDR5 RAM, which is still more expensive than DDR4 at the same capacities. And the first series of motherboards that include the new AM5 CPU socket are available now and are quite expensive.
The cheapest motherboard currently available from companies like Newegg and Micro Center is the ASRock X670E PG Lightning, which despite being the cheapest motherboard available, is an X670E motherboard that will support PCIe 5.0 GPUs when they finally arrive (even the newly announced GeForce RTX 4000 series still uses PCIe 4.0). The motherboard is missing a few features we like to see – no built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, limited audio outputs, relatively small heat sinks for voltage regulator modules (VRMs), and other components – but it has four M.2 SSD slots with different speeds and tons of connections for case fans and front USB ports.
If that’s something you care about, the cheapest X670E with Wi-Fi is also one of ASRock’s boards, the X670E Pro RS, available for $ 280 from Newegg and Micro Center.
As the price rises towards the $ 500 mark, you start to see more of the extras high-end motherboards are known for: larger heatsinks for VRM and often large, one-piece metal heatsinks that cover most of the SSD’s slots and make the board look a bit cleaner in a housing with a side window. The Asus ROG STRIX X670E-F ($ 450), Gigabyte X670E Aorus Master ($ 500), and MSI MPG X670E Carbon Wifi ($ 480) are in this group with big, flashy RGB heat sinks. Compared to low-end boards, they also have more USB-C ports on the back and a higher ratio of USB 3.x ports to USB 2.0 ports.
Small version fans will be disappointed to see that there is only one mini-ITX AM5 motherboard available so far, and it’s quite expensive: The Asus ROG STRIX X670E-I Gaming WiFi ($ 470) looks functional, but a bit weird too, with a strange exterior a hub named “ROG Strix Hive” and a protruding daughter board for USB 2.0 port connectors, front panel connectors, and some SATA ports that may be inconvenient on some particularly small ITX cases.
The award for “most ridiculously most expensive motherboard” goes to the MSI MEG X670E Godlike, which costs $ 1,300 and is almost twice as expensive as the next most expensive motherboard. This chunky black board is covered in shiny heat sinks and tries to justify its price by adding a riser card for additional PCIe 5.0 SSDs and a built-in 10Gb / s Ethernet port.
The prices won’t be this stupid forever – or even (hopefully) for a very long time. This first wave of boards is heavily tilted towards the more expensive X670E variant (20 boards in Newegg, compared to only four X670 boards) which must meet the more robust PCI Express 5.0 signaling requirements for the graphics slot.
In October, AMD will also introduce the B650 and B650E boards, which only use one chipset array, while the X670 uses two – these motherboards should provide AM5 support well below $ 200 while still delivering good performance. Next year, with DDR5 prices steadily falling and AMD bringing more mid-tier Ryzen 7000 series processors to the market, it will be easier to recommend the AM5 version to budget-conscious buyers. AMD plans to support AM5 until at least 2025, so the board you buy now should also be eligible for at least a few new processors over the next few years.
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