With the announcement of AMD’s newest Ryzen 7000 CPU launch at Computex 2022, we were given an insight into the latest generation of AMD CPUs set to rival Intel’s 12th Generation chips.
AMD teased us with titbits of information about the new chipsets, motherboard choices, and gave us some benchmarks. We’re all very excited at the GeekaWhat office and can’t wait for AMD to drop these new CPUs, but a burning question arises from this new product launch. What is the difference between the X670 chipsets?
Today we’ll be answering that question and covering the major differences between the brand new X670E chipset and X670 with all of the info we know so far. We’ll be looking at some of the technical information from the new motherboard releases, and some of the things we expect to see when we get an official product launch.
What is a Chipset?
First and foremost lets briefly cover what a chipset is. Although a chipset and motherboard go hand-in-hand, they are not the same thing. A motherboard is the physical circuit board that allows you to slot in your individual components. A chipset is a data communication centre and traffic controller that sits on top of your motherboard. Your chipset also determines the features you should expect on your motherboard such as: PCI-E expansion lanes, overclocking support, internal and rear IO etc.
AMD’s chipset names and numbers are somewhat different to Intel. AMD’s flagship chipset has always been ‘X#70’, whereas Intel’s current high-end chipset is Z690. AMD essentially jumps the number up by one every time a new series of CPU is released. Ryzen 5000 CPUs were X570, and the previous generation was X470, making the new 7000 CPUs X670. Where these new Ryzen 7000-series differ is that AMD have never had an ‘X#70E‘ chipset before. The E designation is supposed to elude to the chipset being more ‘extreme’ and enthusiast in its makeup.
Originally the ‘X#70’ chipset was geared towards the highest-end market, but it appears that may have changed with the introduction of X670E. Both chipsets are set to have a wide range of features and by contrast to Intel’s Z690 motherboards, will have more PCI-E Gen4 SSD support, PCI-E 5.0 support across the board, and plenty of rear IO.
As a brief note, the technical information for the new Ryzen 7000 motherboards is still a little light, and the specs for each chipset isn’t entirely detailed. With this in mind, we’ve pulled together all of the information we could find on both of the X670 chipsets and put as much as we could into this article. We’ll be sure to keep updating the content as more information gets released from AMD and their board partners.
As a general rule with AMD, overclocking is not limited to the motherboard but instead the CPU. AMD CPUs that have all cores unlocked have an ‘X’ designation, and provided AMD is sticking with the same philosophy, all of the new chipsets should support overclocking. Where they will differ is the amount of power phases and VRM cooling on the board.
For the X670E chipset, these motherboards are designed to push the overclocking capability of Ryzen 7000 CPUs to the max. The ASUS ROG Crosshair X670E motherboard has 20+2 power stages designed for optimal stability and to push performance to the highest it can go. If you’re picking up a next-gen Ryzen 9 CPU, you will likely be buying an X670E motherboard to pair with it for the best performance.
On the other side of the coin, X670 motherboards are not far behind when it comes to overclocking. The Gigabyte X670 AORUS Pro AX board features a 16+2+2 power delivery system. This again is great for pushing your clock speed to the max, and with optimal cooling you’ll have a powerful system.
PCI-E Lanes, Graphics Cards & SSDs
With concerns to PCI-E lanes we don’t currently know how many PCI-E lanes will be dedicated to each chipset. AMD announced that the new AM5 socket will have 24 PCI-E 5.0 lanes to play around with, but ultimately the full utilisation of these lanes will depend on the manufacturer and motherboard.
As X670E is the top-end chipset we believe that these motherboards will have full access to all of the 24 PCI-E 5.0 lanes. For the standard X670 motherboards, AMD might be nice and give you access to all of the 24 PCI-E lanes, but if we take a look at some of the motherboard specs – this is unlikely.
Gigabyte’s AORUS Pro AX board features three PCI-E x16 slots with only one of them being PCI-E 5.0 capable. You’re also given four PCI-E M.2 slots, one of which is Gen 5 compliant and the rest being Gen 4. Compared to X670E boards which offer support for multiple Gen 5 M.2 SSDs, and as a minimum one Gen 5 x16 slot.
To summarise, if you’re wanting to pick up the next generation of graphics cards then either X670E or X670 will be perfectly fine to use. But if you want extremely fast storage using the Gen 5 standard, then X670E will be the one to go for instead.
Memory Support & Overclocking
The biggest point to note here with memory support is that the newest Ryzen 7000 CPUs will not support DDR4 RAM and this is a standard across all of the available chipsets meaning an upgrade to DDR5 is unfortunately a requirement.
This could go one way or another. AMD forcing the upgrade to DDR5 might make the sticks become a lot cheaper making it easier for consumers to pick up. Or on the other hand, DDR5 memory sticks may still stay at their exorbitant price making the new CPUs inaccessible for budget, and potentially mid-range consumers.
This might sound a little dire, but it isn’t all bad. The new chipsets are set to have out of the box support for even higher clock speeds than Intel’s 12th gen processors, meaning for those that want to overclock, you’ll definitely be in luck here.
Unfortunately we don’t have all of the information we’d like in terms of the available clock speeds, but it is quite likely that AMD will upgrade clock speeds significantly compared to Intel, with rumours of 6GHz chips.
Pricing Expectation & Comparison
Firstly, you’ll notice that both of the chipsets are immediately much higher than the price range we witnessed with the release of the X570 chipset. This is ultimately down to new tech in the motherboards and the cost associated. PCI-E 5.0 components aren’t available yet for consumers, and because the tech doubles the bandwidth of the previous generation we’ll be seeing some significant performance boosts. DDR5 being a requirement also immediately boosts the price as the sticks themselves are still rather expensive.
X570 motherboards were generally geared towards those that wanted the best performance that they could get, but there were also some options for mid-range and potentially even budget builds. For a budget experience with Ryzen 7000 CPUs, you’ll need to look out for B650 boards, as these motherboards will have less features, making them cheaper overall. The X670 chipset is positioned in the middle of the road versus the other chipsets. We may see some motherboards priced lower than $300 but because the tech in these boards is so much newer, it is likely these will be a rarity.
For X670E, this is the cream of the crop when it comes to performance and features. You’ll likely have access to all of the new tech available with a wide range of features across the board – hence the higher price. If you’re saddened by our estimation of the price then we’d recommend holding out for the B650 boards, but if you’re looking to build the most kitted out system with no price restrictions, then X670E will be for you.
|$400 – $700||$300 – $600||$200 – $500|
Expected Overall Differences
|CPU Overclocking Support||Yes||Yes|
|CPU PCI Express 5.0 Lanes||24||20?|
|Chipset PCI Express 4.0 Lanes||12?||10?|
|Chipset PCI Express 3.0 Lanes||12?||10?|
|Max Number of USB Ports||24?||20?|
|Max USB 4.0 Ports||4?||2?|
|Max USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Ports (20Gbps)||14||10?|
Overall Differences Breakdown
With any new CPU release, there are a huge amount of new specifications that comes with each chipset. Although much of this is speculation, we can make an educated guess about differences we’ll see between X670E and X670. AMD has given us very little information about how much of each feature the chipsets will have, but we’ve pieced some of the available information together to speculate what will be available.
First and foremost – PCI-E lanes. AMD has told us that the AM5 socket can support up to 24 PCI-E 5.0 lanes. As X670E is the top-end chipset of the line-up we expect that the new motherboards will likely utilise all of these both on the x16 slots and x4. As X670 is the middle of the road, we don’t imagine the total amount of lanes will hugely decrease here. We’ve said 20 as a generous answer, but there is a possibility it could be lower.
The other guesses we’ve made come from technical information we have about the motherboards. For example, we know that the X670E ROG Extreme motherboard has two PCI-E x16 Gen 5 slots, four PCI-E 5.0 x4 slots, so we can assume that there is going to be very little focus on PCI-E 4.0 for this particular chipset. As a general rule of thumb, we can assume that the X670E chipset is going to maximise all of the available features (of which there are many). By contrast, the X670 chipset won’t be far behind and will offer less of the available features overall, but still be geared towards high-end and mid-range builds.
Where to Buy
The Ryzen 7000 CPUs have not officially released, and they are speculated to drop around September/October time. The motherboards will release around the same time that the CPUs drop, so for the time being you’ll want to check out the manufacturer websites for more information and where to buy the latest motherboards.
We’ve discussed the biggest differences (and similarities) between the X670E and X670 chipset, and the features we expect to see once the CPUs release. From what we can assume based on the information we have, it is likely that both chipsets will be quite similar in terms of features. The X670E chipset will most likely use all of the available features that come with Ryzen 7000 CPUs. In comparison, the standard X670 chipset is expected to be more aligned with mid-range consumers, but will also have some high-end options.
Although the technical information is limited to some extent, we’re very excited to see what AMD is bringing to the table. And if the current information is anything to go by, AMD might be about to blow the Intel 12th Gen CPUs out of the water.