Biostar Racing B550 GTQ review

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Ryzen 3000

The Ryzen 3000 - Generation 3 (Matisse) processors

As you all know, since 2019, AMD has been making a series of announcements about its processor platform, including several procs based on the Ryzen 3000 series, and the B550 / X570 chipset. First, we’ll walk you through everything that was launched in Q2 2020 to give you an idea of what has been released and, of course, talk a bit more about the chiplet design and what that is all about. Meet the processors that debuted on the market over the recent months:

  • 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X, priced at 749 USD
  • 12-core Ryzen 9 3900XT, priced at 499 USD
  • 12-core Ryzen 9 3900X, priced at 499 USD
  • 8-core Ryzen 7 3800XT, priced at 399 USD
  • 8-core Ryzen 7 3800X, priced at 399 USD
  • 8-core Ryzen 7 3700X, priced at 329 USD
  • 6-core Ryzen 5 3600XT, priced at 249 USD
  • 6-core Ryzen 5 3600X, priced at 249 USD
  • 6-core Ryzen 5 3600, priced at 199 USD
  • 4-core Ryzen 3 3300X, priced at 120 USD
  • 4-core Ryzen 3 3100, priced at 99 USD

AMD announced multiple Ryzen 3000 processor, ranging from six to sixteen cores, and including the Ryzen 3600(X/XT) with six cores and twelve threads, Ryzen 3700(X) (8t/16t), Ryzen 3800X/3800XT (8c/16t), and Ryzen 9 3900X/3900XT (12c/24t). And this means that silicon with two 8-core CPU dies immediately entered the market. AMD promises an IPC increase of almost 15%, and even up to 25% when you factor in the increase in clock frequency. Most Ryzen models will get Turbo bins towards 4.4~4.6 GHz. There’s also AMD’s flagship processor, the Ryzen 9 3950X, a sixteen-core part with thirty-two threads and a Turbo binning towards 4.7 GHz. 


CPU Cores / Threads Clock speed/turbo (GHz) Cache (total) PCIe lanes 
CPU+x570 chiplet)
Ryzen 9 3950X 16/32 3.5 / 4.7 72MB 40 $ 749 
Ryzen 9 3900XT 12/24 3.8 / 4.7 70 MB 40 $ 499
Ryzen 9 3900X 12/24 3.8 / 4.6 70MB 40 $ 499
Ryzen 7 3800XT 8/16 3.9 / 4.7 36MB 40 $ 399
Ryzen 7 3800X 8/16 3.9 / 4.5 36MB 40 $ 399
Ryzen 7 3700X 8/16 3.6 / 4.4 36MB 40 $ 329
Ryzen 5 3600XT 6/12 3.8 / 4.7 35MB 40 $ 249
Ryzen 5 3600X 6/12 3.8 / 4.4 35MB 40 $ 249
Ryzen 5 3600 6/12 3.6 / 4.2 35MB 40 $ 199
Ryzen 3 3300X 4/8 3.8/4.3 18MB 40 $ 120
Ryzen 3 3100 4/8 3.6/3.9 18MB 40 $ 99

Chiplet design

AMD is now effectively moving towards the chiplet design, starting with Ryzen 3000, aka ZEN2. Multi-die chips, thus multiple chips in one package, is what we're talking about when we refer to a chiplet design. This is one of the many attempts at fighting off Moore's Law, now and in the future. AMD has already been using this technology to connect multiple processors in Threadripper and, for servers, Epyc. Actually, Intel has been as well, with Kaby Lake-G. Chiplets are multiple chips put together on an interposer that forms the actual chip. AMD Ryzen 3000, Zen 2 processors feature an I/O die along with 7nm CPU chiplets (each holding eight cores per die). To be able to accomplish that, AMD has been updating its Infinity Fabric, which connects the different dies holding the cores. Current Epyc, Ryzen, and Threadripper CPUs are all connected with Infinity Fabric.

Ryzen 3000 (Matisse) delivers 24 lanes PCIe 4.0

Ryzen 3000 CPUs have a total of 24 PCIe Gen4 lanes, yes, Gen 4.0. Four out of the twenty-four are used for the interconnect to the B550/X570 chipset, leaving 20 Gen 4.0 lanes for other uses. 16 lanes (PCIe x16) are intended for graphics cards that are connected as x16, or two cards at x8. Compared with Gen 3.0, a Gen 4.0 x8 link would offer similar bandwidth to a PCIe 3.0 x16. Four more PCIe lanes from the CPU are designed for fast storage, such as PCIe 4.0 NVMe-compatible SSDs. In addition to all that, a side note - AMD has integrated USB 3.2 Gen2 support into the CPU, which means you get four 10 Gbps USB ports at SuperSpeed; there literally is a chipset chip inside the processor.


The B550 chipset

AMD is also launching its budget chipset. I would say it is very similar to X470. Meaning, the chipset is PCIe Gen 3.0. including the uplink to the processor. That also means the interlink between the chipset and CPU is running over four Gen 3 lanes. The good news is that, with four extra Gen 4 lanes from the CPU, you can still opt to go with an M2 PCIe 4.0 slot, and this applies to your video card as well. But let's juxtapose things a bit:  

Chipset End-user USB 3.2 Gen 2 USB 2.0 SATA3 Interconnect OC Support
B550 Mainstream 2 6 4+4 x4 Gen3 Yes
X570 Enthusiast 8 4 4+8 x4 Gen4 Yes

 So, compared with the top-end X570, it offers fewer USB 3.2 Gen2 (10 Gb/s) ports, the chipset basically does not support PCIe 4.0, and communicates with Ryzen processors via four PCIe 3.0 lanes (instead of PCIe 4.0), which limits the total bandwidth of controllers built into it. 


PCIe VersionLine CodeTransfer Ratex1 Bandwidthx4x8x16
1.0 8b/10b 2.5 GT/s 250 MB/s 1 GB/s 2 GB/s 4 GB/s
2.0 8b/10b 5 GT/s 500 MB/s 2 GB/s 4 GB/s 8 GB/s
3.0 128b/130b 8 GT/s 984.6 MB/s 3.938 GB/s 7.877 GB/s 15.754 GB/s
4.0 128b/130b 16 GT/s 1.969 GB/s 7.877 GB/s 15.754 GB/s 31.508 GB/s

So, the main thing to remember is you can connect an NVMe M.2 SSD over PCIe Gen 4 as well as a graphics card because their PCIe Gen 4.0 is managed by the processor. The chipset itself, along with everything connected to it, is PCIe Gen 3.0. This is a significant update compared with B450. PCIe Gen 4.0 M2 SSDs are still pretty exclusive. However, as with everything in the world of technology, it'll evolve and eventually become the new standard. In the meantime, with B550 you'll be prepared for that at the very least.

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