The AMD AM4 platform is not exactly new as the Excavator-based 7th Generation A-Series APU which was launched in September 2016 is already utilizing it. However, the recent launch of Ryzen 7 processors does mark its first true foray into the enthusiast market.
Furthermore, the Ryzen 7 is just the beginning of the rollout for AMD’s Zen-based processors into the market, which will cover more price points and type of users in the market. Not to forget, AMD’s future Zen-based APU codenamed Raven Ridge will also utilize the AM4 platform. The company itself intends to support the platform until the year 2020.
Performance and budget are usually the main factors that determine users’ choice of AMD processors. These principles should be applied when users choose their AM4 motherboards as well. Of course, all motherboard manufacturers do include additional features into their offerings, but choosing the right chipset is a good start.
For starters, these are the chipsets in the AMD AM4 family:
As mentioned earlier, choosing the proper chipset is the best place to get started on the AM4 motherboard journey. For example, performance-oriented users might want to get their hands on the X370, B350 or X300 (made for Small Form Factor systems) motherboards since only those chipsets are able to support overclocking.
This is regardless of the Ryzen chip that users are going to utilize, since all Ryzen processors from the lowest end to the highest end have unlocked multipliers. However, users who want to run dual graphics cards on their AM4 system will only be limited to the X370 and X300 motherboards, as only these chipsets are able to support dual PCIe graphics card slots.
For users who want to have a no-frills system and have no intention to push their system beyond its default settings, the A320 and A300 motherboards could be something that they want to consider. In terms of pricing, the X370 and X300 motherboards are likely to cost more than others given their enthusiast-class chipset, while the B350 should be able to cater the mainstream performance market. This is followed by the A300 and A320 motherboards for those that are looking for affordable solutions.
According to AMD, its motherboard partners which include ASRock, ASUS, Biostar, GIGABYTE, and MSI have designed more than 80 AM4 motherboard models for the Ryzen 7 launch alone. While it might take some time before we able to see most of these motherboards in Malaysia, AM4 motherboards should be a common view at retail stores as AMD continues its roll out of Zen-based processors which is being done in stages.