Opinion

AMD [OPINION]: Has the company been wrong betting on PCIe 4.0 in the Ryzen 3000?

Does the implementation of PCIe 4.0 in the new AMD Ryzen 3000 really make sense? Is it simply a marketing strategy?

This post is an opinion piece and as always, not many will like it. I want to make it clear that the Zen2 @ 7nm, also known as Ryzen 3000, are very good processors. That doesn't mean that AMD made a mistake around these. The processors have 0 problems, good performance and competitive price. The problem is in one of the technologies that it implements.

Specifically AMD has made the mistake of adding PCIe 4.0 to these processors unnecessarily. They have developed a good product, but they have been slowed down by adding PCIe 4.0. It can be seen in the prices of the motherboards and in the dedicated fan installed in the chipset. Some motherboards that probably nobody wants, due to their high price.

Let's put prices on the table

Sale price of the Ryzen 3000 in Spain, according to the filtered prices:

  • Ryzen 5 3600: € 209.00
  • Ryzen 5 3600X: € 256.10
  • Ryzen 7 3700X: € 343.10
  • Ryzen 7 3800X: € 402.10
  • Ryzen 9 3900X: € 514.10

The processors, in terms of price, do not have the least of the problems. On the contrary, they are better than the Intel @ 14nm and much cheaper. There are no drawbacks. Now the problem is in the price of the leaked motherboards in France.

From the prices of the 17 leaked motherboards, six of them range between 200-250 euros, three range between 250-300 euros, five of them range between 300-400 euros and three of them exceed 400 euros.

It doesn't make the slightest sense that most motherboards are priced higher than processors. There are no motherboards with a B550 chipset, which are usually cheaper and there are only the X570, which are more expensive. This will make many users not buy these motherboards and opt for the X470 or B450.

Adopting PCIe 4.0 seems like a very bad decision

Everything indicates that adopting PCIe 4.0 is a clear mistake on the part of AMD. There is currently nothing to justify making the jump to this type of connection port. While AMD has implemented PCIe 4.0 in its new graphics, there really is no PCIe 3.0 port saturation. For practical purposes the improvement will be 2-3 FPS, which does not justify the change.

But it is not justified by the new storage units. Gigabyte has already said that its M.2 PCIe 4.0 SSD won't arrive until next year. Corsair will launch its unit in July and possibly Kingston, Toshiba and Samsung will launch something, but that's it. A handful of SSDs and two graphics cards do not justify this adoption at all.

An adoption that involves adding a fan to the chipset, which will generate noise and we will see its durability. Yes, it also raises the price of motherboards, as has been seen in the leak. It seems that implementing this port of connections has been hasty, trying to add a plus to the new Ryzen 3000, completely unnecessary.

In the end, MSI was right

Some weeks ago MSI already warned us that the new AMD motherboards would be expensive. In the end it has been. It is confirmed that the prices will be high and the most expensive will be that of MSI. And is that the Taiwanese company launched the MEG X570 GODLIKE for 770 euros, a price really meaningless. Gigabyte and ASUS have somewhat more moderate prices, but they are also expensive.

Backward compatibility, yes, but only half

Gigabyte before Computex 2019 announced that its X470 motherboards would offer PCIe 4.0 support. After this event AMD came out to make it clear that nothing at all. Although the chipset could offer compatibility, the generated temperature would be a problem.

As we can see, the new motherboards have the chipset with a fan. Current models don't have a dedicated fan because they don't need it. Sure, implementing support for PCIe 4.0 would put a lot of stress on the chipset and create problems. These problems could lead to hard reboots and chipset breakage.

Even so, with these prices, users will in many cases opt for the X470 and B450 chipsets. Updating the BIOS is a very simple process and there will be backward compatibility announced by AMD. For a Ryzen 5 3600 (X), a B450 motherboard is more than enough and there are solutions for a very good price.

Conclusion

For me, AMD with its purely marketing intention to add PCIe 4.0, has hurt its processors. They will be sold as churros, I have no doubts about that. What won't sell well will be the new motherboards. There will always be someone who will spare the money and spend money on the motherboard, there will even be someone who will spend 770 euros for the MSI MEG X570 GODLIKE and over 800 euros for the Ryzen 9 3950X to play Fortnite. We already know that there are people with a lot of money and little criteria, but they will be the least.

There have already been several users who have told us to opt for a Ryzen 3000 and an X470 / B450 chipset. For me, they will make an intelligent decision because PCIe 4.0 is marketing, it will not be useful for practical purposes.

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Robert Sole

Director of Contents and Writing of this same website, technician in renewable energy generation systems and low voltage electrical technician. I work in front of a PC, in my free time I am in front of a PC and when I leave the house I am glued to the screen of my smartphone. Every morning when I wake up I walk across the Stargate to make some coffee and start watching YouTube videos. I once saw a dragon ... or was it a Dragonite?

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