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Selecting an AMD Motherboard

The motherboard is the foundation of your whole PC build, and since everything from your CPU to storage drives and RAM connects to your motherboard, the motherboard you choose will have a huge effect on component compatibility. If you have decided to use an AMD Ryzen CPU in your PC build, it’s crucial to choose an AMD based motherboard to go with it. Those planning to use an Intel CPU should seek out an Intel based motherboard instead. So how can you choose the right AMD motherboard for you? It starts with understanding the chipsets and socket designs that AMD motherboards use.

Chipsets and Sockets on AMD Motherboards

Chipsets such as the AMD B550 and AMD B450 help to differentiate between the features and uses of various AMD motherboards. Along with the chipset, the socket of the motherboard will confirm which CPU the component supports. B550 based motherboards are the most popular among AMD processors because they feature rich components at an affordable price. The highlights of B550 motherboards include USB 3.2 ports, multiple high speed PCIe lanes, and the possibility of integrated WiFi 6 capabilities. B450 based motherboards function similarly to B550 and feature the same socket but can be limited to more basic features or lesser peripheral support. Both the B450 and B550 chipsets make for excellent gaming motherboards. Deciding between the two will be up to you and what other features you wish to have in your final gaming PC build.

As for sockets, it is all about the configuration of the pin connectors that the CPU uses to connect to the motherboard. The AMD AM4 socket design is the one currently in use on AMD motherboards, but the next gen AM5 socket motherboards will begin appearing soon and will likely be required for PC builders who want to use the latest and greatest AMD Ryzen processors.

Want to skip the potential confusion and frustration of trying to ensure your CPU is compatible with your motherboard, or even worse, of troubleshooting connectivity issues later? Micro Center offers a full range of CPU and motherboard combos that make an ideal foundation for your PC build. Just choose your specs and go — no research or BIOS flashing required.

Considering Form Factor on AMD Motherboards

Both chipsets will also come in multiple form factors or sizes, which means viable options are available for just about any PC build. Your choice of form factor will determine what type of PC case fits your motherboard, and thus the general size and footprint of your entire desktop PC rig, as well as the amount of component slots available for your use.

ATX motherboards are the most common form factor because they are among the largest and easiest to build with, as well as being the most readily available. The newer eATX form factor, the largest of all, offers abundant extras such as additional PCIe slots that can be used for extra memory, WiFi cards, and many other purposes. However, ATX and eATX also necessitate larger PC cases.

Smaller motherboard form factors such as microATX or Mini ITX are great for office based machines or any computer that has to fit within a limited space. However, building on a Mini ITX footprint compared to an ATX motherboard can be more challenging for other reasons, including cable management and layout challenges.

Whatever form factor you choose, be sure to consider which external ports it offers. Almost every motherboard will include basics like HDMI, USB-C and DisplayPort, but additional ports can vary widely.

Micro Center’s selection of AMD motherboards includes options from all of the top motherboard manufacturers, including MSI, ASUS, Gigabyte, and more. If you would like an even easier way to get started, make sure to check out our CPU motherboard combo packages, and see our selection of Intel motherboards if you have not made up your mind about which CPU brand to use yet.