Ryzen 9 3950X on Good and Bad B450 Motherboards

As we anticipated when we reviewed AMD’s new flagship 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X, rather than testing it on the very high-end Gigabyte X570 Aorus Xtreme, we want to see how it does on the low-end. We’re not bothering with A320 boards — that’s a bit too silly we figured — but decent AMD B450 boards do make sense, maybe not right now, but in the future as a potential upgrade for many AM4 owners. Here’s what we’re thinking…

The R9 3950X is a $750 processor, so pairing it with motherboards priced a little over $100 wouldn’t be considered by most right now. However, in the not too distant future you’ll be able to snag a second hand 3950X at a significant discount, that’s just the way it seems to go with AMD processors.

There are a few reasons for this, but the two main ones are that AMD doesn’t lock you into a platform like Intel, so second hand shoppers have significantly more options. And also AMD seems to have the habit of reducing prices of CPUs over time, and this obviously creates a knock-on effect for second hand sales.

For example, the 3-year-old Core i7-7700K released at $340, still costs ~$220 to this day on the second hand market. That’s a mere 35% discount for a part with no warranty. Meanwhile, the Ryzen 7 1700X which was priced at $400 almost 3 years ago can be easily had for $100, a 75% discount from new.

What’s more shocking is that in late 2019, for almost all tasks the 1700X is a significantly better processor. Moreover, within another year or two there’ll be almost no new game or application where the quad-core Core i7 can hold a candle to the 8-core Ryzen 7.

As another example, the more recently released Ryzen 7 2700X launched at $330. Today though you can snap one up for as little as $150 on eBay. In another year there’s no way you’ll be paying over $100. So while the Ryzen 9 3950X might cost $750 today, you can bet within a year it will be less costly and within 2-3 years it will be a hot item for second…

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