Lewie skews Chaotic Good where possible, and loves pressing buttons, viewing pixels and listening to sounds. He's written for publications like Rock Paper Shotgun, Eurogamer, VG247 and Kotaku UK, and spent 13 years running Savy Gamer. If you ever get the chance you should ask him to tell you the story about that time he had a fight with a snake on an island off the coast of Cambodia.
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AMD’s new budget-friendly motherboard chipset is now being made available, with multiple different manufacturers releasing boards based on this design. The A520 chipset offers compatibility with currently available 3rd Gen Ryzen (Zen 2) based processors, plus support for the next generation of Ryzen CPUs based on the Zen 3 architecture. It’s limited to PCIe v3.0, which is the biggest drawback compared to B550 motherboards, which could present a problem if you intend to equip your system with multiple NVMe based SSD drives. The limited bandwidth provided by the outdated PCIe version could be a real problem for some users, but if you have a fairly straightforward build in mind, this may not be a massive problem for you.
You can perhaps save a bit of money rather than paying for a more expensive motherboard with functionality that you don’t need, but it’s important to consider what other components you’ll want to pair your motherboard with. This motherboard will also not let you overclock your CPU, so you’ll be stuck operating at stock speeds with whichever processor you install.
The changes here are fairly minimal when compared to its predecessor chipset, the A320. You get compatibility with upcoming CPUs and faster USB port speeds (now up to 3.2 speed).
Various different manufacturers have already announced their lineups of motherboards based on this new chipset. There’s a variety of boards with different additional functionality, and coming in different sizes, to best suit your needs. Here are some of the options already on offer:
There will probably be more cards on the way, these are budget cards aiming at the mainstream market so these manufactures will be going for that mass-market penetration, but these are the ones announced so far.
As these new budget-friendly cards become available at retail, and as pricing information comes available, we’ll be keeping our build guides updated to see where these fit into the landscape of options for a good motherboard at decent prices.