AMD has launched its entry level chipset to support the current gen Ryzen processors, based on the Zen 2 architecture, and future Ryzen processors based upon the Zen 3 architecture. One of the big attractions of the X570 and B550 chipsets was PCIe 4.0 and that isn't carried on down to this entry level segment. Instead the A520 chipset majors on PCIe 3.0 with 26x usable lanes when equipped with a 3rd gen Ryzen processor. There is no overclocking support with A520 either. Motherboard partners have launched about twenty A520 boards in the wake of the announcement by AMD, nearly all of them are mATX form factor.
Above you can see the AMD 500 chipsets with the new A520 compared directly with the A320 it replaces. There isn't a great leap here but A520 is pretty important still, as it supports current and future gen processors from AMD, so at last the budget/value buyers can hop onboard with AMD's newest processor tech - Zen 2 architecture and newer. A processor compatibility table is below for your reference.
Other key specs you will want to know if you are considering an A520 board are the peripheral connectivity options available. As well as the previously mentioned PCIe lanes, the chipset provides the following:
- Up to 5 USB 3.2 Gen 2 Ports (SuperSpeed 10Gbps)
- Up to 2 native USB 3.1 Ports
- Up to 6 native USB 2.0 Ports
- Up to 4x SATA Ports
The chipset diagram above lays out the A520's essential features.
Due to AMD's out of kilter codename strategy, A520 boards aren't compatible with the AMD Ryzen 3 3200G and Ryzen 5 3400G as those are Zen+ architecture APUs.
Partner A520 motherboards
Asus wrote to HEXUS with details of five new motherboards and they are all mATX. These fall within the TUF, Prime and Pro series and offer a 32MB flash ROM for future upgrades. At the time of writing the product pages aren't available to find via the usual product finder. However, AMD supplied a direct link to the Asus TUF Gaming A520M-Plus product pages.
Gigabyte has the widest range of A520 boards available. It has produced seven SKUs, with a M-ITX board as well as a full sized ATX one among the throng. You can read about them via the Gigabyte news blog. For further details Gigabyte has already populated its motherboard product pages with these new A520 models and the site has a built-in compare tool.
MSI has published a blog post about its new A520 motherboards. It has a gaming board called the MAG A520M Vector WIFI, as well as a trio of Pro and Business models; the 520M PRO, A520M -A PRO, and A520M PRO-C DASH. All boards are mATX. Dive deeper into the MSI offerings by visiting its dedicated A520 product pages, with built-in compare tool.
As this is a hard launch AMD A520 chipset motherboards are already reaching retailers / etailers depending upon your region. Here in the UK I can see listings of some of the above new motherboards at places like AWD, CCL Computers, and Overclockers UK. Prices seem to range from about £60 to £80 for the limited stocks I have seen.