On March 31, 2023, AMD released its latest entry-level A620 chipset for the Ryzen 7000 Series, making the AM5 platform more accessible to budget-minded consumers. Starting at a price point of just $85, AMD A620 motherboards can power all non-X CPUs from the Zen 4 lineup while supporting DDR5 memory overclocking with AMD’s in-house EXPO technology.


Given that the feature-rich AMD B650 motherboards have already received a steep discount since launch, can AMD’s value-oriented A620 chipset provide a similar level of performance at an even lower cost of entry?

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AMD A620 Chipset: Overview and Specifications

When AMD unveiled its initial lineup of Zen 4 CPUs in September 2022, early adopters were impressed with the AM5 platform’s substantial improvements. Not only did the Ryzen 7000 Series perform on par with Intel’s competing Alder Lake and 13th-Gen Raptor Lake CPUs, but they also managed to take advantage of a newer, more power-efficient microarchitecture.

However, one major drawback for the Ryzen 7000 Series centered around the exorbitant pricing of AM5 motherboards, especially with the X670E and X670 models costing more than their accompanying range of Zen 4 CPUs (Ryzen 9 7900X/7950X). Although AMD tried to mitigate some of these glaring issues by offering promotional bundles for the AM5 platform through its retail partners, many potential buyers were still in need of a true budget-friendly alternative.

Thankfully, with the value-centric AM5 motherboards based on the A620 chipset, AMD has succeeded in providing a streamlined, trustworthy platform that makes the Ryzen 7000 Series available to everyone at a lower price point. For starters, every A620 motherboard incorporates all the essential features associated with the AM5 CPU socket, including one-click memory overclocking (through its AMD EXPO tool) and a maximum of 32 usable PCIe lanes.

Meanwhile, on the platform level, AMD’s A620 chipset utilizes the same Promontory 21 silicon as its high-end counterparts (B650/B650E and X670/X670E) but with certain connectors disabled or restricted. Owing to these adjustments, budget-tier A620 motherboards suffer from a weaker USB interface along with limited PCIe connectivity.

No USB 3.2 Ports

Consequently, AMD’s A620 chipset fails to integrate any USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 (20Gbps) connectors, instead relying on a total of two USB 3.2 Gen 2×1 (10Gbps), two USB 3.2 Gen 1×1 (5Gbps), and up to six USB 2.0 (480 Mbps) ports on the PCH (Platform Controller Hub). Regarding CPU-enabled PCIe interconnections, entry-level A620 motherboards drop support for the latest PCIe 5.0 standard on both their graphics and storage slots, thereby facilitating a lower manufacturing cost.

PCIe 4 Instead of PCIe 5

Considering the absence of PCIe 5.0 specification on consumer-grade GPUs and the minimal advantages offered by PCIe 5.0 x4 SSDs over their Gen 4 variants, AMD’s decision to opt for a conventional yet reliable PCIe 4.0 interface seems like a sensible trade-off. In terms of bandwidth allocation, the A620 chipset provides a PCIe 4.0 x16 interconnection for discrete graphics cards, four PCIe Gen 4 lanes for NVMe M.2 SSDs, and eight PCIe 3.0 lanes (4+4 configuration) for additional expansion cards or SATA 6Gb/s ports.

gigabyte amd a620 motherboard with box
Image Credit: Gigabyte

That said, WCCFTech reports that ASRock released an A620 motherboard with support for PCIe 5 NVMe SSDs (which are faster than their PCIe 4 counterparts), though future BIOS updates may create issues.

Extensive Support for Low-TDP CPUs

Similar to Intel’s approach with its H610/H710 and B660/B760 chipsets, AMD claims that the A620-based motherboards should be ideal for Ryzen 7000 Non-X CPUs with a default TDP of 65W. While it is possible for motherboard manufacturers to specifically design more expensive models that support a much higher TDP range (up to 120W), the budget-oriented A620 chipset allows for a peak power delivery of just 88W.

Despite such artificial limitations, A620 motherboards can technically boot with high-wattage Zen 4 chips if the BIOS’ AGESA version supports them, but overall performance in multithreaded applications might be affected due to the lack of robust VRMs. For example, according to VideoCardz, a YouTuber successfully tested a top-of-the-line AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D on an A620 motherboard—and found it delivered 5% less performance than on AMD’s X670 motherboard chipset.

However, AMD expects these power delivery restrictions to have little to no impact on gaming performance.

No Overclocking Support

As before, AMD’s budget-confined A620 chipset doesn’t support CPU overclocking, meaning any auto-clocking or undervolting technologies like PBO (Precision Boost Overdrive) and Curve Optimizer will remain off-limits. Even though A620 motherboards include native support for memory overclocking via EXPO profiles (up to DDR5-6000), manual memory tuning is unavailable.

Specifications

A620

B650

Socket

AM5 (LGA 1718)

AM5 (LGA 1718)

PCIe Lanes (Graphics)

1×16 (PCIe 4.0)

1×16 or 2×8 (PCIe 4.0)

PCIe Lanes (NVMe)

1×4 (PCIe 4.0)

1×4 (PCIe 4.0/PCIe 5.0 Optional)

Usable PCIe Lanes (Total/PCIe 5.0)

32/0

36/0

Overclocking Support

No

Yes

USB 20Gbps Ports (Up To)

0

1

USB 10Gbps Ports (Up To)

2

6

USB 5Gbps Ports (Up To)

2

4

SATA 3.0 Ports (Up To)

4

4

Memory Channels (Maximum Supported Speed)

Dual Channel (DDR5-6000)

Dual Channel (DDR5-6400)

TDP (CPU Support)

Up to 120W

Up to 170W

At the time of writing, sub-$100 A620 motherboards appear to be significantly limited in their appeal, with ASRock and MSI being the only manufacturers to offer entry-level options at that price point. Compared to the B650 lineup, out of which a couple of AM5 motherboards can be obtained for as low as $125, AMD’s A620 chipset fails to deliver a compelling value proposition with its current pricing structure.

Should You Buy an AMD A620 Motherboard?

In a nutshell, AMD’s A620 chipset provides an attractive option for budget-conscious gamers and content creators seeking a more affordable entry point into the AM5 platform. With combined pricing below $400 for a brand-new CPU, motherboard, and 16GB of DDR5 memory, the adoption cost for an AMD AM5 build has been reduced by a significant margin.

While the A620 motherboards are a tad bit more expensive than expected, AMD’s plan to release sub-$200 Zen 4 APUs with powerful integrated graphics should improve the practicality of this entry-level chipset. As of now, we recommend opting for a B650-based motherboard that offers an incredible price-to-performance ratio along with extended support for future AM5 processors until 2025.

#AMDs #EntryLevel #A620 #Motherboards

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