When AMD’s initial lineup of Ryzen 7000 processors launched last September, the chips themselves looked great on paper—the flagship Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 5 7600X both kicked all kinds of butt—but awful in a budget spreadsheet. With nothing but $250-plus motherboard options, the $300 Ryzen 5 7600X just didn’t make financial sense.
After AMD’s assurances of $125 AM5 motherboards at CES 2023, boards below $150 have slowly begun making one-off appearances. But in general, AM5 starts at a tangibly higher price than AM4 boards ever did. That’s beginning to change (for real this time), with last week’s first batch of A620 chipset motherboards quietly hitting shelves.
As I spotted this weekend on Newegg (purely by accident), you can already make your choice between two ASRock micro-ATX models. The ASRock A620M-HDV/M.2 is priced at $85 for chips up to 65W (i.e., the Ryzen 5 7600, Ryzen 7 7700, and Ryzen 9 7900), while the ASRock A620M-HDV/M.2+ is $100 and supports chips up to 120W (i.e., Ryzen 5 7600X, Ryzen 7 7700X, Ryzen 7 7800X3D, Ryzen 9 7900X3D, and Ryzen 9 7950X3D). But other board vendors will soon be jumping into the fray—last Friday Asus announced two boards of its own in a press release, the TUF A620M Gaming Plus Wi-Fi and Prime A620M Plus.
These boards seem to share some common features, like just one x16 PCIe 4.0 slot and a small handful of SATA ports. Compared to B650, the initial entry-level AM5 motherboard chipset, A620 seems to lack on-board PCIe lanes for M.2 slots, though it still supports DDR5 memory like other AM5 boards. The number of USB ports on these initial A620 motherboards varies, as does the number of RAM slots.
With the prices of DDR5 RAM now plummeting, it seems like building a mid-tier PC with Ryzen 7000 may be more feasible after all. Keep an eye out for bundle deals still, though—we spotted a few stunning combos in early March. You can get a better motherboard this way, and sometimes those bells and whistles are nice to have. Just read through our motherboard reviews and you’ll understand why.