The AMD A520 chipset is a slightly upgraded version of the previous budget builders’ favorite: the A320 chipset. The new chipset has a handful of limitations, but it should be able to support new AMD processors.
Aside from being highly affordable, the new chipset does offer some interesting new upgrades. The most important thing is that the chipset is future proof. This means that it should support new Ryzen processors that will hit the market soon.
One of the biggest updates in the new chipset is the support for USB3.1 10Gbps from the processor. On top of that, it also gets four PCIe 3.0 lanes compared to the four PCIe2.0 of the A320 chipset.
With new AMD Ryzen processors slated for an upcoming release, the A520 will support almost all of it. Out of the box, the chipset will support the current Ryzen 3000 Zen 2 processors. AMD said the chipset would support newer processors, which means it should also work with the upcoming Zen 3 processors.
AMD is currently working with its motherboard partners to bring more A520 chipset into the market. As of this writing, MSI, Gigabyte, Asrock, Biostar, Asus all have A520 boards on for sale. The price ranges from $70 to $100.
While the AMD A520 does offer a few upgrades, it does have its fair share of limitations. For one, the chipset will support only current-gen and future AMD processors. In short, the chipset only supports third-generation Ryzen processors and future Zen 3 chips.
The new chipset will not work with first-generation and second-generation Ryzen processors and Radeon GPUs. Additionally, the chipset also does not support Athlon processors with Radeon graphics.
Despite these limitations, the AMD A520 chipset is a good option for budget builders. The support for PCIe 4.0 is a great upgrade compared to current budget motherboards.
More importantly, the chipset will support future AMD processors, so upgrading will not be a hassle. Considering the current lineup from AMD, the chipset does have limited processor options. However, with the upcoming release of Zen 3 processors, this should not be a problem in the future.
The budget builder niche of the gaming community is growing steadily. With more powerful processors and graphics cards, it is slowly transforming into a mainstream market. The latest AMD A520 chipset is a testament to that growth.
Featured image courtesy of hiv360/Shutterstock
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