It appears that AMD is ready to get serious about its ongoing motherboard pricing problem, and finally deliver cheaper motherboards for its latest Ryzen 7000 Zen 4 AM5 processors. According to HKEPC, AMD is preparing two versions of an upcoming A620 motherboard chipset, aimed at budget-minded consumers.
The current entry-level AM5 motherboards use the B650 chipset with standard PCIe 4.0 support for graphics and NVMe storage. Stepping up to the B650 Extreme gets you native PCIe 5.0 support. Taking a quick trip over to Newegg, we see that the least-expensive B650 motherboard is the Gigabyte B650M DS3H, (opens in new tab) priced at $159.99. The next-cheapest is the ASRock B650M PG Riptide WiFi, (opens in new tab) with a price tag of $174.99.
There will be two versions of the AMD A620 chip, the "Promontory 21" chip will be used at the beginning, and the new A620 chip (Promontory 22 ??) will be launched later with the same specifications.January 30, 2023
A620 motherboards could push prices closer to the $125 mark that AMD first mentioned during the announcement of the Ryzen 7000 processor platform. HKEPC reports that the first A620 chip is codenamed Promontory 21. Later, AMD will switch to Promontory 22, which will have the same hardware specifications as its predecessor. We don’t know why AMD intends to launch two feature-identical versions of the A620. But, it could be that the latter is cheaper to produce but won’t be available in time to meet AMD’s launch window.
Given AMD’s need to hit lower price points, it seems likely the A620 will be a PCIe 4.0-only chipset. This would allow AMD’s partners to design motherboards with fewer layers (as the additional layers to support PCIe 5.0 would be unnecessary) to keep costs down. However, buyers of future A620 motherboards won’t be able to escape the added cost of DDR5 memory, versus the far-cheaper DDR4 memory that's supported by rival Intel platforms. AMD is DDR5-exclusive with all its 600-Series Ryzen 7000 chipsets.
A620 motherboards should find their way into the retail market shortly, as Eurasian Economic Commission listings revealed the following motherboards earlier this month, according to Videocardz.
- Asus TUF GAMING A620M-PLUS D5
- Gigabyte A620M D3H
- Gigabyte A620M DS3H
- Gigabyte A620M S2H
- Gigabyte A620M H
- Gigabyte A620M K
These motherboards represent just a tiny trickle of what will likely become a larger stream of A620 motherboards that will come our way in the months ahead.
The cheapest AM5 processor in AMD’s arsenal to pair with the A620 is the Ryzen 5 7600, which has an MSRP of $229 (its Ryzen 5 7600X counterpart retails for $249) and comes bundled with a free digital download of Star Wars: Jedi Survivor.
That board still runs and is running a 5800x today.
The worst part of the pricing problems AMD are suffering with Zen 4 comes from DDR5 memory. Due to it being so new and, at this point, overly expensive almost everywhere.
This is not much an issue on the high end. If you are willing to spend thousands of dollars, it doesn't mater that much to spend a couple hundred more for DDR5 memory.
But in the mid/low end, where the Ryzen 5 and this new A620 chipset is expected to live, the difference from going DDR4 or DDR5 is, as of today, a killer, as the premium you must pay for DDR 5 can easily go instead to a beefier processor on Intel side which still support DDR4 on their latest Raptor Lake CPUs.
Unfortunately DDR5 will always be more expensive than DDR4 because of the complexity of producing DDR5. It's worth noting that Newegg and I believe Best Buy were doing some AM5 packages where when you bought a mobo they include 16 MB of DDR5 DRAM. While it was not the fastest speed DRAM it was still a good deal cost wise and name brand DRAM that more than met the 7000 series CPU needs.
This will also apply to Meteor Lake for Intel next time around. Releasing this year IIRC. Then the value prospect might be a little closer.