12 Entry-level and budget-friendly A520 desktop chipset based motherboards have been registered by ASRock for regulatory approval at the EEC. As a successor to the previous entry-level A320 chipset, the A520 is designed with Ryzen 3 and Athlon processors in mind and comes with a number of compromises over more expensive, feature-rich motherboards. They lack CPU overclocking capabilities of more expensive boards, and there is no support for PCIe 4.0 so we have to rely on sixteen PCIe gen 3 lanes for graphics. I/O connectivity is also more limited than the higher-end counterparts with 4 SATA ports, and 9 USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports. All of the boards are expected to be Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX form factors.
These are the models revealed in the regulatory approval register.
- A520M Pro4
- A520M Pro4 R2.0
- A520M Pro4 R3.0
- A520M-HDV R2.0
- A520M-HDV R3.0
- A520M-HVS R2.0
- A520M-HVS R3.0
These newly registered boards are expected to arrive some time in Q3 2020 and will replace the older A320 chipset series of boards. If you're looking at building a gaming system, your best bet will be to stick with the new B550 chipset, or X570 for high-end systems as these platforms support PCI-Express 4.0 and overclocking. For general-purpose use, or very-tight budget builds, the A520 boards will be worth considering.
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Les Pounder is an associate editor at Tom's Hardware. He is a creative technologist and for seven years has created projects to educate and inspire minds both young and old. He has worked with the Raspberry Pi Foundation to write and deliver their teacher training program "Picademy".