Best A520 Motherboards for Budget 3rd Gen Ryzen Build in 2020

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AMD A520 is an entry-level motherboard chipset that supports 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen Processors and Future AMD Ryzen Desktop Processors with the ‘Zen 3’ Architecture. If you are building a budget PC using a budget Ryzen 3000 series processor for basic work and casual gaming, then to keep the cost down, then pairing a budget Ryzen 3rd or later processor with an A520 motherboard can serve your purpose very well. The A520 motherboards are mostly suitable for budget Ryzen 3 processors that include Ryzen 3 3100 and Ryzen 3 3300X. Unlike its bigger brothers X570 and B550, the A520 chipset does not support PCIe 4.0 and uses PCIe 3.0 lanes for general purpose and components.  This budget AMD A520 chipset does not support overclocking and 2nd generation and 1st generation Ryzen processors. Moreover, like B550 Chipset, A520 Chipset also does not support Ryzen 3000 series APUs, i.e., CPUs with Integrated Graphics.

amd-a520-chipset-comparison

The A520 motherboards support 26x usable PCIe 3.0 lanes with a 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen Processor, up to 5 USB 3.2 Gen 2 Ports (SuperSpeed 10Gbps), up to 2 native USB 3.1 Ports, up to 6 native USB 2.0 Ports, and up to 4x SATA Ports. Even though A520 motherboards lie in the budget and entry-level segment, there are some A520 motherboards that offer a little more over other A520 motherboards. So, to help you out in selecting the right A520 motherboard for your specific requirements, here I am going to list down the best A520 motherboards based on different parameters that include form factor, features, performance, and even budget.

Best ATX A520 Motherboard

The best A520 motherboard available in the ATX form factor.

GIGABYTE A520 AORUS ELITE

[BIOS Flashback Button, VRM Heatsinks, USB 3.2 Gen2 Port, Integrated I/O shield, RGB Lighting]

The only A520 motherboard that comes in the ATX form factor is the GIGABYTE A520 AORUS ELITE. All the other A520 motherboards are Micro-ATX, while a couple of them do come in Mini-ITX form factor. The advantage of having an ATX motherboard is that you get more expansion slots for connecting add-on cards. An ATX motherboard may also contain extra features, fan headers, and ports. GIGABYTE A520 AORUS ELITE comes with two PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots where the first slot has metal shielding (Ultra Durable PCIe Armor) and operates at full x16 bandwidth while the second slot runs only at x2 mode from the chipset. There is one M.2 slot for NVMe solid-state drives, and it runs at PCIe 3.0 x4. The board can support up to DDR4 4400(O.C.) memory, up to 128GB in dual channel mode.

GIGABYTE-A520-AORUS-ELITE

The motherboard comes with 5+3 Phases Pure Digital VRM Solution, and the VRM heatsinks have heatsinks over them to allow better heat dissipation for keeping the temperatures low. When it comes to network connectivity, it has Gigabit LAN and no onboard Wi-Fi connectivity. The board comes with the Q-Flash Plus Update BIOS button for updating the BIOS without installing the CPU, Memory, and Graphics Card. The integrated I/O shield is also there, which makes the installation a tad easier. There is one super-fast USB 3.0 Gen 2 USB Type-A port, three USB 3.2 Gen 1, and four USB 2.0 Type-A ports on the back panel. Other features include 7.1 Channel HD Audio (AMP-UP Audio with ALC1200 and High-End Audio Capacitors), RGB Lighting with Fusion RGB 2.0 Support, RGB, and ARGB Headers and Smart Fan 5 + FAN STOP. Display connectivity options include HDMI 2.1 and DVI-D ports.

GIGABYTE A520 AORUS ELITE Specifications
Socket Type AM4
Form Factor ATX
Chipset A520
Processor Support 3rd Generation AMD Ryzen processors/ 3rd Generation AMD Ryzen with Radeon Graphics processors
RAM Support DDR4 4400(O.C.), up to 128GB, Dual Channel
Slots DIMM x 4, PCIe 3.0 x16 x 2, PCIe 3.0 x1 x 3, M.2 x 1 (PCIe 3.0 x4)
Ports SATA 6Gb/s x 4, USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A x 1, USB 3.2 Gen 1 x 5, USB 3.2 Gen 1 x 2, USB 2.0 x 4
Features 5+3 Phases Pure Digital VRM Solution, PCIe x16 Steel Armored Slot, 7.1 Channel HD Audio (Realtek ALC1200 codec), RGB Fusion 2.0 Support, RGB and ARGB Headers, Smart Fan 5 + FAN STOP, Q-Flash Plus Button (BIOS Flashback), S/PDIF Out, Gigabit LAN, VRM Heatsinks, Pre-installed IO Shield, PS/2 Port, Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, and RAID 10
Display Output HDMI 2.1, DVI-D

Buy GIGABYTE A520 AORUS ELITE

Best Micro-ATX A520 Motherboards

Here are the best mATX A520 motherboards that you can get for building your budget gaming or work PC. Because of smaller dimensions, these motherboards can fit in most of the compact cases and mini-tower cases.

ASUS TUF GAMING A520M-PLUS

[USB 3.2 Gen2 Port, 3x Display Output, Durable]

One of the best mATX A520 motherboards you can get for building a budget compact PC using the Ryzen 3000 series and later AMD processors. It is a TUF series board, which means it has solid build quality and uses durable components. It comes with one PCIe x16 slot, which is steel armored, and runs at PCIe 3.0 x16 bandwidth. There is one M.2 slot with support for NMVe (PCIe x4) and SATA solid-state drives. The board can support DDR4 4800(O.C.) memory up to 128GB capacity in dual channel mode.

ASUS-TUF-GAMING-A520M-PLUS

The motherboard comes with 8 Power Phases and uses the Digi+ VRM voltage-regulator module (VRM). The VRM is cooled down by a small heatsink, which does its job quite well. The network options include Realtek Gigabit LAN, and there is an M.2 slot (Key E) for the Wi-Fi module. There is one super-fast USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port at the back, along with USB 3.2 Gen1 and USB 2.0 ports. Other features include 7.1 Channel Audio, Fan Xpert 2+, Stainless-steel back I/O panel, DRAM Overvoltage Protection, Aura Sync RGB Lighting RGB Header. Display connectivity options include HDMI 2.1, DVI-D, and D-Sub ports.

ASUS TUF GAMING A520M-PLUS Specifications
Socket Type AM4
Form Factor Micro-ATX
Chipset A520
Processor Support 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen and 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen with Radeon Graphics Processors
RAM Support DDR4 4800(O.C.), up to 128GB, Dual Channel
Slots DIMM x 4, PCIe x16 x 1, PCIe x1 x 2, M.2 x 1 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA mode), M.2 slot (Key E) for Wi-Fi module
Ports SATA 6Gb/s x 4, USB 3.2 Gen 2 x 1, USB 3.2 Gen 1 x 6, USB 2.0 x 5
Features ASUS SafeSlot core+, 8 Power Phases, RAID 0/1/10 Support, Aura Sync RGB Lighting RGB Header, VRM and PCH heatsinks, Fan Xpert 2+, PS/2 port, Realtek Gigabit LAN with TUF LANGuard, Stainless-steel back I/O panel, DRAM Overvoltage Protection
Display Output HDMI 2.1, DVI-D, D-Sub

Buy ASUS TUF GAMING A520M-PLUS

GIGABYTE A520M AORUS ELITE

Another very good Micro-ATX A520 motherboard is the GIGABYTE A520M AORUS ELITE. It is more of a micro-ATX variant of the GIGABYTE A520 AORUS ELITE ATX motherboard that you can find above. The motherboard comes with a steel armored PCIe x16 slot for graphics cards, and it runs at PCIe 3.0 x16 bandwidth. For NVMe solid-state drives, there is one M.2 slot that offers bandwidth of PCI 3.0 x4. The board comes with four RAM slots and can support DDR4 4733(O.C.) memory up to 128GB in dual channel mode.

GIGABYTE-A520M-AORUS-ELITE

The motherboard has 5+3 Phases Pure Digital VRM Solution, and the VRM is cooled down a heatsink. When it comes to network connectivity, it has got Realtek Gigabit LAN. The board supports RGB Fusion 2 RGB lighting and comes with ARGB and RGB headers. The Q-Flash BIOS Plus button lets you update the BIOS without installing the CPU, Memory, and Graphics Card. Other features include 7.1 channel HD audio, Smart Fan 5 + FAN STOP, and Hybrid Fan Headers. There is no USB 3.2 Gen2 port on this motherboard, but you will get a sufficient amount of USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports. Display output options include HDMI 2.1 and DVI-D ports.

GIGABYTE A520M AORUS ELITE Specifications
Socket Type AM4
Form Factor Micro-ATX
Chipset A520
Processor Support 3rd Generation AMD Ryzen processors/ 3rd Generation AMD Ryzen with Radeon Graphics processors
RAM Support DDR4 4733(O.C.), up to 128GB, Dual Channel
Slots DIMM x 4, PCIe x16 x 1, PCIe x1 x 2, M.2 (SATA and PCIe 3.0 x4 support)
Ports SATA 6Gb/s x 4, USB 3.2 Gen 1 x 6, USB 2.0 x 4
Features Ultra Durable PCIe Slot with Metal Shielding, 5+3 Phases Pure Digital VRM Solution, RAID 0/1/10 Support, RGB FUSION 2.0 support with RGB and ARGB Header, Smart Fan 5 + FAN STOP, Q-Flash Plus Button, 7.1 Channel Audio (Realtek ALC887 codec), Realtek GbE LAN, Hybrid Fan Headers, VRM Heatsink, PS/2 port
Display Output HDMI 2.1, DVI-D

Buy GIGABYTE A520M AORUS ELITE

Another Good A520 Micro-ATX Motherboard

Best Mini-ITX A520 Motherboard

Below is the best mini-ITX A520 motherboard you can get for building an SFF PC using a small form factor or mini-ITX case.

GIGABYTE A520I AC

[Onboard Wi-Fi, 3x Display Output, 6 Direct Power Phases, Q-Flash Plus button, 3x Display Output]

The best mini-ITX A520 motherboard that you can find for building a budget SFF PC using the Ryzen 3000 series and later processors. The motherboard offers very good performance and has a decent number of features. The board comes with one PCIe x16 slot for graphics card and one M.2 slot (with heatsink) for NVMe SSD. It can support DDR4 5300(O.C.) RAM up to 64GB in dual-channel mode.

GIGABYTE-A520I-AC

The motherboard has Direct 6 Phases Digital VRM Solution with 55A DrMOS, and the VRMs are cooled down by a heatsink. The network connectivity options include Gigabit LAN and onboard Intel Dual Band 802.11ac WIFI & Bluetooth 4.2. When it comes to USB ports, then it lacks a USB 3.2 Gen 2 port and has only USB 3.2 Gen 2 and USB 2.0 ports. Other features include 7.1 Channel Audio (Realtek ALC887 codec), Q Flash BIOS Flashback Button, RGB Fusion 2 Support with RGB Header, and Smart Fan 5 and Hybrid Headers. Display connectivity options include two HDMI 2.1 ports and one DisplayPort port.

GIGABYTE A520I AC Specifications
Socket Type AM4
Form Factor Mini-ITX
Chipset A520
Processor Support 3rd Generation AMD Ryzen processors/ 3rd Generation AMD Ryzen with Radeon Graphics processors
RAM Support DDR4 5300(O.C.), up to 64GB, Dual Channel
Slots DIMM x 2, PCIe x16 x 1, M.2 x 1 (SATA and PCIe 3.0 x4)
Ports SATA 6Gb/s x 4, USB 3.2 Gen 1 x 6, USB 2.0 x 4
Features Direct 6 Phases Digital VRM Solution with 55A DrMOS, RGB Fusion 2 Support with RGB Header, 7.1 Channel Audio (Realtek ALC887 codec), RAID 0/1/10 Support, Dual-Band Intel Wi-Fi AC 3168 + BLUETOOTH 4.2, VRM, M.2 and PCH Heatsinks, GIGABYTE Exclusive 8118 Gaming GbE LAN, Smart Fan 5 and Hybrid Headers, Q-Flash BIOS Update Button,
Display Output  HDMI x 2, DisplayPort

Buy GIGABYTE A520I AC

Other Mini-ITX A520 Motherboard

Here is another mini-ITX A520 motherboard that comes with onboard Wi-Fi and has 8 Power Phase Design.

Best A520 Motherboard with Onboard Wi-Fi

MSI MAG A520M VECTOR WIFI

If you are looking for an A520 motherboard with onboard Wi-Fi connectivity, then MSI MAG A520M VECTOR WIFI is probably the best you can find. It is a well-built motherboard that offers good performance and is also good features wise. However, the board comes with only two memory slots, which can be an issue for some users because it limits the total memory capacity to 64GB, which is half of what the A520 chipset can support. The board comes with one PCIe x16 slot that runs at full PCIe 3.0 x16 bandwidth. The is one M.2 slot with heatsink installed and supports both NVMe and SATA solid-state drives.

MSI-MAG-A520M-VECTOR-WIFI

The power delivery of the board is decent to run budget Ryzen processors (3rd Gen. & Later), and the VRM has heatsink installed over it to keep the temperature level low. The network connectivity options include Intel Wireless-AC 3168 LAN with Bluetooth 4.2 and Gigabit LAN. When it comes to USB ports, then it has six USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports and four USB 2.0 ports. Other features include 7.1 Channel HD Audio with Audio Boost and DDR4 Boost. For the onboard display output, there is one DisplayPort and one HDMI 2.1 port.

MSI MAG A520M VECTOR WIFI Specifications
Socket Type AM4
Form Factor Micro-ATX
Chipset A520
Processor Support 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen Desktop Processors and AMD Ryzen 4000 G-Series Desktop Processors
RAM Support DDR4 4600+ MHz, up to 64GB, Dual Channel
Slots DIMM x 2, PCIe x16 x 1, PCIe x1 x 2, M.2 x 2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 and SATA3)
Ports SATA 6Gb/ x 4, USB 3.2 Gen 1 x 6, USB 2.0 x 6
Features M.2 Shield Frozr, RGB Header, 7.1 Channel HD Audio with Audio Boost, DDR4 Boost, RAID 0/1/10 Support, Intel Wireless-AC 3168 LAN with Bluetooth 4.2, Gigabit LAN, PS/2 port, Extended Heatsink Design

 

Display Output HDMI 2.1, DisplayPort

Buy MSI MAG A520M VECTOR WIFI

Other A520 Motherboards

If you are looking for cheaper A520 motherboards, then here are some of the options that you can consider.

Final Words

Well, it is evident that A520 motherboards are not meant for the performance-oriented masses and enthusiasts. These A520 motherboards are more suitable for users who want to build a basic PC for general work and light gaming. Even within A520 motherboards, some boards are better than others and are worth buying if you want to get the best bang for your money. If you have any queries, then please ask me in the comment section below.

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