AMD has introduced its entry-level A620 platform for AM5 processors. The new platform is designed to power inexpensive PCs that use AMD's CPUs in AM5 packaging based on the Zen 4 microarchitecture and to cut down costs; it omits support for overclocking, PCIe Gen5 connectivity of any kind, and USB 3.2 Gen2x2. Most importantly, base AMD A620-based motherboards will not support higher-wattage CPUs.

Disabling some connectivity is meant to simplify testing and validation procedures and the design of actual motherboards. On the platform hardware side of matters, the AMD A620 chipset uses the same Promontory 21 silicon as the more expensive B650 and X670 chipsets, but in this case, AMD cut down some of the features supported by silicon. In particular, A620 does not support 10Gbps USB 3.2 Gen2x2, only supports eight PCIe 3.0 lanes (depending on the exact motherboard configuration, the number of enabled lanes may vary), only supports two 10Gbps USB 3.2 Gen2 ports and two 5Gbps USB 3.0 ports.

Regarding motherboard design, AMD also does not mandate that its partners support processors with a TDP higher than 65W (88W PPT), so in many cases (if not most of them) A620-based mainboards will not be able to operate Ryzen 7000X or Ryzen 7000X3D CPUs at their full power limits. Our colleagues from Tom's Hardware note that AMD does not explicitly prohibit motherboards makers from supporting high-wattage gaming processors on A620-powered motherboards, but since the platform is meant to be cheap, we can only guess whether there will be many A620 mainboards that feature a sophisticated voltage regulating module for higher-end CPUs. 

On the bright side, A620-based motherboards support factory-overclocked memory with EXPO profiles up to DDR5-6000; it is uncertain whether further manual memory tuning is permitted.

Also, A620 platforms do not support CPU-enabled PCIe Gen5 x4 and x16 interconnections and only feature PCIe Gen4 speeds, which lowers production costs. Yet, they will support four 10Gbps USB 3.2 Gen2 ports enabled by the CPU.

Given the absence of client GPUs supporting a PCIe 5.0 x16 interface, which is unlikely to change for at least a year, and the minimal advantages of PCIe 5.0 x4 SSDs over those with a PCIe 4.0 x4 interface for DirectStorage-enabled games, it seems that opting for PCIe 4.0 speeds instead of PCIe 5.0 for cheap platforms is reasonably practical.

Speaking of cheap AMD AM5 platforms in general, it should be noted that AMD only has three AM5 processors with a 65W TDP, including 12-core Ryzen 9 7900, eight-core Ryzen 7 7700, and six-core Ryzen 5 7600. The latter currently costs $229, which is not particularly cheap.

As for prices of actual A620 motherboards, only ASRock currently offers two of such platforms in the U.S. One costs $86, and another is priced at $100 over at Newegg. Meanwhile, it remains to be seen how cheap or expensive similar A620-based platforms from such makers as Asus, Biostar, Gigabyte, and MSI will be.

Over time AMD will, of course, release inexpensive AM5 APUs with more powerful built-in graphics, and this is when its A620 platform will undoubtedly come in handy. But for now, AMD's Ryzen 7000-series processors mainly target gamers, and the latter are more likely to opt for a Ryzen 7000X chip with enhanced performance and overclocking support or a Ryzen 7000X3D processor with expanded cache for superior single-thread performance, which is going to benefit from more advanced B650-powered motherboards. That said, we can only guess how popular will AMD A620 platform will be before AMD rolls out cheaper AM5 processors.

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  • PeachNCream - Saturday, April 8, 2023 - link

    Where have you been the last few decades?
  • FatFlatulentGit - Tuesday, April 4, 2023 - link

    Hopefully this means that Zen 4 APUs are right around the corner.
  • lmcd - Tuesday, April 4, 2023 - link

    Frankly I hope not, I hope all the silicon goes to AMD laptops. I'd rather see a Zen 3+ Ryzen 6000 adaptation make it to the AM5 platform while the Zen 4 SoCs make AMD's laptop segment finally competitive and timely. There is very little benefit to Zen 4 and RDNA 3 in a desktop socket.

    AMD strategy is driving me nuts though.
  • meacupla - Wednesday, April 5, 2023 - link

    Yeah, I agree. There's no compelling argument for desktop APUs anymore.
    dGPUs are in stock, even though their prices are astronomically wrong.

    Prices for mini PCs equipped with ryzen laptop APUs are really cheap these days.
    For $500, one can get a 5800H, 16GB ram, 512GB SSD
    For $400, 5600H, 16GB ram, 512GB ssd
    For $350, 5500U, 16GB ram, 512GB ssd

    There is no way a desktop 7000 series APU, stuck with using desktop DDR5, is going to beat those prices.
  • Wereweeb - Wednesday, April 5, 2023 - link

    It's not always a question of performance, some people will want a fully modular computer with an energy-efficient APU.
  • FatFlatulentGit - Wednesday, April 5, 2023 - link

    I'd like one for an HTPC build (in a full size HTPC case with drive bays and possible expansion options, not a NUC) without having to stick a fat, power-hungry GPU in it for AV1 decoding. Current Ryzen APUs won't do hardware AV1.
  • Samus - Friday, April 7, 2023 - link

    The problem is, of all things to cheap out on, a motherboard isn't one of them. This thing is really neutered and not worth the 30% savings over a higher quality, more capable and future-proof board. In many cases the price difference could be <$40. That's ridiculous to have a system that is heavily performance bound. And if you think the CPU performance throttling is acceptable, keep in mind there is NO PCIe 4.0 or 5.0 IO, and the PCIe 3.0 IO is limited to x8. Even mid-range GPU's will be bottlenecked by that.
  • Leeea - Tuesday, April 4, 2023 - link

    Buying the right 620 board (one that can support the wattage) with the right 8 core x3d part might be the way to go.

    Who cares about PCIe 5 anyway. PCIe 4x16 will be more then enough for a long time. PCIe 3x16 is enough right now. Need to drop all the way to PCIe 3x4 to have noticeable issues at the moment.
  • lmcd - Tuesday, April 4, 2023 - link

    Lack of 2x2 is bad, but also weak-VRM boards tend to age worse than overbuilt-VRM boards.
  • coburn_c - Tuesday, April 4, 2023 - link

    Current x670 motherboards are already so de-contented I'm surprised this even has audio. My $300 x570 board has more features than a $900 x670. I am sitting this generation out and you should too.

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