PC Gear Lab

5 Best AM4 Motherboards Under $100 in 2020

AMD’s popularity is on the rise, there are articles over articles these days singing the praise of the newer AMD processor as well as the graphics so it only makes sense that your next investment be an AMD setup.

In this article we look at the best AM4 motherboards under $100. Basically we look at motherboard that will be suitable for office/home use as well as for gamers who want to keep the cost of their motherboard to a bear minimum.

Fortunately, with the latest A520 series and the low-end B550 series chipset, you can find some pretty sweet deals for AM4 motherboards in this price category.

It should be noted that below $100 is considered a budget range and hence you should not expect premium features here.

Comparison of Top AM4 Motherboards Under $100

ProductChipsetSocketSizeBuilt in
WiFi
PCIe
x16 Slot
Check
Price
Gigabyte A520M
AORUS Elite
A520AM4mATXNo1xPCIe x16
Buy at
Amazon.com 
ASRock
A520M-HDV
A520AM4mATXNo1xPCIe x16
Buy at
Amazon.com 
ASRock
A520M/AC
A520AM4mATXYes1xPCIe x16
Buy at
Amazon.com
GIGABYTE
B550M DS3H
B550AM4mATXNo1xPCIe x16
1xPCIe x16 (x4)
Buy at
Amazon.com 
ASRock B550
Phantom Gaming 4
B550AM4ATXYes1xPCIe x16
1xPCIe x16 (x4)
Buy at
Amazon.com 

List of Best AM4 Motherboards Under $100

These affordable are highly popular motherboards can work great for your budget under $100 rig.

  1. Gigabyte A520M AORUS Elite – Recommended AM4 Gaming Motherboard Under $100
  2. ASRock A520M-HDV – As Affordable As It Can Get
  3. ASRock A520M/AC – Budget With WiFi
  4. GIGABYTE B550M DS3H – Budget Workstation or Gaming Motherboard
  5. ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming 4 – ATX AM4 Motherboard Under $100

1. Gigabyte A520M AORUS Elite – Recommended AM4 Gaming Motherboard Under $100

Gigabyte A520M AORUS Elite

A recommended budget AM4 motherboard for gamers and enthusiasts.

First up we have our personal favorite budget AM4 motherboard for gamers and enthusiasts.

If you are trying to save cost on your gaming rig by reducing your expenses on the motherboard, then this A520 motherboard can serve you quite well.

A520 chipset is the latest entry level chipset from AMD. There are a few drawbacks to this chipset being an entry level. For starters, it does not offer PCIe v4.0 unlike the newer B550 and the X570 chipsets.

Secondly, it supports only a single PCIe X16 slot and therefore you cannot install dual graphics.

Lastly, this motherboard does not allow for overclocking since it has fewer and weaker VRMs.

If for you these are not drawbacks but an opportunity to save cost, then this is the best AM4 motherboard under $100 in our opinion.

It does feature an M.2 slot as well as a PCIe x1 slot for expandability.

Shop Now at Amazon.com

2. ASRock A520M-HDV – As Affordable As It Can Get

ASRock A520M-HDV

One of the cheapest AM4 motherboards you can find.

If you want to stick to newer chipsets and want to go for the most affordable option possible then this is the best AM4 motherboard under $100.

This motherboard is well suited for office and home use PCs.

While there are cheaper motherboards out there with the Am4 socket particularly the ones featuring the A320 chipset, we recommend you stick with this.

This is because the older chipset has PCIe 2.0 general purpose lanes. This motherboard has all lanes conforming to PCIe 3.0.

On top of that, newer chipset come factory updated to support newer gen processor i.e the Ryzen 3 and Ryzen 4. Older motherboards need a BIOS update in order to support newer gen processors.

So in short, if you are trying to save up cost to the max while still having the latest hardware then we recommend this.

Like the rest of the “A” series motherboards, this features a single PCIe x16 slot and a single M.2 slot for NVMe SSD expansion.

Shop Now at Amazon.com

3. ASRock A520M/AC – Budget With WiFi

ASRock A520M/AC

A sub $100 AM4 motherboard with WiFi built in.

ASRock A520M/AC is very similar to the motherboard above in terms of specs, the only differentiating factor is that this comes with a WiFi built in.

For small office setups or for small home use desktop, this motherboard is highly recommended.

The ease of having a WiFi built in at only a marginally higher price is quite handy.

It should be noted, however, that having a WiFi does come with an expensive namely the fact that this does not feature the DVI-D or the VGA port as found on the motherboard above.

Instead, it only features a single HDMI for display connectivity.

Other than that, it comes with a regular single X16 PCie v3.0 slot and M.2 slot and weaker VRMs as is the case with the entry level A series chipsets.

Shop Now at Amazon.com

4. GIGABYTE B550M DS3H – Budget Workstation or Gaming Motherboard

GIGABYTE B550M DS3H

Budget motherboard with B550 chipset on a micro ATX form factor.

Unlike the motherboards above which feature the entry level A series chipsets, this motherboard features the mid range B550 chipset.

If you are trying to build a respectable PC with future proof specs with a micro ATX form factor, then this is the best AM4 motherboard under $100.

This motherboard features PCIe v4.0 across its primary X16 slot for the GPU. Furthermore, both of its dual M.2 slot are also PCIe v4.0 compatible.

Hence not only can you put power graphics card in the future, you can also install the latest PCIe V4.0 SSD that can reach speeds of 7500MB/s transfer speeds.

Also unlike the cheaper A520 motherboards, the B550 also supports dual graphics card hence this motherboard has 2 x PCIe X16 slots. Note that while the first slot operates at X16, the second operates at X4 lane. The AMD graphics card can operate on X4 lanes hence you can install two AMD gpus for a crossfire setup here.

It should be noted that the PCIe v4.0 is only supported if you have Ryzen Gen 3 or higher processor installed.

Besides that, one of the most important aspect for some gamers out there is the fact that B550 chipset allows overclocking. That has to do with the fact that a B550 motherboard has better VRMs and VRM heatsinks as compared to the A series motherboards.

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5. ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming 4 – ATX AM4 Motherboard Under $100

Sale
ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming 4

A full ATX motherboard with B550 chipset. Plenty of expansion slots.

Lastly we have a Full ATX gaming motherboard for those looking to built a full tower gaming setup.

It features almost the same specs as the motherboard above since this too is based on the B550 chipset, however it differs in two ways.

Firstly, it has a larger form factor and secondly, it features an extra PCIe X1 slot. If you plan to expand your system with many peripherals than the expansion slot here can come in handy.

Furthermore, it features 6 SATA ports while the previous features only 4 SATA ports. Hence for installing a lot of hard disks, you can use this hard disk.

Other than that, you can find 2 X PCIe X16 slot for dual AMD graphics card.

So all in all, if you want a larger motherboard with more expansion capability, then this is the best AM4 motherboard under $100.

Shop Now at Amazon.com

FAQ

What Can You Expect From AMD Motherboards Under $100?

Motherboards under $100 are considered general purpose motherboards for home or office use. They bring the minimum specs to the table.

However, as seen above, there are a certain few motherboards under the $100 range that can provide you with an extraordinary value for your money if you are a gamer too.

Here are some of the things you can expect from AM4 motherboard from this price category:

Chipset

 

There are four chipsets that you can usually find under this price range i.e A320, B450, A520 and B550. Of these four, the A320 and B450 are older and hence cheaper.

The A520 and B550 are newer and slightly more expensive.

We recommend that you stick with the newer chipsets because they support the latest processors from the get go. On the older chipsets you may have to update the BIOS to support newer Ryzen Gen 3 or 4 processors.

Also, it is worth nothing that the “A” series are the entry level chipsets, where as the “B” series are a mid range AM4 chipset.

We explore the characteristics of chipset in the sections below.

PCIe Expansion

If you choose to go for A520 or the A320 chipset, you can only find a single PCIe x16 expansion slot because this chipset can only support a single GPU.

You may or may not find the smaller X1 slots.

The B550 and B450 are a bit more versatile. These can handle dual graphics card so you may find 2 x X16 slots here albeit the second X16 slot generally operates at X4 speed (enough to run an AMD card).

PCIe Version

If you want to go for a motherboard featuring the latest PCIe V4.0, then B550 is the way to go. The PCIe V4, like all the previous gen, improves by doubling the lane speed.

An x4 lane on PCIe V4 can top 8 GB/s second. The same with a V3 can top only 4 GB/s.

Higher the transfer speed, the better and newer graphics card or other devices like SSDs you can install.

The A520, albeit new in the market, does not feature PCIe V4.0. Instead its GPU and general purpose lanes from the chipset all conform to PCIe V3. This is in contrast to the A320 chipset on which the general purpose lanes conformed to PCIe V2.

amd-a520-chipset-specs_1

Form Factor

Most of the motherboard in this price range are Micro ATX motherboards with a 9.6 inch by 9.6 inch dimensions.

You can also find ATX motherboards on the higher price side but the mini ITX are quite rare to find under this price tag especially if you choose to go for the newer chipsets.

M.2 Slots

The A320 and A520 motherboards offer a max of single M.2 NVMe SSD slot. The B450 and B550 can offer 2 x M.2 slots.

Overclocking

What are Motherboard Power Phases?
Affordable chipsets like A320 or A520 lacks power VRMs or VRM heatsinks. Image Source

If you are an enthusiasts who loves tweaking their system, then we recommend sticking the B450 and the B550 chipsets.

The A320 or the A520 motherboards DO NOT allow overclocking.

This has mainly to do with the fact that in order to save cost, the A520 and the cheaper chipsets lack the amount of VRMs or the VRM heat sinks to stabilize voltage or temperature in overclocked situation.

WiFi

The newer chipset, the B550 supports WiFi 6. The other chipsets, including the A520 lacks support for the newer WiFi 6.

Conclusion

If you are looking to save cost on the motherboard while building an AMD rig so you can maximize budget on the rest of the components then you need to look in to the best AM4 motherboards under $100.

Here we looked at some of the latest and popular options. We recommended sticking with the latest chipset for future proofing yourself.

We have talked in detail about what you can expect at this price range as well.

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