AMD based PCs are well known for their affordability. Not only are AMD based motherboards generally regarded as being cheaper than their Intel counterparts, the overall AMD build highly appeals to gamers.
In this article we will look at the best budget AM4 motherboards. AM4 is the current AMD socket for consumer grade desktops. It is compatible with AMD Ryzen and Athlon Gen 5, 3, 2, 1 processors.
One of the best part about the AM4 socket is that it is one of the longest running sockets for consumer grade desktops. Whereas Intel changes the socket after two or so generations, AM4 has remained the same since the Ryzen series began.
If you are looking for an economical rig either for work purposes or for gaming then you can certainly find an excellent deal with their motherboards.
Here we will review budget motherboards from different categories. We will look at motherboards from different form factors, chipsets, as well as PCIe configurations.
Comparison of Top Budget AM4 Motherboards
|A320||AM4||mATX||No||1xPCIe x16|| |
|Gigabyte A520M |
|A520||AM4||mATX||No||1xPCIe x16|| |
|MSI B550M |
|B550||AM4||mATX||Yes||1xPCIe x16|| |
|ASUS TUF Gaming |
1xPCIe x16 (x4)
|GIGABYTE B550 |
2xPCIe x16 (x4)
|Asus AM4 |
1xPCIe x16 (x4)
|GIGABYTE B550I |
|Yes||1xPCIe x16|| |
List of Best Budget AM4 Motherboards in 2021
The following motherboards have the best value for their budget price category. We have divided them based on their form factor:
- Gigabyte GA-A320M-S2H – Micro ATX – The Most Budget AM4 Motherboard
- Gigabyte A520M AORUS Elite – AM4 Gaming Motherboard Under $100
- MSI B550M PRO-VDH WiFi – Recommended Budget Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard
- ASUS TUF Gaming B550-PLUS – Affordable Micro ATX Gaming Motherboards
- GIGABYTE B550 AORUS Elite – Recommended Budget ATX AM4 Motherboard
- Asus AM4 TUF Gaming X570-Plus – Affordable Motherboard with X570 Chipset
- GIGABYTE B550I AORUS PRO AX – Best Mini ITX Budget AM4 Motherboard with WiFi
Budget Micro ATX AMD AM4 Motherboards
1. Gigabyte GA-A320M-S2H – The Most Budget AM4 Motherboard
One of the most, if not the most, affordable Micro ATX AM4 motherboard from a quality brand.
First up we have one of the most, if not the most, affordable and popular AMD AM4 motherboards out there.
If you came here looking to make a bee-line for the most inexpesive option, then this is hands down, the ideal option to go for.
While this is mostly intended for those looking for make an average PC for work or home related tasks, you can certainly use this for your gaming setup as well.
Being an affordable motherboard, it offers only the minimal specs. For instance unlike an average motherboard that has 4 x DIMM slots, this motherboard only has 2 x DIMM slots for RAM with a max support for 32 GB of DDR 4 RAM.
This is in all reality, more than enough for any economical build as well as for a full fledged gaming build.
One point to note is that despite being a micro ATX motherboard, it only offers a single PCIe X16 slot for graphics card. It DOES NOT offer any X4 slot that you can use for a Crossfire setup. This is due to the limitation of the A series chipset. The A series chipset maxes out with single PCIe x16 slot.
It does, however, offer 2 x PCIe X1 slot that you can use to install smaller add-in cards like a sound card or a WiFi card.
It should be noted that the A320 is the most basic chipset available for AMD motherboards. While affordable, they have limitations such as fewer SATA ports, fewer high speed USB ports and more importantly, for enthusiasts, they do not allow overclocking your CPU.
In short, if you want to make the most economical build, then this is the best budget AMD motherboard in the market.
2. Gigabyte A520M AORUS Elite – AM4 Gaming Motherboard Under $100
A recommended budget AM4 motherboard for gamers and enthusiasts.
If you are a gamer looking for the most affordable AM4 motherboard that you can get your hands on, then this is the best budget AM4 motherboard for you in the market.
This motherboard features the latest low end A520 chipset. While it does not feature the PCIe V4 or dual graphics card support, it brings with itself a few upgrades compared to the older A320 chipset.
For starters, it comes with support for AMD Ryzen Gen 3 and newer processors from the get go so you will not need any BIOS update. Secondly, the general PCIe lanes on this are all PCIe V3.
The older A320 chipset has PCIe V2.0 general lanes.
3. MSI B550M PRO-VDH WiFi – Recommended Budget Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard
If you are looking for a middle of the road motherboard for AM4 socket, then we recommend this. This motherboard is a level higher than the previous motherboards mentioned above.
Unlike the previous motherboard, it does not feature the weak A320 chipset. Instead it offers the respectable and the newer B550 Chipset. This chipset brings about itself many new qualities such as support for PCIe V4 as well as the latest WiFi 6 protocol.
While it may not have the looks of a gaming motherboard, you most certainly can use it as one as it does support overclocking.
All these feature make it an excellent budget motherboard for gamers. The better sub-components, compared to the A series motherboards, like the VRMs, are essential for those who overclock.
As far as configuration goes, this offers much higher expandability. Firstly, it offers support of upto 128 GB of RAM. Therefore, if you want to build a workstation that eats RAM alone, you would be able to do so with this.
Furthermore, it offers one PCIe X16 slots, one PCIe X4 slot and 2 x PCIe X1 slot. Since it only has a single PCIe X16 slot, it does not support AMD Crossfire. Also note that, only the PCIe X16 slot conforms to the PCIe V4 standard, the rest still operate on the PCIe V3 protocol. This is the design limitation of the B550 chipset.
Moreover, this motherboard also offers 4xSATA 3 ports as well as 2 x M.2 slots both of which are capable of running NVMe SSDs.
All in all, if you are looking for a performance based micro ATX model, then this is the best budget AM4 motherboard in the market.
Budget ATX AMD AM4 Motherboards
4. ASUS TUF Gaming B550-PLUS – Affordable Micro ATX Gaming Motherboards
A high performance, high quality gaming motherboard for AM4 setup at budget.
If you are an enthusiast looking to procure a budget ATX AM4 motherboard for your gaming setup, then we highly recommend this.
While the motherboard mentioned above can also be used for gaming, this one adds a few things that a gamer would appreciate.
For starters, this motherboard has the aesthetics to meet the needs of a typical gamer. Not only does it have excellent color accents, it also features RGB lighting.
Furthermore, this motherboard features higher quality VRMs and heatsinks that are important for maintaining system stability when overclocking.
Moreover, unlike the previous motherboard this features 2 x PCIe X16 slots, one of which operates at x16 and the other at X4. Hence it is possible to have a crossfire setup with 2 x AMD card here.
As far as the built in sound card goes, this motherboard features enough audio ports for 5.1 surround along with a Digital out.
Besides that, since it features the latest B550 chipset, this motherboard can handle Ryzen 3 and newer processors from the get go without any BIOS update. It also features PCIe V4 CPU lanes, as well as the advanced ports like high speed USB 3.2 Gen 2 and HDMI 2.1.
All in all, if you are looking for a high performance gaming option but at a budget, then this is the best budget AM4 motherboard.
5. GIGABYTE B550 AORUS Elite – Recommended Budget ATX AM4 Motherboard
A recommended ATX AM4 motherboard that is highly suitable for budget gaming builds. Supports 3 way crossfire.
ATX motherboards are generally more expensive than Micro ATX and are usually used for workstation or high performance desktops.
This motherboard is a testament to that fact.
This is one of the most affordable AMD based ATX motherboard out there, yet it offers features that would cater to any professional out there be it a gamer or a video editor.
Unlike the previous three mentioned motherboard, this offers a lot of expandability. Despite being a budget ATX motherboard, it offers support for 3 x AMD Graphics card.
You can essentially have a 3-Way crossfire on this. How? Because it offers a single PCIe X16 slot and two X4 slots. Since an AMD Graphics card requires a minimum of X4 PCIe bandwidth, you can have a triple GPU rig.
Of course, for a budget PC that would be an overkill, it is still great to have that feature in a budget motherboard for future consideration.
Furthermore, it also offers an additional 1 x PCIe X1 slot that you can use to add a separate WiFi modem, sound card etc.
One of the most lucrative feature of this motherboards is that it offers a 12+2 VRM phase power design with large 50A VRMs. The higher rating of VRMs and the more they are on a motherboard, the more stable the system performs particularly when overclocked.
Besides, it also comes with a built in 5.1 surround sound with an optical out featuring high end Amp-Up audio with Realtek ALC1200 codec. Therefore, if you are an audiophile, this would appeal to you.
All in all, if you are looking to build a high performance desktop at a fair budget then this is the best budget AM4 motherboard out there in our opinion.
6. Asus AM4 TUF Gaming X570-Plus – Affordable Motherboard with X570 Chipset
X series of AMD chipset are considered the premium chipset and hence are generally loved by gamers and enthusiasts.
The latest X series chipset is the X570. This chipset offers chipset level PCIe V4 support meaning not just the PCIe X16, but the X1 and x4 slots general PCIe lanes here also comfortmto the PCIe v4.0 protocol.
On top of that an X570 chipset offers more PCIe lanes and more SATA slots compared to an average B550 motherboard. Hence these motherboards are considered excellent for those who want to expand.
This particular motherboard is one of the cheapest X570 model out there. It features a single PCIe v4 x 16 slot, 1 x PCIe v4 x 16 slot (4x mode) and 3 x PCIe 4.0 X1 slot. That is a lot of PCIe slots you can use.
It also offers 8 x SATA ports. The only downside here is that it features only a single M.2 slot.
Nevertheless, it features high quality components, 12+2 VRM phase power design, WiFi 6 built-in and high grade Realtek S1200 8 -channel codec with 5 audio ports built in makes this an excellent ATX board for performance seekers.
All in all, if you came here particularly looking for an option with X570 chipset, then this is the best budget AM4 motherboard.
Also Read: Best Motherboards for SLI
Budget Mini ITX AMD AM4 Motherboards
7. GIGABYTE B550I AORUS PRO AX – Best Mini ITX Budget AM4 Motherboard with WiFi
Here we have the smallest class of motherboards that features an AM4 chipset. While this is not an affordable MOBO persey, within the very compact mini ITX categories, it is one of the cheapest with the newer B550 chipset.
This is a mini ITX motherboard that is considered the smallest category of motherboards for a conventional PC build. Since they have a dimension of mere 6.7 x 6.7 inches, they can fit into very compact chassis that not just occupy a small footprint, but are also cheap and portable.
An important consideration here is that mini ITX motherboard are generally more expensive than Micro ATX despite being smaller. This is because of the fact that they offer a built in WiFi and also charge a premium for their compact design.
As far as expandability goes, mini ITX motherboards are the worst. This motherboard only offers a single PCIe X16 slot mostly for fitting only a single Graphics card.
Therefore, if you do not think that you will ever be needing more PCIe slots, then this is an excellent option to go for.
The motherboard features the respectable mid range B550 chipset suitable for performance builds. It offers overclocking as well as PCIe v4 for CPU lanes, which the older B series and the inferior A series chipsets lack.
All in all, if you are looking to build an economical compact build, then this is the best budget AM4 motherboard.
Also Read: Best Budget Mini ITX Motherboards
Choosing the Right Budget AM4 Motherboard
When choosing an AMD motherboards especially at a budget, you can keep the following points into account.
Chipset – The A Series is for Budget
One of the most important consideration when choosing an AM4 motherboard is the chipset.
AMD has three popular chipset for desktop PC:
- A Series: The most affordable series. Has minimal features.
- B Series: Mid range series. Suitable for most gamers and intermediate power users.
- X Series: For Enthusiasts. Suitable for gamers with a high budget and for professionals.
The following chart reveals the key differences between the different chipsets of the current series.
Form Factor Matters
When choosing the most economical option, the form factor of the motherboard matters a lot.
Form factor basically defines the size and dimension of the motherboard.
The most common motherboard form factors are ATX, Micro ATX and Mini ITX. ATX is the largest with a 12 x 9.6 inch dimension, micro ATX is smaller at 9.6 x 9.6 inch dimension and the Mini ITX is the smaller coming at 6.7 x 6.7 inch.
Generally, out of all these, the micro ATX motherboards are the cheapest to procure. Therefore, for utmost affordability go for micro ATX motherboard or mATX.
When it comes to the budget range Mini ITX motherboards are the most expensive. This is because these motherboard come with a built in WIFI and they do tend to charge a premium for their rare compact form factor.
The ATX motherboards have a vast price range. In the budget category, they are slightly more expensive than micro ATX motherboards, but can be found at a much cheaper price than Mini ITX motherboards.
Also Read: Best Budget Mini ITX Motherboards
Graphic Card Configuration and Expandability
Motherboards vary heavily in terms of their PCIe configuration.
While all motherboards offer at least a single PCIe X16 slot so that you can add a graphics card to it, further expandability is usually costly.
For instance, motherboards that can handle NVIDIA SLI are fairly more expensive than an average motherboard since it has two X16 slots. NVIDIA requires at least an X8 slot to operate.
Hence when you populate the two X16 slots, they dial down their bandwidth to X8 each. This has to do with amount of PCIe lanes you have.
On the other hand, a motherboard designed for Crossfire is cheaper since AMD graphics card can run on an X4 slot. Therefore, if your motherboard has an extra X4 slot along with the primary X16 slot, you will be able to Crossfire.
Micro ATX and ATX motherboards usually have an additional X4 slot. Mini ITX, on the other hand, cap out at only a single PCIe X16 slot.
Hence, if you want more expandability in terms of more PCIe slots, the motherboard will cost extra.
It should be noted that the AM4 is fairly old socket and has been found on motherboards since the first generation AMD Ryzen processors came out.
Hence, you can still find older motherboards that were released years earlier that can technically harbor the newer AMD Ryzen processors.
Incidentally, the cheapest AM4 motherboard also happen to be the oldest. However, it should be noted that some of the older motherboards do not have their BIOS updated to support the newer gen processors.
Therefore their BIOS will need to be updated first.
Generally, if the stock for a certain motherboard is old, it will usually have an older BIOS and will need to be updated.
However, if the stock is newer then even if the model is old, there is a high chance that it will come factory updated to the latest BIOS that supports the newer AMD processors.
We must reiterate again that the best budget AM4 motherboard for you depends upon what you want to accomplish. If you just need a simple motherboard that can harbor a single graphics card, then you can certainly find very cheap motherboards out there.
Special attention must be paid to the chipset and the form factor.