When AMD launched its first Ryzen 7000 processors, within the flurry of technical bulletins and publicity lovers had been advised they might be capable to seize a brand new AM5 motherboard “beginning at $125.” Lastly, a number of months down the road, ASRock has ultimately fulfilled that promise with the ASRock B650M-HDV/M.2, reckons AMD’s CVP and GM of Ryzen channel enterprise, David McAfee. After all, it’s proper to marvel what ASRock might have accomplished — what it could have sacrificed — to hit this necessary value level.
AMD’s Ryzen 7000 desktop processors haven’t fairly been the gross sales success they might have been, and that is largely all the way down to the thorny previous concern of pricing. After admirably sticking with the AM4 platform for years, throughout a number of CPU generations, it lastly got here the time to vary the bathtub water.
The design of the highly effective Zen 4 processors made vital some premium decisions on the motherboard facet of the equation. AM5 motherboards required comparatively expensive choices equivalent to a revamped energy supply system, they arrived with a brand new socket mechanism and retainer, and the platform didn’t enable for customers to maintain their previous DDR4 RAM. On the increased finish, there have been much more further prices to bear, with some fashions requiring a number of chipsets to ship their full portfolio of anticipated options.
Turning our focus again to the ASRock B650M-HDV/M.2, it is no shock that this can be a fairly primary AM5 providing. It is a Micro-ATX formfactor, with simply two DIMM slots and two M.2 slots able to housing a 2280 storage gadget (one PCIe Gen 5×4, one other PCIe Gen 4×4). Its VRM energy design is primary too, with just some small, budget-style heatsinks seen.
Some customers may really feel the pinch of simply seven USB ports (4 of that are USB 2.0). In an identical vein, there are simply 4 SATA drive connectors. Onboard sound is the gorgeous previous Realtek ALC897 chip, and naturally there is no such thing as a RGB right here.
On the plus facet, it is pleasing to see this motherboard presents 2.5 Gigabit LAN. One other optimistic is that the graphics card slot is bolstered for power. It is also nice that the straightforward and handy BIOS flashback function is current. ASRock’s B650M-HDV/M.2 has each HDMI and DP ports prepared for the iGPU output, and there is a pre-installed I/O protect — one much less factor to cope with when assembling fashionable PCs.
Curiously, there are antenna mounting factors when you determine to suit a Wi-Fi card, and an M.2 WiFi slot on the motherboard exists for exactly this function. So doubtlessly you possibly can seize one thing like this WiFi 6E adapter (opens in new tab) for $36 and use it with the ASRock board. After all, in impact you’d then be spending $161 in your AM5 motherboard, which type of defeats the aim of getting an inexpensive beginning value within the first place. Nonetheless, the flexibleness is sweet to have.
Hopefully different motherboard makers will comply with in ASRock’s footsteps quickly, and will probably be fascinating to see how they compete. Those that are in search of a whole new platform and aren’t certain whether or not they’re selecting AMD or Intel will need to take a look at the aggressive options of Intel LGA1700 motherboards (for Alder Lake / Raptor Lake) too. Check out our Finest Motherboards 2023 for Gaming, by Socket and Chipset for extra particulars in regards to the professionals and cons of the assorted choices.