Cheap AM5 Motherboards: The ASRock B650M-HDV/M.2 for $125
It’s been almost five months since the release of AMD’s Ryzen 7000 series CPUs and their new AM5 platform, and the company promised that motherboard pricing would start at $125. However, prices initially started way higher than that, and it’s only now that AMD’s promise has finally come true.
Interestingly, AMD itself has announced the new pricing and even acknowledged its tardiness in hitting the $125 target. The good news for budget-conscious PC builders is that there is now an AM5 motherboard available for $125, and it comes from the reliable and affordable brand, ASRock. Introducing the ASRock B650M-HDV/M.2.
The ASRock B650M-HDV/M.2 is available for precisely $124.99 on Newegg, and the immediate question that comes to mind is how much has been cut down to hit that price point. For starters, it’s a Micro-ATX board, which limits connectivity to some extent. It has just two DIMM slots for memory, a total of just seven USB ports, and four SATA sockets. However, the good news is that it has two 2280 length M.2 slots for speedy storage, one PCIe Gen 5 spec, and the other PCIe Gen 4.
The Realtek ALC897 audio chip may not be cutting-edge, but the ASRock B650M-HDV/M.2 offers a 2.5Gb Ethernet port, DisplayPort, HDMI, and USB-C, so it’s got most connectivity needs fairly well covered. Even better, there’s an M.2 Wi-Fi slot and antenna mounting points, making it ready for your wireless networking setup of choice. It’s worth noting that adding Wi-Fi capabilities to the motherboard will cost you extra, but if you already have an M.2 E Wi-Fi card, you can move it over to this new board.
Overall, while the idea of going with a Micro-ATX board for cost reasons might not be ideal, the ASRock B650M-HDV/M.2 does look like a viable option, particularly thanks to the dual M.2 storage slots. With DDR5 memory having also come down in price since Ryzen 7000 launched, the cutting-edge motherboard, CPU, and memory trifecta in AMD flavor now looks pretty attainable for budget builders. It’s just a pity that the final piece of the puzzle, graphics, remains painfully pricey.
In terms of price comparisons, you could grab this motherboard, a Ryzen 7 7700X CPU, and 32GB of DDR5 RAM for about $600, which is a lot less than what you’ll pay for an AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT alone, even with its latest price drop to $799. So, while there’s still a long way to go to build a full budget PC, the availability of a $125 AM5 motherboard is certainly a step in the right direction towards cheap AM5 Motherboards.
However, the question is, are motherboards getting cheaper in Pakistan?