Review: ASUS TUF Gaming A620M-PLUS WIFI AM5 Motherboard
The TUF Gaming A620M-PLUS WIFI is ASUS's take on a "premiumised" budget-oriented AM5 motherboard sporting AMD's new entry-level A620 chipset.
Since its launch, the AMD AM5 platform has lacked motherboard offerings at entry-level prices - all that has changed with the launch of the brand's latest AM5 chipset offering - the A620.
Bringing up the rear in AMD's chipset product stack, the A620 is compatible (for the most part - more on this later in this article) with the latest Ryzen 7000 series of processors and serves up support for overclocked DDR5 memory, as well as PCIe 4.0 connectivity for a graphics card and M.2 drives. For this article, ALKtech checks out a specced-out AMD A620 motherboard offering that possibly represents the sweet spot for anyone looking to build a budget AM5 gaming PC - the ASUS TUF Gaming A620M-PLUS WIFI.
Summary of Specifications
- Processor Support: AMD Ryzen 7000 series (Zen 4) AM5 processors (recommended to use processors with 65W TDP due to VRM limitations)
- Chipset: AMD A620
- Memory: 4x DDR5 slots, max 128GB, up to DDR5 6400+ (OC) support
- Audio: Realtek ALC897 audio codec
- LAN: Realtek RTL8125BG 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet
- WIFI: MediaTek MT7902LEN WIFI 6 module with built-in Bluetooth 5.3
- Expansion Slots: 1x PCIe 4.0 x16, 2x PCIe 3.0 x1
- Storage: 4x SATA III, 2x PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 (M.2 slots support NVMe drives only)
- Form Factor: Micro ATX
Packaging & Contents
Being from the TUF Gaming series of motherboard offerings targeted at gamers on a budget, where it places below the ROG Crosshair and ROG STRIX series of boards, and above the value-oriented PRIME series of motherboard offerings by ASUS, the A620M-PLUS WIFI can be considered a motherboard offering that sits at the higher end of the A620 spectrum.
In keeping with the design language of the TUF GAMING series of products, the A620M-PLUS WIFI comes in a box sporting a silver on black colour scheme, with touches of yellow thrown in for contrast.
The board comes with the following accessories:
- WIFI antenna
- 2x SATA III cables
- Pack of M.2 drive screws and standoffs
- I/O shield
- Motherboard manual
- DVD driver disc
- Quick start guide
- TUF Gaming Certificate of Reliability
- ASUS WebStorage promotional leaflet
- TUF Gaming sticker sheet
In terms of aesthetics, ASUS has gone for a black and grey colour scheme with touches of yellow, where its military-inspired motifs are very much in-line with the TUF Gaming brand identity. Being a budget-oriented motherboard offering, it doesn’t come with an integrated I/O shield design, nor does it come with built-in RGB LED accents. The board does come with plenty of RGB headers though - more on their locations later on in this article.
That said, its worth noting that ASUS has opted to include a large heatsink for the board's VRMs, which sets this board apart from other A620-powered offerings that tend to come with paltry VRM heatsinks.
As can be seen, ASUS has opted to cool the AMD A620 chipset with a passive heatsink that sports a TUF Gaming motif. In a bid to keep costs low, the A620M-PLUS WIFI does not come with heatsinks for its two M.2 slots.
VRM & Memory Support
Oddly enough, ASUS doesn't disclose the specifications of the A620M-PLUS WIFI's power delivery solution. It's worth noting though that in principle, AMD A620 motherboard offerings are designed to support AM5-socketed processors with a TDP of up to 65W, so as to keep such board costs low - looking at AMD's current Ryzen 7000 series line-up, 65W TDP offerings are essentially in reference to the brand's non-X processors (e.g. Ryzen 5 7600, Ryzen 7 7700 etc). In addition, A620 motherboards do not support processor overclocking - you'll have to look at motherboards with the mid-range B650 chipset and above should you wish to overclock your Ryzen 7000 series processor.
While A620 boards can still work with Ryzen 7000 processors with TDPs of more than 65W, VRM limitations on these boards would likely mean that such higher-end processors would likely not be able to achieve their maximum performance potential.
For memory support, ASUS has included four DDR5 slots with support for up to 128GBs of RAM, and the DDR5 6400+ standard when overclocked. The memory slots are of a single-tabbed design - what ASUS calls "Q-DIMM", making the removal of installed memory modules a more straightforward process. The board also features AMD EXPO - Extended Profiles for Overclocking, which are built-in overclocking profiles for DDR5 memory, similar to what XMP stands for in Intel's ecosystem. You read that right - despite the fact that the A620 chipset does not include support for processor overclocking, it's great to see that memory overclocking is still supported.
Front Panel USB Headers
Front panel USB connectivity for this board is in the form of a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A front panel header that provides for up to two front panel USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, as well as a USB 3,2 Gen 1 Type-C front panel header that provides for a single USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C front panel port.
Also included are two front panel USB 2.0 headers that can be found near the bottom edge of the board - each of these headers provide support for two front panel USB 2.0 Type-A ports, for a total of four ports.
Expansion Slots & Storage Options
In terms of expansion slots, the TUF Gaming A620M-PLUS WIFI comes with a single PCIe 4.0 x16 slot for a graphics card, as well as two PCIe 3.0 x1 slots. The PCIe 4.0 x16 slot comes with the SafeSlot Core+ feature that reinforces the slot for use with heavy graphics cards.
For your storage devices, ASUS has included four SATA III ports, with all ports in a straight-angled configuration.
Two PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots are included with the board, where it's worth noting that these two slots support NVMe SSDs only. That said, the first M.2 slot comes with the Q-Latch feature that facilitates the tool-less installation and removal of a M.2 SSD from the said slot.
Audio & Internet Connectivity
Being a budget-oriented motherboard offering, no surprises here that ASUS has included an entry-level Realtek ALC897 audio codec.
The board's wired internet connectivity is courtesy of another Realtek part, the RTL8125BG that serves up support for 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet. Also included is a MediaTek MT7902LEN module that supports WIFI 6 and Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity.
Fan & RGB Headers
The TUF Gaming A620M-PLUS WIFI comes with a total of three fan headers:
- 1x CPU_FAN
- 2x CHA_FAN
Owners of this motherboard will have no short supply of RGB headers, where it comes with three addressable RGB headers and a single 12V RGB header.
Near the bottom edge of the board is a serial port header, which could come in useful for situations that call for the use of legacy PC peripherals.
The board comes with the following rear I/O ports:
- 2x DisplayPort 1.4 (max 8K resolution @ 60Hz)
- 1x HDMI 2.1 (max 4K resolution @ 60Hz)
- BIOS FlashBack button
- 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A (5 Gbps)
- 1x PS/2 mouse/keyboard combo port
- 4x USB 2.0 Type-A
- 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet port
- WIFI antennae connectors
- Audio jack connectors
The BIOS FlashBack feature allows end-users to update the motherboard's BIOS without needing a processor, RAM and graphics card to be installed. This is a useful feature to have for sure, given that AMD has indicated its intention to use the AM5 socket for at least one future generation (or more) of Ryzen processors.
Conclusion & Pricing
In conclusion, the ASUS TUF Gaming A620M-PLUS WIFI is an interesting value-oriented AM5 motherboard offering, where despite the fact that it sports the entry-level AMD A620 chipset, ASUS has opted to kit the board out with some features that are more commonly found on mid-range motherboard offerings, such as a chunky heatsink for the VRMs, 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet and quality of life features such as M.2 Q-Latch. Of course - these features do come at additional cost, especially when compared to bargain basement A620 motherboard offerings such as the ASUS PRIME A620M-A.
One issue worth noting is the fact that AMD has designated the A620 chipset for use with AM5 processors with a TDP of 65W. Again, while processors with a TDP of more than 65W should still boot up and work with the A620M-PLUS WIFI, such processors may not be able to operate at their maximum performance potential due to VRM limitations - you're mileage may hence vary in this regard.
As of mid-April 2023, the TUF GAMING A620M-PLUS WIFI is available in Singapore for a price of around $265 Singapore dollars through offline and online retailers. International readers may have to wait for their local PC hardware retailers to stock this motherboard, where as of the time of publishing this article, e-Commerce sites such as Amazon and Newegg have yet to list this motherboard up for sale.
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The motherboard featured in this article was a review unit provided on loan from ASUS Singapore.