GIGABYTE A520 AORUS ELITE Review: A520 Meets ATX

Last Updated: January 26th, 2021
Author: Stephen Cooper

Introduction

AMD’s A520 chipset occupies what could be seen as a crowded space. Now that Ryzen 5000 series CPUs are supported on the 400-Series chipsets, is there really room for the A520? Most would simply look at it and say, no, B450 boards only cost a bit more and you have the overclocking support. It’s a no brainer. Or, is it? After all, if you’re using your rig primarily for work as well as play, do you really need cost up features like 2.5GbE? What about integrated Wi-Fi if you’re parked near your modem or Wi-Fi router? Are you one to shy away from overclocking to retain that warranty, or simply don’t want to invest in an expensive cooler? These factors and more make A520, especially the “premium” A520 boards, more enticing. Today, we have a full review of an enthusiast level A520 motherboard, the GIGABYTE A520 AORUS ELITE.

The A520 AORUS ELITE occupies the high-end of A520 based motherboards, yet is still affordable. I picked this one up for a mere $89.99, a relative steal in comparison to most B550 motherboards, and still cost effective over B450 boards carrying a $30-40+ premium. Yes, it gives up overclocking support of the processor. If you’re looking to overclock your CPU, A520 is not the place to be. However, that doesn’t mean you’re entirely limited to stock performance. Unlike most B450 motherboards, you’re not limited to DDR4-3200. The A520 AORUS ELITE can handle up to DDR4-4266 with the Zen 3 line for example. I know, I know, why would you invest in such a kit when you’re only dropping $90 on a board? And I hear you. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t pick up a budget level DDR4-3200 kit and push the limits if that’s your goal.

Before we dive headlong into the packaging and accessories, let’s take a quick look at the specs, courtesy of GIGABYTE.

Specification Highlights

CPUAMD Socket AM4, support for AMD Ryzen™ 5000 Series
3rd Generation AMD Ryzen™ processors
3rd Generation AMD Ryzen™ with Radeon™ Graphics processors
ChipsetAMD A520
Memory4 x DDR4 DIMM sockets supporting up to 128 GB (32 GB single DIMM capacity) of system memory

AMD Ryzen™ 5000 series processors:
Support for DDR4 4266(O.C.) – 2133 MHz memory modules
3rd Gen AMD Ryzen™ Processors:
Support for DDR4 4400(O.C.) – 2133 MHz memory modules
3rd Gen AMD Ryzen™ with Radeon™ Graphics processors:
Support for DDR4 4733(O.C.) -2133 MHz memory modules
Onboard Graphics1x DVI-D port, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920×1200@60 Hz
1 x HDMI port, supporting a maximum resolution of 4096×2160@60 Hz
AudioRealtek® ALC1200 codec
High Definition Audio
2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
Support for S/PDIF Out
LANRealtek® GbE LAN chip (1000 Mbit/100 Mbit)
Expansion Slots1 x PCI Express x16 slot, supporting PCIe 3.0 and running at x16 (PCIEX16)
Chipset:
1 x PCI Express x16 slot, supporting PCIe 3.0 and running at x2 (PCIEX2)
3 x PCI Express x1 slots, supporting PCIe 3.0 (PCIEX1_1, PCIEX1_2, PCIEX1_3)
Storage Interface1 x M.2 connector (Socket 3, M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110)
Chipset:
4 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, and RAID 10
USB1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port (red) on the back panel
3 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports on the back panel
Chipset:
2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports available through the internal USB header
4 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports available through the internal USB headers
4 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports on the back panel
Internal I/O1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
1 x CPU fan header
1 x water cooling CPU fan header
3 x system fan headers
2 x addressable LED strip headers
2 x RGB LED strip headers
1 x M.2 Socket 3 connector
4 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
1 x front panel header
1 x front panel audio header
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 header
2 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
1 x Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header (2×6 pin, for the GC-TPM2.0_S module only)
1 x serial port header
1 x Clear CMOS jumper
1 x Q-Flash Plus button
Back Panel I/O1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port
1 x DVI-D port
1 x HDMI port
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port (red)
3 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports
4 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
1 x RJ-45 port
1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
5 x audio jacks
Form FactorATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 24.4cm