Best budget motherboard 2019

Best budget motherboard 2019 DEFAULT

The best motherboard 2021: the top Intel and AMD motherboards we've seen

Building a PC or upgrading your aging one isn’t only about getting the best graphics card or best processor you can afford. You also need to dedicate just as much time and effort choosing the best motherboard to ensure that your PC and all its components are running at their best. After all, it is the backbone of your PC.

Without the best motherboard under the hood of your computer, you’re risking crashes, failing components, or worse, having to rebuild the whole thing from scratch. On the other hand, the right motherboard will ensure that everything – including that fancy new component you’ve just purchased – is not only running optimally but also overclocking better.

So, save yourself the headache and choose one of the best motherboards below. Whether you’re upgrading the aging components in your existing one or setting out to build a PC to rival the best PCs, only one of our picks below will do.

Coming to terms

If you’re unfamiliar with the best motherboards out there, use this list as a primer for your next build. Motherboards are available in a broad range of different form factors, the most common of which are ATX and Micro ATX. However, there are plenty of less common form factors including mini ITX and E-ATX. Don’t worry though, most of the best PC cases will support more than one form factor. 

Moreover, in our rundown of the best motherboards, we detailed the socket type that each mobo adheres to. The socket, for those not in the know, is the part on the motherboard that the CPU locks into. Typically, newer Intel processors use either LGA 1151 or 2066 while the latest AMD Ryzen architecture is designed for the AM4 chipset.

1. Asus ROG Maximus XIII Hero

Best Intel Motherboard


Form Factor: ATX

Socket: LGA1200

Chipset: Intel Z590

Memory support: Dual Channel DDR4

Multi-GPU support: NVIDIA 2-Way SLI Technology

Features: ASUS-exclusive software and firmware utilities, enlarged VRM heatsink, onboard WiFi 6E, ROG SupremeFX ALC4082 gaming audio

Reasons to buy

+Several USB ports with two Thunderbolt 4+Excellent quality

Reasons to avoid


It might not be cheap, but the Rog Maximus XIII Hero is worth its price tag. Its list of features, which includes Wi-Fi 6, PCIe 4.0, tons of ports (including two thunderbolt), and four M.2 SSD sockets, will satisfy just about anyone looking for a premium Z590 board to build a PC around. It’s not only a great performing board, but it’s easy to overclock as well. And, like any good ASUS motherboard, it comes with plenty of RGB lighting.

2. MSI MEG Z490 Godlike

Best high-end Intel motherboard


Form Factor: E-ATX

Socket: LGA1200

Chipset: Intel Z490

Memory support: 4 x DIMM sockets (up to 128GB)

Multi-GPU support: 2-Way NVIDIA SLI Technology, 3-Way AMD CrossFire Technology

Features: M.2 Xpander-Z Gen4 S, 10G Super LAN + 2.5G LAN, Frozn Heatsink, Double Side M.2 Shield Frozn

Reasons to buy

+Superb build quality+Onboard thunderbolt video output+Easy overclocking in BIOS

Reasons to avoid

-Pricey-Uses two 8-pin cpu power connectors

High-end motherboards may cost a fortune, but if you’ve got something like the MSI MEG Z490 Godlike under the hood, you’re pretty much guaranteed top-notch performance, especially if you’ve got Intel components. As long as you’re willing to pay the price. In fact, we’d go as far as to say that this is the best z490 board out there right now, with an excellent thermal solution, staggering overclocking performance, easy installation and diagnostic solutions for do-it-yourself-ers, and a solid build.

3. GIGABYTE Z490 Gaming X

Best budget Intel motherboard


Form Factor: ATX

Socket: LGA1200

Chipset: Intel Z490

Memory support: 4 x DIMM sockets (up to 128GB)

Multi-GPU support: AMD Quad-GPU CrossFire and 2-Way AMD CrossFire

Features: Support for APP Center, Q-Flash and Q-Flash Plus support, Xpress Install support

Reasons to buy

+Pre-installed I/O shield+Additional optional 4-pin connector

Reasons to avoid

-No USB Type-C connectivity

The GIGABYTE Z490 Gaming X may not have any flashy new features to bring to the table, but if you’re an Intel fan who needs a new motherboard in the budget sphere, it’s certainly a great choice. This entry-level motherboard for gamers has a decent feature set for its price tag, including three PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, six SATA ports and four memory slots with support for DDR4-4600 and up to 128GB, to start. Most importantly, it performs like the best of them without burning a hole in your pocket.

4. MSI MEG Z590 Ace

Best Intel ATX motherboard


Form Factor: ATX

Socket: LGA1200

Chipset: Intel Z590

Memory support: Dual Channel DDR4

Multi-GPU support: 2-Way Nvidia SLI and 2-Way AMD Crossfire technologies

Features: 2.5Gbps LAN, Wi-Fi 6E, dual Thunderbolt 4, VRM Heat-pipe, 7W/mK thermal pads

Reasons to buy

+Lots of power+Excellent audio+Nice features

Reasons to avoid


If you’re looking for a premium option for your 10th and 11th generation flagship Intel chips, the MEG Z590 Ace from MSI not only delivers a lot of power, but also comes with four M.2 sockets, two Thunderbolt USB-C ports and Wi-Fi 6E support, as well as excellent audio solution with latest premium ALC4082 audio process. There’s a lot to appreciate here, if you can afford that steep $499.


Best gaming motherboards in 2021

The best gaming motherboard may not seem like a big deal, but it'll make a huge difference. A good motherboard will provide a foundation on which to build a great rig, and power up your gaming experience. Choosing the best motherboard for your system determines what case size will work, what your storage options are, and how much of a CPU upgrade you can work up to. 

There may not be heaps of difference between motherboards of the same chipset nowadays, but it's still important to get it right—it's just more about features than it is performance. Do you want to be able to overclock your CPU? Do you need high-performance RAM support? Do you need a small server's worth of USB ports? I know you do. These are just some of the things you should consider when getting ready to purchase a motherboard.

The best gaming motherboards also give you some level of future-proofing, as much as this ever-changing world will allow. Whether that's in the form of a socket or chipset that can support the top-end processors, such as the Intel's Z590 chipset and its Rocket Lake chips, or one that can deliver next-gen interconnects, such as the B550's PCIe 4.0 support.

Best gaming motherboard

Best Intel Z590 motherboard

1. Asus TUF Gaming Z590-Plus WIFI

The best Z590 motherboard for Rocket Lake CPUs


CPU support: Intel 10th & 11th Gen

Socket: LGA 1200

Size: ATX

Memory support: 4x DIMM, up to 128GB, DDR4-5133

Expansion slots: 1x PCIe 4.0 x16, 1x PCIe 3.0 x16 (x4), 1x PCIe 3.0 x16 (x4), 2x PCIe 3.0 x1

Video ports: 1x DisplayPort 1.4, 1x HDMI 2.0

Rear USB: 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type-C, 5x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 6x USB 2.0

Storage: 3x M.2, 6x SATA 6Gbps

Network: Intel Wi-Fi 6E, 1x Intel 2.5Gb ethernet

Reasons to buy

+Decent value for money+Good VRM and cooling at this price+Subtle looks

Reasons to avoid

-4+8-pin power connectors could be restrictive-A few more USB at the back would be nice

This is a gaming motherboard positioned as an entry-level option for anyone looking to run Rocket Lake. Asus has always positioned its TUF products as reliable options, with decent pricing and a more basic feature set. Combined it means this is a good affordable option for someone after a no-fuss, solid, and reliable system. And given the pricing of many Z590 motherboards, that makes for a welcome change.

The TUF Z590 Plus features a subtle design with a particularly nice white font. You get a couple of little splashes of RGB around the right side too. It’s a nice look. There are three M.2 slots with the topmost one supporting PCIe 4.0. The two at the bottom are contained under a single heatsink. Also, note the vertical SATA ports that sticklers for cable management might find objectionable. There are a further two regular horizontal ports adjacent to the heatsink. You get six fan headers and two addressable RGB headers too. 

This is a board for anyone who would prefer to allocate money towards a faster GPU or larger SSD instead of paying through the nose for 10G LAN or expensive add-in cards. And I can totally get on board with that. Bang for buck and the true essentials are the name of the game here. If you’re on a budget, it’s definitely one to look out for.

Read the full Asus TUF Gaming Z590-Plus WIFI review.

2. Gigabyte Z590 Aorus Tachyon

The best Z590 motherboard for overclockers and tweakers


CPU support: Intel 10th & 11th Gen

Socket: LGA 1200

Size: E-ATX

Memory support: 2x DIMM, up to 64GB, DDR4-3200

Expansion slots: 1x PCIe 4.0 x16, 1x PCIe 4.0 x16 (x8), 1x PCIe 3.0 x16 (x4), 1x PCIe 3.0 x16 (x1)

Video ports: 1x HDMI 2.0

Rear USB: 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type-C, 3x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 4x USB 3.2

Storage: 3x M.2, 8x SATA 6Gbps

Network: Intel Wi-Fi 6E, 1x Intel 2.5Gb ethernet

Reasons to buy

+Mega VRM and cooling+Endless tweaking options+Well featured for an OC board

Reasons to avoid

-Only really for overclockers-Inevitably expensive

Overclocking focused motherboards have made a proper comeback. This time around all the major manufacturers have Z590 boards specifically designed for serious overclocking. The dual memory slot design, all those buttons and switches, a monstrous VRM, and a unique layout are all aimed at making life easier for overclockers. Then there’s a comprehensive BIOS with extensive tweaking options. It’s clear that this isn’t a regular board with a fancy sticker slapped on.

The idea behind having only two memory slots instead of four is to minimize trace complexity and bring the slots closer to the CPU. This helps reduce latency and allows for a little more performance headroom compared to a four-slot design. The primary PCIe slot is not the topmost one either, it’s the one below it. This is another choice to aid overclockers who use LN2 cool a GPU by allowing extra room for pots and insulation.

The Gigabyte Z590 Aorus Tachyon won’t magically add frequency to your CPU and memory. What it will do is help you to extract the maximum efficiency out of your system, no matter what cooling you’re using. An enthusiast who loves to tweak, spending time reducing latency and tweaking sub-timings, or a gamer dedicated to finding a few extra FPS will enjoy peace of mind knowing you’ve got a board that’s specifically designed to take whatever punishment you throw at it.

Read the full Gigabyte Z590 Aorus Tachyon review.

Best Intel Z490 motherboard

1. Asus ROG Maximus XII Extreme

The best board for a Comet Lake Core i9


CPU support: Intel 10th Gen

Socket: LGA 1200

Size: Extended ATX

Memory support: 4x DIMM, up to 128GB, DDR4-4700

Expansion slots: 2x PCIe 3.0 x16 (or x8/x8), 1x PCIe 3.0 x4

Video ports: 2x Thunderbolt 3 ports on extension card (DP1.4)

Rear USB: 10x USB 3.2, 2x USB 2.0

Storage: 2x M.2, 2x M.2 (DIMM.2 board), 8x SATA 6Gbps

Network: 1x 10Gb Marvell ethernet, 1x Intel ethernet, Intel Wi-Fi 6 wireless

Reasons to buy

+High-end performance+Stunning bundle+Incredible build quality

Reasons to avoid

-Money-no-object pricing

If you want the best, most fully-featured Intel Comet Lake motherboard, then I'm afraid you're going to have to pay for it. And pay through the nose if Asus' Z490 Maximus XII Extreme is anything to go by. It is, as the name suggests, extreme, packing in a variety of luxurious and convenient extras (a frickin' screwdriver with interchangeable heads for one), and it's also one of the highest performing Z490 boards we've tested.

But it only really makes sense if you're buying a K-series Core i9 and genuinely intend to overclock the nuts off it. The Maximus XII will allow you to get the highest clock speed out of your 10900K and won't turn it into a pile of molten slag while you're at it. The MSI Z490 Godlike is actually the fastest Z490 outright at stock speeds, but I'd rather have the ROG board in my camp if I'm going down the OC route.

Obviously, it's only for the very highest of high-end PC builds; however, the $750 price tag means you could actually build a respectable full gaming PC for the price of this single motherboard. It's an aspirational Z490 motherboard and arguably the best gaming motherboard for Comet Lake overclocking, but I'll concede it's not a particularly realistic purchase for most of us.

2. MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi

A vaguely affordable high-end Z490 motherboard


CPU socket: Intel 10th Gen

Socket: LGA 1200

Size : ATX

Memory support: 4x DIMM, up to 128GB, DDR4-4800 (OC)

Expansion slots: 3x PCIe 3.0 (x16/x0/x4 or x8/x8/x4), 2x PCIe 3.0 x1

Video ports: 1x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI

Rear USB: 5x USB 3.2, 2x USB 2.0

Storage: 2x M.2, 6x SATA 6Gbps

Network : 1x 2.5Gb LAN, Intel Wi-Fi 6 wireless

Reasons to buy

+ More reasonably priced Z490 + Still competitive performance 

Reasons to avoid

-Runs hot

The sparse back panel and missing OLED displays will tell you we're back into normal motherboard territory with this MSI offering. The rarified air of the ultra-enthusiast ROG board up top might make one giddy, but the Z490 Gaming Carbon will bring us back down to earth without a bump. Sure, you're never going to get the same level of luxury feature list as you'll find with either the Maximus XII or MSI's own Godlike boards, but when it comes to the nuts and bolts of pure performance, it's right up there. 

Where it matters, in the gaming performance stakes, there's practically nothing between any of the Z490 boards we've tested, and it's only ever a little behind when it comes to the actual CPU performance in productivity apps. However, when it comes to overclocking, the MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi inevitably can't compare to the big boys, with our 10900K running at its peak.

The power componentry and cooling aren't enough to stop the thirsty CPU from throttling when it's pushed to its 5.3GHz all-core maximum. But, while that might mean it's not the board you'd choose for an overclocked Core i9 machine, that's a tiny niche of gamers, and for either i5 or i7 CPUs, the MSI Gaming Carbon is still a quality home for your Comet Lake CPU.

Best Intel B460 motherboard

1. MSI MAG B460M Mortar WiFi

A premium and well-priced mATX B460


CPU support: Intel 10th Gen

Socket: LGA 1200

Size: Micro ATX

Memory support: 4x DIMM, up to DDR4-2933 (i7,i9) or DDR4-2666 (i5)

Expansion slots: 2x PCIe 3.0 x16, 1x PCIe 3.0 x1

Video ports: 1x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI

Rear USB: 4x USB 3.2 Gen (1x Type-C), 2x USB 2.0

Storage: 2x M.2, 6x SATA 6Gbps

Network: Realtek 2.5Gb LAN, Intel Wi-Fi 6 wireless

Reasons to buy

+Great value+Strong VRM+Quality I/O and connectivity

Reasons to avoid

-Only 4 fan headers-B460 memory limitations

Grabbing one of the best Z490 motherboards might be appealing to your inner elitist, but the sticker price shock is definitely a problem. Sure, it would be nice to have 10Gb LAN, seven M.2 slots, or quad GPU support, but who really needs all that stuff? Most of us will be perfectly happy with a quality B460 motherboard, such as the MSI MAG B460M Mortar WiFi. 

If you can put up with the memory speed limitation and have no intention of overclocking (well, with a K-series CPU anyway), then this is the kind of board that should be on your PC building wishlist. It ticks most of the important boxes, and at $125, it’s well priced, though the competition is tough with many premium B460 motherboards priced in this range.

It’s got a strong VRM configuration, 2.5Gb LAN, Wi-Fi 6, and adequate, if not particularly outstanding, I/O. Pairing it with a 65W non-K processor and having a crack at pseudo overclocking is definitely worth the minimal efforts too. If you can live with the maximum DDR4-2666 speed, something like an Intel Core i5 10600 and B460M Mortar, paired with a decent mid-range GPU, would deliver a quality, affordable gaming combo.

Read the full MSI MAG B460M Mortar WiFi review.

2. ASRock B460 Steel Legend

An affordable alternative


CPU support: Intel 10th Gen

Socket: LGA 1200

Size: ATX

Memory support: 4x DIMM, up to DDR4-2933 (i7,i9) or DDR4-2666 (i5)

Expansion slots: 2x PCIe 3.0 x16, 1x PCIe 3.0 x1

Video ports: 1x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI

Rear USB: 4x USB 3.2 Gen (1x Type-C), 2x USB 2.0

Storage: 2x M.2, 6x SATA 6Gbps

Network: Realtek 2.5Gb LAN

Reasons to buy

+Quality VRM+Good value for money+Strong performance

Reasons to avoid

-No Wi-Fi-B460 memory limitations

The ASRock B460 Steel Legend is an awesomely named mid-range B460 entry. At USD 120, it’s what we’d call a mid-range B460 board. A look over the specs indicates that your $120 is well spent on some important areas. You get a pair of heatsink-covered M.2 slots, an e-key M.2 slot for an optional Wi-Fi card, a front USB Type-C header, and a good helping of RGB onboard.

The increased power demands of 10th generation CPUs mean motherboards generally have to include improved VRM designs, and on that front, the B460 Steel Legend is well equipped. It includes a 9+1 phase VRM powered by a single 8-Pin EPS connector. Each stage can deliver up to 60A. Bear in mind that overclocking is not allowed on B460 motherboards, so the VRM will not see extreme loads as you might get with an all-core overclocked Intel Core i9 10900K. 

The ASRock B460 Steel legend will appeal to buyers who aren’t so interested in bells and whistles but want a solid ATX board capable of powering any 10th Gen CPU without bursting into flames. Integrated Wi-Fi would have been a nice cherry on top for the price, and that's arguably one of the reasons we prefer the MSI B460M Mortar. But the ASRock B460 Steel legend is still a highly competitive offering and comes highly recommended by us. It shows its steel, one might say. If it had Wi-Fi, we might even have said it was legendary.

Read the full ASRock B460 Steel Legend review.

Best Intel Z390 motherboard

1. Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Ultra

The best gaming motherboard for Intel's Coffee Lake CPUs


CPU support: Intel 8th and 9th Gen

Socket : LGA 1151

Size: ATX

Memory support: 4x DIMM, up to 128GB, DDR4-4400 (OC)

Expansion slots: PCIe x16, PCIe x16 (x8), PCIe x16 (x4), 3x PCIe x1

Video ports: HDMI

Rear USB: 4x USB 3.2 Gen2 (1x Type-C), 2x USB 3.1 Gen1, 4x USB 2.0

Storage: 3x M.2, 6x SATA

Network: Ethernet, 1.73Gbps 802.11ac wireless

Reasons to buy

+No-compromise features, including triple M.2 slots+Slick RGB package with two LED headers

Reasons to avoid

-Visually 'loud' design

The Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Ultra competes with the MSI Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC and the Asus ROG Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi), lower price tag, and more features. It has triple M.2 slots for your super-speedy NVMe SSD needs, Intel Wi-Fi Wave2 and ethernet, a full RGB treatment with multiple headers, and ALC1220 audio. You'd have to climb right to the top of the product stack to get the same from MSI and ASUS, both of whom offer a little more polish but also charge plenty for the privilege. Though there's a lot to be said for extreme motherboards, this is a great value Intel board.

The only real downside for us is that this mobo is perhaps a little too flashy and may not suit more restrained gaming builds. Thankfully, you can disable all the RGB bling within the BIOS if you want, though other elements may still clash. But that's a small criticism of an otherwise top board.

2. Asus ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming

Best for small form-factor Intel 9th Gen builds


CPU support: Intel 8th and 9th Gen

Socket: LGA 1151

Size: Mini-ITX

Memory support: 2x DIMM, 64GB, DDR4-4800 (OC)

Expansion slots: 1x PCIe x16

Video ports: HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2

USB ports: 7x rear IO, 1x front IO, 4x internal

Storage: 2x M.2, 4x SATA

Network: Ethernet, 866Mbps 802.11ac

Lighting: Edge RGB, 1x Addressable Aura RGB

Reasons to buy

+Dual M.2 slot+Great overclocking and system performance

Reasons to avoid

-RGB Software issues-Runs run

As the price drops and the previous Z370-based model disappears from vendors, ASUS's Strix Z390-I Gaming moves into the boutique ITX segment's top spot. Despite its diminutive size and paucity of upgrade options, the ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming provides excellent performance and value. Boasting stable 5GHz overclocks using several memory speeds, including 3,600MHz with tweaking, its single PCIe x16 slot pushed top-shelf graphics cards to speeds that matched or exceeded most Z390 ATX boards during testing.

The smallest Strix has a lengthy features list, with no shortcomings despite the tiny form factor, including dual PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 slots, Intel v219 ethernet, upgraded Intel 9560 2x2 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and an ALC1220A audio codec supported by isolated circuitry and headphone amps. Despite the dense set of features, the Strix Z390-I's clean design makes quick system assembly and configuration an important consideration for ITX rig building. 

It's worth noting that this board can be hard to find, but the previous generation ROG Strix Z370-I model, with its slimmer design, remains an excellent alternative, especially at clearance prices.

Best AMD X570 motherboard

1. Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero

The best X570 ever created, and the last AM4 board you'll ever need


CPU support: AMD Ryzen 5000 Series / 4000 G-Series / 3000 Series/ 3000 G-Series / 2000 Series / 2000 G-Series

Socket: AM4

Size: ATX

Memory: 4x DIMM, Up to 128GB, DDR4-4866 (OC)

Expansion slots: 2x PCIe 4.0 x16, 1x PCIe 3.0 x16, 1x PCIe 4.0 x1

Video ports: N/A

Rear USB: 4x USB 3.2 Gen1, 8x USB 3.2 Gen2 (1x USB Type-C)

Storage: 3x M.2; 8x SATA

Networking: 802.11ax 2.4Gbps Wi-Fi; Intel I211-AT 1G & Realtek RTL8125 2.5G LAN

Reasons to buy

+Clean design+Great performance+No chipset fan

Reasons to avoid


Asus' ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero wants to be the last AM4 motherboard you'll ever need. But what is it that makes a great motherboard? Features are important, as is a stable and refined BIOS, value for money, a good design, but sometimes intangible. Sometimes it's that the damn thing works. 

Motherboard testing is often one of the most painful things a tech journalist has to do. With some boards, you have to fight it to get it to do what you want, or expect it to, or have to or crank up some voltage setting to a level you don’t really want to, but the Dark Hero just boots the first time, even as we played with the memory clocks and timings and the Infinity Fabric. 

The Crosshair VIII Dark Hero might not be the best AM4 motherboard ever made, we’d have to review a few hundred others to make that claim, but it’s an easy claim to make that the Dark Hero is certainly one of the best AM4 motherboards we've ever used. Time and months of user feedback will determine if the Dark Hero assumes a position as one of the truly legendary ROG motherboards, but we wouldn’t bet against that happening.

Read the full Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero review.

2. MSI MPG X570 Gaming Pro Carbon WiFi

The best gaming motherboard for AMD Ryzen 3000 builds


CPU support: AMD 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Gen Ryzen / Ryzen APUs

Socket: AM4

Size: ATX

Memory: 4x DIMM, 128GB, DDR4-4400

Expansion slots: 1x PCIe x16, 1x PCIe x16 (x4), 2x PCIe x1

Video ports: HDMI

Rear USB: 4x USB 3.2 Gen2 (1x Type-C), 2x USB 3.2 Gen1, 2x USB 2.0

Storage: 2x M.2, 6x SATA

Network: Ethernet, 2.4Gbps 802.11ac

Reasons to buy

+2 PCIe 4.0 M.2 Slots+Wi-Fi 6 Compatible

Reasons to avoid

-Too few USB ports

The MSI MPG X570 represents an amalgamation of bleeding-edge motherboard tech built to get the most out of AMD's 3rd gen Ryzen CPUs. It has four DIMM slots that can handle speeds up to 4,400Mhz and two M.2 slots sporting PCIe 4.0.

The rear I/O panel features seven USB Type-A ports for peripherals and a single USB Type-C port for connectivity and high-speed data transfer. There are headers for the included Wi-Fi antenna to help with wireless connectivity, as well as a gigabit ethernet port. The MPG X570 supports Wi-Fi 6, and while that does necessitate a Wi-Fi 6 compatible router, it's backward compatible with other Wi-Fi standards and gives the potential for a speed boost down the line. Also of note is the HDMI port, which many X570 boards omit (not that we'd really recommend using an AMD APU with integrated graphics in a high-end board like this).

The MPG X570 features enough compatibility to get the most out of your hardware now and in the future, provided you're willing to pay a premium for it. While it's certainly an excellent mobo, if you aren't already committed to a shopping list of top-of-the-line components now or shortly, you may want to consider a slightly less expensive board for your needs. 

3. Gigabyte X570S Aorus Master

The best AMD motherboard with a million USB ports


Chipset: X570S

Memory: 4x DIMM, up to DDR4-5100, up to 128GB

Expansion Slots: 1x PCIe 4.0 x16, 2x PCIe 4.0 x16 (x4), 3x PCIe 4.0 x1

Video ports: None

USB ports: Up to 3x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 8x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 6x USB 2.0

Storage: 2x M.2, 6x SATA

Network: Killer E3100G 2.5G LAN

Lighting: One RGB logo, ARGB headers

Reasons to buy

+Strong VRM and cooling+Loads of USB+Four M.2 slots

Reasons to avoid

-Single 2.5G LAN only-5G would be nice

Despite the X570 chipset showing its age, Gigabyte's X570S Aorus Master feels like an old dog that's learned some new tricks. The fact that it comes with four M.2 slots alone is impressive along with decent heatsink. Really the cooling all around gets a thumbs up from us. The finned VRM heatsinks add a ton of surface area. 

Our only real knock against the Aorus Master only offers single 2.5G LAN and lacks 5G which is a bit a bummer. That being said it's still one of the better AMD motherboards out there. I'm a sucker for a motherboard with a ton of USB ports this mobo has SO many. 

The Aorus Master is still keeping AM4 and X570 relevant thanks to its many USB ports and storage options. Even at $400, it's got enough features (and looks good to boot) to justify the higher price point. 

Read the full Gigabyte X570S Aorus Master review. 

Best AMD B550 motherboard

1. Asus ROG Strix B550-E Gaming

Simply the best B550 motherboard


CPU support: AMD 3rd and 4th Gen Ryzen

Socket: AM4

Size: ATX

Memory support: 4x DIMM, up to 128GB, up to DDR4-4600

Expansion slots: 2x PCIe 4.0 x16, 1x PCIe 3.0 x4

Storage: 2x M.2, 6x SATA 6Gbps

Networking: Intel Wi-Fi 6, Intel 2.5Gb ethernet, Bluetooth 5.1

Rear USB: 3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 4 x USB 2.0

Reasons to buy

+Extensive feature set+Build quality+Top-end networking

Reasons to avoid

-Very pricey for a B550 board-Stock-clocked performance is unremarkable-Limited bandwidth for peripherals

Sure, the Asus ROG Strix B550-E is the same price as other X570 motherboards; in fact, it pretty much matches our favorite of AMD's top-end boards, the MSI MPG X570 Gaming Pro Carbon. But it's a premium motherboard, with all the trappings you'd expect from Asus' Republic of Gamers stables, such as 14+2 power stage, M.2 heatsinks, and pre-installed backplates. You also get Wi-Fi 6 wireless networking as well as Intel 2.5Gb ethernet too. And RGB LEDs, of course. If you're looking at building a Zen 3 system, then the necessary BIOS updates should drop in January for this motherboard.

Performance is typically good for a high-end Asus board, matching X570 motherboards for gaming performance without issue. That said, of the B550 boards we've tested, it's the far more affordable MSI board that actually comes out top in our straight performance testing. But the Asus can overclock far better, even if it does chew up more raw power from the plug on the whole.

The Asus ROG Strix B550-E Gaming is the whole package then, and right now is our all-around pick for the best B550 motherboard. Though that still feels like a tough recommendation when X570 boards are the same price…

Read the full Asus ROG Strix B550-E Gaming review.

2. MSI MAG B550M Mortar

The best B550 motherboard for pure gaming performance


CPU support: AMD 3rd and 4th Gen Ryzen

Socket: AM4

Size: Micro-ATX

Memory support: 4x DIMM, up to 128GB, up to DDR4-4400

Expansion slots: 1x PCIe 4.0 x16, 1x PCIe 3.0 x4

Storage: 2x M.2, 6x SATA 6Gbps

Networking: Realtek 2.5Gb ethernet

Rear USB: 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 2x USB 2.0

Reasons to buy

+Great stock-clock performance and efficiency+Slick BIOS+Competitive pricing

Reasons to avoid

-Poor overclocking-Stingy back-panel port count-Short on luxuries and frills

When it comes to gaming performance above all else, MSI's micro-ATX MAG B550M Mortar is your best bet for an affordable next-gen Ryzen machine. It comes in around the $160 mark, making it cheaper than a great many X570 and other B550 motherboards on the market right now. 

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The 4 best budget Z490 gaming motherboards

Back when PC gaming was young and cores were limited to the dual-variety, buying a budget motherboard was often a recipe for disaster. If the lower quality parts didn’t get you, the lack of features would. It was a tough time for me, having to play Half-Life 2 when it was first released on my family’s Dell because the PC I had hand-built collapsed under the strain like an Ikea bookcase.

I’ve kept that bias with me for the many, many years since that traumatic moment, and have refused to give it up even in the face of years of amazing motherboards that didn’t cost an arm and a leg. This latest round of Z490 motherboards for Intel’s 10th Generation chips have quality and feature sets that are impossible to ignore, even for me. We’ve rounded up the four best budget gaming motherboards that anyone would be proud to have in their rigs.

Check out more motherboards on Newegg

MSI Z490-A PRO ($159.99*)

The new MSI Z490-A Pro is decked out in black, silver, and white, and looks like the motherboard Darth Vader would run in his battle station (see what I did there?). Personally, that wins it some major points from me.

Underneath its impressive looks are some surprisingly awesome features. Dual M.2 slots, 2.5 GB ethernet, and support for up to 128 GB of 4800 MHZ overclocked RAM really make you wonder if someone accidentally switched the price of this board with one that wasn’t as feature-rich. For $40 more (at the time of writing), you can snag the MSI MPG Z490 GAMING EDGE, which adds WiFi 6 built-in, and some beefed-up hardware durability and passive cooling if you feel the need.

GIGABYTE Z490 VISION G ($199.99*)

Leaving the Empire’s aesthetic, we get slick silvers and a cool pastel streak for the gamer who wants a swanky James Bond moonbase vibe. Built with water-cooling in mind, the Vision G has thoughtfully crafted advanced thermal design integrated into its next-generation CPU heat pipes. This board would definitely serve you well, with high-speed wired networking, USB-C, support for 128 GB of RAM, and M.2 slots that feature an updated cooler design.

Onboard RGB means that the good looks of this board come with some added flash that would definitely not disappoint through a glass side panel. If you find another $100 in your winter coat, you’d have the $299.99 needed for the GIGABYTE Z490 VISION D, our budget board’s big brother. For the extra cash, you’ll get WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5 on board, double the M.2 slots, and increased connectivity options, like two Thunderbolt 3 capable ports, as well as reinforcements to the board around where a heavy GPU or two might hang out.

ASUS PRIME Z490-P ($159.99*)

Asus has created a striking looking board in the Prime Z490-P, with black and white slashes cascading down the board and built-in RGB lighting. The looks aren’t the only thing that will blow you away: their commitment to cooling and power delivery is bordering on obsessive. The thicker PCB, solid power connector pins, and advanced thermal designs for the CPU and VRM all give this board better cooling from the start, and once you add on their comprehensive software customizations, you’re really cooking with gas.

The 10+1 phase power delivery supplies clean power to even the hungriest parts of your system, like the CPU and GPU under a heavy gaming load. They’ve even managed to help you overclock your RAM while setting the voltage lower, which helps keep you running cooler and more stable. Taking a step up to the ASUS PRIME Z490-A (229.99) gets you extra ports galore, 3-way Crossfire support, and a more robust 12+2 power stage design to make your overclocking even more stable.

ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming 4 ($139.99*)

The black and white slash-centric design is much less visually audacious on the ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming 4, but that hides a few killer features that even the highest-end motherboards would be jealous of. With ASRock’s proprietary Base Frequency Boost (BFB) Technology, even your non-K-series CPUs will experience an overclock-like boost in their speeds. The base clocks are increased substantially, meaning that you’ve got more power on hand at all times, without worrying about turboing up and down while doing something important.

On top of that, its high-end sound processor and software give you an improved auditory experience, and the steel-reinforced PCI-E slot keeps your heavy graphics card from causing warping or connection issues over time. The ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming 4/2.5G adds 2.5 GB networking for only $149.99, and the ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 gives you much of the same functionality in a Mini-ITX form factor for $279.99.

Hopefully, this selection of budget Z490 motherboards has proven that you’ll be able to enjoy the full benefits of Intel’s 10th Generation chips without sacrificing features that make your system feel top-notch. If you want to check out more motherboards, visit Newegg’s mobo page and browse to your heart’s desire.

*Prices and availability are subject to change.


Best Motherboards 2021 for Gaming, by Socket and Chipset

Note:For AMD's AM4 X570(S), B550, B450 and Threadripper motherboards, see page two or our Best AMD X570 Motherboards or Best AMD B550 Motherboards pages. This first page focuses on Intel, after laying out some basics.

Choosing the best gaming motherboard (or best motherboard for another type of build) is arguably the key step in your PC build, even though choosing the best CPU for gaming or the best graphics card often gets more attention. Every part of your PC plugs into your motherboard. Its form factor will decide the size of your computer and your case, and its chipset and socket limit what type of CPU you can install.

If you’re not sure which chipset you’re after when choosing the best gaming motherboard, or you have more basic questions for a different type of build, you can visit our motherboard basics and motherboard buying guide features to help narrow down your shopping options.

The picks below include the best gaming motherboards designed for Intel's 11th Gen "Rocket Lake" and older "Comet Lake" processors. It's looking like Alder Lake Z690 motherboards will land soon, with some retailers already listing them. As soon as we get our hands on Intel's next-gen platform, we'll get testing and post reviews on our motherboard review page.

Below are our mainstream picks for current boards. You’ll find our recommendations for the best motherboards for Z590, as well as Intel's high-end desktop (HEDT) LGA-2066 socket and X299 chipset supporting the X-Series and Extreme line of processors.

The second page of this guide covers the best AMD motherboards, including X570 and B550 chipset models, as well as high-end Threadripper picks that compete with Intel's X-Series platform. 

Quick Motherboard Shopping Tips 

When choosing a motherboard, consider the following:

  • Get the right socket for your CPU: You can find great CPUs from either Intel or AMD. But whatever processor you choose, make sure that your board has the correct socket to support it. The latest mainstream AMD chips use AM4 CPU sockets while  Intel's 10th Gen and 11th Gen Core CPUs require LGA 1200 sockets.
  • Smaller boards = fewer slots and features. Motherboards come in three main sizes--for more info see our diagram and explanation of motherboard parts. From largest to smallest, there’s ATX, Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX. (Yes, Mini is smaller than Micro). You can use a smaller chassis with the micro or mini boards, but you'll have to settle for fewer card expansion slots, sometimes fewer RAM slots, and other connectors.
  • Pay for built-in Wi-Fi and high-end ports only if you need them. Don't spend extra for wireless if you are using Ethernet. You can future-proof your PC by getting USB 3.1 Gen 2 and / or Thunderbolt support. But Thunderbolt is very rare on AMD motherboards.

The Best Intel Gaming Motherboards: Z590, Z490 X299

1. Asus ROG Maximus XIII Hero

Best ATX Z590 Motherboard


Socket: LGA 1200

Chipset: Intel Z590

Form Factor: ATX

Voltage Regulator: 16 Phases

PCIe x16: (2) v4.0, (1) v3.0

USB Ports: (2) Thunderbolt 4, Type-C , (6) USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type A, (2) USB 2.0

Warranty: 3 years

Reasons to buy

+High-quality 14-phase 90A VRM+10 USB ports, incl. 2x Thunderbolt 4+Dual 2.5 GbE plus Wi-Fi 6E+Four M.2 sockets+Premium audio

Reasons to avoid

- Expensive

The Asus ROG Maximus XIII Hero has the premium parts and attractive looks to stand out, despite its fairly high price. From its clean, high-end appearance to the robust power delivery, four M.2 sockets and a premium audio solution, the Hero is a well-rounded, feature-laden solution in the upper-midrange of the Z590 motherboard space. With more-than-capable 90A power phases and dual Thunderbolt 4 ports, plus the four PCIe 4.0 M.2 sockets and premium audio bits, the board justifies its $499 price.

Performance compared to the other Z590 models we’ve tested to this point was spot on, and often negligibly faster in many of our tests. Memory testing went without a hitch, with DDR4 3600 supported at 1:1 and easily handling the DDR4 4000 kit. And overclocking testing proceeded without any issue.

Read: Asus ROG Maximus XIII Hero Z590 review 

2. Asus ROG Maximus XIII Extreme Glacial

Best ATX Z590 Motherboard for Custom Cooling


Socket: LGA 1200

Chipset: Intel Z590

Form Factor: ATX

Voltage Regulator: 18 Phases

PCIe x16: (2) v4.0

USB Ports: (2) Thunderbolt 4, Type-C , (8) USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type A

Warranty: 3 years

Reasons to buy

+Includes waterblock+High-quality 18-phase+100A VRM 10 USB ports, including Thunderbolt 4+10 GbE plus Wi-Fi 6E+Five M.2 slots+Premium audio w/DAC

Reasons to avoid

-Very expensive

The Asus ROG Maximus XIII Extreme Glacial is a full-featured Z590 motherboard that include robust power delivery, premium audio with a DAC, five M.2 sockets, 10 GbE and integrated Wi-Fi 6E and includes a custom waterblock. While pricing is tough to take, the Extreme Glacial ($1499) represents what flagship-class motherboards should be.

Read:Asus ROG Maximus XIII Extreme Glacial review

3. Gigabyte Z590 Aorus Tachyon

Best ATX Z590 Motherboard


Socket: LGA 1200

Chipset: Intel Z590

Form Factor: E-ATX

Voltage Regulator: 11 Phases

PCIe x16: (1) v4.0 x16, (1) v4.0 x8, (1) v3.0 x4, (1) v3.0 x1

USB Ports: (1) USB 3.2 Gen 2x2, Type-A and Type-C (20 Gbps)

Warranty: 3 years

Reasons to buy

+Costs less than competition+Capable power delivery+Feature-rich

Reasons to avoid

-Standard audio

The Z590 Tachyon is an attractive E-ATX-size board that, outside of the extra buttons, you’d never know was designed to be an extreme overclocker. And while it’s certainly not cheap, it costs less than competing overclocking-focused models from ASRock and Asus. The Tachyon’s 11-phase power delivery may not sound like the most robust option, but it delivers 1100 amps to the CPU. This means the VRMs shouldn’t hold back your clock speeds back, whether you’re taking on ambient or sub-ambient cooling with a flagship CPU. If you’re after a board to deliver the best possible speed while looking good and not breaking your build budget, this is the best option we’ve tested.

Read: Gigabyte Z590 Aorus Tachyon review

4. ASRock Z490 Taichi

Best ATX Z490 Motherboard


Socket: LGA 1200

Chipset: Intel Z490

Form Factor: ATX

Voltage Regulator: 15 Phases

PCIe x16: (3) v3.0

USB Ports: 5 USB 3.2 Gen1, 4 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A, One USB-3.2 2x2 Type-C

Warranty: 1 year

Reasons to buy

+Solid 12-phase/50A VRM for Vcore+USB 3.2 Gen 2X2 Type-C port+Three M.2 and eight SATA ports

Reasons to avoid

-Expensive compared to Z390 Taichi-Annoying use of star screws on chipset shroud-Tough to press PCIe slot latch for removal

The ASRock Z490 Taichi is a great motherboard in the $350-$400 price bracket for building a Z490 system, comparing favorably to similarly priced competition.It includes eight SATA ports (while others have six), as well as a speedy USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type-C port. It also has a premium appearance and runs cooler than competing boards in the power delivery department.

If you need three M.2 slots and eight SATA ports, this is the only board around this price point with that storage configuration. If your budget allows for an upper mid-range board, ASRock’s Z490 Taichi should be at the top of the list. 

Read: ASRock Z490 Taichi review 

5. Gigabyte X299X Designare 10G

Best ATX X299 Motherboard


Socket: LGA 2066

Chipset: Intel X299 PCH

Form Factor: EATX

Voltage Regulator: 12 phases

PCIe x16: (4) v3.0 (@48: x16/x8*/x16/x8), (CPU @44: x16/x4*/x16/x8), (CPU @28: x16/x4*/x8/x0)

USB Ports: 10Gbps: (2) Type-C via Thunderbolt 3

Warranty: 3 years

Reasons to buy

+Dual 10GbE, plus 2.4Gbps Wi-Fi 6+Thunderbolt 3 with dual Type-C outputs and dual DisplayPort inputs+Price premium is lower than the value of its premium components

Reasons to avoid

-Expensive-Excessive PCIe, M.2 & SATA sharing-10.8-inch depth requires extra case considerations

Fully equipped for the 48 lanes of Intel's 10th generation Core Extreme processors, the X299X Designare 10G comes loaded to the brink with Intel X550 dual 10Gb/s Ethernet and a pair of Thunderbolt 3 headers with dual DisplayPort passthrough on Intel's 40Gb/s controller. A four-drive M.2 expander card and 2.4Gb/s Wi-Fi 6 finish a package of which the added component value far outweighs the price difference over its closest competitor.

Read: Gigabyte X299X Designare 10G Review

Savings on the Best Motherboards

Whether you're buying one of the best motherboards or a different model, you may find some savings by checking our list of coupon codes, especially our list of Newegg promo codes and Micro Center coupons.

MORE: How To Choose A Motherboard
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Matt began piling up computer experience as a child with his Mattel Aquarius. He built his first PC in the late 1990s and ventured into mild PC modding in the early 2000s. He’s spent the last decade covering emerging technology for Smithsonian, Popular Science, and Consumer Reports, while testing components and PCs for Computer Shopper and Digital Trends. When not writing about tech, he’s often walking—through the streets of New York, over the sheep-dotted hills of Scotland, or just at his treadmill desk at home in front of the 50-inch 4K HDR TV that serves as his PC monitor.

2019 motherboard best budget

5 Best Budget Motherboards (Under $100) [2021 Update]

3 Minute Read

If you are custom building a computer, getting your hands on a good motherboard is paramount.

You don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars for a motherboard. A decent motherboard can cost between $40 and $100.

You don’t really need to spend over $100 unless you are going for really speedy specs.

But you should have a few good options to know what suits your needs and budget best. Here are the top picks under $100:

5 Best Budget Motherboards – 2021

MSI ProSeries AMD Ryzen 2ND and 3rd Gen AM4 M.2 USB 3 DDR4 D-Sub DVI HDMI Crossfire ATX Motherboard (B450-A Pro Max) (B450APROMAX)
MSI ProSeries AMD Ryzen 2ND and 3rd Gen AM4 M.2 USB 3 DDR4 D-Sub DVI HDMI Crossfire ATX Motherboard (B450-A Pro Max) (B450APROMAX)
This motherboard comes prepped with 1st, 2nd and 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen™ / Ryzen™ with Radeon™ Vega Graphics and 2nd Gen AMD Ryzen™ with Radeon™ Graphics / Athlon™ with Radeon™ Vega Graphics Desktop Processors for Socket AM4 support. It’s a great base for building a Windows 10 machine. Windows 7 - we wouldn't attempt it.

It ships with a Flash BIOS button, which you can simply use a USB key to flash any BIOS quickly, without installing a CPU, memory or graphics card., which is a great plus. Just use a flash drive with the bios into the correct USB port, plug in the CPU 8-pin and the mobo 24-pin, and press the flash button and you should be set. 

ASUS LGA1151 (300 Series) DDR4 HDMI DVI VGA M.2 mATX Motherboard (PRIME B360M-A)
ASUS LGA1151 (300 Series) DDR4 HDMI DVI VGA M.2 mATX Motherboard (PRIME B360M-A)
This quick, bang for the buck motherboard, was designed exclusively for 8th generation Intel Core processorsto maximize connectivity and speed with integrated dual M.2 slots with Intel Optane Memory compatibility and USB 3.1 Gen2.

 This board is great for graphics use and video editing, although this would not be considered a top-flight ASUS gaming board, in general.

Some may gripe about this board having only 6 USB ports on the back I/O plate.

That said, as another bonus this board comes supplied with very good thermal grease.

ASRock Motherboard Micro ATX DDR4 LGA 1151 H110M-HDS
ASRock Motherboard Micro ATX DDR4 LGA 1151 H110M-HDS
This is a low profile motherboard. Performance wise, I did not encounter any issues.

You can use almost any Intel processor with this one and it comes with two RAM bays.

I wouldn’t really recommend this for hardcore gaming, but it’s suitable for moderate gaming needs.

Also, this motherboard is well suited for custom building a PC.

The only issue I encountered with getting an interior fan for the board. You will need a fan with 3 specific female connectors, which can be a hassle to find.

GIGABYTE GA-H110M-S2H LGA1151 Intel H110 Micro ATX DDR4 Motherboard
GIGABYTE GA-H110M-S2H LGA1151 Intel H110 Micro ATX DDR4 Motherboard
This is one of the best budget motherboards for those who want Skylake processors but without the overclock. Unfortunately,from time to time this motherboard may be just outside the $100 price range, so we want to disclose that bit of information.

This board has an Intel H110 chipset and supports 7th and 6th generation Intel Core processors.

It has dual channel DDR4 and double DIMM memory.

I was impressed with the high-quality audio capacitors, which actually had audio noise guards.

Even more impressive was the 1.4 HDMI port that makes this board ideal for multimedia for gaming computer building.

It comes with Realtek modem software too

A Motherboard Just Outside the $100 Range that Should be Considered:

ASUS M5A78L-M Plus/USB3 DDR3 HDMI DVI USB 3.0 760G AM3+ based Motherboard,Black
ASUS M5A78L-M Plus/USB3 DDR3 HDMI DVI USB 3.0 760G AM3+ based Motherboard,Black
This motherboard comes prepped with AM3+ CPU support. It’s a great base for building a Windows 7 machine.

However, it’s not well suited for Windows 10, because this motherboard has a lot of generic drivers that can make the OS buggy.

It ships with a new BIOS, which is a great plus.

The system lacks a VRM heatsink, so you will probably have to buy one separately if you want to build something like a gaming computer.

This motherboard has a number of power saving features and anti-surge protection that makes it ideal for most custom-built computers.

Tips for Buying a Cheap Motherboard

When you are on the hunt for a good motherboard for less than $100, keep the following in mind:

Support for USB 3.0 is a great bonus. In fact, it may be a necessity as computers of the future are switching to USB 3.0.

Try to buy a motherboard with 6-GBps SATA ports that support faster data transfer on hard drives, including SSD drives.

SATA ports are also very compact so you will have more room for attaching other devices.

RAM is now cheaper than ever. So, don’t settle for less.

Get as much RAM as possible. 8GB is decent enough and you won’t have to pay a lot like you would for 16GB max RAM.

If you plan on equipping your PC with a new generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, you will need to buy a motherboard with an 1155 socket.

Keep in mind that the processor is the most important component your motherboard will have.

You will need to buy the motherboard after you decide which processor you want.

When buying, make sure the motherboard has a CPU socket that can actually hold the processor you want.

Modern motherboards have two main form factors: ATX and microATX.

ATX motherboards usually have a larger number of slots for expansion (about 7 typically), four to eight RAM bays and data connectors.

MicroATX motherboards typically only have four expansion slots and fewer RAM bays.

However, you will find microATX motherboards more commonly because they support smaller, minimalist PCs.

If you are a gamer, you will need a full-size ATX motherboard.

The Best B450 Motherboards for your AMD Ryzen Gaming PC!

Best Budget Motherboard under $100 for Gaming in 2021 [Intel & AMD]

(*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission if you choose to purchase through the links I provide (at no extra cost to you). Thank you for supporting the work I put into this site!)

Earlier I have written a post about best budget processors for gaming that you can get under 100 dollars for building a budget gaming PC. But, along with a budget processor or CPU, you do also need a budget gaming motherboard to keep the cost of your gaming rig as low as possible. Luckily, you do not need to spend more than 100 dollars on a motherboard because there are some very good budget motherboards available for all CPU Sockets that are more than enough for your gaming needs. These budget gaming motherboards come with all the necessary features, required ports and offer good performance for the price.

You can build a pretty good budget to mid-range gaming PC using a decent processor and graphics card with these budget motherboards and can enjoy the latest games on very high/high settings @ 1080p at playable frame rates. So, here in this post, I am going to list down the best motherboards under 100 dollars for Intel and AMD processors for building a powerful budget gaming PC.   

Check out:

Budget Intel Motherboards for Gaming

LGA 1151 Socket (for 6th & 7th Gen. Intel CPUs)

Here are the best budget LGA 1151 Socket motherboards that you use with Intel 6th generation Skylake and 7th generation Kaby Lake processors.

MSI H110M GAMING Motherboard

MSI H110M GAMING is a budget gaming motherboard that supports 6th generation Intel Skylake processors. It is based on the entry-level H110 chipset from Intel. With BIOS update this motherboard can also support the latest 7th generation Intel Kaby Lake processors. It is an mATX or micro ATX motherboard and comes with one PCI-E 3.0 x16 graphics card slot and two PCIe x1 expansion slots. It supports DDR4 memory (2133MHz) up to 32GB in dual-channel mode. 


The motherboard comes with a decent amount of gaming features that include gaming LAN, SteelSeries Certification, Gaming Hotkeys, DDR4 boost, onboard 8 channel HD audio. This is a pretty solid motherboard and is made from high-quality components. The motherboard does lack M.2 slot for PCI-E NVMe SSDs but you can always use SATA SSDs to boost your game loading time and Windows 10 performance.

MSI H110M GAMING Motherboard Specifications
Socket TypeLGA 1151
Form FactorMicro-ATX
ChipsetIntel H110
Processor Support6th Gen Intel Core / Pentium / Celeron processors for LGA 1151 socket
RAM SupportDDR4 2133 MHz (up to 32GB), Dual Channel
SlotsDIMM x 2, PCI-Ex16 x 1, PCI-Ex1 x 2
PortsSATA III x 4, USB 3.1 x 6, USB 2.0 x 6, VGA, DVI, HDMI
FeaturesGaming LAN, 7.1 channel audio, Click BIOS, SteelSeries Certified, Gaming Certified, Gaming Hotkey, Overvoltage protection, Audio Boost, DDR4 Boost, VGA Armor (Reinforced PCI-Express Slots), Gaming Device Port (for mouse), Gaming App, Windows 10 Ready

Buy MSI H110M GAMING Motherboard

MSI B250M GAMING PRO Motherboard

MSI B250M GAMING PRO is a Kaby Lake motherboard based on the newer B250 chipset and supports both Skylake and Kaby Lake processors out of the box. It is a micro-ATX form factor motherboard and comes with one PCI-E 3.0 x16 graphics slot, two PCI-E x1 slots, and one Turbo M.2 slot that support the latest PCI-Express NVMe and SATA3 6Gb/s SSDs. You will get a DS B1 GAMING Mouse bundled with the motherboard for free inside the package.


This is a VR Ready motherboard that supports DDR4 2400 RAM and comes with features like Mystic Light Sync, PCI-E Steel slot, Gaming LAN & 7.1 channel HD audio, Gaming BIOS, Gaming Heatsink and Reversible USB Type-C connector. Overall a nice feature-rich motherboard with Intel B250 chipset for Intel 6th and 7th generation CPUs.

MSI B250M GAMING PRO Motherboard Specifications
Socket TypeLGA 1151
Form FactorMicro-ATX
ChipsetIntel B250
Processor Support7th / 6th Gen Intel Core / Pentium / Celeron processors for LGA 1151 socket
RAM SupportDDR4 2400MHz (up to 32GB), Dual Channel
SlotsDIMM x 2, PCI-Ex16 x 1, PCI-Ex1 x 2, M.2 x 1 (PCI-E Gen3 up to 32Gb/s)
PortsSATA III x 6, USB 3.1 x 5, USB Type-C, USB 2.0 x 2, VGA, HDMI
FeaturesVR Ready, Gaming LAN, Onboard 8 channel HD audio, Mystic Light Sync, EZ Debug LED, Click BIOS 5, VR Ready, Windows 10 Ready, PCI-E Steel Armor, EZ Debug LED, Intel Optane Memory Ready

Buy MSIB250M GAMING PRO Motherboard

ASRock B250M Pro4 Motherboard

Another B250 chipset motherboard but this one is from Asrock. ASRock B250M Pro4 is a feature-rich and affordable gaming motherboard for Intel 6th and 7th generation processors. This is also a Micro-ATX motherboard but comes with more slots and ports compared to any budget motherboard in this list. It comes with two PCIe 3.0 x16 slots that support AMD Quad CrossFireX, four DDR4 memory slots supporting up to 64GB memory, two Ultra M.2 slots for connecting high-speed PCI-E NVMe and SATA III Solid State Drives.


Other features of this motherboard include Gigabit LAN, USB Type-C connector, VR Ready, Intel Optane Memory support, three graphics ports, onboard 7.1 channel audio and more. According to me, this is the best budget motherboard under 100 dollars price range that you can get for Skylake or Kaby Lake processors. Highly Recommended by me.  

ASRock B250M Pro4 Motherboard Specifications
Socket TypeLGA 1151
Form FactorMicro-ATX
ChipsetIntel B250
Processor Support7th and 6th Generation Intel Core i7/i5/i3/Pentium/Celeron Processors (Socket 1151)
RAM SupportDDR4 2400 MHz (up to 64GB), Dual Channel
SlotsDIMM x 4, PCIe 3.0 x 16 x 2, PCIex1 x 1, Ultra M.2 x 2
PortsSATA3 6Gb/s x 6, USB 3.1 x 6, USB Type-C, USB 2.0 x 2, VGA, DVI, HDMI
FeaturesIntel Optane Memory Ready, Gigabit LAN, 7.1 channel audio, AMD Quad CrossFireX and CrossFireX support, Triple Monitor support, VR Ready, UEFI BIOS, I/O Armor, Windows 10 support

Buy ASRock B250M Pro4 Motherboard

LGA 1150 Socket (for 4th Gen. Haswell CPUs)

Motherboards for the older 4th generation Haswell series Intel Processors. I really don’t recommend getting a Haswell processor today, but if you can get it at a great bargain then you can use it to build your budget gaming rig.

Asus B85M-G R2.0 Motherboard

Asus B85M-G R2.0 is an ATX motherboard for Haswell series CPUs from Intel. The motherboard comes with one PCI-E 3.0 x16 slot, two PCI-Ex1 slots and supports only DDR3 RAM up to 32GB. Other features of this Intel B85 chipset motherboard include Gigabit LAN, Realtek 8 channel audio, ASUS 5X Protection, 3 phase power design, UEFI BIOS, USB 3.0 Boost (UASP Support) and fast USB 3.1 ports. Overall an affordable and reliable motherboard from Asus for 4th generation Intel CPUs.


Asus B85M-G R2.0 Motherboard Specifications
Socket TypeLGA 1150
Form FactorMicro-ATX
ChipsetIntel B85
Processor Support4th Generation Core i7/Core i5/Core i3/Celeron dual-core/Pentium/Celeron Processors
RAM SupportDDR3 1600 MHz (up to 32 GB), Dual Channel
SlotsDIMM x 4, 1 x PCIe 3.0 x16, 2 x PCIe 2.0 x1
PortsSATA III x 6, SATA II x 2, USB 3.1 x 4, USB 2.0 x 8, VGA, DVI, HDMI
FeaturesGigabit LAN, Onboard Realtek 8 channel audio, ASUS DIGI+ VRM – 3 Phase digital power design, Overvoltage protection, ASUS 5X Protection, Fan Xpert 2, UEFI BIOS, USB 3.0 Boost (UASP Support), Windows 10 Ready   

Buy Asus B85M-G R2.0 Motherboard

Budget AMD Motherboards for Gaming

AM4 Socket

Here are AM4 Socket Motherboards for Ryzen and 7th generation APUs/Athlon series processors from AMD.

Gigabyte GA-AB350M-Gaming 3 Motherboard

This is an AM4 Socket gaming motherboard from AMD based on the B350 chipset. Gigabyte GA-AB350M-Gaming 3 is a Micro-ATX motherboard and it comes with all the high-end features and ports that you would expect from a gaming motherboard. The motherboard has got two PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots, one PCI-E x1 expansion slot and an Ultra fast M.2 slot that supports high-speed PCI-Express NVMe SSDs and SATA SSDs. You can add up to 64GB of DDR4 3200 RAM on this motherboard.


The motherboard supports overclocking and you can overclock your Ryzen series processor in presence of a better aftermarket CPU cooler. Other features of this motherboard include UEFI BIOS, Gigabit LAN & 8 Channel audio, Gigabyte UEFI BIOS, Hybrid Fan headers, USB 3.1 ports and more. Highly Recommended by me.

Gigabyte GA-AB350M-Gaming 3 Motherboard Specifications
Socket TypeAM4
Form FactorMicro-ATX
ChipsetAMD B350
Processor SupportAMD Ryzen & 7th Generation A-series/ Athlon Processors
RAM SupportDDR4 3200 (O.C.), up to 64GB, Dual Channel
SlotsDIMM x 4, PCI-Ex16 x 2, PCI-E x1 x 1, M.2 x 1 (PCIe Gen3 x4 up to 32Gb/s)
PortsSATA III x 6, USB 3.1 x 8, USB 2.0 x 6, VGA, DVI, HDMI
FeaturesGigabit LAN, Smart Fan 5, Hybrid Fan Pin Headers, 8 Channel Audio, UEFI BIOS, VR Ready, Windows 10 Ready, Overclocking support

Buy Gigabyte GA-AB350M Gaming 3 Motherboard

ASUS PRIME B350M-E Motherboard

Another B350 chipset based motherboard for AMD AM4 Socket CPUs but this one is from Asus. ASUS PRIME B350M-E is budget gaming motherboard that supports overclocking and comes with one PCI-Ex16 graphics card slot, two PCI-Ex1 slots and an M.2 slot for high-speed solid state drives. The motherboard supports DDR4 3200 (OC) RAM up to 32GB in dual-channel mode.


This motherboard is more than sufficient for building a budget gaming rig using AMD Ryzen processors. Other features of this motherboard include Asus Safeslot, Gigabit LAN, 8 channel gaming audio, Windows 10 support, and UEFI BIOS. 

ASUS PRIME B350M-E Motherboard Specifications
Socket TypeAM4
Form FactorMicro-ATX
ChipsetAMD B350
Processor SupportAMD AM4 Socket Athlon /for AMD Ryzen /7th Generation A-series Processors
RAM SupportDDR4 3200 (OC), up to 32GB, Dual Channel
SlotsDIMM x 2, PCI-Ex16 x 1, PCI-Ex1 x 1, M.2 x 1
PortsSATA III x 4, USB 3.1 x 6, USB 3.0 x 2, USB 2.0 x 4, VGA, DVI, HDMI
FeaturesAsus SafeSlot, DIGI+VRM, Gigabit LAN, 8 Channel Gaming Audio, Windows 10 ready, Fan Xpert, UEFI BIOS, Overclocking support

Buy Asus Prime B350M-E Motherboard

AM3+ Socket

Motherboards for older AMD FX series and Phenom II / Athlon II CPUs.

GIGABYTE GA-970A-DS3P FX Motherboard

This is an ATX sized motherboard for use with AMD FX series CPUs. The motherboard comes with two PCI-Ex16 slots supporting 2-Way Crossfire Multi-GPU setup, three PCI-Ex1 slots and two PCI slots. It only supports DDR3 RAM up to 32GB only. Other features include Realtek 7.1 channel audio, Gigabit LAN, UEFI BIOS, and USB 3.1 ports.


GIGABYTE GA-970A-DS3P FX Motherboard Specifications
Socket TypeAM3+
Form FactorATX
ChipsetAMD 990FX / AMD SB950
Processor SupportAMD AM3+ FX processors / AMD AM3 Phenom II processor/ AMD Athlon II processor
RAM SupportDDR3 2000 (O.C.), up to 32GB, Dual Channel
SlotsDIMM x 4, PCI-E x16 x 2, PCIex1 x 3, PCI x 2
PortsSATA III x 6, USB 3.1 x 4, USB 2.0 x 12
Features2-way CrossFire Support, 7.1 channel audio, Gigabit LAN, GIGABYTE UEFI Dual BIOS

Buy Gigabyte GA-970A-DS3P FX Motherboard

FM2+/FM2 Socket

Motherboards for older AMD A-series APUs & Athlon series processors that support FM2+ Socket.

Gigabyte GA-F2A68HM-H Motherboard

Gigabyte GA-F2A68HM-H is an AMD A68H chipset motherboard for Socket FM2+ Processors that include A-series APUs and Athlon CPUs. This an mATX motherboard and it comes with one PCI-E 3.0 x16 slot, one PCI-Ex1 slot, one PCI slot and supports DDR3 2400 (OC) RAM up to 64GB total capacity. Other features of this motherboard include Gigabit LAN, 7.1 channel audio, UEFI BIOS and high-speed USB 3.0 ports.


Gigabyte GA-F2A68HM-H Motherboard Specifications
Socket TypeFM2+
Form FactorMicro-ATX
ChipsetAMD A68H
Processor SupportAMD A-series / Athlon processors
RAM SupportDDR3 2400 (OC), up to 64GB, Dual Channel
SlotsDIMM x 2, PCI-Ex16 x 1, PCIex1 x 1, PCI x 1
PortsSATA III x 4, USB 3.0 x 2, USB 2.0 x 8, VGA, HDMI
FeaturesGigabit LAN, Onboard 7.1 Channel Audio, UEFI BIOS

Buy Gigabyte GA-F2A68HM-H Motherboard

Final Words

In the end, I would only like to say that if you are building a budget gaming PC then the above-mentioned budget gaming motherboards will not disappoint you at all. I have listed the motherboards for all popular CPU Sockets for both Intel and AMD processors. These budget motherboards for gaming are priced under 100 dollars and offer you the best performance for the money. If you have got any queries regarding them then you can ask me by leaving a comment below.


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Best Motherboard: AMD and Intel boards for all budgets

What’s the best motherboard?

If you’re setting out to build your own PC, you’ll need to consider what motherboard on to buy for mounting all your bleeding-edge components.

With the latest 9th-gen range of Intel CPUs, AMD’s stellar second-gen Ryzen processors still representing fantastic value for money – and new GPUs from both Nvidia and AMD – there’s never been more choice for PC part pickers.

But before you rush off to buy that shiny new tech, you’ll need to decide upon the model of motherboard you want.

Motherboards may not be the most alluring or exciting component of PC building, but it can make or break any build. To ensure you get the best board for your needs, we’ve tested all the big-name motherboards on the market to present our current best picks for both Intel and AMD hardware.

We’ve drilled deeper elsewhere on the site, so if you already have your heart set on a new Intel processor or an AMD CPU, then head over to our Best Intel motherboard or Best AMD motherboard roundups.

1. Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero (Wi-Fi)

The best overall AMD motherboard you can buy right now

Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero


  • Impressive and consistent performance
  • Solid enthusiast features
  • Impressive connectivity throughout


  • More expensive than rivals
  • Not always faster in gaming tests
  • Not many on-board RGB LEDs

Review price: £260

Score: 4/5

Why we liked the Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero (Wi-Fi)

The Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero (Wi-Fi) is expensive, but easily worth the price. It boasts excellent overall performance and is crammed with features.

There’s room for two graphics cards and you get an Nvidia SLI bridge included in the box. If you’re rocking a second-gen AMD Ryzen CPU, you can cram up to 64GB of 3600MHz memory in four slots here. In terms of storage, you get two M.2 SSDs and six SATA 3 ports.

Then there are nine USB 3.1 ports, plus a POST display, big metal heatsinks and lots of RGB LEDs, alongside a couple of connectors for AURA light strips if you really want your PC to light up like a bonfire night.

In our last group test, the Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero held its own against rivals – but only just. Unless you’re set on squeezing out every iota of power from the ROG Crosshair VII Hero, you might be better served by opting for something cheaper. In terms of versatility and customisability, however, this Asus AMD board is your best overall option.

Read the full review

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2. ASRock Fatal1ty X470 Gaming K4

A great option if you’re only after a board for gaming

Another close-up of the A close-up view of the ASRock Fatal1ty X470 Gaming K4 motherboard, with the RAM sockets visible top right.


  • Impressive gaming speed
  • Multiple PCI-E x1 slots
  • POST display
  • Cheaper than rivals


  • Underwhelming application speeds
  • Sluggish second M.2 slot
  • No second PCI-E x16 slot

Review price: £153

Score: 3.5/5

Why we liked the ASRock Fatal1ty X470 Gaming K4

If you’re primarily building a gaming rig and you want something that will fly out of the box with minimal tweaking – but you want to save some money – then the ASRock Fatal1ty X470 Gaming K4 is a solid choice.

In terms of connections, ports and slots, there are two M.2 SSD connectors, two PCI-E x16 slots, four RAM slots and plenty of RGB LEDs.

There are a few considerations here. The second M.2 port is slower, 10Gbps rather than 32Gbps, and you can only add up to 3466MHz DDR4 RAM – but neither stopped the Fatal1ty X470 Gaming K4 scoring well in gaming benchmarks. It’s less adept elsewhere, however, so if you want to do some creative work on the side then you should look elsewhere.

If you’re only interested in gaming, though, and want to save some money on a Ryzen-based rig, the Fatal1ty X470 Gaming K4 is a very good shout.

Read the full review

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3. Gigabyte AB350-Gaming

Cheap and cheerful, this AMD motherboard is good value, but not bleeding-edge

Gigabyte AB350 Gaming


  • Very cheap
  • Solid gaming performance
  • Sufficient features for a versatile, basic build


  • Poor application performance
  • Dual-graphics not realistic
  • Older chipset

Review price: £83 inc VAT

Score: 3/5

Why we liked the Gigabyte AB350-Gaming

If the Fatal1ty X470 Gaming K4 is still a little out of your price range, then consider the Gigabyte AB350 Gaming.

Since it really only supports one graphics card – the top PCI-E x16 slot runs at its full speed, but the second slot runs at just x4 speed, which isn’t fast enough to support a second GPU – and one M.2 SSD, it’s also ideal for people building a rig on a budget.

You get an older Intel chipset, which won’t impact day-to-day use. However, there’s no USB Type-C – only three audio jacks, and four fan connectors – and is limited to basic Gigabit Ethernet speeds.

That said, the Gigabyte AB350-Gaming performed well in gaming, application and storage tests, making it a good option if you want to build a basic machine with a gaming focus.

Read the full review

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1. MSI MEG Z390 Godlike

Best Intel motherboard overall 

MSI MEG Z390 Godlike


  • Solid application performance
  • Great audio and storage features
  • Ample PCI connectivity
  • Good enthusiast-level on-board additions


  • Less impressive for gaming
  • Expensive

Review price: £533

Score: 4.5/5

Why we liked the MSI MEG Z390 Godlike

If you’re intent on building a powerhouse PC with lots of uses besides gaming, then the MSI MEG Z390 Godlike is currently your best option. While it’s beaten in the gaming stakes by the Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme, MSI’s MEG Z390 Godlike is better suited to creative work.

That’s not to say it’s a slouch at gaming – its 3DMark: Fire Strike score of 17,896 was the best in our latest group test of Intel motherboards, and it only trailed behind the fastest boards in both Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Shadow of the Tomb Raider by a few frames per second.

Of the four PCI-E x16 slots, the top one runs at the full 16x speed, and you can run two at 8x speed. The four memory slots let you slot a whopping 128GB of DDR4 RAM in here. That may be overkill for gaming, but if you’re building a PC to do heavy photo and video editing then you’ll need that kind of extra headroom.

Storage connections include three M.2 SSD slots, each with their own dedicated heatsinks, a U.2 slot, and six SATA ports. There are also ten fan connectors, including ones for a water pump and CPU fan jumpers – so no matter what you slot in here, you’ll be able to keep everything nice and cool.

Yes, the MSI MEG Z390 Godlike is expensive, but if you want an all-round powerhouse then this is it.

Read the full review

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2. Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme

Best Intel motherboard for pro-level gaming

Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Extreme


  • Beats rival for gaming performance
  • Lots of high-end tweaking features
  • Colourful physical design
  • Superb rear connectivity


  • Not brilliant in applications
  • A little less storage and PCI versatility

Review price: £500

Score: 4.5/5

Why we liked the Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme

If you’re in the market for the best Intel motherboard for a gaming rig, then you should consider the Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme.

It’s the reverse of the aforementioned MSI MEG Z390 Godlike in the sense that it excels at gaming, but is found wanting in other areas.

There are three steel supported PCI-E x16 slots, two of which will let you run dual GPUs at 8x speed, so you can really push the graphical performance of your rig.

You get three M.2 SSD sockets for all your storage needs and can get up to 128GB of DDR4 RAM on here – not that you’d ever need more than 32GB for gaming, mind. In terms of networking, you get two Gigabit Ethernet ports, one giving you 1Gbps, and the other a very generous 10Gbps of bandwidth – handy, if you have a router capable of making the most of that and you’re getting decent service from your ISP.

On top of that, you get little extra features such as buttons to alter the CPU’s ratio and base clock speed, eight fan connectors, Thunderbolt, Type-C USB 3.1 and an HDMI port.

The Gigabyte is an expensive board for enthusiastic gamers and tweakers, and it delivered with reasonable gaming pace and lots of relevant features. It’s the best gaming-centric Intel board we’ve recently tested, but only pick this up if you’re going to make the most out of the dual GPU functionality and you’re building a rig that you’re likely to tweak. If you’re only making a single GPU gaming PC, aim for something a little less overpowered (not to mention cheaper).

Read the full review

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3. Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro

Best value Intel motherboard 

Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro press render


  • Excellent performance in all scenarios
  • Versatile, well-specified features
  • Attractive design


  • A little pricier than rivals
  • Some minor missing features

Reviews price: £173

Score: 4.5/5

Why we liked the Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro

The Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro strikes the right balance between features and price, offering respectable gaming and application performance for a cost that won’t drain your wallet.

In terms of features and ports, you get an extra four-pin CPU power connector for overclocking, two M.2 slots that both have heatsinks – uncommon at this price point – and six SATA ports.

Like the more expensive boards here, you can have up to 128GB of DDR4 memory sitting on the Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro, which means you can configure this for gaming or heavy photo work – or both, depending on what you’re after.

You get three PCI-E x16 slots: one at full speed, a second capable of 8x speed and a third at 4x speed. Alongside, there are three PCI-E x1 slots, meaning for single GPU builds, the Z390 Aorus Pro is a better buy than a more expensive board with multiple 8x speed slots. You do get dual support for Nvidia and AMD cards here, however, if you want to dip a toe into that world.

The networking and audio hardware is good, and you get plenty of on-board fan connectors and USB options – including a front-panel USB 3.1 Type-C connector. The rear I/O is well equipped too, with five full-size USB 3.1 ports and a couple that support the newer, faster Gen 2 protocol.

Few other boards at this price offer so many features and so much balance, and the Gigabyte also delivered great performance. It’s better than all of its affordable rivals in application tests, proved speedy in application and memory benchmarks, and finished off with gaming results that outpaced the competition.

This board is a few pounds more expensive than others in the middle of the market, but it justifies its price with great features and performance. It’s the best mid-range all-rounder.

Read the full review

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Best Intel and AMD motherboards – Key buying considerations

These tips are pretty universal – they’re applicable whether you’re buying an AMD or Intel processor, and they’re still valid if you’re on a budget or looking for the most expensive products.

For starters, there’s the physical size of the board. Most motherboards use the full-size ATX design, which is the largest mainstream option. Those boards will require the biggest cases, but they also offer numerous advantages. They have more PCI-Express slots and memory sockets than their smaller counterparts, and generally offer better storage.

Many ATX boards also tend to be a little faster than smaller form factors, perhaps because there’s less pressure on the components to be crammed into a smaller space. Such boards seem to be more receptive to water-cooling too.

Micro-ATX motherboards are medium-sized boards that still offer a solid amount of hardware, with multiple PCI slots and good storage and memory options.

Mini-ITX motherboards are the smallest on the market, which means obvious trade-offs. They’re fantastic for building tiny PCs for gaming or media, but they have fewer memory sockets and PCI slots – and fewer high-end features across the board itself. They also tend to cost a little more than equivalent ATX or micro-ATX products.

The physical size of the board isn’t the only consideration. Look at which chipset your potential purchase includes, because better chipsets from AMD and Intel will support a greater number of features in every department. AMD and Intel chipsets will also offer different numbers of ports and sockets, so compare the two before you buy.

Check how many memory sockets the board includes and how fast the memory can go – it’s no good buying rapid DDR4 if it can’t run at full-speed on your chosen board. Similarly, make sure a motherboard has the right storage connections for the SSDs and hard disks you want to install.

Also check the PCI-Express sockets – some motherboards include full-length x16 slots that only run at 4x speed, which is no good if you want to run dual-graphics. And make sure you have a sufficient number of PCI-Express x1 connectors for expansion cards.

The form factor, chipset, connectivity and price are key attributes when picking a motherboard. Benchmark speed is another factor, of course, but is less important than ever – many benchmarks perform similarly, no matter the chipsets or features they have. As such, the components you pick are far more important when it comes to determining the pace of your PC.

Related: Best graphics card

Best Motherboard Round Up

  1. Best overall AMD motherboard: Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero (Wi-Fi)
  2. Best AMD motherboard for gaming: ASRock Fatal1ty X470 Gaming K4
  3. Best value AMD motherboard: Gigabyte AB350-Gaming
  4. Best overall Intel motherboard: MSI MEG Z390 Godlike
  5. Best Intel motherboard for gaming: Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme
  6. Best value Intel motherboard: Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro

Best Intel and AMD motherboards – How We Test

The motherboards are put through a demanding suite of benchmark tests. We run Geekbench 4 to test single- and multi-core application speed, and use CrystalDiskMark to test the SATA storage interfaces on these motherboards.

We use 3D Mark: Fire Strike to evaluate gaming ability, and then test power efficiency by measuring the board’s power draw when idling and when running Prime95’s CPU stress-testing benchmark.

We’re in the process of updating our AMD motherboards test with fresh data, based on a rig comparable to the one we’ve used in our latest Intel motherboards test.

AMD rig:

  • Ryzen 7 2700X
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060
  • Samsung 970 Evo M.2 SSD
  • Samsung 850 EVO SATA SSD
  • 16GB of 3000MHz DDR4 memory

Intel rig:

  • Intel Core i7-9700K processor running at its stock speed (3.6GHz)
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060
  • Samsung 970 Evo M.2 SSD
  • Samsung 850 EVO SATA SSD
  • 16GB of 3000MHz DDR4 memory

We’d like to thank Overclockers UK for providing some of the boards included in this test.


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