Best Gaming Motherboards - The Foundation of Your Gaming PC
Last updated: 14 October, 2021
You will not be able to enjoy all of their advantages if you do not have the motherboard that will connect everything and provide good performance to your hardware.
In our comparison, you will learn how to select high-performance gaming motherboards, according to your needs and your expectations.
The first criterion to take into account is the socket, which is the receptacle of your processor.
The socket establishes a communication between the components of the computer, among others the processor, the hard disk, the graphics card.
It also manages the interconnection with ancillary connections such as USB and other audio or video ports, Ethernet.
You must choose a motherboard whose socket is suitable for your processor.
There are models 1151, 2011-3, 1155 and many more, which you will find in gaming motherboards.
The most common is socket 1151, which is also a good price / performance ratio.
The 2011-3 socket is a very high-end model that is not necessary for simple gaming.
Also take an interest in the chipset, the second important criterion of choice which determines the performance of your machine.
It is indeed a component integrated into the motherboard, used to control the connections between the memory, the processor, and the other expansion ports.
If you use your PC for gaming, opt for the ATX format, which is more reliable for overclocking.
With this format, you can easily add components and thus upgrade your PC.
Three models of gaming motherboards are offered to you in this comparison, cards with sufficient performance for your games, and which you can also overlock without worry.
To ensure quality use, this model is designed with two M.2 ports and USB 3.1 type A and C inputsRead Our Review
1. Asus Maximus IX Formula Intel Socket 1151 motherboard - Best Overall
- Dimensions: 12 x 1 x 9.6 inches
- Weight: 4.26 pounds
The Asus Maximus IX Formula is a motherboard equipped with a front USB 3.1, and 2 M.2 and USB 3.1 ports of types A and C, allowing largely satisfactory gaming connectivity.
With ROG RGB Armor and I / O Cache, you can also enjoy greater gaming durability.
The Asus Maximus IX Formula also offers you a very good gaming network thanks to Languard and Gamefirst technologies.
In addition, the Asus Maximus IX Formula has obtained an exclusive code, resulting from a collaboration with Sonic Studio III and Sonic Radar III. This is the SupremeFX.
What the Asus Maximus IX Formula offers you is smooth gameplay, an UEFI BIOS system, efficient overlclocking, faster, but above all simpler, which is done in one click.
It also offers other intuitive utilities to optimize your gaming PC.
Knowing where to buy the best gaming motherboard is essential to fully enjoying the latest games on your PC.
Having the most efficient reference is indeed necessary to be able to install a high-end graphics card.
At the top of the list in any ranking, the ASUS 1151 MAXIMUS IX FORMULA will meet all your expectations.
2. ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K6 Intel Motherboard - Best Chipset
- Dimensions: 11.97 x 13.46 x 3.43 inches
- Weight: 2.64 pounds
ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 is a motherboard that allows you to take advantage of Intel Core processors Skylake, the 6 th generation.
This motherboard includes support for PCI-Express 3.0 16x graphics cards, SATA 6Gb / s hard drives and DDR4 RAM with a capacity of up to 64GB.
It also features USB 3.1 ports, meeting the needs of seasoned gamers.
Thanks to the ASRock Fatal1ty Z170, you benefit from the latest graphics technology, so you can enjoy the latest games.
Thanks to its larger system BUS, its chipset optimizes data transmission. Thus, you benefit from more performance and responsiveness.
You can add an SSD, as an option, to speed up the start-up of your machine, as well as large data loads.
You will then have the opportunity to increase the performance of your PC.
Referring to consumer reviews is important to know which gaming motherboard to choose or which would best suit your needs.
For high-quality audiovisual feedback, the ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 is for you.
3. MSI 970 Gaming Motherboard AMD ATX Socket AM3 + - Best Compatible
- Dimensions: 11.6 x 8.7 x 3 inches
- Weight: 2.2 pounds
The MSI 970 Gaming is a motherboard that embeds a northbridge with a 970 chipset, and a southbridge with an AMD SB 950 chipset.
It is compatible with all multi-core processors. Thanks to its Sound Blaster Cinema 2 audio chip.
You will be able to live an astonishing sound experience, with a more than satisfactory surround sound, which will immerse you in your game.
SDX Studio Pro technology embedded in the chip will allow you to be more responsive, thanks to the sound that positions you in space.
With Military Class 4, your machine will remain stable, even under the most extreme playing conditions.
The MSI 970 Gaming uses a HI-C CAP core made of tantalum, a metal known for its self-regenerating properties, which guarantees you resistance to overheating.
It is therefore the ideal motherboard for extreme overclocking. The reviewer chose this product for its high reliability, an essential quality for a gaming PC, often subjected to severe use.
If you are looking for the best brand of gaming motherboards at a reasonable price, go for the MSI 970 Gaming.
If you want to compare the price-performance ratio of this specimen to others, you will notice a clear difference.
The reference is ranked the cheapest on the market compared to models with the same performance.
4. ASUS ROG Maximus XII Extreme Z490 - Fan Extension Card
- Dimensions: 14.5 x 12.2 x 4.25 inches
- Weight: 5.19 pounds
The cartes Asus ROG motherboards have always been high-end offerings. Everything the Asus ROG MAXIMUS XII EXTREME has to offer is useful for unrestricted build with Intel's Comet Lake line of processors.
If you don't mind investing a lot of money in a card of excellence, the MAXIMUS XII EXTREME is really convincing.
It contains the largest stack of accessories that can be found on motherboards to date.
For more storage, ROG DIMM.2 is included. Other extras are a Thunderbolt card with USB Type-C ports and a fan expansion card to control additional fans.
5. MSI MPG Z390 Gaming PRO Carbon AC LGA1151 - Best Adjustable
- Dimensions: 12 x 9.6 x 1.2 inches
- Weight: 3.3 pounds
For users who want to upgrade, but don't want to spend their hard-earned money on a high-end version, the MSI MPG Z390 GAMING PRO CARBON AC is the perfect candidate.
This card has two M.2 PCIe connections with x4 bandwidth (reinforced with metal) as well as a few USB ports on the I / O panel for various uses.
It also comes with Intel WiFi on board in addition to a 7.1 channel audio panel. This is a dedicated headphone amp , a treat for any high-end headphone.
This component supports up to 64 GB of DDR4 4400 (OC) memory . So there is plenty of room to upgrade the RAMlater.
And, of course, this model supports both 9th and 8th generation Intel processors .
6. GIGABYTE Z490 Gaming X - USB 3.2 Gen 2
- Dimensions: 13.18 x 10.62 x 3.14 inches
- Weight: 2.2 pounds
The Gigabyte Z490 GAMING X motherboard supports the 10th generation Intel Comet Lake-S processors on LGA 1200 socket.
If you want to use the very latest Intel chips then, this model will allow the assembly of a powerful gaming configuration with the look unique based on CPUs like the Intel Core i5 10600K.
The GAMING X has the necessary provisions for all processing: video games, multitasking, creation, etc.
Here, the company offers the ideal product to form the basis of a powerful high-end PC. Among others.
DDR4 RAM, PCI-Express 3.0 16x graphics cards, SATA 6 Gb / s and M.2 PCI-E NVMe drives, USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 peripherals are supported.
7. ASUS ROG Maximus XII Hero Z490 - Power Stages
- Dimensions: 14.5 x 12.2 x 4.25 inches
- Weight: 3.2 pounds
The best motherboards for the latest Intel chips like the Asus ROG MAXIMUS XII HERO Wi-Fi offer plenty of power and smart cooling.
The hardware supports faster memory. This is why the Asus ROG Maximus XII HERO is one of the models to consider if you want to upgrade to a 10th generation Intel Core processor.
It boasts AI overclocking, AI networking with Wi-Fi 6 support, and Asus Aura Sync lighting.
Designed for gamers looking for performance, this motherboard allows you to take advantage of the best of its components.
8. MSI MEG Z490 GODLIKE Gaming Motherboard - Thunderbolt 3 Type-C
- Dimensions: 12 x 10.7 x 2 inches
- Weight: 6 pounds
The MSI MEG Z490 GODLIKE falls into the category of high-end, passionate motherboards from the manufacturer.
These cards are made for everyone from extreme gamers to OC enthusiasts. This model guarantees top-notch performance, especially for Intel components.
The set comes in a solid build, great thermal solution, astounding overclocking performance, and easy installation and diagnostic solutions for DIY enthusiasts.
Similar to the Aorus Xtreme and Maximus Extreme models , the board offers excellent thermal capabilities for VRM , CPU, M.2 and other components.
9. MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC LGA1151 - Wi-Fi SLI CFX
- Dimensions: 9.6 x 9.6 x 1.2 inches
- Weight: 2.3 pounds
The GIGABYTE Z490 Gaming X might not have any flashy new features to bring, but if you're an Intel fan who needs a new motherboard in the budget sphere, this is certainly a great choice.
This entry-level motherboard for gamers has decent features for its price.
These include three PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots , six SATA ports and four memory slots with support for DDR4-4600 and up to 128 GB , to start with.
Most importantly, it works well without breaking the bank.
10. ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming 4 - SATA 6Gb
- Dimensions: 13.5 x 11 x 3 inches
- Weight: 3.73 pounds
If one considers an AMD configuration for PC, the ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming X is one of the best motherboards 2020 for the “Red team”.
The product that the manufacturer is putting forward here offers a top-notch feature set for lovers of Ryzen processors.
The card displays a superb design and a highly efficient cooling solution. It is certainly a good candidate for overclockers.
In addition, it has Wi-Fi 6 support to boot. This model is one of the brand's most successful gaming products.
With a truly striking design full of lighting and extended heat sinks, it supports up to 3 M.2 PCIe 4.0 slots and Wi-Fi 6.
Find out about the model you have in hand
The cards are diverse and allow the grafting of several components. But these vary depending on the model you have acquired. In relation to this, it is essential that you know its characteristics.
To do this, use the instructions supplied with the product. She will give you a full description and explain what you can and cannot do with it.
Unpack your motherboard
Now that you are more informed about your motherboard, unpack it and place it on the protective foam that came with it.
Then mount the processor and the heat sink. Note that it is important to perform this assembly first before placing it in the housing.
Check the compatibility of the case with the format of the motherboard
The case has four compartments. There is the one for the power supply, the one for the hard drive.
Then comes the slot for the drives and peripherals and finally you have the one for the motherboard.
Several cases are compatible with different motherboard formats.
Look in the user manual to see if this is the case for yours.
Locate the motherboard location
Now that you're sure the motherboard fits into the case, locate the holes to secure it there.
Indeed, it is first necessary to install crossbars which will be used to raise your motherboard.
But before fixing them, first check the appearance of the screw thread and then choose the suitable screws.
However, avoid installing too many ties as their high number could cause a short circuit in the system.
Respect the number of holes marked in the card.
Install the back panel
Several steps are to be followed in the installation of the motherboard in order to ensure the correct functioning of the assembly. This is the last step to be carried out.
Indeed, before installing the motherboard, first connect the connector panel that comes with your motherboard. To do this, clip it to the walls.
Put the motherboard in the intended location
Finally comes the time to install the motherboard. At this time, several elements must be taken into account. First of all, all the holes must coincide with the sleepers placed previously.
Also make sure that the inlets and outlets of these crossbars coincide with the connector plate.
Once the check is complete, proceed to securing the motherboard using the screws. Do this respecting the screw thread.
No object escapes the invasion of dust. Your desktop computer cannot escape. For maintenance, arm yourself with a brush.
Gently sweep each internal and external element of your property with the brush. Above all, avoid using blowing or vacuuming devices to avoid damaging your equipment.
THE TEAM THAT WORKED ON THIS REVIEW
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- Comparison Table
- Best Overall Asus Maximus IX Formula Intel Socket 1151 motherboard
- Best Chipset ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K6 Intel Motherboard
- Best Compatible MSI 970 Gaming Motherboard AMD ATX Socket AM3 +
- Fan Extension Card ASUS ROG Maximus XII Extreme Z490
- Best Adjustable MSI MPG Z390 Gaming PRO Carbon AC LGA1151
- USB 3.2 Gen 2 GIGABYTE Z490 Gaming X
- Power Stages ASUS ROG Maximus XII Hero Z490
- Thunderbolt 3 Type-C MSI MEG Z490 GODLIKE Gaming Motherboard
- Wi-Fi SLI CFX MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC LGA1151
- SATA 6Gb ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming 4
- Buying Guide