Selecting a gaming device is like a needle in a haystack with so many latest choices. And seeking out the heart of your gaming computer asks for a lot of research. In that scenario, some studied opinion on the best gaming motherboard can save you some precious time.
The motherboard is the basic circuit board of a computer. Hence, the decision for all other components and features depends solely on it. Therefore, it is better to decide your original needs before you pick up the most crucial section of your gaming device.
We have elaborated on the top nine motherboards suitable for gamers. See if you can find out the best gaming motherboard from them to serve your unique demand.
Top 9 Best Gaming Motherboards 2020
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero Gaming Motherboard
ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero is a member of the company’s Republic of Gamers series with workstation-level performance. This ATX board with LGA 1151 socket and Z390 chipset connects almost all the latest 8th and 9th generation Intel Core CPUs with 64GB of RAM support and a great 5-way optimization overclocking feature reaching around 4400MHz frequency.
The dark metal look with RGB lighting and 802.11ac onboard Wi-Fi are the added advantages of this gaming motherboard. Though the onboard Wi-Fi build is also responsible for the cost-hike.
Asus is always the best builder of the UEFI mechanism with built-in switches for better troubleshooting. That supports immensely on the performance of a multi-GPU compatible gaming rig. The 8x level speed of the two metal-protected x16 slots and both SLI or CrossFireX support added SLI bridge help this mobo to be nominated for the best gaming motherboard.
Besides, it's consistent speed offers a great gaming experience. Dual M.2 slots, SATA ports, USB 3.1 Type-C, gen-1, gen-2, and 2.0 ports, SupremeFX audio are the other gems to make this mobo one-of-its-kind.
MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC Motherboard
There is no gaming enthusiast who doesn’t know about MSI’s gaming rigs under a reasonable price tag. And MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC LGA 1151 motherboard holds that legacy perfectly.
This ATX mobo manages the latest 8th, 9th gen Core CPUs including i9-9900K and similar to make out a butter-smooth performance out of that. Four DIMM slots with DDR4 RAM is empowered with Optane memory technology. Auto and manual easy overclocking run up to 4400MHz. Mystic RGB lighting with millions of colors and effects doesn’t hurt your eyes but grooms over the sturdy look on this mobo.
Outstanding VRM control with extended heatsink, Turbo speed dual M.2 slots, HDMI and DisplayPort, Audio Boost 4 with an amplifier, USB 3.1 Gen2 with turbo velocity, USB Type-C, Type-A, four USB 2.0 ports add more definition to this board. Connectivity offers all the latest solutions with Ethernet, MU-MIMO Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth support. With SLI and CFX support for multi-GPU technology and high-speed steel-armored x16 slots, you get everything you can ask from a top-notch gaming motherboard.
Asus ROG Strix Z390-E Best Gaming Motherboard
Another ROG member is level pegging with other gaming boards here. Under an upper-mid-range value, ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E LGA 1151 gaming motherboard shows no less expertise on BIOS settings with an automatic boot-failure solution and 8th and 9th gen Core CPU performance than the previous ROG gamer.
DDR4 SDRAM storage and AI and manual overclocking with 5-way optimization and Optimum-II technology are as good as before. FanXpert4 cooling system and onboard WI-fi put more scores to this mobo. Asus Aura Sync controls RGB lighting connected with RGB headers.
Features include DisplayPort, HDMI, dual M.2 NVME slots, two PCIe x16 slots for multiple graphics card installation, USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports with two more USB 2.0 ports and plenty of other connectivities. Installation is trouble-free with a pre-mounted I/O shield. The decent looking ATX motherboard is protected with Safe Slot and ESD guards.
MSI X470 Gaming Plus Motherboard
Its MSI and AMD collaboration. Of course, AMD keeps the budget minimum for a quality offering. MSI Performance AMD X470 Gaming Plus motherboard with the AM4 socket churns out the lightning speed with Ryzen 1st and 2nd gen series and 7th generation A-series or Athlon X4 CPUs. The DDR4 memory in this ATX board can be overclocked over 3200MHz of frequency even using AI.
No wonder we have a multi-GPU support for 3-way AMD Crossfire, whereas steel-armored PCIe slots make things easy for Radeon Vega Graphics installation with Ryzen or Athlon APU compatibility. Not only you have onboard Graphics CFX but protected Gaming-suitable LAN connection with high bandwidth empowers the one-of-a-kind gaming experience in this mobo.
The turbo M.2 and StoreMI with turbo data-transfer speed USB 3.1 gen2 ports you get all you can ask for a perfect gaming rig. Nahimic audio boost pulls out a studio-grade sound quality while playing. The VR Ready technology hits automatic-optimization for VR usage. Game Boost, X-boost, and Gaming Hotkey are the added weapons to make its way for the best gaming motherboard.
Gigabyte Z390 AORUS PRO WiFi Motherboard for Gaming
Again coming back to LGA 1151 motherboard with Gigabyte. That said, the mid-priced Gigabyte Z390 AORUS PRO WiFi ATX motherboard is a sweet spot distributing performance and value even-steven. The Core CPU compatibility is usual along with four DIMMs for unbuffered DDR4 sticks power-packed with the Optane memory mechanism.
The best jewel of this mobo is its 12+1 phase VRM solution with DrMOS. The thermal design is screw-mounted with heatsinks and direct Heatpipe connection. Smart Fan5 features, two temperature sensors, and Hybrid Fan headers with onboard stop button add more feathers on this matter. The dual M.2 NVMe slots for SSD are also guarded with the thermal solution. But the second channel does kill two SATA port usability.
RGB Fusion lets you connect LED and RGB strips. Onboard 802.11ac Wi-fi, BlueTooth 5, and cFosSpeed empowered Gigabit LAN are the nourishments over the network connectivity system. Multi-GPU installation would be protected inside metal-reinforced PCIe slots. AORUS 360 Armor advances on ultra-durability with integrated I/O shield, memory armor, and similar protective layers.
ASUS TUF Gaming X570-Plus Motherboard
The mid-tier ASUS AM4 TUF Gaming X570 Plus (Wi-Fi) ATX motherboard is a futuristic gaming mobo serving an outstanding performance. The CPU support rises to the next level with 2nd and 3rd gen Ryzen processors and up to 128GB RAM support in DIMM slots.
The digital VRM control with a 12+2 phase system including DrMOS Power Stage is the last word for maximum durability and stability. With ProCool socket and heatsink over PCH, VRM, and M.2 drives, the cooling system delivers cutting-edge technology including the FanXpert mechanism and hybrid fan headers.
Both the PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots have almost double bandwidth over PCIe 3.0 versions. Implanting USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A or Type-C ports over 3.1 options was another giant leap towards the foreseeable future.
AMD StoreMI technology powers up the allover performance to run with lightning speed. The TUF motherboard is really tough-build with military-grade components. Integrated dual M.2, HDMI and DisplayPort, plenty of SATA ports, and Aura Sync lighting add extra powers to it. The Gigabit Ethernet with TUF LANGuard is advanced with Realtek L8200A. Onboard Wi-fi and Bluetooth connections do their jobs as well.
Gigabyte Z390 UD Gaming Motherboard
The lower-mid-range Gigabyte Z390 AORUS UD LGA 1151 ATX motherboard has some ups-and-downs on features, but the cost doesn’t affect its gaming performance. Running 8th or 9th gen Core processors won’t make any complaint so far. Optane memory boosts up DRAM overclocking.
But even if it’s armor-protected, having only one PCIe x16 slot is an issue for a gaming rig with multi-way graphics compatibility. Though M.2 is also single, the full-length x4 slots and x1 channels try to make it up for you.
The RGB support adds a decent look to its ultra-durable build. VRM control is appreciable with 10+2 level PWM inclusion. Smart Fan5 technology uses thermal sensors to measure the heat in parts of the mobo. CEC 2019 Ready mechanism works on the power saving process.
The network connection is also cost-worthy with Ethernet only, but Realtek 8118 gaming LAN with bandwidth control provides unrealistic speed without a sweat. Realtek ALC887 audio quality matches the gaming ambiance as well. HDMI and enough SATA and USB ports complete the circle for various connections you need.
GIGABYTE X470 AORUS Gaming 7 WIFI-50 Motherboard
GIGABYTE X470 AORUS Gaming 7 WIFI-50 motherboard under an upper-medium value connects Ryzen 1st and 2nd gen CPUs along with Ryzen or Athlon combination with Radeon Vega Graphics units to the AM4 socket on the ATX board. On the four DIMM slots, both ECC or non-ECC unbuffered DDR4 sticks can lay down.
This all-rounder mobo is armor-protected over the integrated I/O shield and is benefited by CEC 2019 engineering. No wonder, we have onboard 802.11ac Wave2 2T2R WI-fi connection accompanied by BT 5 and cFosSpeed Ethernet LAN. The specially engineered Swappable LED overlay under AMD 50 technology on the gaming motherboard adds more definition to its overall set-up and look.
10+2 Phase Digital VRM system with IR PWM design manages the voltage acceptance on this board perfectly well. Direct-touch Heatpipe is connected with the First-array heatsink with additional thermal guards over dual M.2 slots.
The ultra-durable design of the multi-layer GPU support accepts both 2-way CrossFire and SLI bridging protected with dual-armor. In-built ESS SABRE DAC is controlled by WIMA audio capacitors.
MSI MPG X570 Gaming PRO Carbon WiFi Motherboard
MSI MPG X570 Gaming PRO Carbon WiFi motherboard is another future-focused gaming approach with AM4 ATX board bonding 2nd, 3rd generation Ryzen CPUs, also attaining the Ryzen-Radeon Vega graphics combination desktop processors. Four DIMM slots accept 128GB DDR4 memory, whereas overclocking reaches over 4400MHz.
Obviously, we enjoy two PCIe gen4 x16 slots for multi-layer GPU installation with ultra-fast 64GBps bandwidth. Again, both the next-gen M.2 connectors are shielded with extended Frozr heatsink to protect SSD drives. The heatsink is engineered with Proper Blade tech and double-bearing.
The best and exclusive future-compatibility here comes from the lightning 2.4GBps velocity of next-gen onboard Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax OFDMA and two-way MU-MIMO antenna. Not to mention Bluetooth and Ethernet Gigabit LAN escort the former as well.
Bleeding-edge technology of USB 3.2 Gen2 and all other USB and SATA ports, Core Boost for 8 CPU count, DDR4 Boost, Audio Boost 4 with Nahimic 3, Mystic RGB lighting with millions of colors and effects revealing the dazzling look of the slick carbon body, all comes under an upper-mid-tier price tag. Though HDMI needs graphics for activation. So much in there, yet we can’t brand it as our best gaming motherboard, thanks to the disorganization from manufacturer’s end to weave everything properly, is reducing its full potential.
Gaming Motherboard Buyer’s Guide
When you are going to buy a high-definition motherboard, you should go through the different components of how they work and why do you need them.
Socket and CPU Combination
The center of focus on a motherboard is the socket and CPU connection, as other features make their way here based on them. You may go for AMD or Intel, you won’t miss anything on both ends. Though AMD’s AM4 socket connects all AM4-compatible CPUs regardless of the chipset.
The standard socket options are AM4 from AMD and LGA 1151 from Intel. Both of them bear a group of CPU families from the respective manufacturers. AM4 sits under Ryzen members and more, whereas LGA 1151 handles most of the popular 8th and 9th gen Core CPUs in the latest devices.
Of course, there are other sockets connecting different CPUs, mentioning AMD TR4 for Threadripper or LGA2066 for Core X i9 or Xeon processors. But these are geek-favorites with money-no-bar.
In layman language, the chipset connects various portions of the motherboard with each other to communicate throughout the board. Based on the processor, you need to check which chipset is compatible with the specific motherboard. What you decide on the chipset, influence the later decisions for other features, ports, and slots compatibility.
Starting with Intel, our best shot is Z390 with plenty of features and connecting ports and slots to suffice the best gaming motherboard under budget. There are other 300 series chipsets too, but the non-Z series options lack overclocking ability and Z370 lacks the muscle for stressful work.
Editor's Choice: Top Z390 Motherboards
AMD offers overclocking even with low-priced chipsets as X370, but for other reasons, we should consider X470 or X570 for the balanced choice of price and performance.
No matter what you choose, you need at least 8x PCIe data speed for a good quality gaming computer.
The form factor is basically the size of the motherboard. The ATX factor is the most popular one. Based on the size of the computer case, it changes, but that doesn’t harm the performance unless you need a lot of additional features.
Again, if you seek your best gaming motherboard, it’s better to stick with ATX or at least Micro-ATX size, because these cost-effective options provide a better heat dissipation system while gaming.
Let’s dissect the three dominant factors here:
- ATX: The largest option here is common to desktop PCs.
- Micro-ATX: The 2.4-inches shorter choice for gaming laptops.
- Mini-ITX (MITX): The smallest option is useful for building portable laptops.
Based on the size, the motherboards do their best to add max RAM space they can bear. Generally, the ATX boards offer four slots, while it’s two for MITX standard. Not all the slots come filled with memory sticks, as some of them remain left for future addition.
Generally, 16GB is the de facto standard for most of the latest mid-range devices to run regular to heavy works without interruption. Though 32GB is a better option for gaming. But when we are talking about the best motherboard for gaming to maintain hardware-demanding tasks, multitasking with video and game streaming, VR/AR uses or professional video editing deals you should consider at least 64GB memory.
Of course, you can live with a single powerful graphics card in your system without a crazy expenditure, as most of the modern devices provide.
However, if you live with games, it’s relevant for you to spend your life and savings on multi-GPU compatibility.
Right now, there are only two variations that are dominating the world on this underlying factor, namely CrossFireX (CFX) and SLI platforms. They both work on the same purpose, which is multilayer graphics card support of course. The basic idea is to connect multiple GPU cards inside a computer for highest-level gaming performance. The cards communicate through a high-bandwidth physical bridge connector increasing the data transfer rate substantially.
High-bandwidth SLI bridge between two GeForce GTX 1080 cards
There are four terms we should learn about:
This high-performance ATI technology activates multiple AMD Radeon graphics cards with the CPU to enhance the gaming experience. That said, demanding games can be played at a considerably higher frame rate than it reaches with a single GPU card.
Mid-tier motherboards allow this engineering to connect the utmost four GPUs with a single CPU inside the PC. But all these GPUs must be of the same model.
AMD CrossFireX is the current name of the same technology CrossFire today. From their third generation, the revised technology of CrossFire started using the CrossFire Bridge Interconnect or CFBI link, which is an SLI-type ribbon-like connector, though different in working nature. The CFBI or CFX link plugs into the top of each graphics adapter.
The best thing in CrossFireX technology is that coupling different models of the same GPU family won’t pull down the faster GPU’s clock speed, unlike the old CrossFire or SLI system required to combine the same GPU cards. The reason behind it is that modern Radeon graphics cards starting from Radeon HD 3800 series uses only a single ribbon connector to activate CrossFireX. And hence, you can infuse two different cards of one series with their different clock rate.
- Hybrid CrossFireX
It’s a hybrid CrossFireX mode for connecting onboard integrated graphics card with some selected dedicated graphics cards using AMD northbridge engineering. This feature is completely different in nature compared with CFX or SLI bridge connection between two or more dedicated graphics cards. The system started before Ryzen CPUs, and also called as AMD Radeon Dual Graphics. This technology only indicates using AMD’s A-series Fusion APUs (CPU-GPU onboard integration) with dedicated video cards in a CrossFire-type arrangement for the purpose of boosting up the performance at a considerable rate.
It was the first release of this type of bridging technology. From 2001, NVIDIA updated and renamed the Scan-Line Interleaving technology of 3dfx as Scalable Link Interface.
► Two-way SLI Configuration
This system uses the Split Frame Rendering (SFR) mode to couple two video cards.
► Three-way SLI Layout
This interface utilizes the Alternate Frame Rendering (AFR) technique to connect three cards.
► Four-way SLI Design
This one is constructed over AFR technology implemented over SFR.
In the case of Pascal cards in their GTX 1000 series, only two cards can be supported by SLI officially. Sometimes, Pascal cards don't work on the SLI interface.
However, in most cases, the SLI or CrossFireX physical connector is provided with the motherboard declaring official support for them. Only the rarest and highest-end mobos come equipped with both SLI and CFX connectivity enabled. But their charge rises at the same ratio too, as they must ensure enough high-speed PCIe x16 slots with a lot of space in the board for easy installation.
Peripheral Component Interconnect Express or PCIe slots house the Expansion cards for audio, video, or network-connection like Wi-fi adapters. For graphics cards, the most important one is the PCIe x16 slot with at least 8x data velocity. Modern motherboards are mostly packed with x16 and x1 slots. Also, open-ended short-length channels like x4 and x1 can be merged into longer ones.
Moreover, sometimes long PCIe M.2 drives cover the area of some SATA ports making them unusable.
In modern motherboards, M.2 interfaces with various widths and lengths are the new home for solid-state drives and other high-speed components. Being more compact and advanced in nature, they replaced the traditional mSATA standard. These internally mounted M.2 expansion card and connector layout supports computer bus interfaces such as SATA 3.0, PCIe 3.0, and USB 3.0. For PCIe SSDs, M.2 uses advanced NVMe logical-device interface to extract the full potential.
Most of the new mobos come with one or two M.2 slots, and some provide a thermal cooling solution over them.
Serial Advanced Technology Attachment or Serial ATA or SATA interfaces are the standard layouts for connecting storage drives like SSDs or HDDs and optical drives. SATA drives combine a SATA connector (attach SATA port in mobo) and a wider power connector to communicate with the power supply.
The latest standard SATA 3 with 6GBps speed allows the maximum data flowing rate. For highest throughput, drives and the mobo must be compatible with the same SATA feature. SATA ports support various functions like RAID or some other.
You can connect external devices through the ports in the I/O section. But having a USB header can give you access for more port connections too.
- Video ports: Various kinds of external display and video connection ports are HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI-D to be used with integrated graphics. Dedicated cards use their own.
- USB 2.0: Used for low-bandwidth connections like keyboard, mouse, dongle, or similar.
- USB 3.0 or 3.1 Gen 1 (USB 3.2 Gen 1 as the third name): High-speed ports connecting most peripherals.
- USB 3.1 Gen 2 (USB 3.2 Gen 2 now): Double speed (10GBps) ports than USB 3.0 to connect special accessories.
- USB Type-C: USB 3.1 Gen 1 or 2 compatible for new devices like phones.
- USB 3.2 or USB 3.2 Gen 2x2: Newest, rarest, and double-speed than USB 3.2 Gen 2.
- PS/2: Analog connectors for old mouse and keyboard.
- Audio jack: Connects wired headphones, speakers, and microphones.
- Optical audio: Connects advanced solutions like soundbars or surround systems.
- Thunderbolt 3: Rarest and highest-speed of 40GBps. Very few motherboards provide it through discrete add-on cards.
Good quality HD audio codec with AAFP (Analog Audio Front Panel) cable is the latest standard equipped with modern motherboards. Some also offer advanced DAC connections. Also, you may install them or discrete sound cards individually to convert analog from digital.
Without the requirement of most demanding tasks, this feature is only cost-bearing. All AMD Ryzen chips also with low-end A320 and A300 chipsets and Intel’s Z-series chipsets with “K” marked CPUs offer it. Controllable manual overclocking is better than automated AI-tuning.
In the case of motherboards, look doesn’t matter much, unless the computer-case shows it through a window. Still, modern boards compete on a good aesthetic.
Again, RGB lighting with indicators is a great choice for newcomers rather than a dark one. If USB and fan headers situate at the edges and USB 3 and SATA ports point aside than staying vertically upward, you can have a clear arrangement as well.
For gaming motherboards, budget matters. There are always good options for a tight-budget too. Just do your research on manufacturers and what’s your requirements. Most low to mid-range boards offer almost all the features you may need.
Spend later on upgradeable memory or similar features. RGB, overclocking, dual Ethernet ports, Wi-Fi cards, CMOS buttons are only needed for special cases. Lastly, you should remember that you have to buy extra features too to enjoy all the benefits of a high-end mobo.
After discussing all the top listed motherboards, it’s hard to tell whom we can mark as the best motherboard for gaming. Still, in our opinion, ASUS AM4 TUF X570 Plus motherboard wins today’s trophy. You may think otherwise though, and we appreciate suggestions.