You'll need to invest in one of the best motherboard possible if you're setting out to build the best PC your budget can afford. Sure, the best motherboards may not be as sexy as the best graphics cards or processors, but that shouldn’t make a difference.
Having one of the best motherboards is just as important, as a motherboard serves as the foundation of your PC, helping your hardware reach its full potential by pushing it to its limits. The best motherboards utilize and optimize every inch of performance, as well as help you overclock better.
Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro
$189 $144 at Amazon
If you're looking for a good gaming motherboard in the US for that Intel processor you just bought, the Gigabyte Z390 Gaming Pro has everything you could ask for – it even has a built-in I/O shield so you don't have to screw around with a cheap piece of metal. View Deal
The best motherboards are some of the most crucial PC components in building computers, so don’t settle for anything less. If you compromise and cheap out on your motherboard, it could die on you, forcing you to rebuild your entire PC from scratch. We’ve been there; trust us, it's not a road you want to take. Do yourself a favor: avoid disaster by picking up the best motherboard you can on the market.
Keep in mind, however, that there are so many different options these days. Choosing the most ideal motherboard for you can be challenging. And, so we went ahead and put together a list of the best motherboards on the market, motherboards that we’ve tested and reviewed ourselves.
Rest assured that every single mobo on this list will do everything you expect from the best motherboards, and will last you for years.
Best Intel Motherboard: Z390 Aorus Pro Wifi
Fully featured and reasonably priced
Form Factor: ATX | Socket: LGA-1151 (8th and 9th-gen only) | Chipset: Intel Z390 | Memory support: 4 x DIMM sockets (up to 64GB) | Multi-GPU support: Nvidia 2- and 4-way GPU SLI, AMD 2-, 3- and 4-way CrossFire | Features: 2 x PCIe M.2 (Key M), reinforced PCIe
When Coffee Lake Refresh CPUs hit the streets, Intel promised that they would be the best processors for gaming, and we knew that meant kitted out motherboards were on their way. Lo and behold comes the Z390 Aorus Gaming Pro Wifi – maybe one of the best motherboards from Intel right now. It’s packed with gaming-centric features like reinforced PCIe slots and enough RGB lighting to blind you. It’s hard to find a better motherboard, especially at this price point.
Best high-end Intel motherboard: Asus ROG Maximus XI Code Z390 Gaming
Form Factor: ATX | Socket: LGA-1151 (8th and 9th-gen only) | Chipset: Intel Z390 | Memory support: 4 x DIMM sockets (up to 64GB) | Multi-GPU support: Nvidia 2-way GPU SLI, AMD 2-, 3-way CrossFire | Features: 2 x PCIe M.2 (Key M), Improved power delivery, Dedicated water pump headers
When you’re shopping for PC hardware, overwhelmed by all the different features, components and requirements, you might be tempted to throw your hands up and just get the best you can possibly afford. In times like these, you can bet on the Asus ROG Maximus XI Code Z390 Gaming. It’s packed with every feature that Intel’s new Coffee Lake Refresh processors support and then some, with an RGB-lit shroud covering every corner of circuitry on this motherboard, making it one of the best motherboards you don’t have to think twice about choosing.
Best budget Intel motherboard: Gigabyte Z390 UD
Coffee Lake Refresh on a budget
Form Factor: ATX | Socket: LGA-1151 (8th and 9th-gen only) | Chipset: Intel Z390 | Memory support: 4 x DIMM sockets (up to 64GB) | Multi-GPU support: AMD 4-way CrossFire | Features: 1 x PCIe M.2 (Key M), software-controlled case fans, up to 4,000MHz memory
Now that Coffee Lake Refresh has been available for a while, you’ll want to maximize all the power it has to offer. However, high-end motherboards can get really expensive real fast. If you’re looking for a budget option without many compromises, the Gigabyte Z390 should be at the top of your list of best motherboards to consider. It skips many of the bells and whistles like RGB lighting and built-in Wi-Fi but it does make up for these compromises by providing excellent value. You get all the essential features that Z390 has to offer for a great price. If you want to build a budget gaming system, the Gigabyte Z390 UD is probably the best motherboard for you.
Best Intel Micro-ATX motherboard: MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC
Small and edgy
Form Factor: Micro-ATX | Socket: LGA-1151 (8th and 9th-gen only) | Chipset: Intel Z390 | Memory support: 2 x DIMM sockets (up to 32GB) | Multi-GPU support: SLI/CrossFire | Features: 2 x PCIe M.2 (Key M), DDR4 boost, PCI-E Steel Armor, Audio Boost 4 with amplifier
If you’re looking to get an edge on the competition, but you don’t have a lot of extra space on your desk, you’re going to need a Micro-ATX motherboard – more specifically, the MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC. What you’re getting here is a Micro-ATX motherboard with all the features a full-sized ATX one offers, but at a fraction of the price. Despite its smaller size, you still get dual M.2 slots, SLI and Crossfire support, and all the fiery performance that Intel Coffee Lake Refresh has to offer. If you’re looking for a smaller motherboard, you can’t afford to pass on the MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge MC.
Best Intel Mini-ITX motherboard: Asus ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming
Tiny and bright
Form Factor: Mini-ITX | Socket: LGA-1151 (8th and 9th-gen only) | Chipset: Intel Z390 | Memory support: 2 x DIMM sockets (up to 64GB) | Multi-GPU support: N/A | Features: 2 x PCIe M.2 (Key M), Double capacity memory, USB 3.1 Gen 2 front connector, Asus Aura Sync
If you need the smallest possible motherboard available without compromising on key features of your CPU, you should look into the Asus ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming. With this motherboard, you don’t need to compromise on features or power. You don’t even need to settle for a measly 32GB of RAM. Thanks to Asus’ double capacity memory compatibility – you can have up to 64GB of memory in the most miniscule motherboard you’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, like most Z390 boards, its price tag is not for the faint of heart, so prepare yourself to shell out some serious dough if you want the smallest of the best motherboards.
Best AMD motherboard: Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 7 Wi-Fi
Bright and beautiful
Form Factor: ATX | Socket: AM4 | Chipset: AMD X470 | Memory Support: Dual-Channel 4 x DDR4 3,600MHz (up to 64GB) | Multi-GPU support: Quad-GPU SLI, CrossFire | Features: 2 x M.2 (Key M), Q-Flash, Multi Zone RGB lighting
With the X470 Aorus Gaming 7 Wi-Fi, Gigabyte further illustrates its command of motherboard design. Rocking the new AMD X470 chipset, allowing full support of the new AMD Ryzen 2nd Generation processors, this may be the best motherboard if you’re looking to side with Team Red. What’s more, it supports Quad-GPU SLi and lightning fast RAM (up to 3,600 MHz) for peerless expandability, and thanks to its multi-zone RGB lighting, it looks good while kicking butt and taking names.
Best budget AMD motherboard: MSI X470 Gaming Plus
Game in style
Form Factor: ATX | Socket: AMD AM4 | Chipset: AMD X470 | Memory Support: Dual-Channel 4 x DDR4 3,466MHz (up to 64GB) | Multi-GPU support: Crossfire | Features: 2 x PCIe M.2 (Key M)
For the longest time, AMD has been the reigning champion of budget builds, and that isn’t likely to change anytime soon. Marketed exclusively to gamers, the MSI X470 Gaming Plus is loaded front to back with features like two PCIe M.2 slots and quick performance tweaking buttons to make sure you’re on the top of the leaderboard at all times. And, since it’s a gamer-focused motherboard, it comes with flashy RGB lighting that you can even easily customize from your smartphone. Best of all, it’s the best value of all the best motherboards.
Best AMD Micro ATX motherboard: ASRock B450M-HDV
Small and in charge
Form Factor: Micro ITX | Socket: AMD AM4 | Chipset: AMD Promontory B450 | Memory Support: Dual-Channel 2 x DDR4 3,200MHz (up to 32GB) | Multi-GPU support: No | Features: ASRock Super Alloy build, 1 x M.2, ASRock Live Update
These days, small form-factor PCs are all the rage and with one of the best motherboards like the ASRock B450M-HDV on offer, we think that it’s going to stay that way. Now, while this one doesn't do SLI and only supports up to 32GB of RAM– it is a B450 unit, after all – it is still compelling due to its affordable price. Outside of these omissions, you still get a slot for a NVMe SSD and four USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports around back. If you’re looking to build a solid budget gaming PC, the ASRock B450M-HDV is your best bet.
Best AMD Mini-ITX motherboard: ASUS ROG Strix X470-I
Small size, huge performance
Form Factor: Mini-ITX | Socket: AMD AM4 | Chipset: AMD X470 | Memory Support: Dual-Channel 2 x DDR4 3,466MHz (up to 32GB) | Multi-GPU support: No | Features: 1 x PCIe M.2 (Key M)
Asus is out to prove that big things can and do come in small packages with the ROG Strix X470-I. Featuring the latest and greatest AMD chipset, everything in this tiny board is designed with excellent performance in mind. That extends down to the BIOS where you can find a stress test for overclocks before you even boot into Windows. This board also elevates beyond the constraints of the Mini-ITX form factor by including an M.2 Audio Combo riser, so that you can install your M.2 NVMe SSD without crowding out other components.
Best Intel Core X-Series motherboard: ASRock X299 Taichi
This one goes up to 11, but more accurately, 4400MHz memory
Form Factor: ATX | Socket: LGA-2066 | Chipset: Intel X299 | Memory Support: Quad-Channel 8 x DDR4 4,400MHz (up to 128GB) | Multi-GPU support: Nvidia 3-Way SLI, AMD 3-Way CrossFireX | Features: 3 x PCIe M.2 (Key M)
The X-series processors are here, and they are spectacular. But if you want to take advantage of all they have to offer, you need an X-series motherboard. This ASRock X299 is an incredible choice with support for overclocked memory speeds up to 4400MHz(!!!) and 8 different slots for memory modules. It also supports up to 128GB of RAM. Add in an X-series processor and a good graphics card or 3, and this thing will absolutely tear apart anything you could possibly throw at it. If you’re seeking one of the best motherboards money can buy, this is it.
Best AMD Ryzen Threadripper motherboard: ASRock X399 Professional Gaming sTR4
This is the motherboard AMD dreams are made of
Form Factor: ATX | Socket: sTR4 | Chipset: AMD X399 | Memory Support: Dual -Channel 4 x DDR4 3,200MHz (up to 128GB) | Multi-GPU support: 4-Way SLI, AMD Quad CrossFireX | Features: 1 x U.2, 3 x PCIe M.2 (Key M)
If you want absolutely every feature you can get and budget is not an issue, the AsRock X399 Professional Gaming sTR4 may be the most ideal motherboard for you. Not only does this monster of a board support 4-way SLI configurations, but you can also pack this thing with up to 128GB of DDR4 memory. It even features a ton of flashy RGB lighting, so that people will be mesmerized by your rig. And, keep in mind that this mobo is compatible with Ryzen Threadripper 2nd Generation chips, so you might need to update the BIOS first.
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.
- Next up, these are the best gaming monitors you can buy this year