The best motherboards for your gaming PC build

Motherboards are an often overlooked component of the PC, but if you want to be able to support your whopping RTX 3080, your 32 GB RAM and your Ryzen 9 CPU, you'll need to get yourself the right board.


by Ryan Houghton |

When buying your PC components, a good piece of advice is to buy the case last. This is because you must be able to actually mount the motherboard to the PC, if it doesn't fit, then you've wasted your money and time that could otherwise be spent building.

As a bit of additional advice from some personal experience, you should ALWAYS make sure your components are compatible with the motherboard. Not all motherboards will support your CPU, and vice versa, your motherboard may require a BIOS update to get up and running, so be warned!

In this article, we're going to roundup the best motherboard available for your new rig. The motherboards are all for gaming builds, and include options that are desgined to support Intel and AMD CPUs.

But, first and foremost, we're going to cover some jargon to keep you informed about our top picks.

What is form factor?

Form factor is essentially the size of the motherboard, most of the picks on this list are ATX as this is the standard size of motherboard that will fit a regular size PC case. There's also Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX for smaller cases that are available.

What is DDR?

DDR, or Double Data Rate, is a classification of memory, we've been using Double Data Rate as opposed to Single Data Rate since the late 90's. Most of the motherboards on here will have a DDR4 memory classification, one of the later generations of DDR, but some of our pricier models have DDR5, offering the fastest data transfer between components on the motherboard available.

What is a PCIE slot?

PCIE, or peripheral component interconnect express, is a slot on the motherboard designed for high-speed data transfer between a component (typically your graphics card).

What is CPU Overclocking?

While it isn't an option for all motherboards, CPU overclocking is essentially performance boosting your CPU, allowing it to reach its maximum potential, thus giving you better gaming performance. While this is a great way to get more out of your components, we'd recommend consulting an overclocking guide beforehand as you can quite easily destroy your CPU this way.

It's best to buy your CPU and motherboard simultainiously. Read about the best CPUs here to make sure your new rig can deliver what you want.

Specifications
Dimensions: 24.4 x 30.5 x 10.4 cm
Form Factor: ATX
Memory technology: DDR4
Maximum memory support: 128 GB
Graphics Card Interface: PCI-E 4.0
Number of PCIe Slots: 2 x PCIe 4.0 x 16 slots (x16 or dual x8), 1 x PCIe 4.0 x 16 slot (x4) Chipset, 2 x PCIe 4.0 x1 slots chipset
HDMI ports: 1
USB Ports: 8 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports
Warranty: 3 years
Pros Cons
• Great looking board • Fairly pricey
• Excellent CPU options
• Plenty of USB ports

Overview:

Looking to grab a Ryzen 5000 CPU? You'll need a motherboard that can support it, luckily the ASUS ROG Strix X570-E is more than capable.

Packed with more than enough ports and slots for even the beefiest of graphics cards (even the 3080), as well as all the peripherals you could wish for, the ROG Strix is all you'll ever need from a motherboard. Best of all, there are three PCIe 4.0 x 16 slots, meaning you can use multiple GPU's simultaneously to create a behemoth of a PC.

It's also got the ability to support up to 128 GB of RAM, which is frankly absurd, but incredible for future-proofing. Despite being pricey, we think Asus's ROG Strix X570-E is totally worth the price of admission.

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Specifications
Dimensions: ‎30.5 x 27 x 4 cm
Form Factor: Extended ATX
Memory technology: DDR4
Maximum memory support: 128 GB
Graphics Card Interface: PCI-E
HDMI ports: 0
USB Ports: 6 x USB 2.0 ports
Warranty: 3 years
Pros Cons
• Stunningly designed board • Very expensive
• Plenty of thermal guarding
• Tons of USB ports
• Can support up to three GPU's

Overview:

Far and beyond our most expensive motherboard on this list, the AORUS XTREME D4 E-ATX barrels onto our list with some serious might, supporting a huge range of AMD CPU's and with enough RAM support to keep you satisfied for the foreseeable future.

Yet there are fewer HDMI ports and USB ports than the STRIX X570, so why is it so much more pricier? Well, that comes down to a few reasons, first is the overclocking.

The AORUS XTREME D4 E-ATX has a top memory clock speed of 3200 MHz, which is pretty massive. For gamers, this is totally essential, as it means that you can push your hardware to its true capabilities, giving you huge FPS boosts and smoother gameplay overall.

Another reason for its price is its build quality, which is absolutely fantastic. Gigabyte's armoured aesthetic shines through here, giving the motherboard a super-clean look that is so satisfying to look at. Not to mention the copious amounts of RBG lights the board is fitted with, that undoubtedly complete the look.

Instead of using a motherboard pan, the AORUS XTREME D4 uses passive cooling, so you save energy and excessive noise from your beefy setup, which surprisingly works amazingly well at keeping everything cool.

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Specifications
Dimensions: 30.5 x 24.4 x 5.5 cm
Form Factor: ATX
Memory technology: DDR4
Maximum memory support: 128 GB
Graphics Card Interface: PCI-E 4.0
HDMI ports: 1 X HDMI 1.4B, 1 X Display Port
USB Ports: 4 x USB 3.2 ports
Warranty: 3 years
Pros Cons
• Amazing value • Not much space for multiple GPUs
• Well-built board
• Plenty of USB ports

Overview:

An incredibly solid motherboard, the ASUS TUF Gaming X570-Plus is capable of supporting the latest AMD CPU's without breaking a sweat, as well as enough RAM support to future-proof you for a long while.

Packed with cooling fans and an awesome-looking active chipset heatsink, as well as some essential RGB lighting, the ASUS TUF Gaming X570-Plus is a tough motherboard to match for the price.

Specifications
Dimensions: 33.48 x 26.97 x 7.98 cm
Form Factor: ATX
Memory technology: DDR5
Maximum memory support: 128 GB
Graphics Card Interface: PCI-E 5.0
HDMI ports: 0
USB Ports: 4 x USB 3.2 ports
Warranty: 3 years
Pros Cons
• Great value Not as many HDMI/USB ports
• DDR5 support • Still pricey
• PCIE 5.0 support

Overview:

A slightly less expensive version of the AORUS XTREME, the AORUS Pro is a little less exciting, and far scarcer in online stores.

Gigabyte are better known for their GPU's, yet their AORUS motherboards are equally as formidable.

Loaded with cutting-edge DDR5 RAM slots, tons of high-coverage heatsinks and thermal guards, this is the perfect accompaniment to your ultra-powerful Intel 12th generation CPU.

Specifications
Dimensions: 24.4 X 24.4 X 4 cm
Form Factor: mATX
Memory technology: DDR4
Maximum memory support: 128 GB
Graphics Card Interface: PCI-E 4.0
HDMI ports: 2 (1 DisplayPort)
USB Ports: 5 x USB 3.2 ports
Warranty: 3 years
Pros Cons
• Easily the best mATX right now • Looks plain
• Great RAM support
• Well made
• Great value

Overview:

Despite mATX motherboards being a little lack-lustre due to their lack of future-proofing, we think the ASUS Prime Z690M is one of the best micro-ATX motherboards out there. Incredible value, DDR4 and PCIE-4.0 support, it's a very, very solid board and a great base for your ultra-powerful mini PC build.

Specifications
Dimensions: 30.5 x 24.4 x 4 cm
Form Factor: ATX
Memory technology: DDR4
Maximum memory support: 128 GB
Graphics Card Interface: PCI-E 4.0
HDMI ports: 2 (1 DisplayPort)
USB Ports: 4 x USB 2.0 ports
Warranty: 3 years
Pros Cons
• Great value • Looks a little dull
• Multiple HDMI ports
• Very well built

Overview:

Our final pick is yet another great budget motherboard that is packed with four PCIE 4.0 sockets, 12th Gen Intel Core support and some terrific CPU overclocking potential. Visually, the Gigabyte Z690 isn't as exciting as the AORUS XTREME, but at a fraction of the cost, it doesn't have to be!

Gigabyte has done a terrific job in the board's overall construction, the Z690 is loaded with thermal guards so you can rest assured that your components will remain safe during some intensive gaming.

As an added bonus, we've got four USB 2.0 inputs, three USB 3.2 ports, and two HDMI ports with plenty of room for any beloved peripherals you require.

Overall, Gigabyte's Z690 is a superb gaming motherboard, and is absolutely worth considering for your gaming build.

FAQ's

Why is form factor important?

Choosing between ATX and a Micro-ATX is an important decision, first, make sure you've got enough room in your PC case for a regular ATX motherboard. If you've bought a regular case you can in fact put a micro-ATX in there, but it might look a little strange.

There are several reasons why we didn't choose any Micro-ATX or Mini-ITX motherboards for this list - first is future-proofing. Smaller motherboards simply don't have the same amount of PCIE or RAM slots as your regular ATX motherboards, so if you want to upgrade in the future, you may need to get a new board, which is just another needless expense.

Secondly, you simply don't get the same abundance of case options as you would get with a regular ATX PC case, which can be stifling your build completely. Smaller PC towers are great for a compact home, and they look great, but before you build one, consider your options for the future first.

Which motherboards support the Ryzen 5000?

We've got a few solid motherboard choices on this list that are certain to support your Ryzen 5000 CPU, such as the ASUS TUF X570-Plus, the AORUS XTREME and the ROG STRIX X570, all of which are great, albeit expensive options for your build.

Will my motherboard come with cables?

Generally speaking, your motherboard will come with at least a few SATA cables, but that's about it. Your power cables and other miscellaneous wires will probably have to be bought separately, or they'll come with other components.

When is the best time to buy a motherboard?

We'd suggest getting a good deal around Black Friday, there's usually a ton of amazing deals on tech on Amazon and other tech sites around this time. But you've got to be quick - stock becomes very scarce around Christmas, which inevitably leads to price scalping.

Ryan is a tech writer and reviewer for What's The Best, specialising in PCs and gaming. He is a keen PC gamer and an avid reader.

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