You can spend all the time and money in the world to research and buy the best graphics card or the fastest SSDs to build the ultimate gaming rig. Yet all these parts, regardless of how feature-packed and powerful they are, are only as good as the motherboard they’re connected to. That’s why it’s important to choose the best gaming motherboard on the market that’s capable of handling the other core components. Sure, the process of going through a stack of motherboards is a little less exciting than picking other parts, but it’s not something to be ignored. In this article, we’ll be highlighting some of the best motherboards for gaming available today.
Navigate this article:
Best Z690 motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero
Z690 motherboards are widely available on the market right now as opposed to being quite rare as they used to be at the time of Intel’s Alder Lake CPU launch. There are plenty of Z690 motherboards out there but we think the ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero is the one that’s worth considering. As such, it’s our pick for the best Z690 motherboard you can buy right now for your gaming rig. It’s not the most affordable option but it packs all the essentials that you’d expect from a high-end Z690 board for your Alder Lake build.
Unlike the previous Hero motherboards, ASUS appears to have changed its naming scheme for its high-end boards. The company has ditched the roman numerals for its names and it’s simply calling this one the Maximus Z690 Hero. This particular motherboard, as you can see, sports an all-black PCB with plenty of heatsinks/shroud. A huge chunk of the motherboard PCB and the components are covered with heatsinks including the VRM, chipset, its m.2 slots, and more. It’s also worth pointing out that there’s very little in the name of RGB lighting on this board. ASUS has added a pixelated ROG eye logo on the chipset heatsink and some RGB bling on the I/O shroud. But that’s about it. We think it’s perfect for those who don’t necessarily like a ton of RGB inside their PC cases.
The ASUS Maximus Z690 Hero motherboard features a 20+19A phase-delivery system which should be enough to handle even the most components out there. It’s plenty to deliver enough power for the new Alder Lake chips to utilize. The VRM heatsink also appears to be good enough to maintain the thermal output, although this is something we haven’t tested yet. The motherboard also has four DIMM slots next to the LGA1700 CPU socket. These slots are capable of accepting the new DDR5 memory modules. ASUS doesn’t appear to be selling a DDR4 compatible version of this board yet, but we’ll update this post if that changes in the future. According to the company, you should be able to use modules with memory speeds of up to DDR5-6300 on this board, which is more in line with what a lot of motherboards offer.
Moving on to the M.2 slots, the ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero has plenty of M.2 slots. Additionally, you can further increase the number of M.2 slots with the help of an m.2 expansion card that’s included in the box with the motherboard. This particular expansion card bumps the total available m.2 ports to five. Notably, the ROG Maximus Z690 Hero also supports PCIe 5.0 and there are two PCIe Gen 5 x16 slots on this board.
All things considered, it’s safe to say that this is one of the best Z690 chipset-based motherboards you can buy right now. It’s a little on the expensive side, but that’s true for almost all the Z690 motherboards out there right now. If that’s a concern, then we recommend checking out one of the newer B660 chipset-based boards that are also available on the market right now.
The ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero is one of the best Z690 chipset based motherboards you can buy right now. It carries the LGA 1700 socket for the new 12th gen Intel CPUs and it has a customizable display on the I/O shield cover that looks fantastic.
Alternate best Z690 motherboard for gaming: Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Master
Gigabyte has a lot of gaming peripherals and components under its Aorus lineup. The company has also a ton of Z690 motherboards on offer for the new Alder Lake CPUs. Out of all the available Z690 motherboards from Gigabyte, however, we think it’s the Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Master that deserves your attention, especially if you’re building a gaming rig. This particular motherboard is also a part of our best LGA1700 motherboards lists that we put together just in time for Intel’s Alder Lake release. It’s one of the best Z690 chipset-based motherboards you can buy right now if you’re into overclocking your CPU.
One of the best things about this particular motherboard is its high-end VRM. It sports a whopping 22 phases power delivery system, 19 of which supply the CPU with 105A of power. That’s enough power to push even the most demanding CPUs to their limits. The VRM is also flanked by a sophisticated heatsink which should be able to keep things nice and cool at all times, irrespective of the load. In fact, a huge portion of the motherboard PCB is covered with a heatsink. There’s also very little in the name of RGB lighting, as you’ll mostly only see the AORUS logo on the motherboard.
The Gigabyte Z690 Aoros Pro motherboard also has reinforced PCIe as well as DIMM slots. It supports both PCIe 5.0 and the new DDR5 memory modules, which is great for those who want to take advantage of the best of what’s available out there. The Z690 Aorus Master motherboard supports DDR5 memory modules with speeds of up to 6,400MHz, which is more in line with what you get with most boards. Gigabyte also has a DDR4 version of this motherboard on sale, so you might want to check that one out if you’re not particularly interested in buying the new DDR5 modules for your build.
As a high-end motherboard, the Z690 Aorus Master also has plenty of headers for fans/pumps, RGB lights, and more. You also get a very good selection of ports with this motherboard including Thunderbolt 4 and a couple of USB Type-C ports. Another thing that’s worth pointing out about this particular board is that the I/O shield comes pre-installed out of the box, which means that’s one less thing to worry about while building the PC. In terms of the ports, you get as many as 11 USB ports, a 10Gbps Ethernet port, a DisplayPort, and more. You may not use the DisplayPort on the motherboard since you’ll be using a discrete GPU for a gaming machine, but it’s there’s if you ever need it.
All in all, we think the Gigabyte Z690 Maximus Hero is one of the best gaming motherboards you can buy on the market right now. It’s also a bit on the expensive side, but we think it’s worth considering, especially if you’re into overclocking your PC. You can hit the link below to find the best price for it online right now.
The Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Master is a fantastic motherboard for overclocking. It comes with a potent VRM that’s capable of delivering enough power to even the most demanding CPUs out there on the market right now.
Best ATX Z590 motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero
It’s hard to ignore the ASUS ROG series of products while discussing gaming. The brand has way too many products that are worthy of claiming the top spot in our collection and the gaming motherboard category is no different. We think the ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero is the best ATX gaming motherboard one can buy on the market right now. It comes with an extended list of features and stylish looks that’ll blend nicely with the overall aesthetics of your gaming rig.
The ASUS ROG Hero motherboard isn’t the best or the most expensive board in ASUS’ current Z590 product stack, however, it’s plenty for most gamers out there looking to build a high-end gaming PC. The ROG Maximus XIII Hero offers a lot of USB ports (Thunderbolt Type-C included), high-quality VRMs, and four M.2 sockets for a super high-end configuration. All that, and its devilishly good looks make it one of the best gaming motherboards right now.
The ASUS ROG Maximus XIII, as you can see, comes with a massive heatsink/shroud covering a huge portion of the board. It also sports four DRAM slots capable of supporting up to 128GB of RAM. ASUS says it supports speeds up to DDR4-5333, so we think it’s more than enough to support even the best DDR4 memory kits out there right now. As a Z590-based motherboard, this one boasts an Intel LGA 1200 socket for Comet Lake and Rocket Lake desktop CPUs. It also has three full-length PCIe slots and one x1 size slot. The top two PCIe slots are wired to the CPU and support PCIe 4.0 when using an 11th generation Intel processor. They run at x16/x8, x8/x8, or x8/x4 and support Nvidia 2-Way SLI.
This particular motherboard also comes with a ton of fan/pump headers. You also get plenty of SATA ports, RGB headers, and two USB 3.2 Gen1 front panel headers. Notably, the motherboard comes with a pre-installed rear I/O panel. We like how the I/O shield has a black background and white labeling to make it easier to read the ports and buttons. You’ll appreciate that because there’s a total of 10 USB ports, two 2.5 GbE ports, two Wi-Fi 6E antenna sockets, an HDMI port to handle video output when using integrated graphics, and the audio stack. There’s also a BIOS flashback button to flash without a CPU and a Clear CMOS button.
Unsurprisingly, the ROG Maximus XIII Hero is no slouch when it comes to performance either. It’s proven to deliver solid results when paired with high-end CPUs on the market. It can also handle overclocking without a hitch and can run CPUs with max overclock speeds of over 5.1GHz along with the memory set to around DDR4-4000. It’s clearly built to handle even the most demanding needs for an enthusiast gamer. It’s not going to be easy on the pockets, though, coming in at $499. It competes with the likes of ASRock Taichi, MSI MEG Z590, and more in its price. They all are special in their own unique ways, but the ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero is the one we think deserves a spot on your PC if you’re looking for an upper mid-range sub-$500 motherboard.
The ROG Maximus XIII Hero Z590 is our pick for the best ATX motherboard you can buy right now for your Intel-based build in 2021. The ROG Hero line up continues to push the boundries of ATX boards with a strong list of features.
Second best ATX Z590 motherboard: Gigabyte Z590 Aorus Tachyon
The Gigabyte Z590 Aorus Tachyon is an E-ATX motherboard made for advanced users who want nothing but the absolute best performance out of their system. This particular motherboard is designed to support extreme overclocking, making it stand out from plenty of other boards on the market. The Aorus Tachyon has a 12-layer PCB that sports a large heatsink to cool both VRM banks that reach out over the rear IO. You’re also looking at reinforced PCIe slots that are now becoming more common, especially in the premium range.
Except for the dark reflective strip in the middle with the Tachyon name, we think this is a very minimal-looking board too. In fact, it’s hard to tell this is a high-performance motherboard that supports extreme overclocking. Even on the RGB front, there’s only a single strip on the chipset heatsink, above the Aorus branding. It’s a fantastic-looking board overall, and we think it’ll blend nicely with most builds.
The Aorus Tachyon comes with two 8-pin EPS connectors to feed the CPU power. Unlike most motherboards, these EPS connectors are located below the rear IO bits, which is an interesting choice. Notably, the Tachyon uses 100% full tantalum polymer capacitors, allowing it to have a better transient response and less mechanical interference with extreme overclocking. You only get two reinforced DRAM slots though, with support for up to 64GB of RAM with speeds listed to DDR4 5333 on the memory compatibility chart. You’ll also find plenty of RGB, USB, SATA, fan/pump headers too.
The motherboard also has a dedicated spot for overclocking section which includes the power/reset and CMOS reset buttons. Additionally, you also get two switches that adjust the CPU ratio, two more to access stored profiles, a voltage measurement point, and several other switches. There’s also an OC Trigger switch which essentially acts as a cut-down button to lower CPU frequency. It’s quite an elaborate setup here and we think the enthusiasts looking to get the best out of their processors will absolutely love this motherboard.
The Tachyon’s 11-phase power delivery is capable of delivering 1100amps to the CPU, which is plenty of power to keep things ticking at the maximum speeds. It’s not the most powerful motherboard when it comes to power delivery, though. Other boards from competing brands like ASUS and ASRock offer more power, but you’re also looking at a significantly higher price tag too. As a Z590-based chipset, the Aorus Tachyon features an LGA 1200 socket for Intel CPUs. There’s also plenty of heatsinks to cover both M.2 sockets as well as the Z590 chipset.
Overall, the Gigabyte Z590 Aorus Tachyon is a solid motherboard for power users. This is one of those motherboards that can allow users to truly push the limits of their CPUs without any performance hit. It’s also a stylish-looking board that can easily blend into most builds. The I/O shield isn’t pre-installed though, so you might have to put some effort there, but otherwise, it’s a great board that’s capable of leaving the competition in the dust.
The Gigabyte Z590 Aorus Tachyon is one of the best motherboards for those leaning towards an Intel CPU for their build. It’s offers a good mix of features and relaible performance even for the most demanding builds.
Best ATX X570 motherboard: ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero
In addition to the Z590-based motherboards, ASUS also has a ton of options for those who’re leaning towards an AMD-based build. The ASUS X570 motherboard lineup includes options from the TUF, Prime, Strix, and ROG lines. ROG, of course, leads the pack when it comes to performance-based motherboards for gaming, followed by the Strix, Prime, and TUF lines in the product stack. The ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII isn’t the most premium X570 based motherboard ASUS has to offer, but it’s certainly among the best out there.
The ROG Crosshair VIII motherboard falls in the upper-midrange of all X570-based motherboards. It’s got great looks and tons of features to support its price tag, which, by the way, is surprisingly low at $380. Sure, it’s not the most affordable motherboard on the market, but it’s a fantastic motherboard for a high-end premium PC build. This particular motherboard comes with 12 USB ports on the rear I/O, including eight USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports (seven Type-A, one Type-C), fast 2.5G Realtek-based LAN, as well as Intel Wi-Fi 6 integration.
In terms of processor compatibility, the ROG Crosshair VIII supports both Ryzen 2000 and Ryzen 3000 series processors. It also features four DIMM slots, capable of supporting up to 128GB of DDR4 RAM. The company doesn’t specify rated memory speeds for the slots, though. Additionally, the board also includes three full-length PCIe slots out of which two are reinforced for heavy GPUs and EMI slot protection. It also goes without saying that you get a ton of SATA ports, fan/pump headers, RGB headers, USB connectors, and more. Notably, the ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero also offers two M.2 slots, capable of running SATA or PCIe-based m.2 modules.
Interestingly, the ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII motherboard is also suitable for water cooling ecosystem as it comes with a water flow sensor and temperature headers. The I/O shield, just like on the ROG Maximus XIII Hero, comes with a black shell with white-colored text to represent the ports and buttons. The Crosshair VIII Hero is also proven to be second to none when it comes to performance. It can handle even the most powerful AMD CPU out there and overclocking is also in the cards for enthusiasts wanting to try their luck with that.
The only con about the motherboard appears to be the placement of the chipset fan. It’s essentially blocked when using any dual-slot GPU, thereby locking out the cool air. It’s probably not a big deal considering there haven’t been any red flags with this board so far, but it’s definitely worth making a note of. Overall, it’s a fantastic motherboard capable of delivering a solid and reliable performance for a mid-range to high-end X570 build. It’s competing with some other high-end motherboards on the market like the ASRock Phantom Gaming X, but the Crosshair VIII Hero ends up winning the battle with its long list of features and reliable performance. Not to mention, it’s also one of the stylish motherboards on the market right now with just the right amount of RGB lights.
The ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero is one of the best ATX motherboards for an AMD-based build. It’s backed by a long list of features and reliable performance to beat the competing boards on the market.
Best motherboard for custom cooling: Asus ROG Maximus XIII Extreme Glacial
The ROG Maximus XIII Extreme sits on top of the ROG motherboard stack. It’s one of the most expensive motherboards you can buy right now, but it offers some of the best hardware along with comprehensive feature sets around. The ROG Maximus XIII Extreme is even better than the Maximus XIII Hero we saw earlier, and this one sits on alongside its liquid-cooled big sibling, the Extreme Glacial. These motherboards are packed with premium features.
We’re looking at an incredibly robust power delivery, as many as five M.2 sockets, dual Thunderbolt 4/Type-C ports, watercooling monitoring capabilities, a premium audio DAC, plenty of controls in the form of buttons and switches to keep even the most skilled overclocker busy, and of course a stylish design that looks great with most build themes. The Glacial, being a watercooled motherboard, even adds a custom water block that cools the CPU, VRMs, and Chipset. Yes, you read that right — Liquid cooling for the motherboard.
ASUS partnered with EK to build the water block for the Glacial motherboard. It’s a sophisticated piece of hardware that’s made to look gorgeous. The motherboard features a monoblock that makes up a majority of the heft. The 8-layer PCB underneath the shroud is matte black, although you’ll probably never see that. The motherboard also has some RGB lighting elements that are located in the visible cooling channels. You only ever get to see the reinforced PCIe slots through the shroud.
Interestingly, ASUS has also managed to make some space for the two-inch LiveDash color OLED panel to display information about the system during POST. You also see some other info including temperature, clock speeds, voltage, and more while the system is up and running. ASUS says you can use this panel to display GIFs as well, which is similar to how a lot of AIO coolers allow you to customize the display on CPU water block. Notably, the I/O shield is also pre-installed, which means that’s one step less to worry about while building your computer.
The ROG Maximus XIII Glacial has two reinforced full-length slots and one PCIe x4 slot. The x4 slot is located on the top, which is nice because you can always use the x4 slot regardless of how many GPUs you have or if your 2.5+ slot card covers it. These slots run at a maximum of PCIe 4.0 x16 while using a Rocket Lake CPU, and they drop to x8/x8 when both are in use. The motherboard also features six SATA ports with support for RAID0, 1, 5, and 10. This is in addition to the two USB 3.2 Gen1 ports, and USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C and USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C front panel connectors. It clearly offers a ton of Thunderbolt and USB ports. It also goes without saying that you get plenty of headers for your fan, USB, RGB, monitoring sensors, and more.
The Maximus XIII Glacial is one of the most powerful motherboards around. The water-cooled Glacial tends to perform better than its air-cooler sibling, the Maximus XIII Extreme. This is the kind of motherboard you need to buy if you’re looking at a premium water-cooled build for your gaming needs. Just make sure you have additional pipes and coolant to run through the motherboard as well.
The Asus ROG Maximus XIII Extreme Glacial is the only motherboard in this collection that supports liquid cooling thanks to the massive water block covering the majority of the board.
Best Budget X570 ATX Motherboard: MSI MPG X570 Gaming Plus
While the B550 motherboards are solid alternatives to the more premium X570-based motherboards, most people tend to even consider the budget X570 motherboards. Yes, they do exist and they bring a more premium set of chipsets at a relatively affordable price. MSI’s MPG X570 Gaming Plus is one of those budget X570 boards and it comes with a compelling list of features at just $160. Just to put things into perspective, the ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero premium X570 motherboard costs $200 more than the MPG X570.
The highlight of the MSI MPG X570 Gaming Plus is that it comes with eight 46A MOSFETs for the CPU core which should be adequate to run the full range of Ryzen AM4 processors at stock settings. Overclocking is also in the cards, but you might want to keep your expectations in check. All the slots on the MPG X570 get PCIe 4.0. Out of all the PCIe lanes, four of the CPU’s PCIe 4.0 lanes go to an M.2 slot and fore more to the X570 PCH. The remaining sixteen slots go to the top PCIe slot in a fixed fashion. You can’t possibly run SLI on this board, but you can still use the second x16-length slot to add a secondary card in a CrossFire array.
Out of all the available SATA ports, SATA ports 1 and 2 can be underwhelming since they’re fed by the board’s PCIe 2.0 x1-to-SATA adapter. Notably, the MSI MPG X570 also lacks a Gen2 front-panel USB header and instead has two USB3 Gen1 front-panel headers. Yes, the MSI MPG X570 isn’t the best when it comes to PCIe slots or SATA connectors, but there are some thoughtful additions like a PS/2 port for legacy keyboards and mice and two separate USB 2.0 ports for contemporary keyboards and mice. You also get headers for the front-panel audio, one RGB cable, TPM, four PWM fan headers, serial COM port, two dual-port USB 2.0, one dual-port USB 3.0, and an Intel-spec front-panel LED/button group.
The MSI MPG X570 delivers a decent performance for the price. It’s not competing with the big dogs, so it’s best to keep your expectations in check. If anything, it’s more comparable to the B550 motherboard than other premium X570 chipset. The ASUS TUFGaming X570 Plus is the closest competition here but the MSI board is costs less and is just as good as the TUF Gaming Plus, if not better. The MSI MPG X570 can also handle high-performance CPUs, but it’s best paired with a mid-ranged CPU like, say, a 3950X or a 5600X.
Overclocking is not entirely out of the picture, but it’s not exactly a feature supported by a budget board like the MPG X570. You may have to spend more on some of the other motherboards we’ve listed in this collection if you’re chasing big numbers with overclocking. We recommend the MSI MPG X570 for those who’re gunning the basics in an X570 board. Spending less on a budget board like this allows you to have more money in reserve for a better processor or other components. The ASRock X570 Steel Legend WiFi is also a worthy alternative if you want to check out some other products before jumping to a conclusion.
The MSI MPG X570 Gaming Plus is a solid budget motherboard for economical shoppers looking to build a capable PC without making too many compromises. It doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles, but it doesn’t skimp on the performance front.
Best B550 motherboard: ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming Wi-Fi
The B550 motherboards are not as premium as the X570 boards but they tend to offer a lot of value for money. In fact, we think the B550 motherboards should be the go-to option for a majority of people who don’t necessarily need all the bells and whistles that come with more premium X570-based boards. Picking the right B550 motherboard, however, can be tricky because there are a ton of things to consider and a lot of options to comb through. And out of all the available B550 boards on the market, we think the ASUS Strix B550-F Gaming Wi-Fi is the one that deserves a spot on your PC.
The Strix B550 motherboard sits somewhere in the middle of ASUS’ B550 stack along with the TUF and Prime motherboards. Even though it’s not the most premium ASUS motherboard, we’re still looking at an elaborate set of features. It comes with14-phase power delivery, 2.5 GbE LAN, integrated Wi-Fi 6 AX200, two M.2 slots, six SATA ports and an audio DAC, and more.
The motherboard has an all-black PCB, comes with a decent amount of heatsinks and ports. There’s only the ROG name and the ROG logo in the name of bling, which will be appreciated by many. We really like the overall aesthetics of this motherboard and it should be able to blend in with most PC builds without a hitch. Unlike the X570 motherboards, the Strix B550 -F Gaming Wi-Fi does not have a fan on the chipset heatsink. This is because the B550 chipset itself uses less power since it doesn’t have to support too many PCIe 4.0 lanes.
The ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming Wi-Fi motherboard comes with two EPS connectors of which one is an 8-pin mandatory connector for the CPU power while the other one is an optional 4-pin connector. The motherboard also packs four single-side latching DIMM slots capable of holding up to 128GB of DDR4 memory. ASUS says memory speeds of up to DDR4-4400(OC) are supported by the board, and it’s more than enough for a lot of builds involving a DDR4 RAM kit. In fact, AMD’s sweet spot for memory is in the DDR4 3600-3733, so you should be just fine.
This B550 board doesn’t skimp on M.2 slots or even different headers that you’d need to build a fully functional setup. You get two M.2 sockets, both of which support modules up to 110mm in length. Notably, both sockets also have their own heatsinks to keep them cool at all times. Additionally, you also get six SATA3 6Gbps ports, with support for RAID 0, 1, and 10. The board also comes with a pre-installed I/O shield and has plenty of ports to keep even the most demanding users happy.
The ASUS Strix B550-F Gaming Wi-Fi is a performant motherboard and it keeps up with other expensive boards on the market. It also plays well with overclocking, however, the stock settings are enough for most users who’ll be buying this board, in the first place. It poses no issues while boosting to the factory 4.6 GHz clock speeds, which is nice.
The ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming is one of the newer B550 boards on the market and it’s a great option for those looking to build a powerful AMD-based build with one of the 5000-series processors.
Best Mini ITX X570 Motherboard: Gigabyte X570-I Aorus Pro Wi-Fi
The availability of mini-ITX motherboards isn’t as widespread as the ATX boards on the market but there are some solid options to consider from a lot of popular manufacturers like Gigabyte, ASUS, and more. We think the Gigabyte’s X570-I Aorus Pro Wi-Fi is one such fantastic option for those shopping for a compact motherboard to pair with a mini-ITX enclosure. The X570-I Aorus Pro is a compact Mini-ITX board made for small-form-factor builds that’s capable of handling anything from an HTPC to a full-fledged gaming rig. This board is worth considering for those who are looking to dish out a relatively high-end PC inside an SFF case like the Cooler Master NR200P Max.
The Gigabyte X570-I Aorus Pro includes dual M.2 slots, fast RAM support, as well as a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port in the back. It’s gunning the top spot by competing with some full-ATX motherboards on the market. The X570-I also includes an 8-phase digital VRM, WiFi 6 support, 7.1 channel Realtek ALC1220-VB DAC, and fast memory support up to DDR4 4400(OC). Despite being a mini-ITX board, the X570-I comes with all the bells and whistles we’ve come to expect from a premium gaming and enthusiast lineup. This particular motherboard also features RGB LEDs, metal “armor” on the DIMM and/or PCIe slots, electrostatic discharge (ESD) guards, and more.
The best thing about the X570-I is that it manages to pack all these thoughtful additions without compromising the overall design. None of the features have been forcefully added as an afterthought and everything’s laid out pretty well. And just like other X570 boards, the X570-I Aorus Pro Wi-Fi supports both Ryzen 2000 and Ryzen 3000 series processors. It even includes four SATA ports and two PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots on the back. The DIMM that we mentioned above supports up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM, with overclock speeds up to a fast DDR4 4400 MHz. Both the PCIe and DIMM slots are reinforced by Gigabyte’s Ultra Durable PCIe and Memory Armor, thereby protecting them from heavy components. There’s also a decent amount of heatsink covering the VRM with a brushed-aluminum finish.
The rear I/O shield is also pre-installed, adding a more premium feel to an already stellar-looking motherboard. It also includes a fan to keep both the chipset and M.2 drive below cool. The X570-I also features a full-length PCIe 4.0 x16 slot that sits right under the large chipset and M.2 heatsink. This board is capable of pushing even some of the high-performance AMD chips at both stocks as well as overclocked settings. The overall efficiency of this board in default settings is also higher than other motherboards in its category. Efficiency is a major factor to consider especially in SFF builds that have relatively low-powered SFX PSUs. That being said, the X570-I’s VRM is capable of keeping up with your overclocking needs too.
The ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX is the only option that comes close to the performance of the Aorus X570-I motherboard. Both are plenty capable of driving the CPU to their thermal limits power-wise and offer a long list of noteworthy features.
The Gigabyte X570-I Aorus Pro Wi-Fi is one of the very mini-ITX motherboards that’s worthy of being added to this collection. Despite the form-factor, the X570-I packs a ton of features and offers reliable performance for even the most demanding SFF build.
Best TRX40 motherboard: ASRock TRX40 Taichi
Anything beyond a consumer-grade mainstream CPU is overkill for gaming. We’ve said this many times while discussing PC components, and we’ll continue to do so just as a reminder to save money for parts and upgrades that you need for a specific workflow. But, on the other hand, if you are a gamer who happens to be a content creator dealing with heavy workflows and tight timelines, then you can greatly benefit from many CPU cores serving 64-lanes of PCIe. When it comes to AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper CPU, we’ll think it’s best to pair it with a potent motherboard like the ASRock TRX40 Taichi.
The ASRock TRX40 Taichi is one of the most sophisticated motherboards on the market with a comprehensive list of features. It’s one of those boards designed for a heavy power load and is quite evident just by the looks of it. In addition to a 50mm chipset fan that’s typically seen on AMD’s X570 boards, the TRX40 Taichi comes with two 40mm 7600RPM fans that are attached to a radiator covering the voltage regulator. Another thing to note here is that the motherboard comes with ASRock’s “Hyper Quad M.2” four-drive adapter for those who think two M.2 drives aren’t enough for their HEDT build.
You can permanently wire it to the board as x16 and the total possible NVMe 4.0 drive count jumps to six with the card installed. The TRX40 Taichi uses two EPS12V (8-pin CPU) power connectors to feed its capacious regulator. The M.2 cover is hiding three M.2 slots out of which the Key-E slot is factory-filled with Intel’s AX200 Wi-Fi module. As a premium motherboard capable of pushing the most powerful systems, the TRX40 Taichi offers an impressive collection of connectors including an HD-Audio front-panel header, secondary RGB and ARGB cable headers, a total of five fan headers, a beep-code speaker, a two-port USB 2.0 header, two additional SATA ports, and more.
The overall stability of the build isn’t an issue either since the voltage regulator heatsink is partially supported by a black anodized aluminum backplate. The I/O Shield is also pre-installed, making it less of a hassle while building the PC. These are some of the thoughtful additions that make people lean towards the more premium components. The backplate also holds the plastic RGB LED lighting diffuser at the board’s front edge. That’s the only RGB element that ASRock has added to this motherboard. It’s a nice touch of RGB that makes for some good looks without being overtly obnoxious like some other boards on the market.
There are no red flags to be raised when it comes to the performance of the TRX40 Taichi motherboard. The monstrous fan-cooled heatsink is designed to support up to 64-core/128-thread Threadripper processor without thermal throttling. A few other motherboards can also handle the wrath of a Threadripper processor, but the TRX40 Tachi tends to be slightly more power efficient for what it’s worth. At $500, we think the ASRock TRX40 Taichi currently leads the way for TRX40 motherboards on the market.
The ASRock TRX40 Taichi is argubaly the most powerful on the market right now. It’s built to handle a 64 core AMD Threadripper procecssor and it comes with some thoughtful additions like the Hyper Quad M.2 four-drive adapter.
Best gaming motherboards: Final Thoughts
Gamers have a wide variety of options on the market across different categories and the motherboard is no different. Picking the right motherboard can get a little overwhelming but you’ll get more than what you’d ever need if you simply pick one of the boards we’ve mentioned in this collection. If you’re building a new Alder Lake CPU-based build then we recommend picking up either the ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero or the Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Master boards. Those leaning towards previous-gen CPUs can consider either the ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero or the ROG Crosshair VIII Hero depending on the choice of the CPU. Economical shoppers leaning towards a budget build should consider grabbing the MSI MPG X570 Gaming Plus or the ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming Wi-Fi for solid AMD-based builds. We’ve also got a couple of mini-ITX and a TRX40 motherboard for an out-of-the-ordinary build.
Between Windows 11 release and Intel’s new Alder Lake CPU launch, the computing space is buzzing with a ton of exciting news lately. There has never been a more exciting time to build a gaming rig. All our buying guides reflect the ever-evolving market of PC hardware, so be sure to keep an on this collection as we add newer and more powerful products to the list. We also encourage you to check out some of our other collections like the best monitors or even the best webcams if you’re planning to build a new setup from scratch.