Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about ourreview process here.We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.The RundownBest for Intel:ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero at Amazon"Offers the best motherboard for high-end gaming and sparing no expense."Best for AMD:MSI MPG X570 Gaming Pro Carbon Wi-Fi at Amazon"Takes Internet connectivity to the next level with both its Wi-Fi connectivity and powerful wired ethernet connection."Runner-Up, Best for Intel:Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Ultra at Amazon"Affordable and with all the bells and whistles you'd expect."Runner-Up, Best for AMD:Gigabyte X570 Aorus Ultra at Amazon"Another excellent entry from Aorus."Best Budget, Intel:ASUS TUF B360-PLUS GAMING at Amazon"Budget-friendly and manages to provide enough punch to support current components."Best budget, AMD:ASRock B450 PRO4 at Amazon"A solid gaming motherboard that doesn't break the bank."Best Splurge:Asus ROG Maximus XII Extreme at Amazon"This gaming motherboard doesn't come cheap, but is optimized for overclocking your processor safely."Best Mini-ITX:ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I at Amazon"Capable of fitting into the smallest of customized gaming rigs with the biggest demands."Best for 10th gen Intel:ASUS ROG STRIX Z490-E at Amazon"If you're a diehard fan of team blue, 10th gen Intel CPUs are the latest and greatest."Best for Zen 3:GIGABYTE X570 AORUS MASTER at Amazon"AMDs latest generation of CPUs are currently blowing away benchmarks left and right."in this articleExpandOur PicksWhat to Look for in a Gaming Motherboard
Any new build begins with the best gaming motherboards. While they hardly share the rockstar status that's typically reserved for CPUs or graphics cards, nothing works without a motherboard to be seated in. Motherboards come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and price points and can be an understandably overwhelming process. To help narrow things down, we've collected our favorites for a variety of different builds so you can spend more time building and less time deliberating.
The first thing you need to consider when choosing a motherboard is what type of processor you'll be using. If you're using an AMD processor, you'll need a motherboard with an AM4 socket, and if you're planning on getting a shiny new ZEN 3 chip, you'll need a motherboard with a B550 or Z570 chipset like the MSI MPG X570. However, if you plan on going the Intel route, chipset matters a little bit less, just make sure to get either an LGA1151 socket for their 9th gen CPUs or LGA1200 for the latest 10th gen like the ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero.Build a Computer Specifically for Your Needs, Without Spending a Mint!
Best for Intel:ASUS ROG Maximus XI HeroBuy on AmazonWhat We Like
Tons of RGB headers
Accessible overclocking BIOS
Clean aestheticWhat We Don't Like
GPU covers some of the RGB lighting
Installing M.2 SSDs is more difficult than it has to be
So you want to build a high-end custom gaming PC? Then look to the ASUS ROG MAXIMUS XI Hero LGA1151, which offers the best motherboard for high-end gaming and sparing no expense. It's capable of handing processors in excess of 5.0GHz and can even allocate a whopping 64GB of DDR4 RAM.
ASUS ROG MAXIMUS XI Hero LGA1151 has one of the safest and most straightforward designs with its ROG Armor steel covering and SafeSlots, making it easy to put together a gaming PC without the worry of wear and tear. The gaming motherboard includes one-click overclocking for your processor but is built to keep from overheating with its real-time dynamic system monitoring, flow-rate heater feed and dual-water temperature header for cooling. It includes three ports of high-speed USB 3.0 connectivity, two PCIe SATA ports, as well as 2x2 802.11AC dedicated Wi-Fi, allowing for instantaneous Internet connectivity.
Socket: LGA 1151 | Form Factor: ATX | M.2 Slots: 2 | DIMM Slots: 4 | PCIe Slots: 3 x PCIe 3.0 x16, 3 x PCIe 3.0 x1 | USB Ports: 7 USB-A, 1 USB-C | RGB: Yes
Best for AMD:MSI MPG X570 Gaming Pro Carbon Wi-FiBuy on AmazonWhat We Like
Pre-installed I/O shieldWhat We Don't Like
A bit pricey for what's offered
The MSI MPG X570 Gaming Pro Carbon takes Internet connectivity to the next level with both its Wi-Fi connectivity and powerful wired ethernet connection. The motherboard is built with the Qualcomm Killer E2400 GB LAN, which includes a dedicated program that accelerates network connections based on priority use without interrupting your online experience. Furthermore, this motherboard is Wi-Fi 6 compatible,
It's not just the best Internet-ready gaming motherboard on the list; this little number offers up to 32GB of DDR4 memory, three USB 2.0 ports, six SATA ports for a ton of hard drive space and supports the latest-gen AMD Ryzen processors. Connectivity is where this motherboard shines — it includes Dual Mode Bluetooth for wireless devices and state-of-the-art Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections that allow up to 1.86GB per second speeds for the Internet.
Socket: AM4 | Form Factor: ATX | M.2 Slots: 2 | DIMM Slots: 4 | PCIe Slots: 2 x PCIe 3.0 x16, 2 x PCIe 3.0 x1 | USB Ports: 7 USB-A, 1 USB-C | RGB: Yes
Runner-Up, Best for Intel:Gigabyte Z390 Aorus UltraBuy on AmazonWhat We Like
Great CPU overclock potential
Pre-installed I/O shield
RGB lighting is coolWhat We Don't Like
A bit expensive
May not be compatible with all CPU coolers
Affordable and with all the bells and whistles you'd expect from top-shelf gaming motherboards, the Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Ultra is the best on the list for any midrange gamer. It stands out as ideal for any gamer who wants a balance of price, expansive slots, and high-speed connectivity.
The Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Ultra comes with built-in 2x2 802.11AC Wi-Fi connectivity, three 3.0 PCIe USB ports, two SATA ports for hard drives, as well as four slots for up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM. The system is able to support 7th generation Intel Core processors up to 3866MHz (3.8Ghz), so while you can't max it out completely, you can still get a hefty running gaming motherboard that can tackle most PC video game demands. Like other ASUS motherboards on the list, it is built with patent-pending Safe Slots that protect your components by firmly anchoring them for a sturdy hold.
Socket: LGA1151 | Form Factor: ATX | M.2 Slots: 3 | DIMM Slots: 4 | PCIe Slots: 3 x PCIe 3.0 x16, 3 x PCIe 3.0 x1 | USB Ports: 9 USB-A, 1 USB-C | RGB: Yes
Runner-Up, Best for AMD:Gigabyte X570 Aorus UltraBuy on AmazonBuy on B&H Photo VideoWhat We Like
Solid stock performance
Extensive storage solutionsWhat We Don't Like
Another excellent entry from Aorus, the X570 Aorus Ultra is an excellent mid-range AMD motherboard and perfectly suited for AMD's new line of Zen 3 CPUs. This ATX motherboard comes equipped with all the modern trappings you'd expect from a top of the line motherboard but at a fraction of the price. PCIe 4.0, Debug LEDs, and high-speed m.2 slots with integrated heatsinks are just a shortlist of the perks you can expect from this motherboard.
Some other quality of life improvements include an integrated I/O shield for easy installation as well as front-panel USB-C connectors and Wi-Fi 6 wireless compatibility. In addition to the typical ethernet jack and 3.5mm audio ports, the Aorus Ultra includes an array of 9 USB-A ports for peripherals and a back panel USB-C connection for data transfer.
The included warranty covers any malfunctions you might experience for up to 3 years after your purchase, and with AMD reportedly supporting the AM4 socket well through 2021, meaning this mobo will continue to serve you well as long as you take care of it.
Socket: AM4 | Form Factor: ATX | M.2 Slots: 3 | DIMM Slots: 4 | PCIe Slots: 1 x PCIe 4.0 x16, 1 x PCIe 4.0 x8, 1 x PCIe 3.0 x4, 2 x PCIe 3.0 x1 | USB Ports: 9 USB-A, 1 USB-C | RGB: Yes
Best Budget, Intel:ASUS TUF B360-PLUS GAMINGBuy on Amazon
The best part about building your own gaming PC is keeping costs to a bare minimum while maximizing performance. The ASUS TUF B360 Motherboard is budget-friendly and manages to provide enough punch to support current components like 9th generation Intel Core Processors.
The ASUS TUF B360 Motherboard includes four memory slots for DDR4 RAM with a maximum size of 64GB, allowing for a moderately fast running system. Impressively, the gaming motherboard includes six USB 2.0 ports, allowing for a huge expansion of hardware connected devices.
Aside from its expanded ports, the board is built with audio noise guard with high-quality audio capacitors. It also includes a Realtek GbE LAN with cFos Speed Internet Accelerator for direct ethernet connections with the Internet, assuring for stable online multiplayer.
Socket: LGA1151 | Form Factor: ATX | M.2 Slots: 2 | DIMM Slots: 4 | PCIe Slots: 2 x PCIe 3.0 x16, 4 x PCIe 3.0 x1 | USB Ports: 8 USB-A | RGB: No
Best budget, AMD:ASRock B450 PRO4Buy on AmazonWhat We Like
Good CPU overclock potential
Triple monitor support
2 M.2 slotsWhat We Don't Like
Limited SATA ports
The ASRock B450 PRO4 Motherboard is a solid gaming motherboard that doesn't break the bank. Though the competition for gaming motherboards is fierce, PC gamers who want a solid build with reliable performance will find this one to be the best match because it complements low to mid-range PC gaming builds.
It's the most adaptable gaming motherboard on the list and can accept new computer components without the worry of driver incompatibility issues. Its solid thick board weighs 4.15 pounds and measures 11.1 x 13.1 x 2.9 inches, ideal for mid-tower computer cases.
This gaming motherboard is built with enough slots for all gaming needs, including two PCI slots, eight SATA ports, two USB 3.0 ports for fast connectivity, as well as four memory slots that can support up to 64GB of DDR3 type RAM. Unique to its design, this motherboard includes Intel Ethernet built with gaming networks in mind, making for solid online connectivity.
Socket: LGA1151 | Form Factor: ATX | M.2 Slots: 2 | DIMM Slots: 4 | PCIe Slots: 2 x PCIe 3.0 x16, 4 x PCIe 2.0 x1 | USB Ports: 7 USB-A, 1 USB-C | RGB: No
Best Splurge:Asus ROG Maximus XII ExtremeBuy on AmazonBuy on B&H Photo VideoWhat We Like
Easy BIOS configuration options
Heatsinks for m.2 slotsWhat We Don't Like
No USB 3.2 Gen 2
If you're building a gaming PC and you want to go all out, the ASUS ROG Maximus XII Extreme Z490 Motherboard is a good place to start. This gaming motherboard doesn't come cheap, but is optimized for overclocking your processor safely, includes patent SafeSlots for assured component stability and is built with multiple features to deliver the best gaming experience you can afford.
The Maximus XII Extreme Motherboard allows up to 64GB of DDR4 SDRAM, meaning it can handle even the most memory demanding games. The gaming motherboard includes a huge variety of ultra-fast connectivity options, with four USB 3.1 ports and a 10GB per second transfer that assures zero hiccups in hardware performance for equipment such as mouses and keyboards.
Included are 8 onboard SATA III ports for an unnecessary amount of hard drives and dual-band 3x3 802.11ac Wi-Fi connections that allow up to 1300Mbps connections without the need for an ethernet wire. It's built with SupremeFX Gaming Audio that allows lossless sound no matter how wild your game gets and features an award-winning easy BIOS menu, so you can make adjustments internally and safely without overloading your gaming PC.
Socket: LGA1200 | Form Factor: EATX | M.2 Slots: 2 | DIMM Slots: 4 | PCIe Slots: 2 x PCIe 3.0 x16, 1 x PCIe 3.0 x4 | USB Ports: 10 USB-A, 2 USB-C | RGB: Yes
Best Mini-ITX:ASUS ROG Strix Z390-IBuy on AmazonWhat We Like
Integrated I/O Shield
High quality audioWhat We Don't Like
Aura RGB software is spotty
Front panel headers are difficult to access
If you're making a tiny compact gaming PC and you want to have enough space to fit everything in, the Asus ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming Motherboard is your best choice. The itty-bitty gaming motherboard measures 1 x 6.7 x 6.7 inches, weighs only 1.5 pounds and is capable of fitting into the smallest of customized gaming rigs with the biggest demands.
Don't let its size fool you. The Asus ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming Motherboard is still built for gaming, and can, with its two memory slots, hold up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM. It includes SafeSlot connectivity that integrates metal framing for a stronger, sturdier hold for components such as heavy graphics cards. Gamers can even overclock with the motherboard's easy-to-use BIOS system and can connect via Wi-Fi through its dedicated onboard 802.11 ac compatibility.
Socket: LGA1151 | Form Factor: Mini-ITX | M.2 Slots: 2 | DIMM Slots: 2 | PCIe Slots: 1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 | USB Ports: 6 USB-A, 1 USB-C | RGB: Yes
Best for 10th gen Intel:ASUS ROG STRIX Z490-EBuy on AmazonBuy on Best BuyBuy on Adorama.comWhat We Like
Good thermal designWhat We Don't Like
Stuck with PCIe Gen 3
If you're a diehard fan of team blue, 10th gen Intel CPUs are the latest and greatest but are only compatible with an LGA1200 socket. This means getting a new motherboard if you're making the leap from any of Intel's 9th gen CPUs. Thankfully, investing in a motherboard like the ASUS ROG STRIX Z490-E gets you a little more than a new socket for that shiny new CPU.
The motherboard is emblazoned with tons of sharp RGB lighting as well as 4 RGB fan headers. The back of the motherboard features a total of 9 USB-A ports and a single USB-C port and comes packaged with wi-fi baked in. The motherboard comes with a pair of M.2 slots for easy storage expansion and a supported RAM speed of 4600MHz.
This RGB enabled motherboard features all the trappings you would expect from a modern motherboard but unfortunately doesn't include Gen 4 PCIe support, which will place a bit of a cap on your hardware's performance.
Socket: LGA1200 | Form Factor: ATX | M.2 Slots: 3 | DIMM Slots: 4 | PCIe Slots: 2 x PCIe 3.0 x16, 1 x PCIe 3.0 x4, 1 x PCIe 3.0 x1 | USB Ports: 9 USB-A, 1 USB-C | RGB: Yes
Best for Zen 3:GIGABYTE X570 AORUS MASTERBuy on AmazonBuy on WalmartWhat We Like
Gen 4 PCIe
3 M.2 Slots
Impressive RGB lightingWhat We Don't Like
A little expensive
AMDs latest generation of CPUs are currently blowing away benchmarks left and right, and while managing to get your hands on a Zen 3 CPU might be a little out of the cards right now, you can still upgrade your motherboard with Gen 4 PCIe support along with a variety of other bells and whistles with something like the Gigabyte Aorus Master X570.
The motherboard comes with RGB lighting and Wi-Fi built-in, as well as a trio of M.2 slots for storage expansion. All 3 PCIe slots also support a gen 4 interface, allowing for better communication between your graphics card and the rest of the components installed in your motherboard, which results in a higher performance cap. The rear of the motherboard comes equipped with a grand total of 9 USB-A ports alongside a single USB-C and the typical array of optical and 3.5mm audio connections.
It's important to note that if you currently have a motherboard with an AM4 socket, it will likely be compatible with any of AMDs 5000-series CPUs, but that may depend on your current chipset and BIOS firmware.
Socket: AM4 | Form Factor: ATX | M.2 Slots: 3 | DIMM Slots: 4 | PCIe Slots: 1 x PCIe 3.0 x16, 1 x PCIe 3.0 x8, 1 x PCIe 3.0 x4, 1 x PCIe 3.0 x1 | USB Ports: 9 USB-A, 1 USB-C | RGB: YesFinal Verdict
The best gaming motherboard typically depends on what kind of processor you have or intend to buy. If you're using anything up to a 9th gen Intel CPU, the ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero is one of your best options. However, if you're using AMD's Ryzen chipset, the MSI MPG X570 is our top pick.
What to Look for in a Gaming Motherboard
M.2 slots - If you're serious about gaming, then an SSD is a must-have. The problem is that using a traditional SATA connection can actually limit the transfer speed of your SSD. Look for a gaming motherboard that has at least one, and preferably several, ports to plug in blazingly-fast M.2 SSD storage media.
Onboard audio - You can always add a great soundcard if you need to, but why not buy a gaming motherboard that already has a high-quality audio processor built right in? Audio takes a back seat to graphics most of the time, but fantastic sound can really transform your gaming experience.
Built-in streaming engine - Do you ever record or stream your gameplay? If you do, look for a gaming motherboard that has built-in capture technology to allow you to stream in full HD without impacting your game performance.FAQ
Does my motherboard have Wi-Fi?It may seem a little backwards, but not all gaming motherboards come equipped with Wi-Fi. If your desktop isn't going to have easy access to an ethernet connection make sure to check if your motherboard can connect via Wi-Fi, this is typically done with a coaxial antenna attached to the rear I/O port. Bottom line is that having Wi-Fi baked into your motherboard isn't essential, but it can be convinient.
What CPU will work with my motherboard?Which CPU your motherboard can support depends on its socket type, which type you need will be listed on your CPU specifications. If you're using an Intel CPU from the past couple of years, you'll need an LGA1151 socket, but you'll need an LGA1200 if you're using any of Intel's 10th gen gaming CPUs.
If you're using AMD CPUs things are a little more simple, as their consumer-level CPUs are all compatible with their AM4 socket type, and will reportedly continue to be supported for some time.
What will happen to my software if I replace my motherboard?Most of your software should remain intact provided you're using the same storage devices, the one exception will likely be your Windows license. Your OS can recognize when it's been migrated to a new motherboard and will only allow you to do that a set number of times before having to purchase a new license. We recommend following this Microsoft guide for more guidance on reactivating Windows 10 after a hardware change.