The 8 Best Gaming Motherboards to Buy in 2018

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ASUS ROG Strix Z270I Gaming Motherboard
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Building a customized gaming PC is a popular choice for gamers who want the most out of their own system. By building their own computer, PC gamers are able to choose from a vast variety of different components and parts at virtually any budget in order to set their most specific of expectations. One of the most important components when building or upgrading your PC gaming rig is the computer’s motherboard.

Gaming motherboards are unique in that they’re built from the ground up to handle the most extreme equipment used for gaming setups. Gaming motherboards have characteristics of overclocking, include multiple slots for RAM memory upgrades, USB and display ports for connectivity with monitors and hardware, as well as huge dedicated spaced out ports for graphics cards.

Below are the best gaming motherboards that you can buy on the market today. These gaming motherboards range from affordable to compact to even high-powered. If you’re a first-time buyer or are experienced in building gaming PCs, this is the perfect place to look for the best gaming motherboards.

Best Overall: ASUS ATX DDR3 2600 FM2 Motherboard

The ASUS ATX DDR3 2600 FM2 Motherboard CROSSBLADE RANGER takes the cake as the best gaming motherboard on the list. 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 high-end 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-size to large 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. 

Best Budget: GIGABYTE GA-H110M-A LGA1151 Intel H110 Micro ATX DDR4 Motherboard

The best part about building your own gaming PC is keeping cost to a bare minimum while maximizing performance. The GIGABYTE GA-H110M-A LGA1151 Intel H110 Micro ATX DDR4 Motherboard may only be budget-friendly, but it provides enough punch to support current components like 7th generation Intel Core Processors.

The GIGABYTE GA-H110M-A LGA1151 Intel H110 Micro ATX DDR4 Motherboard includes two memory slots for DDR4 RAM with a maximum size of 32GB, 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.

Best Splurge: ASUS LGA2011 5 Way Optimization Safeslot X99 EATX

If you’re building a gaming PC and you want to go all out, the ASUS LGA2011 5 Way Optimization Safeslot X99 EATX 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 ASUS LGA2011 5 Way Optimization Safeslot X99 EATX Motherboard allows up to 128GB 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 10 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.

Best for Compactness: ASUS ROG Strix Z270I Gaming Motherboard

If you’re making a tiny compact gaming PC and you want to have enough space to fit everything in, the ASUS ROG Strix Z270I 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 Z270I 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.

Best for Midrange Gaming: ASUS ROG STRIX Z2740E

Affordable and with all the bells and whistles you’d expect from top-shelf gaming motherboards, the ASUS ROG STRIX Z2740E 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 ASUS ROG STRIX Z2740E 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. 

Best for Safety/High-End Gaming: ASUS ROG MAXIMUS IX Code LGA1151

So you want to build a high-end custom gaming PC, but you don’t want to go overboard? Then look to the ASUS ROG MAXIMUS IX Code LGA1151, which offers the best motherboard for high-end gaming without damaging your wallet. It’s capable of handing processors with up to 4.1 GHz speeds and can even allocate a whopping 64GB of DDR4 RAM.

ASUS ROG MAXIMUS IX Code LGA1151 has one of the safest and most straight-forward 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. 

Best for Wi-Fi Connectivity: MSI Performance Gaming Intel Z170A LGA 1151

The MSI Performance Gaming Intel Z170A LGA 1151 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.

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 6th Generation Intel Core 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. 

Best for Customizable LED Lights: GIGABYTE GA-Z270X-Ultra Gaming LGA 1151

The beauty of making your own gaming PC means you can stylize it any way you’d like. The GIGABYTE GA-Z270X-Ultra Gaming LGA 1151 isn’t just a fast performing gaming motherboard but includes RGB Fusion with multi-zone LED light show customizations for cool effects.

It isn’t just for show; the GIGABYTE GA-Z270X-Ultra Gaming LGA 1151 supports 6th and 7th generational Intel Core processors with ports that fit up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM memory. Its RGB settings are easy to adjust for users, lighting up with its multiple LEDs that give it an ornamental rainbow display best fitted for clear PC gaming cases. The full-color spectrum means you can match the LED light colors that best fit and complement the appearance of your case. If you get tired of the lights, you can always readjust them or turn them off.