Best Products Games & Consoles The 8 Best Gaming Motherboards Build your own gaming empire by Alice Newcome-Beill Alice Newcome-Beill has been the associate commerce editor for Lifewire since December 2019. Her work has appeared on PCMag, PC Gamer, and GamesRadar. In her spare time, she enjoys building computers, emulating old software in DOSBox, and cycling. our editorial process Alice Newcome-Beill Updated on October 09, 2020 Games & Consoles Accessories PC PS4 Xbox One Xbox 360 Nintendo Switch Tweet Share Email Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links. The Rundown Best for Intel: ASUS 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 Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Ultra at Amazon "Affordable and with all the bells and whistles you’d expect." Runner-Up, Best for AMD: Gigabyte Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 5 Wi-Fi at Amazon "Includes RGB Fusion with multi-zone LED light show customizations for cool effects." Best Budget, Intel: ASUS ASUS TUF B360-PLUS GAMING at Amazon "Budget-friendly and manages to provide enough punch to support current components." Best budget, AMD: ASRock 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 ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I at Amazon "Capable of fitting into the smallest of customized gaming rigs with the biggest demands." With the recent release of the 10th gen of Intel CPUs and the imminent release of ZEN 3 CPUs from AMD, it's an exciting time to invest in one of the best gaming motherboards. While not necessarily the rock stars of a new build, these components effectively determine the direction for the rest of your build. Everything from the processor to what size case you need is going to be determined by your motherboard. 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 at Amazon. 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 at Amazon. If you need more help putting together your first build, head over to our guide to everything you need to build a computer before diving into our collection of the best gaming motherboards. Best for Intel: ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero Buy on Amazon What We Like Tons of RGB headers Accessible overclocking BIOS Clean aesthetic What 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. Best for AMD: MSI MPG X570 Gaming Pro Carbon Wi-Fi Buy on Amazon What We Like Solid design M.2 Heatsinks Pre-installed I/O shield What 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. Runner-Up, Best for Intel: Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Ultra Buy on Amazon What We Like Great CPU overclock potential Pre-installed I/O shield RGB lighting is cool What 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. Runner-Up, Best for AMD: Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 5 Wi-Fi Buy on Amazon What We Like Solid stock performance Slick aesthetics Extensive storage solutions What We Don't Like High price The beauty of making your own gaming PC means you can stylize it any way you’d like. The Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 5 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 X470 Aorus Gaming 5 supports last-gen AMD Ryzen processors with ports that fit up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM memory. Its RGB settings are easy to adjust for users, lighting up with the 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. Best Budget, Intel: ASUS TUF B360-PLUS GAMING Buy 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. Best budget, AMD: ASRock B450 PRO4 Buy on Amazon What We Like Good CPU overclock potential Triple monitor support 2 M.2 slots What 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. Best Splurge: Asus ROG Maximus XII Extreme Buy on Amazon Buy on B&H Photo Video What We Like Cool Design Easy BIOS configuration options Heatsinks for m.2 slots What 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. Best Mini-ITX: ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I Buy on Amazon What We Like Integrated I/O Shield Muted style High quality audio What 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. Final 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.