7 Best Motherboards for Gaming in 2024

7 Best Motherboards for Gaming in 2024

Consider the Best gaming motherboard as the framework for your upcoming computer. The capabilities and limitations of your gaming PC are set by your motherboard. Additionally, since not every PC component fits every motherboard, it recommends which parts you should purchase. Several CPU and GPU generations of worry-free gaming should be yours with a quality motherboard.

Before considering purchasing a motherboard, you should consider the following: What size is the PC case? Would you like to be able to raise your CPU’s frequency? Do you require support for high-performance RAM? Is a block of USB ports necessary? Bluetooth? WiFi? If you add more items to your wish list, budget accordingly. This isn’t always a terrible thing, particularly if you intend to wait a few years to get a new motherboard.

The most crucial aspect of motherboards that needs to be taken into account right now is future-proofing. You should confirm that the board’s socket or chipset can accommodate this generation of high-end processors—and hopefully the one after that—if you plan to stick with it for the long run.

BEST INTEL Z790 GAMING MOTHERBOARD

MSI MAG Z790 Tomahawk WiFi

The best high-end Intel motherboard around

CPU support: Intel 12th and 13th Gen
Socket: LGA 1700
Size: ATX
Memory support: 4x DIMM, Up to 128GB, DDR5-7200+(OC)
Expansion slots: 1x PCIe 5.0 x16, 1x PCIe 4.0 x4, 1x PCIe 3.0 x1
Video ports: 1x DisplayPort 1.4. 1x HDMI 2.1
USB: Up to 1x USB 3.2 Gen2x2, 6x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 6x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 6x USB 2.0
Storage: 4x M.2, 7x SATA
Network: Intel 2.5G LAN, Intel Wi-Fi 6E

Tomahawk motherboards from MSI are generally rated favorably. Instead of highlighting the premium tier features found on much more expensive boards, they often concentrate on a core feature set. Tomahawk models should be on your radar if you don’t care about frills and whistles but yet want something that can power a demanding Core i9 13900K CPU.

As the name implies, the MSI MAG Z790 Tomahawk WiFi belongs to the company’s second-tier subbrand, MAG. It is located below the MPG and premium MEG ranges and above the Pro range. While it’s not cheap—$319 / £337 / AU$569—it’s not bad value either when compared to certain premium tier boards. However, there is fierce competition from other suppliers within this price range.

I have the DDR5 version here for your review. If you already own a decent set of DDR4 memory, you can use that instead of purchasing new memory; but, the DDR5 version is unquestionably the better option. The 13th generation platform is most likely DDR4’s final gasp as the technology is nearing its end of life.

BEST INTEL Z690 GAMING MOTHERBOARD

MSI MAG Z790 Tomahawk WiFi

The best Z690 board for DDR5 at a price that won’t kill your bank balance

CPU support: Intel 12th Gen
Socket: LGA 1700
Size: ATX
Memory support: 4x DIMM, up to 128GB, DDR5-6400 (OC)
Expansion slots: 1x PCIe 5.0 x16, 2x PCIe 4.0 x16 (running at x4)
Video ports: 1x DisplayPort 1.4
USB: Up to 2x USB 3.2 Gen2x2, 4x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 6x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 8x USB 2.0
Storage: 4x M.2, 6x SATA 6Gbps
Network: Intel Wi-Fi 6; Intel i225V 2.5G LAN

The very high price of the top-tier chipset for Intel’s next Alder Lake CPUs was nearly a given. This is made worse by the premium price for anything that has the term DDR5. However, the Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro, which retails for about $330, nearly defies that trend by providing a well-rounded feature set and support for DDR5. While $300+ was considered high-end in the previous CPU generation, that is positively mid-range on the 12th generation platform. While there are more affordable DDR4 boards available (Gigabyte also produces a DDR4 Aorus Pro, albeit it isn’t available in the US or EU), DDR5 is the recommended option if you want to take full use of the new Intel platform.

About the Aorus Pro’s specifications, Gigabyte has made a wise choice. It has kept the pricing at least somewhat reasonable by restricting it to ‘only’ 2.5G Intel wired networking connections and Wi-Fi 6 wireless networking (as opposed to Wi-Fi 6E) and by forgoing superfluous extras like Thunderbolt 4 or an additional M.2 slot. Additionally, it performs admirably, offering gaming and system performance that is readily comparable to that of the much more costly boards we have evaluated. Because the BIOS is consistently improving, we are fully comfortable endorsing the Gigabyte board as the best of the Z690 lineup.

BEST INTEL B660 GAMING MOTHERBOARD

MSI MAG B660M Mortar WIFI DDR4

Tiptop features in a tiny package

CPU support: Intel 12th Gen
Socket: LGA 1700
Size: Micro ATX
Memory support: 4x DIMM, up to 128GB, DDR4-4800
Expansion slots: 1x PCIe Gen4 x16, 1x PCIe 3.0 x1, 1x PCIe 4.0 x4
Video ports: 1x HDMI 2.1; 1x DP 1.4
USB: 2x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C; 3x USB 3.2 Gen2; 2x USB 3.2 Gen1
Storage: 2x M.2; 6x SATA
Network: Intel Wi-Fi 6; Realtek 2.5G LAN

While it may not be as luxurious as other of the Z690 boards available, the MSI MAG B660M Mortar WIFI DDR4 still boasts an amazing feature set and is a somewhat more reasonable Alder Lake choice. Not only does this little micro-ATX board have an excellent power architecture, but it also has a tonne of internal headers and eight USB ports on the rear panel, one of which is USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C. It makes sense to use DDR4 as it’s one of the more cost-effective ways to access the Alder Lake platform, even though overclocking and DDR5 capabilities aren’t available. We haven’t been able to locate the DDR5 version in the US, however it is available in the UK.

Support for PCIe 5.0 graphics cards is obviously absent from the feature list, but it’s not as big of a gap as you might expect given that no such cards are on the market at the moment. A reinforced x16 PCIe 4.0 slot for the GPU, a further full-length slot operating at x4, and a last, short x1 PCIe 3.0 slot are all present and correct, though. For the majority of users, having two PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots for your SSDs will be more than enough. Additionally, Realtek provides 2.5Gbps networking, and Intel supports Wi-Fi 6. Although 10Gbps LAN and Wi-Fi 6E are features of your top Z690 boards, we can live without them for the time being.

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BEST AMD X670 GAMING MOTHERBOARD

Gigabyte X670 Aorus Elite AX

Best value for high-end Ryzen 7000

CPU support: AMD Ryzen 7000
Socket: AM5
Size: ATX
Memory support: 4x DIMM, up to 128GB, up to DDR5-6666 (OC)
Expansion slots: 1x PCIe 4.0 x16, 1x PCIe 4.0 x4, 1x PCIe 3.0 x2
Storage: 4x M.2, 4x SATA 6Gbps
Networking: AMD RZ616 Wi-Fi 6E; Realtek 2.5G LAN
Rear USB: 2x USB 3.2 Gen2x2, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 10x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 8x USB 2.0

The costs of many of the high-quality X670E motherboards have likely turned you off if you’re in the market for one. More often than not, high-end motherboards are X670E variants; however, the Gigabyte X670 Aorus Elite AXE has so many amazing features at such a low price that I’m tempted to forgo the -E model boards.

The expensive cost of X670E boards can be partially attributed to the superior signalling needed for M.2 slots and PCIe 5.0 expansion. However, since PCIe 5.0 x16 for graphics cards is now meaningless, an X670 board is a very good choice. Furthermore, the Gigabyte X670 Aorus Elite AXE offers a far better value than the X670E boards, coming in just $289 / £349 / AU$599. Does the Elite AXE, however, have to give up much or anything to compete at that price?

Although Gigabyte regrettably decided not to incorporate their superb finned cooling design on this model, you may still find effective heatsinks here, especially the VRM one.

The primary PCIe 5.0 x4 slot stated earlier and three other PCIe 4.0 x4 slots, each cooled by a single massive heatsink, make up the total of four M.2 slots. To complete the storage complement, four SATA ports are included. A Thunderbolt 4 header, power, reset, and CMOS clear buttons, as well as a USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 type-C header, are further highlights. A 16+2+2 phase VRM with 70A power stages is included with the board. More than sufficient for the typical user. You won’t encounter any issues if you insert a Ryzen 9 7950X with PBO enabled into the Elite AXE. Long before the VRM experiences stress, your cooling system will reach the working temperature of 7950X, which is 95°C.

BEST AMD B650 GAMING MOTHERBOARD

Asus Tuf gaming b650 plus wifi

The best price on an AM5 board

CPU support: AMD Ryzen 7000
Socket: AM5
Size: ATX
Memory support: DDR5-6400+(OC), Up to 128GB
Expansion slots: 1x PCIe 5.0, 2x PCIe 4.0
Storage: 3x M.2, 4x SATA
Networking: Realtek 2.5G LAN, Wi-Fi 6
Rear USB: 1x USB 3.2 Gen2x2, 3x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 3x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 8x USB 2.0

Two M.2 slots support PCIe 4.0, while the primary slot supports PCIe 5.0. In comparison to some of the hefty M.2 heatsinks I’ve seen, such as those that come with the Asrock X670E Pro RS and Gigabyte Z790 Aorus Master, the cooling capacity of the primary slot is comparatively tiny. The board has four USB 2.0 ports, two Type-A, and one 5Gbps Type-C front connector. While not horrible, it would have been wonderful to include a 10Gbps Type-C port.

Though everything is relative, the VRM is passable if not remarkable. Expecting a billion 105A stages is limited to boards costing significantly more than twice as much. Powered by Ryzen 9 7950X without any problems thanks to the 12+2 phase architecture with 60A stages. There are 4+8-pin CPU power connectors on the PCB. With the cooling architecture of the TUF B650 Plus, Asus has excelled. Large, bulky heatsinks let a lot of air pass through while offering a large surface area. There are mid-tier boards that may cut corners on VRM cooling. Asus did not in this case.

Good rear I/O ports on the TUF B650 Plus are more than sufficient for devices like keyboards, mouse, and printers, which don’t require high-speed (and expensive) ports. Additionally, you get WiFi 6 and 2.5G LAN, though not 6E. In the future, it might be an issue, particularly if you live in an apartment complex or busy home with numerous Wi-Fi hotspots. If you’re intending to install a non-X Ryzen 9 7900 or Ryzen 7 7700, the Asus BIOS may be a little trickier to use than that of some other manufacturers, but once inside, the PBO options are really worth checking out.

BEST AMD X570 GAMING MOTHERBOARD

Asus Rog Crosshair viii dark hero

The best X570 ever created, and the last AM4 board

CPU support: AMD Ryzen 5000 Series / 4000 G-Series / 3000 Series/ 3000 G-Series / 2000 Series / 2000 G-Series
Socket: AM4
Size: ATX
Memory: 4x DIMM, Up to 128GB, DDR4-4866 (OC)
Expansion slots: 2x PCIe 4.0 x16, 1x PCIe 3.0 x16, 1x PCIe 4.0 x1
Video ports: N/A
Rear USB: 4x USB 3.2 Gen1, 8x USB 3.2 Gen2 (1x USB Type-C)
Storage: 3x M.2; 8x SATA
Networking: 802.11ax 2.4Gbps Wi-Fi; Intel I211-AT 1G & Realtek RTL8125 2.5G LAN

The ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero from Asus aims to be your final AM4 motherboard. However, what qualities distinguish a superb motherboard? Features, a reliable and sophisticated BIOS, affordability, and a well-designed device are all vital, but sometimes it comes down to something more abstract. At times, it’s only that the dang thing functions. One of the most excruciating tasks a tech journalist must perform is frequently motherboard testing. When we experimented with the memory clocks, timings, and Infinity Fabric, the Dark Hero booted up right away. Unlike other boards, which require fighting to accomplish what you want or want it to, or which require raising voltage settings to a level you don’t really want to, this one boots up right away.

The design of the Dark Hero is rather understated. It can even be considered a bit boring by some. With recent motherboards using RGB a little more subtly than in the past, maybe we have hit “Peak RGB.” Furthermore, the lack of a Crosshair VIII Apex or Extreme is strange, given that boards from Gigabyte and MSI are significantly more expensive than the Dark Hero. Although a $400 motherboard will never be considered inexpensive, it does feel more reasonable when compared to the outrageous costs of the MSI Godlike and Gigabyte Aorus Extreme.

These days, there isn’t much variation in the layout of ATX boards. It makes sense to place the primary M.2 slot above the PCIe slot. There is a heatsink on the second bottom slot as well. It is simple to reach the sockets without removing the entire heatsink assembly. Furthermore—and this is a big plus in our opinion—there is no chipset cooling fan.

BEST AMD B550 GAMING MOTHERBOARD

Asus ROG Strix B550-E Gaming

Simply the best B550 motherboard

CPU support: AMD 3rd and 4th Gen Ryzen
Socket: AM4
Size: ATX
Memory support: 4x DIMM, up to 128GB, up to DDR4-4600
Expansion slots: 2x PCIe 4.0 x16, 1x PCIe 3.0 x4
Storage: 2x M.2, 6x SATA 6Gbps
Networking: Intel Wi-Fi 6, Intel 2.5Gb ethernet, Bluetooth 5.1
Rear USB: 3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 4 x USB 2.0

The Asus ROG Strix B550-E is priced similarly to many X570 motherboards, but it’s a high-end motherboard with all the bells and whistles you’d anticipate from the Republic of Gamers stables from Asus. I’m referring to pre-installed backplates, M.2 heatsinks, and 14+2 power stages. You also receive Intel 2.5Gb Ethernet and Wi-Fi 6 wireless networking. And of course RGB LEDs. Performance is undoubtedly what you’re most interested in knowing: Is it genuinely that much superior to a more conventional—and less expensive—B550 substitute? Using stock clocks and default board settings, the answer is unavoidably negative. Compared to the likes of the MSI MAG B550M Mortar, the Asus ROG Strix B550-E Gaming is actually a full 50% more expensive and noticeably slower in the majority of our benchmarks, including gaming.

Overclocking is unavoidably the area where the Strix appears more powerful. You’d almost be crazy not to give AMD a go given their lax attitude to clocking the shit out of pretty much any CPU that comes its way by granting access to incredibly basic core ratio adjustments. The Strix B550-E is equipped with Asus’ elegant and well-known BIOS interface, which grants access to virtually every setting an avid overclocker could want, including the core ratio. Hence, you can either get technical with voltages and timings or increase the core ratios and let the board figure out the specifics.

When the board is left to handle the intricate mental tasks, our AMD Ryzen 3 3100 quad-core test chip is overclocked to 4.2GHz across all cores. As usual, the Ryzen 3100 can achieve a 3.9GHz boost clock, which translates to a 300MHz overclock. This is noteworthy, if not particularly outstanding.

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