While CPUs and video cards are essential for any good gaming PC, they don’t represent the whole picture. Motherboards are the unsung heroes of PC gaming, and no rig is complete without them. Obviously, the primary reason they’re important is that they house your components — anybody could tell you that.

But there’s even more to the story than that alone. It’s true that motherboards don’t have any real impact on your FPS or overall gaming performance — not directly — but they do serve one critical function. Motherboards provide stability to your system.

Take it from somebody who has gone the cheap route before – getting a crappy motherboard will potentially result in system failure and irreparable damage to your other components. You don’t want that.

In addition to the quality of a motherboard possessing the ability to make or break an entire build, there are numerous other, smaller benefits to grabbing a solid one. These range from minor luxury features like a few extra USB ports, to performance-enhancing benefits such as the ability to install better (newer) CPUs.

Note that the products discussed here are independently chosen by our editors. At no extra cost to you, HGG may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.

Zoom Out: Comparison Table of the 10 Best Motherboards for Gaming

Here is our comparison table of the 10 best gaming motherboards.

ImageMotherboardForm FactorChipsetPrice
ASUS TUF Gaming X570-PlusATXAMD 570X
MSI Z490-A PROATXIntel Z490
GIGABYTE X570 AORUS XtremeE-ATXAMD X570
MSI MEG Z490 GodlikeE-ATXIntel Z490
ASRock X570 TaichiATXAMD X570
ASUS ROG Strix B450-F GamingATXAMD B450
MSI MEG Z490 UnifyATXIntel Z490
GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS EliteATXIntel Z390
ASUS ROG Strix Z490-G GamingMicro ATXIntel Z490
GIGABYTE X570 I AORUS Pro Wi-FiMini-ITXAMD X570

Before jumping into the “Zoom In” section where we take a closer look at each unit in our table, let’s glance at a few important considerations when it comes to gaming motherboards.

Gaming Motherboards Guide Part I: Do I Need an Expensive Motherboard?

For the average user, motherboards (or mobos for short) are about features and roughly speaking don’t directly influence performance. While this is a bit of an oversimplification, as long as you get a motherboard that will be a match for your selected components, you’re in clear, calm waters.

What are you missing out on if you don’t get an expensive motherboard? Cheaper motherboards typically do not have support for CrossFire or SLI. They also have fewer USB ports, fewer niche ports like USB C/M.2/Sata Express, and less overclocking ability. That’s on top of a higher risk of failure (or underperformance) and inadequate WiFi/Bluetooth features. Again, if you aren’t going to use certain features or ports, you’re wasting money. Just get what you need.

Gaming Motherboard Features:

  • Cool Lighting Implements
  • Stable BIOS
  • Top Notch Overclocking
  • Extra Ports and Slots
  • WiFi / Bluetooth Support
  • Power, System Reboot, Memory, Bios Entry Buttons
  • Water Cooling, Flow Tachometer

Personal Satisfaction

This one is a bit subjective, of course. But if you’re building a rig, there’s something to be said for the feeling of accomplishment you get from putting it all together yourself.

Of course, if you’re completely new to PC gaming, there are a few benefits to having a professional do it. After all, they have specific tools for the job, and they’ve probably received quite a bit of training prior to starting work (meaning it’s unlikely they’ll break or damage anything).

Still, if you do your research and take your time, putting together your own build can be immensely satisfying.

Gaming Motherboards Guide Part II: Processor Talk

AMD Ryzen 7 1800X Processor
Pick the Right Mobo for a AMD Ryzen 7 1800X Processor

The CPU is, without a doubt, one of the most important components in a gaming PC. It’s one of the only parts that actually has a direct impact on your FPS, after all. But only if you can actually take advantage of them. And doing that requires a good motherboard.

First of all, it doesn’t matter how fast your new CPU is if you can’t even install it in the first place. With how quickly technology (especially computer hardware) is advancing, the latest CPUs won’t always work with motherboards from 4 years ago — no matter how good they were at the time. The number of cores increases and clock speeds change.

Although Intel’s recent move away from their tick-tock release cycle will help with extending this compatibility by another generation, it’s still a temporary fix. Sooner or later, a motherboard upgrade is going to be essential. And for AMD users, their all new Ryzen 5 chips will likely breed an entirely new generation of fantastic motherboards, so there’s all the more reason to go with something new.

New games are continually developed around the latest CPU technology, so picking a modern motherboard now will pay off for years to come.

Gaming Motherboards Guide Part III: Multiple Graphics Cards

Remember when you only needed one video card to get top-of-the-line gaming performance?

Well, that’s still true… to a degree. A single card is perfectly adequate for running games on Ultra settings at 60FPS (depending on the specific card, of course) and 1080p, but what if you want to push things even further? What if you’re interested in high-end, VR gaming? Or cracking 144 FPS? One card probably ain’t gonna cut it — not for demanding games.

That tier of gaming performance will require more than a single GTX 1080. Fortunately, the best gaming motherboards offer full support for multiple top-shelf video cards, allowing you to get the most out of your system.

Geforce GTX 1080 2x
Photo Credit: Nvidia.com

Enter NVIDIA SLI and ATI Crossfire. SLI and Crossfire technologies use a combination of techniques to enhance graphics performance, including:

  • antialiasing
  • split frame rendering
  • alternate frame rendering
  • super tiling (Crossfire only)
  • and, of course, the ability to use dual GPUs

Not only does this allow you to maximize your gaming performance (and FPS), it also serves to extend the life of your parts — something any PC gamer who has dealt with failing parts in the past can appreciate.

The motherboard lets the graphics cards split up the work. Each card needs to do less. This reduces strain on the system, which improves performance and extends the life of your components.

Gaming Motherboards Guide Part IV: What about 4K?

4K Gaming Requires a Performance Gaming Motherboard

Not only can multiple graphics cards help you out with VR gaming and going above and beyond 144 FPS, they can also help you out with 4K gaming. 4K gaming is the latest craze in the world of PC gaming, and for good reason — for all intents and purposes, it quadruples the number of pixels on your screen.

That’s insane! Of course, that level of quality and clarity comes with some pretty hefty performance requirements. Even with a high-end video card, you can’t expect to be running the latest games at 4K on Ultra — or, in many cases, even High — with just one card. In these instances, you’ll need two.

With all that said, four times the pixels equals four times the strain on your machine. And graphics cards alone won’t cut it. To support the epic workload of two powerful video cards, you’re going to need a great motherboard.

Zoom In: A Closer Look at the Top 10 Best Gaming Motherboards

With all that out of the way, let’s move on to our list of the best gaming motherboards on the market today. Checkout our top picks for best motherboard below.

1. ASUS TUF Gaming X570-Plus

Asus AM4 TUF Gaming X570-Plus

The best AMD gaming motherboard overall

Manufacturer: ASUS | Form Factor: ATX | Socket: AM4 | VRM Phases: 12+2 | DIMM Slots: 4 | Price: 💰💰

The ASUS TUF Gaming X570-Plus is our pick for the best AMD gaming motherboard overall. For years, one of the most compelling reasons to buy an AMD CPU has been because of the AM4 socket. Every Zen, Zen+, Zen 2, and Zen 3 CPU uses this same socket, making it easy to swap processors or motherboards without worrying about compatibility. The X570 chipset represents the newest and best motherboards ever to hold an AMD processor. These boards can hold anything from first-gen Ryzen to the brand new 5000 series.

The TUF is a particularly good board, even in this premium chipset. Its 12+2 phase VRM gives it a strong and stable power flow for superior overclocking. It also has 6-layer PCB, two M.2 ports for fast NVMe storage, dual PCIe 4.0, and USB Type-C. As for connectivity? It has Realtek L8200A Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 5.0!

It’s less flashy than ASUS’s ROG Strix boards, but the price to performance of the TUF can’t be beat. This is the board for you if you have a Ryzen 5000 series CPU or have an older Ryzen processor and see yourself upgrading to a 5000 in the future.

  • USERS LIKE
  • Great VRM
  • Affordable
  • Supports Ryzen 5000 series CPUs
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • BIOS issues
  • No M.2 RAID
  • Simple design

2. MSI Z490-A PRO

MSI Z490-A PRO

The best Intel gaming motherboard overall

Manufacturer: MSI | Form Factor: ATX | Socket: LGA 1200 | VRM Phases: 12+1+1 | DIMM Slots: 4 | Price: 💰

Our choice for the best Intel gaming motherboard overall is another one that’s all performance without the expensive frills. The MSI Z490-A Pro has everything you need to get your 10th generation Intel CPU up and running at a price that we can hardly believe.

This mobo has a 12+1+1 phase VRM that, frankly, has no business being on a motherboard this cheap. It has two M.2 NVMe ports (with one heat shield), 2.5GBe Realtek 8125B LAN, USB Type-C, and PCIe 4.0.

The A PRO has an understated black and brushed gunmetal design that is sleek without calling much attention to itself. Get this if you want good overclocking and all the perks of the Z490 chipset but don’t want to pay out the nose for a bunch of RGB fripperies.

  • USERS LIKE
  • M.2 ports
  • Good VRM
  • Fast internet connectivity
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • No Wi-Fi
  • Very little RGB
  • Poor instructions

3. GIGABYTE X570 AORUS Xtreme

GIGABYTE X570 AORUS Xtreme

The best premium AMD gaming motherboard

Manufacturer: GIGABYTE | Form Factor: E-ATX | Socket: AM4 | VRM Phases: 16 | DIMM Slots: 4 | Price: 💰💰💰💰💰

Do you have a Ryzen 9 5950X and want a motherboard that can help you squeeze every last jolt of performance out of it that you possibly can? Then the GIGABYTE AORUS X570 Xtreme is the board you’re looking for.

This beast of a motherboard has a 16 phase Infineon Digital VRM solution with 70A Power stage. Its Thermal Reactive Armor is made up of multiple aluminum heatsinks to dissipate heat across the entire board without noisy fans. The Xtreme has three M.2 Connectors, USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, and three PCIe 4.0 slots. It also has AQUANTIA 10Gbe and Intel Gigabit LAN. Connectivity doesn’t get much faster than that, folks.

It looks great too. The brushed black metal heatsinks are accented nicely by some lovely RGB.

The AORUS Xtreme’s specs are almost as extreme as its price. We don’t recommend this board for general use or even most enthusiasts. If overkill is what you’re going for, though, this is as good as it gets.

  • USERS LIKE
  • 10GBe LAN
  • Massive VRM
  • Stylish design
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Expensive
  • E-ATX form factor
  • Weak included software

4. MSI MEG Z490 Godlike

MSI MEG Z490 GODLIKE

The best premium Intel gaming motherboard

Manufacturer: MSI | Form Factor: E-ATX | Socket: LGA 1200 | VRM Phases: 16+1+1 | DIMM Slots: 4 | Price: 💰💰💰💰

The MSI MEG Godlike is the big kid on the block that sends all the other boards crying home to their mothers. It’s far and away the best motherboard for overclocking an i9 10900K.

Everything from its 16+1+1 phase VRM configuration to its 10GBe AQUANTIA + Realtek 2.5GBe LAN is the best of the best. It even has an LCD right on the board to display internal temps and readings!

There are only two downsides to the Godlike. The first is obviously its price. You don’t buy a motherboard like this unless everything else in your system is top of the line too. The second is its size. E-ATX is a tricky form factor, so make sure you check reviews and get a case that will fit it.

  • USERS LIKE
  • 10GBe LAN
  • Massive VRM
  • Stylish design
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Expensive
  • E-ATX form factor
  • Mediocre RGB software

5. ASRock X570 Taichi

ASRock X570 Taichi

The best mid-range X570 gaming motherboard

Manufacturer: ASRock | Form Factor: ATX | Socket: AM4 | VRM Phases: 14 | DIMM Slots: 4 | Price: 💰💰💰

The ASRock X570 Taichi is a motherboard the looks great and works even better. It’s the perfect board for enthusiasts willing to pay for a few extra features without going all the way into the premium market.

It has a powerful 14 phase VRM that’s more than capable of overclocking anything you throw at it. It also has Wi-Fi 6, Intel Gigabit LAN, three M.2 slots (with heatsinks), and three PCIe 4.0 slots.

The Taichi has one of the most unique designs of any of the motherboards on this list. It has a black PCB with silver accents on the heatsinks, branded gears, and some tastefully placed RGB.

  • USERS LIKE
  • Great VRM
  • 3 PCIe slots
  • Stylish design
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Loud fan
  • Expensive
  • Poor manual

6. ASUS ROG Strix B450-F Gaming

ASUS ROG Strix B450-F Gaming

The best B450 gaming motherboard

Manufacturer: ASUS | Form Factor: ATX | Socket: AM4 | VRM Phases: 6+2 | DIMM Slots: 4 | Price: 💰

If you’re planning to buy a 3000 series Ryzen CPU or older and don’t need PCIe 4.0 (which most of us don’t), you can get some extra bang for your buck by buying a B450 motherboard. Our choice for the best B450 gaming motherboard is the ASUS ROG Strix B450-F Gaming.

It has a 6+2 phase VRM, which isn’t the best we’ve seen, but it’s more than enough for most second and 3rd gen Ryzen processors. I personally have one in my system running an overclocked 3700X and can confirm that this board’s real appeal lies in its features. It has two M.2 ports, Intel Gigabit Ethernet, SupremeFX S1220A audio, and three PCIe ports.

The MSI B450 TOMAHAWK MAX is another one to consider in this category for its superior VRM, though you lose audio quality and the second M.2 port in exchange.

  • USERS LIKE
  • Affordable
  • Decent VRM
  • Great audio quality
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • No M.2 heatsinks
  • No Wi-Fi or Bluetooth
  • Poor attached software

7. MSI MEG Z490 Unify

MSI MEG Z490 Unify

The best mid-range Z490 gaming motherboard

Manufacturer: MSI | Form Factor: ATX | Socket: LGA 1200 | VRM Phases: 16+1 | DIMM Slots: 4 | Price: 💰💰💰

Do you like the Godlike, but not the price tag? The MSI MEG Z490 Unify is an excellent mid-range alternative.

This thing has a 16+1 phase VRM, easily making it the cheapest Z490 with a voltage regulator that size. 2.5 GBe LAN, Wi-Fi 6, 7.1 Realtek ALC1220 audio, and three M.2 NVMe ports with heat shields.

It has an all-black, brushed metal design with the MSI dragon embossed on the IO cover. The Unify looks sleek and will fit nicely in any case. There is no RGB, however.

  • USERS LIKE
  • Great VRM
  • Good audio
  • Three M.2 ports with heatsinks
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • No RGB
  • Thin PCB
  • No HDMI Port

8. GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS Elite

GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS Elite

The best Z390 gaming motherboard

Manufacturer: GIGABYTE | Form Factor: ATX | Socket: LGA 1151 | VRM Phases: 12+1 | DIMM Slots: 4 | Price: 💰💰

We gave the GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS Elite the number one spot on our list of the seven best Z390 motherboards, so it shouldn’t surprise you to find it here. This is the board to get if you’re looking to overclock your eighth or ninth-gen Intel processor at a great price.

It has a 12+1 phase VRM, which is the best in its price point by a mile. It’s actually the same 12+1 phase VRM as the AORUS ULTRA, which is $90 more expensive. It also has an M.2 port and Intel Gigabit LAN.

It has a mostly black design with brushed metal and RGB accents in a few subtle locations. There are better Z390 motherboards out there, but none match the Elite in terms of value-per-dollar. 

  • USERS LIKE
  • Affordable
  • Stylish design
  • Fantastic VRM
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Basic BIOS
  • Average PCB
  • Poor RGB control software

9. ASUS ROG Strix Z490-G Gaming

ASUS ROG Strix Z490-G Gaming

The best Micro ATX gaming motherboard

Manufacturer: ASUS | Form Factor: Micro ATX | Socket: LGA 1200 | VRM Phases: 12+2 | DIMM Slots: 4 | Price: 💰💰💰

Not every motherboard is an ATX — there are other form factors. Sometimes you want a PC case that’s a little more compact. That’s when you get a Micro ATX. The ASUS ROG Strix Z490-G Gaming is the perfect motherboard to go inside.

10th gen Intel users can enjoy a 12+2 phase VRM with a great heatsink (especially if you consider the space limitations of an SFF board). The Strix also an M.2 port, 4 DIMM slots. 2.5 GBe LAN, Wi-Fi 6, and USB 3.2 Type-C. 

Like all Strix boards, it has a stylish, black design with RGB on the IO cover.

  • USERS LIKE
  • Wi-Fi
  • Great VRM
  • Good BIOS
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Expensive
  • Some clearance issues
  • Some RGB freezing issues

10. GIGABYTE X570 I AORUS Pro Wi-Fi

GIGABYTE X570 I AORUS Pro Wi-Fi

The best Mini-ITX gaming motherboard

Manufacturer: GIGABYTE | Form Factor: Mini-ITX | Socket: AM4 | VRM Phases: 8 | DIMM Slots: 2 | Price: 💰💰

Mini-ITX boards can be tricky. It’s hard to find a small board that still has adequate VRM and space for decent features. Luckily, there’s the GIGABYTE X570 I AORUS Pro Wi-Fi.

This motherboard comes with a respectable 8 phase Infineon Digital VRM with 70A power stage. Its chipset is kept cool by a pretty nice heatsink with GIGABYTE’s patented Smart Fan 5. On top of that, it also has a PCIe 4.0, an M.2 port with a heat shield, Intel Gigabit LAN, and Wi-Fi 6. Not bad at all for something so tiny.

The AORUS Pro has an all-black design with addressable RGB. It’s subtle, but still one of the more attractive boards considering how limited options tend to be in the Mini-ITX form factor.

  • USERS LIKE
  • Affordable
  • Good VRM
  • Mini-ITX form factor
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Some RAM XMP issues
  • No USB 3.1 internal header
  • M.2 port known to fry board

Our Process

For this guide on the best gaming motherboards, our writers spent 6 hours researching over 50 of the most popular options. After comparing this data, we read over 100 user reviews and narrowed our list down to the top 10 gaming motherboards on the market. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.

HighGroundGaming_highGroundView_br

Further Reading

Whatever your budget might be, there’s an excellent motherboard out there for you. So long as it supports the level of gaming performance you want to achieve (and, by extension, your video card and CPU), any motherboard will do the job just fine — but the ones on this list are the absolute best of the best.

For more gaming motherboard ideas check out our other pages:

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!