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 FactorSocketChipsetPrice
ASRock MicroATX Motherboard (B450M PRO4)ASRock B450M PRO4 MicroATXMicroATXAMD AM4AMD B450 Chipset
ASUS TUF Z390-PlusATXLGA 1151Intel Z390
MSI Z170A Gaming M5ATXLGA 1151Intel Z170
Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 5ATXAMD AM4AMD X470
MSI Z70 M5ATXLGA 1151Intel Z270
GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS Ultra Gaming WiFi (Intel LGA1151/ATX/2xM.2/Front USB 3.1/SLI Motherboards)GIGABYTE Z370 AORUSATXLGA 1151Intel Z370
Asus ROG Strix Z390-I GamingMini-ITXLGA 1151Intel Z390
ASUS TUF X299 Mark 1ATXLGA 1151Intel X299
MSI X299 Gaming Pro Carbon ACATXLGA 2066Intel X299

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, 4 times the pixels equals 4 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. ASRock B450M PRO4 MicroATX Motherboard

ASRock MicroATX Motherboard (B450M PRO4)

  • CPU & Socket Support: AMD Ryzen Processors, AM4 Sockets
  • Form Factor: MicroATX
  • RAM Capacity: Up to 64GB DDR4 RAM
  • PCI-E Slots: x3
  • NVIDIA SLI/AMD Crossfire Support? Crossfire
  • USB Ports: USB 3.1 Gen 1 & 2
  • Audio Driver: Realtek ALC892
  • SATA: x4

An incredible set of features at an exceptional price… that’s what you’re getting with the ASRock B450M PRO4 Motherboard. You can expect insane performance with the MicroATX form factor and latest AMD AM4 Ryzen socket. Stack on cutting edge tech like AMD Quad CrossFireX and late-gen USB 3.1 ports, and you’re looking at the best micro ATX motherboard for gamers on a budget.

Our only concern? How are they still making money pricing this puppy under $100?

2. GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS Ultra Gaming Motherboard

ASUS TUF Z390-Plus Gaming (Wi-Fi) LGA1151 (Intel 8th and 9th Gen) DDR4 DP HDMI M.2 Z390 ATX Motherboard 802.11ac Wi-Fi USB 3.1 Gen2

  • CPU & Socket Support: 8th Gen Intel Core Processors, LGA 1151 Sockets
  • Form Factor: ATX
  • RAM Capacity: Up to 64GB DDR4 RAM
  • PCI-E Slots: x6
  • NVIDIA SLI/AMD Crossfire Support? Both
  • USB Ports: USB 3.1 Gen 1 & 2
  • Audio Driver: Realtek ALC1220
  • SATA: x6

While ASUS and MSI win the popularity contest in the motherboard department, don’t count Gigabyte out. Their excellent pricing makes them worth a second look (and a third and fourth). This particular model is compatible with 8th gen Intel Core processors (i7, i5, and i3). An intuitive UEFI, WIFI onboard, RGB Fusion technology, and triple M.2 slots complete the unit, offering tremendous value.

There’s not much overclocking potential here, but other than that this one’s a grand slam.

3. ASUS TUF Z390-Plus Gaming Motherboard

ASUS TUF Z390-Plus Gaming Motherboard
  • CPU & Socket Support: 8th/9th Gen Intel Processors, LGA 1151 Sockets
  • Form Factor: ATX
  • RAM Capacity: Up to 64GB DDR4 RAM
  • PCI-E Slots: x6
  • NVIDIA SLI/AMD Crossfire Support? Crossfire
  • USB Ports: USB 3.1 Gen 1 & 2
  • Audio Driver: Realtek S1200A
  • SATA: x6

The Asus TUF Z390-Plus is a performance powerhouse offered at an exceptional price. Designed for the latest Intel processors, this bad boy is packed with tech like dual M.2 capabilities and USB 3.1. As for style? You’re looking at a TUF military-grade exterior, complemented by ASUS Aura Sync for full RGB color control.

This motherboard is particularly great for gamers looking to maximize power while maintaining a reasonable budget. To that end, it’s equipped with extra perks like Gamer’s Guardian for overclocking and 8-Channel HD gaming audio by Realtek. It’s truly the best budget gaming motherboard around.

4. ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero ATX Motherboard

ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero AMD Ryzen
  • CPU & Socket Support: AMD Ryzen & Athlon Processors, AM4 Sockets
  • Form Factor: ATX
  • RAM Capacity: Up to 64GB DDR4 RAM
  • PCI-E Slots: x7
  • NVIDIA SLI/AMD Crossfire Support? Both
  • USB Ports: USB 3.1 Gen 1
  • Audio Driver: ROG SupremeFX
  • SATA: x8

The ROG Crosshair VI offers great performance for your AMD gaming rigs. Naturally, it supports the most powerful Ryzen generation processors, making it optimal for high-end systems.

The Crosshair VI also has ridiculously strong PCIe ports, thanks to its “Safeslot” technology. What’s this mean? The ports are almost twice as strong as other leading brands and will prevent your video card from warping or getting damaged over time. And that’s no matter how big or bulky it might be.

It also has the same great AURA RGB lighting that other popular ROG motherboards have, complete with AURA Sync technology.
The Hero also uses water cooling (which can be turned off) to ensure maximum performance all the way around.

And what about overclocking? 5-way optimizations delivers easy overclocking with no risk of harming your prized rig. Heck yeah!

5. Gigabyte X470 AORUS Gaming 5 ATX WiFi Motherboard

  • CPU & Socket Support: AMD Ryzen & Athlon Processors, AM4 Sockets
  • Form Factor: ATX
  • RAM Capacity: Up to 64GB DDR4 RAM
  • PCI-E Slots: x5
  • NVIDIA SLI/AMD Crossfire Support? Both
  • USB Ports: USB 3.1 Gen 2
  • Audio Driver: Realtek ALC1220-VB
  • SATA: x6

This motherboard supports AMD technologies, including Ryzen’s first and second-gen processors. And for the money, it’s our top pick for the best Ryzen motherboard. But what makes it so unique?

For starters, the Gigabyte X470 AORUS boasts support for 2-way crossfire and SLI graphics, ensuring quality gameplay with no lag or stutter. But that’s not all.

You can spend about $50-100 more on motherboards like the ASUS ROG Crosshair VII, but you’ll find the X470 probably has everything you need, with a rich feature set to boot. To that end, you’ll find dual PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 slots, plenty of internal and external USB ports, and dual BIOS. Best of all? The Aorus X470 comes equipped with 8++3 phase VRM which enables chips like the X2700X to run all cores at hyperspeed. Not shabby for around $150 smackers!

6. MSI Z170A Gaming M5 ATX Motherboard

MSI Computer 7968-001R MSI Enthuastic Gaming Intel Z170A LGA 1151 DDR4 USB 3.1 ATX Motherboard
  • CPU & Socket Support: 6th Gen Intel processors, Pentium/Celeron Processors, LGA 1151 Sockets
  • Form Factor: ATX
  • RAM Capacity: Up to 64GB DDR4 RAM
  • PCI-E Slots: x7
  • NVIDIA SLI/AMD Crossfire Support? Both
  • USB Ports: USB 3.1 Gen 1
  • Audio Driver: Realtek ALC1220
  • SATA: x6

Though it’s designed to power slightly older Intel hardware, don’t let that fool you. The MSI Z170A Gaming Motherboard packs more PCI-e slots and SATA supports than any other option on our list.

That means it’s ready to support both SLI and Crossfire out of the box. Furthermore, it holds up to 64 gigs of DDR4 RAM, ensuring lightning-fast and smooth performance all the way around. If you’re seeking one of the best gaming motherboards, you definitely need to consider the Z170 by MSI.

7. MSI Z270 M5 ATX Motherboard

MSI Computer Z270 gaming motherboards
  • CPU & Socket Support: 6th/7th Gen Intel Processors, Pentium/Celeron Processors, LGA 1151 Sockets
  • Form Factor: ATX
  • RAM Capacity: Up to 64GB DDR4 RAM
  • PCI-E Slots: x6
  • NVIDIA SLI/AMD Crossfire Support? Both
  • USB Ports: Lightning USB 3.1 Gen 2
  • Audio Driver: Nahimic 2 Technology
  • SATA: x6

We’ve always been a massive fan of MSI – they consistently make durable, long-lasting products with cutting-edge technology, and the Z270 M5 is no different! Designed around Intel’s LGA 1151 socket, it has several excellent features that deliver unbelievable performance. And it looks pretty cool, to boot, thanks to it’s fancy (but efficient) heatsinks and built-in RGB LEDs (fully customizable, by the way).

It also has steel armor installed throughout, including on essential ports (Such as PCI-E slots and M.2 ports), to prevent any warping of the video card or RAM.

Other Notable Features? Try 4 fan headers, fully customizable RGB lighting, and gaming LAN powered by Killer!

As a side note, MSI’s M7 is another solid choice for a motherboard. That said, the physical differences are pretty small, while the price gap is astronomical.

8. ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming Mini-ITX Motherboard

ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming LGA1151 Motherboard
  • CPU & Socket Support: 8th/9th Gen Intel Core Processors, LGA 1151 Sockets
  • Form Factor: Mini-ITX
  • RAM Capacity: Up to 64GB DDR4 RAM
  • PCI-E Slots: x1
  • NVIDIA SLI/AMD Crossfire Support? No
  • USB Ports: USB 3.1 Gen 2
  • Audio Driver: ROG SupremeFX
  • SATA: x4

For those who enjoy gaming machines with small footprints (or desk prints, we should say) the Strix Z390-I leads the pack in terms of value. Despite its smaller stature, it still packs a whopping punch of features including WiFi, Ethernet, USB 3.1 Gen 2, dual M.2 slots, and legit overclocking capabilities thanks to the ASUS Opti-MEM II. It’s one of the best Mini-ITX gaming motherboards on the market.

9. MSI X299 Gaming Pro Carbon ATX Motherboard

MSI Performance Gaming Intel X299 LGA 2066 Motherboard
  • CPU & Socket Support: Intel Core X Processors, LGA 2066 Sockets
  • Form Factor: ATX
  • RAM Capacity: Up to 128GB DDR4 RAM
  • PCI-E Slots: x6
  • NVIDIA SLI/AMD Crossfire Support? Both
  • USB Ports: Lightning USB 3.1 Gen 2
  • Audio Driver: Nahimic 2 Technology
  • SATA: x8

The MSI X299 Gaming Pro Carbon Motherboard is one with few compromises. In fact, you can max this out at 4.6GHz if you were on a Core i9-7900X. That’s just a bit less oomph than other top boards that have those sky-high prices. And this one comes in at quite the bargain price!

As such, this is a top-notch Intel HEDT motherboard, and our pick for the best X299 motherboard for the money.

10. ASUS TUF X299 Mark 1 Motherboard

  • CPU & Socket Support: 7th Gen Intel Core X Processors, LGA 2066 Sockets
  • Form Factor: ATX
  • RAM Capacity: Up to 128GB DDR4 RAM
  • PCI-E Slots: x5
  • NVIDIA SLI/AMD Crossfire Support? SLI
  • USB Ports: USB 3.1 Gen 1 & 2
  • Audio Driver: Realtek S1220A
  • SATA: x8

There’s ASUS. And then there’s ASUS TUF.

As you might expect, the X299 Mark 1 falls in the latter category. This gives it incredible performance potential, as it’s outfitted with military-grade hardware for maximum speeds. It’s also loaded with dual M.2 slots, Type-C connectivity, and Intel Optane support! This translates to maximum gaming performance that’ll leave your competition in the dust.

Top that off with Thermal Radar 3 and a 5-year warranty, and you’ve got everything to gain.

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.

Further Reading

For more gaming motherboard ideas check out our other pages: