Picking the best gaming motherboard is a vital part of piecing together your gaming PC. Your motherboard will dictate which of either you can jam in your gaming build. We’ve tested the best boards from Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, and ASRock to help you choose the right one to build your rig around.
If you compromise and go for the cheap motherboard option, it could die on you, forcing you to rebuild your entire PC from scratch. We’ve been there; trust us, it’s not a road you want to take. Do yourself a favor: avoid disaster by picking up the best motherboard you can on the market.
Keep in mind, however, that there are so many different options these days. Choosing the most ideal motherboard for you can be challenging. And, so we went ahead and put together a list of the best motherboards on the market, motherboards that we’ve tested and reviewed ourselves.
1. ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero Wi-Fi Motherboard
Superior Core i7 overclocking for enthusiasts
Chipset: Z390 | Memory: (4) DIMM, 64GB, DDR4-4400 | PCIe slots: (2) x16 (x16 or dual x8), x16 (x4), (3) x1 | Video ports: HDMI, DisplayPort | USB ports: (8) rear IO, (7) internal | Storage: (2) M.2, (6) SATA | Network: Ethernet, 866Mbps 802.11ac | Lighting: Heatsink RGB, (2) Aura RGB, (2) addressable Aura
Positioned towards the upper end of the Z390 market, ASUS is targeting deep-pocketed enthusiast gamers with its most affordable ATX ROG Maximus offering. Sporting features you’d expect from a premium Z390 offering, including dual heatsink-cooled M.2 slots and an eye-catching design. ASUS takes the standard ROG Maximus XI Hero and adds a 2×2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi adapter.
The minor bumps in speed, features, or fashion that costlier boards provide are difficult to justify. This is a minor update to the previous Maximus X Hero Wi-Fi, which we also liked.
Overclocking and performance remains first in class, in league with boards costing a third more. The board is nearly perfect, with better Wi-Fi and an extra M.2 slot on our short list of potential improvements.
- Great CPU and memory overclocking
- Not too expensive for a top-tier board
- Wi-Fi could be faster
2. Z390 Aorus Pro Wifi Gaming Motherboard
Fully featured and reasonably priced
Form Factor: ATX | Socket: LGA-1151 (8th and 9th-gen only) | Chipset: Intel Z390 | Memory support: 4 x DIMM sockets (up to 64GB) | Multi-GPU support: Nvidia 2- and 4-way GPU SLI, AMD 2-, 3- and 4-way CrossFire | Features: 2 x PCIe M.2 (Key M), reinforced PCIe
Z390 Aorus Gaming Pro Wifi – maybe one of the best motherboards from Intel right now. It’s packed with gaming-centric features like reinforced PCIe slots and enough RGB lighting to blind you. The AORUS Core is inspired by the falcon’s aggressive nature and hunting prowess.
Z390 AORUS PRO motherboard uses an 12+1 phases digital CPU power design which includes both digital PWM Controller and DrMOS. These 100% digital controller and additional 8+4 Solid-pin CPU Power Connectors offer incredible precision in delivering power. This allows gaming enthusiasts to get the absolute maximum performance from the new 8-core 9th Gen Intel® Core™ processors. It’s hard to find a better motherboard, especially at this price point.
- Solid aesthetics
- Great cooling
- Could use more M.2 slots
3. Asus ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming Motherboard
Tiny and bright gaming motherboard
Form Factor: Mini-ITX | Socket: LGA-1151 (8th and 9th-gen only) | Chipset: Intel Z390 | Memory support: 2 x DIMM sockets (up to 64GB) | Multi-GPU support: N/A | Features: 2 x PCIe M.2 (Key M), Double capacity memory, USB 3.1 Gen 2 front connector, Asus Aura Sync
ASUS’s Strix Z390-I Gaming motherboard moves into the top spot for the boutique ITX segment. This gaming motherboard provides excellent performance and value. Boasting stable 5GHz overclocks using several memory speeds, including 3600MHz with tweaking. Its single PCIe x16 slot pushed top-shelf graphics cards to speeds that exceeded other more expensive models.
The smallest Strix has a lengthy features list, with no shortcomings despite the tiny form factor. The motherboard includes dual PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 slots, Intel v219 Ethernet, upgraded Intel 9560 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and an ALC1220A audio codec. Everything supported by isolated circuitry and headphone amps.
Strix Z390-I’s clean design makes for quick system assembly and configuration. However the previous generation of these gaming motherboards sported a less bulky design. Note for ITX rig building.
Unfortunately, like most Z390 boards, its price tag is not for the faint of heart. You need to prepare yourself to pay some serious cash if you want the smallest of the best motherboards.
- Dual M.2 slot
- Great overclocking and system performance
- One M.2 slot is under the motherboard
- New I/O port shield is slick looking but bulky
4. MSI X470 Gaming Plus Motherboard
Game in style
Form Factor: ATX | Socket: AMD AM4 | Chipset: AMD X470 | Memory Support: Dual-Channel 4 x DDR4 3,466MHz (up to 64GB) | Multi-GPU support: Crossfire | Features: 2 x PCIe M.2 (Key M)
AMD has been the reigning champion of budget gaming builds, and that isn’t likely to change anytime soon. Marketed exclusively to gamers, the MSI X470 Gaming Plus is loaded front to back with features like two PCIe M.2 slots. It also has a quick performance tweaking buttons to make sure you’re on the top of the leaderboard at all times.
It’s a gamer-focused motherboard, so it comes with flashy RGB lighting that you can even easily customize from your smartphone. It’s one of the best budget gaming motherboards out there. It’s the best value of all the best motherboards.
- Great price
- Great expansion
- Need a larger case
5. Gigabyte Z390 UD Budget Gaming Motherboard
A budget motherboard option with excellent Wi-Fi for the non-overclocking CPUs
Chipset: Z370 | Memory: (4) DIMM, 64GB, DDR4-3800 | PCIe slots: x16, 2 x16 (x4), 3 (x1) | Video ports: HDMI | USB ports: (6) rear IO, (4) internal | Storage: (1) M.2, (6) SATA | Network: Ethernet
Z390 UD from Gigabyte is a killer choice. This budget gaming motherboard is well specced and fairly cheap. Z390 UD from Gigabyte is packed with DIMMs for memory upgrades, plenty of SATA ports (and an M.2).
The only real notable drawback on this board is the single x16 PCIe slot. If you plan on running multiple graphics cards and demand the very highest throughput look for a different motherboard.
Otherwise, the pair of full size x4 slots will happily accommodate less demanding add in cards. The Z390 chipset makes a wonderful home for 8th and 9th gen Intel processors.
- Excellent price
- 4 DIMMs for expansion
- Only a single full PCIe x16 slot
6. Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Ultra
One of the best gaming motherboards in 2019
Chipset: Z390 | Memory: (4) DIMM, 64GB, DDR4-4266 | PCIe slots: x16, x16 (x8), x16 (x4), (3) x1 | Video ports: HDMI | USB ports: (10) rear IO, (7) internal | Storage: (3) M.2, (6) SATA | Network: Ethernet, 1733Mbps 802.11ac | Lighting: Heatsink and DIMM slots RGB, (2) RGBW headers
Gigabyte isn’t as flashy as the other top tier motherboard makers, but has a lot to offer. Gigabyte’s Z390 Aorus Ultra competes with Asus ROG Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi), with a better price and features. It has triple M.2 slots, Intel Wi-Fi Wave2 and Ethernet, a full RGB treatment with multiple headers, and ALC1220 audio. You’d have climb to the top of the product stack to get the same from MSI and ASUS. This gaming motherboard is great value.
The only real downside for us is that this mobo is perhaps a bit too flashy, and may not suit more restrained gaming builds. When you’re using the Z390 as the base for all your other components, it’s worth considering how they’ll all look together.
- No-compromise features including triple M.2 slots
- Slick RGB package with two LED headers
- Intel CPU compatible
- Potentially too much bling
7. Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 5 Wi-Fi
Great compatibility and performance, at a lower price.
Chipset: X370 | Memory: (4) DIMM, 64GB, DDR4-3200 | PCIe slots: x16, x16 (x8), x16 (x4), (2) x1 | Video ports: HDMI | USB ports: (10) rear IO, (9) internal | Storage: (2) M.2, (6) SATA | Network: Ethernet, 1.73Gbps 802.11ac | Lighting: Three zone RGB, (2) RGB header
GIGABYTE X470 AORUS Gaming motherboards are based on the AMD X470 Chipset, and support 2nd Gen AMD Ryzen Processors. It is not an overclocking motherboard that’s for sure. The Ryzen 7 1700X used in testing could only manage around 4GHz, but its amazing in other aspects. If you’re on a budget the AX370 Gaming 5 is more than sufficient for most AM4 gaming builds.
The X470 platform by means of an updated power design, offering the best experience to the users who care about performance. HOwever it does lack some of the features that you get from more premium boards, like WiFi and Bluetooth compatibility.
- Stable BIOS and good memory support
- 32 Gb/s M.2 and U.2 connectors
- No Wi-Fi or Bluetooth
- Single M.2 slot
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