The 6 best gaming motherboard of 2021 buying Guide reviews

When talking about the best gaming motherboard for a gaming PC people emphasize the role of the processor and the graphics so much and rightly so, but another major component that is too often overlooked by people is the ‘motherboard’ that a PC employs. You might not know this but a motherboard is a very important component of your gaming computer. So much of your computer’s final performance depends upon the motherboard it contains.
You must understand the workings of a motherboard and which one is the best for you, motherboards act as a foundation for your computer. The best gaming motherboard will create the perfect balance between all your other computer components from storage to graphics, all the features of your gaming computer ultimately depend upon the motherboard in your computer.
Unlike most other components it is not very feasible to replace your computer’s motherboard sometime in the future if you aren’t satisfied with it, so you should decide wisely, to get the best gaming motherboard for your computer.
Motherboards have to be checked for compatibility with different processors, different processors are supported by specific motherboards. So before you buy a motherboard for your gaming PC you should decide which processor you will be using, and then check its compatibility with different motherboards.
So if you are a beginner and don’t want to waste your time getting into the complex details of motherboards and their compatibility, you have come to the right place.
In this article, we will be presenting to you a complete breakdown of the best gaming motherboards in the market for you to buy.

Motherboard specifics(technical terminologies)

USB header

An additional connector that provides you with the option to add another USB port to your port by installing a cable from the motherboard. Most boards provide sufficient ports already but it is always better to have a USB header just in case you need to add another USB port to your PC.

CPU socket

A CPU socket is what connects the motherboard with the main processor, it is important to know what kind of socket a board has and whether it is compatible with the chipset of your choice or not. You don’t need to get into the technicalities of a CPU socket just make sure it will support the processor you have.

Chipset

A chipset is an integrated electronic chip that manages the flow and transfer of data from the processor, memory to peripherals. Chipset is usually a part of the motherboard. Again you must make sure that the chipset is compatible with your processor and what options of add-in cards do you have.

DIMM slots

DIMM stands for the dual in-line memory module, where your RAM will be found. The number of slots of DIMM decides how much RAM you can install in your computer, having excess slots is always better since, with the rapid development in the gaming industry, games and application software are becoming ever more demanding and require huge quantities of RAM to run smoothly.

SATA ports

SATA stands for serial advanced technology attachment ports they work by providing a medium to connect storage devices or drives to the motherboard. There are two kinds of SATA ports, the data connector, and the power connector. The more SATA ports your best gaming motherboard contains the better it is for the overall performance of your computer. The number of storage drives you can have access to on your system depends upon the total number of physical ports and ports for NVme storage

#1. MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi

  • CPU socket: Intel 10th Gen
  • Network: 1x 2.5Gb LAN, Intel Wi-Fi 6 wireless
  • Rear USB: 5x USB 3.2, 2x USB 2.0
  • Memory support: 4x DIMM, up to 128GB, DDR4-4800 (OC)
  • Socket: LGA 1200
  • Expansion slots: 3x PCIe 3.0 (x16/x0/x4 or x8/x8/x4), 2x PCIe 3.0 x1
  • Storage: 2x M.2, 6x SATA 6Gbps

The first look at the MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi will make you notice the lack of some basic luxury features like the missing OLED display and or the sleek back panel, but it would be too early to judge this magnificent board by its mere appearance. MSI MPG Z490 falls behind a little when compared to the other intel Z490 motherboards. MPG Z490 has a solid build quality and offers great gaming performance, it’s designed to perform rather than have flashy features on the outside which it gets done.
The board supports 10th gen intel processors, which remains to be its highlighting feature considering the low to the mid-range cost of this motherboard by MSI. Most motherboards in the market compatible with 10th gen intel processors cost much more than $500 whereas MSI’s MPG Z490 sells at $250, which is a great price considering the value it provides.

Pros
● Fair price
● Good performance considering its price
● Compatible with 10th gen intel chips

Cons
● Mediocre performance for heavy gaming
● No OLED displays are available

#2. ASUS TUF gaming Z490-plus

  • CPU Socket: LGA1200
  • Chipset: Z490
  • Max Memory Capacity: 128GB
  • Memory Slots: 4 x DDR4
  • Max Memory Speed: 4,600MHz
  • Channel Support: Dual
  • Expansion Slots: 1 x PCIe 3.0 x16; 1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 (4 lanes); 3 x PCIe 3.0 x1

The ASUS TUF series provides you with the most valued boards that are worth the price if you have already chosen Z490 intel’s 10th gen processor then you should give ASUS TUF gaming Z490-plus ago. With its impressive design and solid build, you won’t be making many compromises in terms of the performance and reliability of your computer. Having decent max memory capacity and memory speed this board won’t be an obstacle between you and your passion for gaming. Being able to deliver first-class performance when paired up with a decent intel processor, with the ASUS TUF Z490-plus you won’t have to compromise on the overall potential of the computer.
With a fair price tag of under $250, this motherboard lives up to the promise, with proper heat sinks which will make sure the motherboard doesn’t heat up under stress, having voltage regulator modules that allow you to perform overclocking, various headers for fans and cooling devices, and separate headers for connecting RGB hardware.
With that said, on the other side of this, the board does not support PCI Express 4.0 and has relatively few USB ports with only two M.2 slots for SSD.
The ASUS TUF Z490-plus is a decent and affordable choice for anyone looking for a powerful and functional motherboard to team up with their intel’s 10th gen processors.

Pros
● Affordable board for Z490
● Impressive gaming performance
● Solid build quality
● Large heatsinks are given for ventilation

Cons
● Insufficient USB ports
● Only two SSD slots

#3. Asus ROG Maximus XII Apex

 

  • CPU Socket: LGA1200
  • Chipset: Z490
  • Memory Slots: 2 x DDR4
  • Channel Support: Dual
  • Max Memory Capacity: 64GB
  • Max Memory Speed: 4,800MHz
  • Expansion Slots: 2 x PCIe 3.0 x 16 (single at x16, dual at x8/x8), 1 x PCIe 3.0 x 4, 1 x PCIe 3.0 x1

ASUS ROG Maximus XII apex is another motherboard built for intel’s Z490 chipsets, this board is guaranteed to push the limits of your PC in terms of performance and power. The Maximus XII apex focuses on providing extensive overclocking ability to the user, with no other board providing the option such overclocking XII Apex stands apart in the lineup and is of great value having a solid design with all the necessary hardware bits. Not just about overclocking the apex board is well capable of providing good gaming performance with ample storage facility and included cooling ecosystem.

Although the high price tag of this board might be a concern for many people, many Z490 motherboards are available in the market with more or less the same features and functionality. So Maximus XII apex might be overpriced for the value it offers, but still, if you can afford to spare some extra dollars for that more premium flagship look this board won’t be a letdown at all.

Pros
● Flagship design
● Solid build quality
● Heatsinks and VRM are available
● Ideal for overclocking
Cons
● Very expensive
● Mediocre speed

#4. AS Rock B460 Steel Legend

 

  • CPU support: Intel 10th Gen
  • Chipset: B460
  • Socket: LGA 1200
  • Size: ATX
  • Memory support: 4x DIMM, up to DDR4-2933 (i7,i9) or DDR4-2666 (i5)
  • Expansion slots: 2x PCIe 3.0 x16, 1x PCIe 3.0 x1

AS rock B460 steel legend is a mid-range motherboard for the B460 chipset. The price point of this board might give you the feeling that it won’t be delivering much value and performance at such a low price. Instead, it ends up being a pretty good mid-range option for your B460 chipset. Although it won’t be able to perform up to the mark of its more flagship counterparts, it still manages to provide impressive features.
Having two heatsinks for M.2 slots, 6 headers for coolers, and a separate RGB header makes sure you are spending your money on the right features.
Thanks to the limitations of B460 chipsets themselves there is not a lot we can expect from this board, with small storage capacity and mediocre performance the board has its limitations, despite that it is a highly competitive device in this price range for B460.

Pros
● Fair price
● Heatsinks available
● Headers for coolers

Cons
● Poor performance
● Insufficient storage capacity

#5. ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero

  • 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

Debuting with the AMD Ryzen 5000 series, ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero gives you all the functionality and features of an AM4 motherboard. The dark hero has decent performance compared to other AM4 boards, with the capability of slight overclocking and 4 years of BIOS update it provides good functionality. Unlike the earlier boards of its kind, Dark Hero was designed with Zen 3 processors and is fully compatible with those processors.
The board has a durable build quality with a distinct, simple, and aesthetic design. The board does not include any cooling fan for the chipset nor a USB 3.2 Gen2x2 (20 Gbps) port, a feature that you will easily get in most budget range motherboards let alone a $400 motherboard like the Dark Hero.
ROG Crosshair VIII Dark hero might not be the best gaming motherboard for the X570 chipset, providing average performance and basic features along with an impressive all-black design it offers a fair deal if you want to get the better out of your X570 chipset.

Pros
● 90A power deliverance
● 12 USB ports

Cons
● Expensive
● Mediocre features
● No chipset cooler

#6. MSI MEG X570 Godlike

  • CPU Socket: AM4
  • Max Memory Capacity: 128GB
  • Chipset: X570
  • Memory Slots: 4 x DDR4
  • Max Memory Speed: 5,000MHz
  • Channel Support: Dual
  • 2 Slots: 3 x M.2 slot PCIe 4.0 x 4 (Key M), 1 x M.2 Wi-Fi
  • Expansion Slots: 1 x PCIe 4.0 x16; 1 x PCIe 4.0 x16 (8 lanes); 1 x PCIe 4.0 x16 (4 lanes)

With the MEG X570 Godlike be prepared to experience the extremities of computing. This motherboard stands out to be probably the best board for the X570 chipset, it has all that you would expect from a gaming processor. With the E-ATX design, it has ample space to house any hardware of your system, the power delivery of this board is phenomenal, making it an ideal board to perform overclocking having the dual 8-pin connectors.
Godlike provides massive storage capacity and expandability for a hassle-free gaming experience. The board has a solid build quality with an extremely satisfying all-black design, With the mystic light infinity you can customize and set up your custom color scheme to generate special light effects which will provide your board with a unique and aesthetic look.
With that said the MEG X570 godlike has a price tag of up to $600, this makes it stand beside the other flagship boards with numerous features. Providing good but not great performance and poorly arranged I/O ports on the panel make you question if it’s even worth the high price.

 

Pros
● Add on storage available
● Sleek side LCD panel
● Impressive all-black design

 

Cons
● Overpriced
● The trouble with software utilities

Frequently asked questions(FAQs)

Which PC cases will support my motherboard?

Not all PC cases are compatible with most motherboards, you must make sure of the compatibility of your motherboard with the PC case you will be using.

Are all RAMs compatible with any motherboard?

No, not all motherboards support all RAMs, it gets very specific with what components can go with a motherboard. Use a compatibility checker to make sure you are buying the right product.

Are motherboards even important?

Yes absolutely, motherboards are very important components of any computer. Providing power to all the components and working as a medium to communicate between different parts of the system motherboards play an integral role in the smooth functioning of your computer.

Which is the best gaming motherboard?

There’s cannot be one single best gaming motherboard, as there are numerous boards available in the market for different processors, and it is for you to decide which board is the best for your system.

 

Conclusion

 

Motherboards are a crucial component of any gaming PC, as so much depends on them from your system speed to memory allocation. A motherboard has some role for all components. The best gaming motherboard can be an X factor making your gaming PC undeniably superior and powerful.
As motherboards are highly specific components decide wisely which one you want depending upon the compatibility of your processor and other system hardware. Motherboards are available in a wide range of price options, considering your budget and other preferences hopefully this article will prove helpful for you to make the best decision.

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