how to choose a gaming motherboard

How to Choose a Gaming Motherboard

Motherboards are complex. how to choose a gaming motherboard is an important part of making a PC. At the crux of any good gaming PC is its motherboard, and it is tough to figure out which motherboard would be best for your needs. While a CPU is the brain of the operation, the motherboard is more like the central nervous system of your gaming rig. With the range of models out there, it might not seem easy to figure out the right one for your system. We have done the key research to help you know what goes into how to choose an ideal gaming motherboard.

What does a Motherboard do?

The circuit board links all your hardware to your processor and gives electricity from your power supply. It defines the storage devices, memory modules, and graphics cards connecting to your PC.

Motherboard

A motherboard is a primary circuit board of a PC. However, motherboards change over time, and the basic design makes it easy to connect new upsurge cards, hard drives, and memory modules and replace old ones. Let’s look over some of the terms you’ll face when getting motherboards.

How good of a Motherboard do I Need for Gaming?

Motherboards do not affect your gaming function. Your motherboard type will let your graphics card and processor perform better or worse, and it’s like a Solid State Drive’s impact on FPS.

For Gamers:

MSI MPG X570 GAMING PLUS

The MSI X570 GAMING PLUS Motherboard is a good option, backing up to 128GB RAM, the latest Ryzen processors, and coming with the range-topping X570 chipset. This panel helps fast networking, armored PCIe slots, and MSI’s RGB lighting system.

What is the best form factor for a Gaming Motherboard?

If you want to raise the potential of a PC, an ATX motherboard is almost the way. As it is the most popular PC form-factor, ATX motherboards also obtain more help from the companies, as Chillblast can offer a wider array of ATX motherboards.

What to Consider When Buying a Motherboard

  • Form Factor.
  • Processor Socket
  • RAM (Random Access Memory) Next up is RAM, short for Random Access Memory
  • PCI Slots
  • Features
  • SATA

How to Check Motherboard and CPU Compatibility

Let’s pick a compatible motherboard for your build, starting with CPU and motherboard compatibility. To know if your motherboard is compatible with your CPU, all you need to do is make sure the chipset of your motherboard (like AMD’s “B450” chipset) uses the same socket type as your CPU (like the “AM4” socket used by almost all modern AMD CPUs).

In this example, the B450 chipset uses the AM4 socket, so you’re good to know if your CPU is AM4. To check these things, look at the product listing of your CPU and motherboard. Read on for more details on motherboard and CPU compatibility.

RAM Compatibility

Buying a motherboard that works with your chosen RAM modules is also a basic concern. You must ensure that your board supports the specific RAM type, speed, and power. Today’s standard type for RAM is DDR4; older models may still rely on DDR3. We can also see DDR5 on the horizon, but that shouldn’t be too much concern. Motherboards support one RAM type, and you would be best off purchasing DDR4 RAM in the current climate and a motherboard to match.

Relying on your RAM speed, you should ensure that the speed is mentioned in your motherboard’s list of RAM speeds. Sometimes, you may see “OC” written after some of the listed speeds, which you will need to patch around in the BIOS a little to run the module at the required speed.

If you want more RAM, then make sure to check the maximum capacity of your motherboard. It’s rare to reach the maximum supported capacity, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Further, limit a thought for the number of RAM slots you’ll need. It’s no good buying a board with only two slots if you’re looking to be running four sticks of RAM at once.

Price

You don’t need an overly pricy motherboard to get the job done. Ideally, you’ll want to avoid cheaper models to ensure you aren’t missing any key features. Usually, anything in the ballpark of $100 – 150 is likely to be ideal for a mid-range system. If you’re building with a powerful CPU like an Intel i9 or AMD Ryzen 9, you’ll want to pay a little extra for a more right board.

Brand

Aside from all of the main features, you may also want to spare a review for your motherboard’s brand. Four main motherboard manufacturers are known for their quality and reliability – Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, and ASRock. Unless you know your stuff, it’s a good idea to stick with a model from one of these brands, as you know you’ll be getting a good piece of kit.

While there is a lot more to a motherboard than is covered here, the above factors are the primary cares to keep in mind. Using this recap as a baseline for your research, you should be in good stead for buying an ideal board for your gaming rig.

At a Glance:

Our Recommendations for Best Gaming Motherboard

DesignKnowledge BaseRetailer
Best PickASUS ROG Strix B450-F Gaming II AMD AM4
Check Price
Staff PickGIGABYTE X570 AORUS Elite Wi-Fi
Check Price
Budget PickGIGABYTE B550I AORUS PRO AX
Check Price

ASUS ROG Strix B450-F Gaming II AMD AM4

Best Pick
ASUS ROG Strix B450-F Gaming II AMD AM4

If you’ve been looking with envious eyes at the 2nd Generation of AMD Zen products then the ASUS ROG Strix B450-F Gaming manages to combine the performance and feature set that we desire with great looks and all wrapped up in an affordable package. It might not quite best the full-fat X470 models but it gets a damn sight closer than anyone expected.

Power Design

Digital power control and an array of discrete MOS ensure ROG Strix B450-F Gaming II has the muscle to control the latest AMD CPUs.

  • Discrete MOS
  • Controller
  • Choke
  • Capacitor

VRM Thermal Design

The ROG Strix B450-F Gaming II uses new alloy chokes that deliver better efficiency, and high-quality thermal pads to help transfer heat from the VRM array to a sink that has ample surface area for the latest processors. And to ensure critical components always make optimal contact, there’s a backplate on the rear of the board that helps balance MOSFET temperatures while providing structural reinforcement.

M.2 Heatsink

An integrated heatsink keeps the M.2 SSD at optimum operating temperature for consistent performance and reliability.

Dual PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2

Dual PCIe 3.0×4 M.2 slots provide NVM Express SSD RAID support for an incredible performance boost. Create a RAID configuration with up to three PCI Express 3.0 storage devices via two M.2 slots and a PCIe x16 slot to enjoy incredible data-transfer speeds.

SupremeFX

Built-in ROG SupremeFX audio technology ensures pristine audio for ROG Strix B450-F Gaming II. Along with ensuring a flat frequency response for a neutral, detailed sound signature, it offers two front-panel outputs driven by op-amps that deliver high-quality audio to gaming headsets.

BIOS FlashBack

Users can place a BIOS file onto a FAT32-formatted USB drive and simply plug it into the USB BIOS FlashBack port and press a button to update the (UEFI) BIOS. Updates can be made even if memory or CPU isn’t present.

Cyber-inspired Looks

ROG Strix B450-F Gaming II embodies the unique Strix gaming spirit with its stylish cut across the I/O shroud, its cyberpunk-inspired ROG eye logo across the PCB plate, and futuristic cybertext highlights.

AI Networking

The proprietary ROG GameFirst VI utility is designed to help all users —beginners, experts, and everyone in between —optimize network settings to ensure smooth online gameplay. New to this generation, GameFirst VI features enhanced Ai-identification and boosts technology to ensure faster and smarter network optimization.

Sonic Studio III

Sonic Studio supports HRTF-based (head-related transfer function*) virtual surround for VR headsets, casting an immersive aural landscape that draws you deeper into the action. The intuitive Sonic Studio interface also offers a range of EQ options and one-click presets, allowing you to tailor acoustics to suit personal preferences or the characteristics of your headset.

ASUS ROG Strix B450-F Gaming II AMD AM4 Specifications

  • Brand: ASUS
  • CPU Socket Socket: AM4
  • Compatible devices: Gaming Console
  • RAM Memory Technology: DDR4
  • Compatible Processors: AMD 1st Gerenration Ryzen
  • Chipset Type: AMD B450
  • Platform: Windows 10
  • Series: ROG STRIX B450-F Gaming II
  • Memory Storage Capacity: 256 MB
  • Graphics Card Interface: PCI Express

Pros

  • Tweaking-friendly ROG UEFI
  • Better-than-expected DRAM overclocking
  • SupremeFX Audio
  • Swappable southbridge sticker
  • Overclocks our 2700X without issue

Cons

  • Missing power/reset buttons and POST LED
  • Some worrying BIOS oversights
  • No M.2 heatsinks
  • No Wi-Fi

GIGABYTE X570 AORUS Elite Wi-Fi

Staff Pick
GIGABYTE X570 AORUS Elite Wi-Fi

GIGABYTE X570 motherboards based on the AMD X570 Chipset provide full support for 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen Processors. The all-new design is a testament to GIGABYTE’s dedication to design quality.

GIGABYTE X570 motherboards offer a rich list of features such as support for PCIe 4.0 and USB Type-C interfaces on select boards, refined audio, high speed of Ethernet, and the latest standard of WIFI design, to fulfill users’ performance, audio, and data transfer needs.

The new, advanced power and thermal design enables users to unleash the performance on AMD Ryzen 3000-series Processors, making the GIGABYTE X570 motherboards perfect for users looking to build the best AMD platform gaming system

Motherboard BIOS update for AMD Ryzen 5000 series processors

  • From GIGABYTE’s website, download the latest compressed BIOS update file that matches your motherboard model from its product page.
  • Uncompress the downloaded BIOS file, save it to your USB flash drive, and rename it to GIGABYTE.bin. Note: The USB flash drive must use the FAT32/16 file system.
  • Insert the USB flash drive into the white USB port or BIOS Q Flash port on the back panel of your motherboard (USB port may not be labeled on all models, checking the user manual is recommended)
  • Connect the power cables to the CPU 8 Pin power connector (connect either one if there are two) and the mainboard 24 Pin power connector.
  • Press the Q-Flash Plus button (location may vary by model) and the system will automatically search and match the BIOS file in the USB flash drive on the white USB port. The QFLED and the Q-Flash Plus button on the rear panel will flash during the BIOS matching and flashing process. Wait for 2-3 minutes and the QFLED will stop flashing when the BIOS flashing is complete.

Gigabyte X570 AORUS Elite WiFi Features

  • Supports AMD 3rd Gen Ryzen/ 2nd Gen Ryzen/ 2nd Gen Ryzen with Radeon Vega Graphics/ Ryzen with Radeon Vega Graphics Processors
  • Dual Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 4 DIMMs
  • 12+2 Phases Digital VRM Solution with DrMOS
  • Advanced Heatsink Design with Enlarge Heatsink
  • Dual Ultra-Fast NVMe PCIe 4.0/3.0 x4 M.2 with Single Thermal Guards
  • High-Quality Audio Capacitors and Audio Noise Guard with LED Trace Path Lighting
  • Intel Gigabit LAN with cFosSpeed Internet Accelerator
  • Intel Dual Band 802.11ac WIFI & BT 4.2
  • RGB FUSION 2.0 with Multi-Zone Addressable LED Light

GIGABYTE X570 AORUS Elite Wi-Fi Specifications

  • Brand: Gigabyte
  • CPU Socket: AM4
  • Compatible devices: Gaming Console, Personal Computer
  • RAM Memory Technology: DDR4
  • Compatible Processors: AMD 3rd Generation Ryzen, AMD 2nd Generation Ryzen
  • Chipset Type: AMD X570
  • Memory Speed: 4400 MHz
  • Platform: Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 10
  • Memory Storage Capacity: 1006 TB
  • Graphics Card Interface: PCI Express

Pros

  • Low price
  • Integrated I/O plate
  • The heatsink on the primary M.2 slot

Cons

  • No debug LEDs
  • No Type-C port on the rear IO

GIGABYTE B550I AORUS PRO AX

Budget Pick
GIGABYTE B550I AORUS PRO AX

B550I AORUS PRO AX is a mini-ITX motherboard perfect for building a small form factor PC for people who demand higher performance but also cares about aesthetics. The compact yet powerful pc delivers amazing performance with the latest CPU, graphic card, and blazing-fast connectivity. It is also equipped with a comprehensive thermal solution to keep it cool under a heavy workload. Performance is not compromised by its size.

To fully support the 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen processors, B550 motherboards equip with the ultimate power solution which is truly direct, digital, and has multiple phases. After countless experiments and testing, GIGABYTE presents the B550 motherboards for enthusiasts. No Compromise and never stop to achieve higher. GIGABYTE realize that customer won’t stop chasing a better computing performance.

We take care of it and implement it on products. Protective and optimized memory traces enhance the performance. Faster read and writing are needed to save time and improve efficiency. We offer plenty of M.2 storage with thermal guards to ensure unthrottled read and write.

In advance, adopting PCIe 4.0-ready components get the B550 motherboards easier to upgrade. A high-end product needs to be future-proof so your system stays up-to-date with the latest technology. B550 motherboards provide all next-generation network, storage, and WIFI connectivity to keep you up to speed.

Motherboard BIOS update for AMD Ryzen 5000 series processors

  • From GIGABYTE’s website, download the latest compressed BIOS update file that matches your motherboard model from its product page.
  • Uncompress the downloaded BIOS file, save it to your USB flash drive, and rename it to GIGABYTE.bin. Note: The USB flash drive must use the FAT32/16 file system.
  • Insert the USB flash drive into the white USB port or BIOS Q Flash port on the back panel of your motherboard (USB port may not be labeled on all models, checking the user manual is recommended)
  • Connect the power cables to the CPU 8 Pin power connector (connect either one if there are two) and the mainboard 24 Pin power connector.
  • Press the Q-Flash Plus button (location may vary by model) and the system will automatically search and match the BIOS file in the USB flash drive on the white USB port. The QFLED and the Q-Flash Plus button on the rear panel will flash during the BIOS matching and flashing process. Wait for 2-3 minutes and the QFLED will stop flashing when the BIOS flashing is complete.

GIGABYTE B550I AORUS PRO AX Features:

  • Supports 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen Processors
  • Dual Channel ECC/ Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 2 DIMMs
  • Direct 8 Phases Digital VRM Solution with 90A Smart Power Stage (SPS)
  • Advanced Thermal Design with Extended & Multi-Layered Heatsink and Thermal Baseplate
  • Ultra Durable PCIe 4.0 Ready x16 Slot
  • Dual Ultra-Fast NVMe PCIe 4.0/3.0 x4 M.2 with Thermal Guard
  • Onboard Intel WiFi 6 802.11ax 2T2R & BT5 with AORUS Antenna
  • AMP-UP Audio with ALC1220-VB and Nichicon Audio Capacitors for Rear 120dB SNR
  • Blazing Fast 2.5GbE LAN with Bandwidth Management
  • USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C & DisplayPort + Dual HDMI Support
  • RGB FUSION 2.0 Supports Addressable LED & RGB LED Strips
  • Smart Fan 5 Features Multiple Temperature Sensors, Hybrid Fan Headers with FAN STOP
  • Q-Flash Plus Update BIOS without Installing the CPU, Memory, and Graphics Card
  • Pre-installed IO Shield for Easy and Quick Installation

GIGABYTE B550I AORUS PRO AX Specifications

  • Brand: Gigabyte
  • CPU Socket: AM4
  • Compatible Devices: Personal Computer
  • RAM Memory Technology: DDR4
  • Compatible Processors: AMD 3rd Generation Ryzen
  • Chipset Type: AMD B550
  • Memory Speed: 4866 MHz
  • Platform: Windows 10
  • Memory Storage Capacity: 2.5 GB
  • Graphics Card Interface: PCI Express

Pros

  • Tiny form factor
  • Feature-rich, despite its small size
  • Competitively priced
  • Dual M.2 slots
  • Competes blow to blow with X570 in performance

Cons

  • Only one slot supports PCIe 4.0
  • Few fan headers

Summary For Best Gaming Motherboard

DesignKnowledge BaseRetailer
Best PickASUS ROG Strix B450-F Gaming II AMD AM4
Check Price
Staff PickGIGABYTE X570 AORUS Elite Wi-Fi
Check Price
Budget PickGIGABYTE B550I AORUS PRO AX
Check Price

Which Motherboard is Best for Gaming 2022?

Best AMD X570 Motherboard

  1. Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero. The best X570 and the last AM4 board you’ll ever need.
  2. MSI MPG X570 Gaming Pro Carbon WiFi. And the best gaming motherboards for AMD Ryzen 3000 build.

However, the first two components you’ll need to choose (aside from your processor) if you are building a small form-factor PC, are your case, and your motherboard. You can check out our picks for the top mini-ITX cases here, but after you choose your case, you’ll want to start looking for a mini-ITX motherboard to go along with it. So, in this guide, we’re going to list some of the best mini-ITX motherboards currently available for both Intel and AMD-based systems at various price points and chipsets.

Final Thoughts

Whether you will next build or upgrade your gaming PC, learning the parts of your gaming motherboard is important. Once you know how everything does, you’ll know how to choose a gaming motherboard that suits your build.

It will help if you get a socket that matches your CPU, a chipset that increases your hardware potential. The feature set matches your computing needs. Take the time to list some compatible motherboards and compare their key benefits before finding what you are looking for. Be confident and conscious while choosing the best gaming motherboards.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does motherboard matter for gaming?

A motherboard is simply a skeleton or channel of communication that holds all the pieces of a PC together. As far as the question “does motherboard matter for gaming” goes, a motherboard DOES NOT directly influence the performance of any game or the CPU that goes on it.

Is 16GB RAM enough for gaming?

16GB is the recommended amount of RAM for playing most games and will provide a noticeable increase in performance from 8GB. You will also be able to run applications in the background without affecting gameplay.

Does the motherboard increase FPS?

Does Your Motherboard Affect FPS? Motherboards do not directly influence your gaming performance at all. What your motherboard type will do, is allow your graphics card and processor to perform better (or worse). It’s sort of similar to a Solid State Drive’s impact on FPS.

Should I upgrade the motherboard or CPU first?

You have to make sure that the motherboard has the compatible SOCKET for the CPU. If the socket of your new CPU does not match that of the motherboard, then you will need to upgrade the motherboard.

Does an SSD affect FPS?

Upgrading to an SSD will not increase your average gaming FPS. However, it will improve game load times and reduce stuttering when traversing open-world games.

Does my PC support overclocking?

In short, no. The majority of CPUs and motherboards’ multipliers are locked and therefore unable to overclocking support. If you’re interested in overclocking, you’ll need to make sure you have the right type of CPU: Intel CPUs – look for products with a ‘k’ in the name.

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