The B560 is a mid-range motherboard designed to be compatible with the latest Rocket Lake Intel CPUs, though it is also still compatible with the older generation of Comet Lake CPUs as well. It is the motherboard which most gamers will probably end up opting for if they go Intel. As a result we’ve put together a shortlist of the top 5 B560 motherboards for you, listing the pros and cons of each. Read below to find out more!
Our Top Picks
The Best B560 Motherboard: First Look
The ASUS TUF Gaming B560M-PLUS may only be Micro ATX size, but it sure does pack a lot of features including Thunderbolt 4 support, Wi-Fi and an impressive 5000MHz maximum RAM speed.
Considering this ASUS TUF Gaming motherboard is only of the smaller Micro ATX form factor, it sure does pack in a lot of features. Besides the PCIe 4.0 x16 slot for use on your chosen graphics card, there are 6x SATA ports, a wide arrange of USB slots (though sadly only a Gen1 USB 3.2 Type-C port) and even a Thunderbolt connector. The 4x DIMM slots support up to 128GB of RAM with a very impressive max speed of 5000MHz, so it’s great for anyone looking to overclock their RAM. The Wi-Fi support just ties it all off nicely! A cracking B560 board.
This MSI MAG B560 Torpedo ATX Gaming Motherboard comes with a great 5033MHz maximum RAM speed and two x16 PCIe 4.0 slots as well as an extensive array of USB ports.
The MSI MAG B560 Torpedo ATX Gaming Motherboard is a premium level B560 board which has two PCIe 4.0 x16 slots, enabling you to insert two graphics cards, should you wish to go with an SLI setup. Besides this the board comes with an impressive array of other ports and sockets: a PCIe 3.0 x4 and PCIe 3.0 x1 slot to let you install other expansions such as capture cards or a dedicated sound card, the standard six SATA slots, and very impressive array of USB ports including two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C slots.
The ASRock B560 Steel Legend is an affordable motherboard that offers the best balance between price and performance for those only looking to install a single GPU.
This ASRock Steel Legend motherboard is a terrific choice for the middle-range gaming machine, and offers all the necessary features to run a 10th or 11th gen Intel CPU, whilst saving you the money you can put towards a better graphics card. The single PCIe 4.0 x16 slot will do nicely for the vast majority of gamers, and though it would have been nice to get another M.2 PCIe 4.0 slot for SSD use, you do still get two additional M.2 PCIe 3.0 ones.
The lack of Wi-Fi is the biggest drawback of this board, but given the excellent RAM overclocking potential given by the four DIMM slots that give up to 128GB 4800MHz coverage, this will be a worthwhile trade-off for many.
This ASRock B560 PRO4 is a great affordable B560 motherboard for those on a tight budget, coming with 4800MHz RAM support and a legacy PS/2 socket.
The ASRock B560 PRO4 is a stripped down version of its Steel Legend cousin, coming with a weaker VRM that will only support a CPU up to around 200W, making it unsuitable for CPUs with cores above 6 really. If saving money is your priority though, and you don’t mind the lower number of M.2 4.0 slots or lack of Wi-Fi, then this motherboard could suit your needs.
The Gigabyte B560 Aorus Pro AX is a premium price motherboard with the highest maximum RAM speed currently available and a decent array of other features.
This B560 motherboard from Gigabyte: the Aorus Pro AX, is a premium cost board that might put of a lot of people on price alone – typically for this price tag you’d be wanting the CPU overclocking features allowed by a Z590 board or similar. If however you’re not intending to overclock your CPU but a really keen on getting the fastest RAM speeds possible, then this board may be for you: it’s 5333MHz maximum memory frequency is the fastest of any on this page. Besides this you get Wi-Fi plus an additional couple of smaller PCIe slots in the form of a PCIe 3.0 x4 and a PCIe 3.0 x1 slot.
Unlike with graphics cards, where different AIB releases from 3rd party manufacturers can make substantial differences to performance and price, motherboard brands aren’t overly differentiated in terms of quality of specialization. There are some differences, ASRock don’t have the best track record when it comes to VRMs (Voltage Regulator Modules) for instance, meaning they aren’t the best for overclocking, but generally speaking you just need to pay attention to the specific specifications of whatever model board you’re looking at and the features it comes with.
Intel B-Series Motherboards vs AMD B-series Motherboards
Confusingly B550 motherboards are not, as you might expect, the previous iteration of the Intel compatible motherboard (that honour goes to the B460, which you can read more about below). B550 motherboards are in fact AMD compatible boards designed for the AM4 chipset, the predecessor of which was the B450 and so on. So if you’re looking for an Intel board of the B series, seek out the ones which end in a 60, if you’re after an AMD board, look for the ones ending with a 50.
Both sets of motherboards do represent the mid-tier in terms of performance for both chipsets, below that of the Z590 series for Intel and the X570 series for AMD, which represent the ‘enthusiast’ or high-performance category. The B of the B-series boards is often said to stand for ‘Business’ level performance.
In terms of actual performance differences between the two, the AMD B550 motherboards are a bit more expensive but do however allow for CPU overclocking, which the Intel B-series motherboards don’t. As discussed below however, this is not that much of a downside if you’re looking for a mid-range gaming PC.
Improvements over the B460
In short the B560 motherboard chipset, compared to its predecessor the B460, adds memory overclocking, some PCIe 4.0 compatibility (although realistically limited to only one or at most two slots for the GPU and a single SSD compared to the more expensive Z590), improved 2.5 GB LAN and WiFi 6. See our article on the B560 vs B460 for more information on this subject.
No CPU Overclocking
The key thing which differentiates the B560 motherboards from the more expensive ‘enthusiast’ Z590 motherboards is the lack of CPU overclocking support in the cheaper board. Given that the B560 is a mid-range motherboard though, we don’t see this as much of a drawback. Ultimately if you’re looking to build a gaming PC at this price range then you’d be better spending your money on a better graphics card, rather than the additional $100-$200 you’d have to fork out for an improved cooling solution and the more expensive motherboard, for what will ultimately only be a 3-5% maximum performance difference. If you’re looking to put together a workstation build of course that does focus on CPU performance then you should probably look elsewhere.
Should I Buy A B560 Motherboard?
Before you decide which one to buy, you should first make definitely sure that the B560 motherboard is the right motherboard for you and what you want from your build.
If we consider all of the above points we have discussed, a B560 motherboard is best suited to someone looking for a mid-range gaming PC build without CPU overclocking. The board pairs very well with anything from the Intel i7 series for example, which offers great power per $ value with CPUs like the Intel 8 core-i7 11700.
If you’re looking to spend more money on a CPU with more cores that you can overclock (if you want a rig that can dual purpose for workstation tasks for instance), you’re probably better going with an AMD build rather than Intel and picking up X570 motherboard with a 5900X or 5950X CPU if your budget can stretch that far. For everyone else just looking for a gaming rig that won’t break the bank, stick with an i7 CPU, a B560 motherboard, and spend more of your money on your graphics card!
The Best B560 Motherboards In 2021
5000MHz RAM support
Comes with Wi-FI
Thunderbolt 4 support
Only two M.2 slots
The ASUS TUF Gaming B560M-PLUS motherboard has a very impressive loadout for a smaller form factor design. The required PCIe 4.0 x16 is there for you to plug your GPU into, and few would need more than this, particularly if you’re looking for a smaller PC build – if you’re looking for an SLI rig, then look elsewhere. The 6x SATA ports should be more than ample and Thunderbolt support alongside HDMI and DisplayPort is a welcome addition.
In terms of M.2 slots there is unfortunately only a grand total of two: one PCIe 4.0 and one PCIe 3.0, which may be too much of a drawback for those looking to operate multiple SSDs, but isn’t surprising for this size of board. The single USB 3.2 Type-C port is only Gen1 unfortunately, but besides this the USB port coverage is impressive for a smaller board.
The biggest two advantages of this board are the Wi-Fi support, and in particular the great 5000MHz RAM speed capacity, which gives the 4x DDR4 128GB DIMM slots maximum ceiling for memory overclocking. A superb B560 Micro ATX motherboard!
5033MHz RAM support
2x PCIe x16 slots
Additional PCIe 3.0 x4 and PCIe 3.0 x1 slots
Great port USB coverage
expensive for a B560 motherboard
The pièce de résistance of the MSI MAG B560 Torpedo ATX motherboard is the two lots of PCIe 4.0 x16 slots it comes with, either of which can be fitted with a state-of-the-art graphics card (or both if you’re planning on a dual GPU SLI build). Besides this larger size Gen 4 slot, there is also a PCIe 3.0 x4 slot and a PCIe 3.0 x1 slot for any other expansions or smaller cards you may wish to add, such as dedicated sound cards, capture cards for streamers, or even a further USB expansion.
On that latter point however, the MAG B560 TORPEDO is already well covered with a great array of USB sockets, including two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C ports, six USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, and four of the older USB 2.0 type. Besides the ports and slot the most impressive thing about the motherboard is the 5033MHz maximum clock speed available for the RAM, which makes it the second fastest board on this page in this department.
Ultimately, the only real downside of this beastly board is the price tag, which some mid-range builders may find slightly more than they’re happy with paying for.
4800MHz RAM support
Only one M.2 PCIe 4.0 slot for SSDs
Gray camo aesthetics may not be to everyone’s tastes
The ASRock B560 Steel Legend has a relatively simple design, as you’d expect for a motherboard of this price. The PCB of the board is colored black while the heatsinks have a grey houndstooth effect which may not be to everyone’s tastes, but is relatively non-garish.
Whilst VRMs are a relative weak spot of ASRock motherboards, unless you’re overclocking your CPU, something the B560 is incapable of, this isn’t an issue. One area you can overclock however is the RAM speed, and for that this board offers excellent coverage, up to 48000MHz.
Although there is only one PCIe 4.0 slot for graphics cards this won’t be an issue for 90% of users, who are unlikely to be running a dual GPU setup. The single M.2 PCIe 4.0 slot could ideally have been accompanied by a second, but you at least get 2x PCIe 3.0 slots to play with.
Besides this you get all the ports and sockets you’d expect, including four DIMM slots for up to 128BG of DDR4 RAM, six SATA ports, plenty of USB slots, a DisplayPort and an HDMI socket, and a legacy PS/2 socket. The lack of Wi-Fi is probably the thing which will turn off the most people about the board, but if this isn’t a problem for you, then all things considered, it offers great bang for your buck!
4800MHz RAM support
VRM only suitable for lower core count CPUs
Only one M.2 PCIe 4.0 slot for SSDs
Another B560 board from ASRock, this one is very similar to the above Steel Legend board, the only two differences being the VRM (Voltage Regulator Module) and the available USB ports, for all other specifications, please see the above review to get an idea of what your money would buy you.
There are actually two more USB ports on this cheaper PRO4 board than on its more expensive brethren, and an additional four USB 2.0 slots, however it only has one USB 3.2 Type-C Gen1 port, in contrast to the Steel Legion’s two USB 3.2 Type-C Gen2 ports. How important this is largely down to your personal needs!
Ultimately the 8 Phase Power Design of this cheaper board (in contrast to the 10 Phase Dr.MOS Power Design of the Steel Legend) means that if you’re planning on running an 8 core i7-10700 for example, which can use up to 200W power when pushed to the max, you’d be better off going with the Steel Legend. For any CPU with fewer cores than this, such as the 6 core Intel Core i5-10600K or the Intel Core i7-8700K, then the ASRock B560 PRO4 4DDR4 LGA1200 is your best option if you want to save money that you can contribute towards other components.
5333MHz RAM support
Additional PCIe 3.0 x4 and PCIe 3.0 x1 slots
very expensive for a B560 motherboard
This Gigabyte B560 Aorus Pro AX has the highest max RAM speed (5333MHz) of any motherboard on this page, from an already impressive array.
The single PCIe 4.0 x16 gives you all the speed you’ll need to make the most out of your GPU, though if you want a dual GPU SLI setup you’ll need to look elsewhere. The PCIe 3.0 x4 and PCIe 3.0 x1 give plenty of options if you want to install a dedicated sound card, capture card, or additional port connectors on top of the impressive existing amount.
Despite all these features though, ultimately the question needs to be asked as to why is this motherboard would be worth your consideration, given its high cost (over $200 at the time of writing). As discussed above, B560 motherboards are ideal for those looking for an affordable but powerful mid-range build, but spending this kind of money would only really be justifiable if you were going for high end enthusiast build and overclocking your CPU, in which case you’d be better off with an AMD CPU and a X570 motherboard, or at least a Z590 motherboard if you want to go Intel.
So there we are, this has been our shortlist of the best B560 motherboards on the market for Intel users, whether you are looking to pick up a new Rocket Lake CPU or have an older generation Comet Lake processor. The ASUS TUF Gaming B560M-PLUS is a brilliant smaller sized Micro ATX board which still manages to pack in a lot of features, and the MSI MAG B560 Torpedo ATX is a great option for those looking to run a dual GPU setup. The other motherboards on this page however all have their pros and cons, so please make sure you read through our reviews on each above to see which one is right for you.