Best Gaming Motherboards for AMD and Intel 2019

ASUS Prime Z370 A unbox

So you’ve decided to go with a new gaming build this 2019, or maybe you’re just upgrading the existing hardware you built in 2018, and you’re not sure what to get. Either way, trying to find the perfect hardware component for your needs can be exhausting, it usually requires hours of tireless research and product reviewing which not many people have the spare time to do.

However, if you manage to put in the hours and become familiar with the market you realise there are a number of different products which are very similar, how do you truly know which one is best for you this 2019?

Well sit back and stop worrying, we’ve already done the research for you. We've gathered the best gaming motherboards available and have put them through their paces making sure our recommendations and both sound and informative. We know just which motherboards are going to be the best for you and your needs.

But if you’d rather decide for yourself, you can read our guide on making sure all of your components are compatible with each other.

Our AMD Pick
ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero

ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero

Best motherboard for high-end AMD PCs

If you’re looking for a great motherboard for your high-end AMD system, then look no further than the ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero. This motherboard has everything you'll need and more!

Giving you everything you need for a high-end AMD based gaming system, you can’t go wrong with choosing this motherboard. The ASUS ROG Crossfire VII Hero is packed full of features which strike the perfect balance between performance and style. 

Built in wi-fi, Aura Sync RGB and improved overclocking support are just some of the features you're going to find with this board.

 

Our Intel Pick
MSI MEG Z390 ACE

MSI MEG Z390 ACE

Best motherboard for high-end Intel PCs

When it comes to the best high-end motherboard for Intel systems, then the clear winner is the MSI MEG Z390 ACE. Like it’s AMD counterpart, it too has a bunch of features that make usability a joy. 

Fantastic RGB, a huge capacity of overclocking and triple M.2 support are some of the features which make this our top Intel pick.

If you have a blazing fast Intel CPU, you’re going to need a blazing fast motherboard to go with it. Luckily, ASUS gives us this, with their ASUS Maximus X Hero Z370 motherboard.

Built to get the most out of every last drop of performance from your components, you can’t go wrong when choosing this motherboard for your high-end Intel builds.

AMD Runner-Up
MSI Gaming Pro Carbon X470

MSI Gaming Pro Carbon X470

Best motherboard for mid-range AMD PCs

The MSI Gaming Pro X470 is a great motherboard for those looking to build an AMD system in that mid-range area. With two M.2 slots, there’s no shortage of room for your NVMe drives. There’s even RGB!

When looking for the right mid-range motherboard for your AMD build, it can be tough to weed out the good ones from the bad. MSI has your back with the MSI Gaming Pro Carbon X470.

Not only does it have all the features you’d expect of a high end board (except on a mid-range board), but it’s also on AMD’s new X470 chipset.

Intel Runner-Up
ASUS Prime Z390-A Motherboard

ASUS Prime Z390-A Motherboard

Best motherboard for mid-range Intel PCs

For Intel, the ASUS Prime Z390-A is a great motherboard for a mid-range build. It offers RGB, two M.2 drives, and reinforced PCIe slots for heavier GPUs.

On Intel’s side of the fence, ASUS gives us the ASUS Prime Z390-A motherboard for your mid-range builds.

Reinforced card slots, upgraded VRM heatsinks, and overclock utilities are just some of the features you’ll find on this great board.

AMD Budget Pick
MSI Arsenal Gaming B450 Tomahawk

MSI Arsenal Gaming B450 Tomahawk

Best motherboard for budget AMD PCs

MSI gives us a great board for budget AMD PCs in the form of the MSI B450 Tomahawk. This board will get you an M.2 slot while still being budget friendly.

Need a great motherboard for your AMD build but don’t want to break the bank? Look no further than the MSI Arsenal B450 Tomahawk. Built to deliver performance even on a budget, you can’t go wrong.

Intel Budget Pick
GIGABYTE Z390 UD

GIGABYTE Z390 UD

Best motherboard for budget Intel PCs

If you’re building a lower-end system around an Intel PC, Gigabyte has the perfect solution for you: the Gigabyte Z390 UD. This board boasts M.2 compatibility even though it’s a budget board.

In the market for a budget motherboard for an Intel build? Check out the Gigabyte Z390 UD motherboard then!

Made for the gamer on a budget, this board is great for starting out and even comes equipped with an M.2 slot to help bolster your loading times by pairing it with some SSD.

How We Choose

When we decide we want to showcase products to our audience, quality and performance are always our #1 concerns. We are careful to ensure we provide nothing but the best advice to our readers.

  1. Staying up to date. No one wants to receive outdated information, so we do our due diligence to ensure we’re always on top of industry trends!
  2. Research is key. Tech is complicated and can be multifaceted, so we scoured the internet to find the motherboards everyone is using, what components are working best with those boards, and several other key factors.
  3. Narrowing down. Once we have a pool of candidates, we start narrowing down based on things such as: features, reviews, personal experience, etc. The final candidates are the ones that made the biggest impact.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Gaming Motherboard

Now that you’re aware of the best options available to you, you’re going to have to choose a motherboard that best suits you and your needs. If you’re asking yourself,”What motherboard should I get?” we’d like to first make sure you know what makes a good motherboard, because there are a lot of factors to consider. Here at WePC, we believe an educated consumer is an empowered consumer!

Form Factor

The physical footprint may be something you need to consider when choosing your motherboard. If you’re tight on space, you may want to consider a smaller sized computer case. If you’ve got plenty of room and it’s not a big issue, then you may want to get a larger computer case for future expansions.

Whatever your case may be, there are several main types of form factors that motherboards come in:

Form Factor
Form FactorSize (in inches)
Mini-ITX6.7 x 6.7
Mini-ATX5.9 x 5.9
microATX9.6 x 9.6
ATX12 x 9.6
eATX12 x 13

The advantage of going with a small form factor motherboard is space saving. You can buy a smaller computer case and have a smaller footprint, think LAN builds for example. The advantage of going with a large form factor motherboard is having more room for future expansion. 

Socket

Every motherboard is going to have a specific socket type. This is the physical slot on the motherboard that holds your CPU in place. You’re going to have to match up the socket type of your processor to your CPU making sure they are compatible.

Trying to fit the wrong processor into the wrong socket type can cause fatal damage to your components, and no one wants that!

In order to make sure your CPU and motherboard are compatible, make sure to check the specs. For example, let’s look at a couple of CPUs and motherboards.

Socket
MotherboardASUS ROG Maximus X HeroMSI Gaming M7 AC
ProcessorIntel Core i7-8700KAMD Ryzen 2700X
SocketLGA 1151AM4

Chipsets

A large factor when determining what motherboard is right for you and your needs is the chipset. Your chipset is a key factor in determining which features your motherboard comes with. This ranges from PCIe lanes, to SATA ports, and even overclocking support. Even if your processor allows overclocking, if the motherboard’s chipset doesn’t support it, then you won’t be able to do it.

Let’s take a look at some chipsets from both Intel and AMD:

Intel

Intel
ChipsetPCI Express LanesSATA PortsM.2 PortsUSB 3.1 Gen 1USB 3.1 Gen 2Overclocking Supported
H3106 PCIe 2.04NoneUp to 4NoneNo
B36012 PCIe 3.06Up to 2Up to 6Up to 4No
H37020 PCIe 3.06Up to 2Up to 8Up to 4No
Z37024 PCIe 3.06Up to 3Up to 10NoneYes

AMD

AMD
ChipsetPCI Express LanesSATA PortsM.2 PortsUSB 3.1 Gen 1USB 3.1 Gen 2Overclocking
Supported
A3201 PCIe 3.04216No
4 PCIe 2.0
B3501 PCIe 3.04226Yes
6 PCIe 2.0
X4702 PCIe 3.062210Yes
6 PCIe 2.0

Memory

When it comes to checking memory compatibility, you need to pay attention to four things: Max supported memory, memory speed, multi-channel support, and how many memory slots are on the board.

Check the specs against the motherboard, this will let you know exactly what the motherboard will support when it comes to speed and how many memory slots there are.

Memory Location

Also, some motherboards will have their memory slots a little closer to the CPU than others. Once in a while this can cause an issue with the CPU heatsink. If you have a larger than normal heatsink for your CPU, you might want to make sure it won’t barge into your memory slot area.

PCI slots

Peripheral Component Interconnect, or PCI, is the physical slot in which you can expand the capabilities of your basic system.

This includes, but not limited to things like:

  • Wifi card
  • Video card
  • Extra USB ports
  • NVMe expansion cards

There are two types of PCI slots: PCI and PCI Express (PCIe). The PCIe slot is a larger, faster version of the PCI slot.

Basic expansion cards such as a wifi adapter only require the much smaller PCI slot, while larger, more powerful cards such as your graphics card, require the larger and more powerful PCIe slot.

Making sure you have enough PCI slots for all of your components is important. If you’re running multiple GPUs and want to add in say a network and a sound card or an NVMe expansion card, you might have to check to make sure your motherboard has enough slots to accommodate.

The other thing to look for is plenty of spacing. If you’re planning on running multiple GPUs that are large, you may need PCIe slots that are further apart to allow for adequate space.

Fan Headers

The last thing you need to make sure is that you have enough fan headers for everything you plan on running. If you’re running a lot of fans, or maybe RGB controllers, you’re going to have make sure you have enough headers on the motherboard to support this.

If you’re interested in learning more about motherboards, then you can read all about how motherboards are made, as well as what all of the main components do.

The 6 Best Gaming Motherboards

ProductDetails
ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero

ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero

  • intended build: AMD High End Builds
  • form factor: ATX
  • overclocking support: Yes
  • socket: AM4
  • chipset: X470
Check Current Price
MSI MEG Z390 ACE

MSI MEG Z390 ACE

  • intended build: Intel High End Builds
  • form factor: ATX
  • overclocking support: Yes
  • socket: LGA1151
  • chipset: Z390
Check Current Price
MSI Gaming Pro Carbon X470

MSI Gaming Pro Carbon X470

  • intended build: AMD Mid-range
  • form factor: ATX
  • overclocking support: Yes
  • socket: AM4
  • chipset: X470
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ASUS Prime Z390-A Motherboard

ASUS Prime Z390-A Motherboard

  • intended build: Intel Mid-High Range Build
  • form factor: ATX
  • overclocking support: Yes
  • socket: LGA1151 (8th and 9th Gen only)
  • chipset: Z390-A
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MSI Arsenal Gaming B450 Tomahawk

MSI Arsenal Gaming B450 Tomahawk

  • intended build: AMD Low-Mid Range Build
  • form factor: ATX
  • overclocking support: Yes
  • socket: AM4
  • chipset: B450
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GIGABYTE Z390 UD

GIGABYTE Z390 UD

  • intended build: Intel Low-Mid Range Builds
  • form factor: ATX
  • overclocking support: Yes
  • socket: LGA1151 (8th and 9th-gen only)
  • chipset: Z390
Check Current Price
#1

ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero

Specs

  • Socket: AM4
  • Chipset: X470
  • Memory Slots: 4 x 288-pin DIMM
  • Max Memory: 64GB Dual Channel
  • Max memory frequency: 3466 MHz
  • PCIe slots:
    • 2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8)
    • 1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x8 mode)
    • 1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (max at x4 mode)
    • 2 x PCIe 2.0 x1
  • SATA ports: 6
  • M.2 Ports: 2
  • USB Ports:
    • One USB Type C
    • One USB 3.1 Gen 2
    • Four USB 3.0 Gen 1
    • Two USB 2.0

If what you're looking for is a high-end motherboard for your AMD build, then look no further, we consider the ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero to be the best AM4 motherboard available in today's market. Everything you’d need to push your system to the limits can be found on the VII Hero. Not only is this motherboard extremely powerful and compatible, it's also very aesthetically pleasing and should fit very well with whatever build scheme you’re going for.

But let’s talk specifics: First, it has all the PCIe bandwidth you’re going to need for running your beefed up video cards and those NVMe storage drives.

Second, this board supports up to 64GB of 3,466MHz RAM, so you should be just fine even if you get heavy into content creation.

Third, it comes with built in Wi-Fi. This isn’t essential, but is a nice plus since it frees up a PCIe slot on your motherboard, leaving you more room for those large video cards, or for more expansion later on.

#2

MSI MEG Z390 ACE

Specs

  • Socket: LGA 1151
  • Chipset: Z370
  • Memory Slots: 4X288pin
  • Max Memory: 128GB Dual Channel
  • Max memory frequency: 4500(OC) MHz
  • PCIe slots:
    • Three PCIe 3.0 x16
    • Three PCIe 3.0 x1
  • SATA ports: 6
  • M.2 Ports: 3
  • USB Ports:
    • Three USB Type-C
    • Five USB 3.1 Gen 2
    • Four USB 3.1 Gen 1
    • Eight USB 2.0

Here we have the top contender for the best Intel motherboard, that also means it is the best LGA 1151 motherboard. The ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero comes packed with features that are essential to a high-end build. Beyond just flat out looking cool and ominous, the Crosshair VII has plenty of beefed up heat shields to keep the whole board cool.

This motherboard supports up to 128GB of 4500(OC) MHz memory. With speeds like this, bottlenecking from RAM is a thing of the past! With plenty of expansion slots in the form of SATA, USB, and M.2 you’ll never find yourself without hookups for all your gaming needs.

#3

MSI Gaming Pro Carbon X470

Specs

  • Socket: AM4
  • Chipset: X470
  • Memory Slots: 4X288pin
  • Max Memory: 64GB Dual Channel
  • Max memory frequency: 3466 MHz
  • PCIe slots:
    • Two PCIe 3.0 x16
    • One PCIe 2.0 x16
    • Two PCIe 2.0 x1
  • SATA ports: 8
  • M.2 Ports: 2
  • USB Ports:
    • One USB C
    • One USB 3.1 Gen 2
    • Four USB 3.1 Gen 1
    • Two USB 2.0

So what if you don’t need something high-end for your build? What if you're looking for a solid motherboard that has the features of a high end board but at a mid range price tag? Well don't stress, we have you covered. Let me introduce you to the MSI Gaming Pro Carbon. As many will  know, MSI is staple brand that has been producing solid hardware components for as long as I can remember. They constantly produce solid, stable products which are both efficient and affordable, the perfect mix of performance and price... 

This board is great for overclocking and expansion, it comes with additional power plugs to push as much power to the processor as needed meaning overclocking is much more achievable at higher levels.

With 8 SATA ports and two M.2 ports you’ll never run out of room for storage.

#4

ASUS Prime Z390-A Motherboard

Specs

  • Socket: LGA 1151
  • Chipset: Z390
  • Memory Slots: 4X288pin
  • Max Memory: 64GB Dual Channel
  • Max memory frequency: 4,266 (OC) MHz
  • PCIe slots:
    • Two PCIe 3.0 x16
    • One PCIe 3.0 x16
    • Three PCIe 2.0 x1
  • SATA ports: 6
  • M.2 Ports: 2
  • USB Ports:
    • One USB C
    • Four USB 3.1 Gen 2
    • Five USB 3.1 Gen 1
    • Six USB 2.0

As far as mid-range Intel boards go, the ASUS Prime Z390-A has got to be one of the best pound for pound boards when referencing performance/price. It gives you a great starting point for creating a very efficient gaming rig at an affordable pricetag. 

With support for up to 4,266 Mhz RAM, the Prime Z390-A has the ability to (if paired with the correct RAM) perform tasks and actions that other boards in it's price range simply wouldn't be able to. Fitting multiple video cards on this board won’t be an issue either thanks to the two PCIe x16 lanes which MSI have armed this with, furthermore, the Prime Z390-A has three 2.0 x1 slots for any expansion cards you might want to run down the line.

It always comes with six SATA ports and two M.2 connections meaning a hybrid storage solution is far from out of the question.

#5

MSI Arsenal Gaming B450 Tomahawk

Specs

  • Socket: AM4
  • Chipset: B350
  • Memory Slots: 4X288pin
  • Max Memory: 64GB Dual Channel
  • Max memory frequency: 3,466 MHz
  • PCIe slots:
    • One PCIe 3.0 x16
    • One PCIe 2.0 x16
    • Three PCIe 2.0 x1
    • Two PCI slots
  • SATA ports: 6
  • M.2 Ports: 1
  • USB Ports:
    • One USB C
    • Six USB 3.1 Gen 1
    • 6 USB 2.0

So you don’t need anything fancy, and you just need the basic features to help get you up and running. Or maybe you’re just in the market for a budget AMD board. Either way, the MSI Arsenal Gaming B450 Tomahawk has everything you need and more.

AMD have long been the reigning champions in what we like to call the budget PC build's category. Whether it's a CPU, GPU or motherboard, there is always a very efficient budget version available for consumers to get there teeth into, and what better example of performance/price is there than MSI's B450 Tomahawk Gaming motherboard? It's been custom designed for gamers, featuring heavy plated heat sinks and fierce looks, the MSI Arsenal Gaming motherboard is packed with features you'd expect to see on a mid range board at a low range price tag.

There were issues with the new Ryzen platform and the BIOS on this board for RAM. Those issues have since been fixed, and the reviews since then have been nothing short of superb.

In fact, I’ve actually used this board in two budget AMD builds myself and they have both done very well so far. So if you’re using an AMD processor, this is easily the best budget gaming motherboard.

The board only supports up to 3,466 MHz of RAM, but that’s still more than acceptable at this point for gaming, and on a budget build you aren’t going to notice the difference of anything faster than 3200 Mhz.

If you plan on using multiple GPUs, just note that there is less PCIe bandwidth, so your performance may not be as good as a higher-end motherboards, but AMD CrossFire is supported, so it will still work.

There’s only 6 SATA ports and 1 M.2 slot, so storage may be an issue with you if you plan on expanding at any point. However extremely unlikely considered 2-4TB storage HDD's are so readily available these days. 

Overall though, this motherboard is a good choice for a low/mid-range AMD build.

#6

GIGABYTE Z390 UD

Specs

  • Socket: LGA 1151
  • Chipset: Z390
  • Memory Slots: 4X288pin
  • Max Memory: 128GB Dual Channel
  • Max memory frequency: 4,266 MHz
  • PCIe slots:
    • One PCIe 3.0 x16
    • Two PCIe 3.0 x4
    • Three PCIe 2.0 x1
  • SATA ports: 6
  • M.2 Ports: 1
  • USB Ports:
    • Eight USB 3.1 Gen 1
    • Two USB 2.0

Rounding out our list is the Gigabyte Z390 UD. When it comes to budget boards for Intel, you won’t find better than this.

Not only will this cheap gaming motherboard not break the bank, but when it comes to storage, there’s room a-plenty! With six SATA ports and an M.2 port, you’ll have room to expand as much as you’d like, and then some.

With support for up to 4,266 Mhz RAM, the Z390 UD is one of the highest on our list when it comes to RAM speeds, only boosting it's value further.

This motherboard does have two PCIe 3.0 slots, but one of them only runs at x4 speeds, so if you’re running dual video cards, you’re going to lose some bandwidth on the second card. AMD CrossFire is supported. 

Which gaming motherboard is best for you?

So, you know the motherboards available to you, but which one is the best fit for you? Let’s take a moment to talk about that.

High-end

A high-end motherboard would be for someone who is either looking to push their gaming performance to the next level, or needs something to help with their content creation.

The benefits of a high-end build include:

  • More PCIe lane bandwidth, allowing for faster gaming and processing
  • More expansion ports
  • Better quality components to handle the increased usage

Mid-range

Buying a mid-range motherboard would be a good investment for anyone who doesn’t need all the bells and whistles of a top board, but still wants good performance out of their machine.

The benefits of a mid-range build include:

  • Better price point
  • Good quality components for longevity
  • Enough bandwidth for performance

Budget

Those that are interested in budget motherboards are probably looking for something that will get them up and running while not breaking the bank.

Ultimately, budget boards make compromises to accommodate such low price's, however, that's not always a bad thing. The 2 budget boards we've recommended are from solid providers and have plenty of room for add on's making them very versatile and good value for money. 

So, there's our picks, what were your thoughts on them? Have you any suggestions that might better fit the profile?

Leave us a comment below and let us know what you think!

Conclusion

So which motherboard will you choose? Personally, I got with a mid-range motherboard in most cases. A mid-range motherboard has all the features I need, without breaking the bank. I do light content creation and eSport gaming, so I don’t need anything over the top.

Let us know which motherboard you chose and why, we’d love to hear from you.

Sources

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