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Best Motherboard for Gaming 2021 • 8 Motherboards for Gaming Reviews

A motherboard is an essential piece of a PC. Our team has gone above and beyond to explore and review the best motherboards for gaming.

Motherboard for Gaming Leaderboard 2021

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Tested Products 8
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Considered Reviews 125

What is a motherboard?

A motherboard is the foundation of every desktop computer. While the whole PC world is hyped up about the CPU and GPU power, the key component that supports all that raw performance is a high-quality motherboard.
The role of the motherboard is to connect all the components, allowing them to work seamlessly. You could say that it is a highway connecting the PC parts.

How does a motherboard work?

How does a Motherboard for Gaming work in a review and comparison?Once everything is connected, the motherboard can start doing its job. It is powered by the computer’s power supply unit. Since all of the components are extremely sensitive to electricity, the motherboard provides just the right amount of power to all the other PC parts. Once you start the computer, the motherboard BIOS (the Basic Input/Output System) checks whether everything is functioning properly and starts your computer.

Different motherboards feature various chipsets. They serve to connect the central processing unit to the rest of the computer’s components. The chipset consists of a northbridge and a southbridge. The northbridge connects the CPU directly to RAM and the GPU. But through the northbridge, the CPU is also connected to other components, but via the much slower southbridge.

All the connections are made via buses, which are, in essence, motherboard circuits. Buses can be faster or slower. For example, a slow bus will slow down a well-performing CPU; however, a fast bus cannot improve CPU speed. So, these two components must be carefully picked to work well with one another.

Therefore, a motherboard’s role is to connect various computer parts with the CPU. As you turn on your computer and start using programs, the CPU swiftly corresponds with all the other PC components to make everything run smoothly.

Advantages & Applications

While the motherboard is a part that cannot run on its own, the computer cannot function without one. Therefore, a motherboard is a crucial part of any computer system in the world.

When it comes to different applications, there are numerous industries in which computers are used. These include the following.

  • Consumer Electronics
  • Aviation
  • Automotive
  • Medicine
  • Data
  • Finance
  • Military
The above industries are only some in which computers are actively used. Practically wherever a computer has found its role, so has a certain type of a motherboard. Therefore, the range of motherboard applications has significantly evolved during the last decades.

What types of motherboards are there?

There are several different types of motherboards you can find across different industries. The following list will mention the most popular ones that are found in popular consumer electronics products. The most important difference comes down to motherboard form factors. They are as follows.

  • Standard ATX
  • MicroATX
  • Mini-ITX
  • Nano-ITX
  • Pico-ITX
  • Mobile-ITX

What types of motherboard for gaming are there in a comparison review?Each of these motherboards is intended for different purposes. The standard ATX and MicroATX are currently very popular for desktop computers. Mini-ITX is also popular, but only for those looking to build smaller systems without losing too many features.

Things get interesting with Nano-ITX and Pico-ITX, as these motherboards are much smaller. These are usually used in computers that are part of some other system. For example, many IoT devices or other consumer products, such as cars, have computers with Nano- and Pico-ITX boards.

Last but not least, Mobile-ITX motherboards were last to join the rest of the family back in 2009. These motherboards have specific use cases in industries such as medicine, military, or transportation.

Aside from these most popular motherboard types, there are plenty of other custom motherboards for specific purposes. For example, motherboards designed for server purposes are quite specific, especially when you consider that they can also support two CPUs on a single board. However, when you take a look at the whole picture, the listed form factors are the most widely used types of motherboards.

How a Motherboard is Tested

If you do some research online, you will see that there are several ways in which reviewers do motherboard tests. There are a couple of features that tell a lot about the motherboard test winner. Note the following.

Range of features

How is a Motherboard Tested in a reviewEvery motherboard comes with a different set of features. For example, some come equipped with Wi-Fi support, and some don’t. While some have two m.2 SSD slots, others only feature one. The feature set is one of the first metrics according to which motherboards are ranked.

Overall computer performance

Running synthetic benchmarks and checking how various software tools perform on a computer is another great way to check how a certain motherboard is performing. Comparisons can be performed by using the same PC components on different motherboards. The results are going to be an objective rating of the motherboard being tested.

Motherboard temperature under load

Using the most demanding software tools is a great way to stress test a motherboard. It is during the heavy loads that it is possible to measure the motherboard’s peak temperature under stress. Why is this important, you might wonder? High temperatures will make your computer throttle and it will also negatively impact the lifespan of your components. The lower the temperatures are, the better the motherboard will perform while keeping all of your components in peak condition over time.

Quality of VRMs (voltage regulator modules)

These modules serve to provide just the right amount of power to the CPU. Therefore, these modules must be of extremely high quality. Many online reviewers dedicate special time to testing the VRMs’ behavior, especially on motherboards that were designed for overclocking CPUs.

It is a good idea to check how VRMs behave in those tests, their temperatures under load are very important to note.

Firmware and software

There are two important things about firmware and software. Those are ease of use and regular updates. You can find plenty of online reviews mentioning BIOS and Windows software for a motherboard. It is an important metric, as good brands offer better firmware and software updates and support.

These are some of the most important metrics used in motherboard testing. However, when you are searching to get one, there are some other things to which you should pay attention. Let’s look at those.

What to Pay Attention to When Buying a Motherboard

While buying a new PC is a very exciting process, thorough research is necessary to find the components you actually need. We believe that there are a couple of crucial things that you should pay attention to when getting a motherboard for your computer.

Brand

Pay attention to these tips when purchasing a motherboard for gaming review winnerOpt for a brand that has had a great streak with making awesome motherboards during the past couple of years. Take a quick look at the section below to read about some motherboard manufacturers.

Form factor

What is the size of your PC case? Take a look at what motherboard it supports. Usually, the ATX form factor packs the most features. However, if you are planning to use a smaller case, you can always opt for a MicroATX or even a Mini-ITX. The mini form factor is the perfect option for compact computers.

Chipset

You can opt for either Intel or AMD in this department. But that is not all, each of these brands offer several chipsets. There’s usually the budget version, a mid-range version, and an enthusiast version. Since we are talking about gaming motherboards, you should look for upper mid-range and enthusiast versions of motherboards.

Chipset support

In case you want to future-proof your system, and you want to keep an upgrade option available, browse for some news about AMD’s or Intel’s plans to support the chipset over years. This might enable you to upgrade a CPU or a GPU in three to four years.

Motherboard I/O

We suggest that you take a good look at the inputs and outputs at the back of your motherboard. While this is not important for everyone, if you plan to use a lot of USBs and other ports, see how many of these are available. In the majority of cases, cheaper motherboards will have fewer of these.

Number of PCIe lanes

To ensure that there is plenty of headroom for devices on your motherboard, as well as for future-proofing purposes, we suggest that you go with motherboards that support as many PCIe lanes as possible.

Leading Gaming Motherboard Manufacturers and Some of the Best Products

As the PC market is huge, there is plenty of competition in this niche. That’s great because the consumers get the most out of the companies competing to deliver the most valuable product to the market. The following are some of the best gaming motherboard brands.

  • Asus
  • Gigabyte
  • MSI
  • ASRock
  • Biostar
  • EVGA
  • Colorful
Asus has been on a path of steady growth for years now. The company is known as the manufacturer of outstanding motherboards as well as graphics cards. However, the story does not end there; the brand has diversified over the years and now manufactures a wide range of electronics equipment, including smartphones. If you are considering Asus, it has two lineups that you should definitely take a closer at. Explore their TUF and ROG motherboards. According to numerous motherboard tests in 2020, they are good. The top-of-the-line, pricey Asus motherboard is the Asus ROG Maximus XII Extreme. It is intended for enthusiasts who plan to use the Intel Z490 chipset. On the other hand, if you are an AMD fan, Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Hero is a great X570 motherboard.
This Taiwanese manufacturer has been in the market for over thirty years now. The company has amassed many fans over the years due to its reliable motherboards. The manufacturer also makes other electronics, such as graphics cards. But its AORUS lineup of motherboards is one of the best choices for enthusiasts seeking great overclocking support. Gigabyte Z490 AORUS Elite is a great Intel option, while AMD fans might opt for X570 AORUS Elite.
MSI is another brand established over thirty years ago. It is a well-known manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards. It is known as a brand that delivers high-quality products that are designed well and utilize reliable components. In case you opt for MSI, there are plenty of options available. For Intel fans, we can recommend the MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon Wi-Fi. For the AMD fans, we can say only the best about MSI MPG X570 Gaming Pro Carbon Wi-Fi. Besides the premium Gaming Pro Carbon lineup, MSI also offers a lot of motherboards that provide great value. These lineups are branded as Bazooka and Mortar.
ASRock is one of Asus’s subsidiaries. The focus of the experienced team behind this brand is delivering top-notch motherboards. AMD fans should definitely give ASRock X570 Taichi motherboard a chance. Intel fans may enjoy the ASRock Z490 Taichi.
We are talking about another company with decades of experience under its belt. Biostar is a Taiwanese company working closely with other industry giants such as Intel, AMD, and Nvidia. The brand also has a great high-end offering when it comes to motherboards. Intel users can choose Racing Z490T Silver, while AMD players will enjoy using Racing X570GT8.
EVGA is a well-known graphics card manufacturer. The company also makes motherboards but in limited quantity. At least for now. EVGA Z490 Dark is a great option for Intel enthusiasts. It is one of the best motherboards EVGA has to offer. Those who prefer AMD will have to opt for another brand, as EVGA is currently only making motherboards for the Intel chipsets.
Colorful is an electronics manufacturer. In addition to making motherboards and graphics cards, it also makes AIO systems and its iGame lineup of PCs. When it comes to this brand, those who are looking for an Intel motherboard could use Colorful CVN Z490 Gaming Pro V20. We suggest AMD fans opt for Colorful CVN X570 Gaming Pro V14.

Internet Versus Retail Trade: Where should I buy the best motherboard?

What should I watch out for when purchasing a Motherboard for Gamin review winner?While you can always head over to the local store and explore which motherboards they are offering, we believe that it is much more time-efficient to simply place the order online. You will most likely not be able to find all the motherboards available in-store anyway. Therefore, it is a much simpler option to browse online.

After conducting your research, all that’s left for you to find a reliable online retailer and make your purchase online. Motherboards are always packaged well, so you are not running any risk of placing the order online. To conclude, we suggest that you make the purchase online.

Advantages and Disadvantages: According to Customer Reviews

We have pored over plenty of different customer reviews. Let’s first get over the disadvantages of some of the motherboard of the brands above.

Firmware support

  • This is the most usual complaint we have come across in the reviews. Some of these are related to how some manufacturers don’t regularly update their firmware. On the other hand, the other issue is with quick updates that also make some systems unstable.

Software support

  • Due to the annual Windows 10 updates, plenty of utility software is out-of-date and unusable by the customers. This is an issue present with all the manufacturers. While some deal with it better than others, it is still a common issue.

Reliability

  • Unfortunately, this is a common issue for all electronics products. All these parts are extremely sensitive pieces of equipment. That’s why you can always rely on the warranty.

Wi-Fi issues

  • Some motherboards that come with Wi-Fi modules experience connectivity issues. While this is a common problem, it affects only a small percentage of motherboards.

VRM coil whine

  • This type of issue occurs with a wide range of hardware. In case you notice coil whine, return the product immediately. This can also occur with graphics cards. It’s definitely something to keep in mind.

Ease of use

  • While the manufacturers give their best to make things straightforward, it’s not always the case.

Component incompatibility

  • Upon doing research, make sure that all of the components you are planning to use are going to work well with your motherboard. The most common issue is RAM incompatibility.

Short lifespan

  • While we have mentioned that reliability as an issue, having a component die on you after only a month or two of using it can be extremely distressing. Unfortunately, for some percentage of motherboards, this is an issue.

Bad manual

  • Some manufacturers include manuals that are not very comprehensive.

Boot issues

  • Boot issues can be caused by several components. However, in some cases, it is due to a faulty motherboard.

Don’t worry though, it is not all bad, there are also plenty of good customer opinions about these products.

The most important advantages from a Motherboard for Gamin review winner in overviewEase of use

  • Even though some manufacturers fail to deliver a straightforward usage experience, there are plenty of those who successfully achieve this goal.

Overclocking performance

  • These gaming motherboards are equipped with overclocking functionality. Many of these motherboards do an excellent job when it comes to overclocking CPU and RAM.

Flawless setup

  • The initial setup process is extremely easy for many of these motherboards.

Software update

  • Some manufacturers manage to update their software regularly, and customers really appreciate that.

Firmware update

  • While some BIOS updates go bad, there are plenty of those that are greatly appreciated. The best practice is to see how the community reacts to an available update. If everything’s smooth, feel free to update your firmware.

Chipset support

  • During your ownership, new CPUs might come out. It is good to see that some of these motherboard manufacturers, in partnership with Intel and AMD decide to support these new CPUs.

Wireless connectivity support

  • Modern motherboards come Wi-Fi- and Bluetooth-supported right out of the box.

Small form factor availability

  • Many new motherboards come in smaller form factors without sacrificing any features. Those seeking to make smaller builds are very happy with that.

Smooth and stable performance

  • The majority of the abovementioned motherboards will ensure that your PC performs smoothly.

Reliability

  • While reliability is an issue for some products, it is an advantage for many. Manufacturers today strive to deliver great products.

To conclude, it is valid to say that while there is a bad side to motherboards, there is a good one as well. Commonly, some products face certain difficulties, but they do work well for the majority of consumers. Just remember that in case anything goes south, you can always reach out to the brand’s customer support and have the issue resolved.

The History of Motherboards

All things worth knowing from a Motherboard for Gamin reviewAs an essential part of any computer, the motherboard has a relatively rich history. Its history begins in 1981 when the first motherboard was used by IBM’s personal computer, it was called a planar. Only a couple of years later, the same company announced the first motherboard form factor, called the AT. It was a whole decade later, in 1995, that Intel introduced the ATX motherboard that we recognize today.

Over time, motherboards did not only change in the matter of form factor. Its whole role in the computer has significantly evolved. At first, the motherboard only featured various slots, connecting all of the components. All of the plugged-in components featured their own power sources. Logically, the manufacturers have figured out that it is a much better option to move more parts to the motherboard, changing its role in the whole PC system. Over the course of years, alongside new form factors, motherboards have maintained their role in modern PCs. Motherboards remain an integral part of every computer.

Interesting Motherboard Facts

Here are several interesting facts about motherboards.

  • Some motherboards support two CPUs – Motherboards intended for server use feature simultaneous support for two CPUs. While this is not practical for everyday use, it is more than useful for server processes.
  • Specific motherboards support multiple graphics cards – All those who use graphics cards to render or perform any other graphics-intensive tasks, use multiple graphics card setup. To make this possible, it is essential to get a motherboard with support for multiple GPUs.
  • Motherboards can come with all other parts soldered – Some embedded solutions rely on motherboards that have all the other parts soldered on them. This includes storage, RAM, CPU, and GPU. While this is useful for basic office computers, reliability is a big issue. In case any of these components fail, it is necessary to replace the whole computer.
  • The motherboard market is on a path of growth in the coming years – The forecast for the motherboard market is a positive one. It is set on the growth path in the following years.

Install a Motherboard Correctly in 6 Steps

In case you are planning to build your own PC, there are only a couple of steps you should take to install your motherboard. We will take you through all the important steps you should take. Once you are finished, you can start the system and enjoy using it.

Step 1

Step 1

Open your computer case and check where you should place standoffs. Consult your manual and install the standoffs according to the instructions. Standoff location is going depend on your motherboard’s form factor.

Step 2

Step 2

Once the standoffs are in place, put the motherboard so the holes on it match the standoffs in the case. Take the screws and secure the motherboard by screwing them in the standoffs.

Step 3

Step 3

Take your CPU now and place it in the motherboard socket. Place your RAM sticks in their sockets. You can now install the CPU cooler. Also, place the graphics card in its socket. It is usually located right beneath the CPU socket.

Step 4

Step 4

All you now have to do is connect your front panel case to the motherboard, connect case USB and fans. You can find precise steps in the manual.

Step 5

Step 5

Then, move on to connect your SSD/HDD storage via SATA3 connectors. In case you are using an m.2 SSD, place it in the m.2 SSD socket on the motherboard.

Step 6

Step 6

As you have now connected all of the components to the motherboard, it is time to give it power. Connect the 20/24-pin connector, as well as the 4/8-pin connector, respectively. Don’t forget to give power from the PSU directly to your GPU (if it requires it).

That’s it! Taking these steps will ensure a successful installation of your motherboard. All that’s left for you is to turn the PC on and install the operating system you want to use.

10 Tips for Care

By now, you’ve gathered that the motherboard is a sensitive part of your computer. But worry not, here are some tips that will help you keep it running for years to come.

Tip 1: Keep the motherboard clean

Tip 1: Keep the motherboard clean

Regularly clean your motherboard. If you can, invest in a dust-proof case. That is going to immensely help to keep dust at bay.

Tip 2: Check motherboard capacitors

Tip 2: Check motherboard capacitors

In case you notice that any of the capacitors are swollen, busted, or leaking, have them replaced ASAP. Otherwise, it is only a matter of time before the motherboard malfunctions.

Tip 3: Make sure your case is “breathing”

Tip 3: Make sure your case is “breathing”

Airflow is crucial for keeping those temperatures down. The higher your motherboard’s temperature, the faster it is going to degrade over time.

Tip 4: Check your CMOS battery

Tip 4: Check your CMOS battery

If the motherboard is acting funny, it might be the time to replace the CMOS battery.

Tip 5: Regularly update firmware

Tip 5: Regularly update firmware

Keep your motherboard’s firmware updated regularly.

Tip 6: Get surge protection

Tip 6: Get surge protection

Invest in some basic surge protection.

Tip 7: Take it easy with that overclock

Tip 7: Take it easy with that overclock

In case you are overclocking your CPU, RAM, or GPU, keep in mind that it also affects your motherboard. Thus, it is best to do it reasonably.

Tip 8: Use high-quality power supply

Tip 8: Use high-quality power supply

Many people overlook the importance of a good power supply. Investing in a good one means a world of difference for all PC components.

Tip90: Carefully handle

Tip90: Carefully handle

Always be gentle when working on your motherboard.

Tip 10: Be mindful of static electricity

Tip 10: Be mindful of static electricity

Before touching your motherboard, always touch some other metal object—a case, for example. You can always fry your motherboard with a minimal discharge coming from your body.

Useful Accessories

The best accessories for a Motherboard for Gamin in reviewYou can use the motherboard PCIe slots to add various types of accessories. These include the following.

  • Dedicated sound card
  • Graphics card
  • TV tuner card
  • Wi-Fi or Bluetooth module
  • RAID controller cards

It all comes down to your needs. But there are plenty of ways in which you can utilize those extra PCIe slots.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can motherboards be replaced?

All facts from a Motherboard for Gamin reviewYes, the motherboard can be replaced.

Can a motherboard affect GPU performance?

Not really. GPU performs on its own, the motherboard only connects it to the rest of the components.

Can a motherboard affect FPS?

Not directly, but you can use the BIOS to overclock the CPU, which will lead to higher FPS.

Can a motherboard bottleneck CPU?

No, it cannot. Parts of a computer can bottleneck one another, but a motherboard cannot bottleneck other components.

Can the motherboard be repaired?

In cases where a transistor can be changed, yes. Unfortunately, if the issue is of a more serious nature, it cannot be repaired.

Are motherboard drivers important?

Yes, motherboard drivers will ensure that your system is stable.

Which motherboard is best for gaming?

Currently the best products in a Motherboard for Gamin review overviewThere is a wide range of available motherboards that are great for gaming. It is a good idea to search for motherboards that are overclock-ready. With this enabled, you can get more performance in some games.

When is it time to replace the motherboard?

Aside from the obvious answer—malfunction—when you see that your PC performs poorly, it is a good idea to replace the motherboard with the other components. A general time frame should be approximately five to seven years.

Will any motherboard fit in any case?

No, some cases are made for smaller form factor motherboards. For example, a case designed for MicroATX will not be able to house an ATX board. Check your case specifications before you order a motherboard.

Can a motherboard post without a CPU?

While some high-end motherboards will allow you to access BIOS without a CPU, the POST will always report that a CPU is missing.

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