Top 10 Best Gaming Motherboards 2020

by Michael Madsen

Top 10 Best Gaming Motherboards 2020

Best Boards for Gaming

When you are building a gaming PC, you cannot overlook the importance of a good motherboard. The motherboard is the foundation of any good system, determining the CPU's and memory you can use, audio, number of fan headers, extra USB ports, and the ability to overclock with stability. Some even have bells and whistles like synced RGB lighting that enhance the aesthetic appeal of the system. When it comes to Gamer boards, you may see things that don't come on standard motherboards like pre-installed I/O shields or Japanese capacitors. Combine that with amazing BIOS features for overclocking and fan control, and you are on your way to building an amazing gaming rig.

Gaming boards are sometimes much more expensive than the average board so you want to make sure you allocate a good amount of your build funds to cover the cost of the motherboard. If you are trying to cut costs on the motherboard, you may want to weight the benefits vs the features and stability you will lose. Spending too much on CPU and GPU, while neglecting the board may result in disaster in the long run. At the same, you want to make sure you are getting the a board that is within your budget and supports the features you need.


Please note that we chose the boards we believe are the best 10 for gaming. We do receive compensation for purchases made from the links in this blog.  This compensation does not affect the product choices and ranking of the motherboards.

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Important Consideration: Build it Yourself vs Professional Build

While many of you reading this article are professional builders, some are new to system building or novice builders. Building your own computer can be a very satisfying experience, but involves risk. Having a professional build a system for you can be just as satisfying and safer. Experience makes a difference to prevent damage to system components, give you the most pleasing aesthetics, and get the most performance out of your build. The pins on the motherboard or CPU are extremely delicate and can be easily damaged. Always take precautions and don't be afraid to watch videos on any part of the build that gives you trouble.  I build all my own system, but I have recommended to others to have their rigs done by professionals. You want to make sure your build is done right, save time and cost.

Finding a Compatible Gaming Motherboard for AND Ryzen 9 3900X

Something to Keep in Mind: Choosing a compatible CPU

If you already have a CPU, that will limit your choices on the motherboard that you can choose. Make sure that the motherboard chipset supports the processor that you have. If you have not chosen a processor yet, this is much easier. I normally recommend choosing the motherboard first. Once motherboard is chosen, you can check the motherboard compatibility list, located on the motherboard manufacturer's website by model to chose a compatible CPU. The chipset of the motherboard determines what CPU's are compatible. Not all CPU's will be compatible with every board especially if the motherboard and CPU are from different generations. As well, there are instances that a motherboard built in an earlier release than a processor that is compatible will still need a BIOS update before it will work. To do this BIOS update, you would need an older generation CPU that is compatible that lloads before you can boot up the motherboard and install the update so that you can install the newer generation CPU.

Finally: Top 10 Best Gaming Motherboards for 2020

Let's take a look at the top motherboards. These boards are all the top picks from our editors. We've tried all these boards and were impressed by their performance and quality. Keep in mind there is a mixture of AMD and Intel boards so if you already have a CPU, you want to make sure it is compatible.

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1. ASUS ROG STRIX B450-F GAMING AM4 Motherboard

  • Form Factor: ATX
  • CPU Support: AM4 socket AMD Ryzen 1st & 2nd Generation
  • Chipset: AMD B450 Chipset
  • Audio: SupremeFX S1220A
  • USB 3.0: Yes
  • RAM: 64GB DDR4-3200 Max; 4 x DIMM
  • Ports:  6 x SATA; 2 x M.2
  • PCI-E SLots: 3 x PCIe x16; 3 x PCIe x1
  • Crossfire/SLI: Crossfire Capable


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2. ASUS Prime Z390-A LGA 1151 Motherboard

  • Form Factor: ATX
  • CPU Support: Socket 1151 for 8th Generation Pentium & Celeron Processors
  • Chipset: Intel Z390 Chipset
  • Audio: Realtek ALC S1220A featuring Crystal Sound 3
  • USB 3.0: Yes
  • RAM: 64GB DDR4-4266+ Max; 4 x DIMM
  • Ports:  6 x SATA; 2 x M.2
  • PCI-E SLots: 3 x PCIe x16; 3 x PCIe x1
  • SLI/Crossfire: 2-Way SLI & Crossfire Capable

This board is a true Gem. Asus advertises the board as cool and quiet, and it truly is. I have a lot of friends who use this board and they are happy with it. The overclocking capabilities and fan control are very easy to use. Featuring overclocking intelligence, the board has a system wide tuning utility that ensures a balance between cooling and acoustics. For those who do not like noise, there's also an extreme quiet mode that puts all your fans at minimum , to give you a near whisper quiet mode. The board also supports multiple GPU's in at once. in The dual M.2 and USB 3.1, and thunderbolt 3 support, this board give you maximum speeds performance. The included M.2 SSD heatsink will help you to keep your SSD up to 20°C cooler. It's also compatible with 9th generation CPUs so if you're looking for a board that is compatible with i9-9900k, then this is a good choice. In terms of visuals and aesthetics, Asus Prime Z390-A comes with Aura Sync for full RGB lighting control.

Take note that the board includes non-addressable 4 pin headers. The RGB is 12V so you may need an adapter. Aura RGB lightstrips are not compatible.

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3. MSI Z390-A PRO LGA 1151 Motherboard

  • Form Factor: ATX
  • CPU Support: Socket 1151 for 8th Generation & 9th Generation Pentium & Celeron
  • Chipset: Intel Z390 Chipset
  • Audio: 8-Channel (7.1) HD Audio
  • USB 3.0: Yes
  • RAM: 128GB DDR4-4400 Max; 4 x DIMM
  • Ports:  6 x SATA; 2 x M.2
  • PCI-E Slots: 2 x PCIe x16; 4 x PCIe x1
  • SLI/Crossfire: Crossfire Capable

Another Intel processor based motherboard, the MSI Z390-A Pro is designed for overlockers and performance oriented users. It's very competitively priced, so if you are looking for a great budget board with high-end features, this board stands out in the crowd. The layout on the board is excellent and allows plenty of room for most anything you need to do. The VRM cooling heatsink is large to support excessive heat dissipation from the VRM.  In terms of Audio, the board features Audio Boost to give you high level immersive studio sound. The built-in connectivity is powered by Intel Gigabit LAN to give you reliable network connection.

The board also features Mystic Light functionality to sync your RGB lighting with other brands. Be careful when installing the M.2 drive onto the board. It's very easy to lose the M.2 screw.

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4. ASRock B450M PRO4 AM4 Motherboard

  • Form Factor: mATX
  • CPU Support: AM4 Socket for Ryzen CPU
  • Chipset: AMD B450M PRO4 Chipset
  • Audio: Realtek ALC892
  • USB 3.0: Yes
  • RAM: 64GB DDR4-3200 Max; 4 x DIMM
  • Ports:  4 x SATA; 2 x M.2
  • PCI-E Slots: 2 x PCIe x16; 1 x PCIe x1
  • SLI/Crossfire: Crossfire Capable

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Bookshelf

5. ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero AM4 Motherboard

  • Form Factor: ATX
  • CPU Support: AM4 Socket for Ryzen CPU
  • Chipset: AMD X370
  • Audio: Realtek ALC892
  • USB 3.0: Yes
  • RAM: 64GB DDR4-3200 Max; 4 x DIMM
  • Ports:  8 x SATA; 1 x M.2
  • PCI-E Slots: 3 x PCIe x16; 3 x PCIe x1
  • SLI/Crossfire: 2-Way SLI & Crossfire Capable

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6. MSI B450M GAMING PLUS AM4 Motherboard

  • Form Factor: mATX
  • CPU Support: AM4 Socket for 1st 2nd 3rd Generation Ryzen
  • Chipset: AMD B450
  • Audio: Audio Boost w/ Nahimic
  • USB 3.0: Yes & Type-C
  • RAM: 32GB DDR4-3466 Max; 2 x DIMM
  • Ports:  4 x SATA; 1 x M.2
  • PCI-E Slots: 1 x PCIe x16; 2 x PCIe x1

The MSI B450M Gaming Plus motherboard is a great option for someone looking for a mATX gaming motherboard for their rig. Featuring MSI's Core Boost technology, the motherboard gives has an enhanced layout and digital power design for 8-core and next gen processors. With Audio Boost with Nahimic 3, you'll experience optimized gaming audio. The board also features a flash BIOS button that allows you to flash the BIOS without the need for CPU, VGA Card, or RAM. MSI boards are normally one of the best in terms of updating the BIOS. In terms of connectivity, you will need to add on a 3rd party wireless network card, but the board comes with USB 3.1 Type-C for stability and extremely fast USB speeds. The downside with this board is that you are going to be limited to smaller coolers as larger coolers will block the ram slots. MSI should take this design flaw to heart as we've seen this on many of their boards.

Bookshelf

7. ASUS ROG STRIX X370-F GAMING AM4 Motherboard

  • Form Factor: ATX
  • CPU Support: AM4 Socket for Ryzen CPU
  • Chipset: AMD X370
  • Audio: Supremefx Audio
  • USB 3.0: Yes
  • RAM: 64GB DDR4-3200 Max; 4 x DIMM
  • Ports:  8 x SATA; 1 x M.2
  • PCI-E Slots: 3 x PCIe x16; 3 x PCIe x1
  • SLI/Crossfire: 2-Way SLI & Crossfire Capable

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Bookshelf

8. ASRock Z390 Pro4 LGA 1151 Motherboard

  • Form Factor: ATX
  • CPU Support: LGA 1151 Socket for 8th & 9th Generation
  • Chipset: Intel Z390 Pro4
  • Audio: 7.1 CH Realtek ALC892
  • USB 3.0: Yes
  • RAM: 128GB DDR4-4300 Max; 4 x DIMM
  • Ports:  6 x SATA; 3 x M.2
  • PCI-E Slots: 2 x PCIe x16; 3 x PCIe x1
  • SLI/Crossfire: Crossfire Capable

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9. Gigabyte AORUS GA-AX370-Gaming 5 Motherboard

  • Form Factor: ATX
  • CPU Support: AM4 Socket for Ryzen 3rd 2nd and 1st Generation
  • Chipset: AMD X370
  • Audio: Realtek ALC1220
  • USB 3.0: Yes
  • RAM: 64GB DDR4-3200 Max; 4 x DIMM
  • Ports:  4 x SATA; 1 x M.2; 1 x U.2
  • PCI-E Slots: 3 x PCIe x16; 3 x PCIe x1
  • SLI/Crossfire: 2-Way SLI & Crossfire Capable

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10. MSI B450 GAMING PRO CARBON AC AM4 Motherboard

  • Form Factor: ATX
  • CPU Support: AM4 Socket for Ryzen 3rd 2nd and 1st Generation
  • Chipset: AMD B450
  • Audio: Audio Boost 4 w/ Nahimic
  • USB 3.0: Yes
  • RAM: 64GB DDR4-3466 Max; 4 x DIMM
  • Ports:  6 x SATA; 2 x M.2
  • PCI-E Slots: 2 x PCIe x16; 3 x PCIe x1
  • SLI/Crossfire: Crossfire Capable

This board is the perfect mid-range bang for your buck for AMD 1st and 2nd Generation Ryzen processors. The MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC offers exceptional overclocking capabilities with MSI's Core Boost and extended heatsink cooling. The board also features RGB lighting through MSI's Mystic Light functionality to synchronize lighting with other RGB illuminated components. Utilizing blazing fast Turbo Boost PCI-Express 3.0 interface and and M.2 shield SSD cooling, the motherboard also gives you excellent storage performance.  In terms of connectivity, you also will get Bluetooth 5 and built-in Intel Dual Band Wireless AC connectivity. In case you need to flash the BIOS, this board also features a Flash BIOS button that allows you to flash the BIOS without a CPU, memory or graphics card installed. The main issue we heard with this board is the location of the cooler in reference to the board's heatsinks sometimes making it difficult to install larger coolers. Hmm, sound familiar? If you do choose this board, we recommend choosing a smaller cooler or going with liquid cooling options.

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