The Best Gaming Motherboard You Need To Have 2019

Does the word “gaming” instantly add value? You’ll find this a little misleading, once you see what a motherboard is. Maybe if we call it “The Best Motherboard for Gaming” it wouldn’t seem like such an oxymoron?

First, don’t get caught up in “gaming” label sales hype. Secondly, avoid reading the same old “buy this, not that” B.S. You’re going to learn to pick the best motherboard for gaming all by yourself, with a little bit of help from me of course.

What Is The Motherboard and What Does It Do?

You can’t possibly decide what the most “1337” and best motherboard for gaming is if you know nothing about it. First, let’s get real basic with “motherboard” before we start saying it’s “the best.”

What Is The Modern Motherboard Made Of?

When you look at a motherboard (MOBO) what do you see? In the big picture, you see circuits, transistors, metal pins, connectors, and sockets. Its appearance can seem simple, yet it is the most essential component in your PC.

For now, it’d be easier if you take the phrase “Best Gaming Motherboard” and change it to “Regular Ole MOBO.”

Pro Tip: Don’t jokingly substitute MOBO with “MOFO” you’ll lose friends.

To summarize, the MOBO is square-shaped and made with layers of fiberglass and copper. It’s accompanied by its own “mini-components,” that enable it to act as a high-tech switchboard operator.

How to make a Motherboard – A GIGABYTE Factory Tour Video
Interested in watching a motherboard get created? Check This!

For example, it sends signals down separate channels of communication allowing components to link up, trade data and perform tasks.

The components that make up a motherboard are:

  • Processor (CPU) Socket
  • Memory (RAM) Slots
  • M.2 Slots
  • Graphics Card (GPU) Slots
  • Expansion Slots
  • Motherboard (MOBO) Power Connector
  • IDE And Sata Ports
  • Northbridge
  • Southbridge
  • BIOS Chip
  • BIOS Battery
  • USB Headers
  • Audio Headers
  • Front Panel Connectors
  • Rear Connectors

At last, you’ve got a basic idea of all of the parts that make up the nervous system of your PC. How do they function though? After all, if you’re going to handpick the best gaming motherboard for your system, you need a little more info.

What Is The Sole Purpose Of The Motherboard?

It lives to do your bidding! There is no single “purpose”, instead, it has many “purposes.” It communicates with each component at a lightning fast pace to satisfy your every click of the mouse.

However, when learning what to look for in the best “gaming” motherboard; we don’t need to know about every one of those parts. The main components you do need to look at are ones that are going to contribute in one way or another to your skill as a PC gamer.

Remember, we are trying to justify using the word “gaming”.

The Obvious Parts You Need To Focus On For Gaming:

  • Processor (CPU) Socket
  • Graphics Card (GPU) Slots
  • Memory (RAM) Slots
  • M.2 Slots

Every motherboard comes with a CPU socket. It is vital that you pick a board chipset that is compatible with your CPU. That is to say, make sure your CPU fits!

motherboard diagram labeling basic components
A basic motherboard with basic labeling.

Not only the best gaming motherboard, but every modern board comes with a slot for a graphics card. Commonly referred to as a PCIe x16 slot, it’s a primary factor when choosing to run one vs. two graphics cards.

So, if you run two graphics cards, you need two PCIe x16 slots!

Next, what type of RAM does the board support? In 2019 we are using DDR4. The other thing to look at is speed of the RAM stick. For example, if you get a board that supports DDR4-3800 and you try to use DDR4-4333, it will downclock it to 3800Mhz. That’s because 3800Mhz is the max speed the MOBO supports. You can use RAM with lower latency, but not higher.

Finally, any motherboard you get needs at least one m.2 slot. Most modern MOBOs will have anywhere from x1 to x4 m.2 slots. What you get will solely depend on your budget. Want the speed of m.2, but can’t afford a 1 TB stick? You can get a 256 GB m.2 stick and then for mass storage you can fall back to an HDD.

Congrats! You Now Know What Parts Make A “Gaming” Motherboard!

That’s it in a nutshell! Do you still want the best gaming motherboard on planet Earth? Unless you’re overclocking, then your $100.00 “budget” board will perform just as good as one with a $200.00 “premium.”

Finally, you should know how to pick the best gaming motherboard that suits you and your PC preferences. Now, what satisfies YOUR taste for “bling” is another issue.

An example of your unique taste would be that you fancy LED lighting effects and even accent pieces with custom paint jobs. If you’re custom building a PC and you’ve got a high budget—the sky’s the limit. However, you’re going to pay nicely for extras, as with everything else PC related.

Sometimes, the difference between a $100.00 and $200.00 MOBO is a single LED. And you can take that to the bank. Unrelated, I don’t want to use the word “MOBO” anymore, so you will see it used less after this point.

Speaking of the bank—let’s talk budget!

The Perfect Board For Every Budget

Next, you’re going to see top gaming motherboards for different budgets. Whether you’re an enthusiast, who could care less about price, or a budget builder who could care less about added features—there is something for everyone.

How we decided: We made our decision for the following based on personal experience, user feedback, specs, features and price comparisons. In other words, endless amounts of research and testing!

We use Amazon affiliate links in the following reviews. We may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

The Best Gaming Motherboards For Intel LGA1151

Before looking at actual gaming motherboards, let’s compare the different chipsets of the Z390, Z370, B360, and H310.

Stepping up to bat first is the H310, for the insanely low price of $60! It’s so vanilla that it didn’t feel right adding this chipset to a list for “gaming motherboards.” However, if you’re on a budget and need any motherboard at all, this will still get the job done.

What makes the H310 so average? Well, you can’t overclock anything, no Optane support, no Gen2 USB 3.1 ports, and no Intel Rapid Storage. It does come equipped with integrated WiFi, which is a plus.

Next, we will touch base on the B360. It has features that qualify it as a gaming motherboard, though it lacks overclocking. Features include Optane support, x2 DIMM RAM channels, x4 Gen2 3.1 USB ports, Intel Rapid Storage and integrated WiFi.

The Z370 is arguably one of the most popular and pricey boards chosen by gamers. Features include overclocking, Optane support, x14 total USB ports, x30 high-speed IO lanes, Intel Rapid Storage and multiple PCI-E 3.0 configurations. Strangely it has no WiFi and zero Gen2 USB 3.1 ports.

Finally, we reach the enthusiast driven Z390. It’s an improved upon Z370 with all of the same features, with WiFi and x6 Gen2 USB 3.1 ports. As a small little extra, it comes with an updated Intel Management Engine.

High-End/PC Enthusiasts ($250-$300)

ASUS ROG Maximus HERO XI gaming motherbaord

ASUS ROG Maximus XI HERO

|CPU Intel Socket 1151 for Intel Core 9000 series, 8th Generation Core i7/ i5/ i3, Pentium and Celeron processors|Chipset Z390 |Memory 4 / 64 GB DDR4 4400+ MHz(O.C.)|PCIe X16 Slots 2 @ x16 or x8/x8 or x8/x4+x4 “1 max @ x4”|Graphics Connectors HDMI/DP|M.2 1 x M.2 2242-2280 (SATA + PCIe 3.0 x 4) “1 x M.2 2242-22110 (PCIe 3.0 x 4)”|Wireless 2×2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac|RGB Headers Yes, Aura|Form Factor ATX

This ROG motherboard is a HERO by design. ASUS provided a rich layout with personalization, extra connectors, and great overclocking in mind. Its features are nearly on par with most flagship motherboards, but with a couple of caveats.

First, you would think a preinstalled I/O shield would’ve been a good idea, however, there are tons of reports related to improper fit. Most solutions to the problem seem to resort in bending or filing down the I/O shield—which is ridiculous.

Second, a much smaller issue that may not even be a deal breaker for you, is lackluster LED lighting. If you have case lighting, it may wash out most of the light put out by the motherboards LEDs.

Priced under $300.00, you’ve much to consider. Features include compatibility for 8th and 9th gen Intel CPUs, 802.11AC Wi-Fi, Dual m.2 SSD ports, x4 DDR4 4400MHz RAM slots, x2 PCIe x16 GPU slots, and x2 Aura RGB headers.

But that’s not all! It wouldn’t be an ASUS ROG board without overclocking software, dubbed it’s “5-Way Optimization Technology.” If you’re one of those who favor using ROG UEFI BIOS to control your performance manually, you’re still welcome to it.

Mid-Range/Best All-Around ($150-$200)

Gigabyte Z370 AORUS Gaming 3

|CPU Intel Socket 1151 for 8th Generation Core i7/ i5/ i3, Pentium and Celeron processors NOTE: Not backward compatible with older generation of LGA 1151 CPUs |Chipset Z370 |Memory 4/64 GB DDR4 4000 MHz|PCIe X16 Slots 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 and 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4|Graphics Connectors HDMI/DisplayPort|M.2 1 x M.2 connector-Socket 3, M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 SATA and PCIe x4/x2 SSD support
1 x M.2 connector-Socket 3, M key, type 2242/2260/2280 PCIe x4/x2|Wireless 802.11ac|RGB Headers Yes|Form Factor ATX

The flashy looking Gigabyte Z370 AORUS Gaming 3 claims the title of best mid-range gaming motherboard. It’s designed to tackle challenges of similar chipsets in this price range and does it in style with RGB lighting to spare.

Arguably one of the best boards to use when overclocking your CPU, as it can deliver power and maintain it without issue. It also supports not one or two, but three M.2 ports which are protected with Thermal Guard, preventing heat from ruining performance due to throttling and bottlenecks.

Coming in just over $150.00, this is arguably one of the best gaming motherboards for the money. With potential gains in performance and a simple, yet durable design, it makes it tough to spend extra cash on a high-end board.

Low-End/Budget PC (Under $150)

MSI B360 PLUS

MSI B360 Gaming Plus

|CPU Supports 8th Gen Intel Core, Pentium Gold and Celeron Processors for Socket LGA1151 *Not backward compatible with older generation of LGA 1151 CPUs |Chipset B360|Memory 4 / 64 GB DDR4 2666MHz|PCIe X16 Slots 2 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots (support x16/x4 modes) |Graphics Connectors HDMI/DP|32Gb/s M.2 1 x M.2 slots (Key M) Support up to PCIe 3.0 x4 and SATA 6Gb/s 2242/2260/2280/22110  |Wireless No|RGB Headers Yes|Form Factor ATX

Refer to it as an entry level or budget gaming motherboard if you want. We prefer to call it the best at a price that is almost shameful for what it delivers.

Sliding in at just under $100.00, you get a simple layout with plenty of features for the cost. It may lack premium features like built-in WiFi but still has a few tricks up its sleeve like RGB lighting and steel reinforced GPU slots.

The biggest drawback to the board is that it can’t overclock. That means if you were looking to juice your CPU for that extra 1MHz of power, you’re going to have to spend a little extra. Again, maybe that isn’t a big deal as we all aren’t looking to overclock our CPUs!

If you’re seeking out the best motherboard for gaming on the cheap, then this is all you need to get started.

The Best Gaming Motherboards For AMD AM4

Here are the main differences with AMD’s Ryzen platforms, dubbed X470, X370, B350, and A320.

Starting at super basic, the A320 sells for as little as $60. Here is where you could opt not to use the term “gaming” to describe this motherboard. That’s because it seems to have been created to get the job done without the added features of higher tier boards. With this platform, you can’t overclock, and you lose a couple of PCI-E 2.0 lanes compared to B350. Also, you’re only granted x1 USB 3.1 header at 10Mbps.

Next, the B350 platform too falls into budget range, though at the higher end of what we would call “cheap.” The main difference from A320 is the ability to overclock. It is also granted an additional USB 3.1 header at 10Mbps. Since we consider this platform to fall into the “gaming” category, we will choose B350 as our budget board.

The X370 is the next step up from the B350 and is a truer gaming motherboard. Not only does it to have the ability to overclock, but also has additional GPU slot if you’re looking to run two cards in SLI or Crossfire. Other base features are x4 additional PCI-E 2.0 lanes and x4 additional USB 3.1 headers at 5Mbps.

Finally, we get to the enthusiast level platform—the X470. These boards will have all of the same features of X370, with a couple of exclusive additions. The first is it’s upgraded base RAM speed to 2933Mhz; others have a base speed of 2667Mhz. Second, is the addition of Store MI, which allows you to link your storage drive, with an SSD or up to 2 GB of RAM.

High-End/PC Enthusiasts ($200-$250)

MSI X470 M7 AC

MSI X470 Gaming M7 AC


|CPU Supports AMD RYZEN Desktop processors and A-series/ Athlon Processors for Socket AM4|Chipset X470|Memory 4 / 64 GB DDR4 3600MHz(O.C.)|PCIe X16 Slots 2 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots (supports x16 and x8 mode) 1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 slot (supports x4 mode) |Graphics Connectors HDMI/DP|32Gb/s M.2 1 x M.2 slots (Key M)|Wireless 
Supports 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual band (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz) up to 867 Mbps|RGB Headers Yes|Form Factor ATX

Where has this beast been hiding? If you’re an enthusiast using Ryzen as your processor of choice, then this is hands down the best gaming motherboard for you. Did we mention this board is just north of $200.00?

Most people expect to spend at least $300.00 when you show them a high-end gaming motherboard such as this. Remember, even though you could potentially spend a lot, doesn’t mean you’re getting good value for your money. In the case of X470 M7 AC, you get a whole lot more for your hard-earned money.

Feast your eyes on performance boosting, cooling tech for nearly every piece you plug in. Forget the fact that you’ll enjoy premium audio quality or increased memory speeds. You get the cooling power of Shield Frozr, an m.2 heat dispersing shield allowing your SSD to run without exhaustion.

Also, there are fan headers all over the damn place. So overclock your ass off.

We wanted to give you a negative to go along with what appears to be a rave review, but we couldn’t find anything serious. We tried to be cynical and came up empty. Sorry!

Mid-Range/Best All-Around ($150-$200)

ASUS ROG Strix X470-F Gaming motherboard

ASUS ROG Strix X470-F Gaming

|CPU AM4 socket for AMD Ryzen 2nd Generation, Ryzen 1st Generation, Ryzen with Radeon Vega Graphics, 7th Generation A-Series/Athlon X4 Processors |Chipset X470 |Memory 4 / 64 GB DDR4 3600MHz (O.C.)|PCIe X16 Slots 2 x PCIe 3.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8)
X4 Processors 1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 (x8 mode)PCI Express 2.0 x161 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot (max. at x4 mode)|Graphics Connectors HDMI/DP|32Gb/s M.2 1 x M.2 2242-2280 (SATA + PCIe 3.0 x 4) “1 x M.2 2242-22110 (PCIe 3.0 x 4)” 1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M Key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (SATA & PCIE 3.0 x2 mode)* |Wireless 802.11ac |RGB Headers Yes, Aura|Form Factor ATX

The 470-F by Asus is the best of both worlds. You spend a decent dollar amount and get features that allow for a healthy amount of customization. What does a healthy amount of customization mean? You can’t go crazy with overclocking, you can only adjust it so much. Although, this isn’t really a negative if you never planned to do a crazy overclock anyway.

How does the ROG 470-F outpace competition in the mid-range bracket? With ASUS, you never have to look far to find the best software jam-packed into all of its gaming motherboards. 5-Way Optimization allows you to set your overclocking and cooling preferences with one-click. The aesthetics are all-over, you should expect good looking products from ROG at this point.

Low-End/Budget PC (Under $150)

|CPU AM4 Socket for AMD Ryzen 2nd Generation processors, AMD Ryzen with Radeon Vega Graphics processors, AMD Ryzen 1st Generation processors|Chipset B450|Memory 4/64 GB DDR4 3200 MHz (O.C.)|PCIe X16 Slots 1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot, running at x16 and 1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot, running at x4|Graphics Connectors HDMI/DisplayPort|32Gb/s M.2 1 x M.2 connector-Socket 3, M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 SATA and PCIe x4/x2 SSD support1 x M.2 connector-Socket 3, M key, type 2242/2260/2280 PCIe x4/x2|Wireless No|RGB Headers Yes|Form Factor ATX

Gigabyte has been loyal since the beginning by offering a powerful platform for AMD’s Ryzen to call home. This gaming motherboard is not going to be cheapest, coming in at just under $120.00. However, it is still for all intents and purposes a great budget board.

What you’re about to learn is that though it resides on the other end of cheap, it offers something other budget gaming motherboards do not—overclocking. That’s right you can perform a moderate overclock at fast food prices. That alone is worth the additional $20.00 you might pay over a cheaper board, especially if you’re a beginner looking to get a little more intimate with your CPU.

Now the bad, which seems to be a new fad among modern boards—an integrated I/O shield. Why are these kind of integrations not cool? Because it causes issues with boards fitting in various pc cases. Secondly, there is only space for one GPU, so hopefully, you didn’t want to try SLI or CrossFire.

It’s not very useful to run two GPUs now anyway. Actually, it barely ever was—but two graphics cards did look cool (and still do). So there’s that.

Why These Motherboards Are The Best For Gaming

Hopefully, you’ve got the idea of how a motherboard earns the title of “best gaming.” It is often used to market products, however, as you can see there are aspects linked to the title that could make it relevant. The ability to overclock, accept components, offer cooling solutions and the ability to customize, make them suitable to be called “gaming.”

In closing, call it a MOBO, motherboard, mainboard, or most amazing thing since sliced bread. As long as it’s the best gaming motherboard for you, then feel free to call it whatever the **** you want. As long as it does your evil genius bidding, who cares?