The best motherboard Intel and AMD motherboards in 2021

The best motherboard Intel and AMD motherboards in 2021
RyDesk

The best motherboard Intel and AMD motherboards in 2021

When you get the best motherboard, you’re not just choosing a reliable, high-quality board. More importantly, you’re choosing to ensure that your PC and all its components are running at their best. A motherboard is the backbone of your PC, after all, and the choice of one will either make or break your PC.

Whether you’re building a PC or need one for that brand new graphics card or processor you bought, you’ll be wise to invest in the best motherboard. It not only allows your internals to interact with one another but also makes sure that they’re at optimal performance and even overclocking better.

Save your PC components from failing and yourself from the headache of rebuilding your PC from scratch. We rounded up the best motherboards on the market for you. Whether you’re setting out to build a PC to rival the best PCs or simply upgrading your existing one, we’ll find you a quality board.

Coming to terms

If you’re unfamiliar with the best motherboards out there, use this list as a primer for your next build. Motherboards are available in a broad range of different form factors, the most common of which are ATX and Micro ATX. However, there are plenty of less common form factors including mini ITX and E-ATX. Don’t worry though, most of the best PC cases will support more than one form factor.

Moreover, in our rundown of the best motherboards, we detailed the socket type that each mobo adheres to. The socket, for those not in the know, is the part on the motherboard that the CPU locks into. Typically, newer Intel processors use either LGA 1151 or 2066 while the latest AMD Ryzen architecture is designed for the AM4 chipset.

Best motherboards of 2021 at a glance

  1. Asus ROG Maximus XIII Hero – best Intel motherboard
  2. MSI MEG Z490 Godlike – best high-end Intel motherboard
  3. GIGABYTE Z490 Gaming X – best budget Intel motherboard
  4. MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC – best Intel micro-ATX motherboard
  5. Asus ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming – best Intel mini-ITX motherboard
  6. ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming X – best AMD motherboard
  7. Aorus X570 Master – best high-performance AMD motherboard
  8. Asus ROG Strix B550-E Gaming – best budget AMD motherboard
  9. Asus TUF Gaming B550M-PLUS – best AMD micro-ATX motherboard
  10. NZXT N7 B550 – best for the AMD B550 chipset with Wi-Fi 6E
  11. ASRock X299 Taichi – best Intel Core X-series motherboard
  12. MSI Creator TRX40 – best AMD Ryzen Threadripper motherboard

Asus ROG Maximus XIII Hero

(Image credit: Asus)

1. Asus ROG Maximus XIII Hero

Best Intel Motherboard

Form Factor: ATX | Socket: LGA1200 | Chipset: Intel Z590 | Memory support: Dual Channel DDR4 | Multi-GPU support: NVIDIA 2-Way SLI Technology | Features: ASUS-exclusive software and firmware utilities, enlarged VRM heatsink, onboard WiFi 6E, ROG SupremeFX ALC4082 gaming audio

Several USB ports with two Thunderbolt 4
Excellent quality
Expensive

It might not be cheap, but the Rog Maximus XIII Hero is worth its price tag. Its list of features, which includes Wi-Fi 6, PCIe 4.0, tons of ports (including two thunderbolts), and four M.2 SSD sockets, will satisfy just about anyone looking for a premium Z590 board to build a PC around. It’s not only a great performing board, but it’s easy to overclock as well. And, like any good ASUS motherboard, it comes with plenty of RGB lighting.

Best motherboards: MSI MEG Z490 Godlike

(Image credit: MSI)

2. MSI MEG Z490 Godlike

Best high-end Intel motherboard

Form Factor: E-ATX | Socket: LGA1200 | Chipset: Intel Z490 | Memory support: 4 x DIMM sockets (up to 128GB) | Multi-GPU support: 2-Way NVIDIA SLI Technology, 3-Way AMD CrossFire Technology | Features: M.2 Xpander-Z Gen4 S, 10G Super LAN + 2.5G LAN, Frozen Heatsink, Double Side M.2 Shield Frozen

Superb build quality
Onboard thunderbolt video output
Easy overclocking in BIOS
Pricey
Uses two 8-pin CPU power connectors

High-end motherboards may cost a fortune, but if you’ve got something like the MSI MEG Z490 Godlike under the hood, you’re pretty much guaranteed top-notch performance, especially if you’ve got Intel components. As long as you’re willing to pay the price. In fact, we’d go as far as to say that this is the best z490 board out there right now, with an excellent thermal solution, staggering overclocking performance, easy installation, and diagnostic solutions for do-it-yourself-ers, and a solid build.

Best motherboards: GIGABYTE Z490 Gaming X

(Image credit: GIGABYTE)

3. GIGABYTE Z490 Gaming X

Best budget Intel motherboard

Form Factor: ATX | Socket: LGA1200 | Chipset: Intel Z490 | Memory support: 4 x DIMM sockets (up to 128GB) | Multi-GPU support: AMD Quad-GPU CrossFire and 2-Way AMD CrossFire | Features: Support for APP Center, Q-Flash, and Q-Flash Plus support, Xpress Install support

Pre-installed I/O shield
Additional optional 4-pin connector
No USB Type-C connectivity

The GIGABYTE Z490 Gaming X may not have any flashy new features to bring to the table, but if you’re an Intel fan who needs a new motherboard in the budget sphere, it’s certainly a great choice. This entry-level motherboard for gamers has a decent feature set for its price tag, including three PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, six SATA ports, and four memory slots with support for DDR4-4600 and up to 128GB, to start. Most importantly, it performs like the best of them without burning a hole in your pocket.

Best motherboards: MSI MPG Z390M

4. MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC

Best Intel micro-ATX motherboard

Form Factor: Micro-ATX | Socket: LGA-1151 (8th and 9th-gen only) | Chipset: Intel Z390 | Memory support: 2 x DIMM sockets (up to 32GB) | Multi-GPU support: SLI/CrossFire | Features: 2 x PCIe M.2 (Key M), DDR4 boost, PCI-E Steel Armor, Audio Boost 4 with amplifier

Stylish
Feature-packed
Pricey

If you’re looking to get an edge on the competition, but you don’t have a lot of extra space on your desk, you’re going to need a Micro-ATX motherboard – more specifically, the MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC. What you’re getting here is a Micro-ATX motherboard with all the features a full-sized ATX one offers, but at a fraction of the price. Despite its smaller size, you still get dual M.2 slots, SLI and Crossfire support, and all the fiery performance that Intel Coffee Lake Refresh has to offer. If you’re looking for a smaller motherboard, you can’t afford to pass on the MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge MC.

Best motherboards: Asus ROG Strix Z390-I

5. Asus ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming

Best Intel mini-ITX motherboard

Form Factor: Mini-ITX | Socket: LGA-1151 (8th and 9th-gen only) | Chipset: Intel Z390 | Memory support: 2 x DIMM sockets (up to 64GB) | Multi-GPU support: N/A | Features: 2 x PCIe M.2 (Key M), Double capacity memory, USB 3.1 Gen 2 front connector, Asus Aura Sync

 All the RGB
 Tons of memory capacity
 Expensive

If you need the smallest possible motherboard available without compromising on key features of your CPU, you should look into the Asus ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming. With this motherboard, you don’t need to compromise on features or power. You don’t even need to settle for a measly 32GB of RAM. Thanks to Asus’ double capacity memory compatibility – you can have up to 64GB of memory in the most minuscule motherboard you’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, like most Z390 boards, its price tag is not for the faint of heart, so prepare yourself to shell out some serious dough if you want the smallest of the best motherboards.

Best motherboards: ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming X

(Image credit: ASRock)

6. ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming X

Best AMD motherboard

Form Factor: ATX | Socket: AMD AM4 | Chipset: AMD Premium X570 | Memory Support: 4 x DIMM sockets (up to 128GB) | Multi-GPU support: NVIDIA NVLink, Quad SLI, AMD 3-Way CrossFireX | Features: ASRock Polychrome SYNC, ASRock Super Alloy, ASRock Phantom Gaming 2.5G LAN

Easy to install
Beautiful design
Excellent cooling
Upgrading storage might be physically tricky

If you’re considering an AMD setup for that PC you’re building, then you cannot go wrong with the ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming X. This is the best motherboard for AMD fans right now, with a top-notch feature set, great design, and a highly effective cooling solution. It’s certainly a favorite among overclockers out there, and with Wi-Fi 6 support to boot. If you have a penchant for tweak and upgrade your internals, there might be some limitations as to what you can do physically. But, other than that, it’s hard to find fault in this board.

Best motherboards: Gigabyte Aorus X570 Master

(Image credit: Gigabyte)

7. Gigabyte Aorus X570 Master

Best high-performance AMD motherboard

Form Factor: ATX | Socket: AMD Socket AM4 | Chipset: AMD X570 | Memory support: 4 x DIMM sockets (up to 128GB) | Multi-GPU support: NVIDIA Quad-GPU SLI and 2-Way NVIDIA SLI technologies, AMD Quad-GPU CrossFire and 2-Way AMD CrossFire | Features: Support for APP Center, Q-Flash and Q-Flash Plus support, Xpress Install support

Excellent price for performance
Pre-installed I/O Shield
Well thought out design
Awkward USB3 header placement

The Gigabyte Aorus X570 Master is not only an aesthetically pleasing motherboard, with splashes of silver on a blackboard meant to complement its RGB lighting. It is also capable of being the centerpiece of a very powerful computer. It can handle up to 128GB of DDR4400 RAM, the latest 3rd gen AMD processors, and multiple GPUs for anyone wanting to future-proof their gaming needs. The X570 Master is also very astutely designed, with shielding on its I/O ports, WiFi 6, and several other placement choices that make this a quality board. Best of all, its price is significantly less than the high-end Intel motherboards.

Best motherboards: Asus ROG Strix B550-E Gaming

(Image credit: Asus)

8. Asus ROG Strix B550-E Gaming

Best budget AMD motherboard

Form Factor: ATX | Socket: AMD AM4 | Chipset: AMD B550 | Memory Support: 4 x DIMM sockets (up to 128GB) | Multi-GPU support: Nvidia 2-way GPU SLI, AMD 3-way CrossFire | Features: Aura Sync, ASUS Thermal Solution with M.2 heatsink, ASUS EZ DIY, Rear audio USB Type-C connector

Easy setup
Price is right
Only one PCIe 4.0
Limited CPU support

If you’re looking to build from scratch, the Asus ROG B550-E Gaming Motherboard is a cost-effective and feature-rich motherboard to pair with that AMD 3rd gen Ryzen chip you just bought. Its I/O ports are shielded, it comes with a PCIe 4.0 slot (and a second PCIe 3.0 one), and it has just about all the ports and port headers you could desire. With this motherboard, you’re getting excellent power delivery, a great feature set, and an incredibly effective cooling solution, as well as a cool aesthetic to boot.

Best motherboards: Asus TUF Gaming B550M-PLUS

(Image credit: Asus)

9. Asus TUF Gaming B550M-PLUS

Best AMD Micro ATX motherboard

Form Factor: Micro ITX | Socket: AMD AM4 | Chipset: AMD B550 | Memory Support: 4 x DIMM sockets (up to 128GB) | Multi-GPU support: AMD 2-Way CrossFireX Technology | Features: ASUS TUF Protection, ASUS Thermal solution with aluminum M.2 heatsink, ASUS EZ DIY, AURA Sync

PCIe 4.0 support
AI noise-canceling technology works great
No heatsink in upper NVMe slot
Still pricey for what it offers

An upgrade from its predecessor, the B450, the Asus TUF Gaming B550M-PLUS boasts not only a much better power solution and a great cooling solution but also game-ready features and military-grade components. Among those features is the AI Noise-Canceling Microphone software, which supports 3.5 mm, USB or Bluetooth headsets, and full RGB lighting control. All, of course, while still touting that TUF Gaming Alliance promise for easy compatibility and building, as well as aesthetics that complement its trusted partners.

Best motherboards: NZXT N7 B550

(Image credit: NZXT)

10. NZXT N7 B550

Best for the AMD B550 chipset with Wi-Fi 6E

Form Factor: ATX | Socket: LGA1200 | Chipset: AMD B550 | Memory Support: 4 x DIMM, Max. 128GB, DDR4 | Multi-GPU support: AMD 2-Way CrossFireX Technology | Features: Built-in digital RGB and fan controls, built-in Wi-Fi 6E connectivity

Affordable
Native Wi-Fi 6E capabilities
No backplate

Looking into an AMD B550 motherboard might be necessary if you’re upgrading your AMD Ryzen processor, and the NZXT N7 B550 is an excellent mid-range option. This gaming motherboard is not only designed around the B550 chipset, but it comes with built-in Wi-Fi 6E connectivity, something that you’ll be hard-pressed to find in rivaling boards. It also comes with more USB ports at the rear, making it more versatile. And, of course, you’ll also appreciate the digital RGB and fan controls through CAM.

Best motherboards: ASRock X299 Taichi

11. ASRock X299 Taichi

Best Intel Core X-Series motherboard

Form Factor: ATX | Socket: LGA-2066 | Chipset: Intel X299 | Memory Support: Quad-Channel 8 x DDR4 4,400MHz (up to 128GB) | Multi-GPU support: Nvidia 3-Way SLI, AMD 3-Way CrossFireX | Features: 3 x PCIe M.2 (Key M)

Gigantic memory support
Slots for 8 RAM modules
High price

The X-series processors are here, and they are spectacular. But if you want to take advantage of all they have to offer, you need an X-series motherboard. This ASRock X299 is an incredible choice with support for overclocked memory speeds up to 4400MHz(!!!) and 8 different slots for memory modules. It also supports up to 128GB of RAM. Add in an X-series processor and a good graphics card or 3, and this thing will absolutely tear apart anything you could throw at it. If you’re seeking one of the best motherboards money can buy, this is it.

Best motherboards: MSI Creator TRX40

(Image credit: MSI)

12. MSI Creator TRX40

Best AMD Ryzen Threadripper motherboard

Form Factor: E-ATX | Socket: sTRX4 | Chipset: AMD TRX40 | Memory Support: 8 x DIMM sockets (up to 256G) | Multi-GPU support: 3-Way NVIDIA SLI and 3-Way AMDA CrossFire | Features: 10G LAN + Intel Gigabit LAN, 7 x Lightning Gen4 M.2 with M.2 XPANDER-AERO GEN4, Full fan control, Frozr Heatsink Design, Mystic Light

Good overclocking
Efficient cooling
Has 10GbE, 1GbE, and 2.4Gbps Wi-Fi
Double-slot cooling limits M.2 adapter card
Expensive

When you’ve got an AMD Threadripper under the hood of your PC, you absolutely need a beast of a motherboard like the MSI Creator TRX40. This is designed and built specifically for creators with the most demanding computing needs, this motherboard also boasts quite a feature set. Among those features are the latest PCIe gen4 slots and M.2 connectors, USB3.2 Gen2x2, Wi-Fi 6 and 10G LAN, as well as MSI’s Frozr Heatsink design and Mystic Light RGB lighting. It’s a little pricey, especially next to the competition, but then again, nothing in the creative sphere isn’t these days. If you want the best motherboard for your professional creative endeavors, it doesn’t get better than this.