Best Gaming Motherboards of 2022

Cassie Brown
  Sep 25, 2022 10:26 AM

The 16 Best Gaming Motherboards in2022 in the article is compiled from the satisfaction of customers who have experienced and used the products. Please see below for details.

ASUS AM4 TUF Gaming X570-Plus (Wi-Fi) AM4 Zen 3 Ryzen 5000 & 3rd Gen Ryzen ATX Motherboard with PCIe 4.0, Dual M.2, 12+2 with Dr. MOS Power Stage

Overview

Your ideal PC build is like a castle, and the best gaming motherboard is like the foundation. The concept is that a decent motherboard defines what your system can and cannot do, but it is a bit of a stretched metaphor. It outlines the technology that is supported and then gives you options. The best gaming motherboard will keep you through several CPUs and enable trouble-free gaming.

Most mainstream motherboards will let you choose your graphics card, but which motherboard you choose will determine what other expansion cards you can buy. Particularly now that PCIe 4.0 and PCIe 5.0 slots are the standards. Additionally, your motherboard's chipset and capacity to support multiple PCIe lanes will determine your ability to receive lots of bandwidth. Additionally, it affects the amount of overclocking you can perform, the RAM speeds you can enable, and the variety of storage devices you can attach. For example, just because a motherboard has eight SATA ports and two M.2 slots doesn't necessarily mean you can fill them all with drives.

Over the past year, I've tested a ton of AMD and Intel motherboards, ranging from Mini-ITX to E-ATX, so you can choose which will form the most OK foundation for your build.

MSI MPG B550 GAMING EDGE WIFI Gaming Motherboard (AMD AM4, DDR4, PCIe 4.0, SATA 6Gb/s, M.2, USB 3.2 Gen 2, AX Wi-Fi 6, HDMI/DP, ATX, AMD Ryzen 5000 Series processors)

Top Picks

Check out our list of Best Gaming Motherboards suggested by Experts.

Reviews

1. Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

It was virtually expected that the top-tier chipset for Intel's following Alder Lake CPUs would cost a pretty penny. This is made worse by the emphasis placed on everything that refers to DDR5. However, the Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro virtually defies that trend by providing a comprehensive feature set and DDR5 support for under $330. For the 12th Gen platform, $300+ is unquestionably mid-range, although it was considered high-end in the previous CPU generation.

The Aorus Pro has been intelligently spec'd by Gigabyte. It has been possible to maintain the pricing at least somewhat reasonable by restricting it to "only" Wi-Fi 6 wireless (as opposed to Wi-Fi 6E), and 2.5G Intel wired networking connections, and forgoing such needless extras as Thunderbolt 4 or another M.2 port.

Additionally, it performs admirably, easily matching the system and gaming performance of the more expensive boards we've already evaluated. We are confident in suggesting the Gigabyte board as our top pick out of the Z690 group because the BIOS is also continuously improving.

The high contrast look of this choice, which features numerous grey heatsinks, is essentially its main drawback. It might not be the simplest board to mix in with your build, even though much of the grey chipset and M.2 cooling will be concealed beneath a GPU. Aorus's logo is the only RGB illumination present and is located atop the rear I/O heatsink. For a gaming motherboard in 2022, that is unusual. However, there are four RGB headers, and two are addressable, so if you want to, you can add a ton of flashy lights.

The Z690 Aorus Pro from Gigabyte occupies a genuine Alder Lake sweet spot, providing good value for money and a well-rounded feature set. Features like Thunderbolt 4, a fifth M.2 slot, or 10G LAN would come at a significant cost premium that is difficult to justify. Most gamers will be content with simple Wi-Fi 6, 4x M.2 slots, a powerful VRM, and plenty of USB ports. And for $330, you'll have some extra cash to spend on expensive items like DDR5 RAM or a better GPU.

Pros

  • Four M.2 slots.

  • 13 USB ports.

  • Strong VRM.

  • Well-price.

Cons

  • No Wi-Fi 6E (only 6).

2. MSI MAG B660M Mortar WIFI DDR4

In addition to having an excellent power design, the MSI MAG B660M Mortar WIFI DDR4 micro-ATX board fits eight USB ports, including one USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C port, on the rear panel, as well as numerous internal connectors.

Support for PCIe 5.0 graphics cards is one glaring omission from the feature list, but given that no such cards are currently available, it's not as big of a loss as you might imagine. However, everything else is accurate, including a strengthened x16 PCIe 4.0 slot for the GPU, another full-length slot operating at x4, and a last, small x1 PCIe 3.0 slot. For most users, having two PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots will be more than enough.

Additionally, Realtek provides 2.5Gbps networking, while Intel offers Wi-Fi 6 compatibility. Even if the highest Z690 boards offer 10Gbps LAN and Wi-Fi 6E, we may overlook that feature for this article.

Performance-wise, upgrading from DDR4 to DDR5 doesn't make much difference. If we're talking stock CPU performance, the same is valid with upgrading from Z690 to B660. When paired with the 60A stages and the 14-phase power configuration, the MAG B660M can maintain the performance of a stock-clocked Core i9 12900K at a level comparable to that of Z690 motherboards with significantly higher specifications.

However, there is a decrease in gaming performance with the B660 boards we've tested so far, so if you're looking to get the most out of your components, this chipset might not be the best choice for a gaming PC. However, it must be noted that the improvement is minimal and only perceptible at 1080p with an extremely powerful GPU and CPU.

It's impressive that a micro-ATX motherboard under $200 can still run the i9 12900K at stock settings. It's called the MSI MAG B660M Mortar WIFI DDR4. Our only major complaint is that a few DDR4-based Z690s in this price range would provide a little more value for your money. Nevertheless, this is an excellent board for constructing a cheap, small form factor gaming PC.

Pros

  • Reasonable price.

  • Well performance.

  • Great design for mainstream.

Cons

  • No support for PCIe 5.0

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3. MSI MAG B660 Tomahawk WIFI DDR4

Despite not supporting DDR5, the MSI MAG B660 Tomahawk WIFI DDR4 is a strong option for those who prefer to build on a budget. You're still getting a lot of I/O ports for your money, and you're also looking at a robust VRM, so the maximum turbo load of a 12900K shouldn't be an issue. If you want to save money on your 12th Gen build, this evolution has advanced significantly since the release of the last generation's B560 motherboards.

Although the MAG B660 Tomahawk lacks overclocking potential, it is still a much more economical alternative, especially when compared to comparable Z690 possibilities. Even if the M.2 space is a tad on the small side, the majority of us common folk won't need more than three slots to keep their Steam library's whole collection of games or mountains of 4K film.

Three PCIe slots are included with the Tomahawk. The main slot is an x16 slot that supports PCIe 4.0, the second slot is an electrical x16 slot that supports PCIe 3.0, and the third and final slot is a PCIe 3.0 x1 slot. It would have been wonderful to include PCIe 5.0 support for the primary slot, although that is unlikely to offer GPUs any immediate advantages.

Another noteworthy aspect of the board is the back I/O. The networking requirements of most regular users are met by the inclusion of Realtek 2.5G LAN and Intel Wi-Fi 6. There are nine USB ports, including one 3.2 Gen 2x2 20Gbps Type-C port, four USB 2.0, four 3.2 Gen 2, and four USB 2.0. It's encouraging to see 20Gbps USB products spread across the market. A complete set of audio ports, including a SPDIF, is also present. A Realtek ALC1220 chip handles the audio functions. Last but not least, if you want to use Intel's Xe integrated graphics, there are HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.4 connectors.

Overall, the MSI B660 Tomahawk DDR4 is a board you should consider using in your setup. For a typical gamer who uses a single GPU, XMP RAM, one or more SSDs, and is content to let a 12th Gen processor do its turbo boost without active overclocking, it would be a wise value purchase.

In all honesty, that represents at least 95% of the market. The B660 Tomahawk motherboard retails for $190, which is not what we'd call a cheap motherboard. Still, in a market where a nice mid-range Z690 board may cost much more, it delivers many features without sacrificing the affordability that B660 boards are known for.

Pros

  • Strong VRM.

  • Well build quality.

  • 9 USB ports.

  • Excellent I/O.

  • Reasonable price.

Cons

  • No PCIe 5.0 support.

4. Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero

The ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero from Asus seeks to replace all other AM4 motherboards. But what characteristics distinguish a superb motherboard? Features, a reliable and polished BIOS, value for money, and a good design are all vital, but occasionally it's something intangible.

The Dark Hero has a rather understated appearance. Even some people would claim it's a touch boring. With current motherboards being a little more discreet with their RGB implementations, perhaps we have hit "Peak RGB." A Crosshair VIII Apex or Extreme should be available, especially given that Gigabyte and MSI have considerably more expensive boards than the Dark Hero.

Over the regular Hero, the VRM has been improved. The power stages are now 90a rated instead of 60a, which puts it on par with some high-end X570 boards. Even if you enjoy pounding out benchmarks on LN2 (and in the hands of overclockers, this board will see enough of that), it can easily withstand the abuse. The heatsinks are large, bulky devices.

Rear I/O is fully utilized. There aren't many boards with more USB ports if you need them for a plasma ball or head massager. Eight USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports are included in all, one of which is Type-C. Four USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports connect them. The LAN and WiFi antenna interfaces, the standard assortment of audio connections, including S/PDIF, and the BIOS clear and flashback buttons are all present. Thankfully, pre installing the IO shield is becoming standard on quality motherboards.

Although we would need to evaluate several hundred additional AM4 motherboards before making that claim, it is simple to state that the Crosshair VIII Dark Hero is among the most excellent AM4 motherboards we have ever used. Only time and months of user input will tell if the Dark Hero takes place among the genuinely famous ROG motherboards, but we wouldn't bet against it.

Pros

  • Excellent design.

  • Great performance.

  • 12 USB ports.

  • Eight SATA ports.

  • No chipset fan.

Cons

  • Expensive.

ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero AMD AM4 X570S Zen 3 Ryzen 5000 & 3rd Gen Ryzen ATX Gaming Motherboard (PCIe 4.0, 14+2 Ti Power Stages, PCH Heatsink, Wi-Fi 6, 2.5 Gbps LAN, USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C

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The Best Gaming Motherboards

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1
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    9.4
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    ASUS
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3
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    MSI
4
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    9.4
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    ASUS
5
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    9.4
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    ASUS
6
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    9.4
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    ASUS
7
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    9.4
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    ASUS
8
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    9.4
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    ASUS
9
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    9.2
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    ASUS
10
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    9.2
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    ASUS
11
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    9.2
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    MSI
12
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    9.2
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    MSI
13
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    9.2
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    ASUS
14
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    8.8
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    ASUS
15
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    8.6
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16
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    8.4
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    Gigabyte

Last update on 2022-09-25 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

FAQs

Q: Do motherboards matter for gaming?

Motherboards have absolutely no direct effect on how well you play video games. The layout of your motherboard will boost the efficiency of your processor and graphics card (or worse). It parallels the impact of a solid-state drive on frame rate in several ways.

ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming WiFi 6E LGA 1200(Intel® 11th/10th Gen) ATX Gaming Motherboard (PCIe 4.0, 14+2 Power Stages, DDR4 5333+, Dual Intel® 2.5 Gb LAN,Thunderbolt 4, 4xM.2/NVMe SSD and Aura RGB)

Q: Is DDR5 superior to DDR4?

DDR5 uses less power while offering twice the bandwidth and density of DDR4. Higher bandwidth equates to faster processing for memory-demanding programs like games, video and picture editors, 3D tools, and browsers.

Q: What makes a motherboard good?

It all relies on your needs and budget regarding which features and specifications make a motherboard good or terrible. However, a motherboard's quality is typically determined by its chipset, the quantity, and version of PCIe lanes, the VRM design, the number of USB ports, their version, and several other bells and whistles.

Final Thought

If comparing the CPU is the heart of the computer, the mainboard is like the skeleton. Spending money on a quality motherboard will significantly increase your gaming experience. If you are in the process of perfecting the PC of your dreams, the Best 4K Monitors for Gaming Reviewed by Experts and Best Wireless Mouse Gaming will help you a lot.