Best motherboards of 2023 – Selecting the finest motherboard for gaming (or really the best board for any other form of computer work) is a vital step in your system setup, even though components like CPUs and graphics cards often garner more attention.
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Each component of your computer plugs into the motherboard (or plugs into something else that plugs into your motherboard).
Depending on its form factor (ATX, E-ATX, Mini ITX, etc.), you’ll need to use a specific size PC case.
The processors you can install depend on the board’s socket and chipset.
The recommended motherboards below are the best gaming motherboards for Intel’s most recent 13th Gen “Alder Lake” and 12th Gen “Raptor Lake” CPUs as well as older 11th Gen “Rocket Lake” processors. AMD motherboards are included lower down.
Here are our picks for the top motherboards for the Z690, B660, H610, and Z590 (with Z790 on the way soon).
The finest gaming motherboards for AMD CPUs, such as the Ryzen 7000 and 5000, are included after our recommendations for Intel.
You may also visit our specialised sites for the best X570 motherboards and best B550 motherboards for more information on that subject, especially if you’re looking for an earlier AM4 board.
Additionally, all of the new AMD 7000 motherboards are extremely pricey when compared to previous-generation boards from AMD and Intel, so you might want to remain with AM4.
Ryzen 5000 processors from the previous generation and AM4 motherboards are still strong performers at enticingly low prices.
Just be aware that you are investing in a failing last-gen platform if you choose an AM4 motherboard right now.
The majority (if not all) of the upcoming AMD processors will only support DDR5 and be issued on the new AM5 socket/platform.
Some Intel Z790 and Z690-chipset motherboards, as well as AMD’s now-outdated AM4 processor, still support the older, more economical DDR4 RAM, which can also save costs if you wish to reuse an earlier setup in a new build.
MSI MAG B660M Mortar WIFI DDR4
As long as you don’t intend to overclock your CPU or use PCIe 5.0 devices until your next upgrade, the MSI MAG B660M Mortar WIFI DDR4 and its B660 chipset offer a great solution for those wishing to transition to Alder Lake without significantly increasing your construction budget.
It doesn’t have the flashy design or RGB lighting of more expensive boards, but it does have everything you need to make the most of an Alder Lake CPU that is running at stock clock speeds.
The Mortar has six SATA connections, a top-tier last-generation audio solution, two PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 sockets, and VRMs that can comfortably handle the Core i9 CPU.
The performance of our B660M Mortar in our tests was comparable to that of the earlier-tested Z690-based DDR4 boards.
In other words, our sub-$200 motherboard, while costing a third less than typical Z690 options, was able to fully utilise our i9-12900K processor.
Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro
The Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro is a mid-range Alder Lake motherboard that costs roughly $330 and provides excellent all-around performance with few compromises.
Four M.2 ports are available for more storage, better audio quality, and a modern appearance.
Throughout our extensive testing, the board’s performance, thermals, and overclocking were all nicely within the range of other Z690 boards we’ve looked at.
There is a lot to admire about the Z690 Aorus Pro, including its 13 USB ports on the rear IO, four M.2 connections, and competent power delivery, all at a price that is significantly less than that of flagship options.
The Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro is a great Alder Lake motherboard to base your Z690 system on, provided you don’t need integrated RGB lighting or Wi-Fi 6E out of the box (you still get Wi-Fi 6).
ASRock Z690 Extreme WiFi 6E
If you’re trying to create an Alder Lake-based system on a budget so you can buy other parts, ASRock’s Z690 Extreme WiFi motherboard is a wonderful choice.
In some tests, its out-of-the-box performance with some heavy multi-threaded programmes was a little slower than normal, but when it came to game testing and workloads with fewer threads, this board excelled.
The board has a lot of hardware for its price, including dual 1GbE/2.5GbE Ethernet connections, three M.2 sockets, eight SATA connectors, and integrated Wi-Fi 6E.
With its predominantly black design, dark blue highlights, vivid RGB LEDs, and visually pleasing PCB notches, the board also has a nice appearance.
In the $200 price category, there are a lot of alternatives, but only the ASRock Extreme has integrated Wi-Fi 6E and eight SATA ports.
The Extreme WiFi 6E is the better option if you enjoy RGB lights, which the Asus and MSI do not offer at this price.
The Z690 Extreme is the best Z690 board we’ve tested under $200, unless you need more than five USB-A ports on the rear IO.
Gigabyte Z690I Aorus Ultra Plus
The Gigabyte Z690I Aorus Ultra Plus has proven to be a high-performing, eye-catching, and cost-effective option in the Z690 ITX market during our testing.
It is competitively priced at $329.99, less than most of the competition, and comes with two M.2 connections, a contemporary premium audio codec, and premium 105A MOSFETs to power any CPU.
Additionally, the design is RGB-inclusive.
The price and your demands will determine which of these two ITX boards is best for you. Both are more than competent.
All of these boards have two M.2 connectors, Wi-Fi 6E, 2.5 GbE, and at least two SATA ports.
The other boards all include additional SATA ports; only the MSI board has three M.2 connectors.
If you compare audio codecs, the ASRock falls short, although few people would notice a difference.
We like the Gigabyte Z690I Aorus Ultra Plus.
The new board fixed problems with the PCIe slot of the earlier edition while giving us a generally well-rounded and clearly affordable SKU.
Additionally, it is the first Z690-based ITX board with RGB LEDs built in, making it visually distinctive in your case.
The Ultra Plus is the best Z690 Mini-ITX option you can get for the money, but you’ll need to go elsewhere if you want to use more than two SATA discs.
Asus ROG Strix B660-I Gaming WIFI
After our benchmark testing and a thorough analysis of its vast feature set, the Asus ROG Strix B660-I Gaming WIFI has distinguished itself as a deserving small motherboard in the B660 region.
In addition to these features, the little board contains two M.2 ports, built-in Wi-Fi 6, a PCIe 5.0 slot, and a last-generation premium audio solution.
The heated VRM temperatures are the only actual hardware issue, however keep in mind that this was during a stress test and isn’t an usual loading scenario.
Apart from that, all of our tests showed strong performance that could compete with similar DDR5-based boards.
It is fairly priced, packed with features, and a strong performance at $219.99.
From this class of board, you really can’t ask for much more.
The Asus ROG Strix B660-I Gaming WIFI is the ideal ITX board if you want to cut costs and don’t want to overclock your Alder Lake processor.
There are Z690 choices if you do (we’ve already examined two, the ASRock Z690 PG ITX-TB4 and MSI MEG Z690I Unify), but the most of them cost well in excess of $300.
Gigabyte Aorus Z690 Tachyon
The Z690 Aorus Tachyon’s dependable power delivery allows for sub-ambient overclocking of any Alder Lake CPU that is compatible with it.
Thanks to the 105A SPS MOSFETs, a huge heatsink, and overclocking tools, the board doesn’t prevent achieving the greatest clock rates.
Additionally, it performed better than average across the board in our tests, posting some of the quickest times in Procyon Office, Cinebench R23, and our new Blender benchmark.
In our game tests, it also somewhat outperformed the Z690 boards we examined.
A variety of features on the E-ATX Aorus Tachyon make it easier to overclock a computer, including buttons for changing the CPU ratio, limp modes, different BIOS support, tantalum capacitors around the socket region (better and easier for insulating for sub-zero runs), and more.
Although this board is designed for overclocking, it also does most other tasks effectively.
It has a tonne of features that are helpful for almost any type of user, like the last generation’s top-tier Realtek audio solution and the four M.2 sockets and six SATA connections.
However, people who require more RAM than 64GB (such as professionals and multimedia producers) may need to search elsewhere.
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