Last Updated on September 24, 2020 by Scott Krager
There’s been a lot of debate about whether the gaming motherboards are actually worth it or not, and it often divides the people in PC community.
In their favor, many people argue that if you are building an expensive gaming PC, you would definitely want to buy a good gaming motherboard.
However, over the past couple of years, there has been a surplus of some budget gaming motherboards as well.
Best Gaming Motherboards 2020
- ASUS X570 Crosshair VIII Hero (Wi-Fi) (Best AMD High-End Gaming Motherboard)
- MSI Z390 GodLike (Best Intel High-End Gaming Motherboard)
- ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E (Best Intel Midrange Gaming Motherboard)
- MSI MPG X570 Gaming Plus (Best AMD MIdrange Gaming Motherboard)
- Gigabyte Z390 UD (Best Intel Budget Gaming Motherboard)
- MSI B450 Gaming Plus (Best AMD Budget Gaming Motherboard)
To keep things fair, we are going to be reviewing some of the higher end motherboard options as well as some of the mid-range motherboards, and lastly, some options that are for people who are on the low budget.
In addition to that, considering how AMD is back in the game, we thought it would be a wise decision to look at both AMD and Intel supported motherboards to ensure that the readers have the proper choice when it comes to choosing a good motherboard for their upcoming gaming build.
Best Gaming Motherboard 2020 Review Guide
So, let us not waste more time, and start looking at all the options available in the market.
ASUS X570 Crosshair VIII Hero (Wi-Fi): Check Price On Amazon
Best AMD Gaming Motherboard 2020 (High-End)
As a long-term Asus user, the one thing that I can attest to is that Asus has never really held themselves back when it comes to amazing products. Almost all of their components have been amazing through and through.
Here we are looking at the ASUS ROG X570 Crosshair VIII Hero (Wi-Fi). The Hero motherboards from Asus bridge the gap between the low-end and enthusiast-grade motherboards from the ROG line up.
There are a lot of things about the ASUS ROG X570 Crosshair VIII Hero (Wi-Fi) that I love.
For starters, it comes with excellent connectivity. Therefore, if you are looking for something that has a lot of networking and audio-related slots, you know where to go. This motherboard is not going to disappoint.
No matter the Ryzen processor you are using on it, the excellent VRM performance and rock-solid stability will allow you to overclock the processor and use it without any issues. Another great thing is that you are going to get an ample amount of USB 3.1 gen 2 ports.
Last but not the least, the ASUS ROG X570 Crosshair VIII Hero (Wi-Fi) is one of the best-looking motherboards available in the market, and that just goes to show how determined Asus is in terms of looks and design.
As far as the downsides are concerned, I honestly cannot think of anything that makes this motherboard lack behind.
Overall, if you are looking for a motherboard that has great looks, great performance, great everything, then going for the ASUS ROG X570 Crosshair VIII Hero (Wi-Fi) is actually not a bad decision.
The motherboard offers great value and you do not have to worry much about anything that might come in the way.
- The motherboard is one of the best looking options available in the market.
- It is great in terms of performance.
- You have a lot of USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports available.
- Great when it comes to connectivity.
MSI Z390 GodLike: Check Price On Amazon
Best Intel Gaming Motherboard 2020 (High-End)
MSI Z390 Godlike is the highest-end Intel motherboard that MSI has to offer, and trust me when I say it, the motherboard commands the respect and the price and is worth every single penny.
For starters, you are not going to get any option in the market with such attention to detail when it comes to its fit and finishes. Another great thing about this motherboard is the best overclocking capabilities.
The RGB implementation on this motherboard is one of the best and you will not be disappointed by how it performs. For the connectivity nerds like me, there are so many options that will allow you great connectivity.
With all the good things aside, there is something about this motherboard that just does not bode well with me and that is the storage performance which lags behind a little.
Overall though, the MSI Z390 GodLike is the best high-end gaming motherboard for Intel in the market. Granted, it is one the expensive side when you are comparing the options, but for the price you are paying, you are getting an unmatched performance.
- The motherboard looks and feels amazing.
- You get some of the best overclocking performance.
- There are countless amounts of connectivity options included.
- The RGB LED implementation is one of the best I have seen.
- The storage performance of this motherboard lacks behind.
ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E: Check Price On Amazon
Best Intel Gaming Motherboard 2020 (Midrange)
The midrange motherboard in front of us is the ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E.
But don’t let the price fool you as it comes with a lot of amazing features that are more or less reserved for the higher end options.
To start, we have a great number of fan headers, and if you are someone who wants to install a lot of fans on in your chassis, it’s going to help you a lot.
Additionally, Asus has kept things covered for those looking for a good number of USB ports as there’s 1 USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port, 3 USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A ports, 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports, and 2 USB 2.0 ports on the rear side.
You even have LED expansion header on the motherboard that will help you get the most out of your board. For those looking for Wi-Fi functionality, the motherboard also comes with onboard Wi-Fi, making it one of the cheapest motherboards to offer this feature.
You also get dual M.2 slots that are properly cooled.
Asus has also included diagnostic LED as well as a MemOK switch for those who are looking for proper diagnostics.
Design wise, the motherboard offers a rather neutral design language, has great audio implementation, and you even get a fan accessory to cool down the VRMs of your motherboard.
On the downside, there are a few points where you feel like that Asus has cut corners. For starters, the motherboard only offers a 4-phase VRM design, meaning it is not the best option for overclocking.
If you are looking forward to getting a lot of RGB with the motherboard, you are only going to get a single lighting zone. However, the compensation is provided in the form of onboard headers.
Overall, the ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E is more than what the price says about it.
You get a ton of features that will certainly make your overall experience with this motherboard a lot smoother, but the thing is that if you happen to be a heavy overclocker, this motherboard is not for you.
However, if you are a budget-oriented user who just wants to enjoy some Republic of Gamer features, then this is the way to go.
- Excellent value for money.
- Built-in WiFi.
- Decent build quality.
- Plenty of fan headers.
- A great number of USB ports.
- VRM design is only 4-phase.
- One lighting zone.
MSI MPG X570 Gaming Plus: Check Price On Amazon
Best AMD Gaming Motherboard 2020 (Midrange)
MSI MPG X570 Gaming Plus is one of the best motherboards available in the market in terms of value mainly because it takes such good care of the price to performance ratio.
The motherboard comes with all the necessities that you might be looking for. The performance is decent, the motherboard’s red and black color scheme goes really well together, there’s PCI-e 4.0 support out of the box, and you have a preinstalled I/O shield as well.
As far as the downsides are concerned, I don’t there are a lot of issues with the motherboard, to begin with. Granted, it is not really good for those who are looking for a great overclocking or feature-packed motherboard.
But the one thing that we have to keep in mind is that this motherboard is actually intended for those who are looking for something affordable.
Overall, the MSI MPG X570 Gaming Plus is something that I would suggest to anyone who is looking for an affordable motherboard and still wants to have all the basic and some of the advanced features in the motherboard. I can assure you that this board is not going to disappoint you at all.
- The motherboard offers great performance
- Nice design aesthetics.
- There is active cooling for the PCH.
- The color scheme is tried and tested.
- You have PCI-E 4.0 support.
- Supports both the 2nd and 3rd generation Ryzen processors.
- Not good for overclocking purposes.
Gigabyte Z390 UD: Check Price On Amazon
Best Intel Gaming Motherboard 2020 (Budget)
When you are looking at good motherboards for gaming or other tasks that require good performance, the one thing that you must keep in mind is that not everyone is in the market with a lot of money to spend on a motherboard.
Some users just want to buy something that will allow them to have a decent performance without breaking the bank or burning a hole through their pocket. This is exactly what the Gigabyte Z390 UD is all about.
It is one of the most affordable options available in the market, and the best part is that you do not have to spend a lot of money on this motherboard either.
Although Z390 UD supports only 8th Gen Intel CPUs by default, you can make it compatible for any 9th-Gen processor via a simple BIOS update.
If you are looking to build a PC that focuses on lower cost and you want to get a good, ATX motherboard to boot, this is the way to go.
As far as the downsides are concerned, we do have some concerns. For starters, the motherboard looks extremely basic. This might not bode well with those who are looking to buy something that has nice aesthetics.
Another thing that you need to know is that if you are looking for something that overclocks really well, you might want to look at any other board.
All in all, if you’re in the Team Blue, Gigabyte Z390 UD is actually one of the best budget gaming motherboards available in the market.
Granted, it does not have all the bells and whistles that you might be looking for but the good news is that you can save money, buy this motherboard, and use it until you can actually go for something that is a better option. However, for a budget option, this motherboard is almost impossible to beat.
- One of the most affordable Z390 motherboards available in the market.
- Full-sized ATX.
- You get RGB lighting.
- The M.2 slot is present for your convenience.
- The motherboard is not built for overclocking.
- Only has a single x16 PCIe slot.
MSI B450 Gaming Plus: Check Price On Amazon
Best AMD Gaming Motherboard 2020 (Budget)
The last motherboard on the list is again from MSI. If you are wondering why we have so many boards from MSI under one roundup, it is simply because the company is well known for offering something great at every price point.
Considering how the X570 is still out of reach for many people, the B450 motherboards are always available for low-end/midrange PC builders. They’re cheaper than their x570 counterparts but don’t come with latest technologies like PCIe 4.0.
If you are looking to save money but you still want some nice features that will allow you to run the latest games without running into many issues, then B450 gaming Plus motherboard is actually not a bad option.
You can make the most of the situation without any issues. Keeping that in mind, the performance on this motherboard is actually great for the price you are paying. You do not have to worry much about running into any performance issues.
It will run most of the Ryzen processors to their full efficiency with ease as well.
Moving on to the downsides, if you are looking to get your hands on a motherboard can be really good for overclocking or is packed with top of the line features, then you might have to look somewhere else because it might not be enough for pulling off more advanced tasks.
But, to be frank, it would crazy to expect any ground-breaking performance from it at this price range (under 100 bucks at the time for this roundup)
Overall, if I were, to sum up, the B450 Gaming Plus motherboard from MSI, I would say that you are getting what you are paying for. It is one of the best AMD gaming motherboards in its price range.
- Excellent performance for the price.
- Comes with all the basic features and some advanced ones as well.
- Looks good as well.
- Not the best option for the top of the line features.
Things To Look For In A Motherboard
Below are some of the important things you need to keep in mind while looking for a new motherboard.
1. CPU Compatibility
Most people buy a motherboard after they’ve bought the CPU.
If that is the case, the first thing you need to do is to make a list of motherboards compatible with your CPU. It’s because there are some CPUs which are completely incompatible with a particular board model.
Here are some things you’ll need to check the compatibility between your board and CPU.
a) Intel vs AMD
Intel and AMD are the only two manufacturers of the computer processors around us. And both of these companies design their CPUs to work with specific boards.
It means that an AMD processor can only work with a motherboard specifically designed for AMD processors, and the same goes for Intel processors and their suitable boards.
So if you’ve picked an Intel processor earlier, you can only look for Intel-specific motherboards now.
b) CPU Socket
The CPU socket is the area of a motherboard where a CPU fits in.
When Intel and AMD launch their new gen processors, more often than not, they also release their newer-gen motherboards for those processors.
And there is a good chance that the CPU socket on the motherboard will be different from the one on previous generation boards.
Since these sockets don’t support backward compatibility (you can’t fit a new Ryzen CPU on an older AM3 socket), you have to be extra careful not to waste your time and money here.
For this, you can go to the specs sheet of your CPU and the motherboard you’re looking to buy, and look for Socket section to make sure they are both compatible with each other.
2. PC Case compatibility
Once you’ve found the CPU and boards compatible with each other, it’s time to find out a compatible case for your board.
It’s because, like CPUs, you can’t fit every motherboard in every PC case.
Motherboards come in different sizes like ATX, Micro-ATX and mini-ITX boards etc, and while we have written the detailed differences between them in a separate post, here’s a quick comparison image for you.
In order to find out case compatibility, you just need to check the product listing of that product. It will be mentioned in the listing that what motherboard-type and form-factor that a PC case supports.
The motherboard is a hub through which different PC components and accessories communicate with each other, in order to give you desired results.
More ports mean more components can be attached to the motherboard, and while it won’t necessarily give you better results, you’ll certainly get more options.
Here are some of the most common Ports/Slots available in a motherboard.
These slots are used to accommodate the memory aka. RAM. In high-end boards, four DIMM slots are usually present but in smaller form factors like mini-ITX boards, this number reduces to two.
But this is not the end of the world if you’ve chosen the latter. You can easily have 32 GB RAM memory in a mini-ITX board, which is more than enough for any task out there.
SATA ports are used to connect the storage devices (like SATA SSDs, Hard drives etc.) to the motherboard.
For most people, one or two Storage devices will be enough so they won’t need any extra SATA ports. But if anyhow you’re interested in RAID configurations, more SATA ports are always better.
PCIe Slots are used to connect different types of components, but the most important of them all is the graphics card.
At the minimum, motherboards come with 1 PCIe Slot, but if you go higher, there are boards with much more of these slots which mean you can have multiple graphics cards fit on those boards.
But for most people, multiple graphics card won’t bring any benefit whatsoever.
Those people can utilize these extra slots by having PCI-e based WiFi adapters, PCI-e SSDs (faster than SATA based SSDs), USB Hub adapters and internal sound cards etc.
USB ports are used to connect any USB-based device (such as your keyboard) to the motherboard.
Here you need to make sure that a board has the necessary amount of USB ports that you need for connecting your devices.