Best Motherboards 2024 for Gaming, by Socket and Chipset

Nearly everything in your PC either plugs into your motherboard or plugs into something that plugs into your motherboard. The motherboard's form factor (typically E-ATX, ATX, Micro ATX, or Mini-ITX) also dictates the size of the PC case you'll need to use. And the socket and chipset determine which processors you can install in your CPU socket.

The picks below start with gaming motherboards for AMD Ryzen 7000 (socket AM5) and 5000 (socket AM4) CPUs. If you're after an older AMD AM4 board, you can check out our dedicated pages for the best X570 motherboards and best B550 motherboards for more specific tested recommendations and picks. Just note that stock of those boards is becoming harder to find, and we won't be updating those pages now that AM4 is mostly a legacy platform.

You’ll find our tested picks for Intel motherboards below our AMD picks (X670 and B650 chipsets, as well as the older B550 chipset on the AM4 platform). After the AMD options, you'll find the best gaming motherboards designed for Intel's 14th Gen, 13th Gen (Raptor Lake, Raptor Lake Refresh), and 12th Gen (Alder Lake) CPUs. We have recommendations for the best motherboards for Z790, B760M, Z690, B660 and H610 motherboards. So if you're looking for a board for a recent-generation CPU, one of our picks below should suit your needs well.

For those eager for something different, we also recently looked at a YTX motherboard, a wider ITX-style board with most of its connectors on the back for use with rear connector / MG-RC PC cases that hide all the wires around back.  The Maxsun Terminator H770 YTX D5 delivers impressive connectivity for under $150. But very few cases that are widely available in the U.S. support this new motherboard form factor, so it's appeal for now is quite limited.

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Best Motherboards You Can Buy Today

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The Best AMD Gaming Motherboards: X570, X670, B650 and More

AMD's current flagship X670/X670E chipset brings with it support for PCIe 5.0, although there are no current-gen graphics cards that benefit from this doubling of bandwidth over PCIe 4.0, and PCIe 5.0 SSDs are only just being leaked and announced.

One way to save money is to opt for a B650 motherboard, which has fewer PCIe 5.0 lanes, generally only enough for one fast SSD and graphics card. Keep an eye on price though, as many higher-end B650 boards approach or exceed the price of some X670 alternatives. So shop carefully based on the features you need or are likely to use in the future.

Motherboard prices on AMD's latest platform do look to be improving in recent weeks, though, with some B650 options in the $125 range arriving. We are working on reviews of some of those more affordable boards, with the ASRock B650M-HDV/M.2 the first of these sub-$150 options to land on our test bench. And meanwhile, even lower-cost A620 boards (which lack any kind of PCie 5.0 support) are now here, with some offering unsanctioned overclocking options. Stay tuned for a closer look at these cheap AMD motherboards.  

Of course, there is still lots of value in opting for an older AM4 CPU and motherboard. You can still get very good performance from AM4 CPUs (particularly on the gaming front, where the Ryzen 7 5800X3D remains impressive) and cheap B650 motherboards. But know that this is a dead platform and you won't get the latest features, like PCIe 5.0 support or USB4.

If you’re not sure which chipset you’re after or have more basic questions, you can visit our motherboard basics and motherboard buying guide stories to help narrow down your shopping options.

Best B650E Motherboard

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
Best B650E Motherboard

Specifications

Socket: AM5
Chipset: AMD B650E
Form Factor: ATX
Voltage Regulator: 20 phases
PCIe x16: (1) v5.0 (x16, x8) (1) v4.0 (x4) (1) v4.0 (x2)
USB Ports: (1) USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) Type-C (4) USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) (4) USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps) (4) USB 2.0 (480 Mbps)
Warranty: 3 years

Reasons to buy

+
Four PCIe 5.0 M2 sockets
+
13 USB ports on Rear IO
+
M.2 and PCIe EZ-Latches

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks 40 Gbps ports Last-gen audio codec

Gigabyte’s B650E Aorus Master is a premium, well-rounded motherboard at a significantly lower price than you'd have to pay with X670E alternatives. Priced at $400 at Newegg, it does blur the line between the full-featured X670 chipset, but it has everything B650E has to offer, just dropping a few fast USB ports in this case. It has four PCIe 5.0 M.2 slots, 9 USB ports on the rear IO, and the same robust VRMs found on the much more expensive X670E Aorus Master. It also performed as we'd expect in our benchmark testing.

The B650E Aorus Master has the looks to be the focal point of your build, and a price point more palatable than many X670-based options. It’s one of the best options available for B650E, and should be on your list if you’re looking to build a Ryzen 7000 system and you don’t need the extra bandwidth of X670.

MORE: Gigabyte B650E Aorus Master Review

Best X670E Motherboard

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
Best X670E Motherboard

Specifications

Socket: AM5
Chipset: X670E
Form Factor: E-ATX
Voltage Regulator: 27 Phase (24x 105A SPS MOSFETs for Vcore)
PCIe x16: (2) v5.0 (x16, x8/x8)
USB Ports: (2) USB4 Type-C (40 Gbps) Row 7 - Cell 0 (5) USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) Row 8 - Cell 0 (3) USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
Warranty: 3 years

Reasons to buy

+
2x USB4 ports
+
Included M.2 heatsink
+
Eight SATA ports
+
Attractive

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks quick release on M.2 sockets

ASRock's X670E Taichi is attractive and well-rounded for the mid-range space. For $499, you get lots of storage options: eight SATA ports, four M.2 sockets, and plenty of USB ports, two of which are USB4 Type-C (40 Gbps). Our benchmark testing showed there's nothing to worry about when it comes to performance or overclocking with this board.

We recently compared three other top-end X670E motherboards to this model from ASRock, and found the X670E Taichi to be the best, because its price is far lower than the competition, and it delivers nearly all of the key features for AMD's latest platform.

If your budget lets you spend this much on a board, the X670E Taichi is a great option among its peers, and the best AMD AM5 board for around $500. Just remember that, if you don't need loads of PCIe bandwidth, you can save yourself $100 or more by opting for a B650E model, many of which still have the key features most builders are after.

 MORE: ASRock X670E Taichi Review 

Best Midrange X670E Motherboard

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
Best Midrange X670E Motherboard

Specifications

Socket: AM5
Chipset: X670E
Form Factor: ATX
Voltage Regulator: 20 Phase (16x 70A MOSFETs for Vcore)
PCIe x16: (1) v5.0 (x16), (1) v3.0 (x4), (1) v3.0 (x2)
USB Ports: Gigabyte X670E Aorus Pro X, (3) USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) (4) USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps), (4) USB 2.0 (480 Mbps)
Warranty: 3 years

Reasons to buy

+
12 USB ports on the rear IO
+
Quick-release latches for ALL M.2
+
Two PCIe 5.0 x4 M.2 sockets
+
Integrated Wi-Fi 7

Reasons to avoid

-
Dated audio codec 

Gigabyte’s X670E Aorus Pro X has nearly everything most people are likely after from the X670E platform. It sports two PCIe 5.0 M.2 sockets, integrated Wi-Fi 7, an impressive 12 USB ports on the rear IO, and a striking white / silver look that sets it apart from the darker look of most other motherboards.

This board's primary downside is a dated audio codec. But its sound output should be good enough for most users. And if you need something that sounds better, you can opt for one of the Best PC Speakers with a built-in DAC.

If you're worried about performance, don't be. The X670E Aorus Pro X ran average or above average in our gaming and benchmark suite, and handled our flagship-class AMD Ryzen 7950X processor without any issue.

Read: Gigabyte X670E Aorus Pro X

Best B550 Motherboard

(Image credit: Asus)
Best B550 Motherboard

Specifications

Socket: AM4
Chipset: AMD B550
Form Factor: ATX
Voltage Regulator: 12+2 phases
PCIe x16: (1) v4.0 (x16), (1) v3.0 (x4)
USB Ports: (2) USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps), (4) USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps), (2) USB 2.0
Warranty: 3 years

Reasons to buy

+
Capable 14-Phase Power Delivery
+
2.5 GbE LAN and Wi-Fi 6 AX200
+
Premium Audio

Reasons to avoid

-
More than $200 still seems expensive for B550

Asus’ ROG Strix B550-F Gaming Wi-Fi delivers SupremeFX Audio, Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200, solid power delivery, and much more. It’s a good option around the $180 mark, and if you don’t need Wi-Fi, you can find the effectively the same board for about $30 less.

Our benchmark testing showed results in line with competing boards, and the 14-phase power delivery easily managed our overclocked 3900X. There is still competition around this price point, but Asus offers up an appealing option here.

Read: Asus ROG Strix B550-F Gaming Wi-Fi review

Best B550 Motherboard Alternate

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
Best B550 Motherboard (Alternate)

Specifications

Socket: AM4
Chipset: AMD B550
Form Factor: ATX
Voltage Regulator: 12+2+2 phases
PCIe x16: (1) v4.0 (x16), (1) v3.0 (x4)
USB Ports: (1) USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (10 Gbps), (3) USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A (5 Gbps), (4) USB 3.2 Gen 1, Type-A (5 Gbps), (2) USB 2.0
Warranty: 3 years

Reasons to buy

+
Capable Power Delivery
+
Wi-Fi 6E and 2.5 GbE
+
10 USB ports

Reasons to avoid

-
Lack of integrated RGBs may be a turnoff
-
No USB 3.2 Gen2x2 (20 Gbps) ports

Coming late to the AMD B550 game allowed NZXT to get feedback from customers of its Intel boards, resulting in more USB ports to the rear IO. This let NZXT implement cutting-edge Wi-Fi 6E as well, alongside 2.5GbE. The appearance has also changed significantly from the company’s previous boards, with shrouds dominating the surface, along with a refreshing absence of on-board RGBs.

With an MSRP of $229, the NZXT N7 B550 costs about $15 more than our primary pick, but delivers a newer Wi-Fi chip, more and faster USB ports, and solid performance in a package that's visually distinct from all other B550 competition. If you can spend this much and don't need the extra PCI 4.0 bandwidth that comes with similarly priced older X570 motherboards, the NZXT N7 B550 is well worth considering.
Read: NZXT N7 B550 review 

The Best Intel Gaming Motherboards: Z790, Z760M, Z690, B660, H610

Below are our tested picks for Intel Z790, Z760M, Z690, B660, H610 motherboards.

Best High-End Z790 Motherboard

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

1. Gigabyte Z790 Aorus Xtreme

Best High-End Z790 Motherboard

Specifications

Socket: LGA 1700
Chipset: Intel Z790
Form Factor: E-ATX
Voltage Regulator: 23 Phases
PCIe x16: (1) v5.0, (2) v3.0 (x4, x1)
USB Ports: (2) Thunderbolt 4 Type-C (40 Gbps) (10) USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps)
Warranty: 3 years

Reasons to buy

+
Overbuilt Power delivery
+
10 GbE included
+
40 Gbps Thunderbolt ports

Reasons to avoid

-
Still Expensive
-
E-ATX size limits case choices

All the flagship-class Z790 motherboards offer the best of the best in terms of features and specifications, but the Gigabyte Z790 Aorus Extreme presents the best value among these top-end board. You’ll lose a couple M.2 sockets over the more-expensive flagship boards, but this bird otherwise has everything else you could ask for and more, while costing between $200 and $400 less than the competition.

The Z790 Aorus Extreme delivers 10 Gb Ethernet, 40 Gbps Thunderbolt 4 ports, flagship-class audio, PCIe 5.0  GPU and M.2 support, overkill power delivery, and that high-end appearance you expect from a high-end board. MSI's Z790 Godlike offers up a few more features (like seven M.2 sockets), but costs $400 more, and it's also physically bigger, making it hard to recommend to most people unless money is no object.

The Z790 Aorus Extreme also performed well in our gaming, productivity, and overlocking tests, as you would expect from a flagship board. Just remember that this is an E-ATX model, so you'll need a case with a bit more room than standard ATX options. But you could certainly buy a bigger case with the money you'll save by opting for this board over other Z790 flagship options. 

Read: Z790 Aorus Xtreme review 

Best ATX Z790 Motherboard

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
Best ATX Z790 Motherboard

Specifications

Socket: LGA 1700
Chipset: Intel Z790
Form Factor: E-ATX
Voltage Regulator: 27 Phase (24x 105A SPS MOSFETs for Vcore)
PCIe x16: (2) v5.0 (x16, x8/x8) (1) v4.0 (x4)
USB Ports: (2) Thunderbolt 4 (40 Gbps) Type-C (2) USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) (6) USB 3.2 Gen 1 (10 Gbps) (2) USB 2.0 (480 Mbps)
Warranty: 3 years

Reasons to buy

+
2x Thunderbolt 4 (40 Gbps) Type-C ports
+
Flagship-class audio solution
+
Overkill power delivery
+
Lots of storage options

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks premium looks
-
Only four M.2 sockets run concurrently

The cost of motherboards, like so many other things, has steeply increased in recent years, so it’s nice to see ASRock offering something a bit less expensive than the flagship motherboards, but that’s still very well equipped. Priced around $350, the ASRock Z790 Taichi Lite gets you nearly everything the more expensive Taichi offers, like extremely robust power delivery, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, lots of storage options, including a PCIe 5.0 M.2 socket and eight SATA ports, premium audio, and more. What's missing here compared to pricier options is manly the high-end appearance. Taichi boards are typically adorned with 3D cogs, but here they give way to simpler heatsinks, a more visible PCB, and stenciled adornments. But this board is still recognizable as a Taichi.

There’s lots of competition in the sub-$400 space, but none of the other boards available around that price come close to the specs and features here. If you want some of the best hardware the Z790 platform offers at a more reasonable price, and your build doesn’t cry out for flagship-class looks, the Taichi Lite is a well-appointed option at a price lower than most.

Read: ASRock Z790 Taichi Lite review 

Best Budget Z790 Motherboard

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
Best Budget Z790 Motherboard

Specifications

Socket: LGA 1700
Chipset: Intel Z790
Form Factor: ATX
Voltage Regulator: 18 Phase (16x 60A SPS MOSFETs for Vcore)
PCIe x16: (1) v5.0 (x16), (1) v4.0 (x4), (1) v3.0
USB Ports: (1) USB 3.2 Gen 1 (10 Gbps), Type-C, (1) USB 3.2 Gen 1 (10 Gbps), (8) USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
Warranty: 3 years

Reasons to buy

+
Five M.2 sockets (one PCIe 5.0)
+
Eight SATA ports
+
20 Gbps Type-C port (Front)

Reasons to avoid

-
Only 4 M.2 sockets run concurrently
-
Audio codec could be better

The Z790 Steel Legend is a great choice for users on a budget who want the flexibility of Intel's overclockable platform, but who don’t want to spend several hundred dollars to get there. Along with its black-on-silver looks and bright RGB lighting, you get all the platform offers, including a PCIe 5.0 slot and M.2 socket (and five total M.2), eight SATA ports, front-panel 20 Gbps USB Type-C, integrated Wi-Fi 6E, a basic audio codec, the eDP port for an additional monitor, and power delivery capable of handling our flagship-class processor at stock or while overclocked. 

Around its $270 price, ASRock's Steel Legend is one of the most feature-packed Intel Z790 options on the market. The only real tradeoff here is the basic audio codec, which will still be fine for many users. If not, you can always opt for one of the best PC speakers that feature a built-in DACand avoid the board's internal audio entirely.
Read: ASRock Z790 Steel Legend review 

Best Mid-Range Z790 Motherboard

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
Best Mid-Range Z790 Motherboard

Specifications

Socket: LGA 1700
Chipset: Intel Z790
Form Factor: ATX
Voltage Regulator: 22 Phase (20x 90A SPS MOSFETs for Vcore)
PCIe x16: (1) v5.0 (x16), (1) v4.0 (x4)
USB Ports: (1) USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type-C (20 Gbps) Type-C (4) USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps), Type-A, (3) USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps), (2) USB 2.0 Gen (480 Mbps)
Warranty: 3 years

Reasons to buy

+
Flagship-class audio solution
+
Six M.2 sockets (one PCIe 5.0)
+
Integrated Wi-Fi 7 and Killer 2.5 GbE
+
Native Intel 14th Gen CPU support

Reasons to avoid

-
RGB LEDs are bright!
-
Tool-free M.2 design only on one socket

Unlike most refresh boards for Intel's 14th Gen Core, the ASRock Z790 Nova Wi-Fi is is a completely new SKU that delivers the best of what Intel's platform has to offer, and it does so at a quite reasonable price. For between $290 and $330, ASRock gets you the basics from the refresh, native 14th-gen support, and integrated Wi-Fi 7, and it's great for users who plan to use a lot of M.2 storage.

The black base, with purple and blue accents fits most design themes, and the integrated RGBs are bright enough to show off the board and the inside of your chassis. Performance was good across our benchmarking suite, so you can get the most out of any compatible processor, so long as you have the cooling to support it.

Asus, Gigabyte, and MSI also have similarly equipped motherboards with their own strengths. Gigabyte features the fastest RAM support, but lacks a PCIe 5.0 M.2 socket. MSI’s Tomahawk is well-rounded, but not quit as attractive as the Nova. The Asus stands out with five M.2 sockets of its own, but with a current price well over $350, it doesn’t offer anything over the others, which leaves our Z790 Nova as one of the best mid-range options available for Intel's 14th Gen Core processors.

Read: ASRock Z790 Nova Wi-Fi review 

Best B760M Micro-ATX Motherboard

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
Best B760M Micro-ATX Motherboard

Specifications

Socket: LGA 1700
Chipset: Intel B760
Form Factor: Micro ATX
Voltage Regulator: 14 Phase (12x 50A SPS MOSFETs for Vcore)
PCIe x16: (1) v5.0
USB Ports: (1) USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 (20 Gbps) Type-C, (1) USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps), (4) USB 3.2 Gen 1 (10 Gbps), (2) USB 2.0 (480 Mbps)
Warranty: 3 years

Reasons to buy

+
Three M.2 sockets
+
Integrated Wi-Fi 6E
+
eDP for adding internal monitor

Reasons to avoid

-
Just 8 USB ports on rear IO
-
Dated audio codec

If you’re after an inexpensive Micro ATX-size motherboard and won’t overclock your processor, the B760 chipset -- and the B760M Steel Legend board specifically -- is where it’s at. It's well equipped, with three M.2 sockets, at around $160, and arguably as good-looking as most of its peers. If you like bling, the bright RGBs will light up any chassis, and the eDP port is there for those who’d like to add ASRock’s 13.3-inch Side Panel Kit to make things more visually interesting in their case. Power delivery isn’t that impressive on paper, but it handled our Intel i9-13900K, even with the power limits raised.

The B760M Steel Legend's performance out of the box matches other boards that follow Intel specifications (read: slower than unlocked boards in multi-threaded and long-running benchmarks), but it is a solid gamer. Once you unlock it, you’re limited only by the CPU cooling.

Looking at the competition, the Asus Prime B760M-A AX ($168.99) is the most expensive option, but it offers nothing in terms of features over our Steel Legend. Gigabyte’s B760M Aorus Elite AX ($159.99) doesn't have the M.2 storage count (two compared to three), but it makes up for it with a more attractive appearance. MSI’s Pro B760M-A Wi-Fi ($154.99) is also worth consider, but it doesn’t cut it in the looks department and is also short on M.2 storage count. For roughly $160, ASRock’s B760M Steel Legend Wi-Fi is one of the best Micro ATX boards available for 12th-14th-generation Intel processors.

Read: ASRock B760M Steel Legend Wi-Fi review

Best Z690 Mini-ITX Motherboard

(Image credit: Gigabyte, Tom's Hardware)
Best Z690 Mini-ITX Motherboard

Specifications

Socket: LGA 1700
Chipset: Intel Z690
Form Factor: Mini-ITX
Voltage Regulator: 13 Phases
PCIe x16: (1) v5.0
USB Ports: (1) USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type-C (20 Gbps) (3) USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) (2) USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps) (2) USB 2.0 (480 Mbps)
Warranty: 3 years

Reasons to buy

+
Low price among ITX Z690 peers
+
Premium appearance includes RGB LEDs
+
Robust 105A SPS MOSFETs

Reasons to avoid

-
Only two SATA ports
-
No SATA M.2 support

The Gigabyte Z690I Aorus Ultra Plus proved itself in our benchmarking and experience to be a good performer good-looking, and a cost-effective option in the Z690 ITX space. Priced well at around $330, it’s less expensive than most of the competition, and it offers two M.2 sockets, a premium audio codec, and high-quality 105A MOSFETs to feed any CPU. Plus it’s an RGB-inclusive design. 

Considering the competition, we have ASRock’s Z690 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB4 ($299.99), MSI's MEG Z690I Unify ($399.99) and the Asus ROG Strix Z690-I Gaming WiFi 6E ($409.99). These are all solid ITX boards, with the difference coming down to price and your needs. All include Wi-Fi 6E and 2.5 GbE, at least two SATA ports and two M.2 sockets. The other boards have additional SATA ports, while the MSI is the only one with three M.2 sockets. The ASRock board falls down a bit when it comes to audio, but few users would notice a difference.

We like what Gigabyte Z690I Aorus Ultra Plus offers. It fixes problems with the previous version’s PCIe slot and brought us a generally well-rounded and definitely a well-priced SKU. It’s also the sole Z690-based ITX board with built-in RGB LEDs to make that make it stand out in your case. Those who need more than two SATA drives will have to look elsewhere, but otherwise, the Ultra Plus is the best Z690 Mini-ITX option available for the price.

Read: Gigabyte Z690I Aorus Ultra Plus review

Best B760 Motherboard

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
Best B760 Motherboard

Specifications

Socket: LGA 1700
Chipset: Intel B760
Form Factor: mATX
Voltage Regulator: 14 Phase (12x 75A Dr. MOS MOSFETs for Vcore)
PCIe x16: (1) v. 5.0 (x16), (1) v. 4.0 (x4)
USB Ports: (1) USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type-C port (20 Gbps), (3) USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps), (4) USB 2.0 (480 Mbps)
Warranty: 3 years

Reasons to buy

+
PCIe 5.0 slot
+
20 Gbps Type-C port
+
SATA-capable M.2 socket

Reasons to avoid

-
Only seven Type-A USB ports on Rear IO
-
Budget audio codec

MSI’s MAG B760M Mortar Wi-Fi is great inexpensive option that supports even the flagship-class 12th and 13th-generation Intel processors. For around $190, you get a PCIe 5.0 slot for graphics, two M.2 sockets (both PCIe 4.0), a budget audio solution, and even a fast USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 (20 Gbps) Type-C port at the back of the board. It also looks good for this price and has most of what users want in the budget space. Its performance in our testing was fine in gaming and lightly threaded work. Just note that out of the box with a high-end CPU like the Core i9-13900K we used for testing, it will thermally throttle under heavy workloads at default settings.

The MSI MAG B760M Mortar Wi-Fi is the best option among its similarly priced competition. It’s the only option in this range with a PCIe 5.0 slot and a 20 Gbps USB Type-C port around back. Its power delivery can also handle our flagship processor. But if you plan on installing a flagship CPU and pushing every core and thread for uses other than gaming, you’ll want to lower the voltage and/or use top-notch cooling to get the most out of the board.

Less expensive options are available, but opting for one of those would mean losing some important features. If you’re in the market for an inexpensive motherboard for the latest and greatest Intel has to offer and want 20 Gbps ports and a PCIe 5.0 slot, the B650M Mortar is the best choice we've tested in the sub-$200 market. The fact that it often sells for $180 makes it easy to recommend.
Read: MSI MAG B760M Mortar Wi-Fi review 

Best B660 Motherboard

(Image credit: MSI)
Best B660 Motherboard

Specifications

Socket: LGA 1700
Chipset: Intel B660
Form Factor: mATX
Voltage Regulator: 14 Phase (12+1+1, 12 60A MOSFETs for Vcore)
PCIe x16: (1) v. 4.0 (x16), (1) v. 3.0 (x4)
USB Ports: (1) USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type-C port (20 Gbps), (3) USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps), (4) USB 2.0 (480 Mbps)
Warranty: 3 years

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable
+
Good performance
+
Six SATA ports

Reasons to avoid

-
Minor performance loss with DDR4
-
Just two M.2 sockets

As long as you don’t plan on overclocking your CPU or want to use PCIe 5.0 devices before your next upgrade, the MSI MAG B660M Mortar WIFI DDR4 and its B660 chipset makes for a great option for those looking to get into Alder or Raptor Lake without putting a heavy burden on your build budget.

It lacks the fancy looks and lighting of pricier models, but comes with everything you need to get the most out of a stock-clocked CPU. The Mortar features two PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots, six SATA ports, a premium last-generation audio solution, and VRMs that easily manage the flagship Core i9 CPU we used for testing.

In our testing, the performance on our B660M Mortar was similar to the Z690-based DDR4 boards we tested previously. This sub-$200 motherboard was able to utilize our i9-12900K processor to its fullest stock potential, while costing a third less than most Z690 offerings.

Read: MSI MAG B660M Mortar WIFI DDR4 review

Best Budget Alder Lake Motherboard (H610 Chipset)

(Image credit: Asus)
Best Budget Alder Lake Motherboard (H610 Chipset)

Specifications

Socket: LGA 1700
Chipset: Intel H610
Form Factor: mATX
Voltage Regulator: 8 Phase (7x MOSFETs for Vcore)
PCIe x16: (1) v. 4.0 (x16)
USB Ports: (2) USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps), (4) USB 2.0 (480 Mbps)
Warranty: 3 years

Reasons to buy

+
Cheap onramp to Alder Lake
+
Two M.2 slots 

Reasons to avoid

-
i9-12900K throttles with multi-threaded loads
-
Only six USB ports
-
No-frills style

Of the sub-$120 Intel H610-chipset motherboards we've tested, Asus Prime H610M-A D4 is the only one that supports two M.2 sockets for storage, and a key-E M.2 socket lets you easily add CNVi-based NICs for speedy and reliable Wi-Fi.

If you’re looking to get into Alder Lake on a tight budget and will not overclock, the H610 chipset is the least-expensive option, but it’s not without drawbacks. There are fewer USB ports and what’s available is slower (there are no 20 Gbps USB or Type-C ports, for example).

While the entire Alder Lake processor stack is technically supported, you’re limited in what processors you can utilize with this chipset, considering the slower performance we saw in heavy multi-threaded loads with our Core i9 on all tested H610 motherboards. And don't expect lots of external expansion. There are just six USB ports here, none of them faster than the pair of 10 Gbps ports. But if you’re not trying to run the best Alder Lake has to offer, this sub-$110 board is a good way start building a serious gaming or general computing rig without putting a hole in your bank account.

Read: H610 Motherboard Roundup: i9-12900K Meets Sub-$120 Micro ATX

Quick Motherboard Shopping Tips

Quick Motherboard Shopping Tips

When choosing a motherboard, consider the following:

  • Get the right socket for your CPU. You can find great CPUs from either Intel or AMD. But whatever processor you opt for, make sure your motherboard has the correct socket to support it. The latest mainstream AMD chips use AM5 CPU sockets, while  Intel's 12th Gen (Alder Lake) 13th Gen (Raptor Lake) CPUs use the LGA 1700 socket.
  • AM4 or AM5? AMD's last-gen AM4, as well as some of Intel's Z790 and Z690-chipset motherboards still support the older, more affordable DDR4 RAM. This can cut your overall build budget significantly -- especially if you have an older kit you want to carry over to a new build. Opting for older DDR4 RAM doesn't make a major difference over DDR5 in gaming performance when you're using a dedicated graphics card. But DDR5 has come down in price quite a bit, so jumping to DDR5 board isn't as expensive as it used to be.
  • Smaller boards = fewer slots and features. Motherboards come in three main sizes--for more info see our diagram and explanation of motherboard parts. From largest to smallest, there’s ATX, Micro ATX and Mini-ITX. (Yes, Mini is smaller than Micro). You can use a smaller cases with the micro or mini boards, but you'll have to settle for fewer card expansion slots, often fewer RAM slots, and generally fewer features overall.
  • Pay for built-in Wi-Fi and high-end ports only if you need them. Don't spend extra for wireless if you are using Ethernet. You can help future-proof your PC by getting fast USB 3.2 Gen 2 and/or Thunderbolt support. But Thunderbolt is still quite rare on AMD motherboards. 

Savings on the Best Motherboards

Whether you're buying one of the best motherboards or a different model, you may find some savings by checking our list of coupon codes, especially our list of Newegg promo codes and Micro Center coupons.

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