This page contains our recommendations for buying a motherboard with Intel's mainstream LGA-1151 socket. These include boards designed for Intel’s 8th Generation Core “Coffee Lake” family, as well as Z270 chipset boards designed for 7th Generation Core “Kaby Lake” chips. For recommendations for motherboards supporting Intel's high-end LGA-2066 socket and X299 chipset, see our recommendations on the next page. Skip to the last page for all AMD-based boards.
With the holiday deal season upon us, there are a number of good motherboard deals to be had. Some of our favorites include the ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E with Call of Duty 4 for $199 (reg $244), MSI X370 with RGB for $79 the and the Gigabyte GA-AB350N for $102 (reg $114).
If you’re not sure which chipset you’re after, or have more basic questions, you can visit our motherboard basics diagram and explanation and motherboard buying guide stories to help narrow down your board buying options.
News and Product Updates
Gigabyte’s X399 Aorus Extreme burst onto the scene with all the power needed to overclock AMD’s 32-core Threadripper 2990WX, which impressed AMD fanatic Jacob Terkelsen so much that he had to give it. Extra features such as 10GbE didn’t hurt, either.
Why Trust Us
Tom's Hardware has been reviewing PC components for more than two decades. We put each motherboard through a bevy of benchmarks which measure everything from its gaming and CPU/RAM overclocking abilities, to power efficiency and application performance. We've tested hundreds of models, so we can separate the best from the under-performing, over-priced disappointments.
Quick 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 choose, make sure that your board has the correct socket to support it. The latest mainstream AMD chips use AM4 CPU sockets while current Intel 8th Gen Core CPUs require an LGA 1151v2 sockets.
- 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: ATX, Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX (Yes, Mini is smaller than Micro). You can use a smaller chassis with the micro or mini boards, but you'll have to settle for fewer PCIe slots, RAM banks and other connectors.
- You can spend under $100: You can find a good motherboard for less than $100, but if you want to overclock an Intel chip or you need a lot of ports, you will have to spend more, usually up to $150. High-end desktop CPUs like AMD Threadripper require expensive $200+ motherboards.
- Pay for built-in Wi-Fi, high-end ports only if you need them. Don't spend extra for wireless if you are using a wired connection. You can future proof your PC by getting USB 3.1 Gen 2 and / or Thunderbolt 3 support.
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