Your shiny new Ryzen CPU needs the best AMD motherboard to get the most out of the platform—and there is no shortage of options with the widely-supported AM4 socket. AMD won\’t be beat on backwards compatibility. But what is it that makes something the best AMD motherboard? There\’s not much to be gained in performance from even the most expensive boards about—unless you plan on overclocking and even then there is precious little headroom in the Ryzen CPUs— but you\’ll still want to strike the right balance of bang for your buck, ports, and platform support before heading to the checkout.
High-end gaming PC build guide
(Image credit: Future)
High-end gaming PC build guide
For a look at how to incorporate your board into a luxury machine, check out our guide to building an awesome high-end rig that will easily handle modern triple-A games at the highest settings.
The motherboard you pick will play a bigger part in your overall set-up than just housing your components and there are a few things you should consider before making your choice. The first is what generation of Ryzen CPU you\’re looking to drop into it. While the AM4 socket is physically compatible with every desktop Ryzen processor outside of the Threadripper range, your B350 board isn\’t going to be able to support a Ryzen 3000 CPU.
It\’s worth noting that there will be a new chipset on the block, the AMD B550, very soon. This will be the budget equivalent of the X570, offering PCIe 4.0 support lower down the stack. In theory this should make for more affordable builds, although initial pricing indiciates that some B550 boards could be more expensive than X570.
You also need to consider the scale of your build. Is space no object? Then go with an ATX board, but if you\’re looking to create a mini Ryzen PC then you\’ll need a good mini-ITX motherboard. Thankfully there are some great options, and not only at the high end.
You should also figure out how many M.2 and PCIe slots you\’ll need for your build, as well as the number of USB and other ports you\’ll end up with. Small form factor AMD motherboards will restrict this, so while a micro-ATX board will often be a good cheap option, you need to weigh up your needs against your budget.
Image 1 of 5
Image 2 of 5
Image 3 of 5
Image 4 of 5
Image 5 of 5
1. MSI MPG X570 GAMING PRO CARBON WIFI
The best AMD Motherboard
Chipset: X570 | Memory: 4x DIMM, 64GB, DDR4-4400 | Expansion Slots: 1x PCIe 4.0 x16, 1x PCIe 4.0 x16 (x8), 1x PCIe 4.0 x16 (x4), 2x PCIe 4.0 x1 | Video ports: HDMI | USB ports: 8x rear IO, 4x internal | Storage: 2x M.2, 6x SATA | Network: Ethernet, 2.4Gbps 802.11ac | Lighting: Three zone RGB, 3x RGB header
Prime$570.77View at Amazon1 Walmart customer review
2 PCIe 4.0 M.2 SlotsWi-Fi 6 CompatibleHeat shields make M.2 installation difficultExpensive
The MSI MPG X570 represents an amalgamation of bleeding-edge motherboard tech, built to help you get the most out of AMD\’s 3rd gen Ryzen CPUs. It has four DIMM slots that can handle speeds up to 4,400MHz (there\’s not much point going beyond DDR4-3800) and two M.2 slots sporting PCIe 4.0. MSI\’s MPG X570 is all about getting the most out of the best components.
The rear I/O panel features 7 USB-A ports for peripherals, as well as a single USB-C port for connectivity and high-speed data transfer. There are headers for the included wireless antenna to help with wireless connectivity, as well as a gigabit Ethernet port. The MPG X570 does support Wi-Fi 6, and while that does necessitate a Wi-Fi 6 compatible router for the fastest speeds, it will also work with existing Wi-Fi 4/5 routers (formerly 802.11n and 802.11ac). Also of note is the HDMI port, which many X570 boards omit (not that we\’d really recommend using an AMD APU with integrated graphics in a high-end board like this).
The pair of M.2 slots each have a dedicated heat shield and fan, and while this does help prevent potential thermal throttling, it makes installing or replacing them a more delicate process than with their exposed counterparts. Frequent part swappers are better off without the heat shield.
The MPG X570 features enough compatibility to get the most out of your hardware now and in the future, provided you\’re willing to pay a premium for it. While it\’s certainly an excellent mobo, if you aren\’t already committed to a shopping list of top-of-the-line components now or in the near future, you may want to consider a slightly less expensive board for your needs. The MSI X570-A Pro omits some of the extras like Wi-Fi and the M.2 shields, but it still runs fine and costs nearly $100 less.
Image 1 of 3
Image 2 of 3
Image 3 of 3
2. Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Hero (Wi-Fi)
The best high-end AMD motherboard
Chipset: X570 | Memory: 4x DIMM, 128GB, DDR4-4800 | Expansion Slots: 1x PCIe 4.0 x16, 1x PCIe 4.0 x16 (x8), 1x PCIe 4.0 x16 (x4), 1x PCIe 4.0 x1 | Video ports: HDMI and DVI-D | USB ports: 10x rear IO, 7x internal | Storage: 2x M.2, 8x SATA | Network: 1x Gigabit Ethernet, 1x Wi-Fi | Lighting: Aura Lighting
$359.99View at NeweggPrime$633.05View at Amazon$646View at Amazon
Clean AestheticsFeature-richTons of USB portsExpensiveInaccessible M.2 ports
The Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Hero (Wi-Fi) is another excellent, if opulent, board for 3rd gen Ryzen processors. This AMD motherboard comes packed with all of the trappings you\’d expect, including an on-board thermal sensor, onboard power and reset buttons, and a BIOS flashback option on the rear IO panel. The board even has it\’s I/O shield pre-mounted to avoid any embarrassing mishaps during your build.
This standard ATX board can support a pair of GPUs in its PCIe ports and up to 128GB of RAM with its four DIMM slots along with a pair of M.2 SSDs. These specs are generally par for the course, however, an array of 10 USB Type-A ports as well as a USB 3 Type-C connector for a front panel IO provide ample support for any number of peripherals, which helps put this board a cut above its peers.
Sleek matte black and chrome finish and subdued RGB lend an air of subtlety to this particular board, and while the seamless M.2 heat shields make the Crosshair one of the cleanest looking boards on this list, it does make swapping out SSDs a bit of a pain. This isn\’t a glaring issue but does add an extra step whenever you\’re trying to upgrade your storage. Overall, this board has tons of attractive features, but its comparatively steep price tag may draw your eye to more affordable offerings.
3. ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming ITX/TB3
The best compact AMD board around
Chipset: X570 | Memory: 2x DIMM, 64GB, DDR4-4533+ | Expansion Slots: 1x PCIe 4.0 x16 | Video ports: HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4 | USB ports: 2x USB 3.2 Gen2, 2x USB 3.2 Gen1, 1x USB 3.2 Gen2 Thunderbolt 3 | Storage: 1x M.2 Socket Gen4, 4x SATA | Network: 1x Gigabit LAN, Intel 802.11ax WiFi | Lighting: Polychrome RGB Sync
Prime$329.99View at Amazon
Tiny, but powerfulThunderbolt 3 connectionIntegrated backpanelNeeds an Intel CPU fitting
ASRock has made some great little AMD Ryzen motherboards, and this X570 packs in the latest high-end AM4 chipset, forward-looking features, and serious performance. The $200+ price point might be a bit tough to swallow, but plenty of X570 motherboards sit at around that sort of level. The fact there\’s almost no mini-ITX premium attached now makes the Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 even more tempting.
It also means you can potentially create a 16-core AMD Ryzen 9 3950X machine that looks about the same sort of size as an Xbox Series X. Gotta love that NZXT H1 chassis…
The PCIe 4.0 support isn\’t the only advanced connection on offer with this wee ASRock AMD motherboard either, there\’s also Thunderbolt 3 connectivity from out of the integrated I/O shield of the back panel too. That\’s an impressive little added extra from what is an already impressive board.
It is worth noting that it will require an Intel-based CPU cooling bracket. In order to fit all the features into the mini-ITX form factor means that ASRock didn\’t have space for the bulky AMD fitting. That\’s only an issue if you wanted to use the stock AMD coolers, but otherwise any third-party cooler will come with Intel brackets.
Best gaming motherboards | Best SSD for gaming | Best gaming laptop
Best PC cases | Best gaming PC | Best gaming mouse
Image 1 of 5
Image 2 of 5
Image 3 of 5
Image 4 of 5
Image 5 of 5
4. ASRock Fatal1ty B450 Gaming-ITX/ac
The best cheap mini-ITX board
Chipset: B450 | Memory: 2x DIMM, 32GB, DDR4-3466 | PCIe slots: 1x PCIe 3.0 x16 | Video ports: HDMI and DisplayPort | USB ports: 6x rear IO | Storage: 1x M.2, 4x SATA | Network: 1x Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi, | Lighting: None
Prime$313.99View at Amazon
Most B450 features in a mini-ITX boardGreat CPU overclocking supportFewer USB ports than larger boards
Packing even a mainstream chipset into a mini-ITX board usually means deep cuts, the inevitable sacrifice of a number of features in favor of that smaller form factor. ASRock\’s Fatal1ty B450 Gaming-ITX/ac stands out from and increasingly crowded mini-ITX crowd by fielding a petite board without slicing off any of the most important selling points.
For less than $120, you get excellent performance-per-dollar with great overclocking support for both the CPU and memory. It\’s competitive in performance terms with most X470 boards at a significant price discount, really only losing a handful of USB ports in the move to mini-ITX. If you\’re looking for a small but highly capable mobo at an excellent price, look no further.
5. Gigabyte B450M DS3H
The best budget AMD board
Chipset: B450 | Memory: 4x DIMM, 64GB, DDR4-3600 | PCIe slots: 1x PCIe 3.0 x16, 1x PCIe 3.0 x16 (x4), 1x PCIe x1 | Video ports: HDMI and DVI-D | USB ports: 7x rear IO, 6x internal | Storage: 1x M.2, 6x SATA | Network: 1x Gigabit Ethernet | Lighting: 1x 4-pin RGB & 1x 5-pin RGBW
$72.99View at Newegg$108.47View at AmazonPrime$215.99View at Amazon
2 PCIe slots and 4 DIMMsSupports 3.1 USBBandwidth limited on one PCIe slotNo USB-C
If you\’re in the market for a B450 board at a great price that\’s still loaded up with features, Gigabyte\’s B450 DS3H is an excellent choice, and can often be had for right around the $70 – $80 mark. It packs 4 DIMMs with support for up to 64 GB of RAM and two PCIe slots (though only the top lane gets a full serving of bandwidth). There\’s a raft of USB ports, including speedy 10Gbps USB 3.1, and supports PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSDs too.
The B450 is a perfect example of trimming away fat to provide an excellent board at the lowest possible price, something Gigabyte excels at. For an AMD build with a responsible budget, it\’s one of the best options available.