The best motherboard 2020: the top Intel and AMD motherboards we’ve seen
When you’ve got the best motherboard under the hood, you’re ensuring that your hardware reaches its full potential as it utilizes and optimizes every inch of performance. It’ll even help you overclock better when you’re gaming.
Simply, a motherboard serves as your PC’s foundation. They may not be as sexy as the best graphics cards or processors, but they’re one of the most crucial PC components in building computers. So, when you’re setting out to build the best PC you can muster with your budget, investing in one of the best motherboards is the only way to go. If you cheap out and settle for less, you might end up having to rebuild your entire PC from scratch.
We gathered the best motherboards 2020 has to offer, each of which has been tested and reviewed by us, so you can find the ideal one for your setup. With Asus and MSI recently unveiling their new Intel Z490 motherboards for the newly-released Intel Comet Lake-S, now’s an even better time to invest.
Coming to terms
If you’re unfamiliar with the best motherboards out there, use this list as a primer for your next build. Motherboards are available in a broad range of different form factors, the most common of which are ATX and Micro ATX. However, there are plenty of less common form factors including mini ITX and E-ATX. Don’t worry though, most of the best PC cases will support more than one form factor.
Moreover, in our rundown of the best motherboards, we detailed the socket type that each mobo adheres to. The socket, for those not in the know, is the part on the motherboard that the CPU locks into. Typically, newer Intel processors use either LGA 1151 or 2066 while the latest AMD Ryzen architecture is designed for the AM4 chipset.
Best motherboards of 2020 at a glance
- Best Intel Motherboard: Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro Wifi
- Best high-end Intel motherboard: Asus ROG Maximus XI Code Z390 Gaming
- Best budget Intel motherboard: Gigabyte Z390 UD
- Best Intel Micro-ATX motherboard: MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC
- Best Intel Mini-ITX motherboard: Asus ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming
- Best AMD motherboard: Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 7 Wi-Fi
- Best budget AMD motherboard: MSI X470 Gaming Plus
- Best AMD Micro ATX motherboard: ASRock B450M-HDV
- Best AMD Mini-ITX motherboard: ASUS ROG Strix X470-I
- Best Intel Core X-Series motherboard: ASRock X299 Taichi
- Best AMD Ryzen Threadripper motherboard: ASRock X399 Professional Gaming sTR4
When Coffee Lake Refresh CPUs hit the streets, Intel promised that they would be the best processors for gaming, and we knew that meant kitted out motherboards were on their way. Lo and behold comes the Z390 Aorus Gaming Pro Wifi – maybe one of the best motherboards from Intel right now. It’s packed with gaming-centric features like reinforced PCIe slots and enough RGB lighting to blind you. It’s hard to find a better motherboard, especially at this price point.
When you’re shopping for PC hardware, overwhelmed by all the different features, components and requirements, you might be tempted to throw your hands up and just get the best you can possibly afford. In times like these, you can bet on the Asus ROG Maximus XI Code Z390 Gaming. It’s packed with every feature that Intel’s new Coffee Lake Refresh processors support and then some, with an RGB-lit shroud covering every corner of circuitry on this motherboard, making it one of the best motherboards you don’t have to think twice about choosing.
Now that Coffee Lake Refresh has been available for a while, you’ll want to maximize all the power it has to offer. However, high-end motherboards can get really expensive real fast. If you’re looking for a budget option without many compromises, the Gigabyte Z390 should be at the top of your list of best motherboards to consider. It skips many of the bells and whistles like RGB lighting and built-in Wi-Fi but it does make up for these compromises by providing excellent value. You get all the essential features that Z390 has to offer for a great price. If you want to build a budget gaming system, the Gigabyte Z390 UD is probably the best motherboard for you.
If you’re looking to get an edge on the competition, but you don’t have a lot of extra space on your desk, you’re going to need a Micro-ATX motherboard – more specifically, the MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC. What you’re getting here is a Micro-ATX motherboard with all the features a full-sized ATX one offers, but at a fraction of the price. Despite its smaller size, you still get dual M.2 slots, SLI and Crossfire support, and all the fiery performance that Intel Coffee Lake Refresh has to offer. If you’re looking for a smaller motherboard, you can’t afford to pass on the MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge MC.
If you need the smallest possible motherboard available without compromising on key features of your CPU, you should look into the Asus ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming. With this motherboard, you don’t need to compromise on features or power. You don’t even need to settle for a measly 32GB of RAM. Thanks to Asus’ double capacity memory compatibility – you can have up to 64GB of memory in the most miniscule motherboard you’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, like most Z390 boards, its price tag is not for the faint of heart, so prepare yourself to shell out some serious dough if you want the smallest of the best motherboards.
With the X470 Aorus Gaming 7 Wi-Fi, Gigabyte further illustrates its command of motherboard design. Rocking the new AMD X470 chipset, allowing full support of the new AMD Ryzen 2nd Generation processors, this may be the best motherboard if you’re looking to side with Team Red. What’s more, it supports Quad-GPU SLi and lightning fast RAM (up to 3,600 MHz) for peerless expandability, and thanks to its multi-zone RGB lighting, it looks good while kicking butt and taking names.
For the longest time, AMD has been the reigning champion of budget builds, and that isn’t likely to change anytime soon. Marketed exclusively to gamers, the MSI X470 Gaming Plus is loaded front to back with features like two PCIe M.2 slots and quick performance tweaking buttons to make sure you’re on the top of the leaderboard at all times. And, since it’s a gamer-focused motherboard, it comes with flashy RGB lighting that you can even easily customize from your smartphone. Best of all, it’s the best value of all the best motherboards.
These days, small form-factor PCs are all the rage and with one of the best motherboards like the ASRock B450M-HDV on offer, we think that it’s going to stay that way. Now, while this one doesn't do SLI and only supports up to 32GB of RAM– it is a B450 unit, after all – it is still compelling due to its affordable price. Outside of these omissions, you still get a slot for a NVMe SSD and four USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports around back. If you’re looking to build a solid budget gaming PC, the ASRock B450M-HDV is your best bet.
Asus is out to prove that big things can and do come in small packages with the ROG Strix X470-I. Featuring the latest and greatest AMD chipset, everything in this tiny board is designed with excellent performance in mind. That extends down to the BIOS where you can find a stress test for overclocks before you even boot into Windows. This board also elevates beyond the constraints of the Mini-ITX form factor by including an M.2 Audio Combo riser, so that you can install your M.2 NVMe SSD without crowding out other components.
The X-series processors are here, and they are spectacular. But if you want to take advantage of all they have to offer, you need an X-series motherboard. This ASRock X299 is an incredible choice with support for overclocked memory speeds up to 4400MHz(!!!) and 8 different slots for memory modules. It also supports up to 128GB of RAM. Add in an X-series processor and a good graphics card or 3, and this thing will absolutely tear apart anything you could possibly throw at it. If you’re seeking one of the best motherboards money can buy, this is it.
If you want absolutely every feature you can get and budget is not an issue, the AsRock X399 Professional Gaming sTR4 may be the most ideal motherboard for you. Not only does this monster of a board support 4-way SLI configurations, but you can also pack this thing with up to 128GB of DDR4 memory. It even features a ton of flashy RGB lighting, so that people will be mesmerized by your rig. And, keep in mind that this mobo is compatible with Ryzen Threadripper 2nd Generation chips, so you might need to update the BIOS first.