If you’re here just to find the best gaming motherboard and really can’t afford to take the time to read the excellent reviews and buying advice prepared by our researchers, this short paragraph will highlight all the vital information. We have gathered plenty of information about the best gaming motherboard for sale on the market by looking at the various products featured in different expert review sites and checking out actual owner feedback on those products. Out of all the brands and models we have looked at, the MSI Gaming Intel Z97 is undoubtedly the best gaming motherboard of 2016 because of how it incorporates all the class-leading features and technology that serious gamers and weekend warriors will truly love. Tailored to gaming perfection, this motherboard carries the imposing looks of MSI’s Dragon while offering awesome audio performance thanks to Audio Boost 2, which leverages the power of Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 2 USB audio for super immersive mind blowing sound especially with your high quality headphones. Get the most incredible studio level sound quality delivered straight to your gaming PC at up to 600 ohms. Made of Military Class 4 components, the motherboard ensures that your PC will run more stable even under extreme gaming situations. If the MSI Gaming Intel Z97 is unavailable, we recommend getting the second best option that is just as good, ASUS 970 PRO GAMING/AURA.
|Product||CPU Socket Type||Price||Chipset-Northbridge||Form factor||Our Rating||Where to buy|
|LGA 1150||$$$$$||Intel Z97||ATX||B+||AMAZON|
|LGA 1150||$$||Intel Z97 Express||ATX||B||AMAZON|
|LGA 1150||$$$$||Intel Z87||ATX||C||AMAZON|
In gaming, you have to be picky about your motherboard. Why? Because your gaming motherboard is the central hub to which all other components have to be connected, so your gaming experience depends on how well it performs under the most extreme gaming conditions. You wouldn’t want the motherboard to present sudden shortcomings that may not be immediately noticeable when running office applications but can easily crash during intense racing or action games. These are what make a real difference when comparing a premium gaming motherboard vs a regular motherboard.
Reliable RAM and CPU compatibility
The motherboard for a gaming computer should not present compatibility issues with either the central processing unit or the RAM of the computer system. In fact, experts recommend that the computer builder shp for the CPU and motherboard at the same time to ensure no compatibility concerns arise in the future. With the greater majority of the CPU sector controlled by either AMD or Intel, it is logical that the one brand uses a different socket standard than the other, so motherboards can be equipped accordingly with either Intel-compatible or AMD-compatible sockets.
Moreover, with the evolution of technology, both Intel and AMD have done modifications to their products in such a way that makes the older processors incompatible with new generation motherboards. The same goes either way. Thus, if you are to run the latest PC video games, you wouldn’t want to go too far back in your choice of components.
The speed at which the computer will run is indicated by CPU speed, measured in GHz. the number of cores in the PC’s processor unit enhances the speed more while enabling it to effortlessly handle multitasking as needed.
The type of RAM to get is also dictated by the kind of processor you already have. This accommodates any expansion you may decide to do to the onboard memory. Ideally, modern gaming requires that the motherboard support the most recent RAM technology or DDR3. As most gaming systems need at least 4Gb of RAM to run at optimal levels, the motherboard should support that. Most gamers will even upgrade to 8GB or 16GB RAM to ensure superbly high levels of performance. With high RAM capacity, the gaming system is less likely to lag or freeze, which could spell a huge difference between life and death during online gaming. Pay attention to the number of RAM slots the motherboard is equipped with and the amount of RAM each slot can hold along with the maximum total capacity of the board itself.
Immersive audio performance and other features
Getting a dedicated sound card is merely optional nowadays since most motherboards are outfitted with built-in audio. However, if you are to optimize a set of high quality speakers of some premium headphones, it may be worth it to get yourself a decent sound card. This is especially true for music producers who do plenty of audio and video editing. Regular motherboards just can’t boast ample power in their onboard sound so a sound card is a necessity.
The motherboard should accommodate your needs for extra PCI ports for other cards. In addition, think about how many USB ports you would prefer to have at your disposal, and whether you would care to have a Firewire port, which is needed for video capturing and editing. There should also be enough PCI-Express slots available to handle video card installation. Of course, a dedicated sound card will need its own PCI-Express port as well.
Suitable form factor
The actual physical size of the gaming motherboard is referred to as the form factor. The form factor of your motherboard is dictated by the size and demands of your gaming system. ,ost gaming systems are encased within large desktop computer cases so a standard ATX motherboard is quite popular among majority of gamers. A smaller system will also require a smaller motherboard to ensure compatibility between the two elements.
The mobo form factor determines the expansion slot capacity of the motherboard itself. Seven expansion ports are found in a standard ATX motherboard while four are in a Micro ATX. Form factors are standardized to ensure the same location for slots on every unit regardless of the size or number of expansion slots, which easily allows the upgrading of an old motherboard on an existing gaming PC. However, you must still remember that a high-end motherboard will typically require a proprietary case design so take note of the motherboard’s specifications.
With the sheer number of brands and models on the market, it can be a huge challenge to find a suitable gaming motherboard to suit your needs. Hopefully, the buying guide above will enable you to make an easier buying decision by arming you with the necessary information on this kind of gear. We have also showcased the best products below for a smoother shopping journey.
Top rated gaming motherboards in 2016
In the present gamers know the importance of having strong technical support in order for the games to work fine and without any problems at all. One of the most efficient technical components of a personal computer is the motherboard that has the capacity to enhance the gaming potency to new lengths. Purchasing a new motherboard can be difficult taking into consideration the various types of products but with the right set of information you will be able to choose one suited to your needs and computer’s features. Once you read the current top rated motherboard reviews you will be able to find the one suited to your gaming needs, strengthening your personal computer.
This model is equipped with built-in WiFi thanks to the onboard Killer™ E2200 Intelligent Networking Platform engineered for optimum networking performance for online games along with high-quality streaming media. The Advanced Stream Detect™ technology built into the Killer E2200 detects and speeds up game traffic in priority of other network traffic to deliver consistently smooth and lag-free in-game performance to give you the edge. Low-level system chatter gets less priority next to games and real time chat with the automatic traffic prioritization. This model provides awesome USB audio power for a stable 5V to all USB ports on the motherboard, so you can get crystal clear audio to blow the mind with pure sound experience.
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The ASUS 970 PRO GAMING/AURA is superbly equipped to empower you to dominate the battlefield. Featuring genuinely immersive SupremeFX audio, this motherboard lets you experience superbly realistic sound to help you have that vital competitive edge to bring down your opponents. The exclusive Sonic radar II technology allows you to pinpoint battlefield opponents before they see you. This motherboard even allows you to project your personality and style in awesome technicolor. It incorporates the all-new state-of-the-art LED illumination technology called Aura that delivers and amazing spectrum of color combinations supplemented with fascination options on fun effects. The shades will even change according to CPU temperature and pulsate in time to follow the beats of your favorite gaming tune.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($99.99)
ASUS Crosshair V Formula-Z AM3+ AMD 990FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard lets you enjoy the accuracy, efficiency, stability and flexibility it brings. All these wonderful benefits are possible because of its extreme Engine Digi+ II feature, with a powerful combination of analog and digital design elements. In addition, people can surely enjoy ASUS Crosshair V Formula-Z, because it is Windows 8 Support Ready and a Native BIOS Support, along with fast boot and a windows secure boot features. To top it all, it has an intuitive interface, a fast network connectivity, and a SupremeFX III that provides an HD screen.
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The affordable MSI ATX DDR3 2133 Motherboard belongs to the MSI 970 Series optimized for multiple graphics cards. This top rated gaming motherboard comes with two PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slots that ensure optimized placement to provide better airflow and fitting. Enjoy the highest frame rate from the best graphics ever, so images come jumping from the screen when you’re running an AMD® CrossFire™ or NVIDIA® SLI™ gaming setup. The supplied gaming device port offers smoother game playing, more responsive performance and faster reactions to help you dominate the game. The component is also equipped with more gold compared to regular connectors to ensure a ten times longer lifetime when unplugging and plugging.
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Make the most of the durable materials, premium components, tough double-sided armor and smart design of the all new ASUS ATX DDR3 1600 LGA 1150 Motherboard. The ATX form factor allows it to fit in full tower cases while being engineered to unleash the awesome power of Intel Core i7 processors. The four DIMM slots support 3300 MHz DDR3 and Intel XMP 1.3, all working with the intuitive RAM disk utility to enable you to set up a lightning fast cache for the speediest game loading times. The onboard CrossChill Copper is geared with a copper cooling channel that efficiently dissipates heat, either through liquid or air cooling.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($1580.39)
Built with the essential hardware that you need to build your own system, the Gigabyte GA-Z97X-Gaming 3 ATX Motherboard deserves to be a top rated unit on the market. It comes with a combination of technologies that provide realistic sound effects for gaming as well as crisp sound for music. The Killer E2201 LAN chip delivers awesome performance for lag-free video streaming and gameplay over a network, compared to regular Ethernet controllers. Optimized for gaming, the Gigabyte GA-Z97X-Gaming 3 ATX Motherboard accommodates as many as three graphics cards for configuration with two-way SLI or three-way CrossFire, for speedy frame rates without sacrificing resolution.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($119.71)
With a beautiful compact design and a user-friendly BIOS, MSI Computer Corp. Motherboard ATX DDR3 1333 LGA 1150 Motherboards Z87-G45 GAMING also contains a chipset of Intel Z87 Express. Many satisfied customers on the best gaming motherboards reviews, including me, remarked this motherboard as ultra-efficient, as it can satisfy our meticulous gaming needs. And though it seems harder to use than any other motherboards because of its additional and improved features, it still brings the same convenience everybody loves. Aside from an easy navigation experience, MSI Computer Corp. Motherboard also recognizes RAM and set the speeds with accuracy. Having all these wonderful features in an affordable price is really a blast.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($289)
As one of the best gaming motherboards in 2016, the Asus Sabertooth Z77 TUF series motherboard on Intel through the Thermal armor technology that enhances the air flow due to the presence of the innovative shunt design and included turbo fan strengthens the capacity of the computer to deal with the latest issues of games released on the market. The motherboard is equipped with TUF capacitors, chokes and mosfets which are certified by the actual military standards that sustain the ultimate durability. Furthermore this Asus has in its basic structure the thermal Radar, a component that detects and regulates a better cooling solution.
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Considered by specialists and professional gamers as one of the best gaming motherboards in 2016, the Asus Intel Z77 ATX DDR3 2400 LGA 1155 model can manage with efficiency the extensions of any powerful multimedia centre. Including the Wi-Fi-Go system that allows internet sharing and quick data sharing, and the Fan Xpert 2 that automatically optimizes speed control and settings for each user without permitting the existence of problems, this motherboard is ideal for any personal computer. This Asus model has also the Smart Digi+ control that adjusts the system for more stability and greater efficiency.
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It comes as no surprise to see many of the current top rated motherboard reviews presented in such high notes the Asus LGA 1155 – Z68 – Pcle 3.0 model. Due to its AMD Quad-GPU CrossFireX and NVIDIA Quad-GPU SLI support, the Asus motherboard optimizes the efficiency of the computer while also fluidizing its set of actions. Equipped with 16-phase power digital power set, 1 GB LAN, Bluetooth v2.1 feature, 4 USB 3.0 and also the highly acclaimed BT Turbo remote, the Asus LGA 1155 with UEFI BIOS Intel motherboard strengthens the basic and extended functionality of the computer since the moment it is implanted.
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Products which are no longer available
Gigabyte Intel Z77 LGA1155
The present top rated motherboard reviews underline with good marks and positive user feedback the great functionality of the Gigabyte Intel Z77 LGA1155 model. Designed to support Intel Core i7/i5/i3 Pentium, Celeron processors in the LGA1155 package the Gigabyte Intel has a 4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM socket supporting by up to 32 of GB system memory. Z77 model can also support DD3 1600/1333/1066 MHz memory modules while offering audio support through the Realtek ALC898 codec. Furthermore it is equipped with the solid storage interface: 2 x SATA 6GB/s connectors and also 4 x SATA 3 GB/s connectors and also provides a reliable connectivity pack through the 2 USB 3.0/2.0 ports.
ASRock Z68 PRO3 GEN3
Set among the present’s best gaming motherboards in 2016 due to its compact and solid design, the ASRock Z68 PRO3 GEN3 Intel Z68 ATX DDR3 model enhances the gaming features of the computer establishing a new level of performance. This motherboard has socket 1155 support 2nd generation Intel Core i7/i5/i3 processor, solid memory of 4 x DDR3 – 2133 (OC)/1866 (OC)/1600/1333/1066 DIMMs and also 4 x SATA2 ports, 2 x SATA 3 ports and also has a support RAID 0/ 1/ 5/ 10.