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Best AMD motherboards in 2021

The best AMD motherboard should be the first thing on your shopping list when putting together your big red machine. Whether it's being used to house the impressive Ryzen 9 5900X CPU or if you just plan on putting together a pretty decent budget PC, these motherboards will do the trick. 

Before you add any of these motherboards to your shopping cart, you have to decide on the right chipset that best suits your needs. AMD has stuck with the AM4 socket for a bit now, so you've got plenty of choices like X570, X470, and B450 motherboards

When searching for the right AMD motherboard, more expensive doesn't always mean better. It comes down to the features you want and need against your budget. Do you need a lot of ports? Wi-fi 6 support? Are you upgrading to NVMe SSDs? Ask yourself, what do you want your new system to do? While the boards themselves don't offer a performance boost per se, the story is different regarding CPU overclocking if you're looking to squeeze as much performance out of your AMD system.

We've tested dozens and dozens of AMD motherboards over this year on our test rigs and found the best AMD motherboards that offer both price and performance.  

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1. Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero

The best X570 ever created, and the last AM4 board you'll ever need


CPU support: AMD Ryzen 5000 Series / 4000 G-Series / 3000 Series/ 3000 G-Series / 2000 Series / 2000 G-Series

Socket: AM4

Size: ATX

Memory: 4x DIMM, Up to 128GB, DDR4-4866 (OC)

Expansion slots: 2x PCIe 4.0 x16, 1x PCIe 3.0 x16, 1x PCIe 4.0 x1

Video ports: N/A

Rear USB: 4x USB 3.2 Gen1, 8x USB 3.2 Gen2 (1x USB Type-C)

Storage: 3x M.2; 8x SATA

Networking: 802.11ax 2.4Gbps Wi-Fi; Intel I211-AT 1G & Realtek RTL8125 2.5G LAN

Reasons to buy

+Clean design+Great performance+No chipset fan

Reasons to avoid


Asus' ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero wants to be the last AM4 motherboard you'll ever need. But what is it that makes a great motherboard? Features are important, as is a stable and refined BIOS, value for money, a good design, but intangible. Sometimes it's that the damn thing works. 

Motherboard testing is often one of the most painful things a tech journalist has to do. With some boards, you have to fight it to get it to do what you want, or expect it to, or have to or crank up some voltage setting to a level you don't want to, but the Dark Hero boots the first time, even as we played with the memory clocks and timings and the Infinity Fabric. 

The Crosshair VIII Dark Hero might not be the best AM4 motherboard ever made, we'd have to review a few hundred others to make that claim, but it's an easy claim to make that the Dark Hero is undoubtedly one of the best AM4 motherboards we've ever used. Time and months of user feedback will determine if the Dark Hero assumes a position as one of the truly legendary ROG motherboards, but we wouldn't bet against that happening.

Read the full Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero review.

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2. MSI MPG X570 Gaming Pro Carbon WIFI

The best gaming motherboard for AMD Ryzen 3000 builds


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: 1GbE LAN, Wi-Fi 6

Lighting: Three zone RGB, 3x RGB header

Reasons to buy

+Twin PCIe 4.0 M.2 Slots+Wi-Fi 6 Compatible

Reasons to avoid

-M.2 heat shields and fans make replacing them fiddly

The MSI MPG X570 represents an amalgamation of bleeding-edge motherboard tech, built to help you get the most out of AMD's high-end Ryzen 5000 processors, such as the Ryzen 9 5900X or Ryzen 9 5950X. It has four DIMM slots that can handle speeds up to 4,400MHz (although there's not much point going beyond DDR4-4000) and two PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots—MSI's MPG X570 is all about getting the most out of the best components.

The rear I/O panel features seven USB Type-A ports for peripherals, as well as a single USB Type-C port for connectivity and high-speed data transfer. So you won't go without precious ports for at least, er, a week. 

The MPG X570 supports 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 recommend using an AMD APU with integrated graphics in a high-end board like this).

The pair of M.2 slots each have dedicated heat shields and fans, and while this does help prevent potential thermal throttling, it makes installing or replacing them a more delicate process than with their more-exposed counterparts. 

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 an excellent motherboard, if you aren't already committed to a shopping list of top-of-the-line components, you may want to consider a slightly less expensive board for your needs. The MSI X570-A Pro omits some extras like Wi-Fi and the M.2 shields, but it still runs fine and costs nearly $100 less.

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3. ASRock X570S PG Riptide

The best budget X570 motherboard


Chipset: X570S

Memory: 4x DIMM, up to DDR4-4733, up to 128GB

Expansion Slots: 1x PCIe 4.0 x16, 2x PCIe 4.0 x16 (x4), 3x PCIe 4.0 x1

Video ports: HDMI

USB ports: Up to 3x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 8x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 6x USB 2.0

Storage: 2x M.2, 6x SATA

Network: Killer E3100G 2.5G LAN

Lighting: One RGB logo, ARGB headers

Reasons to buy

+A great value X570 board+Strong gaming performance

Reasons to avoid

-Lacks Wi-Fi-Ageing ALC897 audio codec

If you're looking for a sub $200 AMD motherboard, the typical advice would be to look at one of the many quality B550 offerings. It's important not to overlook the new X570 versions, though. The basic chipset is a few years old, but with the newly released X570S models, maybe it's time to take a more serious look at AMD's top boards. 

Notably, the 'S' in the new X570S nomenclature denotes silence. Early generation X570 boards, with only a few exceptions, all came with pesky, whiny chipset fans. As well as passive chipset cooling, the new X570S boards enable upgraded connectivity options, including faster than Gigabit LAN or WiFi 6E. Sadly the ASRock X570S Riptide doesn't have WiFi 6E, but it does have an excellent price for a top chipset board.

The X570S Riptide is a solid budget offering that will happily occur at the heart of a top-spec PCIe 4.0 system. It won't win the feature showdown battle with more expensive boards. Still, suppose you're looking for an affordable motherboard for a fast gaming system. In that case, it's a great shout, especially if you value one that's silent and well built but free of superfluous extras that do nothing for performance. The ASRock X570S PG Riptide, then, is a strong budget contender for the best AMD motherboard.

Read our full ASRock X570S PG Riptide review.

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4. Gigabyte X570S Aorus Master

The best AMD motherboard with a million USB ports


Chipset: X570S

Memory: 4x DIMM, up to DDR4-5100, up to 128GB

Expansion Slots: 1x PCIe 4.0 x16, 2x PCIe 4.0 x16 (x4), 3x PCIe 4.0 x1

Video ports: None

USB ports: Up to 3x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 8x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 6x USB 2.0

Storage: 2x M.2, 6x SATA

Network: Killer E3100G 2.5G LAN

Lighting: One RGB logo, ARGB headers

Reasons to buy

+Strong VRM and cooling+Loads of USB+Four M.2 slots

Reasons to avoid

-Single 2.5G LAN only-5G would be nice

The X570 chipset might be a couple of years old, but that doesn't mean it's time to put it out to pasture just yet. With PCIe 4.0 lanes, it's possible to add the year 2021 features quite easily. That's precisely what Gigabyte has done with the X570S Aorus Master. It shares a lot in common with its already highly regarded 2019 predecessor. With the inclusion of some critical feature updates and design tweaks, the X570S Aorus Master should remain a best-in-class contender for AMD motherboards. 

When we first saw X570 boards en masse at Computex in 2019, one of the things that concerned us was the almost universal presence of chipset fans. A 15w TDP combined with the heat of several PCIe 4.0 drives meant that active cooling was required in many cases, though thankfully not all the time. The S in X570S denotes silence. The base chipset design hasn't changed, but Gigabyte has added a lot of surface area to the cooling assembly, with almost the entire bottom half of the board now covered with heatsinks.

Gigabyte deserves credit for continuing to use finned VRM heatsinks, which add a lot of surface area. They're proof that it's possible to blend function with form. A 14 phase VRM with 70a MOSFETS is enough to power a 5950X cooled by LN2 with headroom to spare, which means users of ambient cooling won't face any issue.

The rear I/O is fully featured, particularly when it comes to USB connectivity. Twelve ports consist of four USB 2.0, two USB 3.1 Gen 1, five USB 3.2 Gen 2, and a single Type-C USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 port. Something has to be done about that ridiculous USB naming scheme, but that's a story for another day. You get clear CMOS and BIOS Flashback buttons, antenna connectors, the standard audio ports with S/PDIF, and finally, a single Intel i225-V 2.5G LAN port. 

The Aorus Master is packed with features that keep AM4 and X570 relevant and up to date. It's got loads of USB ports and storage options. It looks good too. A board around the $400 mark can't ever be considered affordable, but we feel it offers a good feature set at this price.

Read the full Gigabyte X570S Aorus Master review.

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5. Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Hero (Wi-Fi)

The best high-end AMD motherboard


Chipset: X570

Memory: 4x DIMM, 128 GB, 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: 1GbE LAN, 2.5GbE LAN, Wi-Fi 6

Lighting: Aura Lighting

Reasons to buy

+Clean Aesthetics+Feature-rich+Tons of USB ports

Reasons to avoid

-M.2 heat shields a bit awkward

The Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Hero (Wi-Fi) is another excellent, if opulent, board for Ryzen 5000 processors. This AMD motherboard comes packed with all the trappings you'd expect, including an onboard thermal sensor, onboard power and reset buttons, and a BIOS flashback option on the rear IO panel. The board has its 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. You also get a couple of M.2 SSDs slots. These specs are generally par for the course, however. An array of 10 USB Type-A ports, as well as a USB Type-C connector for front panel IO, provide ample support for any number of peripherals, which all help 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 many attractive features, but its comparatively steep price tag may draw your eye to more affordable offerings.

6. ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming ITX/TB3

The best compact AMD board around


Chipset: X570

Memory: 2x DIMM, 64 GB, 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: 1GbE LAN, Wi-Fi 6

Lighting: Polychrome RGB Sync

Reasons to buy

+Tiny, but powerful+Thunderbolt 3 connection+Integrated backpanel

Reasons to avoid

-Requires an Intel-based CPU cooling bracket

ASRock has made some great AMD Ryzen motherboards over the years, and this one packs in the latest high-end X570 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 makes the Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 even more tempting.

It also means you can potentially create a 16-core AMD Ryzen 9 3950X or AMD Ryzen 9 5950X machine that looks about the same sort of size as an Xbox Series X.

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 the integrated I/O shield of the back panel. That's an impressive little added extra from what is an already special board.

It is worth noting that it will require an Intel-based CPU cooling bracket. To fit all the features into the mini-ITX form factor, ASRock didn't have space for the bulky AMD fitting. That's only an issue if you want 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 

7. MSI MAG B550M Mortar

The best B550 motherboard for pure gaming performance


Form factor: Micro-ATX

Memory support: 4x DIMM, up to 128 GB, up to DDR4-4400

Expansion slots: 1x PCIe 4.0 x16, 1x PCIe 3.0 x4

Storage: 2x M.2, 6x SATA 6Gbps

Networking: 2.5GbE LAN

Rear USB: 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 2x USB 2.0

Reasons to buy

+Great stock-clock performance and efficiency+Slick BIOS+Competitive pricing

Reasons to avoid

-Poor overclocking-Light on features

When it comes to gaming performance above all else, MSI's micro-ATX MAG B550M Mortar is your best bet for an affordable next-gen Ryzen machine. It comes in around the $160 mark, making it cheaper than a great many X570 and other B550 motherboards on the market right now. 

The gaming frame rates of the MSI B550 Mortar put it above the rest of the B550 crew we've tested so far, and indeed its straight CPU performance puts it up there with some of the best X570s. That bodes well if you're looking for an affordable home for your AMD Zen 3 CPU; this B550 has a great chance to ensure it performs to its fullest stock-clocked potential without breaking the bank.

But you will be missing out on extra PCIe 4.0 M.2 and x16 graphics slots if those extras mean a lot to you. You can also opt to ditch wireless networking, depending on whether you pick the straight Mortar or the more expensive Mortar Wi-Fi 6 version. The 8+2+1 power phase design is arguably a more unwelcome miss, however, as that results in a board that isn't going to spark any overclocking joy in your heart. But, as an affordable gaming board without OC pretensions, it's a great shout.

Read our full MSI MAG B550M Mortar review.

8. ASRock A520M ITX/ac

One for AMD's mini-ITX fans on a mini budget


Socket: AM4

Size: Mini ITX

Memory support: 2x DIMM, up to 64 GB, up to DDR4-4600 (OC)

Expansion slots: 1x PCIe 3.0 x16

Video ports: 1x HDMI 2.1, 1x DVI-D

Storage: 1x M.2, 4x SATA 6Gbps

Networking: 1GbE LAN, Wi-Fi 5

Rear USB: 4x USB 3.2 Gen1 (1x Type-C), 2x USB 2.0

Reasons to buy

+Good value for money+Wi-Fi included+Ryzen 5000 support

Reasons to avoid

-Weak audio

AMD's budget Ryzen motherboard chipset, the A520, has largely slipped under the radar. While B350 and B450 motherboards were mainly regarded as entry-level, A320 was strictly seen as resolutely low-end. 

The introduction of B550 motherboards, and their associated move upward in price, left a big hole in the sub-$100 market. Enter the A520. If you're on a tighter budget and don't care about PCIe 4.0 or the overclocking support offered by B550, then the A520 motherboards might be exactly what you need. There's cheap, and there's cheap, but a decent A520 board can more or less do everything aboard at double the price can. 

Then there's the cherry on top, which supports AMD Ryzen 5000 series CPUs and Ryzen 4000 and 5000 APUs. Combine a Zen 3 CPU with a motherboard such as this ASRock A520M ITX/ac, and you'll be able to build an affordable and compact system that can beat a comparable Intel in any workload.

The ASRock A520M's audio is a bit of a letdown, but that's something that budget boards often compromise on. A gamer listening to compressed audio assets in-game probably won't be any less immersed, but you can opt for an external DAC if you desire one later in life, anyways. 

The little ASRock A520M ITX/ac has it where it counts and will serve you well at the heart of a budget gaming system. It benefits from the strengths of the Ryzen platform and adds some future-proofing into the mix. ITX fans looking for a capable budget AMD Ryzen option should have this one on their shortlist.

Read our full ASRock A520M ITX/ac review.

Best AMD motherboard FAQ

What should I consider when buying a motherboard?

Aside from the type of chip you're getting—be that Intel or AMD—figure out how many M.2 slots and PCIe slots you need, as well as the number of USB ports that are acceptable to you. 

Of course, keep in mind the scale of your build. Is space no object? Then go with an ATX board. But if you're looking to create a mini PC, you'll need a good mini-ITX motherboard. Thankfully there are some great options, and not only at the high end.

Here are some other options for the best gaming motherboards to check over.

What is the best AMD motherboard chipset?

The AMD X570 is the latest motherboard chipset for Ryzen 5000-series processors and has the most up-to-date features. It offers PCIe 4.0 support, dual-GPU configurations, and a wealth of tweaking and compatibility options. A newer version of this chipset is starting to appear, called the X570S, which removes the need for active fan cooling on the chipset itself, but is otherwise pretty much identical.

Which socket is compatible with AMD Ryzen CPUs?

There's a simple answer for this: AM4. One socket for every AMD Ryzen processor to date. That is due to change with the release of Zen 4, but we've still got a year before that's expected to drop. AMD has only guaranteed a continued use of that socket until 2020, which means we're in uncharted territory today.

AMD says it will only change the socket when such a change is required, at least. It says that's primarily tied to the schedule of industry I/O technologies, many of which will be out of AMD's hands directly. Whether it builds out a new pin configuration and socket will depend on the features available on said platform and chip, which is how it's supposed to work.

A single socket does not necessarily mean broad compatibility backward and forwards between Ryzen CPU generations, though. That's down to the chipset.

Which motherboard chipset do I need for my AMD Ryzen CPU?

Today's most relevant motherboards for a new CPU buyer are those equipped with the following chipsets: X570, B550, X470, and B450. The 'X' prefix denotes the high-end motherboards, while the 'B' indicates the close-run mid-range models. There's also the 'A' prefix for the entry-level, but these come usually strapped for features and are not that much cheaper than entry-level B450 boards—plenty of options.

The 500-series chipsets are the latest to arrive, while the 400-series is generally a little older—not always, however, as Asus is still pumping out new B450 motherboards even today. Both technically support the latest Ryzen 5000-series and Ryzen 3000-series processors, but with some features missing within those packing older parts. The most notable of these omissions is PCIe 4.0 support for increased platform bandwidth—despite rumors, only 500-series motherboards are PCIe 4.0 ready.


Best Motherboards 2021 for Gaming, by Socket and Chipset

AMD's current flagship X570/X570S chipset brings with it full support for PCIe 4.0, including devices connected to both its CPU-integrated and chipset-based PCIe controllers, and the transfer rate between the CPU and chipset is likewise doubled. We've tested several X570 boards, including many models refreshed for AMD's Ryzen 5000 CPUs, as well as a few with the updated X570S chipset that does away with the fan. The price premium for X570 models is still a serious consideration, as its X470 predecessors do not support the PCIe 4.0 integrated into the new CPUs. 

If you want to save some money, consider a B550 motherboard, which has PCIe 4.0 support, but generally only enough lanes for one fast SSD and graphics card. Note, though, that many higher-end B550 boards approach or exceed the price of X570 alternatives. So shop carefully based on the features you need or are likely to use in the future.

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 board buying options.

Best AMD Motherboards: X570(S), B550, TRX40, X570, X470, B450 and X399

1. Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Extreme

Best X570 Motherboard (if Price Is No Object)


Socket: AM4

Chipset: AMD X570S

Form Factor: EATX

Voltage Regulator: 18+2 phases

PCIe x16: (2) v4.0

USB Ports: 40 Gbps: (2) Type-C (via Thunderbolt 4); 10 Gbps: (8) Type-A

Warranty: 3 years

Reasons to buy

+Robust power delivery+Five M.2 slots+Thunderbolt 4+Comprehensive watercooling abilities+10 GbE and Wi-Fi 6E

Reasons to avoid

-Flagship pricing-Little room to unlatch top PCIe slot

The Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Extreme is the first AMD Extreme board since the X370 days, and it doesn't disappoint. In addition to its premium appearance, the board comes with one of the most capable VRMs we’ve seen. So its overclocking ability is only limited to your cooling capability and the limitations of your silicon. Other features are also top-notch, including the latest Realtek/Supreme FX audio codec, 10 GbE and Wi-Fi 6E.

The Thunderbolt 4 ports and front-panel USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C ports give you plenty of fast connectivity as well. And if you need a lot of fast storage, you’re well taken care of with up to five M.2 modules that can work simultaneously. If you’ve got $800 to spend on an X570 motherboard, the ROG Crosshair VIII Extreme should be at the top of your list.

Read: Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Extreme review 

2. Asus ROG Strix B550-F Gaming Wi-Fi

Best B550 Motherboard


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 premium features including SupremeFX Audio, Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200, solid power delivery and more. It’s a good option around the $200 mark, though there are similarly specced boards that cost less. If you don’t need Wi-Fi capability, the non-Wi-Fi version of the same board costs $30 less with the same specifications, making it easy to recommend if you plan on using Ethernet or have your own wireless card.

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

3. NZXT N7 B550

Best B550 Motherboard (Alternate)


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

NZXT’s first foray into AMD motherboards is a success. Coming in late to the game allowed the company to implement feedback from its Intel boards, adding more USB ports to the rear IO. The additional time also allowed NZXT to implement cutting-edge Wi-Fi 6E as well, alongside 2.5GbE. Outside of that, the appearance changed significantly from the company’s previous boards, with shrouds dominating the surface and an 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 

4. Asus X570 ROG Crosshair VIII Hero Wi-Fi

Best High-End X570 Motherboard


Socket: AM4

Chipset: AMD X570

Form Factor: ATX

Voltage Regulator: 12+2 phases

PCIe x16: (3) v3.0

USB Ports: USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps): 7x Type-A, 1x Type-C USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps): 4x Type-A

Warranty: 3 years

Reasons to buy

+Onboard power/reset buttons+Q-code LED display+All M.2 slots include a heatsink+12 USB ports on the rear IO

Reasons to avoid

-Expensive-Chipset fan sits directly under the GPU

Packed with 12 USB ports (eight of which are USB 3.2 Gen 2 speeds), a 2.5G LAN port, eight SATA ports, and integrated Wi-Fi 6, he Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Hero Wi-Fi is a good base for a high-end build.

Read: Asus X570 ROG Crosshair VIII Hero Wi-Fi Review

5. Gigabyte X570 Aorus Ultra

Best Mid-Priced X570 Motherboard


Socket: AM4

Chipset: AMD X570

Form Factor: ATX

Voltage Regulator: 12+2 phases

PCIe x16: (3) v4.0

USB Ports: 10 Gbps: 2x Type-A, 1x Type-C, USB 3.2 Gen 1; 5 Gbps: 3x Type-A, USB 2.0: 4x Type-A

Warranty: 3 years

Reasons to buy

+Three high speed M.2 slots, all w/heatsinks+Debug LEDs+Front and Rear USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port/header

Reasons to avoid

-On/off button is a small PCB that plugs into USB header

The Gigabyte X570 Aorus Ultra focuses on doing basic things very well, such as its twelve 40A core voltage MOSFETs and triple PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 storage slots. With nothing more than a 2.4Gb/s Wi-Fi 6 module to add to its basic Gigabit Ethernet, the paucity of premium add-in features helps Gigabyte to maintain a sub $300 price despite the cost of PCIe 4.0 compliance.

Read: Gigabyte X570 Aorus Ultra Review

6. MSI MPG X570 Gaming Plus

Best Budget X570 ATX Motherboard


Socket: AM4

Chipset: AMD X570

Form Factor: ATX

Voltage Regulator: 10 phases

PCIe x16: (2) v4.0

USB Ports: 10Gbps: (1) Type-C, (1) Type A, 5Gb/s: (4) Type A,(2) USB2.0

Warranty: 3 years

Reasons to buy

+Adequate voltage regulator for Ryzen 3000 range+Good overclocking on mid-budget Ryzen 7 3700X

Reasons to avoid

-Some software and BIOS features didn’t work for us

The MPG X570 Gaming Plus is unmistakably cheap, yet it's eight 46A core voltage regulators still provide enough CPU power to cover the full range of AMD's recent AM4 processors. Fixed PCIe pathways follow a simplified rout to eliminate the need for costly re-drivers, and the board has only one pathway switch that enables its second x1 slot by disabling the first. Its included software couldn't even monitor our hardware, and the firmware menu that's supposed to display connected devices disabled our keyboard and mouse, but buyers who are satisfied by mere adequacy should be pleased by its exceptionally low price.

Read:MSI MPG X570 Gaming Plus Review

Alternative Budget X570:ASRock X570 Steel Legend WiFi ax

7. Gigabyte X570-I Aorus Pro Wi-Fi

Best Mini ITX X570 Motherboard


Socket: AM4

Chipset: AMD X570

Form Factor: ITX

Voltage Regulator: 6+2 phases

PCIe x16: (1) v4.0

USB Ports: USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps): 1x Type-A (red) USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 Gbps): 4x Type-A

Warranty: 3 years

Reasons to buy

+Low price for the feature set+USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port on rear IO+Two M.2 slots+Q-Flash Plus for easy BIOS updates

Reasons to avoid

-3-plug audio stack-Only two fan headers

The Gigabyte X570-I Aorus Pro WiFi performed well at stock and when overclocking. Dual M.2 slots on the ITX form factor is its claim to fame, and it also includes two USB3 Gen 2 ports (one Type-C, the other Type-A) and four USB3 Gen1 ports on the rear IO. This tiny board offers users a great assortment of features and is a well-rounded solution for its small form factor, and comes at moderate price that undercuts the competition.

Read: Gigabyte X570-I Aorus Pro Wi-Fi Review

8. ASRock Fatal1ty B450 Gaming-ITX/ac

Best B450 Motherboard


Socket: AM4

Chipset: AMD B450

Form Factor: Mini-ITX

Voltage Regulator: 8 phases

PCIe x16: (1) V3.0 (x16, Raven Ridge at x8)

USB Ports: 10Gbps

Warranty: 3 years

Reasons to buy

+Excellent CPU overclocking+Competitive DRAM overclocking+Low price

Reasons to avoid

-Not enough USB ports to satisfy some power users-B450 limit of two USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports-Single M.2 storage interface

Motherboard makers love to load up tiny boards with high-end chipsets, but those boards often lack the bonus features that would have made the flagship chipset worthwhile. The Fatal1ty B450 Gaming-ITX/ac takes the opposite approach, offering most of the features of AMD’s lower-cost B450 chipset while retaining the overclockability associated with high-end motherboard models. That makes it a great option for Mini-ITX overclocking enthusiasts on a tight budget--or those who would just rather spend more on a better CPU or roomier, speedier storage.

Read: ASRock Fatal1ty B450 Gaming-ITX/ac Review

9. ASRock TRX40 Taichi

Best TRX40 Motherboard


Socket: sTRX4

Chipset: AMD TRX40

Form Factor: ATX

Voltage Regulator: 16 phases

PCIe x16: (3) v4.0 (x16/x16/x16)

USB Ports: 20 Gbps: (2) Type-A ; 5Gbps: (4) Type A

Warranty: 3 years

Reasons to buy

+Supports up to six NVMe M.2 drives+Superior overclocking+High-capacity voltage regulator and cooler+Includes 2.5GbE, Gigabit Ethernet and Wi-Fi 6

Reasons to avoid

-Four-drive expansion card eats one (of three) x16 slots-Spacing conflicts when using two three-slot graphics cards-Minor (less than 1%) performance deficit

Sixteen 90A power phases under an enormous dual-fan heat sink prove that the TRX40 Taichi was built with 64-core CPU overclocking in mind, regardless of whether the forthcoming Threadripper 3990X even turns out to be overclockable. Additional features such as dual networking that includes 2.5GbE, a 20Gb/s USB3 2x2 header, 2.4Gb/s Wi-Fi, and an included four-drive M.2 expansion card push overall value up to its $500 price.

Read: ASRock TRX40 Taichi Review

10. Asus ROG Zenith Extreme Alpha X399

Best X399 Motherboard


Socket: AM4

Chipset: X399

Form Factor: ATX

Voltage Regulator: 16+4 phases

PCIe x16: () v3.0 (x16/x8/x16/x8)

USB Ports: 10Gbps

Warranty: 3 years

Reasons to buy

+Overclocking headroom to spare+Fully kitted ensemble+Aggressive aesthetic

Reasons to avoid

-E-ATX is big-DIMM removal is a hassle- Extreme alpha pricing

Power users will want to pick up the Gigabyte X399 Aorus Xtreme because of its impressive ability to manage higher-wattage workloads and parts when combined with custom loops and ample radiator space. The voltage regulator cooler alone eliminates the need for a monoblock, and could tip the high-wattage value proposition back in Gigabyte’s favor for a fully equipped motherboard.

If 10Gb Ethernet is not needed, we still recommend the Gigabyte X399 Aorus Gaming 7 for full-sized builds. And the ASRock X399M Taichi still opens the door for HEDT builders on the value front. Still, if overclocking high-end processors is your thing, it’s hard to look past the heatsinks on the Aorus Xtreme.

Read: Asus ROG Zenith Extreme Alpha Review

MORE: How To Choose A Motherboard
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Matt began piling up computer experience as a child with his Mattel Aquarius. He built his first PC in the late 1990s and ventured into mild PC modding in the early 2000s. He’s spent the last decade covering emerging technology for Smithsonian, Popular Science, and Consumer Reports, while testing components and PCs for Computer Shopper and Digital Trends. When not writing about tech, he’s often walking—through the streets of New York, over the sheep-dotted hills of Scotland, or just at his treadmill desk at home in front of the 50-inch 4K HDR TV that serves as his PC monitor.
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The best motherboard 2021: the top Intel and AMD motherboards we've seen


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Building a PC or upgrading your aging one isn’t only about getting the best graphics card or best processor you can afford. You also need to dedicate just as much time and effort choosing the best motherboard to ensure that your PC and all its components are running at their best. After all, it is the backbone of your PC.

Without the best motherboard under the hood of your computer, you’re risking crashes, failing components, or worse, having to rebuild the whole thing from scratch. On the other hand, the right motherboard will ensure that everything – including that fancy new component you’ve just purchased – is not only running optimally but also overclocking better.

So, save yourself the headache and choose one of the best motherboards below. Whether you’re upgrading the aging components in your existing one or setting out to build a PC to rival the best PCs, only one of our picks below will do.

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.

1. Asus ROG Maximus XIII Hero

Best Intel Motherboard


Form Factor: ATX

Socket: LGA1200

Chipset: Intel Z590

Memory support: Dual Channel DDR4

Multi-GPU support: NVIDIA 2-Way SLI Technology

Features: ASUS-exclusive software and firmware utilities, enlarged VRM heatsink, onboard WiFi 6E, ROG SupremeFX ALC4082 gaming audio

Reasons to buy

+Several USB ports with two Thunderbolt 4+Excellent quality

Reasons to avoid


It might not be cheap, but the Rog Maximus XIII Hero is worth its price tag. Its list of features, which includes Wi-Fi 6, PCIe 4.0, tons of ports (including two thunderbolt), and four M.2 SSD sockets, will satisfy just about anyone looking for a premium Z590 board to build a PC around. It’s not only a great performing board, but it’s easy to overclock as well. And, like any good ASUS motherboard, it comes with plenty of RGB lighting.

2. MSI MEG Z490 Godlike

Best high-end Intel motherboard


Form Factor: E-ATX

Socket: LGA1200

Chipset: Intel Z490

Memory support: 4 x DIMM sockets (up to 128GB)

Multi-GPU support: 2-Way NVIDIA SLI Technology, 3-Way AMD CrossFire Technology

Features: M.2 Xpander-Z Gen4 S, 10G Super LAN + 2.5G LAN, Frozn Heatsink, Double Side M.2 Shield Frozn

Reasons to buy

+Superb build quality+Onboard thunderbolt video output+Easy overclocking in BIOS

Reasons to avoid

-Pricey-Uses two 8-pin cpu power connectors

High-end motherboards may cost a fortune, but if you’ve got something like the MSI MEG Z490 Godlike under the hood, you’re pretty much guaranteed top-notch performance, especially if you’ve got Intel components. As long as you’re willing to pay the price. In fact, we’d go as far as to say that this is the best z490 board out there right now, with an excellent thermal solution, staggering overclocking performance, easy installation and diagnostic solutions for do-it-yourself-ers, and a solid build.

3. GIGABYTE Z490 Gaming X

Best budget Intel motherboard


Form Factor: ATX

Socket: LGA1200

Chipset: Intel Z490

Memory support: 4 x DIMM sockets (up to 128GB)

Multi-GPU support: AMD Quad-GPU CrossFire and 2-Way AMD CrossFire

Features: Support for APP Center, Q-Flash and Q-Flash Plus support, Xpress Install support

Reasons to buy

+Pre-installed I/O shield+Additional optional 4-pin connector

Reasons to avoid

-No USB Type-C connectivity

The GIGABYTE Z490 Gaming X may not have any flashy new features to bring to the table, but if you’re an Intel fan who needs a new motherboard in the budget sphere, it’s certainly a great choice. This entry-level motherboard for gamers has a decent feature set for its price tag, including three PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, six SATA ports and four memory slots with support for DDR4-4600 and up to 128GB, to start. Most importantly, it performs like the best of them without burning a hole in your pocket.

4. MSI MEG Z590 Ace

Best Intel ATX motherboard


Form Factor: ATX

Socket: LGA1200

Chipset: Intel Z590

Memory support: Dual Channel DDR4

Multi-GPU support: 2-Way Nvidia SLI and 2-Way AMD Crossfire technologies

Features: 2.5Gbps LAN, Wi-Fi 6E, dual Thunderbolt 4, VRM Heat-pipe, 7W/mK thermal pads

Reasons to buy

+Lots of power+Excellent audio+Nice features

Reasons to avoid


If you’re looking for a premium option for your 10th and 11th generation flagship Intel chips, the MEG Z590 Ace from MSI not only delivers a lot of power, but also comes with four M.2 sockets, two Thunderbolt USB-C ports and Wi-Fi 6E support, as well as excellent audio solution with latest premium ALC4082 audio process. There’s a lot to appreciate here, if you can afford that steep $499.

5 Best Gaming Motherboards in 2021

Best AMD motherboard: best 8 AM4 boards for gaming

Which is the best AMD motherboard?

Team Red came back to the table in a big way with AMD’s introduction of the Zen architecture. Now AMD has released three generations of successful Ryzen processors using this impressive new design.

We really can’t blame you if AMD’s recent triumphs have tempted you away from Intel, and it’s worth taking some time to pick the right motherboard.

If you’re seeking advice, look no further than our handy guide, which features the expert information you need to make the right choice. Here, we review eight boards, picking out exactly which attributes to focus on when you’re putting together a new PC and covering the models that offer the best value, performance and features, whatever your budget.

1. Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero (Wi-Fi)

The best overall AMD motherboard you can buy right now

Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero


  • Solid enthusiast features
  • Impressive connectivity throughout
  • Superb, consistent performance


  • Not always faster in gaming tests
  • More expensive than competitors
  • Not many on-board RGB LEDs

Review price: £260

Score: 8/10

Why we liked the Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero (Wi-Fi)

At £260, the Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero (Wi-Fi) is the most expensive board in this group, but the price is justified by the sheer amount of enthusiast-level features. You get on-board and extra tweaking buttons, a POST display and lots of RGB LEDs and chunky metal heatsinks.

There is excellent memory support, room for multiple graphics cards and two M.2 SSDs, and augmented networking and audio hardware. At the rear there are an impressive nine USB 3.1 ports alongside extra buttons for tweaking, and the box has extra accessories such as a smart wireless dongle and a Nvidia high-bandwidth SLI bridge.

In gaming test benchmarks, the Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero was on a par with the Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 7 Wi-Fi, and nosed ahead in the other benchmarks.

You would expect this kind of class-leading performance from a board at this price. For all of its speed and bluster, however, this board is only worth buying if you intend to use all of its high-end features.

Read the full review

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2. Gigabyte AB350-Gaming

This cheap and cheerful AMD motherboard is good value, but it’s not at the cutting edge

Gigabyte AB350 Gaming


  • Solid gaming performance
  • Very cheap
  • Enough features for a versatile, basic build


  • Unrealistic dual-graphics
  • Poor application performance
  • Older chipset

Review price: £83 inc VAT

Score: 6/10

Why we liked the Gigabyte AB350-Gaming

The Gigabyte AB350 Gaming is one of the cheapest boards in the entire group, and its price reflects its specification. It has sufficient memory speed and PCI bandwidth to support a good budget or mainstream single-GPU system specification, but it isn’t capable of handling dual-graphics, more than one M.2 SSD, or the fastest memory on the market.

It also features an older chipset, although this won’t affect your day-to-day use, and the AB350-Gaming has only basic Gigabit Ethernet and audio chipsets. There’s no USB Type-C, only three audio jacks, and four fan connectors.

The AB350-Gaming performed well in gaming tests, with results that placed it in the middle of our results table, not far behind more expensive products. It easily beat the MSI B350 PC Mate in the same tests. The Gigabyte wasn’t poorer in application and storage tests, so it remains a solid option if you want to build a basic machine with a gaming focus.

Read the full review

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3. ASRock Fatal1ty X470 Gaming K4

A great option if you’re only after a board for gaming

Another close-up of the A close-up view of the ASRock Fatal1ty X470 Gaming K4 motherboard, with the RAM sockets visible top right.


  • Cheaper than rivals
  • Impressive gaming speed
  • Multiple PCI-E x1 slots
  • POST display


  • Underwhelming application speeds
  • Sluggish second M.2 slot
  • No second PCI-E x16 slot

Review price: £153

Score: 7/10

Why we liked the ASRock Fatal1ty X470 Gaming K4

ASRock’s Fatal1ty-branded gaming board looks the part, with a pre-mounted I/O shield, smart heatsinks and lots of RGB LEDs – and the specification is solid for this mid-range price. The memory speeds are little cut down and you don’t get a third PCI-E x16 slot, but most people won’t miss those omissions.

The ASRock Fatal1ty X470 Gaming K4 has two M.2 connectors, but the second is slower – another area where this board’s specification involves minor compromises. Fortunately, you do get a POST display and solid USB connectivity. The ASRock also has Creative Sound Blaster audio.

The Gaming K4 is comparable to the MSI X470 Gaming Pro Carbon in terms of features and price – and performed better than the MSI board in gaming tests. Its other benchmarks were slightly disappointing, but it’s still a good option if you want a mainstream AMD board primarily for playing the latest games.

Read the full review

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4. ASRock X470 Taichi

Good overall performance but doesn’t excel at gaming

Another close-up of the ASRock X470 Taichi AMD board with the CPU mount visible top and middle.


  • Solid core specification
  • Lots of storage options
  • Good application, memory and storage performance


  • Pricier than competitors
  • Slower in games

Review price: £210

Score: 7/10

Why we liked the ASRock X470 Taichi

The superb-looking ASRock X470 Taichi features a smart, very striking design and is the more expensive of the two ASRock boards in this group. It has a solid specification, with good memory support, two full-speed M.2 connectors and a sufficient number of PCI-E x16 slots for full-speed dual-graphics.

Elsewhere, ASRock’s board has plenty of fan connectors, RGB LEDs and solid USB connectivity. You also get a POST display, wireless internet and a Clear CMOS button, although there are no other enthusiast-level features.

When it comes to benchmarks, the ASRock is better with applications and general-purpose computing. It performed better than the Asus ROG Strix X470-F Gaming in Geekbench and in storage tests, but its gaming pace was more ordinary.

It still offers plenty of features, however, showing good pace in productivity benchmarks and ample room for storage thanks to eight SATA ports. It’s ideal if you want a high-quality board for a work or home system.

Read the full review

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5. Asus ROG Strix X470-F Gaming

A cheaper alternative to the ASRock X470 Taichi

Asus ROG Strix X470 F Gaming


  • Smart, subtle design
  • Decent performance, especially in games
  • Solid core features
  • Cheaper than ASRock


  • Few enthusiast features
  • No audio shielding
  • Inconsistent in peripheral benchmarks

Review price: £185 inc VAT

Score: 8/10

Why we liked the Asus ROG Strix X470-F Gaming

The Asus ROG Strix X470-F Gaming is the cheapest of the two Asus boards in this AMD AM4 group test but, at £185, it’s still an expensive option. For that money, you do get basically every mainstream feature, from rapid memory support and proper dual-graphics capabilities to three PCI-E x1 slots and ample RGB LED lighting.

It also includes two M.2 slots but only one runs at the unfettered speed of the PCI-E 3.0 x4 interface. The board features excellent lighting and cooling connectivity, as well as enhanced audio and networking, but you’ll need to spend a bit more to get a board with POST display, on-board buttons or wireless networking.

The Asus Strix board returned reasonable speeds in most benchmarks without ever leading the results tables. It couldn’t always beat its main rival, either – the ASRock X470 Taichi.

It isn’t the fastest AM4 board but it’s packed with features and is a little cheaper than the ASRock, making it a good option for high-end, all-round PCs.

Read the full review

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6. Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 7 WiFi

Powerful, extremely fast and with more lights than a Christmas tree, the X470 is for petrolheads

Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 7 WiFi


  • Solid, fast performance
  • Generous lighting options
  • Good slot and port selection


  • Still very expensive
  • Not quite as quick as Asus

Review price: £240 inc VAT

Score: 8/10

Why we liked the Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 7 WiFi

The Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 7 WiFi is one of the most expensive motherboards in the group and this is reflected in its design. It’s covered with huge heatsinks and RGB LEDs, with more lighting options than any other board in this test.

There are plenty of high-end features, including overclocking buttons, a POST display, and switches to flick between two saved BIOSes. The specification is also good in the more conventional departments – it has memory and PCI support to match the more expensive Asus ROG Crosshair board.

The Gigabyte has wireless, good audio codecs, and plenty of ports at the rear. In benchmarks, there isn’t much of a gap between the Gigabyte and the Asus, with the Gigabyte board only falling marginally behind in key gaming and application tests.

The X470 Aorus Gaming 7 can’t quite match the Asus for pure performance, but it remains extremely fast. With features and lighting options galore, it’s a great board if you want a high-end rig full of RGB LEDs.

Read the full review

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7. MSI B350 PC Mate

One of the cheapest AMD boards available, this is ideal for single GPU builds on shoestring budgets

MSI B350 PC Mate


  • Solid basic specification
  • Extremely cheap
  • PCI slots and USB Type-C


  • Limited specification for high-end builds
  • Sluggish performance

Review price: £75 inc VAT

Score: 5/10

Why we liked the MSI B350 PC Mate

The MSI B350 PC Mate is the cheapest board in this AMD AM4 group, which means it features a basic specification. You’ve got enough ability here for a solid single-GPU system with one M.2 SSD, but nothing beyond that.

This board only has four SATA ports, which is two fewer than the Gigabyte AB350-Gaming. It does have better audio and more fan connectors than its rival, however, as well as a USB Type-C at the rear. Arguably, this board looks better, too, and features bigger, smarter heatsinks throughout.

Unfortunately, the MSI’s budget price shows in the benchmarks. It can’t catch up to the cheap Gigabyte board in gaming and was regularly sluggish in application, storage and memory tests. It’s frugal, but that’s it’s only saving grace when it comes to benchmarking.

While MSI’s board isn’t great for performance, the basic specification is fine and connectivity is slightly better than the Gigabyte. It’s worth looking at if you’re on a very tight budget.

Read the full review

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8. MSI X470 Gaming Pro Carbon

Good for productivity but surprisingly lacking when it comes to gaming, the MSI X470 is a wild card

MSI X470 Gaming Pro Carbon


  • Impressive application performance
  • Decent number of features considering the price
  • Good RGB LED support


  • More expensive than its key rival
  • Underwhelming gaming pace
  • Only two PCI-E x1 slots

Review price: £170 inc VAT

Score: 7/10

Why we liked the MSI X470 Gaming Pro Carbon

At £170, the MSI X470 Gaming Pro Carbon falls between mainstream and high-end gaming boards, and aesthetics have clearly swallowed up a sizeable part of the budget. With impressive RGB LEDs and matte metal heatsinks, the MSI looks superb and has lots of headers for adding your own lights.

Memory and PCI support is fine, and, with eight SATA ports, there are decent storage options. The second M.2 slot runs at a slower speed, however, meaning that faster SSDs will be bottlenecked here.

It has plenty of USB ports, the usual beefed-up audio and networking, and more CPU power connectivity. The steel-edged memory slots also offer an extra bit of strength not included by some competitors.

Disappointingly, the MSI put in an underwhelming performance in gaming tests. It was one of the poorest in the entire group, and lagged considerably behind its pricier rivals. Surprisingly, it performed a lot better in non-gaming tests.

If your priorities are features and aesthetics, the MSI is a good shout – and we wouldn’t discount it for productivity PCs either.

Read the full review

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Best AMD Motherboard Round Up

  1. Best overall: Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero (Wi-Fi)
  2. Best value: Gigabyte AB350-Gaming
  3. Best for gaming: ASRock Fatal1ty X470 Gaming K4
  4. Best for hardcore gamers: Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 7 WIFI
  5. Best cheap AMD motherboard: MSI B350 PC Mate
  6. Powerful and full of lights: Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 7 WiFi
  7. Best on a shoestring: MSI B350 PC Mate
  8. Best for productivity: MSI X470 Gaming Pro Carbon

How to choose the right AMD motherboard

All eight boards in this test use the AMD AM4 socket. It’s the latest consumer platform from AMD and supports a range of processing hardware.

  • The Ryzen range contains the main products supported by AMD AM4 and these chips are superb. The Zen architecture made major improvements to efficiency and performance, which allowed AMD to properly compete against Intel for the first time in several years.
  • When it comes to core counts and multi-threaded performance, AMD’s Ryzen chips have taken the fight to Intel, which means they’re particularly good for complex work tasks, media applications and general-purpose computing.
  • They’re excellent gaming chips, too, and single-threaded speed is also great – even if Intel is generally still slightly better in that department.
  • Ryzen units are in their second generation, although both first-generation Ryzen chips will also work in socket AM4 boards.

What’s in the Ryzen range?

The Ryzen range is a broad church. Ryzen 3 chips are at the bottom of the range and have lesser core counts and clock speeds, and cost less. Ryzen 5 chips sit at the mainstream mark, while Ryzen 7 chips are more powerful, with eight cores and better core and boost speeds.

The Ryzen 3, 5 and 7 parts correspond to Intel’s Core i3, i5 and i7 ranges, with similar prices and performance levels. However, AMD’s Ryzen 7 models do tend to have more cores than their Intel counterparts.

The AMD AM4 socket isn’t just used for these conventional Ryzen processors, however. The AM4 hardware also features in its range of APUs – chips that combine processing cores with Vega graphics chips. There are a whole range of Ryzen 3, 5 and 7 APUs that use AM4, along with low-end Athlon parts.

The AM4 socket supports a wide range of CPUs and APUs from two different generations. This means a wide variety of chipsets can control compatible motherboards.

The first generation of Ryzen chipsets encompasses anything with a 300-series name, including the A320, B350 and X370. These older chipsets tend to have poorer multi-GPU support at the low end, with fewer PCI lanes and more restrictions on the number of USB ports and SATA connectors they carry. They also don’t support AMD StoreMI caching technology.

Newer chipsets such as the X470 and B450 do support StoreMI. The B450 adds AMD CrossFire support, too, and the newer chipsets also reduce their power consumption when compared to the 300-series products.

It’s worth making sure that a chipset on any motherboard offers the features you want from a new PC build. And it’s also a good idea to note that most chipsets do support the vast majority of features. You’ll only need to pay extra attention if you want to add multiple graphics cards, carry out lots of overclocking, or add a serious amount of storage to a system.

Key considerations and buying advice


The chipset is a key consideration when buying a board, but it isn’t the sole focus. After all, every component in your PC will attach to the motherboard.


It’s also important to pay attention to the memory slots, with four regarded as ideal – handy for upgrading in the future, without having to throw away your existing memory. You should also consider the memory size – number of gigabytes – and speed that a board supports.

The vast majority of four-slot boards will support 64GB of DDR4 memory, which is ample for all scenarios, and most boards run memory at a peak speed of 3200MHz or higher. Again, this is plenty.


Below the memory slots are PCI sockets. The largest PCI slots are PCI-Express x16 slots, which are usually used to hold graphics cards. The first PCI-Express x16 slot on a motherboard will operate at its maximum speed of x16, which is sufficient bandwidth to run high-end graphics cards.

However, it isn’t unusual – especially on cheaper boards – to find second and third PCI-Express x16 slots that run at restricted speeds. If a second or third slot runs at x8 speed, it will be fine for a second graphics card. If it runs at x4 speed, however, it won’t have the bandwidth to run a high-end graphics card without bottlenecking it.

A board will also have PCI-Express x1 slots. These are smaller versions of the same kind of slot and are used for expansion cards that can add wireless internet, extra USB ports or dedicated sound hardware to a system. Some boards also have older PCI slots, which are rarer and only suitable now for fitting extremely old hardware to current systems.

Storage connectors:

Are positioned around the borders and every SATA port will now run using the SATA 3 standard, which has ample bandwidth for hard disk and slower SSDs.

You’ll find that most motherboards now have at least one M.2 socket. These connectors are used for faster SSDs and use PCI-Express bandwidth. If you want to run a particularly fast M.2 SSD – or two of them – ensure that every M.2 connector uses the full PCI-Express 3.0 x4 protocol. If it doesn’t, the drive’s speed will be bottlenecked.


You’ll also find numerous jumpers and connectors scattered around a motherboard. Typically, these handle front-mounted USB ports, fans and front-panel connectivity. If you want to add lots of cooling, or a particularly large number of USB ports to your machine, take heed – not having enough connectors could scupper your plans.

Similarly, take a look at the networking and audio options. Even the cheapest motherboard will have Gigabit Ethernet and an audio chipset that’s absolutely fine for gaming, music and movies at home. However, if you want better performance from your internet connection or your audio chips, you’ll need to spend a little more cash.

Form factor:

Finally, consider the form factor. All of the boards in this group use the ATX design, which is the largest mainstream option. Micro-ATX boards are smaller, and mini-ITX options are even smaller still.

Those latter two form factors will fit into a variety of compact cases, but it also means they have fewer ports, sockets and slots.

How we test

All the motherboards are put through a demanding suite of benchmark tests.

  1. We run Geekbench 4 to test single and multi-core application speed, and Cinebench R15 to test CPU and OpenGL GPU performance.
  2. We use CrystalDiskMark to test NVMe and SATA storage speeds
  3. We Use SiSoft Sandra to evaluate memory performance and processor arithmetic speeds.
  4. We use 3DMark: Fire Strike, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, and Rise of the Tomb Raider to evaluate gaming ability.
  5. We test power efficiency by measuring the board’s power draw when idling and when running Prime95’s CPU stress-testing benchmark.
  6. The test rig uses a Samsung 970 Evo M.2 SSD, a Samsung 850 EVO SATA SSD and 16GB of 3,000MHz DDR4 memory, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB graphics card, and a Ryzen 7 2700X processor running at its stock speed.

We’d like to thank Overclockers UK for providing some of the boards included in this test.



Mobo best amd

Best AMD Motherboards: September 2021

Here’s the latest update to our list of recommended AMD motherboards in our series of motherboard buyers guides. All numbers in the text are updated to reflect pricing at the time of writing.

Best AMD Motherboards: September 2021

When it comes to building a new system or upgrading an existing one, the AM4 socket has numerous options at various price points for users to select from. We are now seeing CPU prices come back down to earth - the flagship AMD Ryzen 9 5950X desktop processor is available for $749 at both Amazon and Newegg currently, and despite the obvious pitfalls in graphics card pricing, it's a better time to build a new PC right now than it has been during most months during 2021. There has also been a number of new 'X570S' models making its way into retail channels from all of the major vendors, with upgraded features such as Wi-Fi 6E and passively cooled chipsets. It's time to give our picks for September 2021 in our latest AMD motherboard buyers guide.  

Looking for our best Intel motherboard choices? Head on over to our Intel Motherboard Buyers Guide instead!

AMD Motherboards Recommendations
 September 2021
Sweet SpotASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming Wi-Fi$195$202$210
Value ChoiceASRock B550 Phantom Gaming 4/AC$115$110$125
Mini-ITXGIGABYTE B550I Aorus Pro AX$208$238$200
Money No ObjectGIGABYTE X570 Aorus Xtreme$693$693$700

Our recommendations for motherboards are based entirely on my personal and professional opinion. 

For our September 2021 picks, we've considered updated pricing as well as availability in the US. Some of these models are slightly adjusting in stock levels and price, and so we've adjusted our guide to accommodate for this. It's also worth noting that B550 is generally considered the budget AM4 platform, but competitively it often has the more attractive pricing when compared to X570. Another element is many vendors have released new 'X570S' motherboards onto the market, with new features, and with passively cooled chipsets. These new models have been factored into the decision, but the benefits of X570S, especially compared to the much lower pricing of B550, doesn't always equate to better value.

For users looking for other options, we've also gone over multiple chipset families as well in the links below.

Best Sweet Spot

ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming Wi-Fi ($195 at Amazon/$202 at Newegg)

In our Best Sweet Spot, we've opted for a board with plenty of functionality and features while also enabling a PCIe 4.0 experience from the CPU. Boards based on the B550 chipset offer PCIe 4.0 support, with a single full-length PCIe x16 slot and a PCIe x4 M.2 slot at PCIe 4.0 speeds. One of the best B550 boards we have reviewed to date is the ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming WIFI, a higher-end B550 board that received our Recommended by AnandTech award.

You can read our full review here:

The ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming Wi-Fi Motherboard Review: Premium Value

What makes it our pick over the other 500-series is the level of solid quality and great performance offered at a very competitive price point. It includes two PCIe M.2 slots, with the top slot operating at PCIe 4.0 x4 and the second slot at PCIe 3.0 x4. The ASUS model also has a stacked rear panel with two USB 3.2 G2 ports (Type A+C), DisplayPort, and HDMI video outputs (for use with APUs) and the capability to install up to six fans.

The ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming Wi-Fi includes an Intel-based networking pairing, with a premium 2.5 Gb Ethernet controller and a Wi-Fi 6 interface. The onboard audio is also premium, with ASUS's tweaked SupremeFX S1200A HD audio codec taking care of business. There are also four memory slots with support for up to DDR4-5100 with a maximum capacity of 128 GB. For a mid-range model, this is a stack of features, and considering similarly priced X570 models (sub-$250) that include a similar controller set are non-existent, it puts the ASUS model in good standing. 

The ASUS B550-F Gaming Wi-Fi is currently available to buy for $195 at Amazon and $202 at Newegg, so we recommend users purchase this model at Amazon. The ASUS Strix B550-F Gaming Wi-Fi looks to be the best ATX sized AM4 option in the sub $200 price range. The MSI B550 Gaming Carbon is more expensive with a similar feature set at $220, while the GIGABYTE B550 Aorus Pro AC can be had for around $190 to $210, but this model is slightly lighter on features. There is also the ASUS X570 TUF Gaming, which is around a $220 price point. When we had the ASUS B550-F model on our test bench, we saw good performance in out-of-the-box DPC latency, competitive CPU, and gaming performance. Looking at Zen 3, we tested the thermals of its efficiently designed power delivery, which sets the ROG Strix B550-F Gaming Wi-Fi as our mid-range pick.

The Value Option

ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming 4/AC ($115 at Amazon/$110 at Newegg)

In previous guides, the value options have mostly been B450 models, due to B550 being more expensive, and sometimes a bit too much for true 'value.' However, the B450 range seems to be reducing in stock, causing prices to increase. So we've chosen ASRock's B550 Phantom Gaming 4/AC, which represents AM4's entry-level gaming series as well as PCIe 4.0. 

Even though it is one of the cheapest B550 boards, ASRock's B550 Phantom Gaming 4/AC is a competitive entry-level offering. The board comes with a PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slot and augments that with four SATA ports, which is plenty of capacity for game storage. The top full-length PCIe 4.0 slot operates at x16, while the bottom slot is locked to PCIe 3.0 x4, which is controlled by the chipset, along with two additional PCIe 3.0 x1 slots. For networking it is using a standard Realtek based Gigabit Ethernet controller, along with an Intel Wi-Fi 5 interface. This is pretty standard for an entry-level model that focuses more on overall support than adding extra cost at the expense of premium controllers. The B550 Phantom Gaming 4/AC is also using a Realtek ALC1200 HD audio codec but with just three 3.5 mm audio jacks on the rear panel and a basic 8-phase power delivery.

The ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming 4/AC is currently available for $110 at Newegg and at a slightly more expensive price of $115 at Amazon. Looking at the bigger picture, most of the PG4/AC's competition comes from the cheaper selection of A520 boards with the majority of these based on the smaller micro-ATX form factor, with limited expansion options. Meanwhile, the biggest competition from the X570 product stack is arguably ASRock's own X570 Phantom Gaming 4S model, which is currently available at Newegg for $140. This offers better future-proofing and eight SATA ports, but it also includes only a single M.2 slot and doesn't have any wireless capabilities, so the B550 version gets our vote on price alone. The pricing on this model at both Newegg and Amazon is fluctuating month by month, and although slightly more expensive over last month's price, it's still a solid buy.

Mini-ITX Choice To Consider

GIGABYTE B550I Aorus Pro AX ($208 at Amazon/$238 at Newegg)

There are an impressive array of Mini-ITX AMD boards to choose from. Our pick for the best mini-ITX motherboard at present remains unchanged, and that is GIGABYTE B550I Aorus Pro AX. The Aorus Pro AX represents a solid premium offering, with official PCIe 4.0 support, two M.2 slots, a Realtek 2.5 Gb Ethernet controller, and an Intel Wi-Fi 6 interface, all at a solid price point. 

You can read our full review here: 

The GIGABYTE B550I Aorus Pro AX Motherboard Review: All The Small Things

The GIGABYTE B550I Aorus Pro AX has four perpendicular SATA ports, one PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slot, and an additional PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slot with a full-length PCIe 4.0 x16 slot. In terms of power, the GIGABYTE B550I Aorus Pro AX has a direct 8-phase power delivery with eight premium Intersil ISL99390 90 A power stages and is controlled by an ISL229004 PWM controller. This is impressive not only for a mini-ITX motherboard but one designed for the 'budget' B550 chipset. 

Focusing on connectivity, this board has dual HDMI 2.0 outputs as well as DisplayPort 1.4, a single Realtek RTL8125BG 2.5 Gb Ethernet port, and an Intel AX200 Wi-Fi 6 interface. There are also plenty of USB ports of which to make use, with one USB 3.2 G2 Type-C, one USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, and four USB 3.2 G1 Type-A ports, as well as a handily located Q-Flash firmware update button. In an upgrade to supported memory for B550, the B550I Aorus Pro AX also supports up to DDR4-5300 memory.

The GIGABYTE B550I Aorus Pro AX has an MSRP of $180, but Newegg and Amazon are currently listing it at a higher price. Although the pricing on this model fluctuates week by week, Amazon currently has it for $208 and Newegg for $238. We consider this board to represent good value for money between the $190 and $225 price mark, with stern competition from ASRock's $200 premium B550 ITX board or ASUS's also-$200 B550 mini-ITX offering. Out of all of the AM4 mini-ITX models on the market, some X570 models include Thunderbolt 3 – notably the ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 – but it does cost more with an MSRP of $240. Overall the GIGABYTE B550I Aorus Pro AX is our top mini-ITX pick out of all the AMD AM4 models when taking quality, feature set, and pricing into consideration.

It's also worth noting that users can purchase a refurbished version for the lower price of $165 from Newegg.

Money Is No Object

GIGABYTE X570 Aorus Xtreme ($693 at Amazon/$693 at Newegg)

The flagship AM4 market has been turbulent over the last half a year, to say the least. While there is better value to be had by some of the more mid-range X570 and even B550 models, flagships are all about features, performance, and flashy aesthetics. Now back in stock at Newegg, the GIGABYTE X570 Aorus Xtreme is perhaps the best air-cooled motherboard on the AM4 platform, even with new X570S boards coming into view. It has a large 16-phase power delivery more than capable of pushing any Ryzen 5000 processor. It also includes 10 Gb Ethernet, Wi-Fi 6, and an impressive array of rear panel connectivity making the most of the X570 chipset.

Looking at the design, upon release, the GIGABYTE X570 Aorus Xtreme was unique in that it was the only X570 model that relied on passive chipset cooling. it uses a very clean all-black aesthetic including plenty of PCIe slot armor, with three PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots with heatsinks that fit into the overall design. Other storage options include six SATA ports, with support with RAID 0, 1, and 10 arrays. Towards the lower portion of the board are three full-length PCIe 4.0 slots that can operate at x16/x0/+x4, or x8/x8/+x4, with four memory slots capable of support up to 128 GB of DDR4-4400. Onboard audio is spearheaded by a Realtek ALC1220 audio codec, with an assisting ESS Sabre 9128 DAC, and uses a mixture of Nichicon Gold and WIMA audio capacitors. 

On the rear panel is an impressive selection of input and outputs, which includes one USB 3.1 G2 Type-A, five USB 3.1 G2 Type-A, two USB 3.1 G1 Type-A, and four USB 2.0 ports. Networking capability consists of an Aquantia AQC107 10 GbE controller, an Intel I211-AT Gigabit controller, and an Intel AX200 Wi-Fi 6 interface offering both wireless and BT 5.1 connectivity (Rev 1.2 offers the AX210 Wi-Fi 6E, so check that if you can). We've previously reviewed the GIGABYTE X570 Aorus Xtreme and in our testing, it blitzed through our test suite with good results in our system, compute, and gaming tests. Perhaps the best aspect of performance in our review came when overclocking, as well as in our power delivery thermal testing, which puts the Xtreme as one of the most efficient X570 models when pushed beyond Ryzen's default specifications.

As previously mentioned, stock on AMD's desktop flagship models is hit and miss, and when looking to purchase one, it's a case of grab the one that's available at the time. The GIGABYTE X570 Aorus Xtreme has been a previous pick of ours when the cost isn't factored in, and now that it's back in stock at Newegg and Amazon for $693, it's hard not to recommend the Xtreme over other brands flagship models. Some of the competition includes the ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Extreme which we are testing in the very near future For such an expensive outlay, the X570 Aorus Xtreme displayed phenomenal all-round performance in our testing and as such, it remains our money no object pick for September 2021.

Recent AMD Motherboard Reviews at AnandTech


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Dominate The Game

ASUS AMD B450 B550 X570 series Motherboard
ASUS AMD B450 B550 X570 series Motherboard


Teamed Power DesignWiFi 62.5Gb EthernetOptiMemAI Noise-Canceling MIC

*Specifications vary by model

With the AMD Socket AM4 platform, ASUS 500 and 400 series motherboards are ready for the latest AMD Ryzen™ 5000 Series desktop processors. ASUS X570 and B550 motherboards boast the latest connectivity and features including next-gen PCI Express® 4.0 for graphics cards and storage devices. For builders looking for the best value, the B450 platform is an ideal option.

AMD Zen 3 Ready

AMD Ryzen™ 5000 Series desktop processors power the most demanding games and obliterate multithreaded tasks like 3D or video rendering and software compiling. With up to 16 cores, 32 threads, boost clocks of up to 4.9GHz and up to 72MB of cache, AMD Ryzen™ 5000 Series processors deliver game-changing performance.

AMD Zen 3 Ready

Processor & Chipset Compatible List

 AMD Athlon™ Processors
with Radeon Graphics
Compatible with
AMD Ryzen 1000™
Series Processors
Compatible with
AMD Ryzen 2000™
Series Processors
with Radeon™ Graphics
Compatible with
AMD Ryzen 2000™
Series Processors
Compatible with
AMD Ryzen 3000™
Series Processors
with Radeon™ Graphics
Compatible with
AMD Ryzen 3000™
Series Processors
Compatible with
AMD Ryzen 5000™
Series Processors
Compatible with
B450 &
* Selective Beta BIOS update needed

Choose Your AMD Motherboard

The right motherboard is arguably the most important choice you’ll make when building a new PC. You’re not just choosing a circuit board to plug your components into: the motherboard hardware and software will define the quality of your PC experience throughout the lifespan of your build.

ASUS engineers and designers have developed more than 30 AM4 motherboards across the X570, B550 and B450 platforms to give you a wide range of options to choose from. Each model features intuitive firmware, best-in-class fan control and powerful Windows-based software to ensure that your system performs optimally.

Download comparison table

ASUS X570 series motherboards are perfect for overclockers and enthusiasts who demand the very best from the AMD Socket AM4 platform. Supporting the latest AMD Zen 3 processors, and boasting PCIe® 4.0 connectivity and loads of ports and slots, X570 series motherboards allow users to create feature-rich builds with a clear upgrade path for the future.


The AMD X570 platform is renowned as the preferred choice for enthusiast PC builders. ROG motherboards such as Crosshair VIII Formula, Hero and Impact tap into the extensive I/O capabilities of the X570 chipset to enable even demanding users. The new Crosshair VIII Dark Hero sets the stage for the latest Zen 3 processors, boasting a fully passive cooling design with TI 90-amp power stages.

Learn more about other ASUS X570 motherboards


ASUS B550 series motherboards provide all the essentials for users who are looking for overclocking control and memory performance from the latest AMD Zen 3 processors. B550 motherboards feature a robust power solution that’s nearly on par with higher-end X570 motherboards, along with the latest PCIe 4.0 connectivity. Although it offers fewer slots than the X570, it’s a great option for users seeking the latest PCIe 4.0 M.2 connectivity for storage and graphics.

ROG Strix B550-F Gaming & TUF Gaming B550M-Plus

ROG Strix B550-F Gaming leads the pack with cutting-edge features such as efficient VRM cooling, enhanced audio, Intel Ethernet and WiFi 6 connectivity. TUF Gaming B550M-Plus, on the other hand, combines game-ready features with ultimate reliability. Both motherboards feature AI Noise-Canceling Microphone technology that filters out background noises such as keyboard clacking, mouse clicks, or ambient sounds to ensure teammates can hear you clearly.

Learn more about other ASUS B550 motherboards


ASUS B450 II series motherboards are ideal for users looking for a cost-effective solution. B450 II motherboards offer an optimized VRM design and comprehensive cooling to ensure stable performance across a wide range of AM4 Socket processors, and they also support the popular 3rd generation AMD Ryzen processors and future Zen 3 offerings*.

*Support for AMD Ryzen 400 series processors to commence in January 2021.


ROG Strix B450-F Gaming II and TUF B450-Plus II deliver all the essentials needed for a well-balanced build. Capable of handling the latest 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen processors, these motherboards provide amped-up power delivery, with an optimized thermal design and dual M.2 slots. High-capacity firmware chips provide the broadest possible Ryzen support, and the convenient BIOS FlashBack™ enables easy firmware upgrades.

Learn more about other ASUS B450 motherboards



6036 MHz

DDR4 Memory Frequency
World Record

with Ryzen 5 3600X

6437 MHz

CPU Frequency

with Ryzen 5 3600


wPrime- 1024

with Ryzen 7 3900XT

58439 pts

Geekbench 3
Multi core

with Ryzen 7 3800XT


5692 MHz

CPU Frequency

with Ryzen 7 3900X

ROG STRIX B550-I Gaming

6666 MHz

DDR4 Memory Frequency
World Record

with Ryzen 7 4700GE

6027 MHz

CPU Frequency

with Ryzen 5 3600


BIOS updates enabling support for AMD® Ryzen™ Zen 3 processors are now available for all ASUS 500 and 400 series motherboards. The UEFI BIOS updates are available on the respective motherboard support pages, and can be accessed via the ASUS Support website at

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