Our 5 Best AM4 Motherboards in 2021

Our-5-Best-AM4-Motherboards

If you’re like me and many other PC enthusiasts, then you’re excited by how the CPU market has evolved in the past 3-4 years. Long gone are the days when Intel was considered the top dog and AMD-based systems were limited to those who were “on a budget”. With 3rd gen Ryzen processors showing incredible performance in early benchmarks, even better than the competition’s in most cases, more and more of our brothers and sisters are considering building powerful machines powered by the Zen architecture. With backward compatibility, support for future generation processors, and a plethora of features at multiple price points, AM4 socketed motherboards are in high demand. While this is a good thing, the average consumer who doesn’t spend hours each week surveying the market for the best deal might feel overwhelmed by the amount of choice that’s available in 2019.

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Our 5 Best AM4 Motherboards in 2021

Best Pick
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Support for 2nd and 3rd Gen Ryzen Processors

4 DIMMs

Memory OC up to 4800+ MHz with Ryzen 3rd Gen Processors (not available on 2nd Gen Chips)

3 x M.2 Slots

Up to 128 GB Memory

RAID 0/1/10

E-ATX Form Factor

PROS

E-ATX so it’s great for more flexible builds

Full compatibility with 3rd Gen Ryzen

CONS

More expensive

MSI is renowned in the PC part market for their quality products and great designs. From dependable low-end components to overkill high-end, enthusiast-grade RAM, motherboards, and GPUs, MSI offers great quality across the board. Our focus for this particular rundown will be on the MSI MEG X570 GODLIKE, a motherboard for high-end gaming and software, overclocking, and above all else, bragging rights.  Before we dive into the features and capabilities of this monster, let’s start by saying that you’re not going to get full value out of this motherboard unless you equip it with a top-of-the-line CPU and GPU combo. Maybe even a multi-GPU setup, since it supports it. This board is ideal for you if you have a high budget, want to overclock, and want to do a water-cooled build.

Just by looking at the X570 Godlike, we can tell that it’s a board for enthusiasts. The intricate and ample VRM points towards stable overclocking, even at higher voltages, allowing you to bring out the maximum performance out of your top tier components. The overall aesthetic is sleek, MSI including an infinity display on the VRM heatsink to showcase the RGB capabilities of their Mystic Light Infinity 2.0 technology. Note that in order to take full advantage of the Mystic Light software, your components need to be compatible.

Premium Pick
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Full Support for 2nd and 3rd Gen Ryzen Processors

4 x RAM DIMMs

Up to 128 GB Memory

Memory OC up to 4800+ MHz with Ryzen 3rd Gen Processors

RAID 0/1/10

1 x M.2_1 Socket 3 slots

4 x PCIe 4.0

4 x USB 3.2 Gen 2

1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 front-panel connector

4 x USB 2.0

802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax wifi with support for 2.4/5GHz networks

ATX Form Factor

PROS

Stable overclocking

Great I/O

Full compatibility with 3rd Gen Ryzen

CONS

More expensive

ASUS has a great lineup of enthusiast-grade hardware, the ROG series being well-renowned for its build quality and high-end feature set. The Crosshair Hero VIII Wifi is no exception to these rules. With the implementation of a robust VRM with good cooling, Wifi and any I/O for every peripheral you might want to use. The X570 chipset provides users with high-frequency RAM options, factory-unlocked CPU and GPU slots, and a plethora of features that will make any system running this board a powerhouse. At first glance, you have support for 12 USB ports, removing the need for additional dongles.

The ROG Crosshair Hero VIII Wifi is a great choice for gaming or productivity-oriented builds. Actually, any AM4 board is great for that, since the Ryzen chips have high core counts and excel at multi-threaded tasks. While single-core performance is better for gaming, you should be able to run any CPU-intensive game with even low-mid-ranged chips as long as you’re rocking enough RAM and a beefy GPU. The powerful VRM gives you great overclocking stability, and the smart BIOS enables you to take advantage of the VRM with a simplified overclocking interface. Here you can also enable your RAMs XMP profiles for maximum performance.

Budget Pick
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Full Support for 2nd and 3rd Gen Ryzen Processors

4 x RAM DIMMs

Up to 128 GB Memory

Memory OC up to 4800+ MHz with Ryzen 3rd Gen Processors

RAID 0/1/10

1 x M.2_1 Socket 3 slots

4 x PCIe 4.0

4 x USB 3.2 Gen 2

1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 front-panel connector

4 x USB 2.0

802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax wifi with support for 2.4/5GHz networks

ATX Form Factor

PROS

Great value

Full-feature board for enthusiasts, with great VRM

Full compatibility with 3rd Gen Ryzen

CONS

Not the best aesthetic

Following in the footsteps of its second cousin, the ROG Crosshair Hero VIII, the ASUS TUF X570 Gaming board is an enthusiast-grade board which also comes with a friendlier price tag. Looking into its features, it’s really incredible how much ASUS was able to pack into a mid-range board. AM4 motherboard prices have spiked over the past two years. It’s pretty hard to find a motherboard with a justifiable price, especially since 1st gen boards were highly affordable and delivered arguably similar performance. So what choice of motherboard is ideal for the passionate enthusiast who’s trying to operate under a restrictive budget? Well, the answer is simple – the TUF Gaming X570 Plus Wifi.

Probably the price to performance champion of this roundup, the ASUS TUF Gaming X570 board comes with a heavy feature set for a board that’s virtually on the cheap side of things. With 2 M.2 Socket 3, you have hyper-fast storage options, paired with an overall great I/O and a very well-thought VRM design, the TUF Gaming board is untouchable by other boards in the same price range. Add support for 3rd Gen Ryzen processors, and you’re left with high-speed RAM, a multi-core monster chip, and stable overclocks that will shatter Cinebench leaderboards.

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Full Support for 2nd and 3rd Gen Ryzen Processors

4 x RAM DIMMs

Up to 128 GB Memory

Memory OC up to 4800+ MHz with Ryzen 3rd Gen Processors

RAID 0/1/10

1 x M.2_1 Socket 3 slots

4 x PCIe 4.0

4 x USB 3.2 Gen 2

1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 front-panel connector

4 x USB 2.0

802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax wifi with support for 2.4/5GHz networks

ATX Form Factor

PROS

Great features

Looks amazing

CONS

Better options for overclocking

With companies like ASUS and MSI taking the spotlight in terms of gaming branded hardware and peripherals, it’s only natural that Gigabyte’s gaming product lineup would take a backseat at the tech show. But that’s not because it lacks in quality, it’s just marketing. The Gigabyte X570 AORUS Gaming 7 board can trade blows with the big boys in terms of features and build quality. With a “redesigned” heatsink system, the VRM is adequately cooled for enthusiasts who want an edge in terms of performance. If you’re into bling, then you’ll be glad to know that the X570 AORUS Gaming 7 comes with individually-programmable RGB spots, as well as a small RGB strip, allowing you to customize your build’s aesthetic to fit your environment and desired look, as much as possible.  The built-in socket shields for your PCIe slots allow you to prevent card sag in the future, giving you the option to install heavy GPUs without worrying about them putting too much strain on your mobo. You also have heatsinks for each PCIe NVMe slot, so your SSDs will stay cool and fast, giving them more long-term durability and performance.

Overall, the Gigabyte AORUS X570 Gaming 7 is a great board for productivity and pleasure alike. The beautiful design allows it to fit into more extravagant looking builds, while the feature set makes it ideal for any level of build one might have in mind.

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Full Support for 2nd and 3rd Gen Ryzen Processors

4 x RAM DIMMs

Up to 128 GB Memory

Memory OC up to 4800+ MHz with Ryzen 3rd Gen Processors

RAID 0/1/10

1 x M.2_1 Socket 3 slots

4 x PCIe 4.0

4 x USB 3.2 Gen 2

1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 front-panel connector

4 x USB 2.0

802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax wifi with support for 2.4/5GHz networks

ATX Form Factor

PROS

Very affordable

Good features for the price

Full compatibility with 3rd Gen Ryzen

CONS

Limited I/O

Weak overclocking capabilities

The MSI B450 Tomahawk Max is a great motherboard choice if you’re looking to save a few bucks and still build a decent rig. Its feature set is solid and reliable, and what it lacks for in terms of pizzaz, it more than makes up for in terms of value. So, without further adieu, let’s take a better look at the strengths and weaknesses of this value-oriented component.

The B450 Tomahawk Max is a revamped version of the B450 that’s meant to run 3rd Gen Ryzen Chips. The board comes with some merits, with an M.2 slot and USB 3.2 support, you’re unconstrained in terms of transfer rates. That being said, while it does have some enthusiast-level features, the board doesn’t come with stellar power-delivery options, leaving you with modest overclock capabilities, if that’s something you’re interested in. The limited I/O also leaves you with the need to invest in pesky adapters if you want to add more devices to your PC.

Things To Consider

Our Verdict

Best Pick
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Support for 2nd and 3rd Gen Ryzen Processors

4 DIMMs

Memory OC up to 4800+ MHz with Ryzen 3rd Gen Processors (not available on 2nd Gen Chips)

3 x M.2 Slots

Up to 128 GB Memory

RAID 0/1/10

E-ATX Form Factor

It’s hard to judge which of these boards is the best. Each of them has strengths and weaknesses, but if I had to pick one for me, it would be the TUF Gaming board. Sure, it’s not the prettiest of the bunch, but the enthusiast-level features that it brings at a relatively affordable price really make it stand out. You’ll be getting top-notch stability in terms of overclocking, full compatibility with 3xxx Ryzen chips, and you’ll have some money left to spend on your other components.