Best Motherboards For Gaming in 2023
The best motherboards for gaming in 2023 are those models which are competitively priced and support the latest sockets. There are more choices than ever from budget options to higher-end entries for both current-generation Intel and AMD processors.
Thanks to the best CPUs for gaming getting a shake-up with the arrival of the X3D series, it looks like the tried-and-true AM4 socket is on its way out, so we’ve compiled our top picks to suit all budgets and preferences. And if your AIO needs an upgrade, check out our best CPU cooler guide next.
What’s more, it’s now entirely possible to get yourself an LGA 1700 socket motherboard without breaking the bank. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll need a Z690 model to make the most of Alder Lake’s prowess. Encouragingly, Raptor Lake will be supported on all existing models as well, so you can bag a bargain ahead of Intel’s 13th generation, too.
Products at a Glance
How we choose the best motherboards for gaming
We’ve chosen the best motherboards for gaming by evaluating the needs of most PC gamers. While some of us can afford to splash out on the latest and greatest as a new chipset generation launches, that simply isn’t the case for everyone.
That’s why we’ve looked at the features of these boards, with considerations made towards the type of RAM in use, how many M.2 ports for storage it runs, and what connections you’ll need on the rear I/O. We’ve done our best to balance between the budget, mid-range, and enthusiast options to give you everything you need.
Best Motherboards For Gaming in 2023
- Competitively priced
- DDR5 RAM support
- Excellent rear I/O
- About to be replaced by Z790
Considering its recent extensive price cut, the Gigabyte Aorus Z690 Pro is our top choice for the best motherboard for gaming. What once sold with a hefty $330 rate is now available at most retailers for around the $239.99 mark, making this fully featured model a top choice for any Alder Lake user.
You’re getting full access to the extra bandwidth potential of PCIe 5.0 with the Gigabyte Aorus Z690 Pro featuring top-end DDR5 RAM support, too. Those gamers wanting tonnes of NVMe storage are fully covered here as well, with a total of four 4×4 M.2 ports. What’s more, the Gigabyte Aorus line of motherboards, in our experience, tends to be some of the better built for build quality and longevity.
This is compounded in this particular model by the large, thick heatsinks and enlarged thermal guards, too. You’ve also got a fully up-to-date rear I/O here which leaves any outdated ports firmly in the past. This includes 4x USB 3.2 (blue); 4x USB 3.2 (red), and USB-C as well. All the connectivity options you’ll need for a very long time.
- 3x Gen 4.0 M.2 ports
- 2.5Gb Ethernet
- Aggressive sticker price
- No DDR5 support
12th Gen Intel Core processors don’t need the bleeding edge of boards to keep up with them, as the ASUS Prime H670-PLUS D4 can attest. Coming in at just $154.99, this LGA 1700 socket motherboard includes every you need for mid-range gaming as long as you don’t view DDR5 RAM support as essential.
There are 3x Gen 4.0 M.2 ports meaning you can maximize the amount of high-speed storage in your machine as well as a clean and current-generation rear I/O. No outdated ports here. This includes USB-C and the addition of 2.5Gb LAN, too, to maximize your wired connections to their fullest. Taken as a value package, this is hard to argue against here.
- Feature-rich system
- Wide range of connectivity
- Seven SATA ports
- Not great overclocking
- No PCIe 5.0 M.2
MSI is known for its well-balanced motherboards, and the MAG Z790 is no different. It’s marked as one of the best motherboards for gaming not merely for its incredible suite of features, but also for a remarkably cheap price point. At $270, you’re getting a host of expansion slots, four M.2 storage slots, seven SATA ports, and DDR5-compatible memory. That’s a hard bargain to pass up.
The MAX Z790 also features a well-rounded VRM and is tailor-made for the Core i9 platform. You will, however, be forgoing PCIe 5.0 for M.2 SSDs, which might be a bummer for some but isn’t really that much of an issue. It also leverages USB4, WiFi 6E, and 2.5G LAN, all quite suitable for its pricing.
This is a gaming beast and it will serve you well in all of your necessary gaming.
- Durably built
- Excellent connectivity options
- Dual Gen 4.0 M.2 NVMe ports
- About to be replaced by Socket AM5
The Asus TUF Gaming X570-Plus (Wi-Fi) is our top choice for the best AM4 motherboard on the market. This is due to the competitive price point, generally hovering around (or below) the $200 mark, and advanced cooling functionality rarely seen at this side of the pricing spectrum.
Most notably, this includes comprehensive cooling solutions in everything from the active PCH heatsink, VRM heatsink, the hybrid fan headers, and the dedicated M.2 port heat shields. Asus claims that its boards are now 1.8x stronger than previous models, with up to 2.5x higher surge tolerance, too.
As for the rear I/O, things are kept purely practical with the Asus TUF Gaming X570-Plus (Wi-Fi) connectivity options. This means 6x USB 3.2 ports, as well as USB-C and video output in the form of HDMI 1.4B and DisplayPort as well. This is completed by the dual Gen 4.0 M.2 ports for two of the fastest NVMe drives on the market right now.
- Cheap price point
- Gen 4.0 M.2 port
- RGB lighting
- Outdated rear I/O
With Socket AM4 in the twilight of its run, the Asus Prime B550M-A WiFi becomes an even more aggressive cost-effective option for AMD users. Priced at just $139.99, though frequently selling cheaper than this, there isn’t much more you can ask for out of a no-frills board supporting both Ryzen 5000 and 3000 Series CPUs in 2022.
While the features and overall build quality are admittedly basic, you’ve still got all you need to keep up for less. Such additions include a Gen 4.0 NVMe M.2 port, and nice-to-have options such as Asus Aura Sync RGB headers as well.
The only major drawback to the Asus Prime B550M-A WiFi is the ugly and fairly outdated rear I/O, complete with PS/2 ports as well as D-Sub and DVI-D. Still, video output connectivity aside, there is a total of 6x USB 3.2 ports (2x Gen 2; 4x Gen 1), so this model still has it where it counts.
Socket type matters
The best motherboards are defined by their socket types, with many brands creating the same boards to work with different sockets. No matter what, you will not be able to use a Ryzen or Intel Core CPU in a socket that it was not designed for.
The same is said of cross compatibility, as socket types change with every major processing manufacturing jump. Intel is most guilty of this, changing out its socket types every two CPU generations historically. AMD, on the other hand, tends to use the same socket type for a longer period of time as we’ve seen with AM4 motherboards in their various forms.
Connectivity options are important
We know that it can be tempting to go for those ultra-cheap motherboards with vastly inferior rear I/O ports, but we’re here to tell you to reconsider. Building a new PC is an investment, whether you get the parts brand new or second-hand. You don’t want to spend all the time and money building a new machine only to be stuck with slow USB ports, lacking internet speeds, and poor performance for your peripherals.
With many modern devices now taking full advantage of USB-C, including the latest peripherals, storage drives, and controllers, you don’t want to be caught short for what could potentially be the next few years. The same can be said with the choice of Ethernet you go for.
If possible, try and prioritize boards with 2.4Gb connections as opposed to standard Gigabit. Games are getting larger all the time, and you’ll want the most out of your router and internet service to keep up.
Lastly, we think that Gen 4.0 NVMe SSDs are a necessity for many modern games, especially with the advent of the DirectStorage API. If you want the newest titles to perform at their best then you can’t have them loading in on an old 7200 RPM HDD or slower SATA. Fortunately, all of these best motherboards feature support for at least one Gen 4.0 M.2 port in your board.
What size motherboard is right for me?
There are four types of motherboard sizes, with ATX being the most common and widely used among PC gamers for builds inside Mid and Full towers. For those wanting the most amount of space possible in their build, there are E-ATX boards that are considerably larger.
Going the other way, though, into small form factor machines requires a more measured approach. Your choices are either Micro-ATX or Mini-ATX. Always check which size motherboards are supported by your case of choice before investing/building.
What are the 'best motherboards for gaming' brands?
Some of the best motherboard brands on the market right now include Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, and NZXT. While there’s no definitive motherboard manufacturer that’s out and out better than the rest, these are the four brands we consider the overall gold standard.
Which socket type are the best motherboards for gaming?
If you want the fastest performance possible for gaming then a Z690 motherboard with DDR5 should be top of your priority list. At the time of writing, the 12th Gen Intel Core processors are the only ones to support PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 RAM as standard.
However, that’s very soon to change. AMD’s Ryzen 7000 CPUs, and accompanying AM5 socket motherboards will prove stiff competition in this field. There will also be day-one releases of the first wave of PCIe 5.0 SSDs, too.
Given its price point and the functionality on display here, the Gigabyte Aorus Z690 Pro reigns supreme as our number one choice for the best motherboard in 2022.