Everyone is excited for the upcoming releases of AMD's Zen 3 architecture, which is slated to arrive around September of 2020. At the moment, AMD’s ryzen lineups have performances that are either surpassed or equaled to that of their intel counterpart.
I’m sure that you are also among the crowd who want to experience the performance and efficiency offered by AMD's latest processors. However, you don’t know how to choose the best motherboard? Worry not! we’ve picked the best AM4 Motherboards for you to choose from.
Granted that CPUs and GPUS are often get more attention, but motherboards are the foundation of your computer. After all, everything is connected to it. It determines which components you will be able to choose, hence it also indirectly determines your entire pc’s specifications.
But you don’t know where to start? Here are some fundamental characteristics that you need to look out for when choosing a motherboard:
The first choice you have to make is deciding whether you want to go with an intel or AMD platform. The reason is that a motherboard is only compatible with the associated chip line it is designed for. In AMD’s case everything is simple since all of this company’s CPUs use the same AM4 socket.
A chipset is like a motherboard’s communication and traffic control center. The chipset determines component compatibility, expansion capability and overclocking support. The chipset is the key factor that decides which components you can install on your motherboard. Below is the list of chipsets that is supported by the AM4 motherboard:
AMD Ryzen, 7th-Generation A-Series, and Athlon
A300, A320, B350, X370, B450, X470, A520, B550, X570
3. Form factor
Motherboard comes in various physical sizes. Because it is directly proportional to the size of the pc that contains it. Maybe you want a small pc that sits in the living room or an impressive machine with all the latest components. In either case, you should find a motherboard befitting your computer case. A larger motherboard would certainly have more ports and features.
Here are the three most popular form factors utilized for motherboards:
4. External ports
It’s recommended to check the motherboard to see if it has the external connections you need. Below is the list of common ports and their characteristics:
USB 3 / USB 3.1: These work with most peripherals, it’s nice to have as many of them as possible.
USB 2: Slower transfer rate than USB 3 / USB 3.1, but works fine with mouse and keyboard.
USB Type-C: They are compatible with USB 3.1 and newer devices.
HDMI/ DisplayPort: Useful if you want to use integrated graphics while dedicated graphic cards have their own ports.
Audio ports: These can produce quite good sound, adequate for gaming. Plus, you can connect headphones or speakers.
ASUS AM4 TUF GAMING X570-PLUS is an ideal example, this motherboard has 12 USB ports ranging from 2.0 to 3.1 and even Type-C. With this one, you don’t have to worry about running out of USB ports anymore.
The place where you install RAM modules on a motherboard is called DIMM slots. Most motherboards have 2 to 4 of these slots. If you are aiming for 32GB or less, then you should choose a motherboard with 2 slots (you can put two 16GB modules). Typically, 16GB is enough for serious gaming at the moment.
Remember to check your motherboard’s specs to know the speed, max amount of memory supported, multi-channel features and the amount of available memory slots. For this, we recommend something like ASRock B550 Steel Legend, both of which have 4 DIMM slots.
6. PCI Slots
Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) is a physical slot that allows you to insert expansion cards to your motherboard. These can include Graphic card, WIFI card, RAID card, etc.
There are two main types of PCI: PCI and PCIe (PCI Express). The later works faster and has more features than the former.
Typically, most modern computers will have at least 2 PCI slots. If you intend to use a dual GPU setup, you need to make sure that there are enough full-length PCI slots so that you can install these GPU. In fact, you need to make sure that there are enough PCI slots for all of your components.
X570 motherboards such as Gigabyte X570 AORUS Elite have PCIe 4.0 support which doubles the bandwidth over PCIe 3.0. If money is no object, you should aim for these.
1. What is a motherboard and what does it do?
A motherboard is a printed circuit board (PCB) that is used to mount all of the components physically. Furthermore, it also features circuits to enable these components to talk with each other.
Simply put, the motherboard is a central hub that connects the rest of the components in your pc together. It allocates power and dictates how these components work together. If the processor is the brain of the pc, then the motherboard is considered to be the heart of the machine. It’s the backbone of any pc and should be considered first when buying or building a pc.
2. How important is a motherboard for pc gaming?
Do motherboards have a direct impact on the performance? No. However, it plays a crucial role in determining the components you can purchase, hence determining the overall functionality and reliability of your gaming pc.
Specifically, factors such as CPU and RAM support or expansion availability – those which can directly impact the gaming experience - are all dependent on the motherboard.
3. How to check which components does my motherboard support?
The simplest method of figuring out which components you can install on your motherboard is just find out what motherboard you have. You can either open your pc case and look at it or check your Pc’s “System information”. Then you can go to your motherboard’s manufacturer page and read the specifications. Everything details about your motherboard will be listed, including RAM support, I/O and external ports, etc.
4. Do Motherboards Have Onboard Graphics?
In the past, there were some motherboards with onboard integrated graphics. But today that is no longer the case as onboard graphics have been integrated into CPUs. The Ryzen lineups are well-known for this. Remember that the motherboard chipset must support the APU series of your choice. You also have to check if your motherboard has HDMI or DisplayPort in this case.
5. Do All Motherboards Support Overclocking?
No. The chipset of the motherboard determines whether there is overclocking support or not. All AMD’s modern chipsets (such as B350, X370, B450, X470, B550, X570) support overclocking.
So, which is the best AM4 motherboard? MSI MAG X570 TOMAHAWK WIFI certainly is the answer! This high-end motherboard gives you many features as well as plenty of room for overclocking.
In terms of pure gaming performance, ASUS ROG Strix B450-F seems to be the perfect fit for an affordable Ryzen pc.
Another option when you are on a really tight budget is aiming for those B450 motherboards such as Gigabyte B450M DS3H. It has a competitive price yet still packs a lot of features. This is the ideal AM4 motherboard with the lowest possible price for a responsible budget built.
There are various types of AM4 Motherboards that could meet all different kinds of budget and needs. I hope this guide has helped you in deciding which motherboard to use for your pc. If you need any help or any questions about Best AM4 Motherboards, don’t hesitate to contact us as we are more than willing to assist you in the journey of building your dream pc!