Best Motherboards 2023 for Gaming, by Socket and Chipset | Tom's Hardware

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Below you'll find the best motherboards we've tested, for recent AMD and Intel platforms. 17 Touch Screen Monitor

Best Motherboards 2023 for Gaming, by Socket and Chipset | Tom

Everything in your PC either plugs into your motherboard, or connects to something else that plugs into your motherboard. The motherboard's form factor (ATX, E-ATX, Micro ATX, or Mini-ITX) also dictates the size of the PC case you'll need to use. And the socket and chipset determine which processors will install in your CPU socket.

If you’re unsure which motherboard chipset you’re after when choosing the best motherboard for gaming, or you have other questions that aren't addressed here, you can visit our motherboard basics page and our motherboard buying guide to narrow your down your options.

The picks below start with recent Intel motherboards (with AMD motherboards further down), including the best gaming motherboards designed for Intel's 13th Gen "Alder Lake" and 12th Gen "Raptor Lake" CPUs, as well as older 11th Gen "Rocket Lake" processors. You'll find recommendations below for the best motherboards for Z790, Z690, B660 and H610.

The best gaming motherboards for AMD CPUs (including Ryzen 7000 and 5000) follow our Intel picks below. If you're after an older AM4 board, you can check out our dedicated pages for the best X570 motherboards and best B550 motherboards for more specific tested recommendations and picks. With options like the 5800X3D and Micro Center exclusive 5600X3D, AM4 can still deliver a lot of bang for your PC-building bucks. Just note that we won't be updating those pages now that AM4 is a legacy platform.

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When choosing a motherboard, consider the following:

All the flagship-class Z790 motherboards offer the best of the best in terms of features and specifications, but the Gigabyte Z790 Aorus Extreme presents the best value among them. You’ll lose a couple M.2 sockets over more-expensive boards, but this bird otherwise has everything else you could ask for and more, while costing between $200 and $400 less than the competition. The Z790 Aorus Extreme delivers 10 Gb Ethernet, 40 Gbps Thunderbolt 4 ports, flagship-class audio, PCIe 5.0  GPU and M.2 support, overkill power delivery, and that high-end appearance you expect from a high-end board. MSI's Z790 Godlike offers up a few more features (like seven M.2 sockets), but costs $400 more, and it's also physically bigger, making it hard to recommend to most people unless money is no object. The Z790 Aorus Extreme also performed well in our gaming, productivity, and overlocking tests, as you would expect from a flagship board. Just remember that this is an E-ATX model, so you'll need a case with a bit more room than standard ATX options. But you could certainly buy a bigger case with the money you'll save by opting for this board over other Z790 flagship options. 

Read: Z790 Aorus Xtreme review 

In a market where the cost of motherboards has steeply increased over the last few years, it’s nice to see at least one partner offer something a bit less expensive than the flagship, but that’s still speced to the gills. Priced at $379.99, the ASRock Z790 Taichi Lite gets you everything the more expensive Taichi offers, including the incredibly robust power delivery, dual Thunderbolt 4 ports, loads of storage options including a PCIe 5.0 M.2 socket and eight SATA ports, premium audio, and more. What's missing is the high-end appearance. The typical Taichi 3D cogs and fine finishes on the heatsinks and shrouds give way to simpler heatsinks, a more exposed PCB, and stenciled designs. But this board is still recognizable as a Taichi.

As far as the competition in the sub-$400 space, there’s plenty out there. But put simply, none of the other boards available around that price come close hardware-wise. The biggest drawback of this board is the appearance, and even then, it’s not bad. It just doesn’t have the premium vibe of the original Taichi. If you want some of the best hardware the Z790 platform offers at a more reasonable price and your build doesn’t require flagship-class looks, the Taichi Lite has taken the weight off in all the right places.

Read: ASRock Z790 Taichi Lite review 

The Z790 Steel Legend is a great option for budget-minded users who want all of the flexibility of Intel's overclockable platform but don’t want to spend a ton of money to get there. Along with its neutral black-on-silver appearance and bright RGB lighting, you get all the platform offers, including a PCIe 5.0 slot and M.2 socket (five total on the latter), eight SATA ports, front-panel 20 Gbps USB Type-C, integrated Wi-Fi 6E, a basic audio codec, the eDP port for an additional monitor, and power delivery capable of handling our flagship-class processor at stock or while overclocked. 

Around its $230 price point, ASRock's Steel Legend is one of the most feature-packed Intel Z790 options on the market. The only real tradeoff here is the basic audio codec, which will still be fine for a lot of users. If not, you can always opt for one of the best PC speakers that feature a built-in DAC. Read: ASRock Z790 Steel Legend review 

The Gigabyte Z690I Aorus Ultra Plus has proved itself in our testing to be a well-performing, good-looking, and a cost-effective option in the Z690 ITX space. Priced well at $329.99, it’s cheaper than most of the competition, and it includes two M.2 sockets, a modern premium audio codec, and high-quality 105A MOSFETs to feed any CPU. Plus it’s an RGB-inclusive design. 

If we look at the competition, we have ASRock’s Z690 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB4 ($299.99), the MSI MEG Z690I Unify ($399.99) and Asus’ ROG Strix Z690-I Gaming WiFi 6E ($409.99). These are more than capable ITX boards, with the difference coming down to price and your needs. All of these boards include Wi-Fi 6E and 2.5 GbE, at least two SATA ports and two M.2 sockets. The other boards have additional SATA ports, while the MSI is the only one with three M.2 sockets. The ASRock falls short if you compare audio codecs, but few users would notice a difference.

We like what the Gigabyte Z690I Aorus Ultra Plus has to offer. The new board fixed problems with the previous version’s PCIe slot and brought us a generally well-rounded and definitely a well-priced SKU. It’s also the only Z690-based ITX board with integrated RGB LEDs to make the it visually stand out in your case. Those who are looking to use more than two SATA drives will need to look elsewhere, but otherwise, the Ultra Plus is the best Z690 Mini-ITX option available for the price.

Best Motherboards 2023 for Gaming, by Socket and Chipset | Tom

Mini-ITX SBC Read: Gigabyte Z690I Aorus Ultra Plus review