You won’t be getting much gaming done without a solid motherboard. As the most central component of any PC build it’s important to invest in a quality motherboard from a reputable brand what will have long-term support, since replacing your motherboard required gutting all other components from your PC. If you’re in the AMD camp when it comes to components then you’ll likely be sifting through a lot of B450, B550, and X570 chipset motherboards, but exactly which one you go with will often boil down to brand preference, cooling options, BIOS features, and form factor.
ASUS ROG Strix B450-F Gaming II
The ROG line from ASUS is near the top of the mountain when it comes to gaming focused component lines from respectable manufacturers. The B450-F Gaming II uses the 2018 AMD chipset and has compatibility with third generation AMD Ryzen CPUs. It also includes a built-in I/O shield (with Aura Sync compatible RGB), high end semiconductors, and ASUS’s best-in-class UEFI BIOS and firmware that make keeping the board up to date and tweaking settings a breeze. As far as cooling performance it includes VRM heatsinks, chipset heatsinks, an M.2 heatsink, and an AIO pump header for connecting a liquid cooling setup. If you’re after a solid, affordable board then it’s a great place to start your next gaming build.
Related: 2021’s 6 Best Z590 Motherboards
ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming Wi-Fi
The B550-F Gaming Wi-Fi from ASUS looks an awful lot like their older ROG Strix boards, and with good reason: it’s largely the same design updated for the B550 chipset. It keeps the same black-on-black design of their previous models, continues the trend of having a built-in RGB I/O shield, and comes complete with fanless VRMs and a heavy duty chipset heatsink. This particular model also includes Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 4.1, and a 2.5Gb Ethernet port with built-in ESD and surge protector circuits. It uses high end memory traces that reduce crosstalk, has built-in DTS sound software, and offers full shielding for the built-in sound card with high end Japanese capacitors. If you’re after a B550 chipset board with built-in wireless and top notch audio equipment then it’s a great option.
ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero
This X570 chipset board from ASUS comes with AM4 support, the usual slew of features such as built-in I/O shielding and high quality heatsinks, and offers built-in Wi-Fi 6 AX200 and Bluetooth 5.1. On the port side it offers both a CMOS clear button as well as a full BIOS flash button for rolling back changes in the event that a BIOS update goes badly (or just introduces problems), which is great piece of mind for newer builders who might be nervous to upgrade their BIOS. And like so many other ROG motherboards, it includes high end VRM design as well as the same proprietary memory tracing design that ASUS employs in their other higher end boards.
ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming ITX
For the ITX fans out there we have the B550 Phantom Gaming ITX from ASRock. ASRock might be a newer name in the PC component game, but they’ve garnered quite a following with their high quality components that almost always clock in at budget prices. This ITX board is small in stature but comes full-featured with all the B550 chipset perks you’d expect along with Polychrome Sync RGB along the underside, a built-in I/O shield, 2.5Gb Ethernet, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, and dual USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A/Type-C duplex ports. It also comes equipped with POST indicator light for troubleshooting boot problems, and a steel reinforced PCIe slot to prevent damage from extra heavy graphics cards.
Related: 2021’s 4 Best Z490 Motherboards
GIGABYTE X570 AORUS Elite Wi-Fi
GIGABYTE has a nice habit of manufacturing very clean looking motherboards, especially as compared to ASUS and their rather flashy ROG line of products. This motherboard has a spartan aesthetic, a built-in I/O shield, on-board RGB, and the usual lineup of high end heatsinks to keep things running cool. Notably, the chipset heatsink also includes a built-in fan with adjustable profiles, which is a nice feature to have for those looking to overclock this board at all. With built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, and a BIOS update utility that runs within Windows it’s a convenient option that offers full Ryzen 5000 series support.
Motherboard shopping should start with choosing a chipset and CPU. Once those are decided it’s easy enough to move on to the actual motherboard itself and determining exactly which features you need the most. User friendly BIOS options are great for newer builders, while advanced VRM and power design are good choices for those looking to overclock.
For more hardware guides check out The 5 Best Budget Gaming Motherboards | Gaming Motherboards on a Budget and Best Pink Gaming Setup and Accessories on Pro Game Guides.