Best motherboard 2023: the best mobos for Intel and AMD
The best motherboards are the most important part of any gaming PC
If there’s one thing all the best gaming PCs have in common, it’s the need for one of the best motherboards to actually power on. Motherboards are essentially the nervous system of your computer, connecting everything in a way that efficiently sends commands to every component of your system. No matter how great the best GPUs and best processors are, they’re nothing without one of the best motherboards enabling them.
But as important as mobos are, there are a lot of them out there. Every single generation of motherboards has several different chipsets available, from low-price boards meant to give you the bare minimum features for a budget build, to the flagship motherboards packed with all the technology you could dream of. But all of these things are obfuscated by a deluge of product numbers that can be difficult for most people to actually understand.
Luckily, I’m here to help. I’ve gathered up some of the best motherboards available for the current generation of CPU hardware, so that you don’t have to stare down an incomprehensible list of numbers and letters.
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How to buy the best motherboard
✅ Check the CPU brand you want. Each has its own compatible motherboards
🤔 Decide whether you’re prioritizing features or affordability
🔥 Are you going to overclock?
🧠 Do you need M.2 slots?
📶 Do you need Wi-Fi connectivity built-in?
1. X670E Aorus Master
The best AMD motherboard
X670E Aorus Master motherboard specs:
Form factor: E-ATX | CPU compatibility: AMD Ryzen 7000 processors | M.2 Slots: 4 | Chipset: X670 | Memory support: 128GB DDR5 6666MT/s
✅ Feature rich
✅ On-board Wi-Fi
The X670E Aorus Master is my motherboard of choice whenever I test an AMD processor. In fact, I’ve used Aorus Master motherboards for every generation of AMD processors going back to Ryzen 2nd Gen. This motherboard is extremely reliable, never failing to amaze me with how easy it is to work with, even when things inevitably go wrong during hardcore testing.
One of the best things about this motherboard is its LED display that reports any hardware errors, rather than having you fumble with a debug speaker. This is becoming more common as time goes on, but it’s not a guarantee.
When you need to reset the CMOS, instead of haphazardly trying to remove a little battery to do so, there are a couple of pins you can touch with a flathead screwdriver.
I’ve run into a couple of problems with the Aorus Master motherboard, especially when swapping between graphics cards. That has a lot to do with the on-board graphics now found in all AMD Ryzen CPUs. Without a GPU driver installed, the BIOS isn’t great at prioritizing your discrete graphics card over the integrated graphics.
Still, there’s an easy workaround. All you have to do is boot into Windows with the on-board graphics, install the driver, then reboot. That’s enough to automatically switch to the dedicated GPU every time.
2. Asus Prime Z790-A Wifi
The best Intel motherboard
Asus Prime Z790-A Wifi motherboard specs:
Form factor: ATX | CPU compatibility: Intel Core 12th-gen and 13th-gen | M.2 Slots: 4 | Chipset: Z790 | Memory support: 128GB DDR5 7000MT/s
✅ Affordable for a Z790 board
✅ Impeccable aesthetic
❌ No backplate
Just like the X670E Aorus Master, the Asus Prime Z790-A Wifi is the motherboard I use for testing Intel CPUs, and it’s what’s in my personal computer right now. Just like any other high-end motherboard, the Asus Prime Z790-A is packed with features, with RGB lighting and more M.2 slots than you can shake a stick at. Plus, it has an extremely cool space-age aesthetic that is to die for. If you have one of the best PC cases that’s white and you’re trying to find a motherboard that won’t look weird in it, I wholeheartedly recommend this one.
This is a motherboard for experienced builders, though. There’s no LED debug code, which means you’re going to have to use a little speaker to figure out what’s going wrong. However, in all the time I’ve spent with this motherboard I’ve never had a problem booting into Windows – with the exception of trying to overclock some memory, though I eventually figured that out.
And while this motherboard is a stunner to look at, there’s no backplate, which means you’re going to need to be careful when handling it. All the little capacitors are there, which are not only sharp, but also susceptible to damage from static electricity. While that’s not really a downside per se, it is something to be aware of. As always, when building a PC with this motherboard, you should touch some metal to ground yourself before making physical contact with exposed circuitry.
3. MSI B650 Carbon Wifi
A great mid-range AMD motherboard
MSI B650 Carbon Wifi motherboard specs:
Form factor: ATX | CPU compatibility: AMD Ryzen 7000 | M.2 Slots: 4 | Chipset: B650 | Memory support: 128GB DDR5 6666MT/s
✅ Great cooling for a B-series board
✅ On-board Wi-Fi
❌ No backplate
The AMD B650 isn’t the most affordable chipset to support the new AMD Ryzen 7000 processors, but it’s definitely less expensive than the X670. And although you get fewer high-end features, you can still build a solid gaming PC. Mostly what you’re losing out on is extra PCIe lanes, with the X670 chipset giving you 44 and the B650 giving you 36. That’s still more than enough to play with a graphics card like the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX, though.
What makes this B-series board so great is that even with the more low-end chipset, the MSI B650 Carbon Wifi gives you solid cooling for all the components featured throughout the motherboard. The VRM cooling solution is beefy, which means you can run the Ryzen 9 7950X without worrying too much.
Just like the Asus Prime Z790-A Wifi, though, you don’t have access to an LED debug code. This is common in motherboards of this class, though. Either way, it’s something to be aware of.
Why trust my motherboard recommendations
For every motherboard recommendation on this list, I have spent countless hours benchmarking or visually inspecting it and its spec sheets to ensure a worthy buy. I’m not really interested in including motherboards for the sake of including a new one, which means I can genuinely vouch for these.
I also build PCs all the time, which means I can spot an overrated motherboard from a mile away. For instance, I’m never going to recommend a super high-tier board with features most people will never use for no other reason than the high price.
Let me help you pick the best motherboard
Even if none of the motherboards here strike your fancy, I can still help you find the right mobo for your needs. Feel free to DM me on Twitter or leave a comment, and I’ll help you make the right choice for your gaming PC. I’m in this business because I love helping people find the products they love, so let me help you.