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Arnold Nikiforov
Arnold Nikiforov

Where Can I Buy A Motherboard ((NEW))

Other than knowing which processor you're going to be fitting, size matters when picking up a motherboard. If you're building out a standard ATX scale gaming PC, then pretty much any motherboard is open to your whims, but if you want to go for a smaller chassis, either Micro ATX or Mini ITX, then you'll need a corresponding mobo.

where can i buy a motherboard

The scale will impact pricing, however. Interestingly Micro ATX boards are often the most affordable, while Mini ITX options can be the most expensive. We've picked our top two favorite gaming motherboards for each of the main Intel and AMD chipsets to give you the best options around.

AMD is more generous, allowing all its CPUs and most of its motherboard chipsets. Basically, if you make sure not to go for the cheapest Ryzen board, one with an 'A' at the front of its nomenclature, then you're good to tweak. Though again, there really are limited returns.

Think of the best gaming motherboard as the foundation for your future PC. Your motherboard dictates what your gaming PC can and can not do. It also tells what components you should buy since not all PC parts fit into all motherboards. A good motherboard should provide you with worry-free gaming lasting multiple CPU and GPU generations.

Before committing to a motherboard, you must ask yourself: How big is your PC case? Do you want to be able to overclock your CPU? Do you need high-performance RAM support? Do you need a block of USB ports? Bluetooth? Wi-fi? If your wish list increases, expect to spend extra. This isn't always bad, especially if you don't plan on getting a new motherboard for several years.

Now we have to consider the most important thing about motherboards; future-proofing. If you're in it for the long haul, you need to be sure that the board's socket or chipset can support this (and preferably the next round of) high-end processors. When it comes to AMD, the enduring AM4 socket and X570 chipset is finally phasing out since current Zen 4 CPUs use the new AM5 socket with B650 or X670 chipsets. Intel's 13th Gen CPUs, on the other hand, are backward compatible with the 12th Gen's LGA1700 socket, so a Z690 or Z790 chipset will do you fine.

If you make up a checklist of what you want from a motherboard, the MSI Z790 Tomahawk should have most of what you need. Things like USB4 or 10G LAN are what board makers use to justify the price of motherboards costing double the money of the Z790 Tomahawk. The checklist is complete for most users.

About the only downside with this option is the high contrast design, with lots of grey heatsinks. Though a lot of the grey chipset and M.2 cooling will be hidden beneath a GPU, it might not be the easiest board to blend in with your build. There's also minimal RGB lighting with just a tiny Aorus logo atop the rear I/O heatsink. That's rare for a gaming motherboard in 2022. There are four RGB headers, though, with two of them being addressable, so you can still add plenty of flashy illumination if you really want.

Gigabyte's Z690 Aorus Pro sits in a genuine Alder Lake sweet spot, where it offers good value for money and a nice, rounded feature set. Features such as Thunderbolt 4, a fifth M.2 slot, or 10G LAN would add considerable extra cost which is hard to justify. With plain Wi-Fi 6, 4x M.2 slots, a strong VRM, and loads of USB ports, most gamers will be happy. And at $330 you'll have a few dollars that you can put towards the scarcer things, like DDR5 memory or a faster GPU.

When it comes to performance, the switch from DDR4 to DDR5 doesn't make a huge difference, and if we're talking stock CPU performance the same can be said for the switch from Z690 to B660. The 14-phase power design is configured so the Vcore itself gets 12 phases and, combined with the 60A stages, that means the MAG B660M is able to keep a stock-clocked Core i9 12900K (opens in new tab) running at the same level as it will on far higher-spec Z690 motherboards.

The MSI MAG B660M Mortar WIFI DDR4 is a quality little micro-ATX motherboard, and it's impressive that a sub-$200 board will still run the i9 12900K at its stock settings. This is an ideal board to build an affordable, small form factor gaming PC around, and our only real issue is that there are a few DDR4-based Z690s at this price level that might offer a little more for your money.

Despite its lack of DDR5 support, the MSI MAG B660 Tomahawk WIFI DDR4 is a worthy contender for the budget Alder Lake builders among us. You're still looking at strong VRM, so the maximum turbo load of a 12900K shouldn't be an issue for it, and you still get a ton of I/O ports for your money. This evolution has taken a genuine step forward since the introduction of the last-gen B560 motherboards and is certainly worth considering if you're looking to save on your 12th Gen build.

If you're in the market for a good quality X670E motherboard, the chances are that you've recoiled at the prices of many of them. High-end motherboards are more likely to be X670E models, but the Gigabyte X670 Aorus Elite AX comes in with just enough great features at such a reasonable pricepoint, that I've been tempted away from the -E model boards.

If nothing else, the Elite AX shows that manufacturers are getting a bit greedy at the high-end of the market. If you absolutely must have USB4, 10G LAN or Thunderbolt, you'll have to pay a LOT more for it. For the mainstream market, a board like the Aorus Elite AX is where it's at.

The Asus TUF Gaming B650-Plus WiFi is primarily a motherboard for a budget-conscious gamer. While you can't expect all the bells and whistles at this price point, as long as you don't expect too much of it, it's a fine motherboard. You'll need to ask yourself if you value PCIe 5.0 GPU support. If so, do consider a B650E option if you're going to stick with AM5 for a while (as most of us are).

Asus' ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero wants to be the last AM4 motherboard you'll ever need. But what is it that makes a great motherboard? Features are important, as is a stable and refined BIOS, value for money, a good design, but sometimes it's something intangible. Sometimes it's that the damn thing works.

The rear IO is packed out. If you need extra USB ports for that head massager or plasma ball, there are few better-equipped boards. There are no less than eight USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, one of which is Type-C. These are joined by four USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports. There are also BIOS clear and flashback buttons, the LAN and WiFi antenna ports, and the usual set of audio ports including S/PDIF. The IO shield is preinstalled, which is blessedly now becoming standard practice on decent motherboards.

The MSI MPG X570 represents an amalgamation of bleeding-edge motherboard tech built to get the most out of AMD's 3rd gen Ryzen CPUs (opens in new tab). It has four DIMM slots that can handle speeds up to 4,400Mhz and two M.2 slots sporting PCIe 4.0 connections.

The X570S Master proved to be quite strong under multi-threaded loads while its single-threaded performance is about average. Gaming performance is bang on where we expect it to be, within the margin of error. It also showed itself to have strong M.2 SSD performance.

Our only real knock against the Aorus Master is that it only offers a single 2.5G LAN and lacks 5G which is a bit of a bummer. That being said it's still one of the better AMD motherboards out there. I'm a sucker for a motherboard with a ton of USB ports this mobo has SO many.

Sure, the Asus ROG Strix B550-E is the same price as plenty of X570 motherboards, but it's a premium motherboard, with all the trappings you'd expect from Asus' Republic of Gamers stables. I'm talking 14+2 power stage, M.2 heatsinks, and pre-installed backplates. You also get Wi-Fi 6 wireless networking as well as Intel 2.5Gb ethernet too. And RGB LEDs, of course.

When it comes to gaming performance above all else, MSI's micro-ATX MAG B550M Mortar is your best bet for an affordable next-gen Ryzen machine. It comes in around the $160 mark, making it cheaper than a great many X570 and other B550 motherboards on the market right now.

AMD's budget Ryzen motherboard chipset, the A520, has largely slipped under the radar. While B350 and B450 motherboards were mostly regarded as entry-level, A320 was strictly seen as the resolutely low end.

The little ASRock A520M ITX/ac has it where it counts and will serve you well at the heart of a budget gaming system. It benefits from the strengths of the Ryzen platform and adds some future-proofing into the mix. ITX fans looking for a capable budget AMD Ryzen option should definitely have this one on their shortlist.

Performance is about where we expect it to be. The underlying BIOS code is well and truly mature with Ryzen 3 CPUs having been in the marketplace for well over a year. The differences between boards are small. The Gigabyte was perhaps marginally behind under lightly threaded loads but was towards the front in the gaming tests. Overall, nothing to complain about with regards to how the Aorus Elite performed.

The most common form factors/sizes of a motherboard from largest to smallest, which beyond physical dimensions determines which cases it'll fit into and (broadly) how many expansion slots are available. There are other, less common form factors (XL-ATX, HPTX, etc.), but these three are the most ubiquitous consumer form factors. 041b061a72


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