The focus for the average gaming PC build is the graphics card. Things like processors come next, and often the motherboard will be something of an afterthought. For serious gaming, a good motherboard can make a big difference.
In a way, the motherboard is like the nervous system. It doesn’t get as much attention as the heart or the brain, but the nervous system allows all the parts of the body to communicate. Since the essentials like the graphics card and CPU communicate through the motherboard, you want to invest in one that isn’t going to give out on you. Here are three solid picks at a range of prices.
1. MSI MPG Z390 Gaming PRO Carbon AC Motherboard
The MSI Carbon AC motherboard features what it calls M.2 Shield Frozr — it’s designed to reduce overheating from the SSD. The motherboard also has built-in protection for the I/O (input-output plate).
Pros: Easy and clear installation instructions, good BIOS.
Cons: WiFi feature can be somewhat challenging to get working.
2. Gigabyte Z390 AORUS Master
Not only does this motherboard work well, it also looks damn good. The Gigabyte boasts RGB infusion so you can dress the motherboard up as you see fit. But more importantly, the Gigabyte can handle 8th & 9th Gen Core i9/i7/i5/i3, Celeron, and Pentium Processors and boasts impressive audio capabilities, allowing you the option to take advantage of even the most daring audio setups.
Pros: Incredibly fast WiFi, USB 3.0, impressive audio functionality.
Cons: Can be a little noisy.
3. ASUS ROG Strix B450-F Gaming Motherboard
For a budget option with many of the same features, ASUS offers a wide array of gaming motherboards. This model features RGB lighting, shielded audio, and a heatsink.
Pros: Comes with four SATA cables, powerful audio capabilities.
Cons: Components may fit too tightly.