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: Some had issues with the WiFi feature.
2. MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC
This motherboard has many of the same features of the other MSI board featured here, except the other has a larger heatsink and more lights. Like the other MSI, this model features built-in Wi-Fi and an audio booster.
Pros: Slightly less expensive than the other MSI option, with most of the same features.
Cons: Some users who didn’t want RGB lighting had trouble turning it off.
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 4 SATA cables, powerful audio capabilities.
Cons: Some users found that some of the components fit too tightly.