What Is the Best Motherboard for Your AMD Ryzen CPU?:
AMD’s Ryzen CPU With the latest Zen 3 family of Ryzen chips that match Intel’s per-core, per-clock performance for less money while offering more cores, Intel has battled it out. However, choosing a motherboard for your Ryzen CPU can be daunting. So which is the best motherboard for your AMD Ryzen CPU?
The main reason it’s so difficult is thanks to AMD’s commitment to a single CPU socket. Specifically, the AM4 CPU socket, which hosts all three generations of Ryzen CPUs. It does not include a professional-grade Threadripper CPU. Like the Ryzen, Threadripper CPUs have their own separate socket, despite being Zen-based.
Before we look at which motherboard is the best choice for your Ryzen CPU, there are some important aspects of AM4 socket compatibility that you need to know.
A Note on Chipset and CPU Compatibility
All Ryzen CPUs use AM4 sockets, and in theory, you should be able to use any Ryzen CPU with any AM4 motherboard. However, in practice, the situation breaks down like this:
- The latest Zen 3-based Ryzen CPUs only work with 500- and select 400-series chipset motherboards. Anything older than this is out there.
- Some motherboards require a firmware update before they can support the latest Ryzen CPUs. This creates a chicken and egg situation where you need to boot them and update them with an older compatible Ryzen CPU. Although some motherboards now support BIOS updates without a CPU.
There are currently eight chipsets, and any existing AMD AM4 socket motherboard will be equipped with one of them. Consider this table from Wikipedia:
As you can see, each chipset supports different PCIe, USB and memory speed standards. Also, there is limited support for specific Ryzen CPUs in these categories as well. So if you use a CPU with faster memory support than the chipset hosting the CPU, you will always get two speeds slower. The reverse is also true, so whenever possible, you need to match the chipset provided with the capabilities of the CPU in question.
We are going to highlight several motherboards that are some of the best choices for each respective generation of Ryzen CPUs, but there are some limitations. we will not include mini itx motherboards, but instead narrows the selection down to mainstream Micro ATX and ATX motherboards, designed to fit mid- and full-size desktop tower cases.
Best Motherboards for Zen 1 and 2 Ryzen CPUs
Here we are going to highlight two motherboards that are best for Zen 1 and 2 Ryzen CPUs. Since the B450 and X470 chipsets are the latest chipsets to support the Zen 1 and 2 Ryzen CPUs, we will focus on them.
Best budget option: ASUS Prime B450M-A $56. On
Asus Prime is a lot of board for very little money. This is one of those rare motherboards that supports all three generations of Ryzen. Just make sure you have the latest firmware update. according to the officer CPU Support Site, the B450M-A can also handle the powerful 16-core Ryzen 9 5950X. So if you’re just looking for a Ryzen 1 board for now, you can rest assured there’s plenty of upgrade headroom for the future.
But, such an entry-level motherboard doesn’t have a power delivery system to allow high-end CPUs to be overclocked.
It’s best paired with more typical mainstream CPUs, but you don’t need to get away with a good CPU deal if you run across one. For its cost, it’s feature-complete, with four RAM slots supporting 64GB of memory, three PCIe slots, and six SATA 3 ports.
On the downside, there’s only one M.2 slot and no USB-C, but the B450M-A Prime is already offering a lot more than you’d expect at this price.
Tomorrow’s Flagship: ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero $279.99. On
Finding an X470 motherboard is becoming a little harder to find, but offers the best bang-for-buck if you’re looking to build a high-performance system for gaming or other heavy-duty workloads.
While the X570 has outperformed the X470, there is a considerable difference in price. For example, this ASUS ROG board is $100 less expensive than its X570 replacement.
this board Supports up to Ryzen 9 5950X, so it’s an excellent alternative to the Zen 3 CPU, but it doesn’t have the latest features of the X570 chipset.
What you get is support for up to 128GB of RAM, three full-length PCIe slots, Aura Sync RGB lighting support, and tons of overclocking and fan-control features. there are also two m.2 slot And plenty of USB 3 ports and a USB-C port. Even at this relatively high price, it’s pretty much a board for enthusiasts on a budget.
Best Motherboards for Zen 3 Ryzen CPUs
If you have the latest generation Ryzen CPU, then you should first look at the latest generation chipsets like B550 and X570 chipsets. These let you take full advantage of Zen 3 CPUs and cover both mainstream and enthusiast segments of the market. Let’s look at a top example of each.
Mid-Range Monster: MSI Mag B550 Tomahawk Gaming Motherboard Mother $164.99 . On
The advantage of the B550 chipset is that it offers PCIe 4.0 compatibility at a reasonable price. That matters, thanks to the new generation of PCIe 4.0 NVME SSDs, which promise a blistering 7GB/s and high transfer speeds. It has the kind of performance we’ve seen playstation 5 Console testing but only slowly entering the PC market.
While there are cheaper B550 boards on offer, the Tomahawk from MSI offers the right balance of performance and price in our opinion. Of course, if you just want an office computer, you can probably look for a less expensive model. But if you want everything that the Zen 3 can offer you, that’s where the fun begins.
You get support for up to 128GB of 4866Mhz DDR 4, two M.2 slots, RGB lighting support, and extensive additional cooling features. As long as money is no object, this Zen 3 could be the ideal choice for both gamers and power users.
Wallet-Buster Flagship: Gigabyte X570 AORUS Xtreme $700 (!)
Did the price tag on this Gigabyte board blow you away? While some gaming boards have touched the $1000 mark in the past, it is still in the stratosphere of high-end gaming and performance motherboards.
We’d just say that this motherboard is only for Zen 3 users who want to use a top-end CPU like the 5950X, especially if you’re going to overclock it to the limit.
AORUS Xtreme offers 16-stage voltage regulation design and bleeding-edge cooling technology. This ensures that if anything is going to fail during overclocking, it won’t be the motherboard.
One neat feature of this board is that you can flash the BIOS from a USB thumb drive without booting the system. This means that you can use the latest CPU generation without the need for an older CPU to boot the system.
Other notable features include three M.2 slots with heatsink, integrated WiFi 6, and up to 128GB of DDR4 5100. The bottom line is that it’s as good as it gets. So if the price doesn’t bother you, there’s no reason to hesitate!