AMD’s Ryzen CPUs have taken the battle to Intel, with the most recent Zen 3 household of Ryzen chips matching Intel’s per-core, per-clock efficiency for much less cash while providing extra cores. Nevertheless, choosing a motherboard for your Ryzen CPU will be daunting. So which is one of the best motherboards for your AMD Ryzen CPU?
The primary motive that is so onerous is AMD’s dedication to a single CPU socket. Particularly, the AM4 CPU socket, which hosts all three generations of Ryzen CPU. This doesn’t embrace the professional-grade Threadripper CPUs. Regardless of being Zen-based, identical to Ryzen, Threadripper CPUs have their separate socket.
Earlier than we are able to take a look at which motherboards are the best choice to your Ryzen CPU, there are some essential points of AM4 socket compatibility you want to know.
An Observe on Chipset and CPU Compatibility
All Ryzen CPUs use the AM4 socket, and in principle, it is best to have the ability to use any Ryzen CPU with any AM4 motherboard. Nevertheless, in observe, the scenario breaks down like this:
- The newest Zen 3 -based Ryzen CPUs solely work with 500- and choose 400- sequence chipset motherboards. Something older than that’s out.
- Some motherboards require a firmware replacement earlier than they’ll assist the most recent Ryzen CPUs. This creates a hen and egg scenario the place you want to boot them up and replace them with an older appropriate Ryzen CPU. Though some motherboards now assist BIOS updating without a CPU current.
There are at present eight chipsets, and any present AMD AM4 socket motherboard will probably be geared up with one in every one of them. Think about this desk from Wikipedia:
As you’ll be able to see, every chipset helps completely different PCIe, USB, and reminiscence pace requirements. At a similar time, particular Ryzen CPUs even have restricted assist in these classes. So for those who use a CPU with quicker reminiscence assist than the chipset that hosts it, you’ll at all times get the slower of the 2 speeds. The reverse can be true, so every time doable, you want to match a given chipset with the capabilities of the CPU in query.
We’re going to be highlighting a number of motherboards that are among the finest decisions for every respective technology of Ryzen CPU, however, there are some limitations. We won’t embrace Mini ITX motherboards however as a substitute restrict the choice to mainstream Micro ATX and ATX motherboards, designed to suit mid- and full-size desktop tower instances.
The Finest Motherboards for Zen 1 & 2 Ryzen CPUs
Right here we’re going to spotlight two motherboards that are finest for Zen 1 and a couple of Ryzen CPUs. For the reason that B450 and X470 chipsets are the most recent chipsets to assist Zen 1 and a couple of Ryzen CPUs, we’ll deal with them.
The Finest Finances Alternative: ASUS Prime B450M-A at $56
The Asus Prime is plenty of board for little or no cash. It’s additionally a type of uncommon motherboard that assists all three generations of Ryzen. Simply be sure to have the most recent firmware replaced. In response to the official CPU assist website, the B450M-A can deal with even the mighty 16-core Ryzen 9 5950X. So for those who’re solely searching for a Ryzen 1 board, for now, you’ll be able to relax assured that there’s loads of improved headroom for the longer term.
However, an entry-level motherboard like this doesn’t have the facility supply system to permit overclocking high-end CPUs.
It’s paired finest with extra modest mainstream CPUs, however, you don’t must drawback from a great CPU deal for those who run throughout one. For its price, it’s feature-complete, with 4 RAM slots supporting as much as 64GB of reminiscence, three PCIe slots, and 6 SATA 3 ports.
On the drawback, there’s solely a single M.2 slot and no USB-C, however, the B450M-A Prime is already providing an excess of you’d count on at this value.
Yesterday’s Flagship: ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero at $279.99
X470 motherboards have gotten slightly more durable to seek out however supply one of the best bang-for-buck for those who’re trying to construct a high-performance system for gaming or different heavy-duty workloads.
Whereas the X570 has outdated the X470, the value distinction is important. For instance, this ASUS ROG board is a full $100 inexpensive than its X570 alternative.
This board helps as much as the Ryzen 9 5950X, so it’s a superb selection for Zen 3 CPUs, however, it doesn’t have the most recent options of the X570 chipset.
What you do get is assistance for as much as 128GB of RAM, three full-length PCIe slots, Aura Sync RGB lighting assist, and tons of overclocking and fan-control options. There are additionally two M.2 slots and oodles of USB 3 ports and one USB-C port. Even at this comparatively excessive value, it is a lot of board for the fanatic on funds.
The Finest Motherboards for Zen 3 Ryzen CPUs
In the event you’ve received the most recent technology of Ryzen CPU, then it is best to first take a look at the most recent technology of chipsets just like the B550 and X570 chipsets. These allow you to take full benefit of Zen 3 CPUs and canopy each of the mainstream and fanatic segments of the market. Let’s take a look at a prime instance of every.
Mid-range Monster: MSI MAG B550 TOMAHAWK Gaming Motherboard at $164.99
The benefit of the B550 chipset is that it affords PCIe 4.0 compatibility at cheap costs. That issues, because of the brand new technology of PCIe 4.0 NVME SSDs, which promise blistering 7GB/s and better switch speeds. It has the form of efficiency we’ve seen in PlayStation 5 console testing, however, is barely slowly getting into the PC market.
Whereas there are cheaper B550 boards on supply, the Tomahawk from MSI affords the proper stability of efficiency and value, in our opinion. In fact, for those who solely need a workplace laptop, you’ll be able to in all probability search for an inexpensive mannequin. However, in order for you all the things that Zen 3 can provide you, that is the place the enjoyment begins.
You get assist for as much as 128GB of 4866Mhz DDR 4, two M.2 slots, RGB lighting assist, and intensive further cooling options. Until cash isn’t any object, this may very nicely be the best selection for each Zen 3 avid gamers and energy customer.
The Pockets-buster Flagship: Gigabyte X570 AORUS Xtreme at $700 (!)
Did the value tag on this Gigabyte board knock your wind out? Whereas some gaming boards touched the $1000 mark previously, that is nonetheless within the stratosphere of high-end gaming and efficiency motherboards.
We’ll say proper off the bat that this motherboard is just for these Zen 3 customers who need to use the top-end CPUs because the 5950X, particularly for those who’re going to overclock it to the restrict.
The AORUS Xtreme affords a 16-phase voltage regulation design and bleeding-edge cooling expertise. This ensures that if something goes to fails throughout overclocking, it received to be the motherboard itself.
One neat characteristic of this board is that you would be able to flash the BIOS from a USB thumb drive without booting the system. This implies you should use the most recent CPU technology while not having an older CPU besides the system.
Different notable options embrace three M.2 slots with heatsinks, built-in WiFi 6, and as much as 128GB of DDR4 5100. The underside line is that that is just about pretty much as good because it will get. So if the value doesn’t trouble you, there’s no motive to hesitate!