TOP 25 best motherboards: 2021 rating by price/quality and which one to choose the coolest

Just as a house needs a strong foundation, a computer system cannot exist without a motherboard - a reliable platform on which all the necessary components are placed in the form of a processor, storage, RAM, cooling, network and sound cards.
In order for these components to work without failures and to fully reveal their potential, it is important not to make a mistake when choosing a motherboard. How to choose a board in terms of price/quality ratio?

What options are being considered first?

Which models are noted by buyers and experts.

We will talk about this in our rating article, where we tried not only to select the most popular and productive devices, but also to take into account their advantages and disadvantages.

Rating of the TOP 25 best motherboards of 2021

TOP 3 best motherboards by price/quality for 2021
1ASUS PRIME Z490-PFind out the price
2ASRock B450M Pro4Find out the price
3MSI B450 GAMING PLUS MAXFind out the price
TOP 3 best motherboards for Ryzen on socket AM4
1ASUS ROG Strix X570-F GamingFind out the price
2GIGABYTE B550 AORUS Elite V2Find out the price
3ASRock B450M Pro4-FFind out the price
TOP 3 best motherboards for Intel on the LGA1200 socket
2GIGABYTE Z490 AORUS PRO AX (rev.1.x)Find out the price
3MSI B460M-A PROFind out the price
TOP 3 best gaming motherboards
1ASUS ROG Maximus XII FormulaFind out the price
2GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS ELITE (rev. 1.0)Find out the price
3MSI B450 TOMAHAWK MAXFind out the price
TOP 3 best motherboards based on x570 chipset
1ASUS TUF GAMING X570-PLUS (WI-FI)Find out the price
2ASRock X570 Pro4Find out the price
3MSI MPG X570 GAMING PLUSFind out the price
TOP 2 best motherboards based on the B550 chipset
1ASUS ROG STRIX B550-E GAMINGFind out the price
2GIGABYTE B550M S2H (rev. 1.0)Find out the price
TOP 2 best motherboards based on the B450 chipset
1ASUS ROG STRIX B450-E GAMINGFind out the price
2GIGABYTE B450M S2H (rev. 1.0)Find out the price
TOP 2 best motherboards based on the z590 chipset
2GIGABYTE Z590 UD AC (rev. 1.0)Find out the price
TOP 2 best motherboards based on the z490 chipset
1GIGABYTE Z490 AORUS XTREMEFind out the price
2ASUS TUF GAMING Z490-PLUS (WI-FI)Find out the price
TOP 2 best budget motherboards
1ASRock A320M-DVS R4.0Find out the price
2GIGABYTE H410M S2HFind out the price

The best models in terms of price and quality ratio

Review of the best models of gaming motherboards in terms of price and quality ratio.


Spectacular in appearance and affordable: the MSI B450 GAMING PLUS MAX model.

This full-size, small board running on an AMD AM4 processor allows you to build a fairly powerful gaming system.

Support for CrossFire X technology is its main advantage.

The cooling system is passive; two video cards can be used simultaneously.

The board will last for at least two years (although the warranty is only for 1 year).


  • chipset: AMD B450;
  • SLI/CrossFire support: CrossFire;
  • memory: DDR4 DIMM, 1866-4133 MHz;
  • number of PCI-E x1 memory slots: 4;
  • maximum memory: 64 GB;
  • form factor: ATX.


  • good “overclocking”;
  • there are slots for sata;
  • does not heat up well;
  • convenient size;
  • connectors for 4 pin coolers;
  • good sound;
  • price.


  • total 1 m.2 slot;
  • there are problems with the BIOS;
  • The metal plug for the motherboard outputs is inconvenient.


A reliable board built for overclocking.

This item is compatible with all modern high-performance workstation graphics cards.

It has maximum personalization: it is allowed to use elements printed on a 3D printer, and a reinforcing plate is installed to prevent damage to the printed circuit board.

The fans are controlled using Thermal Radar 2+ technology.

Sound scheme - 7.1. The kit includes an SLI 2-WAY-M connector and a Q connector.


  • form factor: ATX;
  • main power connector: 24-pin;
  • CPU power connector: 8-pin;
  • memory: DDR4 DIMM, 2133-3866 MHz;
  • memory slots: 4;
  • memory: 64 GB.


  • ASUS Aura Sync full-color LED lighting;
  • TUF Detective 2;
  • intelligent cooling system Thermal Armor;
  • warranty is given for 5 years;
  • reinforced PCI-e connectors;
  • backplate.


  • the sound is weak;
  • small power reserve for a good headset;
  • too much plastic around the socket.


The products of a well-known brand did not disappoint this time either.

The original design in black and red colors is not the most important advantage.

There are also larger Gaming Passion Red radiators, an improved audio system, and many other features.

DDR4 memory with frequencies up to 4400 MHz is supported. The design of the board is so well thought out that enthusiasts can easily assemble a gaming system with their own hands.

Release year: 2021. Interacts with a smartphone via the MSI App Player application.

The kit includes a SATA x2 cable and a software disk. Country of origin: China. The warranty is given for 3 years.


  • form factor: Standard-ATX;
  • height: 305 mm;
  • width: 244 mm;
  • BIOS: AMI;
  • memory frequency (max.\min.): 2133\4400 MHz.


  • there is UEFI BIOS;
  • MSI Dragon Center application;
  • support for Intel CNVi wireless module;
  • improved performance;
  • Audio Boost with amplifier;
  • reinforced PCI-E slots with Steel Armor.


  • sata cables are not of the best quality;
  • Fan connectors are too close to each other;
  • overpriced.


One of the most popular board models.

Judging by the reviews, it has proven its effectiveness more than once.

CrossFire X is present, you can enable a couple of video adapters at once. High-speed memory will be a real gift for a gamer!

Compatible with AMD AM4 processor. You can also install 2 M.2 drives at once.

The kit includes a disk with software, a pair of M.2 screws, a plug (placed on the rear panel), a pair of cables and even a sticker with the company logo. Release year: 2021.


  • highest memory frequency: 3533 MHz;
  • dimensions: 244x244 mm;
  • socket: AM4;
  • power phases: 10.


  • backlight;
  • compatibility;
  • compactness;
  • affordable price.


  • LPT is missing;
  • There are no 3-pin connectors;
  • fragile.

How to choose a motherboard?

Experts recommend that you first decide on the processor on which you will create your own computer system. This will determine indicators such as socket and chipset.

After that, explore the remaining parameters:

  1. Size or form factor . This rating will consider two types of boards - large ATX and compact micro-ATX. The latter are good for creating a system in a small package, for standard universal tasks. ATX, on the other hand, supports the most top-end components and whole bundles of them.
  2. Cooling . The number of built-in radiators and the ability to install additional fans are the secret to stability and optimal temperature. The more complex the tasks, the more a cooling system is needed.
  3. Slots for storage and RAM . In the first case, we are talking about M.2, which is replaced by a solid-state drive (aka SSD). The quality and quantity of this slot allows you to judge the available data transfer speed and how quickly access to files will open. As for RAM, manufacturers most often allocate two or four slots for it, determining the permissible maximum.
  4. Net . Either this is a network card for wired Internet with a speed of 1000 Mbit/s or 2500 Mbit/s, or a network card and antenna for Wi-Fi (for newer and more powerful models).
  5. RGB backlighting . Used for a beautiful design if you use a transparent or open case, and can also serve as an alert for existing errors using certain light codes.


  • USB: everything is individual here, for some a few second-generation USBs for a keyboard and mouse will be enough, for others, on the contrary, they will need to power a bunch of peripherals from a more advanced high-speed USB 3.1 gen2 port. And don't forget about USB C.
  • Video outputs (HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA, DVI): needed if you plan to use a processor with a built-in video card. Discrete video cards have their own video outputs.
  • Thunderbolt: Apple's proprietary high-speed protocol, which is rarely installed on boards themselves. However, some models have special expansion cards.
  • Optical audio output. It is found mainly in expensive overclocking boards with an upgraded audio path.

TOP 2 best budget motherboards

ASRock A320M-DVS R4.0

An inexpensive platform for building an office or home computer, as well as an entry-level gaming system .
Due to its compact size, the motherboard fits perfectly into a small case, while the placement of components is maximally optimized and does not cause difficulties even for those who are assembling their own device for the first time.

The board comes with a rear I/O panel plug and two SATA cables.

The entire necessary set of settings can be downloaded from the official website; the BIOS is Russified and intuitive for every user. There is also a fast and stable Internet and two slots for RAM with a permissible frequency of up to 3200 MHz.

Main characteristics:

  1. Which socket is it for? AM4.
  2. The chipset used is AMD A320.
  3. RAM indicators (slots/max) - 2/32 GB.
  4. Power supply (base/for chip, in pin) - 24/4.
  5. Size - microATX.
  6. Cooling is passive.


runs chips straight out of the box;

tested by time and customers;

Compact and stable, with a secure base.


Some may not have enough RAM.


One of the best budget gaming motherboard options for 2021 .
Sturdy, compact and very reliable, the base does not bend under the weight of the components. Accompanied by a convenient and advanced BIOS with an intuitive design. Dual-channel RAM, up to 64 GB, is located on two slots.

The manufacturer, despite the low-cost device, tried to create the most reliable cooling system, which can be controlled through a proprietary application.

Here you will assess the current temperature of the system, study the forecast for further growth and add power to the fans or, if they are not needed, turn them off altogether.

Main characteristics:

  1. For which socket - LGA1200.
  2. The chipset used is Intel H410.
  3. RAM indicators (slots/max) - 2/64 GB.
  4. Power supply (base/for chip, in pin) - 24/8.
  5. Size - microATX.
  6. Cooling is passive.


accessibility and compactness;

robust design;

good cooling system.


no significant ones were found.

What about Intel's sockets?

Everything in the Intel camp is confusing, like a poorly written detective story. Without any technical need, the company updates the socket every two years. The last update happened in the spring of 2021, when the Blues presented the new tenth generation of Intel Comet Lake processors. The socket has, of course, been updated. Was 1151 v2, became 1200 And this is always a one-way path: you buy some Core i5 and enjoy life. After 3 - 4 years, the joy becomes less and you are thinking about upgrading the processor. And so you open the e-catalog and select some conditionally Core i7 Kukaracha Lake Refreshed 14th generation. The money has already been set aside, you can take it. But no, it needs a new motherboard. Therefore, you will either have to update the entire system, or look for a more powerful processor among previous generations that fits the existing motherboard. Let's call a spade a spade, this is a blatant money grab in the spirit of today's Apple, when wheels for a computer or a monitor stand are sold separately.

Which company should you choose?

The most popular and favorite motherboard manufacturers at the moment are:

  • MSI is a gaming PC and component development company committed to providing performance, stable overclocking and powerful cooling;
  • ASUS is another market leader that produces reliable and stable computer system components with a long service life;
  • GIGABYTE is a creator of motherboards (and not only) with a simple installation principle, a reinforced power supply system and a convenient BIOS with flexible settings;
  • ASRock has a large selection of devices, many both gaming, powerful and budget models for standard tasks.

Our rating of the best motherboards ASRock X299 STEEL LEGEND continues. ASRock brought this board to the market as part of its line very successfully - at the very end of 2021, just in time for the announcement of Cascade Lake-X processors, which certainly made it clear to motherboard manufacturers that Intel is not going to bury LGA 2066 yet, and Russia became widely available last year. Steel Legend in its series has become the cheapest, but also, perhaps, the most balanced board in terms of return to cost ratio - even if in comparison with the top-end X299 Creator there is less mincemeat, but everything you need is there - and for decently less money .

Two eight-pin power connectors, massive VRM heatsinks with a heat pipe, hiding eleven phases on DrMOS with high-quality chokes and Nichicon 12K capacitors - a promise to confidently cope with HEDT processors, especially since they are supported up to i9-10980XE(L1) without the need for a mandatory update firmware. Official memory support is up to 4200 MHz and 256 GB. There are four x16 slots, all of them are reinforced. On processors with 48 and 44 PCIe lanes, the slots operate in x16/x4/x16/x8 mode, that is, we can talk about full operation of two video cards in SLI or CrossFire X, and, if desired, use a 3-Way configuration.

There are two M.2 slots on the board, both are universal and can work with PCIe NVME drives or M.2 SATA. In the second case, the use of each drive disables one of the dedicated SATA ports on the board - however, even if you occupy both M.2 slots with “satash” SSDs (which looks strange in 2021 in general, and even more so in a HEDT assembly), they will remain 6 more are available. Another slot on the right under the rear panel - with a type E key, for Wi-Fi cards.

For those who like to tinker with settings, the BIOS provides a useful thing: to reset after an unsuccessful experiment, when the system does not start at all, you do not need to disassemble the computer and look for a jumper on the board - there is a button, right on the back panel. True, you can press it by accident...

The network interface is “economical”: there are two Ethernet ports on the board, but both are gigabit only. Although in 99.9% of cases nothing more is needed for a home computer, is it logical? But they didn’t save on sound: a DAC and a discrete headphone amplifier based on NE5532, capable of working with studio models with an impedance of up to 600 Ohms, were attached to the Realtek ALC1200. And, of course, for lovers of “pretty things,” we didn’t forget about the RGB backlight control connectors.

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