The 7 Best Motherboards 2018 – Full Comparison

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Best Motherboards 2019

After several hours of research, I finally made my selection of the 7 best motherboards among nearly 45 models marketed for the moment. The choice was difficult but finally, my preference is the Asus ROG Strix B350 – F Gaming for its quality/price ratio that seems unbeatable in terms of the current offer.

You will also find at the end of this article a buying guide, to help you find the motherboard you need!

The best cheap motherboards

These motherboards may be entry-level, they hold serious arguments, notice to gamers with a small budget!

Asus Prime B350-PLUS: the best price step

Asus Prime B350-PLUS - the best price step

Advantages

  • Affordable price
  • Compatibility with 1000 processors
  • Several types of USB ports

Disadvantages

  • BIOS, which has many settings, seems a little obscure

The motherboard ASUS Prime B350 PLUS has as its motto versatility. Indeed, it is compatible with more than 1000 components and peripherals!

Its “SafeSlot Core” PCI slots are PCI slots exclusive to ASUS. Their design is reinforced and anchored to the motherboard.

This system provides 1.6x average retention and increased tear resistance compared to conventional PCI slots.

This motherboard also benefits from the LANGuard system. This boosts the flow and multiplies the resistance to overvoltages by 2.5.

It is a hardware protection system that uses signal coupling technology and anti-surge capacitors to provide better throughput and a more stable connection. It should also be noted that the components are protected against overvoltage or electrical shock problems.

Indeed the exclusive design of the circuit includes voltage regulators that protect the chipset, network ports and audio codecs from any type of damage that can be caused by an unstable or insufficient power source.

On top of that, the DIGI + VRM system intelligently manages the processor power, all in real time. This reduces energy losses and contributes to the stability of the system.

The ASUS ESD Guards system helps prevent electrostatic discharge from damaging the circuit.
Finally, resettable fuses prevent any case of overvoltage or short circuit.

This protection is mainly provided on the RAM slots, but also on the I / O panel to ensure a longer life.

Also increasing the life of the interface drastically, the I / O interface is made of stainless steel and covered with chromium oxide. This multiplies the lifetime of the material by three!

One of the biggest advantages of an ASUS motherboard is its tested compatibility with more than 1000 processors, DDR4 memory modules, graphics cards etc. Indeed, one of the advantages when buying a motherboard is to be able to create its own computer configuration and this great compatibility leaves the hands free to the user as to the brands and types of processors, cards and peripherals he wants to add to his computer arsenal.

In addition, this compatibility is regularly updated by ASUS.

This motherboard also features the Fan Xpert2 + system. This, via thermal sensors and fan connectors, ensures the best possible silence/cooling ratio for each fan.

Moreover, thanks to the Auto-Tuning mode it is possible to scan the parameters of all the fans with one click.

Several types of USB ports are present for older connectivity is also available (PCI, VGA, PS2 ….) For maximum compatibility. In addition, thanks to the two PCI express slots, it is possible to test a second graphics card without removing the one already connected to the motherboard.

In summary, here is a motherboard very versatile and reliable with life above average.

MSI B350M Mortar: a motherboard for the economic gamer

MSI B350M Mortar - a motherboard for economic gamer

Advantages

  • Affordable price
  • 6 connectors for fans
  • A very intuitive graphical interface

Disadvantages

  • Insufficient number of USB ports

The MSI B350M Mortar motherboard is an integral part of the Arsenal Gaming family, which offers gaming motherboards that are equipped to hold up for hours of play.

First, it is compatible with AMD processors. A powerful processor is very important for players and other users seeking performance and efficiency.

AMD Ryzen processors have many cores, a high cache and are powerful. AMD Turbo Core technology adapts the frequency of cores according to the needs of the moment.

In summary, AMD Ryzen is a powerful new generation processor and designed to fit all the needs of the user.

With lambda memories, information is often hindered by waves from other components. This makes the system both more unstable and slower.

Thanks to the DDR4 Boost technology, MSI allows the installation of a perfectly isolated memory circuit, which ensures the signal to remain without interference and for maximum performance and a stable system.
The memory also benefits from an “Extreme Memory Profile” function that offers a speed that is both faster and more stable when activated. An LED will indicate to the user when the Extreme Memory Profile is active.

The new MSI motherboards contain a BIOS designed specifically to contain all the options and tools that gamers need. Indeed its options allow to set the system and enjoy good performance and stability during the use of a game.

The MSI BIOS Click BIOS 5 UEFI boosts system performance to a maximum level to provide an excellent gaming experience. Its high-resolution interface with an easy-to-read writing font makes for a more enjoyable and intuitive user experience.

But that’s not all, this BIOS also has an “EZ Mode” that can quickly change the basic settings and functions of the BIOS! For more experienced users who want to make a more advanced adjustment, the “Advanced Mode” will meet their needs.

The Hardware Monitor feature provides a highly intuitive graphical interface that allows you to control the system and monitor key features

Gamers need excellent cooling equipment to support hours of play. This MSI Mortar card contains six fan connectors and an interface giving the user total control over their operation.

The fan connectors are easy to access and are compatible with most fans on the market.

The Total Fan Control function controls the fans connected to the motherboard via an easy-to-use interface. It is possible to set 4 temperature levels for the CPU and the motherboard, automatically adjusting the speed of the fans.

Ryzen processors are immediately recognized by the motherboard and the installation of RAM arrays is extremely simple.

Only small problem, the number of USB ports that some may find insufficient.

In summary here is a motherboard for the entry-level gamer that will delight small budgets.

The best mid-range motherboards

Showing a significantly better performance, this motherboard range does not cost much more than the entry level.

Asus ROG Strix B350-F Gaming: the best midrange

Asus ROG Strix B350-F Gaming - the best midrange

Advantages

  • Affordable price
  • Sonic Studio III
  • CashFree BIOS 3

Disadvantages

  • RAM does not always reach advertised capacity

We are here in the presence of a gaming motherboard. The little sister of Pro Gaming motherboards, the ROG Strix B 350-F Gaming has more than one string to his bow.

Equipped with SupremeFX audio technology, this motherboard offers excellent ROG recording quality. A low dropout voltage regulator is also added to ensure more stable power supply, as well as Texas Instruments RC4580 and OPA1688 operating amplifiers to achieve high gain with very little distortion.

It is also possible to connect a headphone for great flexibility.
An audio cover is also present to preserve the integrity of the audio signals.

In addition, Nichicon audio capacitors provide a warm and natural sound with clarity and fidelity of very good bill.
Finally, an audio line shield blocks the electromagnetic interference of the motherboard to provide a clearer sound.

But that’s not all, the motherboard also comes with a Sonic Studio III audio effects station that includes a smart routing feature specifically designed for streaming activities.

A new function of the routing of the flows of ports towards different outlets in order to be able to control who hears what. Thus, it is possible for the user to assign various audio streams to different outputs, for example, this system can send the sound from the operating system to the headset and that of the game to the speakers.

In addition, Sonic Studio III comes with an improved noise filtering system to enjoy clear conversations.

Not content with this Sonic Studio III system, this motherboard also has a sound system designed specifically for gaming: Sonic Radar III.
It allows determining the location of an opponent instantly with the help of an arrow.

It is thus possible to detect the origin of sounds during the game and thus improve the identification of enemies. The audio boosting function provides filters that allow you to hear the slightest sound.

RAM level, this ROG Strix B350-F motherboard supports DDR4 memory and can carry the memory frequencies up to 32000MHz and even beyond in case of overclocking.

The exclusive T-Topology circuit design allows for the superb overclocking capability to utilize all the power of DDR4 while reducing noise and signal reflection.
T-Topology offers more balanced control and more powerful overclocking compatibility.

You do not have to be an IT candor to optimize your gaming performance with this motherboard. Indeed, the 5-way optimization makes it possible to set any type of complex configuration in one click in order to boost performance instantly!

This exclusive Asus technology dynamically optimizes everything that is essential for the system, in real time. This provides better processor performance, power savings, stable digital power, and quiet, efficient ventilation.

This system even allows you to customize the network and audio settings according to the software and applications used.

Play quieter and at lower temperatures with advanced fan and water pump control for safe play. Built-in thermal sensors and 4-pin / 3-pin hardware-level PWM / DC mode detection enable Fan Xpert 4 to achieve the best balance of cooling performance and low noise, giving you on-demand performance.

Like the entry-level Asus cards, this motherboard features a fluid graphic mouse-controlled BIOS. EZ and Advanced modes will be suitable for all user profiles, from novice to advanced. The EZ Mode allows you to configure everything very quickly (date and time, fan profiles, memory, etc.). By switching to Advanced mode, it is possible to further refine this configuration.

Another very advantageous feature, the system CashFree BIOS 3 allows restoring a PC even when it does not boot!

The ROG Strix B350-F motherboard also features the latest Ethernet controller, making online play smoother. It also protects against surges with ESD Guards that does the tricky job of protecting the motherboard components.

The GameFirst IV system optimizes network traffic for latency-free and faster online games. In addition, the Multi-Gate Teaming feature unifies all networks to generate max bandwidth.
A brand new Intelligent mode ensures the optimization of each game for maximum performance.

With a data transfer up to 32 Gbits per second and USB 3.1 ports at a rate of 10gbits / seconds, this motherboard is an excellent choice for gamers, but also for people who want a fast and reliable computer.

Asus Prime Z370-P: a card that has more than one trick in its bag

Asus Prime Z370-P - a card that has more than one trick in its bag

Advantages

  • Affordable price
  • USB 2.0 and 3.1
  • Fan Xpert system

Disadvantages

  • Number of SATA ports limited

Another motherboard Asus Prime, the Z370-P is no shortage of assets either for a mid-range motherboard barely more expensive than those entry-level.

This ATX Intel LGA-1151 technology motherboard with LEG lighting features a 4000 MHz DDR4 RAM system, all compatible with Intel Optane memory. The maximum memory of this motherboard is 64 GB, which is more than enough even for the most demanding gamers (most current video games recommend a RAM between 6 and 10 GB and 10 GB are generally largely sufficient for the software of sound and graphics.).

It will accept HDMI and SATA HDDs with a high rate of 6 GB per second!
USB connectivity level, the motherboard has two USB 2.0 inputs for older devices and USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports for newer hardware.

Compatible with the latest Intel processors, this motherboard includes an LGA 1151 socket for the 8th generation of Intel Core processors.
Asus OptiMem technology provides a more stable and quiet transition from the DIMM memory chip signal to the processor.
The 3rd generation ASUS T-Topology system provides a synchronized signal transfer. These optimizations provide a greater margin for overclocking and system stability.

This also offers DDR4 memory up to 4000 MHz even if all slots are powered.

This motherboard also benefits from the 5X Protection III system which provides complete protection of the system.

Like the Asus motherboard we talked about earlier, it also benefits from a Fan Xpert system. However, this one is a Fan Xpert 4Core, slightly different from the Fan Xpert2 + of the Asus Prime B 350. Indeed, it is of better quality and ensures optimal cooling and silence.

Intel Optane Memory, coupled with next-generation dual-slot M.2 connectivity and NVMe PCIe RAID support deliver high-speed storage speed acceleration.

This motherboard also benefits from the SafeSlot Core system which is a system exclusive to Asus. It’s a reinforced design anchored directly to the motherboard. It provides 1.6 times higher retention and 1.3 pull-out resistance compared to conventional expansion slots.

In summary, it is a motherboard with real assets for such a price.

MSI Pro Series Intel Z270: for Intel enthusiasts

MSI Pro Series Intel Z270 - for Intel enthusiasts

Advantages

  • Affordable price
  • USB 3.1
  • Compatibility with different graphics cards

Disadvantages

  • Very sticky card

The MSI Z270 SLI PLUS motherboard is designed specifically for the game. It incorporates technologies exclusive to the Intel brand.

Specifically designed for Intel Core processors, the Intel Z270 chipset makes the most of Intel® 7th Generation (I7) processors. In fact, its larger system bus and optimized data and information transmission enable increased performance and responsiveness.

The fan system on this motherboard automatically detects how the fans operate to ensure optimal speed and noise reduction.
The hysteresis phenomenon also allows silent cooling whatever the state of the system.

Graphics level, this MSI motherboard supports the use of different graphics cards thanks to several PCI slots placed ergonomically so that their installation is easy and also to ensure an optimal cooling condition.

Thanks to the Turbo M2 connectors, it is possible to enjoy a system startup as well as an application change and extremely fast games. These connectors also offer transfer rates up to 32 GB / s which is five times faster than standard SATA 3.

Thanks to the USB 3.1 system, file transfer is extremely fast! Indeed, this format ensures a rate of up to 10 GB / s. The port is type C which means it can take advantage of the performance of USB 3.0 allied to the convenience of the type C connection.

It is a motherboard with excellent value for money that will delight the aficionados of the Intel brand.

The best high-end motherboards

Here the price and performance are seriously revised upwards!

Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Gaming 7: the best high-end

Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Gaming 7 - the best high-end

Advantages

  • Powerful
  • Protection for RAM modules
  • Smart Fan System 5

Disadvantages

  • High price

The AORUS Z370 Gaming motherboards are among the most powerful produced to date.

It has a studio quality audio system. This motherboard, therefore, has a Saber ESS DAC generally only used by professionals.

This system provides access to high-resolution music, DSD compatible surround sound. A dedicated digital power supply helps to minimize noise, while streamers can benefit from accurate audio streaming thanks to a Digital / Analog converter.

Equipped with gold-plated audio connectors, the DAC ESS has extreme resistance against corrosion and oxidation.

Ventilation level, here we have the Smart Fan 5 system that allows controlling the PC with finesse. Indeed, it gives the user the ability to manage the fan connectors through connectors located on PCBs. Smart Fan 5 is also compatible with PWM fans, which also allows management of liquid cooling systems.

Coupled with this system, Fan Stop makes it possible to control each fan and to stop them according to a temperature chosen by the user.
Hybrid Fan connectors adapt automatically depending on the cooling system used (PWM or Voltage).

In addition, this system is compatible with High-Performance Pumps while providing surge protection.

The AORUS Z370 motherboard has a digital power system that includes PMW controllers and Smart Power Stage. These digital controllers provide ultra-precise power management that allows the user to use their Intel Core 8th generation (I8) processor optimally.

With its built-in tweaking chip, the motherboard allows to overclock the processor safely and eliminating clamping at 5%

With Intel Optane Memory technology, the AORUS Z370 motherboard can boost the performance of a traditional storage device by reducing boot time.

Good news for gamers, Gigabit Gaming Killer E2500 + Intel Gigabit LAN feature prioritizes the user’s network over the fastest available connection for a lag-free online gaming experience.

AORUS also has a system that protects the RAM modules with steel reinforcements that protect the RAM against ESD interference and PCB distortion

The motherboard is protected against sulfur compounds that can damage the core of the resistors. This helps to increase the longevity of the material.

In conclusion, we are here in the presence of a high-end motherboard that does its job perfectly.

ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero: All the Asus know-how

ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero - All the Asus know-how

Advantages

  • Signal optimization with OptiMem technology
  • Allows easy installation of 3D printed elements
  • Ventirad M2

Disadvantages

  • High price

The last motherboard of this comparison, the Asus ROG Maximus contains some unique features.

For example, the motherboard supports make it easier to install printed elements in 3D. It is thus easy to add cover plates and cables or support for fan M 2.

The ROG Maximus motherboard also includes an M2 cooler to keep its SSD at a suitable temperature. Indeed, it effectively dissipates heat, which reduces the chances of thermal slowdowns that are a cause of degradation of performance of a computer.

In addition, the temperature sensor allows continuous monitoring.
Finally, this ventilation system can be configured via Fan Xpert 4 and the UEFI BIOS.

With four PCI Express 3.0 / 2.0 lines, the M2 interface is capable of transferring data at speeds up to 32 Gb / s. This allows the PC to run its business applications much faster.

For RAM, Asus’ OptiMem technology can optimize the signal between the DIMM and the processor, allowing a smooth transition with less noise. Third-generation T-Topology technology synchronizes signal transfer by balancing the paths between each memory slot.

All these optimizations allow obtaining a bigger margin for the overclocking and the stability of the system.

With the same advantages as the lower-end Asus motherboards, this one offers other significant advantages!

How to choose your motherboard?

These tips are applicable, whether you are an AMD processor or Intel chipset enthusiast, whatever your budget.

Size

To begin, we must see the physical size of the motherboard. Most use ATX size, which is the mainstream option.

These cards require larger enclosures, but also have their advantages: they have more PCI-Express ports and memory card slots than smaller motherboards. Many ATX motherboards tend to be faster than the smaller ones.

Micro-ATX motherboards are medium-sized and offer lots of benefits, with their multiple PCI ports and memory options.

Mini-ITX motherboards are the smallest on the market, which means obvious consequences: they are great for building a small PC for gaming or media, but they will have fewer PCI ports and less space for them. RAM arrays – and also less high-end features.

They also tend to cost a little more than their ATX or micro-ATX counterparts.

The chipset

The physical size of the motherboard is not the only data to take into account. Check which chipset your potential purchase includes because better chipsets from AMD and Intel will offer more features.

AMD and Intel chipsets will also offer a different number of ports, so compare both carefully before buying.

Connectivity

Also, check how many RAM ports are included and how fast they can go. There is no point buying a DDR4 if you can not run it at full speed on your motherboard.

Also, make sure that the motherboard has the connector adapted to the hard drive you want to install. The form, chipset, connectivity, and price are key elements to consider when choosing a motherboard. Speed is another factor, of course, but it has never been so unimportant.

The components you choose are much more important when it comes to determining the speed of your PC.


 

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