Here is the newest replace to our listing of advisable Intel motherboards in our collection of motherboards patrons guides. All numbers within the textual content are up to date to mirror pricing on the time of writing.

Best Intel Motherboards: May 2021

For customers on the lookout for a brand new Intel motherboard, we have now excellent news! Moving into the center of Spring we appear to be experiencing wider constructive availability of Intel’s 500 collection motherboards in retail channels. Despite some criticism from media and customers, Intel’s Rocket Lake processors nonetheless present respectable ranges of efficiency, with loads of options for players, content material creators, and fanatics. There are all kinds of choices for customers to pick from, not simply on present 500 collection chipsets, but additionally in 400-series chipsets. There are additionally different variables to contemplate, such because the section of processor chosen by customers, which makes all of the aforementioned chipsets appropriate for each eleventh technology and tenth technology processors, and it is time to give our picks for May in our newest Intel motherboard patrons information.

Here are our selections within the motherboard marketplace for Intel. For AMD suggestions, head on over to our AMD information. This is normally up to date month-to-month.








Intel Motherboards Recommendations

May 2021
Segment Motherboard Amazon Newegg MSRP
Price vs Features ASUS TUF Gaming Z590-Plus WIFI $260 $251 $260
Value MSI Z490-A Pro $149 $130 $160
Micro-ATX ASRock B560M Steel Legend $135 $120
Mini-ITX ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 $280 $280 $280
Money No Object MSI MEG Z590 Godlike $1000 $1000 $1019

Our suggestions for motherboards are based mostly fully on private {and professional} opinion. There are notably many alternative motherboards throughout the Intel chipsets together with B460, Z490, the newest Z590/B560 chipsets, and the workstation-focused W480 chipset. Some of our selections and choices listed below are additionally restricted by what inventory is obtainable.

Best Intel Motherboard For Gaming/Performance

ASUS TUF Gaming Z590-Plus WIFI ($260 at Amazon/$251 at Newegg)

Looking for a mannequin that mixes efficiency with performance and a stable characteristic set, there are loads of Z590 and Z490 fashions to select from. Adding value to the equation and it turns into much more choose, with the ASUS TUF Gaming Z590-Plus WIFI providing loads of good high quality options, however for an affordable value. It provides customers a stable entry level onto Intel’s eleventh technology processors together with options particular to the Z590 chipset.

Included within the characteristic set is an honest networking array with an Intel I225-V 2.5 GbE controller and Intel AX200 Wi-Fi 6 CNVi, in addition to one USB 3.2 G2x2 Type-C, two USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, two USB 3.2 G1 Type-A, and two USB 2.0 ports on the rear panel. For storage, the Z590-Plus WIFI has three M.2 slots together with one PCIe 4.0 x4 and two PCIe 3.0 x4/SATA M.2, in addition to six SATA ports with RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays. There can be sufficient PCIe slot help to make it usable together with one full-length PCIe 4.0 x16 slot, one full-length PCIe 3.0 x4 slot, and two PCIe 3.0 x1 slots. Memory help consists of 4 reminiscence slots, with official help for as much as DDR4-5133 and a complete mixed capability of 128 GB.

 

The ASUS TUF Z590-Plus WIFI represents its entry-level gaming vary, however there’s sufficient within the specs and have set to make this a stable mid-level answer for players and content material creators. It is presently accessible for $260 at Amazon, and on the barely cheaper value of $251 at Newegg. There’s loads of choices at this value level, however maybe not as many as well-equipped with such an affordable price ticket, and this alone makes the TUF Gaming Z590-PLUS WIFI our choose for players.

Best Intel Motherboard: The Value Option

MSI Z490-A Pro ($149 at Amazon/$130 at Newegg)

The time period ‘worth’ could be taken any alternative ways, as it may be associated to funds however with loads of high quality, or it may be relative to how a lot cash is obtainable. Prices of high-end motherboards have elevated over time – I bear in mind when a high-end board would price $175! But at present the highest chipsets are solely close to that value on the backside of the stack.

With numerous Intel LGA1200 chipsets accessible with the H410, B460, H470, and Z490, there are loads of stable contenders on this specific space. My choose for worth is the MSI Z490-A Pro. This is not on a budget-based Intel chipset comparable to H410, nevertheless it permits customers to overclock and squeeze out extra efficiency from the tenth technology Comet Lake processors. The MSI Z490-A Pro is without doubt one of the most cost-effective Z490 fashions accessible in the marketplace and has a stable characteristic set for the worth. This features a 12-phase energy supply, a Realtek ALC1200 HD audio codec, two PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, a Realtek 2.5 GbE Ethernet controller, and a single USB 3.2 G2 Type-C port on the rear panel.

The largest characteristic of word on the MSI Z490-A Pro is the ability supply, with a 12-phase design in addition to the inclusion of a Realtek RTL8125B 2.5 gigabit Ethernet controller. It additionally features a stable funds storage configuration with six SATA slots and two PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, with one slot coming with a heatsink, and the opposite reliant on the person putting in one, or going for passive cooling. The rear panel is fairly normal for a board of this caliber, with a single USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, 5 USB 3.2 G1 Type-A, and two USB 2.0 ports. It contains an HDMI and DisplayPort video output pairing for customers seeking to leverage Intel’s UHD built-in graphics, in addition to six 3.5 mm audio jacks powered by a Realtek ALC1200 HD audio codec.

 

Despite the existence of the budget-focused H410, H470, and B460 chipsets, and extra lately B560 and Z590, not one of the H and B collection fashions formally help CPU overclocking. When combining a Comet Lake desktop processor or Rocket Lake with sufficient cooling, it might provide glorious efficiency. The MSI Z490-A Pro is not simply one of many most cost-effective Z490 fashions with an MSRP of $160, nevertheless it’s really stable on paper too, for each overclocking and with a number of value-orientated options, however nonetheless greater than succesful controller set for a board at this value level. The Z490-A Pro is presently accessible for $149 at Amazon and even cheaper at Newegg for $130, so we advocate shopping for it from Newegg. Its largest competitors comes by way of the equally spectacular GIGABYTE Z490 Gaming X mannequin at $160, nevertheless it lacks the two.5 GbE Ethernet controller and as a substitute opts for an Intel Gigabit controller, and makes use of a USB 3.2 G2 Type-A as a substitute of the Type-C on the MSI.

Best Intel Motherboard: The Best Micro-ATX Motherboard

ASRock B560M Steel Legend ($135 at Newegg)

In earlier guides, we have had many requests to incorporate a class for micro-ATX dimension fashions, so we have determined to incorporate one for April and going ahead. The Micro-ATX kind issue has trade-offs with its bigger ATX sized choices, albeit with much less PCIe slot actual property because of the dimension limitations, nevertheless it does provide further room for options in comparison with the small kind issue mini-ITX fashions. Given that the overwhelming majority of micro-ATX fashions look to chop again on sure options, our choose is predicated on a stability of value versus options, and we really feel there is no higher mannequin to suit these standards than the ASRock B560M Steel Legend.

The ASRock B560M Steel Legend is the smaller variant of the ATX sized B560 Steel Legend and provides customers a combination of distinctive city camouflage-style aesthetics, silver heatsinks, and contains some RGB LEDs. Based on Intel’s B560 chipset, there is no official CPU overclocking help, however Intel does permit for reminiscence overclocking, with the B560M Steel Legend supporting as much as 128 GB of DDR4-4800 reminiscence throughout 4 reminiscence slots. Storage choices embrace twin M.2 slots, with one in every of these permitting for as much as PCIe 4.0 x4 quick NVMe drives, and the opposite restricted to PCIe 3.0 x4 and SATA drives. For SATA units, there are six SATA ports, together with 4 with right-angled connectors and two with straight-angled ports.

The board additionally contains one full-length PCIe 4.0 x16 slot, with two PCIe 3.0 x1 slots for units comparable to extra networking, audio, and storage controllers. On the rear is a Realtek RTL8125BG 2.5 GbE controller, HDMI, and DisplayPort video output pairing, with a Realtek ALC807 HD audio codec powering 5 3.5 mm audio jacks and S/PDIF optical output.

 

For the worth, and taking out the shortage of CPU overclocking help which is a limitation of the B560 chipset, the ASRock B560M Steel Legend is a stable providing on the value. Taking different B560 micro-ATX sized fashions into consideration, there’s a lot accessible together with the ASUS Prime B560M-A ($110), the MSI MAG B560M Bazooka ($139), and even on Z590, there’s the ASUS Prime Z590M-Plus ($229). Not solely is the ASRock B560M Steel Legend cheaper than the vast majority of the fashions above, however there is not a lot distinction to indicate the worth improve with the costlier boards and with the Steel Legend, it does include a novel aesthetic, which is in fact down to private desire. The ASRock B560M Steel Legend is presently available for purchase at Newegg for $135, which is barely larger than MSRP however nonetheless represents good worth for cash at its present value.

 

Best Intel Motherboard: The Best Mini-ITX Motherboard

ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 ($280 at Amazon/$280 at Newegg)

There are simply six Z490 mini-ITX fashions to pick from for small kind issue fanatics and players, and simply six for Intel’s Z590 chipset, however one in every of our favorites is from ASRock. These fashions are usually widespread with fanatics on the lookout for a stable stability of options, good high quality componentry, and pricing. The ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 is an replace over the earlier Z390 mannequin, with an identical characteristic set, however designed for Intel’s LGA1200 socket.

Out of the small handful of accessible mini-ITX Z490 motherboards, solely two embrace Thunderbolt 3 connectivity on the rear panel: the ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 and the MSI MEG Z490I Unify. The cause for choosing the equally priced ASRock over the MSI, having seen quite a few ASRock mini-ITX fashions over time, together with the Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac earlier than, we all know what to anticipate from ASRock and it is a feature-packed mannequin for its dimension. Aside from the one Thunderbolt 3 Type-C connector on the rear panel, it features a Realtek RTL8125BG 2.5 GbE Ethernet controller and Intel AX201 Wi-Fi 6 interface pairing for the networking, in addition to supporting as much as two PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 drives, one on the entrance and one other slot on the rear.

Also on the rear panel are 5 3.5 mm audio jacks and S/PDIF optical output powered by a premium Realtek ALC1220 HD audio codec and three USB 3.2 G2 Type-A and two USB 3.2 G1 Type-A ports. A handily situated clear CMOS button is featured in the course of the rear panel, with a PS/2 keyboard and mouse combo port, and two video outputs together with a DisplayPort and HDMI pairing, though the Thunderbolt 3 Type-C port can even output video. The ASRock additionally helps as much as DDR4-4666 formally, with a most capability of as much as 64 GB throughout two reminiscence slots. In addition to the 2 PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots are 4 SATA ports with help for RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays.

 

The ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 is a stable motherboard for fanatics to overclock on with its 8+2 section energy supply, in addition to the potential basis for a monstrous single graphics card gaming system. The Z490 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 has an MSRP of $280 and is presently accessible at Amazon with a really enticing price ticket of $200, and $269 at Newegg. In regards to the competitors, we reviewed the MSI Z490I Unify ($270) with an identical characteristic set and a 10-layer PCB, in addition to the GIGABYTE Z490I Aorus Ultra ($270). The ASUS ROG Strix Z490-I Gaming is barely costlier with an MSRP of $300, and we have but to assessment any mini-ITX Z590 fashions as of but.

One necessary factor to contemplate is boards such because the ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 make stable choices for Rocket Lake, because it contains the aptitude for PCIe 4.0 with one of many M.2 slots, and the full-length PCIe x16 slot. It is presently accessible at each Amazon and Newegg for MSRP at $280, though we have seen this value lowered over current months, so pricing is fluctuating repeatedly. Regarding LGA1200 mini-ITX, it is very troublesome to discover a small board that is as feature-packed. If you want a small LGA1200 board with help for each Comet Lake and Rocket Lake, that is what we advocate whereas shares final.

Best Intel Motherboard: Money Is No Object

MSI MEG Z590 Godlike ($1000 at Amazon/$1000 at Newegg)

Our earlier choose for our ‘cash is not any object’ was the MSI MEG Z490 Godlike which sat on the high of MSI’s desktop choices as a worthy flagship. With Intel’s new Rocket Lake processors coming on the finish of this month, inventory of Z590 is skinny on the bottom, to say the least. We count on this to choose up going into May, however one mannequin which is presently accessible at Newegg is MSI’s new flagship mannequin, the MEG Z590 Godlike.

The MSI MEG Z590 Godlike is a unbelievable instance of a premium flagship mannequin with loads of aesthetic upgrades over the earlier Z490 model. This contains MSI’s improved Dynamic Dashboard II which blends in seamlessly with the black and silver design. Users on the lookout for loads of RGB LED will respect a big customizable RGB MSI Dragon emblem on the rear panel cowl, with a cool new triangular formed set of LEDs constructed into the chipset heatsink.

MSI has opted for a really overkill energy supply which consists of a direct 20-phase design only for the CPU, with premium 90 An influence levels and a pair of 8-pin 12 V ATX CPU energy inputs. Other options embrace a pair of full-length PCIe 4.0 slots working at x16 and x8/x8, with one other full-length PCIe 3.0 x4 slot situated alongside the underside of the board. For storage, there are 4 PCIe M.2 slots, together with one working at PCIe 4.0 x4 and three with help for PCIe 3.0 x4 and SATA drives. MSI additionally contains six SATA ports with help for RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays.

The MSI MEG Z590 Godlike has official help for DDR4-5333 reminiscence with Rocket Lake which is an enchancment over the past technology, with a complete capability of as much as 128 GB accessible throughout 4 reminiscence slots. Rear panel connectivity can be spectacular with Intel’s newest Thunderbolt 4 controller offering two Type-C and two mini-DisplayPort inputs, in addition to two USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, and 6 USB 3.2 G1 Type-A ports. The Z590 Godlike additionally provides twin Ethernet with one Aquantia AQC107 10 Gb and an Intel I225-V 2.5 Gb controller pairing, in addition to Intel’s latest AX210 Wi-Fi 6E CNVi for entry to the 6 GHz Wi-Fi band and BT 5.2 connectivity. It can be utilizing Realtek’s ALC1220 HD audio codec which provides help for 7.1 encompass sound by way of 5 3.5 mm audio jacks and one S/PDIF optical output.

The MSI MEG Z590 Godlike has an MSRP of $1019 and at current, it is accessible at each Amazon and Newegg for $1000. Stock worldwide for elements is sketchy, to say the least. We do count on inventory of the Z590 Godlike together with different Z590 fashions to filter into retail channels faster as Rocket Lake’s processor launch looms on the finish of the month. As it stands, the MSI MEG Z590 Godlike is the one flagship mannequin even listed on Newegg presently, with Amazon’s listings additionally being slim pickings too. That being mentioned, MSI has elevated the worth of its flagship mannequin for Intel’s newest desktop mannequin from $750 to $1000-$1017, and judging by what’s on provide, it is easy to see the place the cash has been spent.

Intel Rocket Lake and Z590

For these on the lookout for Z590 fashions, we have compiled particulars on over 50 of them in our Z590 motherboard overview. We’ve additionally taken a have a look at over 30 budget-focused B560 fashions too:

Our assessment of Intel’s newest eleventh technology Rocket Lake processors can be accessible to learn:

For customers on the lookout for different choices, we have additionally gone over a number of chipset households as properly within the hyperlinks under.

Z590: Reviews (More Coming Soon)

We’ve coated as a lot as we will in our Z590 and B560 overview previous to getting our fingers on Rocket Lake, and on the time of writing, we have examined 4 Z590 motherboards and reviewed one, the ASRock Z590 Taichi. As we get by way of our stack of Z590 fashions and the opinions, we’ll study extra about Rocket Lake conduct, and as firmware matures, we’d see some bumps in efficiency. Below is an inventory of Intel 500 collection chipset opinions accomplished to date:

Is there a specific Z590 or B560 mannequin that you just suppose we must always assessment? Please tell us within the feedback under.



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