Best Gaming Motherboards in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update May 15, 2019
Do you enjoy putting together the ultimate gaming PC? If you are a hardcore gamer who wants the latest in gaming computer technology, then take a look at our reviews of five of the best gaming motherboards to give your gaming PC the upgrade it deserves. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2019
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Chipset
CPU
Memory
Storage
Expansion Slots
Extras
Warranty
 
PROS

The 12 + 1 phase VRM power module on the DrMOS base is equipped with printed circuit boards with the double thickness of the copper layer - this ensures effective heat dissipation, even if the components are intensively used in overclocking mode.

CONS

Due to the bulkiness of the parts, using liquid cooling with fans will be difficult.

OUR VERDICT

This motherboard based on the Intel® Z390 chipset will allow you to get the most out of 8th and 9th generation Intel Core processors: today it acts as the fastest and most reliable platform to build a modern gaming system of any complexity and price.

detailed parameters
Chipset

Intel® Z390

CPU

Intel® Socket 1151 for 9th and 8th Generation Core™ Processors

Memory

4 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR4

Storage

1 x M.2 Socket 3 (up to 22110 SATA mode & X4 PCIE mode)

1 x M.2 Socket 3 (up to 2280 SATA mode & X4 PCIE mode)

6 x SATA 6Gb/s

Expansion Slots

2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8) 

1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (max at x4 mode) 

3 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x1

Extras

12+1 Phases Digital VRM Solution with DrMOS, Ultra Durable™ Design, Smart Fan 5 Technology, Advanced Thermal Design, ALC1220-VB Enhance Sound Card with SNR, High-End WIMA and Audio Capacitors, built-in RGB illumination

Warranty

3 years

PROS

For solid-state drives, there is a separate radiator here: it has a large area and provides efficient cooling. As a result, the average temperature of the SSD drive will be 20 degrees Celsius lower, which means it will be able to demonstrate a high TBW value.

CONS

The PCIE slot for the GPU is plastic (isn’t strong enough).

OUR VERDICT

Another productive motherboard designed for fans of AMD Ryzen processors, which will provide the user with an opportunity to achieve truly high overclocking performance. The advanced function of the five-sided optimization will allow overclocking the system in a few mouse clicks.

detailed parameters
Chipset

AMD® X470

CPU

AM4 Socket for AMD® Ryzen™ / Athlon™ X4 Processors

Memory

4 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR4

Storage

1 x M.2 Socket 3 (up to 22110 SATA mode & X4 PCIE mode)

1 x M.2 Socket 3 (up to 22110 SATA mode)

1 x M.2 Socket 3 (up to 2280 SATA mode & X2 PCIE mode)

6 x SATA 6Gb/s

Expansion Slots

2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8)

1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (max at x4 mode)

3 x PCIe 2.0 x1

Extras

5-Way Optimization with Auto-Tuning and FanXpert 4 software, M.2 heatsink, Realtek S1220A with SNR and Crystal Sound 3 Technology, SafeSlot feature, built-in RGB illumination

Warranty

3 years

PROS

The patented PCI-E Steel Armor ™ slots ensure that graphics cards are protected from electromagnetic interference and physical damage. Two layers of grounding contacts prevent components from failing due to voltage surges or short circuits.

CONS

The BIOS interface is quite confusing.

OUR VERDICT

If you have limited funds, but still want to build a powerful gaming system with a single high-performance graphics card, this model will definitely please you. It offers you almost all modern connectors which are necessary even for a very demanding user.

detailed parameters
Chipset

Intel® Z370

CPU

Intel® Socket 1151 for 9th and 8th Generation Core™ / Pentium™ / Celeron™ Processors

Memory

4 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR4

Storage

1 x M.2 Socket 3 (up to 22110 SATA mode & X4 PCIE mode)

6 x SATA 6Gb/s

Expansion Slots

1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16

1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (max at x4 mode)

4 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x1

Extras

Heavy plated heatsinks, MSI Audio Boost Technology, USB X-Boost™ Technology, Double ESD Protection (Double layer grounding), PCI-E Steel Armor™ Slots, built-in white LED-lighting

Warranty

1 year

PROS

AMD StoreMI™ technology improves both storage and overall system performance in case of simultaneous installation of SSD and HDD Drives: the utility analyzes the opening of the most popular files and folders by the user, and allows for accessing files in the shortest possible time.

CONS

Outputs are provided for only 3 fans (2 case and 1 processor).

OUR VERDICT

When creating this motherboard, Gigabyte tried to do everything possible to make a good PC based on AMD Ryzen processors to perform demanding tasks like rendering, creating and processing digital content, as well as running modern games. And they actually did it!

detailed parameters
Chipset

AMD® B450

CPU

AM4 Socket for AMD® Ryzen™ / Athlon™ X4 Processors

Memory

4 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR4

Storage

1 x M.2 Socket 3 (up to 22110 SATA mode & X4 PCIE mode)

4 x SATA 6Gb/s

Expansion Slots

1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16

1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (max at x4 mode)

1 x PCIe 2.0 x1

Extras

AMD StoreMI technology, 4+3 phase Hybrid Digital PWM, Smart Fan 5 Technology, High Quality Onboard Audio Design with High-end Audio Capacitors, supporting of RGB LED Strips in 7-Colours

Warranty

3 years

PROS

Connectors on the rear and front panels are made of stainless steel - this not only eliminates corrosion and deterioration of contacts after a while, but also minimises the risk of mechanical damage in case of inadvertent pulling of connectors.

CONS

Only two DIMM slots provided.

OUR VERDICT

Reliability and wide compatibility are the main advantages of this motherboard: it has been tested for performance with more than 1000 components and devices, so you can be sure of its stable operation with components from any manufacturer.

detailed parameters
Chipset

AMD® A320

CPU

AM4 Socket for AMD® Ryzen™ / Athlon™ X4 Processors

Memory

2 x DIMM, Max. 32GB, DDR4

Storage

1 x M.2 Socket 3 (up to 2280 SATA mode & X4 PCIE mode)

1 x M.2 Socket 3 (up to 2280 SATA mode)

4 x SATA 6Gb/s

Expansion Slots

2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8)

2 x PCIe 2.0 x1

Extras

5-Way Optimization with Auto-Tuning and FanXpert 4 software, 5x Protection III, SafeSlot feature, Optimised Cooling, All-Round Energy Saving

Warranty

3 years

Gigabyte Z390 AORUS PRO

Full Intel Power

Many gamers swear by using Intel-based systems. After all, their processors have consistently at the top of the heap when it comes to single-core performance, which is the most important aspect of a processor when it comes to gaming. Of course, this means that finding a great motherboard with an Intel chipset is important for getting the most performance of your system, especially one that supports the latest Intel processors.

The Gigabyte Z390 AORUS PRO Motherbard is a high powered motherboard based on the Intel Z390 chipset, which provides a Socket 1151 slot for 8th and 9th generation Intel Core processors. This means that you can use the fastest processors from Intel to be the heart of your gaming system. Along with this, the motherboard provides 4 DIMM slots for DDR4 RAM, giving you blazing fast RAM speeds along with plenty of slots for maxing out your system's memory. The included Z390 AORUS Platform helps power Intel's Optane technology, which speeds up your storage performance by providing a cache drive for data access, giving you blazing fast speeds from whichever storage drive you install. This helps prevent slow access speeds from becoming a bottleneck to your gaming experience.

Review of Gigabyte Z390 AORUS PRO Motherbard

All-Around Monster Board

The performance features of this great gaming motherboard will help you in building a monster gaming system. Almost every small detail of this motherboard has been designed to help maximise your system's performance, giving you cutting edge technologies all around. As an example of this, the system includes an integrated Intel GbE LAN chipset featuring cFosSpeed, which improves your networking performance by reducing latency and giving you low ping times, ensuring that your network won't slow you down during online or networked multiplayer games. This performance enhancement is even carried over to the integrated 802.11ac wireless networking controller, which features the Wave 2 function for maximum network performance even when using a wireless network.

Along with these performance enhancements are plenty of other extra features that help make this motherboard a must-have for gamers, including a reversible USB 3.1 Type-C port, the 12 Phase power design for ensuring system stability, and the RGB Fusion software for controlling LED lighting that is added to the case. With all of these powerful features, anyone who needs an Intel-based motherboard should take a good long look at this one.

Gigabyte Z390 AORUS PRO Motherbard in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

ASUS PRIME X470-PRO

Incredible Power

Although Intel processors have been the top performers for gaming for a long time now, there are still a large number of AMD enthusiasts who prefer using AMD-based systems. One of the big reasons for this is that while AMD typically doesn't have the absolute fastest processors for gaming, they do tend to offer the best "bang for the buck", giving you near equivalent performance at a much lower price point. Those who prefer AMD processors are heavily invested in finding a quality AMD-based motherboard to power their systems.

The ASUS PRIME X470-PRO Motherboard is a high-quality motherboard using the AMD X470 chipset, giving you the ability to use the new Ryzen processors from AMD. This motherboard pulls out all of the stops in order to give you the base for a powerful system that utilises the latest PC technologies. Included on the motherboard are four DDR4 DIMM slots, giving you the ability to install up to 64 GB of RAM, which is an enormous amount that will give you maximum gaming performance. Also included are dual m.2 controllers that provide you with exceptionally fast performance from installed SSD drives. There is even an m.2 heatsink for helping to provide maximum cooling for the SSDs.

Review of ASUS PRIME X470-PRO Motherboard

Trick Out Your System

Plenty of other enhancements and features are included in this top of the line motherboard. For instance, with the importance of cooling options necessary for overclocking, the motherboard includes controls for your fans and water pumps that can be accessed using the Fan Xpert 4 software, which gives you the ability to customise the controls over these for maximum cooling efficiency, or even for slowing down the fans, giving you an extremely quiet system.

One of the greatest features of this motherboard is the media-acclaimed UEFI BIOS, which gives you advanced control over every aspect of your system. The UEFI interface is extremely intuitive while not hiding the advanced options, and it even includes a built-in search system that lets you quickly find exactly what you are looking for. Pretty much every aspect of your system can be controlled from here, including tweaks for your cooling system, to overclocking options, and everything necessary for getting the best performance from all of the system's components. With all of these advanced features included in this motherboard, gamers who want the best AMD-based gaming system available should find plenty of love about this model.

ASUS PRIME X470-PRO Motherboard in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

MSI Z370-A PRO

Military Class Components

A big problem that many people run into when looking for a good motherboard is finding one that is reliable and made of high-quality components. Many motherboards tend to be made on the cheap in order to reduce costs, and as such they often use inferior quality components. This lends them to not being the most reliable pieces of hardware out there, and reliability is a big problem with any computer system, regardless of its use. Having a reliable computer means more time for playing games and less time having to fix problems.

The MSI Z370-A PRO Gaming Motherboard isn't one of these cheap quality boards that uses inferior components. Instead, this motherboard is made using only the best, high-quality components, and is even rated as Military Class 5, ensuring that it is a reliable motherboard that should last you for a long time. This motherboard uses the Intel Z370 chipset, and supports 8th generation Intel Core CPUs, giving you the best board for using the fastest Intel processors. To compliment the fast processor, the board has four DDR4 DIMM slots, letting you install up to 64 GB of RAM in your system, which should be more than enough for even the most demanding games.

Review of MSI Z370-A PRO Gaming Motherboard

Rock Solid Hardware

The rock solid stability and reliability of this motherboard simply cannot be overstated. MSI are known for creating high-quality computer components, and this motherboard is no exception. Included on the board are a set of Steel Armor PCIe slots, which are highly durable and won't break whenever swapping out PCIe cards. This is a welcome feature on any motherboard, as many computer enthusiasts know just how fragile PCIe slots can be. Along with these are heavy-plated heatsinks that work well in keeping the components cool.

The board also has plenty of other features that add to its value. The Turbo m.2 controller lets you install blazing fast SSDs for the top storage speed, letting your data access be as fast as possible. There are also two 4x PCIe slots that let you use multiple GPUs, either for powering multiple monitors or for working in conjunction to give you the fastest graphics rendering possible. There is even USB 3.1 Gen 2 for having extremely fast access to external devices through the USB connectors. One small complaint about the board is that the BIOS interface is a bit confusing, but with the customisation options available, you should only need to spend a minimal amount of time using it. With everything added together, this motherboard is one of the best values out there.

MSI Z370-A PRO Gaming Motherboard in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Gigabyte B450M DS3H

Affordable AMD Motherboard

The single best feature of AMD-based systems is their affordability. Although AMD isn't known for making the fastest processors available, their Ryzen series of processors are certainly giving Intel's top processors a run for their money, with their latest generation almost completely wiping out the performance gap. With that, AMD also has the most affordable processors out there, letting gamers build an ultra-powerful gaming system even while on a budget.

The Gigabyte B450M DS3H Motherboard is one that lets system builders put together the best AMD based gaming system on a budget. Utilising the AMD B450 chipset, this motherboard supports the AM4 socket for Ryzen and Athlon X4 processors. You can even use a 2nd generation Ryzen processor with the Radeon Vega graphics, giving you the ability to put together a system with some true muscle. The motherboard includes 4 DIMM slots for DDR4 RAM, supporting up to 64 GB of memory. Also included is an m.2 controller for super fast SSDs as well as PCIe NVMe and SATA mode support for other storage solutions. Whether you prefer using SSDs or HDDs, or even a mix of both, this motherboard lets you configure the system how you want, with virtually no limits.

Review of Gigabyte B450M DS3H Motherboard

Fast Data Access

Speaking of the storage solutions, this motherboard includes the AMD StoreMI technology, which lets the system optimise data access performance by analysing the storage for the most commonly accessed files, and providing a cache for these files to help load programs and data as fast as possible. This feature is particularly beneficial to those who use both SSDs and HDDs, as it helps prevent the slower HDDs from becoming a bottleneck for the entire system's performance.

There are plenty of other features to love about this motherboard. Included are a wide array of ports, such as having both HDMI and DVI-D to help provide support for multiple displays. The audio controller also utilises high-quality audio capacitors and includes the Audio Noise Guard technology for letting you get the best quality audio out of the system. The LED trace path lighting gives you the ability to customise the lighting of the system's case, giving your computer that extra special look that will be the envy of your friends. With these and many other included features, it is amazing that this motherboard comes at such a low price point, and provides anyone the means to building a killer gaming computer at an affordable price.

Gigabyte B450M DS3H Motherboard in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

ASUS PRIME A320M-K

Prime Time

Although the prices of computer components have dropped significantly over the years, it can still be quite expensive building a good gaming PC on a budget. With all of the separate parts needed, including RAM, graphics card, processor, and storage, the price of a system can climb quickly. Thankfully, there are manufacturers who are well aware of this, and some have been able to make good quality motherboards that don't cost an arm and a leg. One of the manufacturers that have excelled at this is ASUS, who have long carried a good reputation for high-quality motherboards at an affordable price.

The ASUS PRIME A320M-K Motherboard continues this tradition of an excellent motherboard that is very affordable. Made for AMD-based systems, this board includes an AM4 Socket that allows installing a Ryzen or Athlox X4 processor, which means that you can use the latest AMD processors for the ultimate in performance. As this is a budget board, it only includes 2 DDR4 DIMM slots, but these allow for installing up to 32 GB of RAM, which should be more than plenty for even a high-end gaming computer. Also included is an m.2 SSD controller that lets you install an m.2 SSD for the fastest storage option possible.

Review of ASUS PRIME A320M-K Motherboard

Maximum Protection

Just because this is an affordable motherboard doesn't mean that the design was on the cheap end. In fact, it is quite the opposite. The high quality of the components used is something that just isn't found on motherboards of this price range. For example, the connectors on both the front and rear panels are made of stainless steel, which not only prevents corrosion from setting in, but also provides maximum protection from all kinds of issue, even with accidental pulling of the connected cables. This design also extends to the internals of the motherboard, as it includes 5X Protection for keeping the components in top quality shape.

This motherboard has plenty of extras included that are sure to make most gamers happy. Included is support for RGB fans as well as for LED illumination, which lets you build a PC around this motherboard that runs super fast as well as looking cool. The BIOS utility is simple to use, letting you configure all aspects of the system without having to waste time hunting for that one setting that you're looking for. With all of the latest technology supported as well as the maximum protection put into its design, this motherboard should serve any gamer well for many years.

ASUS PRIME A320M-K Motherboard in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

What Is a Gaming Motherboard?

Anyone who is familiar with computer architecture, especially those who work on or build computers either for a living or as a hobby, are quite familiar with what a motherboard is. For those who don't, a motherboard is the central component in a computer where all of the separate internal components of a system connect to. This includes the processor, audio and video adapters, storage devices, expansion cards, and ports, among other things. A motherboard is usually manufactured with a certain chipset that is meant to work with a specific brand or type of processor. Thus, motherboards that are created with chipsets for Intel processors will only work with a specific model of Intel processors, and the same for those designed for AMD processors.

Motherboards that are made specifically for gaming systems usually include a core set of components, or support for such, especially in regards to specific cooling and overclocking components. These motherboards are designed for high-end components that are meant to make a powerful gaming computer, and will often be the central part of a system that pushes its maximum performance to the limits.

If you would rather purchase a pre-built gaming PC instead of building your own, take a look at our reviews of the five best gaming PCs available.

What Features to Compare

Many gaming computer enthusiasts are quite knowledgeable about what to look for when it comes to a good gaming motherboard. However, sometimes details can be missed that end up turning out to be important considerations for choosing the best gaming motherboard available. Since it is always a good idea to have a list of the important characteristics of a gaming motherboard, we have provided one here that will help you in determining whether a motherboard for gaming has the characteristics that you require.

Chipset

One of the most important characteristics of a good gaming motherboard is the chipset that it uses. Generally, motherboards are made for either using Intel or AMD processors, and with this being the case, having the motherboard with the right chipset for the processor that you want to use is of the upmost importance.

Memory

Another important characteristic of any gaming motherboard is the total amount of memory it can accommodate. Since serious gamers tend to require large amounts of fast RAM, the motherboard should allow for expanding the memory to the desired levels. In such cases, motherboards that have more DIMM slots available are always preferred, as this gives a lot more flexibility in installing and upgrading the system's memory.

Storage

The supported storage options for a gaming motherboard is another consideration that should be taken into account. Gamers demand that their system have the best performance possible, and having a motherboard that supports the fastest SSDs available is a requirement for most anyone. As such, a good gaming motherboard should have support for both m.2 SSDs as well as SATA HDDs.

Expansion Slots

As gamers like having the option to upgrade their system with better hardware, having expansion slots is something that any good motherboard should have. Generally, having more PCI-e expension slots available gives you more options in regards to how to upgrade your system, so having a motherboard that supports more slots (as well as those specific for the best video cards) is a must.

Extra Features

Last but not least, the extra features of a gaming motherboard should be taken into account. Specifically, many of the extra features that a gaming motherboard should support are those related to fans and liquid cooling, which is especially important for those who like to overclock their systems for the best performance possible. Some other features that a motherboard should support are those related to case lighting options, as many gamers love to decorate their cases to look like true monster gaming systems.

The Great Debate: Intel or AMD

Ask any gamer which processor they prefer, and they will quickly tell you that they either swear by Intel, or that they are an AMD fan. If you tell them that you prefer the opposite of their preference, that is almost always sure to start up a debate regarding these processors. So, what exactly is the big deal between them? There is actually a world of difference between Intel and AMD processors, despite their mutual compatibility, and having one type or the other is sure to have its benefits as well as its drawbacks.

If you're not sure which processor is best for you, then it would be a good idea to read on for some information regarding both Intel and AMD processors, which will include the strengths and weaknesses for both. With this information, you should be able to choose the type of processor that will meet your needs the best.

Intel

Intel has long been the giant in computer processors. Being the company that actually invented the microprocessor, they now have an overwhelming share of the processor market, and this is not likely to change anytime soon. Along with their huge marketshare, they have also maintained a big performance lead with their processors, with any competitors challenging them only for a short time, but rarely ever surpassing them.

Although Intel has a huge selection of processors and different processor series, the one series that any gamer should pay attention to is their Core series of processors. Now in their 9th generation, the Core series includes the i3, i5, i7, and i9 processors, ranging from lowest end to highest. Although they often don't feature as many processor cores as their competitor, Intel's Core series has always topped the performance benchmarks, especially when it comes to single core performance. As there are still relatively few games that can take full advantage of multiple processor cores, single core performance is still a top indicator of how well the processor is suited for gaming.

Despite their huge performance lead, one area that Intel lacks in is their pricing. Intel processors are commonly much more expensive than their competitors. Although many gamers think that the high performance they offer is worth the price, those who are on a budget will be hard pressed to find Intel-based gaming systems that are in their price range.

AMD

AMD has been around for a long time, having made a splash in the processor market at times by offering high performance processors that are low in price. Although they had languished well behind Intel in the performance race for a number of years, their latest Ryzen series of processors have proven to be almost every bit as powerful as Intel's top of the line products. The Ryzen series has been a huge success for AMD, giving them a recent turnaround in their fortunes. Although they can't quite match Intel's processors in regards to single core performance, they make up for this by typically providing more cores in comparison to Intel's processors. This might have a limited impact on games that aren't made to make full use of multiple cores, but it does allow them to excel at multitasking.

Which Should I Choose?

After giving a rundown of both Intel and AMD processors, which one you should choose will depend on what exactly you want to do with your computer. For those who absolutely need the top end speeds for gaming, and for who price isn't a consideration, Intel should still be the obvious choice. However, those who are on a budget will find the best value with AMD.

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Publish Date: 2019-01-31 12:06:28