Each gamer when he is trying to build the perfect gaming computer for his needs he is required to choose the most suitable hardware. That includes the processor, random access memory (RAM), graphics card, audio card, hard disk drive, power supply, case, monitor and of course the motherboard. If you don’t know how to choose the best of the above please read our related articles:
RAM’s

Audio Cards

Hard Disk Drive

Graphics Cards

Monitors

Power Supply

Processors

Case

Now it seems like the perfect moment to choose a motherboard. What is a motherboard and how can we choose the most suitable?

Well let’s take things from the beggining. In simple terms, a motherboard is the component of the computer which is responsible for connecting all the physical parts together allowing them to interact, communicate and share information with each other.

COMPONENTS/CONNECTORS DIAGRAM:

motherboard, components, diagram, design, connectors

The above picture illustrates all the different components of the motherboard. We always should keep in mind that some components might differ from motherboards to motherboards. However most of them are always the same as they are kind of “standard”. Next we have to clarify the different processor compatibilities. Different processors come out with different socket requirements. There are about 60 different socket types so we have categorized them in a table. Yes that’s a lot, but only a few of them are most commonly used. However we made a complete guide for each one.

*Search for your processor model in the search box and see exactly which motherboard sockets will work for you or type the socket type and see which processors will fit*

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NAME


SUPPORTED CPU


Socket 1



Intel 80486



Socket 2



Intel 80486



Socket 3



Intel 80486



Socket 4



Intel Pentium



Socket 5



Intel Pentium


AMD K5


Cyrix 6x86


IDT WinChip C6


IDT WinChip 2


Socket 6



Intel 80486


Socket 7



Intel Pentium

Intel Pentium
MMX

AMD K6


Super Socket 7



AMD K6-2
AMD K6-2+
AMD K6-III
AMD K6-III+
Rise mP6

Cyrix MII


Socket 8



Intel Pentium Pro


Slot 1



Intel Pentium II
Intel Pentium III


Slot 2



Intel Pentium II Xeon


Socket 463/


NexGen Nx586


Socket NexGen


AMD K6



Socket 587


Alpha 21164A


Slot A



AMD Athlon


Slot B


Alpha 21264


Socket 370



Intel Pentium III

Intel Celeron
VIA Cyrix III
VIA C3


Socket 462/


AMD Athlon

AMD Duron

AMD Athlon XP

AMD Athlon XP-M

AMD Athlon MP

AMD Sempron


Socket 423



Intel Pentium 4


Socket 478/


Intel Pentium 4

Intel Celeron

Intel Pentium 4 EE

Intel Pentium 4 M


Socket 495



Intel Celeron


Intel Pentium III


 


PAC418



Intel Itanium


Socket 603



Intel Xeon


PAC611



Intel Itanium 2
HP PA-8800PA-8900


Socket 604



Intel Xeon


Socket 754



AMD Athlon 64

AMD Sempron

AMD Turion 64


Socket 940



AMD Opteron Athlon 64 FX


Socket 479



Intel Pentium M

Intel Celeron M


Socket 939



AMD Athlon 64

AMD Athlon 64
FX


AMD Athlon 64
X2


AMD Opteron


LGA 775/


Intel Pentium 4

Intel Pentium D

Intel Celeron

Intel Celeron D

Intel Pentium XE

Intel Core 2 Duo

Intel Core 2
Quad


Intel Xeon


Socket 563



AMD Athlon XP-M


Socket M



Intel Core Solo

Intel Core Duo

Intel Dual-Core Xeon

Intel Core 2 Duo


LGA 771/ Socket J



Intel Xeon


AMD Athlon MP


Socket S1



AMD Turion 64 X2


Socket AM2



AMD Athlon 64

AMD Athlon 64
X2


Socket F/ Socket L (Socket 1207FX)


AMD Athlon 64 FX

AMD Opteron


(Socket L only support Athlon 64 FX)


 


Socket AM2+



AMD Athlon 64

AMD Athlon X2
AMD Phenom

AMD Phenom II


Socket P



Intel Core 2


Socket 441



Intel Atom


LGA 1366/ Socket B



Intel Core i7 (900 series)

Intel Xeon (35xx, 36xx, 55xx, 56xx series)


rPGA 988A/Socket G1



Intel Core i7 (600, 700,
800, 900 series)

Intel Core i5 (400, 500
series)

Intel Core i3 (300 series)

Intel Pentium (P6000
series)

Intel Celeron (P4000
series)


Socket AM3



AMD Phenom II

AMD Athlon II

AMD Sempron


LGA 1156/Socket H



Intel Core i7 (800 series)

Intel Core i5 (700, 600
series)

Intel Core i3 (500 series)

Intel Xeon (X3400, L3400
series)

Intel Pentium (G6000
series)

Intel Celeron (G1000
series)


Socket G34



AMD Opteron (6000
series)


LGA 1150/
Socket H3
Intel Haswell
Intel Haswell Refresh
Intel Broadwell
Intel Core i3
Intel Core i5
Intel Core i7
Intel Xeon

Socket C32



AMD Opteron (4000
series)


 


LGA 1248



Intel Intel Itanium
9300-series


LGA 1567



Intel Intel Xeon 6500/7500-series


 


LGA 1155/ Socket H2


Intel Sandy Bridge

Intel Ivy Bridge


Intel Xeon E3 12xx


[Sandy Bridge 12xx]


[Ivy Bridge 12xxV2]


 


 


LGA 2011/

Socket R


Intel Core i7 3xxx Sandy Bridge-E

Intel Core i7 4xxx Ivy
Bridge-E


Intel Xeon E5 2xxx/4xxx [Sandy Bridge EP] (2/4S)

Intel Xeon E5-2xxx/4xxx v2 [Ivy Bridge EP] (2/4S)


rPGA 988B/
Socket G2


Intel Core i7 (2000, 3000
series)

Intel Core i5 (2000, 3000
series)

Intel Core i3 (2000, 3000
series)


Socket AM3+


AMD
FX Vishera

AMD FX Zambezi
AMD Phenom II
AMD Athlon II
AMD Sempron


Socket FM2+


AMD


After we found out what socket to look for, it’s time to move on and and start looking at the best motherboard options available out in the market. We are aiming for a motherboard which has a lot of RAM slots, expansion slots, SATA slots, and an integrated audio card.

With no more theory to be told let’s jump straight to our top rated list too see the best possible choices. On this list you will find the best choices both for Intel and AMD processors.

 TOPRATEDLIST

#1. ASUS TUF SABERTOOTH 990FX

This is the best choice for the money without any doubt.  Supports up to 32gigs of ram (divided by 4 slots) and dual-channel RAM architecture. It’s CeraMiX Premium ceramic-coating technology provides best heat dissipation and it features an on-board thermal detection system (10 sensors) which can be customized to the user needs. It’s super durable as it’s capacitors, chipsets and chokes are certified by military standard. Moreover this model has easily passed it’s Promised Reliability Strict Test Program which makes it capable of operating smoothly even in the worst conditions.

asus, motherboard, best, affordable, sabertooth

Technical Specifications:

RAM Slots: 4

Max. RAM Supported: 32 GB

CPU Socket: AM3+

Chipset: AMD 990FX

LAN: YES – 1 x Ethernet

Output Ports:

  • 8 x USB 2.0
  • 4 x USB 3.0
  • 1 x Ethernet
  • 6 x Analog Audio
  • 1 x PS/2 (Dual)
  • 2 x eSATA

Expansion Slots:  x1 Legacy PCI Slot, x1 PCIe, x3 PCIe 2.0 x16 Slot

Storage: 8 x SATA

On-board Audio Card: YES –  7.1 Channel

 

 

#2. ASUS RAMPAGE V EXTREME

This is probably the most powerful and best choice for Intel lovers yet. Ready to support Intel Core i7 processors featuring an Intel X99 chipset. Moreover it allows the user to have up to 64gigs of ram (divided by 8 slots) which are more than the average at a quad-channel architecture and type DDR4. Surprisingly this model has 12 USB input sockets ensures that you will always have some free sockets.

asus, rampage, v, extreme

Technical Specifications:

RAM Slots: 8

Max. RAM Supported: 64GB

CPU Socket: LGA 2011 / SOCKET R

Chipset: Intel X99

LAN: YES – 1 x Ethernet

Output Ports:

  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • 10 x USB 3.0
  • 1 x LAN
  • 5 x Analog Audio
  • 1  x PS/2

Expansion Slots: x 1 PCIe x1 Slot(s),  PCIe 2.0 x16 Slot(s), x 4 PCIe 3.0 x16 Slot(s)

Storage: 8 x SATA

On-board Audio Card: YES – 8 Channel

 

 

#3. Gigabyte GA-Z97X-GAMING 7

Gigabyte is a very well-known brand in the motherboards industry so it’s not a surprise that’s on our list. Featuring it’s GA-Z97-X-GAMING 7 model which is fully optimized for gaming. It even comes with an integrated graphics card. (That means you don’t need a dedicated video card), however there’s room for one as people often buy this motherboard especially for gaming.

gigabyte ga z97 x gaming 7

Technical Specifications:

RAM Slots: 4

Max. RAM Supported: 32GB

CPU Socket: LGA 1150 / SOCKET H3

Chipset: Intel Z97

LAN: YES – 1 x Ethernet

Output Ports:

  • 4 x USB 2.0
  • 4 x USB 3.0
  • 1 x LAN/Ethernet
  • 5 x Analog Audio
  • 1 x DVI
  • 1 x VGA
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 2 x PS/2
  • 1 x eSATA

Expansion Slots: 1 Legacy PCI Slot(s), 3 PCIe x1 Slot(s), 3 PCIe 3.0 x16 Slot(s)

Storage: 9 x SATA

On-board Audio Card: YES – 7.1 Channel

 

#4. ASUS M5A99FX PRO R2.0

This is one of the most popular models compatible with AMD processors coming at a very reasonable and affordable price. Featuring Real-time network bandwidth control application which easily allows users to prioritize bandwidth to different applications. The ASUS M5A99FX has a lot of hidden features that pushed it to our top rated list.

ASUS M5A99FX PRO R2.0

Technical Specifications:

RAM Slots: 4

Max. RAM Supported: 32GB

CPU Socket: AM3+

Chipset: AMD 990FX

LAN: YES – 1 x Ethernet

Output Ports:

  • 2 x USB 3.0
  • 8 x USB 2.0
  • 7 x SATA
  • 6 x Audio Jacks
  • 1 x LAN
  • 1 x eSATA
  • 2 x PS/2
  • 1 x Optical S

Expansion Slots: 2 x PCIe 2.0 x16,  2 x PCIe 2.0 x16, 1 x PCIe 2.0 x1, 1 x PCI

Storage: 5 x SATA

On-board Audio Card: YES – 7.1 Channel

 

#5. Asrock X99 Extreme4

If you are not only interested in gaming, but you are trying to build the ultimate computer both for gaming and other applications where more RAM is needed then this is the one to go with. Asrock X99 Extreme 4 is capable of holding up to 128gigs of RAM (divided by 8 slots) thanks to it’s Intel X99 chipset. It comes at a slightly more expensive price tag than the others, but it’s definitely worth it.

Asrock X99 Extreme4

Technical Specifications:

RAM Slots: 8

Max. RAM Supported: 128GB

CPU Socket: LGA 2011 / SOCKET R

Chipset: Intel X99

LAN: YES – 1 x Ethernet

Input/Output Ports:

  • x 4 USB 2.0
  • x 4 USB 3.0
  • x 1 LAN
  • x 5 Analog Audio
  • x 2 PS/2
  • x 1 eSATA

Expansion Slots: x 1 PCIe x1 Slot(s), x 1 PCIe 2.0 x16 Slot(s), x 3 PCIe 3.0 x16 Slot(s)

Storage: 10 x SATA

On-board Audio Card: YES – 7.1 Channel 

 

Bottom Line:

These are the best models ever released optimized for gaming. After considering your socket type, you will go for the one which suits more for your needs. If you need an entry-level motherboard at a cheap price you will have to go with the  ASUS M5A99FX PRO R2.0. Most people want to buy something good to last longer. If you are one of them then your best shot is ASUS RAMPAGE V EXTREME or ASUS TUF SABERTOOTH 990FX. Now if you really are on a high-budget I would definitely recommend the Gigabyte GA-Z97X-GAMING 7 or the Asrock X99 Extreme4 if you want that extra boost of RAM.

 

Find them:

ASUS TUF SABERTOOTH 990FX  – Here

ASUS RAMPAGE V EXTREME – Here

Gigabyte GA-Z97X-GAMING 7  – Here

ASUS M5A99FX PRO R2.0 – Here

Asrock X99 Extreme4 – Here

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