The Best motherboard UK ensure that the PC you’re building and all its components will reach their full potential. A motherboard is a PC’s backbone or foundation, allowing your internals to interact with one another as well as run and even overclock better. Your choice of motherboard, therefore, will either make or break your PC.
While the best motherboard UK may not be as sexy as the best graphics cards or processors, they’re more important than other PC components out there. And, unless you want to rebuild your entire PC from scratch or if you’re setting out to build a PC to rival the best PCs, make sure to budget properly for a quality board.
To help you find the perfect board for your next PC, we’ve rounded up the best motherboard UK on the market. And now’s the perfect time to invest, considering both Asus and MSI recently unveiled their new Intel Z490 motherboards for the newly-released Intel Comet Lake-S.
Top 10 Best Motherboard UK 2021
We’ve picked our top two favorite gaming motherboards for each of the main Intel and AMD chipsets to give you the best options around about the Top 10 Best Motherboard UK 2021
1. MSI MPG Z390 GAMING EDGE
Best Intel micro-ATX motherboard
If you’re looking to get an edge on the competition, but you don’t have a lot of extra space on your desk, you’re going to need a Micro-ATX motherboard – more specifically, the MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC. What you’re getting here is a Micro-ATX motherboard with all the features a full-sized ATX one offers, but at a fraction of the price.
Despite its smaller size, you still get dual M.2 slots, SLI and Crossfire support, and all the fiery performance that Intel Coffee Lake Refresh has to offer. If you’re looking for a smaller motherboard, you can’t afford to pass on the MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge MC.
2. Asus ROG Maximus XII Extreme
The best board for a Comet Lake Core i9.
If you want the best, most fully-featured Intel Comet Lake motherboard, choose Asus ROG Maximus XII Extreme. It is, as the name suggests, extreme, packing in a variety of luxurious and convenient extras (a frickin’ screwdriver with interchangeable heads for one), and it’s also one of the highest performing Z490 boards we’ve tested.
The Maximus XII will allow you to get the highest clock speed out of your 10900K and won’t turn it into a pile of molten slag while you’re at it. The MSI Z490 Godlike is actually the fastest Z490 outright at stock speeds, but I’d rather have the ROG board in my camp if I’m going down the OC route.
3. Gigabyte X570 Aorus Master
The best high-end AMD board for overclocking
This X570 motherboard remains one of the best options for any high-end AMD build, be it Zen 2 or Zen 3. There are a few reasons for this, but the three M.2 slots, great wired and wireless networking, and expansion possibilities top the list.
The 14-phase VRM design ensures your CPU is getting lots of clean power, which in turn makes this one of the best options for overclocking your Ryzen 5000 or Ryzen 3000 processor of choice.
All that metal atop of the VRMs helps keep things cool, as does the massive plate that covers the rear of the board. The M.2 slots all have heat spreaders, and the expansion and memory slots are reinforced too.
The only real mark against it, other than the price, is that if you do use all three M.2 slots you only get four SATA ports to play with. Still, this is a sturdy and well-thought-out board that will serve you well.
4. ASRock Z490 Taichi
The ASRock Z490 Taichi is a great motherboard in the $350-$400 price bracket for building a Z490 system, comparing favorably to similarly priced competition.It includes eight SATA ports (while others have six), as well as a speedy USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C port. It also has a premium appearance and runs cooler than competing boards in the power delivery department.
If you need three M.2 slots and eight SATA ports, this is the only board around this price point with that storage configuration. If your budget allows for an upper mid-range board, ASRock’s Z490 Taichi should be at the top of the list.
5. Asus TUF B450M-Plus
The best budget micro-ATX motherboard for AMD Ryzen processors. While it required a BIOS update to become compatible when we first tested it, Asus has since updated production so that the TUF B450M-Plus should play nice with a Ryzen 3600X or Ryzen 7 3700X straight out of the box.
As a micro-ATX motherboard, it doesn’t have as many PCI-E slots as a full-size ATX model, but the two x16 and single x1 slots are plenty to start with. Besides a full set of DDR4 RAM slots and a 12V RGB header (for fancy lighting effects on compatible components), you also get an M.2 slot as well as USB 3.1 and USB Type-C connectivity on the rear. It may be cheap, but this is no bargain bin fodder.
Its smaller form factor also allows it to fit into more compact cases, which are usually cheaper than ATX-focused mid-towers, further cementing the B450M-Plus as a wise budget choice.
6. Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro
The Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro strikes the right balance between features and price, offering respectable gaming and application performance for a cost that won’t drain your wallet.
You get three PCI-E x16 slots: one at full speed, a second capable of 8x speed and a third at 4x speed. Alongside, there are three PCI-E x1 slots, meaning for single GPU builds, the Z390 Aorus Pro is a better buy than a more expensive board with multiple 8x speed slots. You do get dual support for Nvidia and AMD cards here, however, if you want to dip a toe into that world.
Few other boards at this price offer so many features and so much balance, and the Gigabyte also delivered great performance. It’s better than all of its affordable rivals in application tests, proved speedy in application and memory benchmarks, and finished off with gaming results that outpaced the competition.
This board is a few pounds more expensive than others in the middle of the market, but it justifies its price with great features and performance. It’s the best mid-range all-rounder.
7. ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming 4
If you need an affordable board to house your Ryzen rig, then the ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming 4 has you covered. This motherboard features AMD’s B550 chipset, ensuring you get full support for one of the hottest features from modern Ryzen chips: PCIe 4.0. This board includes a PCIe 4.0 x16 slot you can throw a graphics card in and an M.2 slot with PCIe 4.0 x4 speeds you’ll want to load up with a killer SSD.
The ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming 4 can support a variety of builds, whether you go light on extras and stick to air cooling or strap in a liquid cooler and go fully-loaded. It’ll let you connect up to six SATA drives (though you’ll be limited to four if you use the second M.2 SSD slot). You can make your case a veritable wind tunnel with connectors for four case fans. You’ve even got RGB control headers on the motherboard. So, where you save on your build budget with this motherboard, you can then splurge elsewhere.
8. MSI MEG Godlike
The MSI MEG Godlike is the big kid on the block that sends all the other boards crying home to their mothers. It’s far and away the best motherboard UK for overclocking an i9 10900K.
Everything from its 16+1+1 phase VRM configuration to its 10GBe AQUANTIA + Realtek 2.5GBe LAN is the best of the best. It even has an LCD right on the board to display internal temps and readings!
There are only two downsides to the Godlike. The first is obviously its price. You don’t buy a motherboard like this unless everything else in your system is top of the line too. The second is its size. E-ATX is a tricky form factor, so make sure you check reviews and get a case that will fit it.
9. ASUS ROG Strix X570-E Gaming ATX Motherboard
Best Overall Motherboard for AMD PCs
Thanks to high-quality components, some serious heatsinks for the VRMs, and the best chipset from AMD make the ASUS ROG Strix X570-E Gaming one of the best motherboard UK available for AMD PCs in terms of value. It doesn’t deliver all the features you’d find in enthusiast-grade boards, but this is about as good as you can get for a desktop motherboard.
The motherboard is super-important, but it’s also challenging to get it wrong, so long as you buy one that matches the CPU you intend to install. If we’re choosing one that strikes a delicate balance between performance and price for AMD fans, it would be the ASUS ROG Strix X570-E Gaming. AMD’s Ryzen generation of processors is dominating Intel, and the best motherboard UK for us from ASUS is a perfect match.
10. GIGABYTE B450M DS3H V2
The best motherboard UK for AMD is the Gigabyte B450M DS3H.
Gigabyte’s B450M DS3H is one generation chipset behind the B550, but a BIOS update will still let you use the latest Zen 3 Ryzen 5000 CPUs. Depending on when your motherboard was manufactured, it may arrive with the new firmware giving you out of the box Zen 3 compatibility. The micro-ATX form factor means you can fit this into a compact case, or simply leave you with some spare space if you’re too attached to your monolithic tower. .
As a cheap motherboard it is lacking when it comes to connectivity, but it’s still got everything you’ll need for a solid budget build with an M.2 slot for your SSD, support for up to 128GB of DDR4 RAM at 3600MHz, and two-way AMD CrossFire should you want to run two graphics cards.
How to choose the Best Motherboard UK 2021 for you?
What type of motherboard do I need?
That depends on what sort of processor you want, or already have. If you’re planning to use an AMD Ryzen processor, you’ll need a motherboard with an AM4 socket. Intel’s most recent, 10th-gen chips exclusively use the LGA1200 socket, while the last few generations before that, including the 8th-gen “Coffee Lake” and 9th-gen “Coffee Lake Refresh”, use LGA1151.
Just having the right socket isn’t enough, though: the onboard chipset must support the specific generation of chip you’re using. In Intel’s case that probably means the latest Z490 and B460 chipsets, with Z390 for older models; AMD’s current chipsets include the high-end X570 and mid-range B550, although motherboards using older chipsets like X470 and B450 can also be forward-compatible with Ryzen 3000 processors. Some will work out of the box, while others may need a BIOS update.
What chipset should I choose?
There are lots of different chipsets to choose from, but as long as the one you’ve chosen supports your chosen processor, you don’t need to worry too much about the technical details. The chipset provides various features such as PCI-E slots, USB ports and so forth; just look for a board that provides all the connectivity options you require and you’ll be fine.
The only exception is if you want to try overclocking your CPU. For this, you’ll need both an unlocked processor, like an Intel K-series chip or any AMD Ryzen chip, and a motherboard chipset that supports overclocking. All the major AMD chipsets will, but on the Intel side, you’ll be looking at high-end chipsets like Z490 or Z390.
What features should I look for?
We like to see at least four high-speed USB 3 ports, so you can easily connect external drives and other peripherals such as printers, scanners, card readers and so on. A reversible USB-C port might also be handy if you have a phone or tablet that uses this connector. Onboard USB headers let you hook up additional ports at the front of your case.
Is the form factor important?
Motherboards come in three common formats: ATX is the largest, measuring either 305 × 244mm or 305 x 226mm. Then there’s micro-ATX, at 244mm square, and the smallest is mini-ITX at just 170mm square. They all do the same job, but bigger boards tend to have more slots and built-in features, whereas smaller ones fit in neat, compact cases.
Make sure you have a case that’s designed for the form factor of your motherboard. It’s possible to install a micro-ATX board in a regular ATX chassis, but you’ll be left with empty space inside the case, so it’s not an elegant solution.
For this guide on the best gaming motherboards, our writers spent 6 hours researching over 50 of the most popular options. After comparing this data, we read over 100 user reviews and narrowed our list down to the top 10 gaming motherboards on the market. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.