For those who love computers, building a PC is a rewarding experience, especially if they’re the ones that picked the components and assembled everything. The latter is quite easy. The really tricky part is the former; choosing the pieces and making sure they are the best. One of these very important pieces is the motherboard.
It goes without saying that the motherboard plays a big role as it dictates the rest of the components that goes into the build. The mobo will determine which processors you can use, along with the type and amount of RAM you can put in. It also dictates how many graphics cards you can run on your rig.
While there really isn’t an increase in performance when opting for a gaming motherboard over a budget one, the cheaper option can prove to be limited when it comes to features and I/O. Moreover, overclocking isn’t offered in most low-end motherboards, which crosses out great overclockers and further limits your CPU choices. There’s also not much sense in upgrading the processor if you’re on a budget board.
Boards come in two flavors. One is for an Intel system while the other is for an AMD setup. And while it’s true that the current Intel chips take the cake when it comes to gaming, there are still plenty that opt for AMD. Brand patronage aside, AMD systems are cheap and offer great value for money. Hence, if you’re looking to build a gaming PC on a budget, you should put into consideration AMD and its offerings. You should be able to find a top of the line AMD motherboard from the suggestions below.
Asus Crosshair V Formula-Z ($167.10)
Asus is a good option for power users as it is a hardware firm that holds the most overclocking world records. The Asus Crosshair V Formula-Z is truly a top of the AMD motherboard. It has good heat dissipation that allows stable overclocking of FX processors that are notorious for their temps. The board has tons of features and looks fantastic.
The Crosshair V Formula-Z supports for up to 32GB memory, 8 USB 2.0, 4 USB 3.0 as well as an on-board video in the Supreme FX III. This motherhood is worth buying for mid to high-end builds to benefit from its performance.
The upgraded 990FX motherboard comes with an exclusive ROG gaming audio as well as networking technologies. This supports the most recent AMD Socket AM3+ multi-core processors and consumes less power. It has an AMD Turbo Core tech 2.0 and speeds up the data transfer rate via HyperTransport 3.0 based system bus of up to 5200MT per second.
Asus M5A78L-M/USB3 ($74.14)
You can never go wrong with an Asus mobo. The M5A78L-M/USB3 cannot be said to one atop of the line AMD motherboard, it’s still a good choice, especially if you don’t plan to run more than one graphics card. Granted its price, however, don’t expect a lot from this board. The on-board graphics it comes with is an ATI Radeon HD 3000, which isn’t all that impressive. You really don’t need it anyway if you’re going to install a discrete graphics card.
The good thing about it is that it has an anti-surge-full-time power guardian-make system that makes it risk-free as well as solid capacitors that are all 100 percent conductive polymer capacitors. There should be no issues with titles as it has an AM3+ socket. Slap an FX-6300 six-core processor and a Radeon RX 480 graphics card onto it and you’ll have no problem playing the latest titles in medium settings.
Asus Sabertooth 990FX R2.0 ($179.99)
If you want a top of the line AMD motherboard, look no further than the Asus Sabertooth 990FX R2.0. Heat won’t be an issue on this thing. Asus used ceramic coating, which is great for heat dissipation. The Taiwanese mobo maker all used military-grade capacitors and even included a DIGI+ digital power controller for not only the CPU but also the DRAM.
You also won’t have problems if you want to run a 2-way or 3-way SLI/Crossfire setup as the 990FX R2.0 comes with 3 PCIe lanes. And while its older brother, the original Sabertooth 990FX, was plagued with tons of issues, Asus seems to have addressed them with R2.0. In fact, it’s one of the highly-rated, top of the line AMD motherboards on Amazon.
AsRock 990FX Professional ($157.48)
Another top of the line AMD motherboard comes from ASRock Inc., the 990FX Professional. Established in 2002, ASRock Inc. specializes in motherboards and is currently held as one of the big four – beside Asus, Gigabyte and MSI. The firm strives to make a name of its own, exploring motherboard limitations while paying attention on the eco side or the eco-friendly concept when developing products. It has become the world’s third largest motherboard maker with headquarters in Europe, United States and Taiwan.
This ASRock 990FX Professional is part of AsRock’s Fatal1ty range of products that is intended to provide useful features and top end performance. It is designed for overclockers and gamers. Based on the AMD 990FX chipset, this motherboard offers 5 PCI Express slots, up to 6 USB 3.0 ports, 6 SATA3 ports, 2 eSATA3 ports, 6 analog sound connectors and coaxial SPDIF sound output.
MSI 970 Gaming ($99.00)
For AMD fans, the MSI 970 Gaming is great for its price. Though not as flashy as the others, it gets the job done and provides a great base for a medium build with which one can save a few dollars and still come up with a solid computer. It comes with a Killer Ethernet for optimal speed and competitive multiplayer games. It also supports 2-way SLI/Crossfire setups. Moreover, MSI included “special” ports in the 970 Gaming motherboard such as that of the “gaming device port,” which is said to offer faster mouse response times. But while it’s great value for money, it’s not really what one would peg as a top of the line AMD motherboard.