As with other types of motherboards on the market, there is an abundance of ATX varieties to choose from. Whether it is the case that you’re looking for an AMD or Intel ATX motherboard, the choice you make is important. Not only do you need to get one that suits your needs, you also need one that suits your budget.
When it comes to Intel processors, you need to make sure that the chipset on the motherboard matches that generation attached to the CPU. Examples of this include the Kaby Lake and Sky Lake CPU lineups.
1. Gigabyte AB350 Gaming G3
Depending on your budget, there are a quite a few AMD offerings that you can go for.
At the lower end of the spectrum, Gigabyte has built an amazing board for the Ryzen lineup of CPUs. Gigabyte are well known for building motherboards that allow you to over clock CPUs safely and the AB350 Gaming G3 is no exception. There’s a lot of people that have managed to get just over 4 GHz on their Ryzen 7 1700 off of the G3 which is pretty exceptional. It may be the situation though that you’re not looking to overclock your system. If this is the case, the G3 is still a great option.
In terms of expandability, there are 4 DIMM slots. As you’d expect, this allows you to greatly expand the amount of RAM in your system over time. There’s no need to splurge on 4 sticks of RAM right away. The maximum amount of memory that the G3 can support is 64GB of DDR4 which should be more than enough gamers.
Continuing the trend of expandability, there are a healthy amount of SATA ports. In total, you can connect 6 SATA devices which should be more than enough device storage for even the biggest of data hoarders. There is the argument that sometimes that buying smaller sized storage devices can be cheaper. Therefore, you could buy smaller units and mount in them in RAID to take full advantage of the ports available. However, you can also use an M.2 SSD thanks to the addition of one port for this type of storage.
Aside from that there is also Gigabit Ethernet as well as on board audio courtesy of Realtek. There are also two USB 3.0 ports and 4 USB 3.1 ports for extra expandability. Should it be the case that you want to use two GPUs in the systems, you can do so thanks to there being 2 PCI-E 3 ports.
In order to help keep the system running cool, there is the option to have 5 fans in the case. This should be sufficient enough to make sure your system doesn’t thermal throttle.
- Multi-Zone Light Show Design / GIGABYTE RGB Fusion mobile app
- Smart Fan 5 / All Hybrid Fan Pin Headers / Smart Fan 5 Software
- ALC 1220 120dB SNR HD Audio / Realtek GbE LAN / PCIe Gen3 x4
2. Asus Prime X370
If you need more SATA ports than the G3 offers above, Asus has you covered. The Prime X370 Pro includes another 2 for your SSD needs. As with the G3, up to 64GB of RAM is supported across 4 DIMM slots. For the small bump up in price, you’re not just getting a few extra ports. With the Prime Pro the onboard LAN comes courtesy of an Intel Gigabit port. This should offer a significant bump up of performance and reliability.
Expandability is also covered with there being two USB 3.1 ports on the back, along with 4 USB 3.0 ports (in the type A and C varieties). There is also of course a front header for USB 3.1 and also 3.0 built onto the board and onboard audio from Realtek.
If you’re wanting to use an M.2 SSD then you’re also covered thanks to the X370 supporting this. One key area that a lot of people are wanting to use these days is RGB lighting.
In terms of cooling, you can easily use an all in one water cooler thanks to a header available on the board. If you don’t want to use a liquid cooler, than you can of course use a normal heatsink and fan instead. There are another 3 fan headers as well which will help to keep the system cool overall. Thanks to there being sensors all over the board, you’re able to tweak the speed of all the fans thanks to the Fan Xpert 4 software. You can set it to an automatic mode, or delve deeper into the system and adjust each fan individually.
- ASUS PRIME X370-PRO built on AMD Ryzen Technology
- Audio SNR stereo playback output 113 dB SNR recording input with high quality 120 dB (Line-in) and impedance sense for front and rear headphone outputs
- Pushing PRIME PRO performance further with ease. Operating system: Windows 10 64-bit
Of course, there are also offerings from Intel when it comes to ATX Motherboards
3. Asus Prime Z270-P
Starting at the lowest price, Asus have come out with an extremely cost effective offering in the form of the Prime Z270-P. As you’d expect, it uses the Z270 chipset, so you’ll need a CPU that supports this. There isn’t any support for RGB either, although if this isn’t your thing then you’re not missing much.
As is the case with the AMD Prime Pro, this board has the option to let you tweak fan speeds in your PC thanks to the inclusion of Fan Xpert 2+. There is also the addition of VGA and HDMI ports on the board. This may seem trivial, but should your GPU ever die, at least you’d still have access to the PC. This isn’t the case with some AMD Ryzen CPUs since not all of them have a GPU included in them.
As you’d expect, since it is an Intel motherboard, there is of course support of Intel Optane should you want to go down that route. You’re also getting ultrafast SSD storage thanks to the support of M.2 connectivity. There are 2 M.2 ports on the Prime Z270-P. However, there are also 4 SATA ports available, so you’ll definitely never run out of storage when using this.
If gaming is your thing then you can also invest in two GPUs courtesy of there being two PCI-E ports. Much like other motherboards, audio comes courtesy of Realtek, as does the Ethernet LAN port.
There is also an abundance of USB ports. 8 of these are USB 3.0 and 6 are USB 2.0. Should you want to max out the memory, then you can install up to 64GB of RAM across four DIMM slots.
- Supported memory types: DDR4-SDRAM, Memory slots type: DIMM, Memory channels: Dual. Processor family: Intel,
- Component for: PC, Motherboard chipset family: Intel, Chipset: Intel Z270. Graphics adapter family: Intel
- Compatible processor series: Celeron, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, Pentium, Processor socket: LGA1151. LAN controller: Realtek RTL8111H
4. MSI Z270 Xpower Gaming Titanium
If you’re looking for the crème de la crème of Intel ATX motherboards, the Xpower from MSI should be your only option. It’s one of the most expensive consumer grade motherboards you can buy. However, it is worth every penny.
This really is aimed at the gaming market (as the name suggests). On board there are two Intel Gigabit LAN ports. Since gaming rigs can be subjected to larger levels of heat, this can sometimes result in degradation of components. This is especially true if the components don’t have fans on them. MSI have done a lot of testing on this and as such they have made a shield for the M.2 SSD on the board, which should help to keep it cool. The benefit of this is that it should increase the overall lifespan on the drive. Xpower Gaming Titanium supports up to 3 M.2 SSDs.
You don’t need to go down the M.2 SSD route, though. There are 8 SATA ports which should be more than ideal for your storage needs. Should it be the situation that you need even more storage there are a plethora of USB ports. There are 4 and 3 USB 2.0 ports for the front and rear respectively. On the front there is also 4 3.1 ports and on the back there 6, one of which is type C. Suffice to say, you have more than enough in terms of expanding the storage of the PC.
Much like every other board on this list, MSI have included 4 DIMM slots here so you can use up to 64GB of RAM. The board also allows you to overclock the memory up to a speed of 4133 MHz, although this will be dependent on the memory modules that you choose.
Added to this is the ability to tune each fan individually based on your needs of the system. Cooling should never be an issue thanks to the this excellent feature. There are also 4 PCI-Ex3 slots available, so you could have a dual GPU setup as well as utilising Intel Optane should you want to go down that route.
- CPU support Supports 7th / 6th Gen Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processors, and Intel Pentium and Celeron processors CPU socket LGA 1151 Chipset Intel Z270 Chipset
- Graphics Interface4 x PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots 2-way SLI / 4-way CrossFire Display Interface DisplayPort, HDMI Memory support 4 DIMMs, Dual Channel DDR4-4133+(OC)
- Expansion slots 2 x PCI-E x1 slots SATA / M.2 / U.2 8 x SATA 6Gb/s ports, 3 x M.2 slots, 1 x U.2 port Intel Optane Intel Optane Memory Ready SATA RAID 0,1,5,10
Last update on 2018-12-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. This site is part of the Amazon Associates program and may receive a commission from any purchases you make from Amazon upon clicking a link.