The budget intel motherboard sector is very mature and almost all of them have good quality. There are usually no big differences in quality between them at the same price and, although they may vary in the chipset they implement to control the different elements.
Best Budget Intel Motherboard In 2022
MSI MEG Z490 GODLIKE Gaming Motherboard
About this item
- MEG Z490 GODLIKE Gaming Motherboard
- E-ATX, 10th Gen Intel Core, LGA 1200 Socket
- Thunderbolt 3 Type-C, Wi-Fi 6, Mystic Light RGB
MSI MEG Z590 ACE Gaming Motherboard
About this item
- Supports 11th and 10th Gen Intel Core/Pentium/Celeron processors for LGA 1200 Socket
- Supports DDR4 Memory, up to 5600(OC) MHz
- Quadruple M.2 Connectors: Onboard 4x M.2 connectors for the maximum storage performance with one Lightning Gen 4 solution. Shield Frozr design keeps M.2 SSDs safe while preventing throttling, making them run faster
- Extreme Power Design: INTERSIL digital PWM, 16+2+1 phases with 90A Smart Power Stage, dual CPU power connectors and exclusive Mirrored Power Arrangement to unleash the true power of your processors
- Outstanding Cooling Solution: Aluminum Cover, VRM Heat-pipe, 7W/mK thermal pads, M.2 Shield Frozr and Aluminum Backplate ensure the extreme performance with low temp
Asus Prime X299-A II – LGA2066
About this item
- Intel LGA 2066 socket: Ready for the latest Intel Core X-series processors
- AI Overclocking: Quickly optimizes your CPU performance based on the CPU and cooler, achieving results that are extremely close to manual tuning by experts
- Robust power design: 12 IR3555 power stages, ProCool II connectors, alloy chokes and ultra-durable capacitors for stable power delivery
- M.2 heatsink: Ultra-efficient heatsink reduces M.2 SSD temperatures by up to 20° C for unthrottled transfer speeds and enhanced reliability
- Next-gen connectivity: Intel Optane memory ready, Intel VROC support, dual M.2 support, and USB 3.2 Gen Type-C
MSI PRO Z690-A WiFi DDR4 Motherboard
About this item
- DEPENDABLE VRM, 12TH GEN CORE READY – The PRO Z690-A WIFI DDR4 employs a 14+1+1 duet rail VRM platform (55A) with DrMOS for the Intel Z690 chipset (LGA 1700, 12th Gen Core ready); Core Boost architecture supports demanding multi-core processors
- COOL & EFFICIENT – Frozr AI Cooling adjusts fan cooling based on system temperatures; Cooling hardware includes 7W/mK MOSFET thermal pads & an extended heatsink design, M.2 Shield Frozr & a 6-layer server-grade PCB with 2oz of thickened copper
- DDR4 MEMORY, PCI-E 5.0 x16 SLOT – 4 x DDR4 DIMM SMT slots enable high-speed memory and improve signal clarity (1DPC 1R, 5200+ MHz); A PCIe 5.0 x16 SMT slot (126GB/s) supports cutting-edge graphics cards (2 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, AMD CrossFire supported)
- TRIPLE M.2 GEN4 CONNECTORS – Premium storage options consist of 3 x M.2 Gen4 x4 64Gbps slots & 1 x M.2 Gen3 x4 32Gbps slot (Intel Optane supported) with Shield Frozr (M2_1) to prevent SSD thermal throttling
- WI-FI 6 CONNECTIVITY – Network hardware includes Intel Wi-Fi 6 with Bluetooth 5.2 & Intel I225V 2.5Gbps LAN; Rear ports include USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C (20Gbps), HDMI 2.1 & DisplayPort 1.4, and 7.1 HD Audio with Audio Boost
GIGABYTE Z690 AORUS Ultra
About this item
- Intel LGA 1700 Socket: Supports 12th Gen Intel Core Series Processors
- DDR5 Compatible: Dual Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR5
- Commanding Power Design: 16+1+2 Phases Direct VRM Design with 105A Power Stage with Tantalum Polymer Capacitors
- Cutting-Edge Thermal Design: Advanced Thermal Solution with Fully Covered Thermal Design and Fins Array II, Thermal Guards III
- Next Gen Connectivity: PCIe 5.0, Quad NVMe PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2, SuperSpeed USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C
How to choose your motherboard
Motherboard manufacturers put the name of the chipset in the name of the motherboard, and this chipset will define the connectivities of the board as well as its orientation of use: normal, gaming , overclocking , or more usual a mixed model overclocking / gaming .
The difference between a normal board and an overclocking board is in the quality of its components— capacitors , anti-interference protection, adaptation for liquid cooling, others —to allow the goal of stable frequency increases to the processor and memory.
The motherboard’s chipset determines the type of processor the motherboard accepts, how many USB ports it can support, how much RAM it can handle, or the graphics card connections it supports. When choosing a motherboard, you will have to think about what you want to include from RAM, hard drives, SSD, type and number of graphics cards, etc.
Next, you will have to choose one that fits your budget. There is no noticeable difference in quality between an expensive motherboard —above 90 euros, other than overclocking— and a cheap one —one of 40 euros— , only in terms of connections and expansion possibilities. In the event that you want a board for overclocking , you do have to be more careful when making the choice.
Of course there are exceptions and a bad one can come out to some manufacturer, but it is not usual. For this motherboard article, I’m going to provide several buys that I think are interesting based on the processor socket, which will be the first filter you want to establish when buying a motherboard, and based on our recommendations of the best processors of the moment .
Base Plate Size
Motherboards are offered in various formats to be used in different sizes of PCs. Their sizes are standardized so that they fit easily into PC cases, although there are manufacturers that can stretch each of the sizes a little according to their needs. The most common sizes are:
- ATX: Usually measures 305 × 244 mm, and is the size that offers the most expandability. They are generally more expensive than other smaller formats and in many cases a normal user will not need them.
- Micro-ATX: They usually measure 244 × 244 mm, and it is the recommended size for most users and also for having a more moderate price.
- Mini-ITX: measures 170 × 170 mm, and are intended for mini-PCs of all kinds, including barebones or multimedia centers, and generally integrate Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.
- Extended ATX (E-ATX): It measures 305 × 330 mm, and when a lot of electronics is put on a motherboard or they have larger sockets , motherboards also have to be larger than the standard. The E-ATX has a size of
There are other sizes of motherboards that are much less common, such as flex-ATX, but few people will need them and therefore they are not included in this article, which is aimed at general, professional or gaming use of the equipment.
What motherboard (chipset) does my processor need?
If you are looking at a specific processor you will need to know which chipsets are compatible with it in order to choose a suitable motherboard. Below I summarize in a table the processors and chipsets that are currently on the market.
If you want to set up a team while cutting costs, there is nothing that prohibits combining a cheap 50-60 euro motherboard with a 300 euro Core i7 processor. The only thing that will limit you in that choice is the ability to raise frequencies to the processor or the speed of memory that can be used on the motherboard.
As for Windows 11 compatibility , all motherboards in this article support TPM 2.0 . Generally, cheap chipsets will only have the head to put a TPM card that is purchased separately, while the most expensive ones will have the TPM 2.0 integrated directly into the motherboard. That you will have to consult in the description of the motherboard.
Things to consider when choosing a motherboard
Here are some recommendations to consider before choosing a motherboard. They may seem basic to someone who knows about computers, but there are many people who are looking for a bit of guidance and advice since they know nothing about PCs, and they may find it interesting.
- Spending more than 80-100 euros on a motherboard is often a waste of money, unless you really need the expansion options they offer, or have the money to invest in one.
- Above 100-120 euros you will find good or at least decent motherboards for overclocking or that provide features for gaming / gamers, such as better input-output device drivers, lower network latency, etc. In practice, the difference for a normal user is not noticeable, unless you know that you are looking for it for a good reason, so I insist again that you look for a plate below 70 -100 euros.
- If you go for an AMD processor, keep in mind that all Ryzen processors are unlocked for higher frequencies, and therefore some interesting additional performance can be gained by accompanying them with proper cooling. In this case, it may be a good idea to go for a good motherboard, over 100 euros or more.
- At Intel, assume that if you change the processor to one of a couple of generations later you will have to change the motherboard because the socket they use has probably changed. If it is from the same socket, you will have to see that the BIOS accepts the new processor, and it is usually necessary to update it by downloading the new version from the manufacturer’s website.
- The consumption of the motherboards themselves is in most cases less than 10 W, depending on the manufacturer, socket and chipset. The total consumption of the motherboard will depend on the additional chips that the manufacturer includes, such as a chip for a second Ethernet, better audio, etc., and what connectivity or features are active.
- They can work without connecting the PCIe four and eight power pins but it can cause instability if what is connected to the motherboard consumes more than what the connector or connectors that are placed provide. That is why it is usually always recommended that all power connectors be populated even if it is not necessary.
- As I said previously, all motherboards support TPM 2.0 (Trusted Platform Module) for Windows 11 , either having the header to put a TPM 2.0 card on it or having the Trusted Platform Module built into it.
What is the role of a motherboard?
Installed in the central unit of a desktop PC and in a portable PC, the motherboard is one of the main links in computing. It is made up of around twenty elements, ranging from the socket which houses the processor, to the PCIe slots for memory modules (Ram) via the UEFI (formerly called BIOS).
In fact, you will need to choose your motherboard carefully in 2 main situations: upgrading your current configuration for more performance or when designing a new PC.
Since the processor has become more and more versatile and powerful (see our guide on processors) , the role of the motherboard has diminished, but this is not a reason to neglect this element. His selection should not be taken lightly.
Do you just surf and do office work? Are you a fan of PC games? Do you have the soul of a hacker who likes to push his machine to its lowest limits by overclocking?
So many specific questions that require adapted answers presented in this guide.
Let’s start, however, by indicating that the choice of a motherboard largely depends on the chipset and the socket of the processor you have/want to integrate:
- The chipset: the station master
It is a set of components integrated into the motherboard. His role is similar to that of a station master. It regulates the connections between the hard disk(s), the expansion ports, and of course the processor (also called CPU: central processing unit).
- The socket: the marshalling yard
This is the receptacle for the processor. The socket ensures perfect communication between the different elements (processor, graphics card, hard disk, etc.) of the computer.
It must also manage various ancillary but essential connections: the various ports detailed in Chapter 4 about motherboards (USB, Ethernet, etc.), video, audio, etc. This is therefore a decisive point since, when you have chosen the processor that meets your needs, you will have to find the appropriate socket for it.