Top 10 Gaming Motherboards for the Gaming Geeks | Best Motherboards of 2017
One of the most overlooked but most quintessential components inside a computer is the motherboard. In today’s article, we will take a look at some of the best gaming motherboards available in the market so that we can take an informed decision while choosing this integral part for our computer.
1. ASUS ROG Maximus IX Hero
The ROG series includes the high-end Formula motherboards as well as the more affordable Ranger motherboards. It features the exclusive Intel Optane technology, including with the Aura sync option, which means that all the devices, Asus or others that support Aura lighting technology can be synced together. In terms of the socket, it still runs the LGA 1151. A cool new feature about the ROG Maximus IX series is that almost all of them have support for 3D printed accessories. This motherboard is also backward compatible with the 6th generation processors, so even if you’re just looking to do a motherboard upgrade, you can do so.
2. ASUS STRIX Z270E Gaming
As many do not know, that Asus and Strix are separate brands and Asus decided to merge their ROG series with the Strix branding when they released the first Asus ROG Strix GTX 1080 last year. Point to be noted here that Strix lineup of motherboards is slightly different than the ROG lineup. This motherboard is a pretty high end and offers a great lot of options. Considering how RGB (Red, Blue, Greenlight color effect inside the CPU) is the next big thing, Asus has implemented a clever RGB system, the Aura sync, which means that you can sync in your Aura featuring products to have the same lighting scheme or type. The motherboard features a stylish black design, with ample amount of heatsinks, a built in WIFI module, and all the other high-end features you can expect from an Asus motherboard.
3. Gigabyte GA-Z270X-Ultra Gaming
As the name goes the Gigabyte GA-Z270X-Ultra Gaming motherboard is specifically designed for gamers. Here again RGB LEDs are implemented. It supports the latest Kabylake (an Intel processor type) and the motherboard is backward compatible with Intel’s 6th generation of Skylake processors too. The motherboard features Z270 like Intel Optane, however, this is limited to the 7th generation of processors. The GA-Z270X-Ultra also offers a wide array of features including Intel’s USB 3.1 Gen2 over Type-C, latest Realtek Codecs, USB DAC-UP 2 with adjustable voltages. In addition to that, it also supports overclocking which gives amazing processing speeds to the end user. Lastly, Gigabyte claims that this motherboard is VR (virtual reality) ready, so someone planning on running Oculus Rift, or HTC Vive, this feature is certainly to look out for.
4. Asus Z170 Deluxe
Next on this list is the Asus Z170 Deluxe which Asus never marketed or highlighted it as a gaming motherboard, it still qualifies as one for its amazing list of features. The motherboard has a standard ATX form factor. The PCB is black in color, while the VRMs (a voltage regulator module), and other components are white. The motherboard also supports Intel’s 6th gen of Skylake, and 7th gen Kabylake processors once they are available. It can run 4 DDR4 RAM sticks in dual channel node. The motherboard also supports the latest SSD options like M.2, U.2, and comes with numerous slots for future upgrades. For those looking to overclock the speed, Asus has put a top of the line components that will give a stable performance from the processor.
5. Gigabyte GA-Z170X-Gaming 7
The motherboard we are looking in this list is the Z170X-Gaming 7, built for gamers. The motherboard offers a red, white, and black color scheme. The motherboard is basically a Z170 series with standard ATX form-factor that can fit in the majority of the mid and full tower as well. It comes with 4 DDR4 slots, 3 PCI-express slots for Crossfire/SLI, including the USB 3.1 on USB Type-C connector. It is also fitted with 2 PCI-express x4 gen 2 slots for M.2 based SSDs which also have support for the PCI-e NVME, and SATA based solutions.
6. MSI Extreme Gaming Intel X99
Next on this list is basically from Intel’s Prosumer grade X99 platform. The X99 platform supports LGA-2011-V3 processors that offer more than 4 cores including quad-channel DDR4 support. This one happens to have an E-ATX (extended-ATX) form factor and bigger in size, compared to others. It comes with 8 RAM slots that support DDR4 and OC at 3,333 MHz and can run in quad channel mode. Fitted with modern day connectivity options the motherboard has a total of 5 PCI-express x16 slots.
7. Asus Maximus VIII Hero
Going back to the Z170 realms the ROG Maximus VIII Hero is a flagship motherboard. The motherboard comes in the standard ATX layout. Here the Asus ROG Logo on the Z170 is completely RGB. This motherboard comes with Asus’ award-winning BIOS which comes with a lot of overclocking options including the finest manual overclocking controls you can find.
8. Gigabyte GA-Z97X-Gaming 7
The next motherboard is the Z97 series motherboard that supports the older Haswell series of motherboards and is considered as one of the flagship motherboards from the Z97 family. This motherboard supports both 4th generation (Haswell) and 5th generation (Broadwell) processors. You get 4 DDR3 slots that can be overclocked to an amazing 3,200 MHz. In addition to that, you also get a wide array of other connectivity options such as the M.2 and the usual PCI-e slots.
9. MSI Z170A Gaming Pro
The MSI Z170A motherboard supports 6th, and 7th generation Intel processors. The Gaming Pro motherboard has the standard ATX form factor with black PCB including red and black over the heat-spreaders. It offers 4 slots for DDR4 RAMs with dual channel mode. The Z170A chipset supports both Skylake and the upcoming Kabylake processors. An interesting feature in this is the front facing side of the motherboard is RGB illuminated and can light up according to your personal preferences.
10. Gigabyte GA-Z170X-Gaming 3
Last on our list is the much affordable Gigabyte GA-Z170X-Gaming 3 which comes with 3 PCI-e x16 slots, capable of 3-way crossfire or 2-way SLI. It also supports an M.2 slot for blazing fast storage needs, including the necessary features of a gaming motherboard. It does not have RGB system, however, it does have a cool looking red LED tracing at the sound circuit area.
To conclude, while your motherboard will not have any kind of direct impact on your in-game experience, however, it will play a determining role as to what components you can put into the motherboard. The gaming motherboards especially give us the ease of accommodating the latest peripherals and future upgrades for user experience.