Best Gaming Motherboard of 2018 Complete Reviews with Comparison

Best Gaming Motherboard of 2018: Complete Reviews with Comparison

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Gamers cannot expect to fully experience their games using a traditional motherboard. If you want the crystal-clear audio and vivid graphics that high-intensity computer games demand, you’re going to have to fit your system with a motherboard specifically designed for gamers.

In this article, we’re going to be looking at five such motherboards, discussing the pros and cons of each in an attempt to guide you towards the best gaming motherboard for your gaming habits.

Comparison Chart

MSI Gaming Intel Skylake H110 LGA 1151 DDR4 USB 3.1 Micro ATX Motherboard (H110M Gaming)
GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS Gaming 5 (Intel LGA1151/ Z370/ ATX/ 3xM.2/ Onboard AC WIFI /Front USB 3.1/ RGB Fusion/ Fan Stop / SLI / Motherboard)
ASUS TUF Z370 Plus Gaming LGA1151 DDR4 HDMI DVI M.2 Z370 ATX Motherboard with Gigabit LAN and USB 3.1 for 8th Generation Intel Core Processors
MSI Arsenal Gaming Intel Kaby Lake Z270M DDR4 HDMI USB 3 Crossfire ATX Motherboard (Z270 Gaming Plus)
GIGABYTE X470 AORUS ULTRA GAMING (AMD Ryzen AM4/ X470/ USB 3.1 Gen 2 Front Type C/ ATX/ DDR4/ Motherboard)
MSI Gaming Intel Skylake H110 LGA 1151 DDR4 USB 3.1 Micro ATX Motherboard (H110M Gaming)
GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS Gaming 5 (Intel LGA1151/ Z370/ ATX/ 3xM.2/ Onboard AC WIFI /Front USB 3.1/ RGB Fusion/ Fan Stop / SLI / Motherboard)
ASUS TUF Z370 Plus Gaming LGA1151 DDR4 HDMI DVI M.2 Z370 ATX Motherboard with Gigabit LAN and USB 3.1 for 8th Generation Intel Core Processors
MSI Arsenal Gaming Intel Kaby Lake Z270M DDR4 HDMI USB 3 Crossfire ATX Motherboard (Z270 Gaming Plus)
GIGABYTE X470 AORUS ULTRA GAMING (AMD Ryzen AM4/ X470/ USB 3.1 Gen 2 Front Type C/ ATX/ DDR4/ Motherboard)
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MSI Gaming Intel Skylake H110 LGA 1151 DDR4 USB 3.1 Micro ATX Motherboard (H110M Gaming)
MSI Gaming Intel Skylake H110 LGA 1151 DDR4 USB 3.1 Micro ATX Motherboard (H110M Gaming)
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GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS Gaming 5 (Intel LGA1151/ Z370/ ATX/ 3xM.2/ Onboard AC WIFI /Front USB 3.1/ RGB Fusion/ Fan Stop / SLI / Motherboard)
GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS Gaming 5 (Intel LGA1151/ Z370/ ATX/ 3xM.2/ Onboard AC WIFI /Front USB 3.1/ RGB Fusion/ Fan Stop / SLI / Motherboard)
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ASUS TUF Z370 Plus Gaming LGA1151 DDR4 HDMI DVI M.2 Z370 ATX Motherboard with Gigabit LAN and USB 3.1 for 8th Generation Intel Core Processors
ASUS TUF Z370 Plus Gaming LGA1151 DDR4 HDMI DVI M.2 Z370 ATX Motherboard with Gigabit LAN and USB 3.1 for 8th Generation Intel Core Processors
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MSI Arsenal Gaming Intel Kaby Lake Z270M DDR4 HDMI USB 3 Crossfire ATX Motherboard (Z270 Gaming Plus)
MSI Arsenal Gaming Intel Kaby Lake Z270M DDR4 HDMI USB 3 Crossfire ATX Motherboard (Z270 Gaming Plus)
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GIGABYTE X470 AORUS ULTRA GAMING (AMD Ryzen AM4/ X470/ USB 3.1 Gen 2 Front Type C/ ATX/ DDR4/ Motherboard)
GIGABYTE X470 AORUS ULTRA GAMING (AMD Ryzen AM4/ X470/ USB 3.1 Gen 2 Front Type C/ ATX/ DDR4/ Motherboard)
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Best Gaming Motherboard Reviews

1. MSI H110M Gaming

MSI Gaming Intel Skylake H110 LGA 1151 DDR4 USB 3.1 Micro ATX Motherboard (H110M Gaming)

MSI is one of the most successful manufacturers of gaming motherboards in the industry and we’re going to be looking at two of the brand’s most popular offerings in this article. First up is the H110M Gaming.

Review

The H110M Gaming features MSI’s advanced DDR4 Boost, which eliminates the slowing of the system commonly caused by distorted memory signals by utilizing optimized traces and fully isolated memory circuitry. Meanwhile, enhanced CPU overvoltage protection reduces the risk of overheating and short-circuit damage. The longevity of the MSI H110M Gaming is further cemented by the Military Class 4 components used in its manufacturing, which provide the most vital parts of the motherboard with the protection they need to be consistently impressive.

Selling for less than $80, the MSI H110M Gaming is one of the most affordable motherboards on the market. Of course, its low price means that it is lacking in certain features you would expect to find on a more expensive alternative. For example, the H110M Gaming can only support one system fan, so cooling may be an issue. Furthermore, this motherboard offers little in terms of overclocking, making it unsuited to hardcore gamers. 

You can read my full review here

MSI Gaming Intel Skylake H110 LGA 1151 DDR4 USB 3.1 Micro ATX Motherboard (H110M Gaming)
  • LGA1151, supports 6th Generation Intel Core i7/ i5/ i3/ Pentium/ Celeron Processors
  • Chipset: Intel H110. SATA: 4x SATA3 Ports. Mounting features six mounting holes. Pci-e is generation 3. Front and rear usb 3.1 ports is generation 1
  • Memory: 2x DDR4-2133 DIMM Slots, Dual Channel, Max Capacity of 32GB
  • Slots: 1x PCI-Express 3.0 x16 Slot, 2x PCI-Express 2.0 x1 Slots. LAN: Intel I219V Gigabit Ethernet Controller
  • Power Connector: 1x 24pin ATX Main Power Connector, 1x 4pin ATX 12V Power Connector

PROS

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    CPU overvoltage protection
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    Affordable
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    Audio boost

CONS

  • Single system fan support
  • No overclocking capabilities
  • Incompatible with Intel 8th Gen CPUs

2. Gigabyte Z370 AORUS Gaming 5

GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS Gaming 5 (Intel LGA1151/ Z370/ ATX/ 3xM.2/ Onboard AC WIFI /Front USB 3.1/ RGB Fusion/ Fan Stop / SLI / Motherboard)

For gamers who are willing to spend a little bit extra to get a versatile motherboard loaded with features, there is this offering from Gigabyte. The Z370 AORUS Gaming 5 is one of several motherboards in Gigabyte’s AORUS series and, some would say, is the jewel of the range.

Review

With the triple PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 offered by the Gigabyte Z370 AORUS Gaming 5, you will be able to reach up to 32 gigabytes in transfer speed, allowing you to experience your games with a level of ferocity many less expensive motherboards cannot rival. Overclocking novices will appreciate this motherboard’s Turbo B-Clock feature, which simplifies the overclocking process for a heightened performance with minimal effort.

Meanwhile, the integrated Smart Fan 5 technology utilizes nine temperature sensors to ensure your system remains at a consistent cool temperature, combating many of the risks commonly associated with overclocking.

The Gigabyte Z370 AORUS Gaming 5 is undoubtedly impressive, but if you want to add it to your gaming arsenal, you should be prepared to part with some significant cash. Generally selling for close to $200, this motherboard is out of the price range of many gamers and is the most expensive model to appear in this article.

For more details you can read my Gigabyte Z370 AORUS Gaming 5 Review

GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS Gaming 5 (Intel LGA1151/ Z370/ ATX/ 3xM.2/ Onboard AC WIFI /Front USB 3.1/ RGB Fusion/ Fan Stop / SLI / Motherboard)
  • Supports 8th Generation Intel Core Processors
  • USB 3.1 Gen2 with USB Type-C. Front USB 3.1 Type-C header
  • Intel Gigabit LAN + Intel 802.11ac WIFI onboard. RGB FUSION with Multi-Zone LED Light Show Design
  • Support for eight generation intel core i7 processors, intel core i5 processors and intel core i3 processors in the lga1151 package. Bluetooth 4.2, 4.1, ble, 4.0, 3.0, 2.1 plus edr
  • Note-be sure to connect fan cables to the fan headers to prevent your cpu and system from overheating. Overheating may result in damage to the cpu or the system may hang. These fan headers are not configuration jumper blocks. Do not place a jumper cap on the headers

PROS

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    Simplified overclocking
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    Integrated Wi-Fi
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    RGB Fusion lighting

CONS

  • Poor audio
  • Unusual backplate
  • Expensive

3. ASUS TUF Z370-Plus Gaming

ASUS TUF Z370 Plus Gaming LGA1151 DDR4 HDMI DVI M.2 Z370 ATX Motherboard with Gigabit LAN and USB 3.1 for 8th Generation Intel Core Processors

Most gamers are familiar with ASUS and for good reason. As one of the most successful manufacturers of gaming equipment, ASUS has produced some pretty impressive gaming motherboards and the TUF Z370-Plus Gaming is among them.

Review

One of the major selling points of the ASUS TUF Z370-Plus Gaming is its OptiMem technology. ASUS OptiMem means the manufacturer paid careful attention to the routing of its traces and vias, strategically placing them in order to ensure a consistent signal for enhanced memory overclocking. The TUF Z370-Plus Gaming boasts DTS Custom audio, which makes for an immersive audio experience and sends positional cues to stereo headphones, so you’ll always know what is going on around you in your virtual world.

In order to cool your M.2 drive, ASUS fitted this motherboard with an onboard M.2 heatsink, which promises even heat dissipation and ensures consistent storage performance. Similarly, the TUF Z370-Plus Gaming utilizes ASUS’ Fan Xpert 4 Core to provide each fan in your system with appropriate cooling.

Some gamers who have purchased the ASUS TUF Z370-Plus Gaming have complained about its lack of integrated Bluetooth connectivity, which will certainly turn some potential ASUS customers away from the motherboard. 

Sale
ASUS TUF Z370 Plus Gaming LGA1151 DDR4 HDMI DVI M.2 Z370 ATX Motherboard with Gigabit LAN and USB 3.1 for 8th Generation Intel Core Processors
  • Designed exclusively for 8th generation Intel Core processors to maximize connectivity and speed with Dual M. 2, Gigabit LAN, USB 3. 1 Gen 2, and Intel Optane Memory compatibility
  • Military Grade TUF Components like TUF LANGuard, TUF Chokes, TUF Capacitors, and TUF MOSFETs maximize durability. BIOS : 128 Mb Flash ROM, UEFI AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI3. 0, WfM2. 0, SM BIOS 3. 0, ACPI 6. 0, Multi language BIOS, ASUS EZ Flash 3, CrashFree BIOS 3, F11 EZ Tuning Wizard, F6 Qfan Control, F3 My Favorites, Last Modified log, F12 PrintScreen, and ASUS DRAM SPD (Serial Presence Detect) memory information
  • Gamer's Guardian with safe Slot and FanXpert 4 Core provides hardware level safeguards for maximum performance with dynamic system cooling
  • Unmatched Personalization with Asus exclusive AURA Sync RGB lighting, additional RGB header and 3D print friendly mounts
  • Ultimate protection 5 year for reliability built on military grade engineering

PROS

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    DTS Custom audio
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    Integrated M.2 heatsink
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    5-year warranty

CONS

  • No integrated Bluetooth
  • Necessary screws not included
  • Distracting LEDs

4. MSI Z270 Gaming Plus

MSI Arsenal Gaming Intel Kaby Lake Z270M DDR4 HDMI USB 3 Crossfire ATX Motherboard (Z270 Gaming Plus)

Now it’s time for the second motherboard from MSI to appear on this list. The Z270 Gaming Plus actually shares a number of features with the MSI H110M Gaming motherboard we examined a little earlier, but it is not without its own unique offerings.

Review

One of our favorite things about the MSI Z270 Gaming Plus is its crystal-clear audio. Promising studio-grade sound quality, the Z270 Gaming Plus provides a fully immersive gaming experience with minimal latency and bandwidth management. Much like the MSI H110M Gaming, the MSI Z270 Gaming Plus utilizes the manufacturer’s unique DDR4 Boost technology to ensure a consistent performance that won’t be slowed by any distorted memory signals.

Unlike its predecessor, however, this motherboard features Military Class Five components, which, combined with its PCI Express steel armor slots, provide superior protection against the problems that commonly arise out of overclocking and long gaming sessions.

Among the most commonly reported problems with the MSI Z270 Gaming Plus is its lack of RGB LEDs, which may detract from the overall experience of the user. Furthermore, the BIOS of this motherboard may prove quite complex for certain gamers, particularly those used to keyboard-only models.

MSI Arsenal Gaming Intel Kaby Lake Z270M DDR4 HDMI USB 3 Crossfire ATX Motherboard (Z270 Gaming Plus)
  • Supports 7th/6th Gen Intel Core/Pentium/Celeron processors for LGA 1151 socket
  • Supports DDR4-3866+(OC) Memory. Intel Optane Memory Ready. Supports 2-Way AMD Crossfire technology
  • Reward your ears with studio grade sound quality for the most immersive gaming experience.Supports 7th/6th Gen Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processors, and Intel Pentium and Celeron processors for Socket LGA1151
  • The best online gaming experience with lowest latency and bandwidth management
  • Military Class 5, Guard-Pro: Latest evolution in high quality components for best protection and efficiency

PROS

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    Studio-grade sound quality
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    Supports 2-way AMD Crossfire technology
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    One-click overclocking

CONS

  • No RGB LEDs
  • Complicated BIOS
  • Does not support SLI

5. Gigabyte X470 AORUS Ultra Gaming

GIGABYTE X470 AORUS ULTRA GAMING (AMD Ryzen AM4/ X470/ USB 3.1 Gen 2 Front Type C/ ATX/ DDR4/ Motherboard)

MSI is not the only motherboard manufacturer to have two products appear on this list. A little earlier on we looked at the Gigabyte Z370 AORUS Gaming 5 and now we’re going to return to Gigabyte for a look at the brand’s X470 AORUS Ultra Gaming motherboard.

Review

Unlike the earlier Gigabyte motherboard, the X470 AORUS Ultra Gaming does not feature three M.2 slots. It does, however, come equipped with dual ultra-fast M.2s. These M.2s are protected by one thermal guard, which lowers the risk of throttling and bottlenecks by dissipating heat produced by the motherboard when in use. This is one of the most visually impressive motherboards on the market and boasts a multi-zone RGB design, which sets it apart from many similar boards in its price range.

All multi-light zones feature high-brightness RGB LEDs and through the manufacturer’s RGB Fusion application can be operated by the user in accordance with their personal preferences.

The Gigabyte X470 AORUS Ultra Gaming is thoroughly impressive, but it falls down when it comes to connectivity. This motherboard features no onboard Wi-Fi, which has led to many a gamer removing it from their shopping list. It has also been pointed out by some gamers that the audio of this motherboard is only effective when you are using headphones. Attempt to play without them and you will find it a challenge to determine what sound is coming from where within your game, so it’ll be almost impossible to detect enemies while you play.

Sale
GIGABYTE X470 AORUS ULTRA GAMING (AMD Ryzen AM4/ X470/ USB 3.1 Gen 2 Front Type C/ ATX/ DDR4/ Motherboard)
  • Supports AMD Ryzen 2nd Generation/ Ryzen with Radeon Vega Gaphics/ Ryzen 1st Generation/ 7th Generation A-Series/ Athlon X4 Processors
  • Dual Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 4 DIMMs
  • 8+3 Phase Hybrid Digital PWM Design
  • 2-Way CrossFire/ SLI Graphics Support with Dual Armor and Ultra Durable Design
  • ALC1220-VB Enhance 114dB(Rear)/ 110dB(Front) SNR in Microphone with WIMA Audio Capacitors

PROS

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    2 thermal guard
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    Ultra-durable PCI Express armor
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    Dual-channel DDR4

CONS

  • No onboard Wi-Fi
  • Poor audio
  • Poor overclocking capabilities

FINAL VERDICT

Every gamer is different in their needs and preferences, so it’s difficult to name any of these gaming motherboards as the absolute best gaming motherboard on the market. That being said, we generally recommend the Gigabyte AORUS Gaming 5 over competing motherboards as it has the largest selection of features and is therefore most likely to please the largest number of people.

While its high price is indeed an issue for even the most dedicated gamers, the three M.2s with which the AORUS Gaming 5 comes equipped, along with its onboard Wi-Fi, superior cooling, and simplified overclocking, more than justify its price in the eyes of many.

If you would prefer to keep costs down in your search for a gaming motherboard, you should consider the MSI Z270 Gaming Plus. Although it will set you back less than its Gigabyte alternative, this motherboard boasts a variety of features, among them PCIe steel armor slots and studio-grade sound. Furthermore, with its one-click overclocking, the MSI Z270 Gaming Plus is a great choice for gaming novices who would like to pursue overclocking but aren’t confident in their overclocking skills.

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