Best 11 AM4 Motherboards in 2021 (For Ryzen PCs)

With AMD’s recent release of the Ryzen 5000 series CPUs, they’ve taken the overall performance lead in the CPU market. Zen 3 offers stellar performance in both gaming and multi-threaded workloads, along with extremely attractive power efficiency, and a reasonable price.

For those looking for a new motherboard to pair with their AMD Ryzen 5000 series chip, or those wanting a budget option for an older 3000 series CPU, or even for an APU build, we have something for you. We’ve researched and tested every motherboard on the market and picked out the best AM4 motherboards for you.

Quick Summary: Our Top Choices for the Best AM4 Motherboards in 2021

 ImageNamefeaturesPrice

Best Overall AM4

Dell XPS 15
  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Chipset: X570
  • CPU compatibility: AMD Ryzen 2000, 3000, 5000, etc.
  • PCI-e revision: 4.0 (with supported CPUs)
  • RAM slots/capacity: 4 slots, 128GB Max

Best Water Cooling

ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Formula
  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Chipset: X570
  • CPU compatibility: Ryzen 2000, 3000, 5000, etc.
  • PCI-e revision: 4.0
  • RAM slots/capacity: 4 slots, 128GB Max

Top High-End

Gigabyte B550 Aorus Master
  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Chipset: B550
  • CPU compatibility: Ryzen 3000, 5000, etc.
  • PCI-e revision: 4.0
  • RAM slots/capacity: 4 slots, 128GB Max

High-End Runner

MSI X570 Unify
  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Chipset: X570
  • CPU compatibility: Ryzen 2000, 3000, 5000, etc.
  • PCI-e revision: 4.0
  • RAM slots/capacity: 4 slots, 128GB max

Best Budget

ASUS Prime X570-P
  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Chipset: X570
  • CPU compatibility: AMD Ryzen 2000, 3000, 5000, etc.
  • PCI-e revision: 4.0 (with supported CPUs)
  • RAM slots/capacity: 4 slots, 128 GB max

Best All-rounder

MSI B550-A Pro
  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Chipset: B550
  • CPU compatibility: AMD Ryzen 3000, 5000, etc.
  • PCI-e revision: 4.0 (with supported CPUs)
  • RAM slots/capacity: 4 slots, 128GB max

Best for Overclocking

MSI B550 Tomahawk
  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Chipset: B550
  • CPU compatibility: AMD Ryzen 3000, 5000, etc.
  • PCI-e revision: 4.0 (with supported CPUs)
  • RAM slots/capacity: 4 slots, up to 128GB

Built-in Wi-Fi

MSI B550M Mortar
  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Chipset: B550
  • CPU compatibility: AMD Ryzen 3000, 5000, etc.
  • PCI-e revision: 4.0 (with supported CPUs)
  • RAM slots/capacity: 4 slots, up to 128GB

Best Mid-range

Gigabyte B550I Aorus Pro AX
  • Form Factor: Mini-ITX
  • Chipset: B550
  • CPU compatibility: AMD Ryzen 3000, 5000, etc.
  • PCI-e revision: 4.0 (with supported CPUs)
  • RAM slots/capacity: 2 slots, 64GB Max

Best Budget

Ryzen 5000 – Gigabyte B550M DS3H
  • Form Factor: micro-ATX
  • Chipset: B550
  • CPU compatibility:AMD Ryzen 3000 and 5000 series.
  • PCI-e revision: 4.0 (with supported CPUs)
  • RAM slots/capacity: 4 slots, up to 128GB

Runner Up

Gigabyte B450 Aorus M
  • Form Factor: mATX
  • Chipset: B450
  • CPU compatibility: Ryzen 1000, 2000, 3000 series, with Ryzen 5000 series support
  • PCI-e revision: 3.0 (with supported CPUs)
  • RAM slots/capacity: 4 slots, up to 128GB*

Choosing the best Ryzen motherboard for you is down to what features you need and seek in a motherboard, and how much you’re willing to spend. The chipset also plays a big factor in CPU compatibility, so take that into account as well.

For those on a budget, a cheaper B450 or B550 option can offer a solid base, with good features, without costing too much. For those looking for more performance, overclocking features, storage, RGB lighting, or on-board Wi-Fi, a mid-range B550 or X570 motherboard may be recommended.

For more advanced users, those looking for a bit more than an ordinary board, or those running high-core count CPUs, a higher-end motherboard may be needed. The Enthusiast-tier is reserved for where money is no object, extreme overclocking is a consideration, and only the best and most feature-rich boards will suffice.

Top Enthusiast-Tier Boards ($300+)

1. Best Overall AM4 Motherboard – Gigabyte X570 Aorus Master

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Pros

> Extreme overclocking capabilities and goodies

> True 12-phase VRM with IR components

> 2.5G LAN/Dual-band Wi-Fi 6

> Manual dual-BIOS control

Cons:

> Advanced features may be complicated for the average user

Specifications

Form Factor: ATX

Chipset: X570

CPU compatibility: AMD Ryzen 2000, 3000, 5000, full list here: https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/X570-AORUS-MASTER-rev-10/support#support-cpu

PCI-e revision: 4.0 (with supported CPUs)

RAM slots/capacity: 4 slots, 128GB Max (32GB max DIMM size)

CPU VRM: True 12-phase DrMOS with 1x IR3556 Power Stage per phase

Overview

For the enthusiasts among you, we know you want the best AM4 motherboard there is to offer. Gigabyte’s X570 Aorus Master is, in our opinion, just that.

Extreme overclocking is made easy with many enthusiast-oriented features including a POST code, dedicated power/reset buttons on the motherboard, manual BIOS control switches, debug LEDs, voltage read-points, and multiple temperature sensor headers.

Premium audio in the form of an ESS Sabre DAC, dual-band Wi-Fi 6, 2.5G LAN, BIOS Flashback all come standard, among a myriad of other features.

Three M.2 slots providing up to PCI-e 4.0 x4 bandwidth offer fast NVMe storage options, along with 6 SATA ports for flexible storage options. Five system fan headers (with 2 of these offering pump header functionality), along with a dedicated pump header take care of cooling.

Two 4-pin 12v RGB headers and two 3-pin 5v ARGB headers offer great lighting options and customization.

2. Best Water Cooling AM4 Motherboard – ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Formula

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Pros 

> Watercooled, 7-Phase VRM with IR components

> Extensive Extreme Overclocking Support

> 5Gbit LAN

> Extensive BIOS control

> Premium ASUS features

Cons

> Expensive
> No POST code

Specifications

Form Factor: ATX

Chipset: X570

CPU compatibility: Ryzen 2000, 3000, 5000, full list here: https://rog.asus.com/motherboards/rog-crosshair/rog-crosshair-viii-formula-model/helpdesk_cpu/

PCI-e revision: 4.0

RAM slots/capacity: 4 slots, 128GB Max (32GB Max DIMM size)

CPU VRM: 7-phase DrMOS with 2x IR3555 60A Power Stage per phase

Overview

For enthusiasts who are considering custom loop water cooling, ASUS offers the ROG Crosshair VIII Formula motherboard with an already included VRM water block made by EKWB. It comes with many premium features and extreme overclocking support, and even has an LN2 mode for sub-zero runs.

It features dedicated motherboard buttons for power, reset, safe boot, as well as a retry button and a slow-mode switch. Q-LED debug lights are included in place of a POST code, and is our only gripe with the AM4 motherboard, as a POST code would have been nice.

The BIOS has a massive suite of options and features for overclocking thanks to the inclusion of Tweaker’s Paradise. BIOS Flashback is also standard.

Aquantia 5 Gigabit LAN is included, for ultra-fast connectivity, alongside an Intel Gigabit LAN port, and an Intel dual-band Wi-Fi 6 card. ASUS’ SupremeFX on-board audio comes standard. Two M.2 slots feature up to PCI-e 4.0 x4 bandwidth, with a third M.2 slot with up to PCI-e 3.0 x4 bandwidth, and 8 SATA ports offer unparalleled storage options.

Four chassis fan headers, One High-Amperage full speed header, an extra CPU fan header, and two pump connectors offer widely assorted cooling options. 2 4-pin 12v RGB headers, and 2 3-pin ARGB headers handle lighting customization.

For anyone who wants to best AM4 motherboard for water cooling this is the one for you.

Best High-End Boards ($200-$300)

1. Top High-End (and Best RAM OC) – Gigabyte B550 Aorus Master

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Pros 

> Incredible true 14-phase Infineon/IR VRM for overclocking

> Troubleshooting POST code for easy tweaking

> 2.5G LAN and 2.4 Gigabit Wi-Fi 6

> Unparalleled RAM overclocking, even compared to X570 boards

> Premium on-board audio

Cons: 

> Expensive compared to other B550 and X570 boards

> Gigabyte BIOS can be touchy at times

Specifications

Form Factor: ATX

Chipset: B550

CPU compatibility: Ryzen 3000, 5000, full list here: https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/B550-AORUS-MASTER-rev-10/support#support-cpu

PCI-e revision: 4.0 (with supported CPUs)

RAM slots/capacity: 4 slots, 128GB Max (32GB max DIMM size)

CPU VRM: True 14-phase DrMOS with 1x 70A Infineon Smart Power Stage per phase

Overview

For those looking for a high-end B550 motherboard, and are into intensive CPU and memory overclocking, Gigabyte has you covered. The B550 Aorus Master offers an incredible true 14-phase VRM, Dual-band Wi-Fi 6, 2.5G LAN, BIOS Flashback, a troubleshooting POST code, and excellent memory overclocking thanks to its brilliantly engineered PCB.

These among other features that are too numerous to list. It’s the perfect motherboard to push your system to its limits, while still being relatively reasonable with pricing for what it offers feature and hardware-wise.

The B550 Aorus Master features plenty of storage options as well, featuring three M.2 slots, supporting up to PCI-e 4.0 x4 bandwidth, for ultra-fast NVMe drives, along with 6 SATA ports for other drives.

Six fan headers (2 with pump functionality), along with a dedicated AIO pump header offer stellar cooling options. Two 3-pin 5v ARGB headers and three 4-pin 12v RGB headers give you extensive lighting control.

2. High-End Runner Up – MSI X570 Unify

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Pros

> POST code and debug LEDs for easy troubleshooting

> Dedicated Power and Reset buttons on the motherboard for easy use on test-bench

> 12-Phase IR VRM

> BIOS Flashback

> 2.5G LAN and Dual-band Wi-Fi 6

Cons

> Only 4 SATA Ports

Specifications

Form Factor: ATX

Chipset: X570

CPU compatibility: Ryzen 2000, 3000, 5000, full list here: https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/support/MEG-X570-UNIFY#support-cpu

PCI-e revision: 4.0 (with supported CPUs)

RAM slots/capacity: 4 slots, 128GB max (32GB max DIMM size)

CPU VRM: Doubled 12-phase DrMOS with 1x IR3555 60A Power Stage per phase

Overview

MSI’s X570 Unify is a stripped-down, performance and overclock oriented motherboard, and is the epitome of function over form. It offers plenty of software and hardware features that help you in your pursuit of the best performance.

These include a 12-phase VRM with all IR components, a troubleshooting POST code, debug LEDs, dedicated power and reset buttons for test-bench setups, BIOS Flashback, as well as a well-optioned BIOS. Premium on-board audio, 2.5G LAN, and Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 also come standard.

Storage options are superb as well, with three PCI-e 4.0 x4 M.2 slots for multiple fast NVMe drives, along with 4 SATA ports. Five 4-pin system fan headers, along with a dedicated PUMP header covers your cooling.

Despite being a stripped-down, industrial-looking board, the Unify still features a 4-pin 12v RGB connector, two 3-pin 5v ARGB connectors, and a 3-pin Corsair iCUE connector, for flexible lighting control options.

Best Mid-Range AM4 Motherboards ($100 – $150)

1. Best Budget Ryzen Motherboard X570 – ASUS Prime X570-P

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Pros:

> High-quality VRM on a lower budget

> Supports 16-core CPUs

> ASUS Aura Sync

> Great bang for buck

Cons:

> Availability

> No BIOS Flashback

Specifications

Form Factor: ATX

Chipset: X570

CPU compatibility: Ryzen 2000, 3000, 5000 (BIOS update may be required), full list here:

https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboards/PRIME-X570-P/HelpDesk_CPU/

PCI-e revision: 4.0 (with supported CPUs)

RAM slots/capacity: 4 slots, 128 GB max (32 GB max DIMM size)

CPU VRM: 4-phase DrMOS with 2x50A Vishay Power Stages in parallel per phase

Overview

This AMD AM4 motherboard will please budget overclockers and those looking for the best bang/buck. It features the same exact VRM you’d find on the Maximus XI Hero. You can comfortably take a 3950X or 5950X to its air or water-cooled limits on this motherboard and the VRM won’t break a sweat.

The X570 chipset offers PCI-e 4.0 connectivity along all PCI-e slots. There are two M.2 slots, one Gen 4, and one Gen 3 supporting NVMe/SATA M.2 drives, along 6 SATA ports.

3 chassis fan headers, as well as a dedicated AIO Pump header, take care of cooling. Two 12v 4-pin RGB headers and one 5v 3-pin ARGB header is available for lighting, and ASUS’ Aura Sync software provides seamless control.

2. Best All-rounder – MSI B550-A Pro

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Pros 

> Great all-around features and performance

> BIOS Flashback

> 16-core CPU support

> Plentiful fan headers

Cons

> Basic aesthetics

Specifications

Form Factor: ATX

Chipset: B550

CPU compatibility: Ryzen 3000, 5000 series. Full compatibility here: https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/support/B550-A-PRO#support-cpu

PCI-e revision: 4.0 (with supported CPUs)

RAM slots/capacity: 4 slots, 128GB max (32GB max DIMM size)

CPU VRM: N-channel 10-phase using OnSemi FETs

Overview

MSI’s B550-A Pro offers a well-implemented VRM, great features, and good performance at a modest price. This motherboard is for those that want a solid upgrade path for the future, while still on a budget. The VRM can comfortably handle a 16-core CPU, and AMD Ryzen 5000 chips are drop-in.

This motherboard also features BIOS Flashback, meaning you can update the BIOS using only a USB stick, without needing a CPU, RAM, or graphics card. Very convenient feature.

The B550 chipset offers a full PCI-e 4.0 x16 slot for your graphics card, as well as an M.2 PCI-e 4.0 x4 slot for NVMe (or SATA) devices. A second M.2 runs at PCI-e 3.0 x4, along with 6 SATA ports.

A massive 6 total 4-pin case fan headers, along with a dedicated AIO Pump header are available for cooling. One 4-pin 12v RGB header and two 3-pin 5v ARGB headers are available for lighting control.

Best Upper Mid-range Options ($150-$200)

1. Best AM4 Motherboard for Overclocking – MSI B550 Tomahawk

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Pros

> Fantastic VRM for the money

> Great overclocking capability

> 2.5 Gbit LAN

> BIOS Flashback

Cons

> Availability

Specifications

Form Factor: ATX

Chipset: B550

CPU compatibility: Ryzen 3000, 5000, full list here: https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/support/MAG-B550-TOMAHAWK#support-cpu

PCI-e revision: 4.0 (with supported CPUs)

RAM slots/capacity: 4 slots, up to 128GB (32GB max DIMM size)

CPU VRM: 10-phase DrMOS with 1x Intersil (ISL) 60A Smart Power Stage per phase

Overview

For those that want a solid overclocking motherboard, but don’t want to pay a premium, the B550 Tomahawk from MSI has you covered. It comes with a 10-phase DrMOS VRM with performance that competes with boards over $100 more.

AMD Ryzen 5000 series CPUs are supported out of the box.  It also features BIOS Flashback, a USB Type-C 10 Gbps port, and faster 2.5 Gigabit LAN.

PCI-e 4.0 is supported for both the x16 graphics card slot, and the M.2_1 x4 slot. A second M.2 slot offers 3.0 x4 bandwidth for NVMe and SATA drives.

A dedicated pump header and 6 case/chassis fan headers are available for cooling and fan control. 2x 12v 4-pin RGB headers, and 2x 5v 3-pin ARGB headers offer flexible lighting options.

2. Best with Built-in Wi-Fi – MSI B550M Mortar

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Pros

> Smaller form factor can fit into more compact cases

> Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 with 2.5 Gbit LAN connectivity

> Excellent VRM

> BIOS Flashback

Cons:

> Could use more fan headers

Specifications

Form Factor: micro-ATX

Chipset: B550

CPU compatibility: Ryzen 3000, 5000, full list here: https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/support/MAG-B550M-MORTAR-WIFI#support-cpu

PCI-e revision: 4.0 (with supported CPUs)

RAM slots/capacity: 4 slots, up to 128GB (32GB max DIMM size)

CPU VRM: 8-phase DrMOS with 1x ISL 60A Smart Power Stage per phase

Overview

The B550M Mortar WiFi motherboard offers a well-designed and capable VRM in a smaller form factor and will run a 16-core 5950X without breaking a sweat. For those who also want wireless connectivity, The Mortar WiFi, as the name suggests, has you covered.

Featuring an Intel AX200 dual-band 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 combo card, you can reach speeds of up to 2.4 Gbps. It also offers BIOS Flashback, a 10 Gbps USB 3.2 Type-C connector, and 2.5G LAN.

As with all B550 chipset motherboards, the main x16 slot is PCI-e 4.0, as well as the M.2 slot, supporting PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe drives. A second M.2 slot offers PCI-e 3.0 x4 bandwidth, along with 6 SATA ports for storage devices. 3x 4-pin system fan connectors, along with a dedicated pump header are available for cooling.

One 4-pin 12v RGB header and two 3-pin 5v ARGB headers are available for lighting control.

3. Best Mid-range ITX AM4 Motherboard – Gigabyte B550I Aorus Pro AX

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Pros

> Excellent VRM for size

> Dual-band Wi-Fi 6

> 2.5G LAN

> BIOS Flashback

Cons

> Limited fan headers due to size

> Limited RGB headers due to size

Specifications

Form Factor: Mini-ITX

Chipset: B550

CPU compatibility: Ryzen 3000, 5000, full compatibility here: https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/B550I-AORUS-PRO-AX-rev-10/support#support-cpu

PCI-e revision: 4.0 (with supported CPUs)

RAM slots/capacity: 2 slots, 64GB Max (32GB max DIMM size)

CPU VRM: 6-phase DrMOS with 1x ISL 90A Smart Power Stage per phase

Overview

Those who want a solid base for their small and compact PC build need to look no further than the B550I Aorus Pro AX motherboard from Gigabyte. Featuring a ridiculously good VRM for its size with 90A Smart Power Stages, you’ll have no problem running the latest and greatest CPUs.

Dual-band Wi-Fi 6, 2.5G LAN, and BIOS Flashback features come as standard. It packs a solid punch for such a small package

Despite being so small, the B550I Aorus Pro AX features flexible storage options, with an M.2 slot supporting up to 4.0 x4 bandwidth on the front, and a 2nd M.2 slot supporting up to PCI-e 3.0 x4 bandwidth on the back of the board, along with 4 SATA ports.

Two system fan headers offer fan control, though we’d recommend an additional fan hub for more options. One 3-pin 5v ARGB and one 4-pin 12v RGB connector are available for lighting.

Best Budget Options (Under 100 Dollars)

1. Best Budget AM4 Motherboard for Ryzen 5000 – Gigabyte B550M DS3H

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Pros

> Cost-effective

> Drop-in AMD Ryzen 5000 series compatibility

> Solid RGB lighting support at this price point

> PCI-e 4.0

Cons

> Only 4 SATA Ports

> CPU Overclocking headroom may be limited for higher core-counts

Best Budget B450

Specifications

Form Factor: micro-ATX

Chipset: B550

CPU compatibility: AMD Ryzen 3000 and 5000 series, full compatibility list here: https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/B550M-DS3H-rev-1x/support#support-cpu

PCI-e revision: 4.0 (with supported CPUs)

RAM slots/capacity: 4 slots, up to 128GB (up to 32GB DIMMs)

CPU VRM: 5-phase N-channel using OnSemi FETs

Overview

The B550M DS3H motherboard from Gigabyte offers one of the cheapest entry-level options for drop-in Ryzen 5000 series compatibility and in my opinion is the best cheap AM4 motherboard. The VRM and its heatsink are well implemented, and can comfortably handle up to a slightly overclocked 5800X, or even a stock 5900X  provided you have good case airflow.

It comes with 4 RAM slots, for extra expandability. One M.2 Slot supporting up to a PCI-e 4.0 x4 NVMe drive, and one PCI-e 3.0 x2 M.2 slot is available for fast storage, along with 4 SATA Ports. Gigabit LAN comes standard.

2 fan headers for case fans are available, as well as three 4-pin 12v RGB headers, as well as two 3-pin 5v ARGB headers, should be enough to satisfy your lighting needs.

2. Runner Up – Gigabyte B450 Aorus M

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Pros

> Cheap without sacrificing quality

> Wide range of CPU support

Cons

> No Ryzen 5000 support until January

> Not suitable for higher-core count CPUs

> Could use more fan headers

Specifications

Form Factor: mATX

Chipset: B450

CPU compatibility: Ryzen 1000, 2000, 3000 series, with Ryzen 5000 series support coming in January via BIOS update. Full compatibility list here: https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/B450-AORUS-M-rev-10/support#support-cpu

PCI-e revision: 3.0

RAM slots/capacity: 4 slots, up to 128GB* (*support will vary with CPU installed)

CPU VRM: 4-phase N-channel using OnSemi FETs

Overview

For those who are looking for a solid budget motherboard option with a wide range of CPU compatibility, the Aorus M is what you’ll want. The VRM is good and can provide enough power to handle up to an 8-core part.

If you do partake in overclocking, make sure you have good airflow around the motherboard. Ryzen 5000 series support, however, won’t be available until January of 2021.

4 RAM slots offer compatibility with up to 3600 MHz sticks (Ryzen 3000/5000 only). A Single M.2 PCI-e 3.0 x4 slot is available for high-speed NVMe drives, along with 6 SATA ports.

There are 2 fan headers for case fans, as well as 2x 5v ARGB headers, and a 12v RGB header are available for lighting and control of RGB fans and devices.

How We Chose the Motherboards on this List

Our process includes looking over each motherboard available on the market, looking at important features like VRM, memory support, overclocking support, CPU compatibility, PCI-e support and slots, connectivity features like LAN and on-board Wi-Fi, BIOS design, storage options, RGB lighting capabilities, and overall build quality.

We compare and choose the AMD AM4 motherboards that we feel offer the best features, performance, and compatibility for the money.

I have written a guide on how to decide which AM4 motherboard you should buy depending on what your needs and budget are. This will point you in the right direction if you have no idea what type of AM4 motherboard you need.

Testing Methodologies

Our tests start with a simple boot-up and walk-through of the BIOS. We then proceed to processor and memory compatibility testing, going through a wide range of kits and CPUs. Testing VRM thermal performance across different CPUs, both stock, and overclocked, comes next.

Finally, memory overclocking is tested to see how well a motherboard does. We then load into Windows and test various software features like RGB lighting, M.2 storage compatibility and speeds, and other boring stuff like on-board audio, LAN and Wi-Fi connectivity, etc.

Important Things to Consider

1. VRM (CPU Power Delivery)

By far the most important consideration for a motherboard is the VRM, its design, and thermal performance. More CPU cores mean you’ll need a beefier power delivery. A stock 6-core may only draw 70w and might not need the best VRM, but an overclocked 16-core 3950X/5950X can consume up to 200w on ambient cooling.

VRM rating is a complicated thing, but usually more phases or higher amperage Power Stages are better. Though the only way to really tell is to test them in the real world, which is what we’ve done.

When choosing your AM4 motherboard, we highly suggest looking at VRM thermal testing before buying. This is because while you may only have a 6-core part now, if and when you upgrade to a more powerful CPU, you want to make sure it can handle it.

A bad VRM design or implementation will also cause performance loss, instability, or may shorten a motherboard’s lifespan. We’ve made sure all our picks have adequate and well-designed VRM implementation and performance.

Another thing to consider is whether some older parts you own are compatible with AM4. One article I have written which discusses this is on the topic of, “are AM4 and AM3+ the same thing?“. You may also wonder, is AM4 backward compatible with AM3+?. Follow the link if you don’t already know the answer to this question.

2. Form Factor and Sizing

The size of the motherboard (form factor) determines the minimum size of the case that it will fit in. Smaller form factors like mini-ITX are meant for the most compact of builds, but will also sacrifice some features, expansion ports, and I/O to get down to that size.

Micro-ATX boards are the next size up and are still relatively compact. They’re a nice middle ground between small, and still having a good amount of features, expansion ports, and overall I/O.

ATX motherboards are the most common size and are meant for Mid-tower and Full Tower cases. ATX boards generally offer a good amount of features, a solid VRM implementation, more expansion slots, and I/O, as well as better storage options over the aforementioned boards.

While we don’t have any on our list, the next size up is E-ATX or Extended ATX. These motherboards are usually Enthusiast-tier and are expensive. They provide advanced features, more expansion slots, more storage options, and are generally very premium boards. Only a Full Tower case will fit these AM4 motherboards.

3. Socket Type

Socket type generally determines what CPUs are compatible with your motherboard. Our list today is all on the AM4 socket chipset, and as such, only supports modern AMD Ryzen CPUs. Intel’s latest socket, for example, is socket LGA 1200, and only supports their 10th gen desktop CPUs.

I discuss whether all AM4 sockets are the same in another article which you can read by clicking the link.

4. Chipset

Along with socket type, what chipset a motherboard has directly affects your CPU and sometimes memory compatibility. Most of our picks today are either B550 or X570 chipset boards and support the latest CPUs.

Chipset also dictates how many expansion slots, PCI-e lanes, USB 3.2 ports, and storage devices can be put on a good AM4 motherboard. Below are helpful images to guide you to the main differences with compatibility and features between chipsets, implementation, however, will vary slightly from motherboard to motherboard.

5. CPU Compatibility

AM4 Motherboard chipset solutions

Features, I/O, Overclocking Support, PCI-e revision, and storage difference

Features of AMD chipsets of motherboards

6. Memory Support

 With AMD Ryzen CPUs, memory support is largely dependent on what CPU you are running, not so much your motherboard’s limitations.

Most 1st and 2nd gen chips were limited to 3200 MHz, 3rd gen came along with a sweet spot of 3600 MHz for plug-and-play, and 3800 MHz as the ceiling for most as running any higher causes the memory to de-sync from Infinity Fabric/IO Die, and the performance penalty isn’t worth it.

I think you may find the report I wrote about why you should choose compatible RAM for your AM4 CPU. To get the best results you will want to read this.

AMD Ryzen 4th gen (5000 series) is supposed to support up to 4000 MHz while still being in sync with the Fabric.

That being said, some motherboards are better than others with memory support, and especially with memory overclocking.

Most AM4 motherboards will support what the average user will buy (3600 MHz RAM), but for those who are looking to tweak more, we’d recommend something from the mid-range up on our list, as are generally designed better and offer more overclocking and tweaking headroom as well as added features.

Also, keep in mind some motherboards only provide 2 RAM slots, so choose your kit and capacity accordingly.

Another thing to keep in mind is, does DDR3 RAM work with AM4, or will need newer DDR4 RAM instead?.

7. PCI-E Slots

While multi-GPU configurations are mostly dead for everyday use as fewer and few games and graphics cards are supporting them, you should still consider your PCI-e slots and bandwidth.

PCI e-slots of a motherboard

PCI-e 4.0 on AMD motherboards, in particular, may be important for their upcoming GPU release, which uses the extra bandwidth to allow the CPU to directly access all of a GPU’s VRAM at once.

PCI-e slots are still a consideration as you may want to add in additional expansion cards. A sound card, Wi-Fi card, M.2 expansion card, 10G LAN card, or even a RAID controller are all valid uses of extra PCI-e slots. Those installing heavy graphics cards may also want to opt for motherboards with reinforced PCI-e slots.

8. Storage Options

Storage options are also an important consideration. Do you want a high-speed NVMe M.2 drive? Make sure the AM4 socket motherboard you choose has one, or more. Need a lot of SATA ports along with it? Make sure the AM4 motherboard you are buying doesn’t deactivate SATA ports when installing an M.2 drive (some boards do this).

9. Fan and RGB Headers

All motherboards come with a CPU fan header, but not all come with the same amount of chassis/case fan headers. For those who want to run many fans, a motherboard with more fan headers is preferred. Though you can also get a fan hub to work around a lack of fan headers.

Most case/chassis fan headers are only rated for 1A though, so if you are using a splitter, or daisy-chaining fans together, be careful how many fans you put on one header. For those running AIOs, you may opt for an AM4 motherboard with a dedicated PUMP header, for optimal control over your AIO.

RGB headers are an important consideration for lighting. There are two types, 4-pin 12v RGB headers, and 3-pin 5v Addressable RGB (ARGB) headers. You should pick your fans and/or lighting strips according to what’s available on your motherboard, or pick a motherboard that suits your needs.

We have plenty more reviews and helpful guides on motherboards which can be found here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which AM4 motherboards support overclocking?

All motherboards except for A320 and A520 motherboards. More on that here www.gizmofusion.com/are-all-am4-motherboards-overclockable.

Is AM4 future proof?

With a wide range of compatibility through multiple generations, and with high-core count CPUs, we’d like to think so. I have an article published on my thoughts on how long will AM4 last, which I think you may find helpful.

How long will AMD use AM4?

With AMD promising AM4 support “until 2020”, we don’t know what the future of the platform holds. Check out our article on this topic here:

I hope that you got some value from these reviews and that you now know the best AM4 motherboard for your budget and needs is.

Are you looking for a motherboard to go alongside the Ryzen 7 3700x by any chance? If that’s a yes, you should read this guide discussing the absolute best motherboards for the Ryzen 7 3700x.

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