How to pick the perfect gaming motherboard

If the CPU is the brain of the PC, then the motherboard is like the nervous system, connecting all the other components together, such as the graphics card, memory and drives, enabling them to communicate with one another. While you could use any motherboard in a gaming PC, gaming motherboards tend to have lots of desirable features such as RGB lighting and superior sound quality that make them well worth considering. There are three main physical attributes you need to check when choosing a motherboard - socket, chipset and size.

Intel Motherboards

The ultimate motherboards for gaming PCs

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Socket

The socket is where the CPU physically connects to the motherboard. As CPUs are available in a large choice of shapes and sizes, it is important to make sure that the socket of the CPU and motherboard is the same.

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Chipset

The chipset determines a lot of the capabilities of the motherboard, such as the number of PCIe slots and USB ports.

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Size

The chipset determines a lot of the capabilities of the motherboard, such as the number of PCIe slots and USB ports.

Just like with any component you need to make sure that you choose a motherboard that is compatible with your chosen CPU

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Read our buyers guides for additional help.

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Motherboards - Intel

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Intel Z690 Socket 1700 ATX & Larger DDR5 Motherboards

The Intel Z690 chipset is the flagship chipset for Intel 12th generation Core processors, codename Alder Lake. It supports up to 16 PCIe 5.0 and four PCI 4.0 lanes and the most USB ports and is required for overclocking. These particular boards support DDR5 memory and are full size ATX designs with maximum expandability.

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Intel Z690 Socket 1700 MicroATX DDR5 Motherboards

The Intel Z690 chipset is the flagship chipset for Intel 12th generation Core processors, codename Alder Lake. It supports up to 16 PCIe 5.0 and four PCI 4.0 lanes and the most USB ports and is required for overclocking. These particular boards support DDR5 memory and are compact MicroATX size ATX designs with middling expandability.

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Intel Z690 Socket 1700 Mini-ITX DDR5 Motherboards

The Intel Z690 chipset is the flagship chipset for Intel 12th generation Core processors, codename Alder Lake. It supports up to 16 PCIe 5.0 and four PCI 4.0 lanes and the most USB ports and is required for overclocking. These particular boards support DDR5 memory and are small form factor MiniITX size designs which only support a single PCIe slot.

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Intel Z690 Socket 1700 ATX & Larger DDR4 Motherboards

The Intel Z690 chipset is the flagship chipset for Intel 12th generation Core processors, codename Alder Lake. It supports up to 16 PCIe 5.0 and four PCI 4.0 lanes and the most USB ports and is required for overclocking. These particular boards support DDR4 memory and are full size ATX designs with maximum expandability.

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Intel Z690 Socket 1700 MicroATX DDR4 Motherboards

The Intel Z690 chipset is the flagship chipset for Intel 12th generation Core processors, codename Alder Lake. It supports up to 16 PCIe 5.0 and four PCI 4.0 lanes and the most USB ports and is required for overclocking. These particular boards support DDR4 memory and are compact MicroATX size ATX designs with middling expandability.

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Intel Z690 Socket 1700 Mini-ITX DDR4 Motherboards

The Intel Z690 chipset is the flagship chipset for Intel 12th generation Core processors, codename Alder Lake. It supports up to 16 PCIe 5.0 and four PCI 4.0 lanes and the most USB ports and is required for overclocking. These particular boards support DDR4 memory and are small form factor MiniITX size designs which only support a single PCIe slot.

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Intel H670 Socket 1700 ATX Motherboards

The Intel H670 chipset is the higher spec mid-range chipset for Intel 12th generation Core processors, codename Alder Lake. It supports up to 16 PCIe 5.0 and four PCI 4.0 lanes and a large number of USB ports. These particular boards support DDR4 memory and are full size ATX designs with maximum expandability.

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Intel H670 Socket 1700 MicroATX Motherboards

The Intel H670 chipset is the higher spec mid-range chipset for Intel 12th generation Core processors, codename Alder Lake. It supports up to 16 PCIe 5.0 and four PCI 4.0 lanes and a large number of USB ports. These particular boards support DDR4 memory and are compact MicroATX size ATX designs with middling expandability.

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Intel H670 Socket 1700 Mini-ITX Motherboards

The Intel H670 chipset is the higher spec mid-range chipset for Intel 12th generation Core processors, codename Alder Lake. It supports up to 16 PCIe 5.0 and four PCI 4.0 lanes and a large number of USB ports. These particular boards support DDR4 memory and are small form factor MiniITX size designs which only support a single PCIe slot.

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Intel B660 Socket 1700 ATX Motherboards

The Intel B660 chipset is the lower spec mid-range chipset for Intel 12th generation Core processors, codename Alder Lake. It supports up to 16 PCIe 5.0 and four PCI 4.0 lanes and a generous number of USB ports. These particular boards support DDR4 memory and are full size ATX designs with maximum expandability.

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Intel B660 Socket 1700 MicroATX Motherboards

The Intel B660 chipset is the lower spec mid-range chipset for Intel 12th generation Core processors, codename Alder Lake. It supports up to 16 PCIe 5.0 and four PCI 4.0 lanes and a generous number of USB ports. These particular boards support DDR4 memory and are compact MicroATX size ATX designs with middling expandability.

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Intel B660 Socket 1700 Mini-ITX Motherboards

The Intel B660 chipset is the lower spec mid-range chipset for Intel 12th generation Core processors, codename Alder Lake. It supports up to 16 PCIe 5.0 and four PCI 4.0 lanes and a generous number of USB ports. These particular boards support DDR4 memory and are small form factor MiniITX size designs which only support a single PCIe slot.

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Intel Z590 Socket 1200 ATX & Larger Motherboards

The Intel Z590 chipset is the flagship chipset for Intel 10th and 11th generation Core processors, codename Comet Lake and Rocket Lake respectively. It supports 24 PCIe lanes, 14 USB ports and is required for overclocking. These particular boards are full size ATX designs with maximum expandability.

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Intel Z590 Socket 1200 MicroATX Motherboards

The Intel Z590 chipset is the flagship chipset for Intel 10th and 11th generation Core processors, codename Comet Lake and Rocket Lake respectively. It supports 24 PCIe lanes, 14 USB ports and is required for overclocking. These particular boards are small form factor micro-ATX designs with middling expandability.

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Intel Z590 Socket 1200 Mini-ITX Motherboards

The Intel Z590 chipset is the flagship chipset for Intel 10th and 11th generation Core processors, codename Comet Lake and Rocket Lake respectively. It supports 24 PCIe lanes, 14 USB ports and is required for overclocking. These particular boards are small form factor mini-ITX designs which only support a single expansion card.

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Intel H570 Socket 1200 ATX Motherboards

The Intel H570 chipset is the mid-range chipset for Intel 10th and 11th generation Core processors, codename Comet Lake and Rocket Lake respectively. It supports 20 PCIe lanes and 14 USB ports. These particular boards are full size ATX designs with maximum expandability.

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Intel H570 Socket 1200 MicroATX Motherboards

The Intel H570 chipset is the mid-range chipset for Intel 10th and 11th generation Core processors, codename Comet Lake and Rocket Lake respectively. It supports 20 PCIe lanes and 14 USB ports. These particular boards are small form factor micro-ATX designs with middling expandability.

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Intel H570 Socket 1200 Mini-ITX Motherboards

The Intel H570 chipset is the mid-range chipset for Intel 10th and 11th generation Core processors, codename Comet Lake and Rocket Lake respectively. It supports 20 PCIe lanes and 14 USB ports. These particular boards are small form factor mini-ITX designs which only support a single expansion card.

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Intel B560 Socket 1200 ATX Motherboards

The Intel B560 chipset is the mid-range chipset for Intel 10th and 11th generation Core processors, codename Comet Lake and Rocket Lake respectively. It supports 12 PCIe lanes and 12 USB ports.These particular boards are full size ATX designs with maximum expandability.

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Intel B560 Socket 1200 MicroATX Motherboards

The Intel B560 chipset is the mid-range chipset for Intel 10th and 11th generation Core processors, codename Comet Lake and Rocket Lake respectively. It supports 12 PCIe lanes and 12 USB ports. These particular boards are small form factor micro-ATX designs with middling expandability.

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Intel B560 Socket 1200 Mini-ITX Motherboards

The Intel B560 chipset is the mid-range chipset for Intel 10th and 11th generation Core processors, codename Comet Lake and Rocket Lake respectively. It supports 12 PCIe lanes and 12 USB ports. These particular boards are small form factor mini-ITX designs which only support a single expansion card.

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Intel Z490 Socket 1200 ATX & Larger Motherboards

The Intel Z590 chipset is the flagship chipset for Intel 10th Core processors codename Comet Lake with limited support for 11th generation Rocket Lake processors. It supports 24 PCIe lanes, 14 USB ports and is required for overclocking. These particular boards are full size ATX designs with maximum expandability.

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Intel Z490 Socket 1200 MicroATX Motherboards

The Intel Z590 chipset is the flagship chipset for Intel 10th Core processors codename Comet Lake with limited support for 11th generation Rocket Lake processors. It supports 24 PCIe lanes, 14 USB ports and is required for overclocking. These particular boards are small form factor micro-ATX designs with middling expandability.

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Intel Z490 Socket 1200 Mini-ITX Motherboards

The Intel Z590 chipset is the flagship chipset for Intel 10th Core processors codename Comet Lake with limited support for 11th generation Rocket Lake processors. It supports 24 PCIe lanes, 14 USB ports and is required for overclocking. These particular boards are small form factor mini-ITX designs which only support a single expansion card.

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Intel H470 Socket 1200 ATX Motherboards

The Intel H470 chipset is the mid-range chipset for Intel 10th generation Core processors, codename Comet Lake. It supports 20 PCIe lanes and 14 USB ports. These particular boards are full size ATX designs with maximum expandability.

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Intel H470 Socket 1200 MicroATX Motherboards

The Intel H470 chipset is the mid-range chipset for Intel 10th generation Core processors, codename Comet Lake. It supports 20 PCIe lanes and 14 USB ports. These particular boards are small form factor micro-ATX designs with middling expandability.

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Intel H470 Socket 1200 Mini-ITX Motherboards

The Intel H470 chipset is the mid-range chipset for Intel 10th 4 generation Core processors, codename Comet Lake. It supports 20 PCIe lanes and 14 USB ports. These particular boards are small form factor mini-ITX designs which only support a single expansion card.

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Intel B460 Socket 1200 ATX Motherboards

The Intel B460 chipset is the mid-range chipset for Intel 10th generation Core processors, codename Comet Lake. It supports 16 PCIe lanes and 12 USB ports. These particular boards are full size ATX designs with maximum expandability.

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Intel B460 Socket 1200 MicroATX Motherboards

The Intel B460 chipset is the mid-range chipset for Intel 10th generation Core processors, codename Comet Lake. It supports 16 PCIe lanes and 12 USB ports. These particular boards are small form factor micro-ATX designs with middling expandability.

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Intel B460 Socket 1200 Mini-ITX Motherboards

The Intel B460 chipset is the mid-range chipset for Intel 10th generation Core processors, codename Comet Lake. It supports 16 PCIe lanes and 12 USB ports. These particular boards are small form factor mini-ITX designs which only support a single expansion card.

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Intel Z390 Socket 1151 ATX & Larger Motherboards

The Intel Z390 chipset is the flagship chipset for Intel 9th generation Core processors, codename Coffee Lake. It supports two graphics cards, the most USB ports and is required for overclocking. These particular boards are full size ATX designs with maximum expandability.

Please Note: Despite utilising the same LGA1151 socket as 200 & 100 Series Motherboards, ONLY Intel 8th and 9th gen 'Coffee Lake' CPUs are compatible with these Intel Z370 Motherboards.

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Intel Z390 Socket 1151 MicroATX Motherboards

The Intel Z390 chipset is the flagship chipset for Intel 9th generation Core processors, codename Coffee Lake. It supports two graphics cards, the most USB ports and is required for overclocking. These particular boards are small form factor micro-ATX designs with middling expandability.

Please Note: Despite utilising the same LGA1151 socket as 200 & 100 Series Motherboards, ONLY Intel 9th gen 'Coffee Lake' CPUs are compatible with these Intel Z390 Motherboards.

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Intel Z390 Socket 1151 Mini-ITX Motherboards

The Intel Z390 chipset is the flagship chipset for Intel 9th generation Core processors, codename Coffee Lake. These particular boards are small form factor mini-ITX designs which only support a single expansion card.

Please Note: Despite utilising the same LGA1151 socket as 200 & 100 Series Motherboards, ONLY Intel 9th Gen. 'Coffee Lake' CPUs are compatible with these Intel Z390 Motherboards.

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Intel B365 Socket 1151 ATX Motherboards

The Intel B365 chipset is a mid-range chipset for Intel 8th and 9th generation Core processors. Like the H370 and B360 chipsets, B365 does not support overclocking only supports a single graphics card. It supports RAID, Intel Optane Memory & 5Gbps USB 3.1 Gen1. Another notable trade-off with B365, is that the chipset supplies less PCIe 3.0 Lanes for other devices than both of the more expensive Z370 & H370 chipsets. These particular boards are full size ATX designs with full expandability.

Please Note: Despite utilising the same LGA1151 socket as 200 & 100 Series Motherboards, ONLY Intel 8th and 9th Gen. CPUs are compatible with these Intel B365 Motherboards.

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Intel B365 Socket 1151 MicroATX Motherboards

The Intel B365 chipset is a mid-range chipset for Intel 8th and 9th generation Core processors. Like the H370 and B360 chipsets, B365 does not support overclocking only supports a single graphics card. It supports RAID, Intel Optane Memory & 5Gbps USB 3.1 Gen1. Another notable trade-off with B365, is that the chipset supplies less PCIe 3.0 Lanes for other devices than both of the more expensive Z370 & H370 chipsets. These particular boards are compact micro-ATX designs with middling expandability.

Please Note: Despite utilising the same LGA1151 socket as 200 & 100 Series Motherboards, ONLY Intel 8th and 9th Gen. CPUs are compatible with these Intel B365 Motherboards.

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Intel B365 Socket 1151 Mini-ITX Motherboards

The Intel B365 chipset is a mid-range chipset for Intel 8th and 9th generation Core processors. Like the H370 and B360 chipsets, B365 does not support overclocking only supports a single graphics card. It supports RAID, Intel Optane Memory & 5Gbps USB 3.1 Gen1. Another notable trade-off with B365, is that the chipset supplies less PCIe 3.0 Lanes for other devices than both of the more expensive Z370 & H370 chipsets. These particular boards are tiny mini-ITX designs with limited expandability.

Please Note: Despite utilising the same LGA1151 socket as 200 & 100 Series Motherboards, ONLY Intel 8th and 9th Gen. CPUs are compatible with these Intel B365 Motherboards.

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Intel X299 Socket 2066 ATX & Larger Motherboards

The X299 chipset is Intel's flagship model for extreme desktop systems including gaming PCs and content creation workstations. With its LGA 2066 socket, this chipset supports Intel's most powerful desktop CPUs from the Skylake X and Kaby Lake X ranges. It supports quad-channel DDR4 memory, providing unparalled memory bandwidth. With up to 44 PCI-E 3.0 lanes available, these motherboards deliver masses of bandwidth for SLI and CrossFireX configurators, offering unrestricted performance in games and graphic intensive content creation applications. With heaps of USB 3.0, SATA 6Gb/s ports and overclocking features these motherboards are the ultimate platform for high-performance desktop PCs. These particular X299 models are ATX or larger for full-size desktop PCs.

Despite using the new Socket 2066, the external layout is the same as Socket 2011-3, so you can use any of these coolers with your new Socket 2066 motherboard.

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Tekspek An in-depth guide into tech: Intel X299 chipset motherboards
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Intel X299 Socket 2066 MicroATX & Mini-ITX Motherboards

The X299 chipset is Intel's flagship model for extreme desktop systems including gaming PCs and content creation workstations. With its LGA 2066 socket, this chipset supports Intel's most powerful desktop CPUs from the Skylake X and Kaby Lake X ranges. It supports quad-channel DDR4 memory, providing unparalled memory bandwidth. With up to 44 PCI-E 3.0 lanes available, these motherboards deliver masses of bandwidth for SLI and CrossFireX configurators, offering unrestricted performance in games and graphic intensive content creation applications. With heaps of USB 3.0, SATA 6Gb/s ports and overclocking features these motherboards are the ultimate platform for high-performance desktop PCs. These particular X299 models are micro-ATX or mini-ITX for small form factor desktop PCs.

Despite using the new Socket 2066, the external layout is the same as Socket 2011-3, so you can use any of these coolers with your new Socket 2066 motherboard.

View:
Tekspek An in-depth guide into tech: Intel X299 chipset motherboards
Related products