The Motherboard is the piece of a computer that relays information to all components of the computer. Without it, the processor which is considered the brain of the computer would not function. It is the nervous system that relays signals. Due to its importance, you need to ensure that you get the best motherboard when purchasing.
A gaming motherboard requires deeper considerations than one to be used in an office computer or a computer used by non-gamers. What is the best gaming motherboard 2018? Your answer to this will really depend on many things including compatibility, sturdiness, reliability and others.
In this guide you will learn how to make the right choice on the best motherboard 2018. We will even give some of the top picks to choose from.
Things to Consider
There are basically two options in terms of the size of gaming motherboard 2018 that you buy. There is the ATX and the Micro ATX (mATX). ATX is larger than the mATX and this means that the ATX has more features like memory card slots. However, when you are on a tight budget, mATX will do just fine. The case you buy will depend on the motherboard size. ATX size cases can be used with either mATX or ATX. A mATX case can only be used with an mATX motherboard.
By definition, a chipset is the set of electronic components that manage data flow between the processor, peripheral devices and memory in the integrated circuit. The chipset controls what peripheral devices can be connected to the computer. Many chipsets have a Northbridge and Southbridge. The Northbridge integrates to the interfaces that need high performance like CPU whereas the Southbridge connects to slower interfaces. There are various types of chipsets that may be found on a motherboard but the best motherboard for gaming 2018 needs to have nothing but the best.
There are AMD and Intel chipsets. Intel chipsets which have great performance but cost a little more. There are several Intel chipsets but we will look at the ones worthy being in the best gaming motherboard 2018.
1. Intel X299
A motherboard with this chipset will make a high-end desktop that will make gaming fun with no glitches. This is available around the LGA 2066 socket which is compatible with at least two processor generations. It has a quad channel memory with speeds of up to DDR4-2667MHz. however, the Kaby Lake X processors will have dual channel RAM but still maintain the speeds. This chipset offers 25 PCIe Gen 3.0 lanes.
2. Intel Z370
This is meant to support the 8th Generation Coffee Lake CPU. The chipset offers 24 PCIe lanes and supports DDR4-2666. It supports USB 3.1 and the USB Type-C connector. This chipset supports SATA RAID and PCIe RAID modes 0, 1, and 5.
3. Intel Z270
This chipset is older and less powerful than the Z370 but it can still be useful in a gaming motherboard. It supports the Kaby Lake–S and Skylake-S. It has 24 PCIe lanes and supports DDR4-2400 RAM. As for the RAID supported, it is the SATA 0, 1, 5 and 10.
A CPU socket is where the CPU connects to the motherboard. It is a slot that provides electrical and mechanical support between the microprocessor and the motherboard. It is where the pins at the bottom side of the processor fit. The socket type also determines the cooler that can be attached in the computer.
When choosing a motherboard, consider what processor it is that you would like to use. For instance, Intel CPUs use Land Grid Array (LGA) sockets. These sockets have pins on which the pads on the CPU’s underside rest. Examples are Intel LGA2066 and the Intel LGA1150. AMD sockets (for example AM4) on the other hand have holes whereas the CPUs have pins which interlock. Ensure that the socket on the motherboard is integratable with the CPU you will be using.
Look at how many graphics cards slots there are on the motherboard. Most of the time, dedicated graphics cards will be connected to the motherboard by PCI-Express (PCI-e) slots. These slots could be x4 or x16 among other variations. Graphics cards fit in the x16 slot which is the longest.
This is the ability of the motherboard to host several graphics cards that can be linked with the system in order to distribute the GPU processing work for better graphics output and computer performance. Multi-GPU rigs include Crossfire and Scalable Link Interface (SLI) by AMD and NVIDIA respectively. The two are very similar and work to ensure that two or more graphics cards of the same product family can be used together.
This can either be DDR3 or DDR4. The latter is faster. When buying a motherboard, ensure it supports the kind of RAM you would like to use. The motherboard you would like to use should support the RAM speed (MHz) of the RAM you have.
Consider the connectivity that the motherboard supports. This includes USB, keyboard, HDMI, LAN and VGA ports. The best gaming motherboard 2018 needs to have many USB ports including 3.0 ports and 2.0 ports. The more the USB ports there are the better because it will allow you to connect more peripherals. PS/2 mouse port and PS/2 keyboard ports are very important to any gamer and they must be there. You will also need at least one HDMI port, DVI-D port and a VGA port.
For networking needs, a LAN port is important. For even better connectivity options, choose the more expensive motherboards (if money is not an issue) that come with WiFi support. You can of course buy a wireless adapter to use with a motherboard that does not support WiFi.
Best Gaming Motherboard 2018
1. ASUS ROG STRIX X299-E GAMING ($319.99)
This is the perfect example of a good gaming motherboard. It is sturdy and endowed with many features. It comes with the LGA2066 socket and X299 chipset which support the 7th Generation X-series processors by Intel.
As for the GPUs, you will be able to anchor them well with the metal framing that can be added by injection molding in the patent pending SafeSlot (3X) feature. With this motherboard you will get great performance thanks to the USB 3.1 support and M.2 front panel. It supports DDR4 RAM type.
A good gaming motherboard should never let heat get in its way. The ASUS ROG STRIX X299-E GAMING ensures that by the use of an M.2 heatsink which is integrated into a PCH sink and a ProCool Power connector with flush connection to ensure better heat dissipation.
2. MSI Computer X99A GAMING PRO ($329.99)
When looking for the best gaming motherboard 2018, this is worth your consideration. This ATX sized motherboard looks great with a carbon skin design that has an equally great performance. It has an LGA 2011-V3 socket and X99 chipsets. It has 4 PCI-Express 3.0 x 16 slots and 2 PCI-Express 2.0 x 1 slots. You not only get the chance to mount a powerful process but can also get faster speed with the motherboard’s support for Turbo Boost Max Technology.
It uses DDR4 RAM technology and supports boost technology. The maximum RAM size of 128GB allows you limitless gaming options. The ports you will find on this motherboard include 10x SATA, 1X U.2 and 1X M.2, 11X USB 3.1, 8X USB 2.0, and 1X PS/2 keyboard/mouse ports. For connectivity, there is one RJ45 LAN.
3. GIGABYTE X299 AORUS Gaming 7 ($399.99)
This gaming motherboard is designed with the gamers needs in mind. On it you will find the X299 chipset that supports the powerful Sky Lake Kaby Lake-X processor by Intel.
To give you maximum speeds, this motherboard allows overclocking with Turbo B Clock. It also supports a DDR4 RAM with XMP up to 4333MHz. To keep things cool, there is a Smart Fan 5 cooling system that is smart and quiet. It does support M.2.
4. ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero Z370 ($273)
This is for those who would like to use 8th generation Intel core processors. It has all the features you need to tap into the full powers of these processors. It comes with the LGA1151 socket and the Intel Z370 chipset.
For graphics you will find the DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 1.4b. The safe slots will ensure that even the heaviest GPUs fit firmly. The DDR4 RAM of up to 64GB supported by this motherboard ensures maximum speeds of performance. To enhance the performance even more, there is one PCIe 3.0x4 SATA and PCIe 3.0x4. The M.2 heatsink keeps your SDD cool.
Stay connected with other computers over WiFi with transfer speeds of up to 867Mbit/s. Bluetooth 4.2 is also supported and to keep all the sounds in games vivid, this motherboard has the SupremeFX Audio that has a 113dB signal to noise ration.
5. GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS Gaming 7 ($249.99)
Use 8th generation processors on this motherboard and your gaming computer will be nothing but the best. It has the Z370 chipset and supports DDR4 RAM up to 64GB. With overclocking features you will get great performances.
With this you will be getting two PCIe 3.0x16 SATA and one PCIe 3.0x16. it is capable of giving graphics outputs; HDMI and DP. The Triple m.2 support ensures that the entire system remains cool and ready for action. Intelligent cooling is made possible by 9 sensors that the motherboard is fitted with. Connecting devices is very easy via the Type C USB 3.1 port available. Plus, you can customize the looks on your motherboard with the RGB Fusion lighting app.
6. ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-H GAMING ($169.75)
When looking for the best gaming motherboard 2018, this deserves a second look. It is hardy and has the best performance. The Z370 chipset and LGA1151 socket will fit any 8th generation Intel processor firmly and securely. To secure GPUs on the motherboard, it has an injection molding process which uses metal framing to secure them firmly.
For high performance, this mother board comes with all that you need. These include DDR4 RAM support, one-click overclock and cooling, Dual PCIe 3.0 M.2 and Gamer’s Guardian which protects all hardware. The USB 3.1 ports and Gigabit LAN will keep you connected. As for the sound, there is an 8-channel HD audio with headphone amplifiers.
7. ASUS PRIME Z270-A Motherboard ($149)
his motherboard boasts of great performance and an excellent cooling system. It comes with the LGA1151 socket that fits 7th generation processor by Intel and comes with the supporting Z270 chipset. The graphics you can make use of on this motherboard include HDMI and DP. The DDR4 RAM with up to 64GB memory will ensure incredible speeds as will the PCIe 3.0x16 slots.
It supports M.2 with data transfer speeds of up to 32Gb/s and has Aura Sync Lighting. To help stay connected this has a Type A and Type C USB 3
8. MSI Enthusiastic Gaming Intel Z270 ($139)
A motherboard that allows you fix everything in place without fear of it not holding long enough is what this is. It comes in a futuristic armored starship theme that will put you in the gaming mood. Start by fixing the processor on the LGA1151 socket. This can be either the 7th or 6th Generation Intel Pentium, Celeron or Core processors. The Z270 chipset will give these processors the support they need.
This motherboard supports DDR4 RAM with overclocking capabilities and maximum RAM memory size 64GB. You will also be getting Triple Turbo M.2 and VR Boost for fast performances.
9. GIGABYTE AORUS GA-Z270X-Gaming ($169.99)
If looks can kill then this will. The motherboard has RGB FUSION which allows users to use different LED lights to illuminate different zones. The looks are not the only good thing this motherboard has. It is feature-laden as well.
The Z270 chipset supports 7th or 6th generation Intel processors so you can choose to use what you prefer. Combine this with the 4 NVMe PCIe Gen 3 M.2 and U.2 and your system will run at impressive speeds. Play as much as you want knowing that the Smart Fan 5 system will keep the PC from overheating. The E2500 LAN Gaming Network is supported and with it you get optimized performance of games and media.
As a gamer you need to choose the very best gaming motherboard 2018 when assembling yours system. It will help transfer information among different components of the computer. Choose a good one that will not slacken the speed of your games. If you love sound, be sure to get a motherboard with great audio support. Remember that what may be best for you may not be the best for your friend. But, we are sure you will find something that will work for you from the recommendations we have given above. Happy gaming!