AMD’s newest AMD Ryzen processor is creating a buzz all over the tech world. AMD fans and gaming enthusiasts have been waiting a long time for a competitive product from the company. Now, with real-world performance to back up their usually tall claims, AMD seems on the right track with the release of the revamped AMD Ryzen line up.
ASRock AMD X470 Taichi
With load of connectivity ports and sockets
Comes with two antenna ports for Wi-Fi connectivity
One of the best
Allows multiple display connectivity
HDMI and DVI-D port with additional connectivity ports
ASRock A320M Pro4
Comes with 2 PS/2 ports, two USB 2.0 ports
With DVI-D, VGA, HDMI, and an Ethernet slot
Before launching an AMD Ryzen chip, however, processors need to have a ready-to-install and ready-to-purchase ecosystem. Since AMD is using the new AM4 socket for its new AMD Ryzen chips and its subsequent APU releases, older motherboards will no longer suffice and more users will need the best am4 motherboards to pair with their AMD Ryzen chips.
Collaborating with five largest best am4 motherboards manufacturers, namely, ASRock, Asus, Biostar, MSI, and Gigabyte, AMD is ensuring that the AMD Ryzen processor ecosystem is ready before the AMD Ryzen launch. At CES 2017, they revealed 16 top-of-the-line best AM4 motherboards using the new AM4 sockets.
These best AM4 motherboards are slated to release in 4 chipset variants – X/A/B300, A320, B350, and X370. The X370 chipset is an enthusiast level chipset, supporting overclocking and Crossfire/SLI, while the X300 will be the smallest (for desktop users with mini-ITX and the like), cheapest, most basic chipset, without overclocking capabilities. All these chipsets can take advantage of the technology built into the AM4 motherboards socket, such as:
Because AMD Ryzen has lagged behind Intel in implementing newer technologies for several years now, it is refreshing to see a powerful lineup of best AM4 motherboards, waiting for AMD Ryzen processors to launch.
However, critics do argue that these capabilities still seem like AMD Ryzen trying to catch up with the powerful Intel processors. Nevertheless, if AMD Ryzen can offer slightly better or even the same performance at a lower price, the market will immediately become competitive again.
Intel monopolizing the processor market for the last few years has led to lackluster and incremental upgrades to processors, celebrated with so much pomp that it could be mistaken as the second coming equivalent for processors.
1. X370 and X470 Chipset - For Enthuasists
These AM4 motherboards are aimed at the overclocker and tweaker population of the PC community. Moreover, these AM4 motherboards are the chipsets to buy if you plan to use multiple GPUs, as the other chipsets do not support their use. Furthermore, gamers and creators will love to know that these chipsets support both NVidia SLI and AMD CrossFireX. Add to this dual lane (2 x16) PCIe 3.0 capability, and you get AM4 motherboards equipped to handle even the most demanding of customers.
With excellent control over base-level inputs, the X370 and X470 AM4 motherboards are bound to grant significant tweaking capabilities to the power user.
Below are products that will ship with the X370 or X470 AM4 motherboards and the AM4 socket:
ASRock X470 – Taichi
The ASRock AM4 motherboards are ideal for professionals looking for a powerhouse and performance-based upgrade. The AM4 motherboards have more features than their predecessor x370 series and costs considerably more although some rival AM4 motherboards cost less for the same features. However, the ASRock X470 Taichi is no slouch. The design itself makes these AM4 m otherboards stand out with eye-catching detailing throughout the board. As a productivity board, the ASRock X470 Taichi AM4 motherboards breeze through most tasks you throw their way without a sweat. It also outperforms most rivals with its insane NVMe storage with read/write speeds of 3.84MB/sec and 2497MB/sec respectively.
Apart from the smart heatsink, enthusiasts will appreciate its load of connectivity ports and sockets including a quadruplet of DIMM sockets that are good for 64GB of DDR4 memory. These clock out at 3466MHz which is more than most people need. It also comes with two antenna ports for Wi-Fi connectivity and that support Bluetooth. And it doesn’t end there as it has two USB 3.1 ports with one each of Type-A, Type-C, and six USB 3.1 Gen1 ports.
ASRock X470 Gaming K4
If you prefer building your gaming rigs yourself, then this is one of the best AM4 motherboards available. Like its Taichi sibling, the X470 Gaming K4 features many USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports as well as a Type-A and Type-C 3.1 gen2 input. Fans and RGB have plenty of connection points and putting the whole build together is easy. This series of best AM4 motherboards works seamlessly with 2000 series Ryzen CPU’s and allows you to overclock your rig for the best possible performance. The boards’ PCI-e slots are made from shielded steel, so signal interference is non-existent.
All gaming and high-performance rigs would overheat if their innards were not adequately cooled. With these AM4 motherboards, full coverage m.2 heatsink allows effective heat dissipation to promote high-speeds and efficient M.2 SSD performance. It also boasts sound blaster cinema 5 that improves sound quality to realistic levels thanks to 7.1 channel support.
If you are an overclocker looking for nearly perfect best AM4 motherboards with support for AMD Ryzen processors, this board has all you need. Biostar’s optimization of the board for use with Ryzen CPU’s makes this one of the best AM4 motherboards. At maximum performance settings, the board improves reliability by making use of digital power+ (which leverages PWM controller and PowlRstage IC) to deliver steady power and fixed voltage to the AM4motherboards critical components. Digital power+ essentially gives you control over your CPU’s max overclocking potential while ensuring that the CPU remains stable.
To add some character to your rig, the Biostar X370GT7 features Vivid LED lighting that gives enthusiasts a host of lighting options. Whether you decide to use a strip or an LED fan, the double 5050 LED headers on this board will enable you to modify your rigs color scheme to reflect your unique personality and styling.
Gigabyte X470 Aorus Ultra Gaming
The Gigabyte AM4 motherboards for AMD Ryzen feature four DIMM ports that support 64GB DDR4 RAM with clock speeds of 3600+MHz. It also comes with many PCIe ports enabling you to connect a host of other peripherals as and when you need them. While the AM4 motherboards support overclocking, they fail most of the time. You are better off not trying in the first place. The AM4 motherboards critical components are aptly powered for optimum performance while using the least energy and to enable you to scale your AMD Ryzen rig hardware: thanks to the board’s 8+3 phase Pulse Width Modulation + Lower RDS MOSFETs design.
For those who like components that stand out, the Gigabyte X470 Aorus Ultra Gaming stands out with multi-zone RGB lighting. The RGB fusion application enables you to control the LED’s around the motherboard while the built-in ALC1220 120dB (A) SNR HD Audio prevents low volume and audio distortion by detecting impedance on your headset.
Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 7 Wi-Fi
With improvements on the AMD x470 chipset, this Aorus rivals some of the best AM4 motherboards with compatibility with 2nd gen AMD Ryzen CPU’s. The Aorus AM4 motherboards also boast many Gen3 PCIe lanes that will enable you to connect multiple peripherals. For future proofing, the Gigabyte X470 Aorus gaming 7 comes with a USB Type-C that also boosts charging speeds for your smart devices. Here, audio and Wi-Fi are optimized even as gaming and computing power benefit from additional features and controls.
Unlike some of the best AM4 motherboards on this list, the X470 Aorus Gaming 7 Wi-Fi packs AMD’s StoreMI technology. If you want your AMD Ryzen rig to load and launch apps at the speed of an SSD but for the price of an HDD, StoreMI is an excellent option. StoreMI enhances your gaming rig’s boost, load times, and user experience by accelerating traditional storage components. A handy utility, StoreMI is a perfect blend of the niftiness of SSD’s with the massive capacity of the HDD’s, all in one drive. The AM4 motherboards heat sinks are also optimized to dissipate close to 300% more heat than traditional motherboards. The AM4 motherboards also support addressable RGB and external RGBW LED lighting support, giving you control on a variety of sleek patterns, styles, and illumination. Paired to the new AMD Ryzen processors, this will make your rig among the best in your circle.
MSI Performance Gaming AMD X470
Given that MSI has been in the game for ages, they, no doubt, have the best AM4 motherboards. With the release of the new AMD Ryzen range, they have to upgrade some components and their performance AM4 motherboards X470 series got the upgrade. Their AMD x470 features tons of tuning options for the DIY enthusiast who wants a personal character on their AMD Ryzen rig. These AM4 motherboards boast 11 phase power design and overclockability making them ideal for power users who are looking to build a buttery smooth and powerful AMD Ryzen machine. Right out of the box, the MSI performance AM4 motherboards allow you to customize the MSI Mystic Light utility to complement your style. There is a wide array of colors to choose from and a choice of flicker options from breathing, flashing, and double flashing to a random effect.
These best AM4 motherboards give you control over the fan headers so you can decide when and how to cool your system. For the hardcore gamer, this multi GPU motherboard also adds game boost, gaming device port, and a gaming hotkey to improve your skills and efficiency. It has 2x M.2 and also features StoreMI to increase loading and application launch times. Unlike any of the other best AM4 motherboards above, this beast from MSI also supports VR compatibility with one click VR integration. With the audio boost, Nahimic 3, an audio amplifier and audio capacitors, gameplay sound is immersive and high-quality.
2. B350 Chipset – Mainstream
Offering value for money, the best AM4 motherboards with these chipsets are expected to sell the most compared to all the other chipsets. Capability for handling multiple GPUs is absent on boards with this chipset. However, let’s face it; not everyone has the budget or use for multi-GPU systems. Additionally, the number of USB 3.1 Gen 1 I/O support reduces to 2 from 6 on the X370 and X 470 chipsets.
Apart from these, all the other X370 functionality carries over onto the B350 chipset, including, yes – overclocking support.
Best AM4 Motherboards with the B350 chipset:
ASRock ATX Motherboard
The ASRock ATX Motherboard is a MicroATX board with enough expandability for mid-level performance. Besides, this motherboard is built for the budget conscious but still provides raw power albeit nowhere near what the X470 series can manage. It comes with 2 M.2 SSD slots, one for NVME, 4 RAM slots for up to 64GB of memory, and 2 PCIe slots. However, the PCIe slots are flimsy and will come off if you are not careful. The back IO is connection port rich and versatile with a micro USB, five USB’s 3.0, two USB’s 2.0, HDMI, VGA, and DVI ports. Most gaming AM4 motherboards feature a funky IO shield, but given the price point of this one, the I/O shield is drab.
An additional feature on these AM4 motherboards and one of the most significant for any gamers is the ability to overclock. And the ATX B450 does not disappoint in this regard. Of course, it doesn’t perform as well as the AM4 motherboards X470 series’ perform, but for the budget, it does well enough. The heat sinks also suffer a bit on this one although we found the ARGB to be a little consolation. These AM4 motherboards might not be your dream buy, but if you want affordability and practicality, you should buy one. Just be sure to give it some TLC during your build, and it will serve you well.
This range of AM4 motherboards works with any AM4 AMD APU’s or Ryzen CPU’s. There is extra SATA power to the USB ports and a single DVI output. The board comes with four USB 3.1 ports, 1 Ethernet port and 5 PCIe x 1 slots and 1 PCIe x 16 ports. There are 2 DDR4 dual channel memory slots, the AMD socket AM4 and 4 SATA 3 ports. Inside the box is a handy user manual as well as a driver and utility DVD. The pack also comes with 2 SATA cables for your SSD or hard drive and an input-output panel.
The AM4 motherboards design is very similar to its predecessor, the TB250, but the functionality is improved. It also ports PS/2 connectors and audio ports on the back. Before the release of this AM4 motherboard, most crypto miners did not have an AM4 motherboard option strong enough to pair with their AMD GPU’s. With the TB350-BTC, it is easier than ever to couple your mining rig for seamless compatibility. With the ability to overclock, this AM4 motherboard allows cryptocurrency miners to push their systems to the extremes for better ROI.
Like the TB350-BTC, the TB250 has dual channel DDR4 RAM slots, six SATA, which are more than enough for the average user. It has 12 PCIe lanes with even distance on the board and an M.2 connector which can be converted into an additional PCI Express X1 lanes if need be. There are two other power connectors to power all the PCIe lanes on this AM4 motherboard. This one lacks VGA and HDMI connectivity although it has DVI which you can convert into other things. It would have been great to add VGA or HDMI, but then again, there wouldn’t be a need for an upgrade to the BT350.
Additional ports include PS/2 and audio. The TB250, unlike most motherboards on our list, gets its power from an Intel TB250 chipset while the TB350 comes with an AMD chipset. For miners, the TB250-BTC is an excellent entry-level motherboard to pair with AMD Ryzen. The high number of native PCIe slots enables stable GPU operation, high compatibility, and high PCI-e bandwidth. These AM4 motherboards also support hybrid graphics cars integration for a boost in performance. Overall, these are not the best AM4 motherboards on the market, but it holds up well for an entry-level user.
Gigabyte B450 M
Aorus does not compromise on quality, at least not according to them, and to be fair, the Gigabyte B450 M is one of the best AM4 motherboards. If you are looking for an affordable motherboard that performs exceptionally well, the B450 M will offer you value for every buck. Audio is excellent thanks to the integration of audio capacitors and noise guard. The Gigabyte B450 m allows multiple display connectivity as it has an HDMI and DVI-D port with additional connectivity ports including six USB 3.1 Gen1 ports, a similar number of USB 2.0’s, and two USB 3.1 Gen2 ports. The small form factor motherboard boasts StoreMI technology for SSD-like speeds and M.2 thermal guard for heat dissipation.
Additionally, this AM4 motherboard features RGB Fusion, allowing you to customize lighting options as you deem fit. Smart Fan 5 boosts heat dissipation, so your system stays cool while Dual Bios protects your machine against malfunctions as the Backup BIOS takes over in case the Main BIOS has been affected.
Not all of us have a budget to buy high-end gaming components for our builds. However, with the best AM4 motherboards like the B450 from Asus, you can invest in an affordable motherboard, and use the extra green to buy some accompanying components to fine-tune your rig for even better performance. That said, the Asus B450 does a tremendous job. With features borrowing from the premium ROG Strix X470, the B450 has all you need to build a formidable rig. It boasts dual PCIe 3.0 M.2 slots, and with AMD’s StoreMI technology, storage speeds are blazing. It has four dual-channel DDR4 slots that clock-out at 3200MHz with support for NVM Express RAID and 6 SATA ports.
Unlike any other budget motherboard, the Asus B450 has a gamer ready I/O shield dubbed gamer’s guardian and SupremeFX S1220A controllers that enhance gaming audio. If customizing lighting options is your thing, the ROG software will allow you to do just that as well as manage overclocking, cooling, network performance, and audio features, precisely the way you want it.
MSI B450 Tomahawk
This motherboard has a neat and clean black and grey metallic color scheme. At the top right is RGB lighting which you control using MSI Mystic Light with up to 10 effects that you can turn off for a laid back look. For connectivity, you have a standard PS/2 port, 2 USB 2.0 Type-A ports, DVI-D and HDMI outputs, 2 USB 2.1 Gen1 Type-A port, 2 USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A ports, Ethernet port, USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A and Type-C ports, and lastly, you get audio ports on the far left. The I/O shield is a plain black and white and comes as part of the package. The AM4 socket is at the center of the board and supports AMD’s new Ryzen 2 series and is also compatible with the first Gen2.
Four dual channel DDR4 slots support up to 64 gigs of RAM. However, with overclocking, you can run up to 3466MHz. With the 2nd Gen of Ryzen, memory overclocking with this motherboard will be a breeze. As for the PCIe slots, there is one with x16 speeds. The top slot has metal reinforcement while the rest are standard. This motherboard has a single M.2 slot that uses four lanes of PCIe 3. With numerous fan headers around the motherboard, you do not have to worry about heating up. With the bios flashback button on the motherboard’s back, updating BIOS is as easy as inserting a USB with the files and hitting the button!
3. MSI B350M Mortar 3. A320 – Essential
These chipsets will appeal to the plug-and-play gamer who wants nothing more than fitting in their shiny new Ryzen CPU and playing. With no overclocking support, these chipsets do not offer excellent base-level control of the motherboard like the X470, the X370, or the B350. As expected, they do not support multi-GPUs as well. In my opinion, the best AM4 motherboards with the A320 chipset will be priced near the entry-level range. Products that will ship with the A320 chipset include:
ASRock A320M Pro4
The ASRock A320M Pro4 might be an essential entry-level best AM4 motherboard, but its features are nothing to frown on. In the box, it comes with a manual, but this one includes one with the speeds it supports for each port. As for ports, it comes with 2 PS/2 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, a DVI-D, VGA, HDMI, and an Ethernet slot. It also features USB type-C although it is super cheap, as well as USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 for a total of seven USB ports. The audio is lacking as it only has in/out, and microphone. The PCB is glossy, and at the price point, it’s a nice touch.
The chipset heatsink on this motherboard is small, but the heatsink array is competent at cooling your VRM’s although you won’t be overclocking. There are two M.2 slots, four SATA ports and an eight pin power delivery for the CPU. There are four memory slots and three CPU fan headers which are enough for the tasks you will be running on this motherboard. The ASRock A 320M Pro4 also comes with a pair of RGB headers to keep things funky. Overall, at this price point, the A320M Pro4 is a solid buy.
The Gigabyte A320M-S2H is one of the best AM4 motherboards on the lower spectrum of the AM4 motherboards market as it comes with one M.2 connector, a rarity for entry-level motherboards. It comes with two fan headers which are okay for the price and five temperature sensors, so it knows when to cool things down. It has one PCIe 3.0x16 graphics interface, HDMI, DVD-I, 4 SATA ports and D-Sub display interfaces, and dual channel 2 DIMM DDR4 memory ports. For expansion, there are an additional 2 PCIe 2.0x1 ports. It has a total of twelve USB ports, six of which are USB 3.1’s Gen1 while the remaining six are USB 2.0’s. The audio is 8-channel HD while the LAN is Realtek GbE LAN.
Overall, the A320M-S2H is an okay entry-level motherboard. It won’t do anything fancy, but for those looking for budget productivity rather than gaming build, the A320M-S2H disappoint.
MSI A320M Pro-VD
Wrapping up our list of entry-level AM4 motherboards is the MSI A320M Pro-VD. The MSI A320M Pro-VD is as basic as they come. It supports DDR4 memory that clocks out at 2400MHz, and although there is DDR4 boost, with the absence of overclocking, the performance is nothing to write home about. MSI markets it as VR ready, and although we haven’t had the chance to test this claim, this motherboard wouldn’t be in our choice list for immersive VR tasks.
It comes with a 3x analog audio jack, one PS/2 port, and a single RJ-45 Ethernet ports. Additionally, it has two USB 2.0 Type-A and 4 USB 3.0 Type-A. Video output is via one each of DVD-D and one VGA. There are two fan headers, four SATA3 ports as well as an 8-pin 12V and 24-pin ATX power outlets and a host of other ports.
Complaints about the absence of small-factor motherboards in the AMD lineup were alleviated with the announcement of the X300 chipset. Aimed explicitly at small factor desktops like the Mini-ITX, it offers minimal functionality, feature-wise, compared to the other chipset models. But it’s still a great chipset to pair with an AMD Ryzen.
Hence, people with small form-factor desktops can conveniently install the AMD Ryzen CPU using one of the motherboards shipping with this chipset.
However, AMD failed to showcase any AM4 motherboards with the X300 chipset at the CES 2017. Nevertheless, we expect to see some products cropping up as technology advances and competition rises.
Depending on your budget and how you intend to use your machine, there are a lot of AM4 motherboards available for you to choose. If you are looking at a premium gaming rig, the X370 and X470 series has the best features. But if you are looking to build a productivity PC, then a cheaper A3 series will suffice. The AMD ecosystem seems solid as of now, and we sincerely hope AMD Ryzen doesn’t do a Bulldozer.