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Best Motherboards for Gaming Under $300 in 2020

What Budget-Friendly Motherboard Should You Choose For Your Gaming Rig?

Gamers around the world know that a video card is one of the most essential components in their gaming rig.

However, the central communication center for that PC is also important since it will influence the quality of what you are trying to build. The more money you spend on a powerful and feature-rich motherboard, the more chances it will give you to upgrade your rig in the future with a new CPU, GPU and so on.

Whether you are trying to upgrade some components or build a new gaming PC from scratch, we’ve got you covered with the best AM4 and LGA motherboards in 2020.

We compared six top motherboards under $300 – three motherboards for Intel and three for AMD. At the end of this article, you will know what choice to make depending on the CPU you have or want to add.

Top 3 LGA 1151 Motherboards

Since Intel’s Coffee Lake chips are great for gamers on a budget, let’s take a look at the best LGA Motherboards. All of the following three motherboards are in the $150-$250 maximum range, which means you’ll safely save some bucks and spend them on a better video card.

ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E

SPECS

  • CHIPSET: Z390
  • SOCKET: LGA 1151
  • DDR: DDR4
  • FORM: Standard ATX
  • OVERCLOCKING: AI Overclocking

In the $250 range, you’ll find the ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E, which is considered to be the more expensive Z390 chipset boards in the market. However, it offers many extra features, including some fancy RGB lighting.

What do we mean by “many features”? Aside from what you see in the specs list above, you’ll see that the ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E supports 8th or 9th generation Intel Core processors, it has dual M.2 slots, and USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports.

There’s also an onboard 802.11AC Wi-Fi, but gamers would obviously choose a hardwired connection instead of the unreliable Wi-Fi connection.

With the Z390-E, you get three PCIE 3.0 lanes, 2-way SLI support, -way CrossfireX configurations that let you run several GPUs if you wish so.

The motherboard also lets you run to 64GB of DDR4 memory in dual-channel mode, with a memory overclock up to a maximum of 4266MHz. Overcloking this motherboard is very straightforward since ASUS comes with built-in features like AI Overclocking, FanXpert 4, OptiMem II, and so on.

Right now, this is one of the best Z390 motherboards on the market right now.

MSI MPG Z390

SPECS

  • CHIPSET: Z390
  • SOCKET: LGA 1151
  • DDR: DDR4
  • FORM: Standard ATX
  • OVERCLOCKING: Yes

The MSI MPG Gaming Pro Carbon AC can be found on the market in the range of a maximum $250. For those money, it offers high-end specs, which is why we chose it as the top second Z390 motherboard in our list.

What makes the MSI Z390 Gaming PRO Carbon AC so good? It’s the overclocking capability that can accommodate an unlocked 9th generation Intel Core processor, for instance.

Plus, it comes with all the features you need from a motherboard, such as up to 64GB of DDR4 memory, with a memory overclock up to a maximum of 4000+MHz, support for 2-way SLI and 3-way Crossfire.

The Z390 from MSI also comes with get dual M.2 slots, Intel Optane ready, one of them coming with an M.2 shield heatsink. Expect to see all the popular MSI features like Game Boost, GAMING Hotkey, X-Boost, and WTFast, as well as RGB lighting and steel armor PCI-E slots.

If you’re not satisfied with what the top two LGA 1151 motherboards offer for that price,

MSI Z390-A Pro

SPECS

  • CHIPSET: Z390
  • SOCKET : LGA 1151
  • DDR: DDR4
  • FORM: Standard ATX
  • OVERCLOCKING: Yes

The most budget-friendly LGA 1151 motherboard in our list that is also offering plenty of features and lets you achieve mild overclocks with an unlocked 9th gen. Intel processor is without doubt the MSI Z390-A Pro.

Placed in the range of a maximum $150, the MSI Z390-A Pro is the cheapest motherboards. It sacrifices the lack of RGB lighting to achieve a smaller price.

Nonetheless, aside from aesthetics and other small lacking features, the Z390-A Pro supports up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM, with a memory overclock up to a maximum of 4000+MHz. It also has an M.2 port to pair an NVME SSD.

Best AMD AM4 Ryzen Motherboards

Heading over to the top 3 AM4 Motherboards, we chose the top two X570 chipset AM4 motherboards and a capable B450 as a cheaper and relevant alternative.

A small issue with the AMD motherboards right now is that they should release the budget-friendly B-series chipset motherboards this year to accommodate the new 3rd-Gen CPUs.

Nonetheless, if you don’t want to wait for the incoming B-series, you can choose one of the three options we added in our list below.

MSI MEG X570 ACE

SPECS

  • CHIPSET: X570
  • SOCKET: AM4
  • DDR: DDR4
  • FORM: Standard ATX
  • OVERCLOCKING: Yes

We cannot overlook one of the best X570 motherboards on the market right now, which is the MSI MEG X570 ACE. This motherboard is a bit over the $300 price range, but it comes with so many features that will make it worth those extra bucks.

This is the best option if you’re looking to pair it with a 3rd Generation Ryzen CPU. If you’re trying to overclock the new Ryzen CPU, the MSI MEG X570 ACE lets you do that.

This high-end motherboard holds up to 128GB of RAM, lets you run dual video cards, it comes with USB 3.2 Gen 2 header, and two NVME M.2 ports.

The X570 ACE has Audio Boost HD technology, Core Boost technology, Zero Frozr technology that controls heat, server-grade PCB, PCIe steel armor and some more fancy features, such as the pre-installed IO shield, and the RGB lighting MYSTIC LIGHT INFINITY.

If you’re looking to build a high-end gaming PC with the new 3rd Generation Ryzen CPU, the MSI MEG X570 ACE is a great choice.

GIGABYTE X570 Gaming X

SPECS

  • CHIPSET: X570
  • SOCKET: AM4
  • DDR: DDR4
  • FORM: Standard ATX
  • OVERCLOCKING: Yes

At under $150, gamers that want to have a motherboard and overclock their new Ryzen processor at a lower budget can choose the GIGABYTE X570 Gaming X motherboard.

The GIGABYTE X570 Gaming X is a good option and a budget-friendly alternative to the expensive MSI MEG mentioned above.

This motherboard can also run 2 GPUs, holds up to 128GB of RAM, and comes with four M.2 slots. You’ll also get high overclocks with the 3rd Generation Ryzen CPU thanks to the motherboard’s 10+2 phase PWM design.

As an extra, you also get a lot of RGB options and ports to make your build look fancy.

We’ve also added an MSI B450 Tomahawk as the last AM4 motherboard for those that are on a tighter budget.

MSI B450 Tomahawk

SPECS

  • CHIPSET: B450
  • SOCKET: AM4
  • DDR: DDR4
  • FORM: Standard ATX
  • OVERCLOCKING: Yes

For those that don’t want to achieve high overclocks but still want to have a mid-range AM4 gaming PC, the MSI B450 Tomahawk Max is a convenient option.

It’s price range is at $100 and it offers a lot for its low price tag. You still get 2-way AMD Crossfire configurations, up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM and memory clock speeds of up to 4133MHz through overclocking.

The MSI B450 Tomahawk lets you run 3rd generation Ryzen CPUs, although it was actually built for the previous Ryzen generation. You also get some RGB lighting for that price, which is pretty neat!

The MSI B450 Tomahawk Max is a great choice if you’re not into high overclocking.

What Would be the Best Motherboard for Your Gaming PC?

Gaming will certainly not be impacted by your choice, but the motherboard will certainly play the main role in what components you will add to the gaming rig. This is why you must realize that a cheaper motherboard comes with fewer features.

Nonetheless, you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars for a high-end motherboard if you’re planning to only run a single video card setup. Ultimately, you should choose a motherboard that lets you upgrade your build in the future.

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