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Best Intel motherboard: Best Intel motherboard for gaming 2022


Things to consider

It’s important that you ask yourself what exactly you need your motherboard to do, most motherboards are all assembled in slightly different configurations to allow themselves to cover all consumers bases. Think about what your needs are, are you going to be doing much video editing? Or are you going to be gaming? What devices are you going to have connected to your PC?

Once you ask yourself these questions and figure out a firm use case for your PC in general you can then select a motherboard you feel comfortable will suit all your needs. If you’re an avid gamer then maybe you want a board with some better more refined overclocking support, if you’re a content creator you might want a motherboard with more onboard USB slots.

We’ve made it a little easier navigating these uncertain waters and given you an idea of what you’ll need to look out for when selecting a motherboard.

Different chipsets

best intel motherboard chipsets

There are many chipsets to choose from when taking motherboards into consideration, and that’s especially true when referring to Intel boards.
All of these choices can be a little overwhelming when aiming to acquire a new motherboard, especially if you don’t know what a chipset is or what it does.

Chipsets can be complicated in operation but understanding what chipsets are can be quite simple when you know what to look for. Chipsets have a hierarchy in place, categorized by letters and numbers. Very simply put the higher the number the better the chipset, these numbers are also accompanied by a letter.

The intel chipset hierarchy is as follows.

  • Z – Best, aimed at enthusiast PC builders.
  • H (70) – Median, aimed at mainstream PC builders.
  • B – Median, aimed at mainstream PC builders.
  • H (10) – Worst, aimed at budget PC builders.

Intel recently introduced two levels of H board, the H board followed by a ‘70’ is the mainstream option. The H boards followed by the number ‘10’ are the lowest budget boards.

For example, the H570 is better than the H510 and the Z690 is better than the Z490. the first number represents the generation and the second two numbers represent the iteration of the board in that generation. The higher the second number the better the board is in that generation.

For example, in the 500 series of intel boards, there were 4 iterations.

  • H510 – worst, least features.
  • B560
  • H570
  • Z590 – best, most feature-rich.

Please note: When we say worst we do not mean bad, it’s just a comparative term. It is the worst of the set, supporting fewer features.

The main difference between all of these chipsets is outlined by how many features the chipset can support or how fast the buses are that support those features. The chipset contains a small controller that manages devices and the hardware in your PC, and the number of devices the chipset can support is limited by the chipset itself.
For example, a Z590 will be far more feature-rich than an H510 and will be considerably more expensive. The Z590 might have integrated VRM heatsinks, support 8 USB ports and have 3 PCIe 4.0 slots. The H510 might have no VRM heatsinks and only support 3 USB ports and only 1 PCIe 4.0 slot. Same generation but fewer features. This is an incredibly rudimentary example but it serves its purpose well as an example. The real logistics are far more complex and the exact same can be applied to AMD boards also.

Form factor

Motherboard form factor

The form factor of a motherboard is something you will need to consider as “form factor” refers to the literal size of the motherboard. Whichever way around you have purchased the components, you need to make sure that your motherboard fits in the case you have on hand ready to house your Intel based powerhouse.

There are a few different motherboard form factors that all have different dimensions, the list is as follows.

  • Mini – ITX | 6.7 x 6.7 Inches
  • Mini – ATX | 5.9 x 5.9 Inches
  • Micro – ATX | 9.6 x 9.6 Inches
  • ATX | 12 x 9.6 Inches
  • eATX | 12 x 13 Inches

Fun fact – Intel released the first-ever ATX board way back in 1995. Since then it has been considered the ‘Standard’ motherboard form factor. Some motherboard form factors such as an ITX may have fewer features, but that’s a compromise that you will have to make if you are looking to build a small system. The smaller something is the less room you have to populate with features.


best intel motherboard socket

“What actually is a socket?” we hear you say. A socket refers to the CPU socket situated on every motherboard. The CPU socket is the component on the motherboard that houses the CPU, for this guide we’re only going to be concerning ourselves with what is considered ‘intel’ sockets, (LGA1200, LGA1700)

A CPU socket is like a shape that only a CPU matched to a corresponding socket will fit into. An i9-12900k belongs to the socket LGA1700 and will only fit into a motherboard attributed with the same socket LGA1700.
A really easy way to check what socket your Intel CPU is is just to google it, but below will be a short list of the most recent Intel CPUs and the socket they belong to.

Intel CPU and socket type

LGA1700 – Alder lake

  • Celeron – G6900T, G6900, G7400, G7400T
  • Core i3 – 12100T, 12100F, 12100, 12300T, 12300
  • Core i5 – 12400T, 12400F, 12400, 12500T, 12500, 12600T, 12600, 12600KF, 12600K
  • Core i7 – 12700T, 12700F, 12700, 12700KF, 12700K
  • Core i9 – 12900T, 12900F, 12900, 12900KF, 12900K

LGA1200 – Comet lake

  • Celeron – G5900, G5900T, G5905, G5905T, G5920, G5925
  • Pentium Gold – G6400, G6400T, G6500, G6500T, G6600
  • Core i3 – 10100, 10100F, 10100T, 10300, 10320
  • Core i5 – 10400, 10400F, 10400T, 10500, 10500T, 10600, 10600K, 10600KF, 10600T
  • Core i7 – 10700, 10700F, 10700K, 10700KF, 10700T
  • Core i9 – 10850K, 10900, 10900F, 10090K, 10090KF, 10900T, 10910

What is meant by “Intel” socket?

When we refer to a socket as an “Intel” or “AMD” socket, we don’t actually mean that those sockets specifically are theirs, as both companies have several different socket types under their belt. What we mean is a socket that fits “X” brand of CPU into it.


best intel motherboard memory

Ensuring you have selected a motherboard that supports or will support your RAM of choice is imperative, as you don’t want incompatibilities affecting performance or wasting your hard-earned cash.

You need to take into consideration the motherboards rated memory speed sometimes called “Memory support” and you need to make sure you obtain memory that falls within the limit stated on the motherboard. If you obtain RAM outside of the motherboards RAM compatibility speed then your RAM will default to the highest speed it can possibly perform on the board it’s connected to. This will force the RAM to perform at a slower rated speed, diminishing its value.

RAM speed isn’t the only factor when choosing a motherboard, you also have to consider the motherboards RAM capacity.

Certain motherboards, especially those of smaller form factors sometimes trim down the number of RAM slots to save on space, this means that a great number of ITX motherboards only support 64GB of RAM.
Because of this, it’s especially important when opting for a smaller build that you ensure your motherboard will support not only the amount of RAM DIMMs you have but the density of each DIMM too.

Double-check your motherboard supports the amount of ram you wish to install to your PC even if its a full ATX board, some of them cap out at 128GB while others exceed this.

PCI/PCIe slots

best intel motherboard chipsets

There are two types of expansion slots on a motherboard, PCI and PCIe. (PCI Express) the PCIe slot is a larger and faster version of the small PCI slot. All motherboards ship with a number of these expansion slots and they serve a very important role.
These expansion slots are where you will seat your precious GPU, however, GPUs arent the only occupants of expansion slots, there’s a plethora of expansion cards that can accommodate a PCI or PCIe slot.

Some examples of additional expansion cards are:

  • WiFi card
  • Capture cards
  • USB expansion cards
  • High-end sound cards
  • NVMe expansion card

For average use case and gaming, two PCIe slots should suffice, it’s incredibly rare you’ll ever need more than two as SLI isn’t making a comeback anytime soon. Unless, however, you’re looking to add more storage or functionality to your gaming rig with a fancy expansion card.

Most motherboards ship with integrated sound chips that negate the once necessary sound card installation, however, if you’re in the music profession you may still want to consider this option, if you’re a gamer or streamer then maybe you want to leave a PCI slot open for a capture card. It’s important to put some forethought into your components and pick up a motherboard that’s going to enable you to work your industry/niche.

This mentality applies to all expansion cards, we’re certainly not saying you head out and pick yourself up a WRX80-SE-SAGE that comes equipped with a massive 7 PCIe slots, we’re just saying you need to put some thought into your components and more importantly the motherboard that’s going to be supporting them.

There are a few more advanced issues you may run into when selecting a motherboard such as bandwidth and saturation, be mindful when you use cards like expansion cards not to overload the bus you’re connecting them to. For example, if you have four M.2 MVMe SSDs in an M.2 expansion card then you may run into some speed issues should you try and access more than one of those cards at once.

Think about it in terms of traffic, because essentially it’s a similar situation. If you have four cities connected to one highway and two or more of those cities are sending cars all at once, things are bound to slow down.

With all that hardware installed onto your motherboard, it’s important that you keep things cool for fear of turning your computer into the words fastest space heater.

Fan headers

fan headers

Fan headers support the operation of cooling components such as fans, AIOs and in some cases, small pumps. The more fan headers you have soldered onto your motherboard the better, as with anything, make sure, especially when opting for a smaller form factor motherboard that you have enough fan headers to supply adequate cooling. Smaller form factor motherboards sacrifice a lot of features to save space and fan headers are certainly one of them, be mindful of this before you buy.

If you’re planning on assembling a small power plant of a PC, the kind of PC that boasts the latest and greatest hardware then you’re going to need to make sure that you pick up a motherboard that will not only support all of these powerful components with excellent VRM integration and power staging but with adequate cooling potential to.

Increasing a PCs power increases its TDP and the higher the TDP the more powerful of a cooling solution you need to dissipate all that heat. Having more fan headers on your motherboard will ensure that you have enough cooling potential to support such a beastly system. Another factor affecting cooling is overclocking.

VRM cooling, good power phases and plenty of fan headers is a recipe for success when keeping a ramped-up system from turning up the heat. Overclocking causes massive temperature spikes when paired with inadequate cooling so it’s imperative that you make sure your cooling capacity is up to scratch before making an attempt.

If you do not wish to overclock however and you’re building a PC on the more tame side of the performance chart then fan headers can be lower on your list of priorities. However, it’s always a good suggestion to leave room to upgrade in all areas when building a PC and cooling capacity is no exception.


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