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Best PC Gaming Motherboards 2014

Updated on February 21, 2014

Best PC Motherboards for the Money

Your computer's motherboard is one of the most important components in your PC Gaming build because all of your computer's components and peripherals plug into it. While a motherboard won't directly increase the performance of your computer, a good motherboard adds durability and stability to your system and can it easier to overclock. In this post we'll look at some of the top rated gaming motherboards for the money under or around $100, $200, $300 and $400.

Gigabyte 1155 Z77 Chipset Motherboard
Gigabyte 1155 Z77 Chipset Motherboard

Latest Motherboard Chipsets and Socket Types

There are 3 main socket types of motherboards available on the market right now; 1155, 2011, and AM3 Plus.

1155 Motherboards:

For Sandy Bridge:

Socket 1155 motherboards were released in early 2011 in conjunction with Intel's new Sandy Bridge processors. At first just the P67, and H67 chipsets were released and a few months later the more desirable Z68 chipset was released. The Z68 chipset gives both integrated and dedicated graphics support as well as the flexibility to overclock your GPU, CPU, and Ram. In addition Intel released "smart response technology" which allowed for improvements to hard drive speed through SSD caching of up to 64GB. GEN3 Z68 motherboards were released in the last half of 2011 which support both PCIe 3.0 and Ivy Bridge processors.

For Ivy Bridge:

Intel's standard Ivy Bridge processors were released in March of 2012 and the Z77, H77, and Z75 chipsets were released shortly after. Intel's Z77 and Z75 chipsets support overclocking of the GPU, CPU, and Ram but only the Z77 and H77 chipsets support SSD Caching. All of these new chipsets natively support 3 independent displays, 4 USB 3.0 ports, and 2 SATA III. The PCIe configuration differs with the Z77 supporting 1 x16, 2 x8 or 1 x8 + 2 x4, the Z75 supporting 1 x16 or 2 x8, and the H77 supporting 1 x 16. If you find them for a similar price it does make sense to go with the Z77; however, you may find some significant savings by going with a Z75 or H77 board.

1150 Motherboards:

Haswell processors require a compatible 1150 motherboard. If you have a second or third generation "i" series processor already, then it's probably not worth upgrading your motherboard and CPU. This is especially the case for overclockers who are actually seeing better results with the previous generations of processors.

AM3 Plus Socket Motherboards:

Designed for release with AMD's Bulldozer FX series of processors AM3 Plus motherboards are also compatible with AMD Phenom II, Athlon II, and Sempron 100 Series processors. When compared to AM3 motherboards, AM3 Plus motherboards offer better power regulation, a faster serial link, and a redesigned CPU cooler that offers better airflow. AM3 Plus motherboards are not yet PCIe 3.0 compatible.

Want to know how PCIe 3.0 affects performance? Check out this post on the best graphics cards for the money.

Top Ten Value PC Gaming Motherboards 2014 - Under $100

Combine the Asus M5A97 with the AMD FX 4100 for a nice motherboard CPU combo under $200.

Technical Details:

Up to 32GB Dual Channel DDR3 at up to 2133 OC, PCI Express 2.0 x16; 2 (x16, x4), 6 x SATA 6Gb/s, Rear Panel: 2 x USB 3.0, 6 x USB 3.0, 1 x Optical, includes Quad-GPU CrossFireX Support!, and comes with a 3 year parts and labor warranty from Asus.

Budget B75 Motherboard Under $100

Although this Micro ATX board is normally meant for businesses it still makes a great mid range rig motherboard and the price can't be beat. You get support for Ivy Bridge, PCIe 3.0 and additional technical details include; up to 32GB DDR3 dual channel memory at up to 1600, PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot, 4 x SATA 3Gb/s, 1 x SATA 6Gb/s, and rear ports include; 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port, D-Sub + DVI, 1 HDMI, 4 x USB 2.0, 2 X USB 3.0, and includes a 3 year parts and labor warranty.

A Good Value Gaming Motherboard Under $150 in 2014

Gigabyte Intel Z77 LGA 1155 AMD CrossFireX/NVIDIA SLI W/ HDMI,DVI,DispayPort Dual UEFI BIOS ATX Motherboard GA-Z77X-UD3H
Gigabyte Intel Z77 LGA 1155 AMD CrossFireX/NVIDIA SLI W/ HDMI,DVI,DispayPort Dual UEFI BIOS ATX Motherboard GA-Z77X-UD3H

Technical Specifications include; up to 32 GB of DDR3 memory at 2666 OC, PCI Express 3.0 x16 2 (x16, x8), 4 x SATA 3Gb/s, 2 x SATA 6Gb/s, rear ports include; 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port, D-Sub + DVI, 1 HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort, 2 x eSATA 6Gb/s, 1 optical, onboard USB includes 2 x USB 3.0 + 6 x USB 2.0, and it includes a 3 year parts and labor warranty.

 

New Motherboard Options Under $200 - LGA 1155 Asus P8Z77-V PRO

Despite Haswell's release the Asus P8Z77-V PRO is still very appealing to those who are looking for a bargain and a good Ivy Bridge combo.

What Type of Motherboard do you Plan on Purchasing?

Choose your preference below;

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Enthusiast Sandy and Ivy Bridge Motherboards Under $400 in 2014

ASUS Sabertooth X79 LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
ASUS Sabertooth X79 LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Asus' moderate level Sabertooth motherboard is a great overclocker for those seeking max performance.

 
ASUS P9X79 DELUXE LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
ASUS P9X79 DELUXE LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Asus P9X79: This motherboard is compatible with current Sandy Bridge-e processors as well as up-and-coming Ivy Bridge-e CPU.

 

What's Your Favorite Brand of Motherboard? - Interactive Poll

Which one do you prefer?

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Don't forget to also vote for your favorite headset in our new post; Best Gaming Headset for the Money and leave a comment below.

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