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Best Motherboard CPU Board Combo for Gaming 2015

Updated on January 15, 2015

Finding a good motherboard CPU combo that can save you money is key in allowing you to have the budget you need for your graphics card. If you're thinking about an upgrade this year I've put together a list of what I feel are the best Intel and AMD motherboard CPU combos along with my thoughts on each.

Below you'll find combos from $200, $400, and $600 as well as classic combos that can be used in a refurb or used hardware build in 2015.

The Asus Z97-A is a mid-range motherboard that's jampacked with features for the power user in mind. These include 5-way optimization, Turbo App, Remote Go, and for audiophiles Crystal Sound 2.
The Asus Z97-A is a mid-range motherboard that's jampacked with features for the power user in mind. These include 5-way optimization, Turbo App, Remote Go, and for audiophiles Crystal Sound 2.

Best 1150 Motherboard CPU Combos - i7 and i5

Under $400 Asus Z97-A and i5-4690k Combo

One of the top rated motherboard CPU combos for gaming in 2015 is the i5-4690k Haswell refresh CPU along with the Asus Z97-A. This combination gives you unbelievable overclock potential and will allow you to get your CPU to the point where it will not bottleneck any of today's latest games in 1080p.

If you don't do a lot of rendering or use CPU-intensive programs, this is definitely my combo of choice. For $400 you're in and out with all you need for gaming and the rest can go to important components like your graphics card.

A Cheaper Combo Under $300 for those that don't overclock:

For those that don't need the unlocked or "k" feature of the i5, I recommend the i4-4590. This is the previous version of the i5-4690 but is nearly as capable and about $30 less right now. Combo it with a motherboard like the Gigabyte GA-H97M-D3H for a combo that's nearly as good as the combo above in almost every game.

Asus' most recent ROG 115 motherboard release the Hero VII gives amazing overclocking potential to beginners as well as experienced power users.
Asus' most recent ROG 115 motherboard release the Hero VII gives amazing overclocking potential to beginners as well as experienced power users.

Under $600 i7 1150 Power-User Overclock Combo

Power users that heavily multitask appreciate the hyperthreading that comes along with Intel's i7 processors. I've personally used the last 3 generations of i7 processors because of the rendering and editing I do for my YouTube videos and website.

Whether you're a streamer, video editor, or simply need more processing power the best combo in this price range is the Haswell refresh i7-4790k along with the Asus ROG Hero VI or VII motherboard.

The VI has been on sale around the $160 range after rebate lately and works extremely well with the i7-4790k. If it's not on sale, I recommend going for the newer Hero VII. Both give amazing overclock potential.

An AMD Motherboard CPU Combo Under $200 2015

If you're looking for something less expensive I highly recommend going with AMD FX 6300 in combo with an inexpensive motherboard. This combo keeps your price down and still allows you to have a 6 core CPU with fantastic gaming potential.

A great option is Gigabyte's GA-970A-D3P that gives you a ton of features, is reliable, and costs just around $90. This should keep your overall budget under the $200 range for both your processor and your motherboard and allow you to dedicate more of what you have to your graphics card.

Top Budget 1155 Motherboard CPU Combos of 2013 - 2015

Looking for an older combo for your used motherboard or want to find a good used deal for either? Here's a few great combos that are still viable if you can find them used, refurbished, or for a decent price in 2015.

Intel i3-2100 and Asus P8H67-M EVO

Intel i3-2100

If you don't need extreme performance but still want the performance boost that comes with the latest 32nm technology on Intel's 2nd generation of "i" series CPU, then I recommend you take a look at 2 CPUs: the i5-2400 for 4 core performance and the i3-2100 for dual core performance. Those looking to build a PC strictly for office use should save themselves $60-100 and go with the i3-2100 unless your work requires editing or design. Those looking to build a budget gaming pc will find that they are better off with the i5-2400 or potentially even spending the money for the i-2500 or 2500k.

Micro or Full-Sized Motherboard?

Before I get started on the Asus P8H67-M Evo I wanted to mention that this is a micro-atx motherboard. If you'd rather have a full-sized board for your budget build, then this one fromMSI P67A-C43 has been getting good ratings at a decent price.

If you're just looking for a bare bones model that won't overclock for your HTPC (home theatre PC), then take a look at the inexpensive MSI H61M-P23 motherboard.

Asus P8H67-M Evo

One of the best H67 motherboards for those looking for compatibility options and integrated graphics is the Asus P8H67-M Evo. Despite being a micro board this board will handle up to 32 GB of 240 pin DDR 3 memory run at standard of 1333/1066. It also has 2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 expansion slots for your GPU if you decide not to use integrated graphics although those looking to use a dedicated graphics card would be better off with one of the P67 boards I mentioned above. This motherboard is also compatible with Sata III hard drives and Solid state drives as well as USB 3.0 devices (2 USB 3.0 4 USB 2.0). With the P8H67-M you also get a 3 year manufacturer warranty and other built-in specifications like GPU boost and the Asus AI Suite.

Read Customer Reviews for the Asus P8H67-M.

Price: The i3-2100 Asus P8H67-M Evo combo should come to around $265.

AMD Phenom II X6 1090T CPU Product Specifications
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T CPU Product Specifications

Best AMD AM3 Motherboard CPU Combos 2013 - 2015

Recommended Used or Refurbished CPU Motherboard Combos:

AMD Phenom II X6 1090T - Gigabyte AM3 GA-890GPA-UD3H

With the Bulldozer release coming in a few months most of the computer hardware available for AM3 CPU and motherboards has come down significantly in price. AM3+ ready motherboards are the most popular at this point in time as those who are building a PC want the option to update their Bios to be Bulldozer compatible when they upgrade their CPU.

AMD Phenom II X6 1090T

The AMD Phenom II X6 1090T is the only 6 core power CPU that you'll find in the market today for under $200. While the 1100T has been released it hardly seems worth the extra $10 for the small increase in performance that it would provide. The 1090T has an unlocked multiplier for simple-to-use overclocking and performance boosting technologies to help speed up your PC.

Gigabyte Socket AM3/AMD 890GX Motherboard

If you want a motherboard that is AM3+ compatible and is up-to-date with the latest USB 3.0, DDR3, and Sata III specifications, then go with the Gigabyte AM3 890GX (GA-890GPA-UD3H). A similar motherboard that costs around $20 more is the Asus M4A89GTD PRO.

i3-540 CPU Specifications
i3-540 CPU Specifications

Classic Socket 1156 Motherboard CPU Combos

Featured Combo: Intel Core i3-540 and Asus P7H55-M PRO

For socket 1156 motherboards we are going to try to take a slightly different approach and go with budget options. Because the 1156 socket is an older standard we'll just assume you are trying to save money vs. building with a LGA 1155 socket board.

Intel Core i3-540

The Intel i3-540 is part of Intel's 1st generation of i series processors. It has a fast base clock speed of 3.06GHz and 2 core processing power with hyper-threading for up to 4-way multitasking with it's 4 threads. This is the perfect CPU for those still looking for a great performing PC without a CPU that costs 3 times the price.

Motherboard Combo:

Those looking for a Micro-ATX motherboard should go with the Asus P7H55-M PRO which has an HDMI slot for your HTPC while those looking for a full-sized motherboard should take a look at the Intel Socket 1156 H55 BOXDH55HC motherboard.

Intel i7-960 CPU Specifications
Intel i7-960 CPU Specifications

1366 Motherboard CPU Combo 2013 - 2015

Intel i7-960 and ASUS Sabertooth X58

LGA 1366 motheboards were built for performance. This is why there isn't a "H" chipset version. Assuming you want to use a dedicated graphics card and want extreme performance we'll recommend one of two CPU, the Intel i7-990x and the i7-960.

Intel i7-960 Processor

Although it's based on the older 45nm technology the Intel i7-960 is still in the top 20 fastest CPU list from cpubenchmark.net. It comes 4 cores operating at a clock speed of 3.2GHz with boosts up to 3.46GHz. It also comes with 8MB of Intel Smart Cache and hyperthreading for 8 thread multitasking performance.

Intel i7-990X Extreme Edition CPU

If you're looking for the fastest PC (not workstation) processor available, then you'll want to go with the Intel i7-990x which has 6 core performance with up to 12 threads for multitasking. It also uses the QPI bus type which especially important when using multiple GPUs.

Asus Sabertooth X58

The Sabertooth X58 is an incredible motherboard for the price and comes with a manufacturer's 5 year warranty. It supports up to 24GB of DDR 3 ram at 1866/1800/1600/1333/1066. It's also compatible with Sata III and USB 3.0 technology.

If you're looking for a more extreme option then I recommend the ASUS Rampage III Republic of Gamers Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 Motherboard.

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I hope you've enjoyed this review of the best CPU motherboard combos for 2015. If you have, then I recommend you check out these lenses on building a custom gaming pc, best pc monitors, video cards, and the top rated pc cases.

Your feedback:

If you have a comment, then voice your opinion below in the reader feedback section. Reader feedback helps me to keep this lens fresh and up-to-date with new ideas.

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      i7 3770K is awesome!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Yes, I agree. Great write up. I enjoyed the brief yet thorough description of the CPU and Mobo. I am torn, go for the new P67 mobo, or stay with my 1366. I really looking at only upgrading the mobo right now. Love my i920. She's OC'd to 4ghz and running like a champ. In addition, my SLi'd GTX560 Ti's are also giving me the performance I want. I currently rune he original AS Rock X58 Extreme, but would like to upgrade because of my addition of a Corsair SSD. The Saber Tooth X58 is looking really good right now.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hey great article i also love the gfx card reviews! I am in the process of rebuilding my gaming pc right now since mine is getting old and it looks like it is starting to have some pretty major problems, anyway i think i have pretty much everything i have nailed down besides the RAM do you have an article for what the best option for a budget gaming pc would be?

      I think i am probably going to go with the MSI LGA1155 for $115 and i do not plan on trying to max out the 32gb it can handle and im sure i can figure out a good option on my own i was just wondering if you had any suggestions for how much would be good for a budget gaming pc and how much would be overboard or what brands you would suggest the most? thanks for your articles and keep it up!