Small kind issue doesn’t suggest light-weight efficiency.
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Not all PCs have to be hulking behemoths. If you wish to save just a little house (and, doubtlessly, just a little money), a micro ATX construct may very well be the best way to go. With a barely smaller kind issue than ATX, however greater than Mini-ITX, micro ATX motherboards forego some options like further PCIe slots and SATA ports, however have sufficient bells and whistles to help you construct a critical PC in a smallish enclosure.
After all, there’s nonetheless lots of selection between Micro ATX boards, with some providing “simply the fundamentals”, whereas others permit for extra growth, provide extra ports, and a few even throw in RGB lighting. Based mostly on my analysis, and loads of PC constructing expertise, listed here are the most effective micro ATX boards for any gaming construct.
Greatest “Gamer-Type” Intel Board – ASUS ROG STRIX B360 GAMING
If the opposite motherboards are too boring within the seems division, I’d advocate the gamer-themed ASUS ROG STRIX B360-G GAMING motherboard. It’s a small step up from the GIGABYTE board in performance, including a second M.2 slot and a greater audio chipset with optical out on the I/O. It additionally replaces the old-fashioned PCI slot with a second PCIe 3.zero x1 slot, and replaces the Sort-C USB port with a second USB 3.1 gen 2 port. And, as you’d count on from a gaming board, it has assist for RGB mild strips, which you’ll management by ASUS’ Aura lighting software program.
For those who favor a snowy white colour scheme, the MSI B360M MORTAR TITANIUM is an efficient different, although it lacks the optical audio out and turns two of the USB 3.1 ports into USB 2.zero ports. It’s good you probably have MSI-branded peripherals, although, because it’ll sync RGB lights with its Mystic Mild software program.
Greatest Price range Intel Board – ASRock H310M-HDV
For those who’re seeking to recreation on a finances, ASRock’s H310M-HDV motherboard is barely $58, and its specs are nothing to sneeze at. It helps Intel’s newest “Espresso Lake” processors, permits as much as 32GB of DDR4 RAM, and it even has two USB 3.1 gen 1 ports within the pack (plus 4 USB 2.zero ports). It additionally has a TPM header in order that, with the assistance of a separately-bought TPM chip, you may encrypt your onerous drive and hold your information protected. You gained’t discover any M.2 slots right here, and it solely helps one PCI 3.zero x16 graphics card, but it surely’s onerous to complain when the worth is that this low. For a primary gaming PC on a finances, it’s about as price efficient as you will get. (For those who want extra growth, this similarly-priced MSI board provides a second PCIe 3.zero x1 slot on the expense of the HDMI port.)
Greatest Midrange Intel Board – GIGABYTE B360M D3H
Whereas my finances choose will present a very good basis for any gaming PC, my midrange choose from GIGABYTE provides you a bit extra room for future upgrades. For $20 greater than the ASRock board, you get two extra RAM slots (bringing RAM assist as much as 64GB in whole), an M.2 slot (for high-speed storage), two extra USB 3.1 ports (one gen2, one type-C), a greater audio chipset, Intel gigabit LAN, a second PCIe x16 slot (with Crossfire assist for a number of AMD GPUs), and a regular PCI slot…you already know, in case you will have an outdated growth card you simply can’t hand over. It additionally has an RGB header if you wish to mild up your system, and helps RGB Fusion so you may sync your lights with different GIGABYTE merchandise.
Greatest Intel Board for Overclockers on a Price range – ASRock Z370M Pro4
If you wish to overclock your Espresso Lake CPU, you’ll want a motherboard with the Z370 chipset. One of the best finances board with overclocking capabilities is the ASRock Z370M Pro4, which is definitely packs fairly a punch. For $125, you get two PCIe 3.zero x16 slots (with the second working in x4 mode), two PCIe 3.zero x1 slots, two M.2 storage slots, an Intel gigabit LAN chipset, and assist for as much as 64GB of RAM. It doesn’t have USB 3.1 gen 2, however you do get 4 USB 3.1 gen 1 ports, together with a USB 3.1 Sort-C port and a USB 2.zero port within the again. If you’d like bang in your buck, look no additional.
Greatest Do-Something Intel Board – MSI Z370M GAMING PRO AC
If you’d like the last word Micro ATX Intel board, you’ll be MSI’s Z370 providing. It takes every little thing nice concerning the ASRock board above, together with overclocking capabilities—and provides optical audio, SLI and Crossfire assist for twin graphics playing cards, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and crimson LED lights on the underside of the board. That’s about as feature-packed as you get within the Micro ATX kind issue, and it has a worth to match: this board is $170, but it surely’s properly value it if you wish to cram as a lot energy as potential right into a Micro ATX case.
Greatest Price range AMD Board – ASUS Prime A320M-Ok
There are fairly a couple of finances AMD boards within the mATX kind issue, however lots of them make vital sacrifices—not so with the ASUS Prime A320M-Ok. For $55, you get a motherboard with assist for all Ryzen CPUs and APUs, in addition to seventh technology Athlon X4 processors. It could deal with as much as 32GB of RAM, has an M.2 slot for storage, and 4 USB 3.1 gen 1 ports. For those who aren’t seeking to spend a ton, the ASUS Prime A320M-Ok offers a stable base to construct your rig.
Greatest AMD Board for Overclockers – GIGABYTE GA-AB350M Gaming 3
You’ll want a motherboard with the B350 or X370 chipset if you wish to overclock your AMD CPU, and GIGABYTE AB350M-DS3H is a good alternative. With two PCIe x16 slots, 4 RAM slots with assist as much as 64GB, and 6 USB 3.1 ports on the again (4 gen 1, two gen 2)—plus two 2.zero ports—you’ll have every little thing you want. It even has a TPM header so you may encrypt your onerous drive. And at solely $69, it is slightly price efficient.
Whitson Gordon is a author, gamer, and tech nerd who has been constructing PCs for 10 years. He eats potato chips with chopsticks so he would not get grease on his mechanical keyboard.”