How We Choose and Test our Motherboards
There’s a lot of different factors that can make a motherboard the right, or wrong, choice for a gaming PC build.
From the most expensive, fully-featured cards on the market to the basic stuff that’ll just get your new machine up and running, we’ve looked into every single factor that might affect how well a new mobo is going to perform. We also try our best to provide you with every possible choice no matter what your needs are, or what budget you happen to be working with.
We ensure that every board we choose will serve you well by testing them all ourselves. Not only do we put these parts through rigorous benchmarking, but we also use them in our own machines on a day-to-day basis. You can be sure that every part we recommend is high-quality and highly reliable.
Our Top Ryzen 9 5900X Motherboard Pick
The number one motherboard for the Ryzen 9 5900X is easily the GIGABYTE X570 AORUS master. Not only is it easily future-proofed with BIOS updates, but it comes with some extras that make it worth picking up. Obviously, this sort of premium package complete with numerous important features does mean the card comes out as one of the pricier ones, but if you’re looking for the best high-end card money can buy, then you’ve found it.
If you’re a fan of running dual GPUs then you’ll be pleased to learn that the Master features 3 PCIe 4.0 x16 expansion slots, so you can still leave yourself a slot open for extras even with a dual graphics card setup. There are also 3 super fast M.2 slots, each with an insanely beefy heatsink to keep things cool even when your rig is under heavy load.
By far the most impressive part of this board is the cooling setup. Not only do you get 7 fan headers for maximum airflow, but you also get 9 different heat sensors so you can always stay informed on how hot things are getting under the hood. There are even a couple of built-in heatsinks on the board itself to prevent the components on the board from getting sizzled.
The PC gamer’s best friend, RGB, is also well catered for with this board, with GIGABYTE’s RGB Fusion 2.0 system installed. There are even a few minor RGB elements directly on the mobo itself too. The real final note on this board is just how well-suited it is for overclocking. Even with extra power going to your components, you should find your system running smoothly with this board.
The number 2 slot on our list belongs to the ASUS TUF GAMING X570-PLUS (Wi-Fi). While it may not be as premium as the GIGABYTE offering above, it is a really well-put-together mid-to-high-range board for the PC gaming enthusiast hunting for a great value pick. Still offering plenty of features, and of course, ASUS TUF’s patented hard-wearing parts.
One cost-saving measure used by ASUS here is the expansion slots. There are only two PCIe 4.0 x16 slots so if you plan on running two graphics cards then you won’t be able to squeeze anything extra on the side here. There are also 2 M.2 slots for SSDs or networking cards, but only the primary slot actually features a dedicated heatsink which is sort of a shame.
Cooling is much better in other areas, with a dedicated fan on the board to ensure things will stay as cool as possible from the get-go. You also get 5 hybrid fan connectors and a header for you to fit a water cooling system if you want to. The board also supports Fan Xpert 4, a software solution for minutely controlling every aspect of your different fans.
The only major downside to the board is the support for overclocking. It can certainly be done in a pinch, but if you’ve got your heart set on OC, then you should probably look for a board that better supports it. On the bright side, you get WiFi built-in and a superfast ethernet connection to make sure you’re getting the least lag time and the most stability while you’re online gaming.
Sitting right in the middle in terms of both quality and price, the MSI B550M PRO-VDH WiFi mobo is a solid choice for anyone who doesn’t want to have to sell a kidney to get a half-decent board in their rig. It’s missing some of the essential features and design tweaks that make high-end boards so powerful but should still serve you and your 5900X well enough that you won’t see a noticeable drop in performance.
Due to the budget nature of this mobo, you only get a single PCIe 4.0 x16 slot, so if you’ve got multiple cards you want to need to run then this board may not be for you. At least you do get a couple of super-fast M.2 slots for your SSDs, and the primary slot even includes a really decent FROZR heatsink to keep your main SSD running as smooth as possible.
This MSI mobo also comes with a built-in WiFi card, 6 USB ports on the I/O shield with 4 USD 3.2, and 2 USB 2.0, and 4 RAM slots supporting DDR4 memory of up to 4400Mhz. You can be pretty sure of a fast gaming experience with this board too, as the layout is designed to boost performance for both the memory and the processor. It’s also worth noting that this is the only mATX form factor board on this list, so if you’re aiming for a compact build then this is the perfect choice for you.
While this mobo is certainly a more budget-conscious choice than the others on this list, that doesn’t mean you get lower build quality. The PCB this board is built around is incredibly sturdy, presumably due to using reinforced copper in the design. This addition also helps with heat dissertation too, so despite the budget nature, you’re getting power and stability in all the places that really count.
When it comes to the most premium cards available no matter what the price is, the ASUS ROG X570 Crosshair VIII Hero is easily top of the list. Everything from extra features to design and build quality on this card screams top-range, but obviously, that also includes the price. Out of all the boards on this list, this is by far the most expensive but comes with enough features that might make the price worth it depending on how much room there is in your budget.
Even from just the look of this mobo, you can tell a lot of care and attention was put into the design of it. Firstly, it features 3 PCIe 4.0 x16 expansion slots for all your various needs. Secondly, the cooling solution on this card is so large that it damn near covers half of the board, and even comes with an onboard fan to boot. It should go without saying that you won’t have to worry about either M.2 slot overheating, even with a powerful SSD running in each one.
Moving onto the I/O shield, things remain just as impressive. Not only is this entire section of the board incredibly sturdy, but it features a huge number of different ports. You get 8 USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, with 7 Type-A and 1 Type-C, and 4 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, for a total of 12 different USB ports. The chances of you running out of USB peripheral space on this mobo are pretty slim, to say the least.
The Crosshair VIII Hero is also an incredibly customizable board, featuring support for ASUS’ Aura Sync and Armory Crate systems. There are a couple of build-in RGB elements on the board as well that add to the aesthetic charm. A final note worth bringing up is this mobos capacity for overclocking. If you’re into squeezing some extra juice from your parts, then this board is going to be your best friend with that excessive cooling solution and high power threshold. Just remember that these sorts of advanced features do not come cheap.
If you’re looking for the best budget pick of the bunch then the ASUS Prime X570-P is a no-brainer. Just by looking at the board, you can tell that it has been designed with a low price in mind, but that doesn’t stop it from being an excellent low-mid-range mobo for a gamer on a tight budget. You’ll find that it still packs a punch in the areas that really matter, even if it lacks some of the more advanced features of the premium models.
Despite the budget nature of this board, it still manages to include 2 PCIe 4.0 x16 slots for expansion cards, so you can still get that dual graphics card setup or even throw in a capture card depending on your needs. You also get 6 SATA ports and 2 super-fast M.2 slots so adding extra storage to your rig shouldn’t be too taxing. Bear in mind that neither of the M.2 slots comes with heatsinks attached, but that’s not the end of the world.
Thankfully another area that wasn’t sacrificed for a lower price was the cooling solution. The ASUS Prime X570-P features an onboard fan to keep your components cool, so you won’t be missing those SSD heatsinks too badly after all. Plus there’s Fan Xpert 4 for controlling all of your fan settings, and a decent number of heat sensors so you’re always aware of exactly how got your machine is getting under load.
The I/O ports are another area that provides you with pretty much everything you’ll need. 2 USB 2.0 slots, 2 USB 3.2 Gen 1 slots, and 4 USB 3.2 Gen 2 slots bring you up to 8 USB ports, all Type-A. There’s also the PS/2 peripheral port, HDMI, and ethernet port in case you want a more stable internet connection. This last part is especially handy considering there’s no built-in networking card to take advantage of WiFi.
Things to Think About
Purchasing a new mobo comes with a ton of factors that can be difficult to keep track of. We’ve provided a list of the different factors that you should keep in mind when choosing a new board for your 5900X.
Arguably one of the most important details to think about when it comes to perusing mobos is the form factor. Most high-end cards are probably ATX, as this allows the cards to fit many more features onto the board. However, if you’re hoping to find a board that will fit a more compact build, then you may want to look into cards that are mATX or ITX form factor instead.
While these smaller boards won’t typically have as many expansion slots on them, they typically take up far less space. The main thing to bear in mind is that these smaller boards are often a little harder to upgrade, especially ITX boards. Typically, everything on the board will be cramped together, so you might find that longer graphics cards completely block off certain parts of the board.
There is a single mATX board on this list, so if you’re trying to keep your rig from getting too large then it may be worth aiming for that one. Just make sure you get components that will fit the board and case without a lot of messing around.
Pretty much of equal importance as a form factor, the socket on a mobo defines exactly what sort of processors you’ll be able to fit into a mobo. In particular, for modern Ryzen CPUs, you need to make sure you’re buying a board with an AM4 socket if you want the processor to actually fit.
The good thing about sockets is that they don’t typically change all that frequently, so buying an up-to-date standard socket will mean you can probably upgrade down the line. As long as you’re not switching teams from AMD to Intel or vise versa. Just bear in mind that some cheaper or older boards may require a BIOS update before they’ll work with newer processors.
The RAM slots on your mobo will have a huge impact on how fast it runs overall, both in gaming and non-gaming tasks. Not only does the number of slots define how many sticks you can put into the board, but it also caps how fast you can get those sticks running.
If you’re a fan of overclocking as well, it’s worth checking out if your board supports memory overclocking as well as GPU and CPU overclocking. Boosting your RAM can result in some crazy clock speeds, and there are a fair few mobos on the market these days that have special configurations for boosting memory.
NVME and SATA
When it comes to storage space on your new machine, the NVME and SATA inputs are your most important factor. SATA ports can accept both HDDs and SSDs but bear in mind that SSDs plugged in through a SATA port are never going to be as fast as an NVME SSD plugged in via an M.2 slot.
Another thing to look out for is how many heatsinks a board has for the M.2 SSD slots, as overheating can throttle your transfer rate.
That’s All There Is To It
With this guide in hand, you should be more than ready to meet any challenges associated with buying a new mobo for your Ryzen 9 5900X. From the low-end budget picks, all the way to the most expensive high-end tech, you should know exactly what to look out for depending on your needs.
If you’re still not sure what other components to get your hands on then feel free to check out our other guides and articles. We’ve covered everything from top components lists to complete build guides to help you make the Gaming PC of your dreams. Our guides cover a wide variety of uses and price points to ensure that we’ve got something for everyone.