Best AMD motherboards in 2024

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Best AMD motherboard (Image credit: Future)

The best AMD motherboard market has fundamentally shifted in the last few months. Where it was once all about the long-lived AM4 platform, Team Red has moved onto a new CPU socket for its new Ryzen processors: AM5. But the old chipsets aren't dead, and the price drops for AMD's Ryzen 5000-series CPUs and the compatible motherboards mean you can still make a great gaming PC while saving a buck or two.

That's especially important, given how incredibly expensive AMD's new AM5 platform is. The Ryzen 7000-series CPUs, as well as the X670/E and B650/E motherboards, are still relatively expensive but require new (and also expensive) DDR5 RAM. However, if you're looking for the most bang for your buck, our favorite X670/E motherboard is the Gigabyte X670 Aorus Elite AX. The Asus TUF Gaming B650 Plus WiFi comes in as the best B650/E motherboard that works particularly well for demanding rigs. 

Picking the right AMD motherboard is about figuring out which CPU you want, how much you can spend on a board, and then selecting the chipset. We've tested all the current- and last-gen options to give you the best chance of finding the proper AMD mobo. 

Size is also important, so we've tested ATX, micro-ATX, and mini-ITX motherboards to accommodate all sorts of cases. 

Best AMD X670/E motherboard

Best value for high-end Ryzen 7000

Specifications

CPU support: AMD Ryzen 7000
Socket: AM5
Size: ATX
Memory support: 4x DIMM, up to 128GB, up to DDR5-6666 (OC)
Expansion slots: 1x PCIe 4.0 x16, 1x PCIe 4.0 x4, 1x PCIe 3.0 x2
Storage: 4x M.2, 4x SATA 6Gbps
Networking: AMD RZ616 Wi-Fi 6E; Realtek 2.5G LAN
Rear USB: 2x USB 3.2 Gen2x2, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 10x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 8x USB 2.0

Reasons to buy

+
Good value for money
+
Strong VRM
+
Good connectivity options

Reasons to avoid

-
Cheap audio
-
B650/E competition

If you're in the market for a good quality X670E motherboard, the chances are that you've recoiled at the prices of many of them. High-end motherboards are more likely to be X670E models, but the Gigabyte X670 Aorus Elite AX comes in with just enough great features at such a reasonable pricepoint, that I've been tempted away from the -E model boards. 

Part of the reason X670E boards cost a lot is because of the high-quality signalling required for both PCIe 5.0 expansion and M.2 slots. But since PCIe 5.0 x16 for graphics cards means nothing right now, an X670 board is a perfectly viable option. And at $289 / £349 / AU$599, the Gigabyte X670 Aorus Elite AX is a heck of a lot better value than X670E boards. But does the Elite AX have to sacrifice a little or a lot to come in at that price? 

No it does not.

You'd expect to miss out on USB 4 at this price, but the rest of the USB count is stellar.

Here you get effective heatsinks, particularly the VRM one, though sadly Gigabyte opted not to include its excellent finned heatsink design on this model. 

In total, there are four M.2 slots made up of the aforementioned primary PCIe 5.0 x4 one, plus a further three PCIe 4.0 x4 slots that are cooled by a single large heatsink. There are four SATA ports to round out the storage complement.

Other highlights include a USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 type-C header, power, reset, and CMOS clear buttons, and a Thunderbolt 4 header.

The board comes with a 16+2+2 phase VRM with 70A power stages. More than enough for the average user. Throw a Ryzen 9 7950X with PBO enabled into the Elite AX, and you won’t have a problem. Your cooling will hit that 95°C operating temperature of a 7950X long before the VRM gets stressed.

Even if Zen 5 or Zen 6 CPUs take a step up in TDP, it’s hard to imagine the Aorus Elite AX struggling to power them.

The cooling, storage, and VRM is more than enough to suit most users. Is the I/O lacking then? Hardly. The Aorus Elite AX includes AMD's RZ616 Wi-Fi 6E and Realtek 2.5G LAN. You'd expect to miss out on USB 4 at this price, but the rest of the USB count is stellar. You get a 3.2 Gen 2x2 type-C port, two Gen 2 ports, six Gen 1 ports, and four 2.0 ports. That's 13 rear USB ports!  There's an HDMI 2.1 port for use with Ryzen 7000's newly included integrated graphics and a BIOS flashback button. 

The audio is nothing special, with an aging Realtek ALC897 codec taking care of things. A S/PDIF output would be nice too, but apart from that, there's not much to complain about with regard to connectivity.

If nothing else, the Elite AX shows that manufacturers are getting a bit greedy at the high end of the market. If you absolutely must have USB4, 10G LAN, or Thunderbolt, you'll have to pay a LOT more for it. For the mainstream market, a board like the Aorus Elite AX is where it's at.

Read our full Gigabyte X670 Aorus Elite AX review.

Best affordable X670E motherboard

Specifications

CPU support: AMD Ryzen 7000
Socket: AM5
Size: ATX
Memory support: 4x DIMM, up to 128GB, up to DDR5-6600 (OC)
Expansion slots: 1 x PCIe 5.0 x16, 2 x PCIe 4.0 x1 slots
Storage: 1x M.2 Gen5, 4x M.2 Gen4, 6x SATA 6Gbps
Networking: Wi-Fi 6E; Realtek 2.5G Dragon RTL8125BG LAN
Rear USB: 1 x USB 3.2 Type-A, 1x USB 3.2 Type-C, 4x USB 3.2 Gen1, 4x USB 2.0

Reasons to buy

+
Well-priced relative to other X670E boards.
+
PCIe 5.0 GPU and M.2 support
+
Five M.2 slots

Reasons to avoid

-
Unremarkable appearance
-
Cheap audio
-
B650E boards offer many of the same features

Not all AM5 boards are exorbitantly priced. One such example is the ASRock X670E Pro RS I've got on hand for review. It's designed to be a cost-effective motherboard that offers the important X670E feature set, including PCIe 5.0 GPU and SSD support, the ability to run a Ryzen 9 7950X without issue, and provide the essentials like Wi-Fi 6E and ample storage support.

At $279 / £320 / AU$569 it's one of the cheaper X670E motherboards. In fact, it's one of the cheaper X670 boards full stop. You'll need to choose a B650 or B650E board if you want to save more money. At half the price of high-end boards like ASRock's own Taichi, the Asus Crosshair X670E Hero or Aorus Extreme, does the X670E Pro RS have to cut too much for such a saving?

The ASRock X670E Pro RS isn’t what you'd call a beautiful board, but I like the silver and black combination, along with the fonts atop the M.2 heatsinks. There's a little bit of RGB lighting flair underneath the chipset heatsink, however. And, if you love your RGB lighting, there are three ARGB headers plus an additional non-addressable one.

It offers excellent value, and that's something that can't be said for too many AM5 motherboards.

ASRock includes a graphics card support device that mounts to two of the motherboard screw holes. That's handy if you plan to buy a monster sized graphics card. Yes, I'm looking at you, chonky RTX 4090.

The board includes five M.2 slots, one of which is a PCIe 5.0 slot cooled by a chunky heatsink. You'll still want to have decent case airflow though as M.2 heatsinks adjacent to a graphics card can actually absorb heat if neglected. I would not recommend using the middle two slots if you're using a gaming GPU. Use the two at the bottom of the board before those middle two.

The I/O at the rear is excellent for a board at this price point. You get Wi-Fi 6E and Realtek 2.5G LAN which matches some much more expensive boards. Then you get DP 1.4 and HDMI 2.1 ports for use with the new integrated GPU capabilities of Ryzen 7000 CPUs. The USB complement is good, with a total of ten rear ports. There are two 3.2 Gen 2 ports (one of which is Type-C) plus four 3.2 Gen 1 and four 2.0 ports. Internal headers can provide another eight ports plus the all-important USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 type-C.

The audio is an area that's less impressive. Realtek ALC892 is cheap, but an expensive controller and things like DACs are how board makers justify adding the big bucks for high end boards. As one of the cheaper boards offering a full X670E feature set, I understand ASRock having to make a few compromises.

The ASRock is perhaps a touch under the average of the boards I have tested so far, though when it comes to gaming, the differences are always within a margin of error. Perhaps ASRock still has that last 1% of BIOS optimizing to do. I know for a fact some engineering teams are stretched thin with both AMD and Intel launching new platforms at the same time. If you buy an ASRock X670E Pro RS, it's definitely worth grabbing a new BIOS off the ASRock website before you do anything else with it.

But don't forget B650 and B650E, too. The B650E chipset in particular offers many of the same features at an even lower price point.

Throw in a 7600X with a RTX 40 or Radeon RX 7000 card, and 32GB of DDR5 and you've got a capable gaming system on your hands, but even better, you'll be able to upgrade your components for years to come. When you look at it in those terms the ASRock X670E Pro RS offers excellent value, and that's something that can't be said for too many AM5 motherboards.

Read our full ASRock X670E Pro RS review.

Best AMD B650/E motherboard

The best value AM5 board

Specifications

CPU support: AMD Ryzen 7000
Socket: AM5
Size: ATX
Memory support: DDR5-6400+(OC), Up to 128GB
Expansion slots: 1x PCIe 5.0, 2x PCIe 4.0
Storage: 3x M.2, 4x SATA
Networking: Realtek 2.5G LAN, Wi-Fi 6
Rear USB: 1x USB 3.2 Gen2x2, 3x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 3x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 8x USB 2.0

Reasons to buy

+
VRM and cooling built for demanding CPUs
+
Good USB complement
+
Refined BIOS
+
Enhanced PBO modes

Reasons to avoid

-
Wi-Fi 6 only
-
No PCIe 5.0 GPU support
-
Pricey compared to some competing boards

The primary M.2 slot supports up to PCIe 5.0, while the other two support PCIe 4.0. The primary slot's cooling is relatively small compared to some of the chunky M.2 heatsinks I've seen, including that shipping with the Asrock X670E Pro RS and Gigabyte Z790 Aorus Master

The board supports a single 5Gbps Type-C front connector and up to two Type-A and four USB 2.0 ports. Not bad, but a 10Gbps Type-C port would have been nice.

The VRM is decent, if not spectacular, but it's all relative. Expecting a gazillion 105A stages is something that's restricted to boards at well over double the price. The 12+2 phase design with 60A stages was enough to power my Ryzen 9 7950X without issue. The board includes 4+8-pin CPU power connectors.

Asus has done a wonderful job with the TUF B650 Plus' cooling design. The big and chunky heatsinks provide lots of surface area while allowing lots of air to circulate freely. Some mid-tier boards can skimp a little on VRM cooling. Here, Asus did not.

The TUF B650 Plus comes with a good set of rear I/O ports, which are perfectly adequate for things like keyboards, mice, and printers, which don’t need high-speed (and expense-adding) ports. You also get 2.5G LAN and WiFi 6, though notably, not 6E. That might be a problem in the future, especially if you live in a crowded household or apartment building with lots of Wi-Fi signals.

The Asus BIOS is a little more difficult to navigate for a novice user compared to those of some other manufacturers, but once in the PBO modes is particularly worth looking at if you're planning to drop a non-X Ryzen 9 7900 or Ryzen 7 7700 in.

The Asus TUF Gaming B650-Plus WiFi is primarily a motherboard for a budget-conscious gamer.

The big VRM heatsinks are a highlight. My test 7950X ran without a hitch, and at no time did the heatsink get uncomfortably warm to the touch. As long as you have at least some case airflow, the VRM will be fine, even with PBO enabled. Take care to stick to reasonable expectations, and don't go shoving 1.5V+ through a high core count CPU under a full load for hour after hour.

The typical Asus BIOS refinement is here. I was able to run my test DDR5-6000 C30 kit by simply enabling the EXPO profile. I have recently encountered issues with that due to improperly applied memory controller voltage.

The Asus TUF Gaming B650-Plus WiFi is primarily a motherboard for a budget-conscious gamer. While you can't expect all the bells and whistles at this price point, it's a fine motherboard as long as you don't expect too much of it. You'll need to ask yourself if you value PCIe 5.0 GPU support. If so, do consider a B650E option if you're going to stick with AM5 for a while (as most of us are).

Either way, the TUF B650 Plus is a solid entry into the market. It feels refined; it's got a good core feature set with excellent cooling and subtle good looks, and apart from the missing out on a PCIe 5.0 slot, it's destined to have a long life ahead of it. It may not tick every feature check box, but as a board for a 2023 system, it's got most of what you need, happily delivering up to 7950X and RTX 4090 class performance. Do remember the competition is very tough, but if you're an Asus fan, you won't be disappointed.

Read our full Asus TUF Gaming B650 Plus Wi-Fi review.

The best compact B650E board.

Specifications

CPU support: AMD Ryzen 7000
Socket: AM5
Size: Mini-ITX
Memory support: DDR5-6400+(OC), Up to 64GB
Expansion slots: 1x PCIe 5.0
Storage: 1x M.2 Gen5, 1x M.2 Gen4, 2x SATA
Networking: Killer E3100G 2.5G LAN, AX1675 Wi-Fi 6E
Rear USB: 3x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A, 1x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C, 4x USB 2.0

Reasons to buy

+
PCIe 5.0 SSD and GPU support
+
Very good VRM
+
Mega M.2 heatsink
+
Good value for money

Reasons to avoid

-
VRM can get hot
-
Default M.2 heatsink fan is loud
-
Only two SATA
-
No USB flashback support

While ITX boards are produced by all of the major manufacturers, ITX AM5 motherboards are, so far, uncommon. X670/E in particular is very difficult to shrink down to ITX size due to its dual chip architecture. There just isn't the PCB real estate to squeeze everything in—at least not without overcoming some serious challenges. To my knowledge, Asus is the only manufacturer to produce an X670E ITX board to date.

B650/E ITX boards aren't much more common. ASRock is a long-time supporter of the Mini-ITX form factor and the ASRock B650E PG ITX WiFi is a small board that manages to pack all of the key features of the AM5 platform into a package that builders can incorporate into the smallest cases. 

ITX inevitably means some compromising though, so if you require many M.2 slots or you need extra PCIe slots for things like sound cards, then you'll need to stick with mATX or ATX. But the ASRock B650E PG ITX WiFi is first and foremost a board for a compact system.

As future-proofed as it's reasonably possible to make a motherboard right now.

The ASRock B650E PG ITX—as the name suggests—includes the B650E chipset including a PCIe 5.0 x16 slot and a PCIe 5.0 x4 M.2 slot. That means the board is as future-proofed as it's reasonably possible to make a motherboard right now. Assuming AMD keeps to its promise to support AM5 for the next few years, there's little reason to doubt you could run a Zen 5 or Zen 6 CPU, plus a future generation PCIe 5.0 graphics card with just a simple BIOS update. You'll absolutely need to update the BIOS before upgrading though, as the board lacks CPU-less BIOS flashback capability.

In addition to the primary M.2 slot, there's another PCIe 4.0 supporting slot on the back of the board. But it's very important to note that motherboards seldom receive much, if any airflow on the back, so this slot would be best populated by a slower or cool running drive for bulk storage. Otherwise it'll get toasty back there.

The VRM is usually an area where ITX boards are forced to compromise. Yet the B650E PG ITX comes with an impressive 10+2+1 phase VRM with 105a stages.  That's easily enough to power my Ryzen 9 7950X(opens in new tab) CPU, even when fully loaded. But doing so does stress the cooling of the little board which is never going to have the surface area of the VRM heatsinks of larger boards.

The rear I/O obviously isn't as packed as those you'll see on ATX boards. The USB count is adequate, with four USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports (one of which is a Type-C) plus four USB 2.0 ports. ASRock refers to two of the 3.2 ports as 'Lightning Gaming ports'. They use a dedicated controller that supposedly minimizes jitter and lowers latency. I'll take ASRock's word for it.

This is the kind of board that's tailor made for the advanced PBO modes and Curve Optimizer. A non-X CPU would be a great choice to use with the PG ITX, but if you do use an X model, then applying Tjmax limits of 75°C or 85°C will deliver most of the performance of a default chip, while being easy on your cooling and the VRM of the board.

We're talking about SFF systems here. I for one love the idea of a tweaked 7000 series processor sipping power with a simple and quiet air cooler. Many of you think the same, even if it is a little counter-intuitive when thinking of high-end CPUs and gaming rigs. Sometimes less really is more.

I found the B650E ITX board to deliver a well-rounded and mature experience. I tend to like the simplicity of ASRock's BIOS though the PG ITX's fan settings were aggressive. That's something that you'll no doubt notice when you first fire it up. That little fan gets loud! But one BIOS change and you'll forget it's there.

Read our full ASRock B650E PG-ITX WiFi review.

Best AMD X570 motherboard

The best X570 ever created, and the last AM4 board you'll ever need

Specifications

Chipset: X570
Memory: 4x DIMM, Up to 128GB, DDR4-4866 (OC)
Expansion slots: 2x PCIe 4.0 x16, 1x PCIe 3.0 x16, 1x PCIe 4.0 x1
Video ports: N/A
Rear USB: 4x USB 3.2 Gen1, 8x USB 3.2 Gen2 (1x USB Type-C)
Storage: 3x M.2; 8x SATA
Networking: 802.11ax 2.4Gbps Wi-Fi; Intel I211-AT 1G & Realtek RTL8125 2.5G LAN
Form factor: ATX

Reasons to buy

+
Clean design
+
Great performance
+
No chipset fan

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Over-the-top

Asus' ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero wants to be the last AM4 motherboard you'll ever need. It incorporates all of the 4+ years of BIOS updates, PCB, and electrical layout tweaks into what should be a mature and refined package. Importantly, unlike early X570 boards, the Dark Hero was designed with Zen 3 processors actually on hand during the design phase. 

The Dark Hero features a rather subtle design. Some might even say it’s a little bland. Perhaps we have reached ‘Peak RGB’ with recent motherboards being a little more discrete with their RGB implementations. It’s also unusual that there’s not a Crosshair VIII Apex or Extreme, especially when Gigabyte and MSI have boards priced well above the Dark Hero. 

A $400 USD motherboard can never be described as cheap, but compared to the exorbitant prices of the MSI Godlike and Gigabyte Aorus Extreme, it certainly feels more affordable.

The layout of modern ATX boards tends not to vary too much these days. The primary M.2 slot is sensibly located above the PCIe slot. The second slot at the bottom also features a heatsink. The sockets are easy to access without having to remove the entire heatsink assembly. Also notable: No chipset cooling fan! Hooray! 

The rear IO is packed out. If you need extra USB ports for that head massager or plasma ball, there are few better equipped boards. There are no less than eight USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, one of which is Type-C. These are joined by four USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports. There are also BIOS clear and flashback buttons, the LAN and WiFi antenna ports, and the usual set of audio ports including S/PDIF. The IO shield is preinstalled, which is blessedly now becoming standard practice on decent motherboards.

The VRM has been upgraded over that of the regular Hero. The power stages are now rated for 90a, up from 60a which bring it in line with some of the other premium X570 boards. Even if you’re into smashing out benchmarks on LN2 (and this board will see plenty of that in the hands of overclockers), it will handle the punishment with ease. The heatsinks are big and chunky affairs.

Motherboard testing is often one of the most painful things a tech journalist has to do. With some boards, you have to fight it to get it to do what you want, or expect it to, or have to or crank up some voltage setting to a level you don't want to, but the Dark Hero boots the first time, even as we played with the memory clocks and timings and the Infinity Fabric.

We were able to reach an Infinity Fabric clock of 2,066MHz, which combined with a 1:1 memory clock results in DDR4-4133 with tight timings.

The performance differences between boards with otherwise identical partnering components is usually very small. That's particularly true as we’re now several generations in and any BIOS niggles in the X570 chipset have been well and truly tuned out. A lot of the time variability can simply come down to a margin of error.

That said, we were able to reach an Infinity Fabric clock of 2,066MHz, which combined with a 1:1 memory clock results in DDR4-4133 with tight timings. That's not something we've been able to achieve with other Ryzen 5000 silicon or other boards so far. The Dark Hero was bootable with extra SoC and CCD voltage even higher than this.

The Crosshair VIII Dark Hero might not be the best AM4 motherboard ever made, we'd have to review a few hundred others to make that claim, but it's an easy claim to make that the Dark Hero is undoubtedly one of the best AM4 motherboards we've ever used. Time and months of user feedback will determine if the Dark Hero assumes a position as one of the truly legendary ROG motherboards, but we wouldn't bet against that happening.

Read our full Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero review.

The best budget X570 motherboard

Specifications

Chipset: X570S
Memory: 4x DIMM, up to DDR4-4733, up to 128GB
Expansion Slots: 1x PCIe 4.0 x16, 2x PCIe 4.0 x16 (x4), 3x PCIe 4.0 x1
Video ports: HDMI
USB ports: Up to 3x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 8x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 6x USB 2.0
Storage: 2x M.2, 6x SATA
Network: Killer E3100G 2.5G LAN
Form factor: ATX

Reasons to buy

+
A great value X570 board
+
Strong gaming performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks Wi-Fi
-
Ageing ALC897 audio codec

If you're looking for a sub $200 AMD motherboard, the typical advice would be to look at one of the many quality B550 offerings. It's important not to overlook the new X570 versions, though. The basic chipset is a few years old, but with the newly released X570S models, maybe it's time to take a more serious look at AMD's top boards. 

Notably, the 'S' in the new X570S nomenclature denotes silence. Early generation X570 boards, with only a few exceptions, all came with pesky, whiny chipset fans. As well as passive chipset cooling, the new X570S boards enable upgraded connectivity options, including faster than Gigabit LAN or WiFi 6E. Sadly the ASRock X570S Riptide doesn't have WiFi 6E, but it does have an excellent price for a top chipset board.

The X570S Riptide may not be what you would call a feature-packed board, but it does have most of the important features you’ll need to run a top spec gaming rig. Only one of the two M.2 slots is covered by a heatsink, though in fairness, an increasing number of high-performance SSD models are being shipped with optional heatsinks these days anyways. 

The X570S Riptide is a solid budget offering that will happily occur at the heart of a top-spec PCIe 4.0 system.

The rear I/O is reasonable for a board in this price range. There’s an empty bracket reserved for Wi-Fi antennas, plus a PS/2 combo port, CMOS clear button, and a welcome HDMI 2.1 port for use with one of AMD upcoming 5000-series APUs. 

There’s also a standard set of audio ports including S/PDIF, but sadly, its driven by the ageing ALC897 codec. It’s outdated in 2021 and doesn’t belong on anything other than budget city boards. Network duties are handled by a Killer E3100 2.5G controller. Pure Gigabit is disappearing fast, and not a moment too soon. There are eight USB ports, made up of Type-A and C USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, four Gen 1 ports and two 2.0 ports. All in all, it's a good selection of ports.

The ASRock Riptide tended to be a little slower in productivity-based tasks during our benchmarking, but proved itself to be good under gaming loads. Our recent experiences with ASRock boards typically show them to offer very good memory bandwidth, so perhaps that final 0.1% of BIOS polish is yet to come. Overall, there is little to complain about and, if you’re a gamer, you’ll be very happy. As ever, our X570-based motherboards perform within one or two percent of each other, or within a margin of error.

The X570S Riptide is a solid budget offering that will happily occur at the heart of a top-spec PCIe 4.0 system. It won't win the feature showdown battle with more expensive boards, however. Ultimately, there are two schools of though when evaluating the X570S Riptide. And it all depends on what components you are running. As mentioned above, if you have two PCIe 4.0 drives and want to use them to their full ability, with or without other PCIe 4.0 expansion cards, then the X570 chipset is for you. 

On the other hand, if you’ve got just one drive and a single PCIe 4.0 GPU, then a B550 board is worth a look, particularly models like ASRock’s own B550 PG Velocita or the MSI MAG B550M Mortar listed below, both of which offer a worthwhile alternative.

Read our full ASRock X570S PG Riptide review.

3. ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming ITX/TB3

The best compact X570 motherboard around

Specifications

Chipset: X570
Memory: 2x DIMM, 64 GB, DDR4-4533+
Expansion Slots: 1x PCIe 4.0 x16
Video ports: HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4
USB ports: 2x USB 3.2 Gen2, 2x USB 3.2 Gen1, 1x USB 3.2 Gen2 Thunderbolt 3
Storage: 1x M.2 Socket Gen4, 4x SATA
Network: 1GbE LAN, Wi-Fi 6
Form factor: Mini ITX

Reasons to buy

+
Tiny, but powerful
+
Thunderbolt 3 connection
+
Integrated backpanel

Reasons to avoid

-
Requires an Intel-based CPU cooling bracket

This motherboard is small and mighty. Just look at it, there's so much stuffed onto the ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming ITX/TB3's tiny PCB—I dread to think how the PCB design and routing process went. That effort hasn't been wasted, though. This is an excellent motherboard that fans of small form factor PC builds are going to love.

ASRock has made some great AMD Ryzen motherboards over the years, and this one packs in the latest high-end X570 chipset, forward-looking features, and serious performance. The $200+ price point might be a bit tough to swallow, but that's often the price you pay for cleverly compact machines. It also must be said that plenty of X570 motherboards sit at around that sort of price, even full-size ATX ones.

The fact there's almost no Mini-ITX premium attached makes the Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 even more tempting.

The fact there's almost no Mini-ITX premium attached makes the Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 even more tempting. It also means you can potentially create a 16-core AMD Ryzen 9 3950X or AMD Ryzen 9 5950X machine that looks about the same sort of size as an Xbox Series X.

The PCIe 4.0 support isn't the only advanced connection on offer with this wee ASRock AMD motherboard either; there's also Thunderbolt 3 connectivity from the integrated I/O shield of the back panel. That's an impressive little added extra from what is an already special board.

It is worth noting that it will require an Intel-based CPU cooling bracket. To fit all the features into the mini-ITX form factor, ASRock didn't have space for the bulky AMD fitting. That's only an issue if you want to use the stock AMD coolers, but otherwise, any third-party cooler will come with Intel brackets anyways.

While you will have to sacrifice a few ports and slots for the compact design of the Phantom Gaming, that's to be expected at its size. All the key stuff is present and accounted for: Wi-Fi, Thunderbolt, Gigabit LAN, PCIe 4.0, and support for the latest and greatest AMD chips. Everything you need for a seriously powerful yet compact mini PC.

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