The Best Intel Gaming Motherboards for 2014

One of the most overlooked–but most important–components inside of your computer is your motherboard. In today’s post, we’re going to take a look at the best Intel gaming motherboards, so that you can make an informed decision when you go to choose your parts.

Best Gaming Motherboards 2013The motherboard is the central communication center for your computer. It’s where all of your components plug into and are able to communicate with each other.

The motherboard you choose for your gaming computer will have a huge impact on the quality of your build. If you choose a low-end cheap motherboard, you will be stuck having to get low-end cheap components.

However, if you choose a feature-rich and powerful motherboard, you will not only experience the benefits now, but you will also set yourself up with plenty of room to upgrade in the future.

While a motherboard isn’t going to have a direct impact on your gaming experience, it does play a huge role in your computer. Therefore, you need to consider allotting a decent portion of your budget towards your motherboard.

In this post, I will take a look at the best Intel gaming motherboards for 2014 at different price ranges. I’ve broken down the categories into five different price ranges: motherboards under $100, motherboards between $100-$150, motherboards between $150-$200, motherboards between $200-$300, and motherboards over $300. I’ve also covered both socket LGA 1150 motherboards and socket LGA 1155 motherboards since some people will choose the new Haswell CPUs over the Ivy Bridge CPUs.

I chose only one motherboard for each price range and while there are many other motherboards out there that are worthy of praise, I believe these ones offer the most for gamers.

More From This Series:

Best Socket LGA 1150 Motherboards

Intel’s socket LGA 1150 is currently the most sought-after platform for new gaming computers. While socket LGA 1150 is not quite as extreme as socket LGA 2011, it does bring enough to the table to make it worthy of pretty much any high-end gaming computer build.

The one downfall of socket LGA 1150 may be in its longevity. While the previous socket LGA 1150 spanned a few different CPU architectures, it’s possible that socket LGA 1150 may only see one more CPU upgrade option before switching to a new socket. This is important if you like to stick with the same motherboard for awhile and upgrade to the new CPUs as they become available.

LGA 1150 Motherboard Comparison Chart

Picture Motherboard Chip Form SLI/CF War. Price
MSI H87-G43 H87 ATX CF 3 YRS Hover
Asus Z87-A Z87 ATX Both 3 YRS Hover
Asus Z87 PRO Z87 ATX Both 3 YRS Hover
Asus Sabertooth Z87 Z87 ATX Both 5 YRS Hover
ASUS Maximus VI EXTREME Z87 ATX Both 3 YRS Hover

MSI H87-G43 Motherboard ($90-$100)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)

MSI H87-G43 ATX LGA 1150 MotherboardWith the recent release of Haswell chips, the current prices for anything related to the socket LGA 1150 are still pretty high. So, finding a solid LGA 1150 motherboard under $100 isn’t the easiest thing to do… especially if you’re looking for a standard ATX motherboard with a good amount of features.

Fortunately, though, the MSI H87-G43 ATX motherboard is a good option for anyone looking for a quality LGA 1150 motherboard under $100.

It’s a standard ATX motherboard that features the H87 chipset (which is the same as the Z87 chipset, except it doesn’t allow you to overclock), six USB 3.0 ports, and gives you the ability to run dual video cards in CrossFireX configuration. (SLI is not supported with this board.)

So, if you’re working with a budget and you’re not looking to overclock then the MSI H87-G43 is a good option. Another alternative to this board is the Micro-ATX version which is about $15 cheaper.

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MSI H87-G43 Specs

  • LGA 1150/H87 Chipset
  • Military Class 4: Top Quality & Stability
  • Supports Dual Video Cards (CrossFireX Only)
  • Two USB 3.0 Ports and Six USB 2.0 Ports
  • Click BIOS Allows You to Easily Fine-Tune Your System

Customer Reviews

From modi123 on Newegg:

Cheap, great connections, and easy to install. I wasn’t looking to OC my processor, and wanted to reallocate some funds for a hard drive. The board was great for the price, and fit well. All the connections were well labeled, and the USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s were a nice pick me up. Also it has stupid fast boot up times.

From B.K. on Amazon:

This board was fantastic. I used it in conjunction with Intel i5-4670 and everything was plug and play. No hick up and bios is easy to mess around with. I love the fact that it has a good amount of heat sinks.


ASUS Z87-A Motherboard ($140-$150)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)

ASUS Z87-A DDR3 1600 LGA 1150 MotherboardThe $100-$150 range for motherboards is really when you start seeing some of the more advanced features.

For right around $150 (give or take a few bucks depending on prices) you can snag the ASUS Z87-A motherboard. And, in this price range, it really is one of the best options.

Featuring the new socket LGA 1150 and the Z87 chipset, the ASUS Z87-A is perfect for gamers who are building an overclocking rig on a moderate budget. And, with the easy-to-use BIOS on this motherboard, overclocking is a piece of cake.

This board is also perfect for running dual video cards in either CrossFireX or SLI configuration.

So, if you’re putting together a new Haswell build and you want to do some overclocking and/or a dual video card setup, then the ASUS Z87-A is an excellent option for you.

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ASUS Z87-A Specs

  • LGA 1150/Z87 Chipset
  • Good Overclocking Board
  • Easy-To-Use BIOS Makes System Tuning Simple
  • Six USB 3.0 Ports
  • Two PCIe 3.0 Slot
  • SLI and CrossFireX Support

Customer Reviews

From BrandNewLP on Newegg:

My favorite brand of motherboard with plenty of USB 2.0 and 3.0. Plenty of space for big graphics cards! Also very good fan control and overclocking controls!

From Anonymous on Newegg:

Extremely nice mainstream motherboard. Very capable of doing a lot things of some things are meanlingless to the average Joe but great for troubleshooting.


ASUS Z87 Pro Motherboard ($190-$200)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)

ASUS Z87 Pro LGA 1150 MotherboardFor a high-end experience, you can’t go wrong with an ASUS motherboard. The same is true for the ASUS Z87 PRO.

It’s not the best board on the entire market, but for under $200 it has a ton of features.

With the new Z87 chipset, the ASUS Z87 Pro is the perfect board for overclockers who have a medium-to-high budget for their build.

It comes with six USB 3.0 ports, is multi-video card compatible (supports both SLI and CrossFireX), and has an incredibly easy to use BIOS.

The bottom line is, if you’re looking for ideal performance from your motherboard, but you don’t want to spend a couple hundred dollars on the fancy top-of-the-line boards, then the ASUS Z87 Pro is probably one of the best Intel gaming motherboards under $200.

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ASUS Z87 Pro Specs

  • LGA 1150/Z87 Chipset
  • Excellent Board for Overclocking
  • Easy-To-Use BIOS for Simple System Tuning
  • Six USB 3.0 Ports
  • SLI and CrossFireX Support
  • Memory Can Be Overclocked To Up To 3,000MHz

Customer Reviews

From R. Brown on Amazon:

This is the first computer I’ve build in about 15 years and I’ve been pretty happy so far. I plan to use it for graphic/video editing and VMWare Workstation. The board has a quality/heavy feel to it and the large heat sinks feel cool to the touch.

From Kaihekoa on Newegg:

Worked right out of box. Great features including high quality construction, built-in dual band wireless and Bluetooth 4.0, 3x crossfire or sli capability, UEFI bios works wonderfully, great overclocking features and capability. Looks cool.


ASUS Sabertooth Z87 Motherboard ($230-$240)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)

ASUS Sabertooth Z87 LGA 1150 MotherboardIn the past, I’ve always promoted ASUS’ Sabertooth motherboards despite the fact that they’re not the most performance driven boards on the market. So, why do I promote them?

Quality.

The ASUS Sabertooth Z87 picks up where the Z77 version left off. It’s made with high-quality military-strength components and it is a superior option for anyone looking to get the most out of their motherboard.

With its TUF Armor and high-end cooling system, the Sabertooth is better protected against the elements than just about any other board on the market. And, with a 5-year warranty, you better believe that ASUS went all out in designing this board to be as efficient and durable as possible.

However, aside from the quality and durability that the Sabertooth brings to the table, it has all of the features of a high-end motherboard as well. It will support multiple video cards, it comes with six USB 3.0 ports, and it has a very well-designed BIOS for quick and easy overclocking and system tuning.

The bottom line is, the ASUS Sabertooth is built to last. And, while it isn’t the best performing board on the market, it does hold its own. So, if you’re looking for a guaranteed winner, go with the ASUS Sabertooth Z87.

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ASUS Sabertooth Z87 Specs

  • LGA 1150/Z87 Chipset
  • Industry-Leading 5-Year Warranty
  • Solid Overclocking Board
  • Six USB 3.0 Ports
  • TUF Armor Keeps Your System Protected Against the Elements
  • SLI and CrossFireX Support

Customer Reviews

From Taylor Moore on Amazon:

I have had the Sabertooth Z87 for a few weeks now and I have absolutely no complaints. It is very well built, sleek, stays cool while gaming and has an enormous amount of neat features. The BIOS/UEFI is great and packed full of features and offers extreme features to overclock your CPU. There are two modes in the bios, easy and advanced. The easy mode is great if you need to constantly change boot devices and do basic things. The advanced mode has a ton of options that it can be overwhelming at first, but give it time and you’ll see how nice it is. This board looks awesome in my lovely Corsair 650D! I can safely say that this is another outstanding motherboard from Asus and it will blow you away with the amount of features that it provides.

From Kaiser Kim on Amazon:

Overclocking is easy with this board. I can easily overclock the 4770k along with two 770s and it works beautifully. Great room for expansion and future upgrades, this board will last you a long time in the future!


ASUS MAX. VI EXTREME Motherboard ($390-$400)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)

ASUS MAXIMUS VI EXTREME LGA 1150 MotherboardSome people need more power and more functionality than others. Some people have to have four video cards, instead of two or three (or even one). Some people just need to go balls to the wall…

If you’re one of those people, then you’ll probably need the ASUS MAXIMUS VI EXTREME.

The MAXIMUS VI EXTREME is definitely one of the best motherboards on the market. It has incredible high-end features, including superior support for overclocking, quad-GPU support (for SLI and CrossFireX configurations), and a ton of other system-tuning options.

Ultimately, the list of features that the MAXIMUS VI EXTREME comes with is a long one. So, if you have a huge budget and you’re looking to get one of the best Intel gaming motherboards on the market, then you would do well to choose the MAXIMUS VI EXTREME.

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ASUS MAXIMUS VI EXTREME Specs

  • LGA 1150/Z87 Chipset
  • One of the Best Overclocking Boards on the Market
  • OC Panel Gives You a Unique Way to Overclock Your System
  • Support for Quad-GPU Setups (CrossFireX/SLI)
  • Six USB 3.0 Ports
  • Memory Can Be Overclocked To Up To 3,000MHz

Customer Reviews

From Anonymous on Newegg:

This board is unnecessary for nearly everyone who buys it. The only people that should spend this kind of money on a board like this are those who, have to much money in their wallet & want to help the economy, running tri-quad sli, are going to use ln2 for over clocks, or those who are going for world records. If you are just mainstream with an i5 go buy another board like the vi hero, this board is simply not for you.

From XD40 on Newegg:

Tons of options. Great software with the motherboard. Found the ASUS forums to be very helpful. ASUS employees are present on the ROG forums to offer assistance. Very easy to use. Great layout. Something like 8 fan headers. Also, a thunderbolt header to add-on in the future.


Best Socket LGA 1155 Motherboards

While socket LGA 1155 is a little dated with the recent release of socket LGA 1150, that doesn’t meant that is isn’t still a viable socket to build off of. However, for brand new builds, there are only a couple of scenarios where I’d recommend going with an LGA 1155 setup over an LGA 1150 one.

The first scenario is if you’re building on a budget and you want to put an Intel build together. LGA 1155 has a larger selection of affordable motherboards and makes it a little easier to fit an Intel CPU into a budget build.

The other scenario is if you already have an LGA 1155 setup and you need to replace the motherboard.

For any other scenario, I’d recommend going with socket LGA 1150.

LGA 1155 Comparison Chart

Picture Motherboard Chip Form SLI/CF War. Price
AS Rock PRO3 Z77 ATX CF 3 YRS Hover
ASRock EXTREME4 Z77 ATX Both 3 YRS Hover
ASUS P8Z77-V Z77 ATX Both 3 YRS Hover
ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77 Z77 ATX Both 5 YRS Hover

AS Rock LGA1155 Intel Z77 CrossFireX PRO3 ($90-$100)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)

Best Gaming Motherboards 2013

ASRock has always been known to deliver high-quality motherboards at a very affordable price. The LGA 1155 Z77 PRO3 board is no different.

For under $100 you really can’t go wrong with the PRO3. It has all of the necessary features that a high-end gaming computer needs, making it one of the best motherboards in 2014. It will allow you to overclock your processor and memory (can reach speeds up to 2800+MHz on your RAM), and supports running multiple AMD video cards in CrossFireX configuration.

So, if you’re looking for a performance-driven board at an affordable price, then the PRO3 is the perfect Intel gaming motherboard for you.

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ASRock Pro3 Specs

  • LGA 1155/Z77 Chipset
  • Supports Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 Technology
  • Works Great for Overclocking
  • Four USB 3.0 Ports
  • PCIe 3.0 Slot
  • SLI and CrossFireX Support

Customer Reviews

From Kjellmaster9000 on Newegg:

Does everything you need it to do from a Z77 chipset. UEFI bios is simple and everything you ask it to do gets done. No “Hyper Omega Laser Guided Turbo Infused Kryptonite Fusion” vibe I get from a lot of overpriced Z77 boards. I got it for $90… it works… I’m happy.

From Mike K. on Newegg:

I got this board and an i5 3570K to replace an MSI Z68A-G45 and i5 2400 that I was having issues with. The install was a sinch, and it’s been working great ever since. I have no complaints about this board, and my next board will most likely be another ASRock.


AS Rock LGA1155 Intel Z77 Quad CrossFireX and Quad SLI EXTREME4 ($130-$150)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)

Best Gaming Motherboards 2013A step up from the PRO3, the ASRock EXTREME4 is priced for a mid-range system, but plays like a high-end board. It’s the perfect option for gamers who are trying get as much performance out of their budget as possible.

It has all of the features you could ever want: quad-video cards (both CrossFireX and SLI), overclocking, USB 3.0, PCIe 3.0, etc. You name it, this board has it… which is crazy considering how affordable it is.

So, if you’ve got a medium budget, and you want to save money so that you can put it into your video card or processor, the EXTREME4 will give you the option to do that.

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ASRock Extreme4 Specs

  • Can run Video Cards in Quad CrossFireX or Quad SLI Configuration
  • Perfect Board for Overclocking
  • LGA 1155/Z77 Chipset
  • Four USB 3.0 Ports
  • Two PCIe 3.0 Slots

Customer Reviews

From D. Marchenko on Amazon:

Loved the board, truly plug and play. Assembled in 30 minutes, BIOS setup autodetected and configured everything, the only thing I had to change is boot drive assignment. Multiple options, similar features from ASUS would be double this price. A+++

From Zach on Amazon:

At first I was a bit leary not knowing much at AS Rock MBs and reading some reviews on some websites however after using multiple of these boards would highly recommend them. They are an excellent budget MB for 1155 socket set that has a plethora of OC abilities for the price. Even supporting higher frequency RAM compared to several other boards.


ASUS P8Z77-V LGA 1155 ATX Motherboard ($170-$200)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)

Best Gaming Motherboard 2013The ASUS P8Z77-V Z77 motherboard has everything you could ever want out of a motherboard and then some.

It’s perfectly priced for gamers who want to have a good gaming computer now, and one that has the potential to be upgraded in the future. And, with ASUS quality, not only are you getting a very stable board, but you’re also backed by a great warranty and excellent product support.

So, if you nee optimal performance now, and you have big ideas for your build in the future, then the ASUS P8Z77-V is the board for you.

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ASUS P8Z77-V Specs

  • LGA 1155/Z77 Chipset
  • Excellent Board to Overclock With
  • Built-in Wireless
  • SLI and CrossFireX Support
  • Dual Intelligent Processors 3
  • DIGI+ Power Control Allows for Easy Overclocking

Customer Reviews

From D. Brown on Amazon:

There are way too many features to discuss here that this board does. I highly recommend this board, plus it looks great and overclocks very well when desired to do so.

From BaraCubra on Amazon:

I really love this board! The design is great and very sleek especially after my old P55 board. I’m running a brand new i7 3770K and a gtx 670 in it with 8GB of G-Skill RipJaws DDR3 1600mhz RAM (which it recognized imediately and set correct speed/timmings#. The UEFI is a breeze to navigate through with a lot of good features.


ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77 LGA 1155 ATX Motherboard ($230-$250)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)

Best Gaming Motherboards 2013The ASUS Sabertooth Z77 not only delivers excellent performance and a ton of features, but it looks pretty damn cool, too. The plastic covers over the motherboard give the Sabertooth a slick look that you won’t find anywhere else.

However, that nice-looking cover that goes over the top of the motherboard is doing more than just looking cool… it’s also improving the cooling on your board and protecting your system from dust. And, those are two things that are huge in preserving the longevity of your motherboard and your entire system.

In the end, the Sabertooth is the perfect motherboard for anyone working with a high-end budget and who wants all of the features. So, if money isn’t an issue, the Sabertooth is one of the best motherboards you can get. For more information on the Sabertooth Z77, read Justin’s review on it.

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ASUS Sabertooth Z77 Specs

  • LGA 1155/Z77 Chipset
  • Thermal Armor Technology
  • Improved Air Flow
  • Excellent for Overclocking
  • Dust Defender
  • Dual Intelligent Processors 3
  • DIGI+ Power Control Allows for Easy Overclocking
  • Two PCIe 3.0 Slots
  • Four USB 3.0 Ports

Customer Reviews

From Jonathan G. on Amazon:

I have owned ASUS motherboards for the last 10 years or so. This is runs smooth, overclocking when need and under clocking the rest of the time to save power. You will need to do a BIOS update to get it running the best. I had some strange things happening until I updated the BIOS. Afterwords everything worked great. It’s been running for 3 months without a hitch. Lots of features, I wish I had more time to play with them.

From Albert W. Thomas on Amazon:

Absolutely no problems with the install. Lots of little extras come with the board. Manual is good and addresses most issues. I was using an EVGA X58 motherboard before this and the new UEFI BIOS in the Sabertooth is so much easier to use!! Four Sata 6.0GB and four fan connectors are a plus as well. Seems to be good build quality. After several weeks of running conservatively o/c it’s been rock solid!


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Comments

  1. ashwin says

    Hi Bren,
    My name is ashwin from india. I wisht o buy core i 3 third generation processor, motherboard which i can upgrade core i 7 in future, upto 16 or 32 gb ram support, my use is video editing. What is diffrent between gaming hardware & Graphic hardware? Can i get both in one hardware?

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