The Best Intel Gaming Motherboards for 2015

Best Intel Motherboards 2015

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.

The 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 2015. 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.

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LGA 1150BEST 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 H97-G43 H97 mATX CF 3 YRS Hover
Asus Z97-A Z97 ATX Both 3 YRS Hover
Asus Z97 PRO Z97 ATX Both 3 YRS Hover
Asus Sabertooth Z97 Z97 ATX Both 5 YRS Hover
EVGA Z97 Classified Z97 E-ATX Both 3 YRS Hover

MSI H97-G43 Motherboard
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)

With 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 motherboard with a good amount of features.

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

It’s a micro ATX motherboard that features the H97 chipset (which is the same as the Z97 chipset, except it doesn’t allow you to overclock), six USB ports (including two 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 H97-G43 is a good option.

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MSI H97-G43 Specs

  • LGA 1150/H97 Chipset
  • Military Class 4: Top Quality & Stability
  • Supports Dual Video Cards (CrossFireX Only)
  • Two USB 3.0 Ports and Four USB 2.0 Ports
  • Fast Boot allows you to get into your OS in a few seconds

ASUS Z97-A Motherboard
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)

The $100-$150 range for motherboards is really when you start seeing some of the more advanced features.

For right around $140 (give or take a few bucks depending on prices) you can snag the ASUS Z97-A motherboard. And, in this price range, it really is one of the best options.

Featuring the new socket LGA 1150 and the Z97 chipset, the ASUS Z97-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 Z97-A is an excellent option for you.

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ASUS Z97-A Specs

  • LGA 1150/Z97 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

ASUS Z97 Pro Motherboard
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)

For a high-end experience, you can’t go wrong with an ASUS motherboard. The same is true for the ASUS Z97 PRO.

It’s not the absolute best board on the entire market, but for just above $200 it is one of the best boards in the tier just below the more extreme boards.

With the new Z97 chipset, the ASUS Z97 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 Z97 Pro is probably one of the best Intel gaming motherboards right around $200.

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ASUS Z97 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 3200MHz

ASUS Sabertooth Z97
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)

In the past, I’ve always praised ASUS’ Sabertooth motherboards despite the fact that they aren’t the most performance-driven boards on the market. So, why do I promote them?

Quality.

The ASUS Sabertooth Z97 picks up where the Z87 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 there are some more extreme boards on the market in terms of performance, the Sabertooth still gives plenty of performance and adds in the bonus of superior durability and build quality. So, if you’re looking for a guaranteed winner, go with the ASUS Sabertooth Z97.

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ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Specs

  • LGA 1150/Z97 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

EVGA Z97 Classified
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)

Some 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 EVGA Z97 Classified.

The Z97 Classified 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 Z97 Classified 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 Z97 Classified.

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EVGA Z97 Classified Specs

  • LGA 1150/Z97 Chipset
  • One of the Best Overclocking Boards on the Market
  • BIOS is Easy-To-Use and Very Functional
  • Support for Quad-GPU Setups (SLI only)
  • Six USB 3.0 Ports
  • Memory Can Be Overclocked To Over 2666MHz


LGA 1155BEST 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
(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 2015. 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

AS Rock LGA1155 Intel Z77 Quad CrossFireX and Quad SLI EXTREME4
(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

ASUS P8Z77-V LGA 1155 ATX Motherboard
(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

ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77 LGA 1155 ATX Motherboard
(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

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Comments

  1. Wyburn says

    Hi Brent!

    There are 2 motherboards on sale here and I’d like to know if they are any good.
    Gigabyte GA-Z97-HD3 and MSI Z97 Gaming 3
    I’m building a pc and would like to put an i5-4690k and a r9-270x or a gtx 660 on it.
    Any good?

    Thanks!

  2. 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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