Table of Contents
Buying the right motherboard is one of the most important steps when building or upgrading a PC. Therefore, with the release of Ryzen 3000 CPUs, it is important to choose a motherboard that has a good VRM and the essential features. As a result, below we have reviewed the top B450 motherboards for Ryzen CPUs.
VRMs, fan headers, memory compatibility, and wireless connectivity are some of the many important features that motherboards offer. Yet many people are not knowledgeable or just don’t take into account some of those features and just go straight for the cheapest option. You need to know what motherboard you’re buying and why you’re buying it. Therefore, the B450 motherboards below should help you make the right and a great b450 motherboard for your Ryzen CPU.
|1. MSI B450 Tomahawk||
|2. ASUS ROG Strix B450-F||
|3. Gigabyte B450 AORUS Pro Wi-Fi||
|4. MSI B450M Bazooka V2||
|5. ASRock B450M PRO4||
|6. ASUS Prime B450M-A/CSM||
|7. Gigabyte B450M DS3H||
|8. MSI B450I Gaming Plus AC||
|9. ASUS ROG Strix B450-I||
|10. Gigabyte B450 I AORUS Pro Wi-Fi||
Before we dive into the review, here is a B450 motherboard buyers guide to help you make the most informed choice;
Motherboard Buyer’s Guide
There are a lot of features to be mindful of when choosing what motherboard to get and quite frankly it can feel like an impossible challenge. If you are building a PC from scratch, you have probably researched all of the tiniest parts that go into making your computer and all of the information has probably merged into one big jumble in your head.
We have put together a buyers guide to give you a helping hand and to make sense of the complicated tech jargon that is involved.
Here are the top features and specs that great motherboards have along with a little bit of information about each one;
- Motherboard size – ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX- Which is Best?
There is no easy way to answer this as it all depends on what your specific needs are. If you need more than 4 PCIe slots then the ATX would be the right one for you as it is the largest of the three.
The Micro ITX form-factor is an all-rounder and the one most people should opt for. The Mini ITX is the smallest and is only suitable in very small and compact computer setups.
See Related Article: Motherboard For Ryzen 5 2600
The compatibility of your computer components is extremely important, especially when you are chopping and changing between component manufacturers. There are a few ways of ensuring that all of your components are compatible with one another.
Firstly, it is highly important that the processor you have can be connected to the motherboard you wish to get. You can check this by looking at the motherboard CPU socket and see if it matches your processor.
Next, check the motherboard GPU configuration. The GPU is important because it links multiple video cards together.
The amount of RAM the motherboard supports is incredibly important. 4GB RAM is on average what users need, any less than that and you run the risk of not having enough.
3. DIMM RAM Slots
Motherboards can have as few as 1 RAM slots, or as many as 8. Most users feel that 4 DIMM slots are more than enough and most motherboards have 3 or 4. If you need a lot of RAM, consider getting a motherboard with more DIMM slots.
The chipset is a data flow management system. This manages all of the data that flows from the processor, memory and all the rest. Motherboards have anything from 1 to 5 chipsets.
Overlocking is the action of running the CPU at an increased speed using the motherboard. Some basic motherboards do not support overclocking. So, if overclocking is important to you, keep your eyes peeled for the motherboards overclocking abilities in the features.
The motherboards design is more important than you may think initially. If all of its card slots and connection pieces are crammed together, it can overheat and malfunction frequently.
Think about how you are designing your PC and how the motherboard will fit into the construction. Designing a new PC or upgrading an existing one is not an easy challenge and one that takes careful consideration.
Some motherboards are visible when connected to the computer. A motherboard sits under the hard drives and can be extremely bulky and unattractive if it is the right style for your PC. Make sure that your motherboard is the right shape and size for your computer to avoid bulking up the overall look.
Have a look at other home-built computers and pay attention to the aesthetics of the motherboards other people have chosen. Have a look at how other people have positioned their components to produce an aesthetically pleasing PC.
B450 ATX Motherboards:
MSI B450 Tomahawk
MSI’s B450 Tomahawk is one of the best selling AMD Ryzen motherboards. While you’ll need a BIOS update if you want to use it with a third-generation Ryzen CPU, it comes with a host of great features and at a very reasonable price.
The MSI B450 Tomahawk will work brilliantly with the Ryzen models also making it a great for the Ryzen 3000. To begin with, the A-XMP OC mode allows you to use memory at up to 3466MHz, which is plenty. There are four DIMM slots for a total of 64GB of DDR4 dual-channel memory. It’s also one of the few motherboards that have support for AMD’s two-way Crossfire technology that allows you to use two graphics cards alongside each other. The slots are also steel and protect cards from bending.
The motherboard is also loaded with plenty of features. You have MSI’s Game Boost, X-Boost, Gaming Hotkey, as well as a debug LED that lets you troubleshoot any potential issues with incredible ease. The VRM section is excellent as well, so you can comfortably overclock your processor if you find it necessary. It’s one of the top B450 motherboards for overclocking. The motherboard does come with an M.2 slot, and you can get speeds of up to 32Gb/s.
Last but not least, you get MSI’s Mystic Light RGB, which not only has RGB lights on the motherboard but also allows you to install additional RGB lights. All things considered, the B450 Tomahawk is is great for budget-oriented users who want excellence.
- It has 6 fan headers
- USB 3.1 Gen
- 32 GBPS
- Great price
- No secondary M.2
- Can not control RGB headers
ASUS ROG Strix B450-F
If ever you’ve built a PC, you’ve heard of Asus’s Strix series of components. They have everything from motherboards and graphics cards to peripherals, and their ROG Strix B450-F motherboard is an excellent budget AM4 motherboard for just about everyone. Make no mistake, while we do say budget, the Strix comes with a host of features that you would think are reserved for Asus’s high-end motherboards, but they’ve trickled down to this model.
For starters, you have four DIMM slots for a total of up to 64GB of dual-channel DDR4 RAM at 3200MHz. DIMM slots (dual in-line memory slots) are where the RAM is located in motherboards. The more DIMM slots, the more RAM option.
The connectivity selection is excellent, with two NVMe M.2 slots, as well as gigabit LAN and USB 3.1 Gen 2 for great file transfer speeds. You’ll also get Asus’s 5-way optimization with Fan Xpert 4 and Auto-Tuning, which will create tailored overclocking profiles for your specific build.
The audio section is pretty good, with a Supreme FX S1220A and Japanese capacitors. It’s a great upgrade over the generic audio you’d get from competitors’ motherboards, and it’s an 8 channel audio system. The IO shield has been premounted so you don’t have to worry about it, and this makes installation a bit faster.
Last but not least, lovers of a flashier build will appreciate the Aura Sync RGB lighting and the addition of two RGB headers for additional lights. All of the above features put this motherboard on our top 10 list.
- Good DRAM overclocking
- Great audio boost
- Easy to operate
- User friendly
- Doesn’t have Wi-Fi
- Does not have a reset button
Gigabyte B450 AORUS Pro Wi-Fi
Gigabyte’s AORUS lineup of motherboards has everything, from budget-oriented models that cover the basics, to high-end enthusiast models. The B450 AORUS Pro Wi-Fi is closer to the budget-oriented models, but still has a few interesting features that make it worthy of your attention. It’s got support for first, second and third-generation Ryzen CPUs, as well as ones with Vega graphics, so you can use pretty much any AM4 processor. You might need a BIOS update for 3rd gen, though, so keep that in mind.
For those of you that are into gaming and are looking to potentially use this motherboard for a gaming computer, the Vega series graphics cards are great for gaming pc’s. Either way, this is a brilliant feature to have for both work and personal use computers.
The AORUS Pro Wi-Fi comes with four DIMM slots for dual-channel memory. There are also two M.2 slots for an SSD, both of which have a heatsink, and you also have Intel dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi if you’d rather stay away from ethernet cables. The sound section is also great, with Realtek’s ALC1220-VB making an appearance, and WIMA capacitors.
The B450 AORUS Pro Wi-Fi comes with Gigabyte’s RGB Fusion, which not only has RGB lights on the motherboard but also has additional headers for fans and RGB controllers. If you’d like a flashier build, this is a great way to get there. There’s also Smart Fan 5 with Fan STOP, so you can have a quieter build when your system isn’t under load. All things considered, it’s an excellent board for budget-oriented AMD users.
RGB lighting is short for red, green and blue LED lighting. It improves the overall performance of the system as a whole. There are usually 3 fan headers on motherboards, these are the point of energy supply to your CPU fan.
- Connects to multiple appliances
- As good as the X470 motherboard
- Great value for money
- M.2 has a tendency to overheat
Related Article: X570 Motherboards: Budget, Mid-Range, and High-End
B450 Micro-ATX Motherboards:
MSI B450M Bazooka V2
MSI has a very extensive lineup of AM4 motherboards, both using the B and X series chipsets. However, none come even close to the price-to-performance ratio of the B450M Bazooka V2. It has a host of features at a very reasonable price, especially if you need a micro ATX board. So, what do you get with it?
For starters, you have four DIMM slots for dual-channel memory (up to 64GB), and you can use RAM that goes up to 3466MHz (OC), which is pretty fast, especially at that budget. There’s also an M.2 slot with support for AMD’s StoreMI technology.
Not all motherboards come with a dual channel-memory. If you are unsure if your current motherboard has a dual-channel memory, simply look for the label that says ‘channels#’.
You also have some of MSI’s trademark features, such as Core Boost, DDR4 Boost, and Audio Boost, as well as X-Boost which helps you get faster storage. The GPU slots are PCI-E Steel Armor, so you don’t have any bending on your graphics card. MSI’s Mystic Light makes an appearance here, so you can have RGB inside your case if you’d like a flashier build.
If you were to look around, you would find other boards that offer more functionality. However, none come close to the price point of the B450M Bazooka V2, especially not with a comparable feature set.
- 4 RAM slots
- Eight-pin processing power
- Can make it aesthetically pleasing
- Has error detection indicators
- Often overheats
- Feels like a low budget motherboard
ASRock B450M PRO4
ASRock’s B450M PRO4 is a budget-oriented micro ATX motherboard that aims to offer the essentials for a decent AMD build, at the lowest price point possible. While it does succeed at keeping the price point incredibly low, many avoid it because it lacks any standout features. But if you don’t need those standout features or a complete features set, is the B450M PRO4 still worth getting?
To begin with, you can have any of the three generations of AMD processors on it, but you’ll need a BIOS update for Gen 3. There’s also support for water cooling, and you have a Digi Power, 9 power phase design. Memory support is pretty good, with up to 64GB dual-channel memory supported, at up to 3200MHz (OC), provided you’re using a Gen3 CPU.
You have two PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, but if both are in use, one runs at x8. You can still use it for two AMD GPUs in CrossFireX. What’s great, especially at this price point, is that you get two M.2 slots so you can have plenty of fast storage. With four SATA III ports, you can add traditional hard drives as well, for a bit more storage if you need it.
All things considered, if you only need the basics, and want to save a few bucks on your new build, by all means, go for it. But if you want extra features, there are better boards for a bit more money.
- Has two M.2 slots
- Equipt with two RGB headers
- Good overclocking abilities
- Has an addressable header
- Has 4 SATA ports
ASUS Prime B450M-A/CSM
While Asus’s bread and butter is their ROG gaming lineup, they’ve got some great products that aren’t a part of it. A great example is their Prime B450M-A/CMS motherboard, a budget variant that makes sure to cover all the basics, and then some, and comes at a very reasonable price. Should it be the base of your next micro ATX built? Let’s take a closer look at it and find out.
First things first, you have four DIMM slots, for a maximum of 64GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory at 3200MHz. You’re also getting an M.2 slot which takes 2242, 2260, 2280 and 22110 SSDs for some really fast storage. The audio section is taken care of by an 8-channel Realtek ALC887 codec with audio shielding and dedicated PCB layers. The Japanese capacitors give you a warm and natural sound without the need to get a dedicated sound card.
While it may not be the best overclocking motherboard, you do have a DIGI+ VRM section with a 6 phase digital power design. That’s part of Asus’s 5X Protection III, which also includes a SafeSlot Core, LANGuard, Overvoltage Protection and a stainless-steel back IO. The fanless design heat sink will keep things cool, which is another neat feature. The Prime B450M-A/CSM is an excellent motherboard if you want a well made micro ATX board, especially if you want that fancy RGB header, too.
- Works with Ryzen 5 3600 brilliantly
- Includes a Realtek ALC887-VD2
- 1.73 wireless speed
- No built-in Bluetooth
Gigabyte B450M DS3H
Many people tend to stick only with Gigabyte’s higher-end AORUS motherboards, but they’re far from the only models in the brand’s lineup. There are some more budget-oriented models as well, and case in point, we’ve got the B450M DS3H, an excellent micro ATX board that comes at a very reasonable price and covers all the basics really, really well.
Kicking things off with memory support, you have four DIMMs ready for up to 64GB of memory. What’s great is that you can go up to 3600MHz (OC), whereas most of the competition tops out at 3200MHz. If you want fast RAM, this is the motherboard to go with.
You have an M.2 slot for an NVMe drive, as well as both an HDMI and a DVI-D display output. Speaking of outputs, you have six USB 3.1 ports, as well as eight USB 2.0. The days of sacrificing ports for a smaller motherboard are long gone.
Gigabyte also made sure to include their Smart Fan 5 technology which regulates how much the fans are spinning, as well as the noise they’re making. You’ll have a near-silent system when it’s not under load. You also get support for RGB Fusion, which is a header that lets you add an RGB strip and control it via software from Gigabyte’s app.
- Supports AMD Ryzen processors
- Faster than a SATA SDD drive
- Has an M.2 drive
- Lacks a wifi connector
B450 Mini-ITX Motherboards:
MSI B450I Gaming Plus AC
While MSI does have quite a lot of ATX and micro ATX motherboards, their options are a bit more limited when it comes to mini ITX boards. Fortunately, they’ve got the B450I Gaming Plus AC, which should be your MSI go-to if you’re building an extremely small system. It comes at a pretty reasonable price, yet covers all the essentials if you’re going the AMD route.
To begin with, you have two DIMM slots for up to 32GB of memory, and you can use the A-XMP OC mode for up to 3466MHz. Even though this is truly a tiny motherboard, there’s still room for an M.2 slot, and it’s MSI’s Turbo M.2 for up to 32Gb/s of throughput.
You would expect a mini ITX board to be stripped down in terms of features, but MSI tends to disagree. You’ll find their trademark features, such as Audio Boost, DDR4 Boost, X-Boost, Core Boost, as well as their EZ Debug LED that is one of the easiest ways of troubleshooting your system. The PCI-E Steel Slot will protect your graphics card from bending when inserted, which is nice for durability.
The MSI B450I Gaming Plus AC and the msi b450 gaming pro are in direct competition with one another. We have chosen the MSI B450I Gaming Plus AC to be in our top ten pics over the MSI B450 Gaming Pro due to its superior features.
Last but not least, you have Realtek covering you for both LAN (8111H) and audio (ALC887), so you’ll get respectable performance in both aspects. An excellent mini ITX board for any enthusiast.
- Good overclock abilities
- Great overall build
- Easy to use
- Poor AC wifi
- Only has one NVME
ASUS ROG Strix B450-I
The ROG Strix B450-I is Asus’s way of showing you that a physically small build doesn’t have to miss out on any of the important features of a good enthusiast build. With support for AMD’s AM4 socket, it’s a great motherboard that gives you a very respectable feature set at a reasonable price. Is it worth it? Absolutely, but let’s take a look at some of the details.
As you’d expect from a mini ITX board, you have two DIMM slots, for a total of 32GB of DDR4 memory at a maximum of 3200MHz (OC). There’s a single PCIe 3.0 slot, and you get two M.2 slots for your storage. Compared to most of the competition’s single M.2 slot, this is pretty good. And you also have a heatsink on top of the drives, to keep them cool.
The audio section of the board is pretty impressive, with SupremeFX S1220A giving you excellent sound. We also shouldn’t skip the network section, since the B450-I comes with Intel gigabit ethernet, as well as 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi with support for MU-MIMO.
Add to all of this the AuraSync RGB that’s built-in, and the additional RGB headers that let you add more lights, and you realize that your small build can look as flashy or as discretely lit as you want it to.
- Good ROG UEFI
- Good DRAM Overclocking
- Easy to use
- Does not connect to Wi-Fi
- Hard to perform BIO updates
Gigabyte B450 I AORUS Pro Wi-Fi
Gigabyte’s B450 I AORUS Pro Wi-Fi is an excellent motherboard for enthusiasts who want a no-compromise motherboard, but one that can fit in a tiny case. If this sounds like you, you’ll love the feature set and will find the asking price more than reasonable when you’re building your AMD rig.
With two DIMM slots, you can have up to 32GB of memory, but unlike the competition that often stops at 3200MHz, here you can go as fast as 3600MHz (OC), which is impressive in a micro ITX board. You get an M.2 slot, as well as four SATA III connectors for additional storage. There’s no shortage of ports either, with two USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports on the back, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports through an internal header, as well as two USB 2.0 ports through an internal header.
The excellent feature set doesn’t stop there and extends to both the networking and audio sections. You have an Intel Wi-Fi 802.11ac module, Bluetooth 5, as well as gigabit LAN. In terms of audio, you have a Realtek ALC1220-VB codec so you’ll get great audio without the need for a sound card.
Last but not least, a modern motherboard has to have RGB, and the B450 I AORUS Pro Wi-Fi comes with a multi-zone LED light, as well as additional headers that all support RGB Fusion 2.0.
- Installing this motherboard isn’t an issue
- Connects to Wi-Fi
- Doesn’t break the budget
- OC limits
- Overheating issues
Motherboards are complicated appliances and even after all of the above information, you probably have just a few more questions.
Q: How do I know if my motherboard is bad?
A: A laptop with a bad motherboard will not switch on, even when it is plugged in to your AC adapter. A computer with a faulty motherboard will constantly shut down and will not reboot.
Q: How much should I spend on a motherboard?
A: Motherboards on average cost between $100 to $200. A big influence on the price is which brand motherboard you go for.
Q: Can you fix a dead motherboard?
A: Do not try and fix your dead motherboard. They are way too complicated to fix, even for the tech savvy amongst us. Motherboards are not overly pricey, so instead of attempting to fix your motherboard, treat yourself to a new one.
Q: How long does a good motherboard last?
A: A good motherboard will last you anywhere from 10 to 20 years! How long it lasts greatly depends on how you use your computer and whether you let it overheat and get overworked or not.
Q: Are motherboards important for gaming?
A: A motherboard is the most important component that your computer has. So, yes, they are incredibly important for gaming.
If you are building your own gaming computer, make sure the motherboard you get is of a sufficient quality. Ensure it houses enough RAM and is quick and sufficient.
Q: Does a motherboard increase FPS?
A: Motherboards increase FPS as well as increasing the speed of your computer through overlocking.
Q: Can a motherboard slow down the speed of my pc?
A: Your computer’s speed and overall system stability can be decreased by a low quality motherboard. What you need is a high RAM clock to encourage a better performance.
Q: Can overclocking damage my motherboard?
A: Overclocking can damage your motherboard on very, very rare occasions. Usually, the action is considered safe to perform and will not damage your gear.
Q: Can I force start my motherboard?
A: Yes, a motherboard can be forced to start.
Motherboards are more complicated than they sound, hey? We know, that is why we put together this review for you. With all of the choices out there for you to choose from and then having the added complications of matching the right motherboard with your PC, one can start to lose the plot.
Whether you are building a PC from scratch, or upgrading an existing computer the motherboards listed above will take your PC to the next level. The most important thing is to enjoy the process of revamping your computer and not let the stress of it all take over.
We hope that our top ten picks helped you narrow down your motherboard options and made making a choice a little easier for you. All of the motherboards on this list are brilliant and would serve you well. Go for the motherboard that ticks all of your boxes because it will last you a good few years.