Here’s the latest update to our list of recommended AMD motherboards in our series of motherboard buyers guides. All numbers in the text are updated to reflect pricing at the time of writing.

Best AMD Motherboards: December 2020

It's no surprise to see AMD doing very well at present, and the new Ryzen 5000 series of processors have been a big hit. The Zen 3 based chips include a newly designed core, with great performance in both single and multi-threaded applications. The majority of the big motherboard vendors announced a rollout of new firmware designed to support the new processors on X570 and B550 chipsets, with 400-series chipsets to follow, so that certainly makes things interesting for users looking to buy AM4. Here are our AMD based motherboard selections for December 2020.

Looking for our best Intel motherboard choices? Head on over to our Intel Motherboard Buyers Guide instead!

AMD Motherboards Recommendations
December 2020
AnandTech Motherboard Amazon Newegg MSRP
Sweet Spot ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming Wi-Fi $210 $210 $210
Value Choice ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming 4/AC $125 $125 $125
Mini-ITX GIGABYTE B550I Aorus Pro AX $180 $180 $180
Money No Object GIGABYTE X570 Aorus Xtreme - $700 $700

Our recommendations for motherboards are based entirely on my personal and professional opinion. There are notably many different motherboards across the AMD chipsets, including B450, X570, and more recently, B550, so I selected my top four picks based on the four market segments. Much of our attention is on consumer desktop boards (socket AM4), though we are well aware of the benefits of TRX40 and Threadripper. We may look to include a HEDT based segment in the future in future guides if there is interest from our readership to include it.

As we navigate our way through a tumultuous time regarding the global Coronavirus pandemic, it is certainly having a negative effect on the computer hardware market. Not only has this had an issue on stock levels, but in same cases, the current market price too. Specifically for motherboard vendors, the stock has been flowing consistently and well throughout the retail channels. Some chipsets have had a resurgence due to BIOS flashes being made available.

Some boards from our previous picks (October 2020) have had stock issues, so we've adjusted our guide slightly to accommodate for this. It's also worth noting that B550 is generally considered the budget AM4 platform, but the pricing has been a little topsy-turvy, with some boards reaching (and even surpassing) the prices of low-end X570 boards. AMD has also recently announced its entry-level A520 chipset, with some very price conscientious models to select from. All of these points have been taken into consideration in our December 2020 guide for the AMD selections.

For users looking for other options, we've also gone over multiple chipset families as well in the links below.

Best Sweet Spot

ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming Wi-Fi ($210 at Amazon/$210 at Newegg)

In our Best Sweet Spot, we've opted for a board with plenty of functionality and features while also benefiting from PCIe 4.0. Boards based on the B550 chipset offer partial PCIe 4.0 support, with Ryzen CPUs driving both a single full-length PCIe x16 slot and a PCIe x4 M.2 slot at PCIe 4.0 speeds. We've seen one of the best B550 boards we have reviewed to date is the ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming WIFI, a higher-end B550 board that received our Recommended by AnandTech award.

You can read our full review here:

The ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming Wi-Fi Motherboard Review: Premium Value

What makes it our pick over the other 500-series is its solid level of quality and performance offered at a very competitive price point. It includes two PCIe M.2 slots, with the top slot operating at PCIe 4.0 x4 and the second slot at PCIe 3.0 x4. The ASUS model also benefits from a stacked rear panel with two USB 3.2 G2 ports (Type A/C), DisplayPort, and HDMI video outputs (for use with APUs) and the capability to install up to six fans.

The ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming Wi-Fi includes an Intel-based networking pairing, with a premium 2.5 GbE Ethernet controller and Wi-Fi 6 interface. The onboard audio is also premium, with ASUS's tweaked SupremeFX S1200A HD audio codec taking care of business. There are also four memory slots with support for up to DDR4-5100, which is impressive, with a maximum capacity of 128 GB. For a mid-range model, this is a stack of features, and considering similarly priced X570 models (sub $250) that include a similar controller set are non-existent, it puts the ASUS model in good standing. 

 

Touching more on the competition, the B550-F Gaming Wi-Fi is $210, which is MSRP, and at present is looking to be the best ATX sized AM4 option in this price range. The MSI B550 Gaming Carbon is more expensive with a similar feature set at $220, while the GIGABYTE B550 Aorus Pro AC can be had for around $190. Having seen the ASUS model on our test bench and its superb performance in out of the box DPC latency, competitive CPU, and gaming performance. Looking forward to Zen 3, we tested the thermals of its efficiently designed power delivery, which sets the ROG Strix B550-F Gaming Wi-Fi as our mid-range pick.

The Value Option

ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming 4/AC ($125 at Amazon/$125 at Newegg)

In previous guides, the value options have all been B450 models, due to the more expensive B550 options being a bit too much for true 'value.' However, the B450 range seems to be reducing in stock, causing prices to increase. So we've chosen ASRock's B550 Phantom Gaming 4/AC, which represents AM4's entry-level gaming series as well as PCIe 4.0. 

Even though it is one of the cheapest B550 boards, ASRock's B550 Phantom Gaming 4/AC offers a competitive entry-level feature set. The board comes with a PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slot and augments that with four SATA ports, which is plenty of capacity for game storage. The top full-length PCIe 4.0 slot operates at x16, while the bottom slot is locked to PCIe 3.0 x4, which is controlled by the chipset, along with two additional PCIe 3.0 x1 slots. For networking, it's using a standard Realtek based Gigabit Ethernet controller, along with an Intel Wi-Fi 5 interface. It's pretty standard for an entry-level model that focuses more on overall support than adding extra cost at the expense of premium controllers. The B550 Phantom Gaming 4/AC is also using a Realtek ALC1200 HD audio codec but with just three 3.5 mm audio jacks on the rear panel and a basic 8-phase power delivery.

 

The ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming 4/AC is currently available for $125 at both Amazon and Newegg, with a non-Wi-Fi version of the board available for a slightly lower price of $115. This adds some flexibility for users looking to save a little on a feature that might not be utilized. Otherwise, looking at the bigger picture, most competition from the launch-wave of A520 boards are micro-ATX boards with limited expansion options. Meanwhile, the biggest competition from the X570 product stack is arguably ASRock's own X570 Phantom Gaming 4S model, which is currently available at Newegg for $140. This offers better future-proofing with more PCIe 4.0 support and eight SATA ports, but it also includes a single M.2 slot and isn't with any wireless capabilities, so the B550 version gets our vote on price alone.

Mini-ITX Choice To Consider

GIGABYTE B550I Aorus Pro AX ($180 at Amazon/$180 at Newegg)

There are an impressive array of Mini-ITX AMD boards to choose from. Our pick for the best mini-ITX motherboard at present remains unchanged, and that is GIGABYTE B550I Aorus Pro AX. The Aorus Pro AX represents a solid premium offering, with official PCIe 4.0 support, two M.2 slots, a Realtek 2.5 G Ethernet controller, and an Intel Wi-Fi 6 interface, all at a solid price point. 

The GIGABYTE B550I Aorus Pro AX also includes four straight-angled SATA ports, one PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slot, and an additional PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slot, with a full-length PCIe 4.0 x16 slot. In terms of power, the GIGABYTE B550I Aorus Pro AX has a direct 8-phase power delivery with eight premium Intersil ISL99390 90 A power stages and is controlled by an ISL229004 PWM controller. This is impressive not only for a mini-ITX motherboard but one designed for the 'budget' B550 chipset. 

Focusing on connectivity, this board has dual HDMI 2.0 outputs as well as DisplayPort 1.4, a single Realtek RTL8125BG 2.5 GbE controlled Ethernet port, and an Intel AX200 Wi-Fi 6 interface. There are also plenty of USB ports to make use of, with one USB 3.2 G2 Type-C, one USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, and four USB 3.2 G1 Type-A ports, as well as a handily located Q-Flash firmware update button. In an upgrade to supported memory for B550, the B550I Aorus Pro AX also supports up to DDR4-5300 memory.

 

The GIGABYTE B550I Aorus Pro AX has an MSRP of $180 and is currently available at both Amazon and Newegg. On the whole, GIGABYTE's board has the right blend of premium features to be useful while still coming in at a price under ASRock's $200 premium B550 ITX board or ASUS's also-$200 B550 mini-ITX offering. Out of all of the AM4 mini-ITX models on the market, some X570 models include Thunderbolt 3 – notably the ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 – but it does cost more with an MSRP of $240. Overall the GIGABYTE B550I Aorus Pro AX is our top mini-ITX pick out of all the AMD AM4 models when taking quality, feature set, and pricing into consideration. We've also recently had this on the best bench too, and the review should be coming very soon.

Money Is No Object

GIGABYTE X570 Aorus Xtreme (Grab One While You Can/$700 at Newegg)

When it came to selecting our money is no object pick, the higher tier models' current stock levels caused us a little bit of a headache. Both the MSI MEG X570 Godlike and the GIGABYTE X570 Aorus Xtreme haven't been too easy to get hold of, but we've opted to make the GIGABYTE our pick once again. One of the standout boards that honed our interest during testing was the GIGABYTE X570 Aorus Xtreme, which is the only X570 board to include a passively-cooled chipset heatsink. So for our money is no object selection, there isn't a more well-rounded X570 flagship than GIGABYTE's board. 

However, what made the X570 Aorus Xtreme stand out came in our power delivery thermal testing, which showed how far GIGABYTE has come in its power delivery implementation and design. With a true 14-phase power delivery for the CPU with the Infineon XDPE132G5C spearheading the design, we saw excellent performance, overclocking, and efficiency. This is perhaps more important for users looking to overclock the latest Ryzen 5000 processors which already come with pretty high boost clock speeds.

You can read our full review here:

The GIGABYTE X570 Aorus Xtreme Motherboard Review: Fanless AM4

The E-ATX board has a high-end feature set in line with its price. In terms of networking support, the board includes an Aquantia AQC107 10 G Ethernet controller, an Intel I211-AT Gigabit controller, and an Intel AX200 Wi-Fi 6 + BT 5.0 wireless interface. For storage, there are three PCIe 4.0 x4 slots and six SATA ports that support RAID 0, 1, and 10 and support for up to DDR4-4400 and 128 GB across four memory slots. A Realtek ALC1220-VB HD audio codec powers the rear panel audio, while an ESS Sabre 9218 DAC helps to bolster the quality of the front panel audio. 

 

The GIGABYTE X570 Aorus Xtreme also has dual BIOS support, which is handy for BIOS Flashback and allows one to be used for extreme overclocking, while the other could be used for more stable 24/7 settings. Focusing more on the Xtreme element, GIGABYTE also includes an overclockers toolkit with a power button, reset button, voltage measurement points for better accuracy, and an OC PEG power connector.

With a current price tag of $700 at Newegg, it's not a board for those with shallow pockets. It's also one of the best X570 and AM4 based models currently on the market from a performance perspective. For the few who can justify a $700 board, the GIGABYTE X570 Aorus Xtreme offers a robust premium feature set, looks good with its full cover thermal armor, and it offers highly efficient and reliable power delivery. In other words, it ticks the majority of boxes for both enthusiasts and gamers looking for a high-end foundation for a powerful gaming system.

Stock Issues with Flagship Models

We've noticed that the X570 Aorus Extreme has been going in-and-out of stock recently, with it being a very day-to-day thing. For whatever reason, Amazon doesn't stock this model, only Newegg, and it may mean that GIGABYTE is moving stock around either for OEMs, or as a result of demand. This is fairly typical, moreso on high-end boards like this. If the stock is available and the budget is there, this is certainly the best board from a large bunch of options.

Another thing to add is that many higher-end flagship models are consistently filtering in slower to retailers at present, or they are just not in mass production right now. This is happening across numerous vendors, including GIGABYTE, with MSI joining the fray. While ASRock's flagship model, the X570 Aqua is catered towards those with custom liquid cooling, the only other board is the ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Formula at $700, and even this is hard to find in stock on Amazon.

Users wanting something similar to the X570 Aorus Xtreme but can't afford the cost might look towards the X570 Aorus Master, which for $350 has most of the features (changes in power delivery, armor, controllers), but still gives a competitive offering.

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  • jrbales@outlook.com - Wednesday, December 16, 2020 - link

    I remember Anandtech in its early days and it was a great place to fine relevant and trustworthy reviews. Flash forward to 2020 and it seems that it has spread itself across a lot of tech areas but has fewer reviews. Plus, if you notice, the writer states that the ones on his list are based on his personal opinion. I'm looking for sites that base the recommendations on actually testing the products and using the results to make recommendations. Reply
  • at_clucks - Friday, January 8, 2021 - link

    I was looking around for AM4 motherboard reviews just to discover (yet again) the same as you did. Limited number of reviews doesn't allow any comparison and when I get to a "best of" article it's based on personal preference... Not that this means the choice must be bad, just that i would have to follow the recommendation blindly.

    AT was about not following recommendation blindly, now it's one of the dozens of website putting out the same shallow pieces.

    Luckily the mobile reviews and deep dives are still something to come back for but the PC seems to have been forgotten. Otherwise I just come back out of 20+ years of inertia... But even inertia dies down eventually. :/
    Reply
  • jrbales@outlook.com - Wednesday, December 16, 2020 - link

    Agreed. I had placed an order for an MSI B550 Tomahawk, which turned out to be backordered. After waiting weeks without an update on the status, I checked out the X570 Tomahawk, which turned out to be only $40 more but it had a lot of nice features I wanted that the B550 did not. Canx'd the B550 and ordered the X570 yesterday. Got the last in stock and it will arrive this Friday. Best to compare prices even on the same Brand, considering some of the B550 boards are expensive. Reply
  • fcth - Friday, December 4, 2020 - link

    As always on these motherboard roundups, your sweet spot and value options seem way higher than it needs to be? Anyone care to explain what benefit you'd expect to see from buying the $210 ASUS STRIX B550-F GAMING (WI-FI), instead of the $170 Gigabyte B550 AORUS ELITE AX, or $180 ASUS TUF GAMING B550-PLUS (WI-FI)? Compared to the cheaper boards you get an Intel LAN chip, and a proprietary ASUS audio chip, but it seems unclear there is much value for that. It does have a Thunderbolt controller, but that seems to have limited utility. The more expensive board also gives you a fancier power setup, but again, how much value do you really get from that?

    Meanwhile when there are a whole slew of B550 boards in the $80-100 range, it seems very weird to pick a $125 board. Granted if you want built in wifi/bluetooth, it's not terrible, but that's hardly a universal requirement (and from a pure value standpoint, you'd still be doing better to buy a $30 PCI-E card and a cheaper board).
    Reply
  • Maverick009 - Friday, December 4, 2020 - link

    It is also the components. Price increases with feature sets of the boards, but what a lot of normal folks miss is that the components also get better and can handle more at the higher end. You are not just paying for wifi/bluetooth to be added. Also having a ThunderBolt 3 header is well worth the purchase too, as it will give more life to the hardware, especially since USB 4 is going to be derived from it and it offers plenty of bandwidth and may even lead to one wire to the PC to connect all devices up depending on setup Reply
  • Spunjji - Monday, December 7, 2020 - link

    I'm not particularly interested in buying a low-end motherboard to run a high-end CPU, though. If the components are sufficient to run an 8-core CPU then I'm not fussed if they're marginal for a 16-core at ~5Ghz boost. Reply
  • Maverick009 - Friday, December 4, 2020 - link

    I was able to get hold of the Gigabyte Aorus X570 Xtreme v1.1 Motherboard, It is definitely a premium based board, right down to the packaging. It is one of the only boards with true digital VRMs, and comes fully loaded, with onboard 10Gb Aquatia + 1Gb Intel Dual Ethernet, 3 M.2 slots, dual 8pin CPU power connectors all metal covers, and Thunderbolt 3 header just to name a few of the premium built-in features. It also comes with a Fan Commander hub and no fan for the x570 chipset.

    I have this board installed into a Cosmos C700M Case with a Ryzen 3900X (waiting on my 5900X to arrive), 32GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3600 Memory, 1TD WD Black SN750 M.2 SSD + 500GB WD Black SN750 M.2 SSD, 6TB WD Black SATA (Game storage) and 3TB Seagate SATA (Video Editing) sharing a PNY SATA 240GB SSD as a cache drive with PrimoCache, 512GB Sandisk SSD SATA, Titan Ridge TB3 card, and Nvidia Geforce 1080 Ti OC (Will be upgraded to either a RTX 3080 or Radeon 6800 XT once I can get a hold of them as close to MSRP).

    All cooling is done with Corsair Hydro X Custom Loop. The Gigabyte board is broken in now and well worth the purchase for the v1.1 revision if you can get your hands on it.
    Reply
  • Dug - Friday, December 4, 2020 - link

    And it performs how much better than a $300 mb? You would have seen a much better improvement in getting your storage situated and upgraded, sense you do video editing. Reply
  • Maverick009 - Friday, December 4, 2020 - link

    My storage is quite upgraded. What I mentioned is only in my my Gaming PC. I also have a Gaming-NAS Server running Windows 2019 that will soon have at least 3 10-12TB Seagate Ironwolf drives in RAID with a 240GB-512GB SSD acting as a cache drive. Also my storage is situated and upgarded quite nicely with no slow downs. The 6TB and 3TB SATA hard drives, share a 240GB SSD as a cache drives adding significant performance benefits.

    The Gigabyte X570 Aorus Xtreme may cost $700 but it has earned the performance crown this go around and has more headroom to OC. PCB is Server grade, and the board traces and components are high quality. It also has everything you will ever need for this last generation on the AM4 platform, including being one of the few only motherboards to have Thunderbolt on the AMD platform with revision v1.1. 10GB Ethernet integrated on the board, check. 3x M.2 SSD expansions, check. ARGB Fan Commander Pro Hub to centralize all connectors into one location, check. True 16 Phase Digital VRMs and built for OC and Liquid Cooling from ground up, check.

    A $300 Motherboard, gives you a 1/4th of the feature set and uses lower end components as needed. This board will beat out any board within its price range and can even trounce on much lower boards, while giving you all the features you want and more. Pay for longevity upfront.
    Reply
  • bananaforscale - Saturday, December 5, 2020 - link

    I just don't see the point of the B550 ROG board versus TUF X570. Practically the same price, TUF has a good VRM, more features... Reply

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