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

Best Intel Motherboards: June 2021

When it comes to buying a motherboard, there are a wide variety of models to choose from. On Intel's current Rocket Lake desktop series, the main options include Z590, B560, H570, H510, although the previous Z490, Q470, and H470 chipsets also can accommodate 11th Gen chips. With that in mind, it still doesn't narrow down the options, with a large selection of models based on different markets. Z590 is geared towards performance, B560 is more of a mid-range solution, and H510 is the budget end of the spectrum. With many variables to consider, we give our picks for June in our latest Intel motherboard buyers guide.

Here are our choices in the motherboard market for Intel. For AMD recommendations, head on over to our AMD guide. This is usually updated monthly.

Intel Motherboards Recommendations
June 2021
Segment Motherboard Amazon Newegg MSRP
Price vs Features ASUS TUF Gaming Z590-Plus WIFI $235 $251 $260
Value ASUS ROG Strix B560-A Gaming Wi-Fi $180 $180 $160
Micro-ATX ASRock B560M Steel Legend - $135 $120
Mini-ITX ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 $280 $280 $280
Money No Object MSI MEG Z590 Godlike $1000 $1000 $1019

Our recommendations for motherboards are based entirely on personal and professional opinion. There are notably many different motherboards across the Intel chipsets including B460, Z490, the latest Z590/B560 chipsets, and the workstation-focused W480 chipset. Some of our choices and options here are also limited by what stock is available.

Best Intel Motherboard For Gaming/Performance

ASUS TUF Gaming Z590-Plus WIFI ($235 at Amazon/$251 at Newegg)

Looking for a model that combines performance with functionality and a solid feature set, there are plenty of Z590 and Z490 models to choose from. Adding price to the equation and it becomes a lot more select, with the ASUS TUF Gaming Z590-Plus WIFI offering plenty of good quality features, but for a reasonable price. It offers users a solid entry point onto Intel's 11th Generation processors including features specific to the Z590 chipset.

Included in the feature set is a decent networking array with an Intel I225-V 2.5 GbE controller and Intel AX200 Wi-Fi 6 CNVi, as well as one USB 3.2 G2x2 Type-C, two USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, two USB 3.2 G1 Type-A, and two USB 2.0 ports on the rear panel. For storage, the Z590-Plus WIFI has three M.2 slots including one PCIe 4.0 x4 and two PCIe 3.0 x4/SATA M.2, as well as six SATA ports with RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays. There is also enough PCIe slot support to make it usable including one full-length PCIe 4.0 x16 slot, one full-length PCIe 3.0 x4 slot, and two PCIe 3.0 x1 slots. Memory support consists of four memory slots, with official support for up to DDR4-5133 and a total combined capacity of 128 GB.


The ASUS TUF Z590-Plus WIFI represents its entry-level gaming range, but there's enough in the specifications and feature set to make this a solid mid-level solution for gamers and content creators. It is currently available for $260 at Amazon, and at the slightly cheaper price of $251 at Newegg. There's plenty of options at this price point, but perhaps not as many as well-equipped with such a reasonable price tag, and this alone makes the TUF Gaming Z590-PLUS WIFI our pick for gamers.

Best Intel Motherboard: The Value Option

ASUS ROG Strix B560-A Gaming Wi-Fi ($180 at Amazon/$180 at Newegg)

The term 'value' can be taken any different ways, as it can be related to budget but with plenty of quality, or it can be relative to how much money is available. The prices of high-end motherboards have increased over the years - I remember when a high-end board would cost $175! But today the top chipsets are only near that price at the bottom of the stack. One of Intel's latest chipsets for budget users is the B560 chipset, and although it does take away some of the premium features when pairing a Z590 model with a Core i9-11900K, the B560 offerings are still pretty decent. One such model is the ASUS ROG Strix B560-A Gaming Wi-Fi..

Some of the board's main features include a Realtek RTL8125 2.5 GbE controller and Intel's AX200 Wi-Fi 6 CNVi, one PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2, and another PCIe 3.0 x4/SATA M.2 slot. It includes six SATA ports with RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 support, and can accommodate up to 128 GB of DDR4-5000 memory which is impressive for a budget model. When used with Intel's Rocket Lake processors, it offers support for PCIe 4.0 devices, including one full-length PCIe 4.0 x16 slot, with one full-length PCIe 3.0 x4 and three PCIe 3.0 x1 slots allowing for various types of expansion cards to be installed.

For audio, ASUS is using a premium SupremeFX S1220A HD audio codec, and connectivity is also impressive for the price with one USB 3.2 G2x2 Type-C, one USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, two USB 3.2 G1 Type-A, and four USB 2.0 ports. The Strix B560-A Gaming Wi-Fi also benefits from a BIOS Flashback button which means users can update the board's firmware to the latest BIOS with power to the board and a USB flash drive, while an HDMI and DisplayPort video output pairing allows users to use Intel's integrated UHD graphics.

The ASUS ROG Strix B560-A Gaming Wi-Fi is currently available to buy for $180 at both Amazon and Newegg and given the feature set, it represents exceptional value for users planning on using 11th or 10th Gen Intel desktop processors. Other boards in a similar price range are the MSI MAG B560 Torpedo ($180) and the ASRock Z590 Pro4 ($185), but the ASUS not only has better quality audio but has better networking support. Despite not including Z590, the feature set of the ASUS makes it a solid all-around alternative for users on a budget, but those that want to benefit from premium features and PCIe 4.0. 

Best Intel Motherboard: The Best Micro-ATX Motherboard

ASRock B560M Steel Legend ($135 at Newegg)

The Micro-ATX form factor has trade-offs with its larger ATX sized options, albeit with less PCIe slot real estate due to the size limitations, but it does offer extra room for features compared to the small form factor mini-ITX models. Given that the vast majority of micro-ATX models look to cut back on certain features, our pick is based on a balance of price versus features, and we feel there's no better model to fit these criteria than the ASRock B560M Steel Legend.

The ASRock B560M Steel Legend is the smaller variant of the ATX sized B560 Steel Legend and offers users a mixture of unique urban camouflage-style aesthetics, silver heatsinks, and includes some RGB LEDs. Based on Intel's B560 chipset, there's no official CPU overclocking support, but Intel does allow for memory overclocking, with the B560M Steel Legend supporting up to 128 GB of DDR4-4800 memory across four memory slots. Storage options include dual M.2 slots, with one of these allowing for up to PCIe 4.0 x4 fast NVMe drives, and the other limited to PCIe 3.0 x4 and SATA drives. For SATA devices, there are six SATA ports, including four with right-angled connectors and two with straight-angled ports.

The board also includes one full-length PCIe 4.0 x16 slot, with two PCIe 3.0 x1 slots for devices such as additional networking, audio, and storage controllers. On the rear is a Realtek RTL8125BG 2.5 GbE controller, HDMI, and DisplayPort video output pairing, with a Realtek ALC807 HD audio codec powering five 3.5 mm audio jacks and S/PDIF optical output.


For the price, and taking out the lack of CPU overclocking support which is a limitation of the B560 chipset, the ASRock B560M Steel Legend is a solid offering at the price. Taking other B560 micro-ATX sized models into consideration, there's plenty available including the ASUS Prime B560M-A ($110), the MSI MAG B560M Bazooka ($139), or even on Z590, there's the ASUS Prime Z590M-Plus ($229). Not only is the ASRock B560M Steel Legend cheaper than the majority of the models above, but there isn't much difference to signify the price increase with the more expensive boards and with the Steel Legend, it does come with a unique aesthetic, which is of course down to personal preference. The ASRock B560M Steel Legend is currently available to buy at Newegg for $135, which is slightly higher than MSRP but still represents good value for money at its current price.

Best Intel Motherboard: The Best Mini-ITX Motherboard

ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 ($280 at Amazon/$280 at Newegg)

There are just six Z490 mini-ITX models to select from for small form factor enthusiasts and gamers, and just six for Intel's Z590 chipset, but one of our favorites is from ASRock. These models are generally popular with enthusiasts looking for a solid balance of features, good quality components, and pricing. The ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 is an update over the previous Z390 model, with a similar feature set, but designed for Intel's LGA1200 socket.

Out of the small handful of available mini-ITX Z490 motherboards, only two include Thunderbolt 3 connectivity on the rear panel: the ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 and the MSI MEG Z490I Unify. The reason for selecting the ASRock over the MSI, having seen numerous ASRock mini-ITX models over the years, including the Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac before, is that we know what to expect from ASRock and it's a feature-packed model for its size. Aside from the single Thunderbolt 3 Type-C connector on the rear panel, it includes a Realtek RTL8125BG 2.5 GbE Ethernet controller and Intel AX201 Wi-Fi 6 interface pairing for the networking, as well as supporting up to two PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 drives, one on the front and another slot on the rear.

Also on the rear panel are five 3.5 mm audio jacks and S/PDIF optical output powered by a premium Realtek ALC1220 HD audio codec and three USB 3.2 G2 Type-A and two USB 3.2 G1 Type-A ports. A handily located clear CMOS button is featured in the middle of the rear panel, with a PS/2 keyboard and mouse combo port, and two video outputs including a DisplayPort and HDMI pairing, although the Thunderbolt 3 Type-C port can also output video. The ASRock also supports up to DDR4-4666 officially, with a maximum capacity of up to 64 GB across two memory slots. In addition to the two PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots are four SATA ports with support for RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays.


The ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 is a solid motherboard for enthusiasts to overclock on with its 8+2 phase power delivery, as well as the potential foundation for a monstrous single graphics card gaming system. The Z490 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 has an MSRP of $280 and is currently available at Amazon with a very attractive price tag of $200, and $269 at Newegg. In regards to the competition, we reviewed the MSI Z490I Unify ($270) with a similar feature set and a 10-layer PCB, as well as the GIGABYTE Z490I Aorus Ultra ($270). The ASUS ROG Strix Z490-I Gaming is slightly more expensive with an MSRP of $300, and we've yet to review any mini-ITX Z590 models as of yet.

One important thing to consider is boards such as the ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 make solid options for Rocket Lake, as it includes the capability for PCIe 4.0 with one of the M.2 slots, and the full-length PCIe x16 slot. It is currently available at both Amazon and Newegg for MSRP at $280, although we've seen this price lowered over recent months, so pricing is fluctuating regularly. Regarding LGA1200 mini-ITX, it's very difficult to find a small board that's as feature-packed. If you need a small LGA1200 board with support for both Comet Lake and Rocket Lake, this is what we recommend while stocks last.

Best Intel Motherboard: Money Is No Object

MSI MEG Z590 Godlike ($1000 at Amazon/$1000 at Newegg)

Our previous pick for our 'money is no object' was the MSI MEG Z490 Godlike which sat at the top of MSI's desktop offerings as a worthy flagship. With Intel's new Rocket Lake processors coming at the end of this month, stock of Z590 is thin on the ground, to say the least. We expect this to pick up going into May, but one model which is currently available at Newegg is MSI's new flagship model, the MEG Z590 Godlike.

The MSI MEG Z590 Godlike is a fantastic example of a premium flagship model with plenty of aesthetic upgrades over the previous Z490 version. This includes MSI's improved Dynamic Dashboard II which blends in seamlessly with the black and silver design. Users looking for plenty of RGB LED will appreciate a large customizable RGB MSI Dragon logo on the rear panel cover, with a funky new triangular shaped set of LEDs built into the chipset heatsink.

MSI has opted for a very overkill power delivery which consists of a direct 20-phase design just for the CPU, with premium 90 A power stages and a pair of 8-pin 12 V ATX CPU power inputs. Other features include a pair of full-length PCIe 4.0 slots operating at x16 and x8/x8, with another full-length PCIe 3.0 x4 slot located along the bottom of the board. For storage, there are four PCIe M.2 slots, including one operating at PCIe 4.0 x4 and three with support for PCIe 3.0 x4 and SATA drives. MSI also includes six SATA ports with support for RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays.

The MSI MEG Z590 Godlike has official support for DDR4-5333 memory with Rocket Lake which is an improvement over the last generation, with a total capacity of up to 128 GB available across four memory slots. Rear panel connectivity is also impressive with Intel's latest Thunderbolt 4 controller providing two Type-C and two mini-DisplayPort inputs, as well as two USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, and six USB 3.2 G1 Type-A ports. The Z590 Godlike also offers dual Ethernet with one Aquantia AQC107 10 Gb and an Intel I225-V 2.5 Gb controller pairing, as well as Intel's newest AX210 Wi-Fi 6E CNVi for access to the 6 GHz Wi-Fi band and BT 5.2 connectivity. It is also using Realtek's ALC1220 HD audio codec which adds support for 7.1 surround sound via five 3.5 mm audio jacks and one S/PDIF optical output.

The MSI MEG Z590 Godlike has an MSRP of $1019 and at present, it's available at both Amazon and Newegg for $1000. Stock worldwide for components is sketchy, to say the least. We do expect stock of the Z590 Godlike along with other Z590 models to filter into retail channels quicker as Rocket Lake's processor launch looms at the end of the month. As it stands, the MSI MEG Z590 Godlike is the only flagship model even listed on Newegg currently, with Amazon's listings also being slim pickings too. That being said, MSI has increased the price of its flagship model for Intel's latest desktop model from $750 to $1000-$1017, and judging by what's on offer, it's easy to see where the money has been spent.

Intel Rocket Lake and Z590

For those looking for Z590 models, we've compiled details on over 50 of them in our Z590 motherboard overview. We've also taken a look at over 30 budget-focused B560 models too:

Our review of Intel's latest 11th Generation Rocket Lake processors is also available to read:

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

Z590: Reviews (More Coming Soon)

We've covered as much as we can in our Z590 and B560 overview prior to getting our hands on Rocket Lake, and at the time of writing, we've reviewed four Z590 models. As we get through our stack of Z590 models and the reviews, we'll learn more about Rocket Lake behavior, and as firmware matures, we might see some bumps in performance. We're also looking at testing some B560 models to see if they hold true value in performance when paired with Intel's flagship Core i9-11900K processor. Below is a list of Intel 500 series chipset reviews completed so far:

Is there a particular Z590 or B560 model that you think we should review? Please let us know in the comments below.



View All Comments

  • Slash3 - Saturday, June 12, 2021 - link

    Worth doing a memory test on those systems. Triple boot loop with eventual CMOS defaults recovery is a memory training failure on ASRock boards. This can also happen with some memory kits that are borderline stable with XMP profile defaults (mostly Corsair).

    I'm assuming the CMOS batteries have been swapped for new cells?
  • Leeea - Saturday, June 12, 2021 - link

    I would agree with you. I have no intention of buying another Asrock board.

    While I have had none of the problems you describe, I find them easy to believe.

    It just has a chintzy build quality to it.
  • Ashinjuka - Saturday, June 12, 2021 - link

    i don't intend to change any minds but as anecdata, my ASRock Z87 Extreme6 has run flawlessly since i built as soon as Haswell came out. she lives in still today as my torrent box. Reply
  • 29a - Wednesday, June 16, 2021 - link

    All of my Asrock boards have been fine too, the problem is something else, most likely memory. Reply
  • 29a - Wednesday, June 16, 2021 - link

    Something else is causing this problem, perhaps cheap memory or PS. Reply
  • joker990 - Wednesday, June 30, 2021 - link

    well this is my personal preference: Reply
  • Galcobar - Saturday, June 12, 2021 - link

    One concern I'm not seeing mentioned is the radical difference in performance for 11th-gen CPUs that depends upon motherboard power limitations, particularly with combining B560 boards and locked CPUs. Sustained multi-core performance suffers greatly if a board hews to Intel's 65W spec, compared to allowing 125W draws. Perhaps a mention of which boards default to Intel specs and which do not could be included. Reply
  • yacoub35 - Saturday, June 12, 2021 - link

    >"Is there a particular Z590 or B560 model that you think we should review?"
    Yes can you please review the Asus Z590 Rog Strix E-Gaming WiFi board and tell us what BIOS settings are needed to run CORSAIR Vengeance LPX 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) Intel XMP 2.0 Desktop Memory Model CMK32GX4M2E3200C16 at 3200MHz? I can't get it to run anything other than default SPD 2333MHz, which is shameful.

    I don't recall if it was Anandtech or Linus but one of them commented recently on how poor the memory support is on modern boards, with weak QVLs and most RAM unable to run the XMP profiles they're intended to run, and this is the fault of the motherboard manufacturers cheaping out on the compatibility tuning and testing. Either way, this needs more attention from reviewers and sites to start pushing for board builders to get with the program and make their stuff work properly.

    I paid the money for an Asus board because that (used to) mean that it would be very reliable, high quality, and work well with high end parts, let alone basic parts like I use. I have a Z390 board from them that's been flawless. This X590 board has been a real headache to configure and the experience in Windows 10 is plagued by weird lag at times, that I've narrowed down to the way the board doesn't work right with RAM settings and PCIe M.2 settings. Still unresolved.
  • Oxford Guy - Monday, June 14, 2021 - link

    The two main main RAM circuit types, daisy chain (best for high speeds with two sticks) and T topology (best for four sticks), might play some role.

    If the highest performance is what you’re after you may need a daisy chain with two sticks. I don’t know what that particular board uses. All that said, you should obviously be able to get 3200 speed from either topology with RAM rated for that with either topology.

    In terms of tuning, turn off fast boot; have the board do a full training each time. Slightly increasing voltage may also help. Thin cheap (not enough copper) traces and an inefficient VRM for the RAM — either/both could possibly need more voltage. Having airflow over the RAM and that area of the board might also make a difference.

    Then, of course, one gets into manually loosening various esoteric timings like Trfc. I used to deal with all that complexity but gave up RAM tuning and overclocking as a waste of time. Finding whatever subtiming(s) isn’t being managed correctly by the ASUS BIOS (too tight), though, might be the key. Just one subtiming can sometimes be the difference between things not posting and things posting. The board should be able to find stable subtimings if it’s set to fully train each boot but if the BIOS is poorly written it won’t I suppose.

    When I was dealing with all that one thing I found with AMD’s Piledriver (on a Gigabyte board of unknown topology) that the second of the three main timings needed to be looser than the other two. So, for DDR3 2133 I had 9-11-10 as I recall. I think it was Trfc that was also very particular.
  • Cainethanatos - Monday, June 14, 2021 - link

    What about those issues with the i225v network chips, people struggle with high latency ,low speed , network drops. Seems even th 3rd revision is not fully solving it Reply

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