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: February 2021

One of the most talked-about situations in recent times regarding AMD is current stock availability on its Ryzen 5000 processors. With stock shortages spreading throughout its entire processor range, retailers are struggling to keep up with the current demands. Even Ryzen 3000 prices have risen substantially. As a result, it has had a knock-on effect over motherboard availability, with some X570 models coming in and out of stock sporadically. For users already on the AM4 socket looking to upgrade to Ryzen 5000, vendors have been constantly updating its firmware to support the latest chips on B450 and X470, which does help somewhat. While B450 and X470 currently don't support PCIe 4.0, most of what's being recommended is still on X570 and B550.  Here are our AMD based motherboard selections for February 2021.

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

AMD Motherboards Recommendations
February 2021
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, with the most recent being X570 and B550, so I selected my top four picks based on the main four market segments. Much of our attention is on consumer desktop boards (socket AM4), though we are well aware of the benefits of TRX40 as well as the latest WRX80 chipset. We may look to include a HEDT and professional based segment in the future guides if there is interest from our readership to include it.

For our February 2021 picks, we've opted for our previous picks due to there being no movement in pricing or new models since. For those that 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. All of this has been considered for our February 2021 selections.

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 at 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 mostly 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. We considered the ASUS Dark Hero here as well, but we haven't tested that board, and the GIGABYTE faired very well in our review. If you'd like to see us review the Dark Hero, please let us know in the comments.

Stock Issues with AMD X570 Flagships

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. This also stretches to MSI's MEG X570 Godlike which has also seen stock limited in recent months. It's become a case of grabbing them while you can because the stock has been few and far between.

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 $584 at Newegg (MSRP is $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. It's the next step down from the Xtreme, with less on offer, but it also costs considerably less and more importantly, it's currently available to buy on the regular.

 

Recent AMD Motherboard Reviews at AnandTech

 

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  • wr3zzz - Saturday, February 6, 2021 - link

    Any news on the upcoming passively cooled X570 natively supported by AMD BIOS? Reply
  • airdrifting - Saturday, February 6, 2021 - link

    Anandtech has lost all its credibility with BS recommendations like this. B550 over X570 TUF Pro WiFi? Really? Reply
  • realbabilu - Sunday, February 7, 2021 - link

    Any with out of band technology ? For small server purpose Reply
  • lorribot - Sunday, February 7, 2021 - link

    Problem with AMD motherboards at the moment is availability, as soon as vendors get CPUs in stock they run out of Motherboards. Prices are ver variable, ihave seen prices increase by as much as 30-40% as stock levels plummet on certain boards such as Gigabyte's Aorus Elite, the mATX version varies from £95 to £140 if you can get one.
    Consumers are being priced gouged al around.
    best advice is decide what you want and buy at the best price when available, you may have to wait a few weeks to get all teh parts you want from different suppliers.
    Reply
  • WaltC - Sunday, February 7, 2021 - link

    Prejudice against x570 chipset cooling fans strikes me as almost superstitious. Sorry, but the high-quality ball-bearing chipset fan used in my x570 Aorus Master is not only inaudible, it's been inaudible for all of the 19 months my board has been in daily service. The notion that CPU fans bother no one--but these chipset fans do--is strange to the point of being bizarre. I'm sorry, but it's just dumb. It's pretty much an ignorant, uninformed prejudice, imo, with no facts to back it up--just FUD. I expect better from AT, certainly.

    Is there a reason so many nice AMD mboards are skipped over here? (I see you give the x570 Aorus Master a bit of lip service in the concluding paragraphs--but that's faint praise.) The mid-priced ~$300 x570 boards are completely missing. And this at a time when the flagship Z590 mboards, on the par of AMD's B550 mboards in terms of PCIe4 support, cost ~4X what the B550 mboards cost--and 30% more than the Aorus Xtreme! The x570 Aorus Master is a peach of a motherboard for $330--less than half the price of the Xtreme--with most of the same features apart from overkill VRMs (the Master has plenty of overclock muscle--more than 98% of overclockers will ever need.) And some features the Xtreme plainly lacks altogether--like much superior onboard sound, for instance. IMO, the x570 Aorus Master has the best onboard sound hardware you can buy in a motherboard today--it's easily the equivalent of a $100 sound card, at least. Demonstrably superior to the sound hardware on the Xtreme or the Godlike--or anything else I can think of. But I guess that AT doesn't care about onboard sound, apparently--which is why it hardly deserves a mention when AT reviews motherboards. You could buy a lesser mboard and buy a $150 Sound Blaster, but with the master you can save the money if your primary interest for sound is gaming.

    The x570 Aorus Master, with its 1220VB RealTek, its ESS SABRE 9118 hardware DAC, and its 3-position hardware headphone amp is the best you can buy today on any motherboard regardless of price. Plug your phones into your front-panel HD jack on an x570 Master running the correct drivers (available only on the GB sites because this is custom sound hardware) and prepare to get blown away. It was one of the reasons I bought the mboard 19 months ago--I thought from the specs it should be good--but nothing hinted at how good it would actually be.

    For most people the x570 Aorus Master is a better buy by far than the Aorus Xtreme--and you barely mention it in passing. AT leaves out the entire spectrum of ~$300 x570 AMD motherboards, of which the Aorus Master is just one such product! Many people like the Asus boards in that price range, etc. I mean, you go from the bottom to the top of the pricing heap with nothing in between! I think you missed the mark by leaving out so many decent entries into the mid-priced x570 range. This article does not sound as if written by someone who uses these products heavily, on a daily basis, unfortunately. Rather, it sounds like recommendations written by someone reading the ravings of other people who don't use them, either...;)
    Reply
  • willis936 - Monday, February 8, 2021 - link

    Try unplugging the chipset fan and seeing if you can hear a difference. You would be disingenuous to say you don’t. Smaller fans spin fast and produce more noise at frequencies humans are more sensitive to. They are obnoxious as hell and computer makers have worked hard to eliminate them entirely in the past 10 years. Adding one back is an egregious step that should not be tolerated. If isn’t an over reaction. Reply
  • Spunjji - Monday, February 8, 2021 - link

    Reports are that unplugging it wouldn't make much difference, because most of the time it never spins. It's there for edge-cases that most users won't see in practice. Reply
  • razorman - Monday, February 8, 2021 - link

    I would beg to differ with you. When it is running you cannot here it over ANY fan in the system. It is virtually silent. Reply
  • willis936 - Monday, February 8, 2021 - link

    These seem like good motherboard choices, but I do wonder why there are so few USB ports. Most have six. I currently use 15. My motherboard (Z87) has 8. As USB usage has increased I’ve had to buy (crappy) PCIe-USB cards (good for extra throughput) and use USB hubs. Why don’t chipset makers and motherboard manufacturers put more emphasis on USB ports? Reply
  • Spunjji - Monday, February 8, 2021 - link

    Your use case doesn't represent the majority of use cases, and it sounds like you found the appropriate work-around. Reply

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