Best Intel LGA 1151 Motherboards for Gaming (Gigabyte, ASUS, MSI)
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Are you in search of the ultimate LGA 1151 motherboard for gaming? Future proofing your system is highly advisable and currently the best way to go about it is to buy Intel’s latest, 7th generation processors. You can pick an i3, i5 or i7 depending on your requirements and budget.
However, the 7th generation of intel processors, or the Kaby Lake series as they are known, are only supported by the LGA 1151 socket, which means if you’re upgrading from a 5th generation or older CPU, you’ll need a new LGA 1151 motherboard.
Don’t worry though, there is a large variety of 1151 socket motherboards on the market today ranging from $100 to $300, and we will be listing down the best 5 you can buy right now.
The Z170 Chipset
Before we list the different motherboard models, we will talk about the Z170 chipset, which will be the base for all the mobos in this post (except for the first and second one). The reason for that is the over-clocking ability provided by the Z170 and the sizable performance bump that comes with it.
Moreover these Z170 chipset motherboards have the maximum number of ports and support DDR4 memory, which is considerably faster than DDR3 and recommended for 6th and 7th generation processors.
Now that we’ve clarified all that, let’s move on to our list of the best LGA 1151 motherboards you can buy for gaming.
#1. GIGABYTE GA-B250M Micro-ATX
The Gigabyte B250M-DS3H is our new top choice for budget LGA 1151 motherboards in 2017 and is also featured in our $300 Gaming PC Build. While the H110 is the old favorite, the B250 comes with more SATA ports and an additional M.2 port for an SSD that can give you a speed boost.
Moreover, the B250 is compatible with Intel’s latest 7th generation processors out of the box, without need for BIOS updates.
Everything else is a standard affair in terms of a budget motherboard. You get two DIMM slots for DDR4 memory and the micro-ATX form factor is good for a smaller case that will fit your budget gaming PC build.
Once again, if you’re looking for a solid budget gaming PC in 2017, this Gigabyte B250 mobo is a great buy and beats the H110 easily.
#2. Gigabyte Micro ATX H110M-S2H GSM:
This used to be the best motherboard you could get on a budget (around $50) and has a capable H110 chipset. This Micro ATX is compact in size and has 2 DIMM slots that can hold up to 32GB of RAM. The only setback of this basic level motherboard is that it comes with a single PCIEx16 and you cannot employ more than one graphics card to boost your gaming experience. There are multiple USB ports and 4 SATA ports however, which is good for a small mobo.
If we talk about memory support, the board can support DDR4 RAMs at a maximum clock speed of 2133MHz. This is the initial speed for all DDR4 memories so you can at least get a proper DDR4 experience with the board.
This small yet complete motherboard is more than enough for a decent gaming build. You can add this in the wish list for a $400 to $500 gaming PC. It can easily be coupled with an i7 6th generation processor for faster performance. An external 8 pin power connector is also available for the CPU which can help in over-clocking.
- CPU: LGA1151; Chipset: Intel H110 Express
- Memory: 2x DDR4-2133 DIMM Slots, Dual Channel, ECC, Non-ECC, Unbuffered, Max Capacity of 32GB
- Slots: 1x PCI-Express 3.0 x16 Slot, 2x PCI-Express 2.0 x1 Slots
- SATA: 4x SATA3 Ports
- Ports: 4x USB 3.0/2.0 Ports (2 rear, 2 via header), 8x USB 2.0/1.1 Ports (4 rear, 4 via headers), 1 x PS/2 Mouse Port, 1x PS/2 Keyboard Port, 1x VGA Port, 1x DVI-D Port, 1x HDMI Port, 1x RJ45 LAN Port, Audio I/O Jacks
- Form Factor: MicroATX
#3. Gigabyte ATX GA-Z170XP-SLI:
If you raise the price bar a little higher than $100, you can easily consider purchasing motherboards with stronger chipsets like the H170 or Z170. Other chipsets from the B and C series are good but not made specifically for gaming. There are multiple motherboards from the H series which vary in prices and features; the previous listing was an example.
We all know that the H170 chipset can help with over-clocking a CPU but if you can find a Z170 in the same price range, there’s no way you should opt for the H series. The reason is quite simple; Z170 cannot be matched in specifications by any motherboard at such affordable pricing.
For almost 100 bucks, you can easily pick from a variety of Z170 motherboards with more than satisfactory features. Add a little more and you can easily buy this Z170 ATX motherboard which comes with 3 PCIEx16 slots to accommodate your graphic cards. It can be used for 2-way NVIDIA SLI or as much as 3-way AMD CrossfireX.
An external 8 pin power port to over clock your CPU is also there on the left side. It can draw up to 91 watts of power and boost your processor to its full potential.
- LGA 1151 socket
- CPU: Support for Intel Core i7 processors/Intel Core i5 processors/Intel Core i3 processors/Intel Pentium processors/Intel Celeron processors in the LGA1151 package
- Memory: 4x DDR4, Dual Channel, Non-ECC, Max Capacity of 64GB
- Slots: 1x PCI-Express 3.0 x16 Slots, 1x PCI-Express 3.0 x8, 1x PCI-Express 3.0 x4, 2x PCI-Express 3.0 x1, 2x PCI Slots
- SATA: 6x SATA3 Ports
- USB: 1 USB 3.1 (A+C) ports; 7 USB 3.0 ports; 6 USB 2.0 ports
- Onboard Graphics: 1 x D-Sub port,1 x DVI-D port, 1 x HDMI port
- ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 22.5cm
#4. ASUS Z170-A ATX:
ASUS makes very reliable motherboards and my first non-Intel based mobo was from ASUS. This Z170 chipset mobo is an ATX model which comes with many unique features one of which is the two phase TPU switch that makes over-clocking way easier. With this motherboard you can overclock your processor without going into the bios menu. By using its software utility, you can simply select the number of cores you want to overclock and do it with the click of a button.
Another unique feature of this board is that it has multiple system fan ports. You have a total of 4 system fan ports along with a couple to spare for radiator fans and cooling pumps. This means you can easily equip your system with an AIO cooler or liquid radiator.
There’s a power switch below all components to be used for instant troubleshooting. The motherboard can support both NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossfireX configurations.
- 4 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR4 3466(O.C.)/3400(O.C.)/3333(O.C.)/3300(O.C.)/3200(O.C.)/3000(O.C.)/2800(O.C.)/2666(O.C.)/2400(O.C.)/2133(O.C.) MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory
- Supports HDMI with max. resolution 4096 x 2160 @ 24 Hz / 2560 x 1600 @ 60 Hz
- Supports NVIDIA® Quad-GPU SLI™ Technology, Supports NVIDIA® 2-Way SLI™ Technology
- Supports AMD Quad-GPU CrossFireX™ Technology, Supports AMD 3-Way CrossFireX™ Technology
- 1 x SATA Express port, , Compatible with 2 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports, 6 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), gray
- 5-Way Optimization: One click to optimize your entire system; plus a dedicated onboard water-pump header
#5. ASUS ROG MAXIMUS VIII HERO Z170 ATX:
The ASUS ROG Maximus is no lean machine. It’s a high-end gaming motherboard with the LGA 1151 socket and is based on a Z170 chip. This mobo gives unreal over-clockability and all the capacitors are high end like NexFET MOSFET 10k Metallic capacitors that last longer than other brands. Purchasing this board will give you at least 4 years of future proofing when it comes to performance in games.
The cooling ability of this motherboard is way better than its competitors as well. Alongside multiple GPU support, there are many USB 3.0 ports at your disposal. You can experience high quality sound through its FX audio port and it contains an unbelievable 8 SATA ports.
4 of these can be utilized for SATA express connections and loads of hard drives can be connected simultaneously to this motherboard for storing large amounts of data. All storage devices can be connected to a single panel where both HDDs and SSDs are already present.
There’s enough cooling throughout the system with multiple fan connectors including the one right above the PCIEx16 port. Moreover there’s a fan connection option at the bottom right side for further cooling.
- LGA1151 socket for 6th-gen Intel® Core™ desktop processors
- Dual DDR4 3733 (OC) support
- Best gaming performance – 5-Way Optimization with Auto-Tuning, 2nd-generation T-Topology and OC design
- Best gaming audio – reinvented SupremeFX 2015 with intuitive Sonic Studio II
- Best gaming networking – best-in-class Intel® Gigabit Ethernet, LANGuard and GameFirst technology
- Best gaming protection – carefully-selected premium components to ensure maximum durability.
- ROG gives you more – more gaming-oriented utilities, all free!
#6. MSI Enthusiastic Gaming Intel Z170A XPower Titanium Edition:
This is the ultimate motherboard for gamers. The sleek and stylish silver look takes over the whole PCB alongside dark coloured heat sinks. Like every Z170 chipset board, multiple graphic cards can be connected on this one through either a 2-way NVIDIA SLI or a 4-way AMD CrossfireX. The board supports Quad GPU synchronization as well for both these video card companies.
This MSI motherboard has also been made unique by the physical buttons. The button strip is present on the right bottom area where you can find buttons like power, reset, direct OC, multi-bios-3 and a RED dial for over-clocking. You just have to turn the dial clockwise and set your desired number of cores that you want to be over-clocked. There’s an additional 8+2 power port for CPUs which can easily boost Intel’s Core i7 6700k and overclock it. Moreover it has 2 SATA express ports for SSD and 3 PCIEx1 slots.
If you’ve got a decent budget (around $300) and want a good, high-performance LGA 1151 motherboard for gaming, this is a great bet.
- LGA1151, Supports 6th Generation Intel Core Trade i7/ i5/ i3/ Pentium/ Celeron Processors
- Chipset: Intel Z170 Express
- Memory: 4x DDR4-3600(OC)/ 3200(OC)/ 3000(OC)/ 2800(OC)/ 2600(OC)/ 2400/ 2133 MHz DIMM Slots, Dual Channel, ECC, Unbuffered, Max Capacity of 64GB
- Slots: 4x PCI-Express 3.0 x16 Slots (run at x16/x0/x0/x4 or x8/x0/x8/x4 or x8/x4/x4/x4), 3x PCI-Express 3.0 x1 Slots
- Multi-Graphics: Supports AMD 4-Way CrossFireX and NVIDIA 2-Way SLI Technology
- SATA: 8x SATA3 Ports, Support RAID 0, 1, 5, 10; 2x SATA Express Ports (PCI-Express 3.0 x2)
- Audio: Realtek ALC1150 7.1-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC, Supports S/PDIF Output
That’s all for now guys. If you need to upgrade to an LGA 1151 motherboard for gaming, you can pick any one of these mobos we have featured today and it will be worth the money. In the end it all depends on your budget and how much you want to spend. The more you invest, the longer your PC will stay in the game and crush all the latest titles for years to come.
If you have any questions or feedback about any of these motherboards or building your gaming rig, please feel free to content below.