The arrival of Zen 4 CPUs signifies a tectonic shift in the home computing landscape. The 7000-series brings not only generational uplift that ranges from excellent to staggering, it introduces a host of new technologies for AMD lovers to put them on equal footing with Alder & Raptor Lake users. Embracing new Ryzen processors also means adopting a new platform, and our guide on the best AM5 motherboards will help you take your first steps.
AM4 was a triumph for AMD, supporting four generations of processors and catapulting Team Red back into relevance. Technology marches on, and AMD had to adapt by bringing out AM5. The socket transitions from PGA to LGA like we’re used to from Intel chips. This fresh start promises another 3+ years of continued support while introducing PCIe 5.0 and mandatory DDR5 for AMD users.
Instead of the enthusiast Xx70 and more approachable Bx50, there are now four motherboard lines to choose from. The two high-end variants are available at launch, with B650E and B650 models coming in a few months. Add four form factors into the equation, and you’ve got a recipe for confusion. Read on to escape its perils & end up with the motherboard that will serve your needs the best!
Note: The list currently contains boards that were most impactful at Zen 4’s launch. It will change as B650 rolls out and issues become known or resolved.
Our Best AM5 Motherboards Picks
- ASUS ROG Crosshair X670E Hero – The peak AM5 vanguard
- Gigabyte X670E AORUS Master – Much more than an overclocker
- ASRock X670E Taichi – The behemoth
- MSI Pro X670-P WiFi – Cheap thrills
- ASUS ROG Crosshair X670E Gene – mATX is back!
- ASUS ROG Strix X670E-I Gaming WiFi – For AM5-based mini-ITX superbuilds
Asus ROG Crosshair X670E Hero
Form Factor: ATX | Memory Speed: 6400MHz | Max RAM: 128GB | M.2 sockets: 5 | Audio: Realtek ALC4082
- Impressive build quality & connectivity
- Two USB4 ports and five M.2 slots
- Robust VRM & cooling
If you’ve been keeping up with our mobo lists, you know that Hero is a name often seen at the top. ASUS might have ditched the numbers in this one, but the X670E version proudly continues to carry the torch! It’s filled to the brim with the latest technological advancements & does almost everything just a bit better than the competition. Have a credit card or kidney nearby, as Zen4 greatness does not come cheap.
The Hero’s aesthetic evolution has more in common with the recent Z690 Hero than its X570 predecessor. Prepare for a stealthy black PCB that contrasts with swathes of mirror-finished surfaces covering the I/O shroud and much of the bottom armoring. RGB lighting is on point as well, taking on the form of pixelated graphics on the shroud. Users who crave more can use three ARGB and an AuraRGB header.
A comparison with the Crosshair VII Hero’s VRM reveals how vast the generational jump is. ASUS’s last AM4 mobo had 12+2 60A stages. The latest Hero has 18+2, and ones reserved for the CPU supply it with a jaw-dropping 110A each. The cooling has to be beefy to keep up, and the heatpipe-connected set of heatsinks is up to the task. As you’ll see below, this isn’t even the most extreme VRM setup out there! Even so, it can support an overclocked 7950X with ease.
Spearheading the AM5 Revolution
Many X670E boards needed a size increase to E-ATX to house everything. The Hero remains an ATX board, making your search for an adequate case easier. It doesn’t lose functionality, however. In fact, the mobo is better than others in aspects like storage. It natively supports four NVMe drives in PCIe 5.0 and PCIe 4.0 pairs. Like with the Alder Lake variant, ASUS includes an add-in card you can connect to the second PCIe 5.0 slot to bring the number of most advanced storage drives up to three.
Both the x16 slots are PCIe 5.0 compliant. Keep in mind that the X670E chipset allocates only 16 lanes to them, so slotting a second card in makes both run at x8. There are no PCIe 5.0 GPUs yet, so that shouldn’t be problematic. A PCIe 4.0 x1 slot for other add-in cards rounds out the selection, while six SATA plugs provide access to older storage media.
Upcoming CPUs and graphics cards are bound to heat things up. ASUS strives to prevent undue thermals by equipping the Hero with a slew of cooling features. It has three headers for the CPU, whether you go the cooler or AIO route. ASUS also wants you to experiment with custom water cooling if the four headers dedicated to various related components are any indication. Lastly, four fan headers should take care of the case in general.
Other internal components also hint at the Hero’s overclocking inclinations. There’s a power button and the FlexKey button whose function you can define in the BIOS. Troubleshooting takes the form of a two-digit debugger. On the internal USB front, we have USB-C with charging and two third-gen headers for the case I/O along with three USB 2.0 headers for internal expansion.
The I/O is preinstalled and easy to read due to white text on a black textured background. The BIOS flash and clear CMOS buttons are on the far left, followed by an HDMI port. A cornucopia of USB connections is next, featuring two USB4 plugs with 40Gbps transfer speeds. Two more are of the USB-C kind, with 12 ports in total. 2.5G Ethernet and WiFi 6E are next, followed by the trend-defying 5+1 audio stack running on the latest ALC4082 codec.
Gigabyte X670E AORUS Master
Form Factor: E-ATX | Memory Speed: 6600MHz | Max RAM: 128GB | M.2 sockets: 4 | Audio: Realtek ALC1220-VB
- World-class cooling support
- Great for overclocking
- Loads of storage options & I/O ports
- Outdated (if premium) audio codec, no USB4
Another generation, another Master of overclocking, heat management, and storage! Gigabyte continues to impress even when faced with the challenge of adapting to a new socket. There’s little the Master won’t let you accomplish unless you’re looking to take advantage of the newest audio & USB technologies. Best of all, its pricing is reasonable compared to even more extreme alternatives.
Gigabyte’s departure from the X570’s design is both drastic and welcome. It’s grown in size to E-ATX, for one, which may cause you to rethink your case choices. The ample armoring high-end Gigabyte boards are known for is back. RGB is also out in full force with a light-up version of the AORUS falcon decorating the I/O shroud and a strip on the chipset heatsink. The new black & silvery-gray color scheme looks more mature, at least until you crank those RGBs up.
The long-standing tradition of outstanding VRM continues with the newest Master. It’s divided into three parts – 16 105A phases for the CPU and pairs of 90A ones for the SOC & PCIe lanes. While this reflects Zen4’s increased power demands, it’s also more than even serious overclocking demands for continued stable service.
Mastering AM5’s Challenges
The cooling is on another level due to more mobo real estate and the newest VRM heatsink fin design. The I/O shroud and top heatsink are massive, while the louvered layout of the fins allows for much more surface area than conventional designs. Lastly, the VRM and chipset areas are linked by a chunky 8mm heatpipe capable of transferring 30% more heat than the comparatively small 6mm standard.
The Master has the potential to thoroughly cool your entire system. Apart from two headers for the CPU, it sports four regular and four more hybrid headers that work equally well with either case fans or water cooling loop components. Gigabyte’s recent boards also offer several ways of internal system monitoring. These include noise and temperature sensors along with several voltage read points.
Pairs of USB 2.0 & USB 3.2 Gen 1 headers, USB-C, and a plug for a Thunderbolt 4 header complete the noteworthy internal connection listing. Let’s not forget the four RGB headers and one more for the CPU cooler, either. Gigabyte made overclocking easier by including power and a configurable reset button as well as two-digit and LED boot debuggers.
The board’s bottom half is home to three full-length PCIe lanes. Thanks to X670E, two of them use the PCIe 5.0 standard, while the last one is a PCIe 3.0 x2 holdover. Populating it will disable two of the six SATA ports. The top slot customarily receives the most attention, including armoring and a new quick-release button. We’d hoped that ASUS’s Alder Lake mobo innovation would spread and are glad to see Gigabyte’s interpretation.
SATA only covers old & sluggish drives. For the ultra-fast kind, you’ll have to turn to the Master’s four M.2 slots. The topmost one has a much larger heatsink and is PCIe 5.0 compatible. Considerate, given the next SSD generation’s more substantial cooling requirements. The other three sockets come with pleasingly thick thermal pads and occupy the space between the first and second x16 slots. Removing their armoring also exposes four WIMA capacitors.
Much about the I/O has changed, but we’re glad that a small army of USB ports remains at your disposal. They range from USB 2.0 remnants best for plugging your keyboard into to USB 3.2 Gen 2 with DisplayPort and another 2×2 plug with 20Gbps speeds. Standalone DisplayPort & HDMI are there if you want to use Ryzen’s new iGPUs. There’s also the greatly reduced audio stack with ALC1220-VB backing, 2.5G Ethernet, WiFi 6E antennas, and the Q-flash button.
ASRock X670E Taichi
Form Factor: E-ATX | Memory Speed: 6400MHz | Max RAM: 128GB | M.2 sockets: 3 | Audio: Realtek ALC4080
- Outstanding build quality & cooling
- Monstrous VRM
- Abundance of storage and general connectivity
Are you an early adopter who wants to test Zen4’s limits regardless of cost? The generation is rife with the likes of Extreme, Godlike, and other overkill motherboards, but ASRock’s Taichi stands on top of the best AM5 motherboards for the ultimate enthusiasts. Its breadth and versatility of features clock in at an eye-watering price that’s even more pronounced than the generational adjustment. At least you’ll know you’re getting everything but the kitchen sink.
While the Taichi still implements the line’s iconic gear aesthetic, much has changed in the layout due to the transition to AM5. The VRM area looks like a bona fide football stadium, and there’s room for an NVMe drive next to the RAM! ASRock had to switch the form factor to E-ATX to accommodate all of this, so consider your case choice carefully. There’s also a commemorative Cararra version with marble-like accents perfect for fans of white PCs.
One can’t help but stare in awe at the sheer number of phases present in the Taichi’s VRM. It uses a mind-boggling 24+2 teamed phases, each capable of carrying no less than 105A to the new LGA 1718 socket. That amounts to more than 2.500 amperes for the CPU alone, ensuring clean & stable power even if you’re gunning for the world record in overclocking a 7950X.
It’s good that the gears are in place, else the amount of armor on this tank-like mobo would have you believe it was Gigabyte’s creation. The VRM heatsinks and I/O shroud are substantial, and only the two PCIe 5.0 x16 slots peek from under the otherwise impenetrable bottom half. The PCIe 5.0 SSDs slated to release later in the year need substantial cooling to prevent throttling. That’s why the Taichi’s accessories include a fan-equipped heatsink for this exact purpose.
Larger than Life
High-speed or otherwise, storage is something the X670E Taichi does not lack. It has four M.2 slots, the one closest to the CPU being PCIe 5.0 compatible. The rest are all PCIe 4.0 x4, as there are plenty of lanes from the chipset and processor to go around. SATA is still with us in the form of two pairs of four 6Gb/s plugs.
ASRock made sure there were plenty of internal connections for cooling, overclocking, and general tinkering. It has six fan headers alongside the two reserved for CPU cooling. On the RGB front, there’s one standard and three ARGB connections. Internal USB connectivity is split into pairs of USB 2.0 and USB 3.2 Gen 1 headers with support for two devices each, accompanied by 20Gbps USB-C. Power & reset buttons are present on the PCB’s bottom, right next to the two-digit error code display.
The I/O marks a departure from previous iterations. Not going with a 5+1 audio stack would have been unheard of for the high-end even a generation ago, yet here we are. The optical S/PDIF out and headphone / mic outs are powered by the ALC4080 codec and supported by several WIMA capacitors. WiFi 6E, 2.5G Ethernet, and HDMI 2.1 follow the clear CMOS button.
There are ten USB ports on the Taichi’s back, including two Thunderbolt 4-compatible USB4 plugs. The rest are all third-gen of varying bandwidths. Two of them are yellow and labeled as Lightning Gaming. Plugging your mouse & keyboard into them supposedly lowers latency. Whether that’s true or not is up for debate, though.
MSI Pro X670-P WiFi
Form Factor: ATX | Memory Speed: 6600MHz | Max RAM: 128GB | M.2 sockets: 4 | Audio: Realtek ALC4080
- Good value for the money
- Reasonable concessions compared to X670E
- Two USB-C ports on back I/O
- Basic debugging tools
It wouldn’t be a list of best AM5 motherboards without all the big four! Rather than go with yet another X670E board at a headache-inducing price, we turn our attention to the mid-range and MSI’s Pro X670-P WiFi. Its feature set isn’t as varied nor as cutting-edge as those seen on our first three picks. However, this is the board to get if you want to embrace the 7000-series straight away while keeping costs reasonable.
Unlike the competition’s and MSI’s own more extravagant designs, the Pro X670-P keeps things simple & tidy. It has a uniformly black PCB with predominantly black covers. Silver accents & diagonal lines break the monotony up on the M.2 cover, I/O shroud, and chipset heatsink. Lighting is something you’ll have to plug in yourself using either two ordinary or two addressable RGB headers.
So, what are the differences between the E and non-E boards like this one? E stands for extended. It offers more PCIe 5.0 lanes, has a higher USB port cap, and has native USB4 support. The maximum number of VRM phases is 24, whereas x670 boards get “only” 20.
Even though you are limited to only one PCIe 5.0 SSD, the board’s high-speed storage capabilities are still impressive for the price. It can work with three more PCIe 4.0 drives and has six vertically-positioned SATA plugs. Only the top PCIe 5.0 drive gets a nice pad, while the rest need to rely on their own heatsinks or go commando.
We don’t see the lack of PCIe 5.0 in the expansion slot area as a con, especially since it helps keep the Pro’s price in check. You get three full-length PCIe 4.0 lanes and one PCIe 3.0 connection instead. Take note of what you connect where since the bottom two x16 lanes run at only x4 and x2 speeds, respectively.
You can use the same advanced DDR5 memory on this as on any X670E board since the Pro maxes out at 6600MHz. Two VRM heatsinks with deep cuts corner the LGA1718 mount next to it. Even this board has two 8-pin EPS connectors for stable power delivery to your processor.
The Price-Conscious AM5 Experience
MSI’s board is a step down when considering some internal connections yet surprises with others. There are six non-CPU cooling headers, so you’ve got all your case fan needs covered. There’s also ample opportunity to connect components inside & out thanks to a USB-C header & four USB 2.0 / USB 3.2 Gen 1 connections each. No buttons are present, and debugging is limited to the four indicator lights seen on previous budget-conscious boards.
Speaking of budget, the lack of a preinstalled backplate is another sign of the Pro’s price class. However, you wouldn’t suspect it if you only had the ALC4082-backed audio stack, 2.5G Ethernet, or WiFi 6E to go by. USB4 would be too much to hope for. Still, you won’t find two USB-C connections on the vast majority of last-gen’s boards, let alone the affordable ones. Four more are 10Gbps USB-A, while the last two max out at 5Gbps. HDMI, DisplayPort, and a BIOS flash button round things out.
ASUS ROG Crosshair X670E Gene
Form Factor: mATX | Memory Speed: 6400MHz | Max RAM: 64GB | M.2 sockets: 3 | Audio: Realtek ALC4080
- Impressive feature set given the smaller size
- Clever M.2 storage expansion via add-in card
- Three USB-C ports, including two USB4
- Very expensive for the form factor
Recent CPU generations have seen micro-ATX fall out of favor, but it looks like the Zen reboot is an ideal time to stage a comeback. The ROG Crosshair X670E Gene is the best of the best AM5 motherboards if mATX is your favorite format. It might even sway you to go smaller since the board packs much of what X670E has to offer in a smaller package. If only it didn’t cost an arm and a leg.
The mATX board retains its big brother’s design philosophy, with lots of mirror-sheened surfaces on deep black. ASUS did not skimp on RGB charm, outfitting the Gene with two pixelated light-up areas that depict the RO brand name and logo. The board itself might not be as big, but it’s every bit as thermally shielded as larger alternatives.
Size reduction had no impact on the robustness of the VRM. The Gene sports 16+2 phases, which almost puts it on par with the E-ATX-sized Master! The two-tiered heatsink on the left looks as imposing as it is effective. The top one is smaller yet equally intriguing due to its aggressive cutout design. Like the others, the Gene comes with two 8-pin EPS connectors for stable CPU power delivery.
Good Things & Small Packages
Downsizing negatively impacted other areas, however. Not all mATX boards get a DIMM slot count, but this one did. Experienced creatives might be irritated at not being able to fit 128GB of RAM inside their new board. The rest of us won’t need to care for a while yet.
ASUS cleverly circumvented the limitation mATX places on storage. Now we also know why they axed half the Gene’s RAM – to make room for two more NVMe SSDs. A proprietary connector takes their place and is used to slot in the new ASUS Z2 expansion card. It carries PCIe 4.0 and PCIe 5.0 x4 slots along with cooling for the 5th-gen drive. The built-in PCIe 5.0 slot brings your speedy storage potential to three, with four more SATA ports on top.
Luckily, most internal headers remain intact. There are six of them for CPU & general cooling matters, while four allow for greater RGB customization and syncing with other ASUS products like peripherals or gaming monitors. The internal USB headers are identical to the Hero’s. You even get the high-end error code display for more precise debugging.
The I/O reaps AM5’s full benefits. Not only does it fit ten USB ports, but two of them are USB4! There’s one more USB-C among the rest, as is a pair of USB 2.0 plugs. The latest WiFi and 2.5G Ethernet are accounted for, and even the audio stack is decked out completely. Overclockers will appreciate the BIOS flashback and clear CMOS buttons. We’re not sure what a ps/2 port is doing on a 2022 motherboard, but someone somewhere might still have use for it.
ASUS ROG Strix X670E-I Gaming WiFi
Form Factor: Mini-ITX | Memory Speed: 6400MHz | Max RAM: 64GB | M.2 sockets: 3 | Audio: Realtek ALC4050
- Ingenious use of limited space
- Great cooling & VRM for the size
- Two M.2 slots and USB4 plugs
- Expensive, only one case fan header
Our final recommendation is another ASUS board. This time, it’s an engineering marvel aimed at users looking for the most compact Zen4 experience possible. If you’re one of them and have the cash to spare, the ROG Strix X670E-I Gaming WiFi is the best AM5 motherboard you can currently buy.
It’s challenging to come up with a compelling design when you’re limited to the size of one’s palm. ASUS has succeeded in making its mini-ITX board attractive. There’s no room for elaborate logos or LED light shows, so the glossy surfaces of the I/O shroud and mezzanine will have to be enough to proclaim the board’s allegiance.
SFF ASUS boards always pride themselves in delivering the best-possible VRM in impossible conditions. This one continues the trend with 8+2 phases that provide plenty of clean power to any Ryzen chip you can adequately cool in such cramped quarters. Its smaller heatsink understandably needs a helping hand, so a fan built into the I/O shroud adds active cooling into the mix.
The new socket, adjacent cooling, the single PCIe 5.0 GPU slot, and the two remaining RAM slots take up almost the entire board. ASUS had to get creative to ensure everything else a premium mobo like this needs could fit. The result is an ingenious three-pronged attack on conventional motherboard design.
The first alteration is a mezzanine or tiered segment used for SSD storage. It sandwiches one PCIe 5.0 and PCIe 4.0 drive between thickly-padded dividers, ensuring thermal stability. The second is a daughterboard that debuted on the Z690 version of this board. It slots into two USB-C connections on the PCB and adds two SATA ports together with headers for CMOS clearance and the front panel. That’s also where the board’s two internal USB 2.0 ports reside.
The final addition is a literal example of out-of-the-box thinking. There was no more room on the board for the audio solution, so ASUS put the codec, DAC, a volume knob, and the FlexKey button onto a separate controller. The contraption is known as the ROG Hive and plugs into one of the I/O’s USB ports. Clever or clunky? Only time will tell.
There’s no doubt that the I/O falls within the clever category! All the audio connections are now on the Hive, so there’s plenty of room for ten USB ports. That’s unprecedented for a micro-ITX board, especially since it’s also among the first to exchange older USB-C formats for two USB4 plugs. Conversely, three of the remaining seven ports are USB 2.0, while one is dedicated to the Hive. HDMI, WiFi 6E, and an Ethernet jack take up what space the VRM fan doesn’t need to breathe.
If there’s anything to grumble about besides the price, it’s mini-ITX’s constant struggle with fan headers. The X670E-I Gaming WiFi only has one, so pick your fans and their placement carefully. Fortunately, USB-C didn’t get sacked, and one USB 3.2 Gen 1 header also remains. We mustn’t forget RGB, which you can bring to life via three dedicated headers.