With the new Ryzen 3000 series processors, AMD and its partners introduced the X570 chipset with motherboards ranging from the super high-end water-cooled ASRock Aqua priced at a cool $1000, all the way to the entry-level ASUS X570 Prime-P coming in at around $170. Even the lower end motherboards are still quite expensive for a budget build, leading many Ryzen 3000 buyers to look for tried and trusted B450 or X470 boards that are compatible, often needing only a BIOS update to function well.
But for those looking to gain access to the newest generation tech like PCIe 4.0 or to have out-of-the-box compatibility with Ryzen 3000 processors, the x570 boards are the only option currently on the market. So for those looking to build a mid-level PC using new technology, the $200 price point is the sweet spot, with some killer x570 boards available that will provide a sweet feature list and strong VRMs for anyone looking to overclock and gain some additional performance.
This guide will take a look at motherboards from the 4 main motherboard manufacturers right around the $200 price point to help you pick which one is right to complement that new Ryzen 3000 processor and to help you get the most out of your other PC components. If you are looking at getting a 3900x or potentially the 3950x when it is released later this year, check out our PremiumBuilds guide to the best X570 motherboards at the slightly higher end. But for anyone looking at a Ryzen 3600, Ryzen 3600x, Ryzen 3700x, Ryzen 3800x or even Ryzen 3900x, these $200 boards are going to be plenty to making sure you get the most out of your components.
Picking a budget X570 motherboard: the basics
When choosing a motherboard, there are basically three things to look at (once you have established basic compatibility with your processor of course): the feature list, the performance (VRMs), and the aesthetics. The first two are often considered more important, but if you are going to spend your hard-earned cash to build a PC, you want to make sure you enjoy how it looks as well!
The four X570 motherboards we will be looking at today:
- ASUS TUF X570 Gaming Plus WiFi ($200)
- ASRock X570 Steel Legend WiFi ($210)
- MSI MPG X570 Gaming Edge WiFi ($210, $200 with $10 mail-in rebate)
- Gigabyte X570 Aorus Elite WiFi ($210)
An important note on the ASRock and Gigabyte boards, both come in non-WiFi versions that are $10 cheaper for those that already have Bluetooth adapters and know they will only be using a hard-wired internet connection. But for those that are unsure or would need a Bluetooth adapter anyway, the extra $10 is a great deal to get the WiFi/Bluetooth included versions of the boards.
As an overview for the features, the chart below shows you how the boards compare for some of the major features that buyers are often interested in when selecting their motherboard:
|Feature||MSI MPG Gaming EDGE WiFi||ASRock Steel Legend WiFi||ASUS TUF Gaming Plus WiFi||Gigabyte Aorus Elite WiFi|
|WiFi/Bluetooth||802.11ac & BT 4.2||802.11ax & BT5.0||802.11ac & BT5.0||802.11ac & BT 4.2|
|Audio Codec||ALC1220||ALC1220||ALC S1200A||ALC1200|
|LAN Module||Realtek 8111H||Intel Gigabit||Realtek L8200A||Intel Gigabit|
|USB-C||Back Panel Only||Back Panel Only||Back Panel Only||Front Panel Only|
|M.2 Slots||1 x 22110, 1 x 2280||1 x 22110, 1 x 2280||2 x 22110||2 x 22110|
|Fan Headers||1 x CPU, 1 x CPU Pump, 4 x Chassis Fan||1 x CPU, 1 x CPU Pump, 4 x Chassis Fan||2x CPU, 1 x CPU Pump, 3 x Chassis Fan||1 x CPU, 1 x CPU AIO (pump), 2 x System Fan|
|RAM Support||DDR4 4400MT/s (O.C.)||DDR4 4666MT/s (O.C.)||DDR4 44000MT/s (O.C.)||DDR4 4000MT/s (O.C.)|
|BIOS Flash without CPU||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Integrated I/O Shield||Yes||Yes||Partial||Yes|
Deciding which motherboard has the ‘best’ features is difficult because all of them have different strengths and weaknesses. Some things can be accommodated for (like the only 2 chassis fan headers on the Aorus Elite can be improved with fan splitters), but other things are more difficult to change, like the presence of a BIOS Flashback feature (for more information about BIOS Flashback, check out this PremiumBuilds article).
For motherboard performance, we are mainly speaking about VRM quality. VRMs, which stands for voltage regulator module, are the on-board components that help stabilize and regulate power supply to important components like the CPU and RAM. Almost all X570 boards will provide adequate power to any of the Ryzen 3000 processors, but some will allow for better temperatures on the motherboard power supply components and improve the likelihood of achieving stronger overclocks without affecting the longevity of the CPU or other components. VRMs become more important when we speak about higher-end processors, like the 3900x and 3950x, as the increased number of cores and current requirements will place a stronger load on the power supply of the motherboard. For the Ryzen 3600 or Ryzen 3600x, almost any of these boards will be more than enough and will not have any serious effect on the ability to overclock.
As an overview for the performance, let’s take a look at VRM power phases for the four motherboards:
|MSI MPG Gaming EDGE WiFi||ASRock Steel Legend WiFi||ASUS TUF Gaming Plus WiFi||Gigabyte Aorus Elite WiFi|
|Power Phases||8 + 2||8 + 2||12 + 2||12 + 2|
Generally, more power phases are better when it comes to VRMs. But, as we will see below, how those power phases are organized (using phase doublers, which supplier, etc.) are also important. To evaluate performance, we have to thank Hardware Unboxed who recently released a video that goes in-depth on the performance of each of the boards and can be found by clicking here.
The last factor, aesthetics, is subjective, but is worth mentioning – especially for those using a PC case with a window. A motherboard may not provide the same level of RGB as case fans or an LED strip, but it still has an important impact on the overall aesthetic of the build. For those looking to do a white-themed PC or a specific color scheme, the aesthetics may be especially important. It may not necessarily be the deciding factor, but it is something to take into account.
Best Budget X570 Motherboards – My Recommendations
|Best Budget X570 Motherboards||Design||Price|
|1. Gigabyte X570 AORUS Elite WiFi||$200|
|2. ASUS X570 TUF Gaming Plus WiFi||$200|
|3. ASRock X570 Steel Legend WiFi||$200|
|4. MSI X570 MPG Gaming Edge WiFi||$210|
1. Gigabyte X570 AORUS Elite WiFi
To begin, let’s talk about the major strength of the Gigabyte X570 AORUS Elite WiFi: its performance. According to the Hardware Unboxed video above, this motherboard (along with the ASUS TUF Gaming Plus WiFi) offers absolutely stellar bang-for-your-buck performance. The motherboard remains very cool and offers great price-performance regarding VRMs, handling the 3900x used for testing very capably. This is unsurprising given their high number of power phases.
In terms of features, the Aorus Elite has its advantages and disadvantages. Out of the four motherboards in this selection, the Aorus Elite is the only one that does not have debugging LEDs or back panel USB-C. It also only offers 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2, which are inferior to the 802.11ax and BT5.0 offered by the ASRock Steel Legend for example. It also only offers the ALC1200 audio codec (inferior to the ALC 1220 that is common nowadays) and has limited case fan headers (only 2). But, it does include Intel Gigabit LAN, BIOS Flashback and is the only board with a front-panel USB-C connector, which are great features.
Overall, the features are a mixed bag that will be important to understand for someone with specific needs (like whether or not you plan on using a hard-wired Ethernet connection vs WiFi), but the great VRM performance means that this board is a solid buy for its price.
2. ASUS X570 TUF Gaming Plus WiFi
The second recommended budget X570 motherboard, the ASUS X570 TUF Gaming Plus Wifi, is the newest addition to the TUF line, which ASUS has used for a variety of previous chipsets.
For features, ASUS has made some interesting choices with this motherboard. It offers Bluetooth 5.0, but only WiFi 802.11ac. The board offers debugging LEDs, but only a partially integrated I/O shield. The on-board components are of middling quality, with the Realtek L8200A LAN module and the ALC S1200A audio codec. Similar to the ASRock and MSI boards below, this motherboard has a back-panel USB-C connector, but no front-panel.
On the other hand, this board is really strong in terms of performance. Similar to the Gigabyte Aorus Elite above, the 12 + 2 power phase set up on this motherboard allowed it to remain cool while supplying power to the 3900x in the Hardware Unboxed video. This board is equal to the Aorus Elite in terms of performance, a step up from the ASRock, and a few steps up from the MSI motherboard. You can’t ask for more at the $200 price point when it comes to the VRMs.
This motherboard can be a great choice for someone looking for the best performance and some important features, like debugging lights, back-panel USB-C, or Bluetooth 5.0. The feature set on both this board and the Aorus Elite seems to be hit or miss, so buyers should really consider what they deem important when deciding between the two equally performing choices.
3. ASRock X570 Steel Legend WiFi
The ASRock X570 Steel Legend WiFI budget X570 motherboard is perhaps the most striking in terms of aesthetics with a love-it-or-hate-it urban camo print on the PCB, but is also one of the only boards with a strong white accent in the silver-ish heat sinks which may attract those looking to build a white-themed PC.
In terms of performance, the motherboard falls somewhere in the middle. In the Hardware Unboxed test, generally, the Steel Legend performs well and is a modest 7 – 15 degrees warmer in the fixed voltage test than the best two boards while beating the MSI board by 30 degrees. It may not offer quite the same quality VRMs as the Aorus Elite or TUF Gaming Plus, but the results are still pretty good and would handle any Ryzen 3000 processor without overclocking, and can overclock anything up to the 3700x and most likely the 3800x as well without any issues.
In terms of features, the Steel Legend WiFi seems to be the overall strongest of the four motherboards. It has the downside of no front panel USB-C, which is similar to all but the Aorus Elite, and no BIOS Flashback, but is the only board to offer 802.11ax WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0, which will be essential for any gamer planning on playing over a WiFi connection. It also sports the high quality ALC1220 audio codec, Intel Gigabit LAN, debugging LED’s, and up to 4 chassis fans. Unless you have a specific need for front panel USB-C or BIOS Flashback, this board offers the best mixture of other on-board components.
For someone that knows they will be using a Ryzen 3600, 3600x, or 3700x, or does not plan on overclocking a Ryzen 3000 processor, and therefore does not need the best of the best VRMs, this motherboard offers a great mix of high quality features and good performance.
4. MSI X570 MPG Gaming Edge WiFi
People were generally excited for the MSI X570 entry-level or middle-level boards because of how successful the B450 Tomahawk and B450 Gaming Pro Carbon motherboards were when released. Some people are still using those boards for Ryzen 3000 processors, but the BIOS issues have been difficult for others to swallow.
This particular board, the MSI X570 MPG Gaming Edge WiFi has a decent feature list, offering ALC1220 audio, debugging LEDs, BIOS Flashback, and an integrated I/O Shield, but misses out on the highest-quality Intel Gigabit LAN and 802.11ax/BT5.0 modules, opting for Realtek LAN and 802.11ac/BT4.2 instead.
However, talking about features with this motherboard is difficult because of how poorly this board performed in the Hardware Unboxed test. Compared to the others, the performance is frankly abysmal at over 30 degrees warmer than the next lowest Steel Legend in the fixed voltage test and over 40 degrees warmer than the best placed TUF Gaming Plus.
Overall, using the motherboard with a 3600 or 3600x would likely pose no problem in terms of performance, but some of the higher-end processors may suffer from the weaker power phases and would not be able to achieve the same level of overclock from those looking to really push their systems to the limit. With the very middle-of-the-road feature list of this board, it is hard to recommend over any of the other three at this price point.
Out of all four boards, the only one that is difficult to recommend is the MSI MPG Gaming Edge WiFi due to its very terrible performance in the Hardware Unboxed video. Perhaps he received a bad board, so keep an eye out for other reviews, but without any other evidence, consider which processor you will use and if you plan on overclocking before purchasing.
For pure performance, the Gigabyte Aorus Elite and ASUS TUF Gaming Plus offer the best bang for your buck. Both have great VRMs and will allow for overclocking of almost any Ryzen 3000 processor (pending reviews of the 3950x when released).
If you have a specific feature or are less likely to buy a high-end processor, the ASRock Steel Legend WiFi offers a compelling mixture of features and performance, being the only board with an 802.11ax module, Intel Gigabit LAN, and the high quality ALC1220 audio codec.
The choice depends on your needs so be sure to take a look at the full specifications of each board, and if you want to read more, check out the helpful Hardware Unboxed video or our other guides here on PremiumBuilds.com.