Even with the release of AMD’s fresh lineup of Ryzen 5000 series CPUs, the previous generation Ryzen 5 3600X is a strong contender for those looking to get strong gaming and workstation performance on a budget. This 6 core 12 thread CPU boasts PCIe 4.0 capabilities as well as clock speeds from 3.8GHz to 4.4GHz through overclocking. This mid-range CPU is still able to handle most AAA titles in upwards of 1440p if paired with the right system configuration. At an MSRP of $249, this CPU can deliver a ton of performance per dollar. For a full system guide, you can check out our custom PC builds that include the 3600X and 3600XT.
After landing your sleek Ryzen 5 3600X, it’s time to turn to the motherboard. Picking the right one for your system configuration can be tricky and a bit daunting. The titles are confusing with X570s, B450s, B550s, and so on. Parsing apart exactly what is needed to get the most out of this mid-range CPU can be difficult. This guide will lay out a range of budget, enthusiast,
Best Motherboards for Ryzen 5 3600X – Our Recommendations
Best Budget Motherboard for the Ryzen 5 3600X – ASRock B450M Steel Legend
The “B450” series of motherboards were developed as budget-friendly AMD boards capable of overclocking. While these boards cannot make full use of the speedier PCIe 4.0 bandwidth that the Ryzen 5 3600X is capable of using, the difference will be rather negligible when working with a CPU in this price and performance bracket. Even top-of-the-line CPUs from the current Ryzen 5000 series generation don’t use every bit of performance that PCIe 4.0 offers. This makes the MicroATX ASRock B450M a surprisingly feature-rich choice for gamers looking for a budget board with plenty of room for upgrading down the line.
It has four DIMM slots for DDR4 3200MHz memory, integrated overclocking capabilities, and dual M.2 SSD slots for lightning-fast storage. This motherboard can square up against its pricier counterparts in terms of I/O. There are 6 USB 3.1 Gen1 ports, 2 USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, gigabit LAN, and 7.1 CH HD audio built-in. Couple all of those features with the included Polychrome Sync RGB and you’ve got a premium looking board for the low price of just $89.99.
Best All-Rounder Motherboard for the Ryzen 5 3600X – MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk
Those looking to take a step up and get the full advantages of the newer line of B550 boards will want to look at the MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk. This board sits on the cusp of the budget bracket for the Ryzen 5 3600X. It has full support for PCIe 4.0, which makes it a better long-term option for those who may want to upgrade to a more powerful CPU in the future. As with the previously listed B450 board, this model supports the previous 3000 series and current 5000 series AMD CPUs.
The MSI MAG B550 comes in at a larger ATX profile, giving it more room for expansions and upgrades. It supports DDR4 memory upwards of 5100MHz, Gen 4 M.2 storage, and comes with both gigabit and 2.5G LAN ports. Enthusiasts looking to get the most out of their components will find the custom water cooling support, M.2 heatsinks, and USB 3.2 ports a bargain at this ~$140 price point. The additional USB C port and Mystic RGB lighting are the cherries on top of this already feature-packed motherboard.
Best Enthusiast Motherboard for the Ryzen 5 3600X – ROG STRIX B550-F Gaming
The ROG STRIX BB50-F Gaming is one of the best B550 series motherboards in terms of premium features and overall build quality. It aims to bridge the gap between budget builder and overkill enthusiast with its brushed aluminum design and addressable Aura Sync RGB. This board fully supports PCIe 4.0, which will allow gamers to get the most out of their Ryzen 5 3600X. The sheer number of options for expansion cards and upgrades make this an impressive motherboard. Users will have plenty of room for capture, Wi-Fi, and LAN cards with four PCIe 3.0 slots and a single PCIe 4.0 slot for a GPU.
The board houses a few additional touches that will make it an attractive choice for gamers like the board’s extended heatsinks, dual M.2 4.0 drive support, and expandability for up to 128GB of DDR4 5100MHz memory. This board comes with an onboard 2.5G LAN port, four USB 3.2 ports, one USB C, and 4 USB 2.0 ports. Additionally, audiophiles or gamers looking for even more immersion can appreciate the ROG Supreme FX8 high-definition audio that supports dual OP amplifiers. The ROG STRIX B550-F Gaming comes with a price tag of right around $180. At that price point, this enthusiast-grade board offers comparable features and options to more expensive X570 boards.
Best Overkill Motherboard for the Ryzen 5 3600X – MAG X570 Tomahawk
Of course, the MAG X570 board contains many of the same features as the previously listed options with DDR4 memory support up to 5100MHz, Gen 4 M.2 ports that can run in RAID, and complete access to PCIe 4.0 technology. Professionals and gamers can make use of 2.5G networking, integrated Wi-Fi 6, and 6 total SATA 3 connectors that make adding extra drives and cards a breeze.
What sets this MOBO apart from the more budget-orientated boards on this list are the small touches. There is an extended PWM heatsink, onboard “Frozr” fan and heatsink, a handy BIOS flash button, addressable RGB, and tons of connectivity options on the I/O. Users can take advantage of three USB 3.2 ports, optical audio, USB C, and inputs and outputs for the stellar high-definition ALC1200 audio processor. This board gives enthusiasts who want a no-compromise experience a lot of value at a retail price of $250.