PC Builders rejoice, the Zen 3 Ryzen 5000 Series CPUs have been revealed, and AMD looks to hit the ground running by early November with impressive improvements across the board. Although pricing may have gone up slightly, 11-30% across Ryzen 5, 8, and 9, it’s looking to be more than worth the price of admission based on the potential performance uplift offered by even just the new 6c/12t Ryzen 5 5600X.
First and foremost, the most important update is the introduction of unified CCXs (core complexes) which allow for 8 CPU cores to share all 32MB of L3 cache simultaneously. Second, the architectural changes for Zen 3, in addition to AMD’s chiplet design and new CCXs, should allow for approximately a 19% IPC boost over Zen 2 based on their internal testing. Of course their results will have to stand against real-world benchmarking after Zen 3 becomes available, but AMD has been on a streak of honesty and accuracy in their presentations for the past few years since they first broke the news of the original Zen architecture. It’s clear they’re very proud of their recent work, and it’s been proven time and again that they have every reason to be. We’re confident that by the time builders unwrap their shiny new Zen 3 CPUs that AMD’s findings will prove reliable. A final note, and arguably the most impressive attribute of Zen 3, is that while the prices may have increased, the TDP for Zen 3 comes in at or below that of Zen 2… Across the board. This means that if you’ve situated yourself with a motherboard that can accept Zen 3 (any 500 series, and most 400 series, provided a proper BIOS update) then you’re already prepared to socket a Zen 3 processor as soon as you’re able to acquire one!
Zen 3 seems to confirm, yet again, that AMD has its hooks deep into the industry, and it doesn’t plan on letting go anytime soon. Not only have they managed to keep their promise of “true” year-on-year improvements, they’ve long since kept their promise for hardware compatibility support by remaining on the same socket (AM4+) until Zen 3. This makes both of our jobs that much easier 😊, since the same components that were the best choices for Zen 2 are going to apply to Zen 3. Now get ready for a bit of déjà vu, here are the best motherboards to pair with the Ryzen 9 5900X for 2021.
Best Motherboards for Ryzen 9 5900X – Our Recommendations
|Best Entry-Level Motherboard for Ryzen 9 5900X||Asus TUF Gaming X570-Plus (Wi-Fi)||14 Phase (12+2)|
|Best Overall Motherboard for Ryzen 9 5900X||MSI MEG X570 Unify||15 Phase (12+2+1)|
|Best High-Performance Motherboard for Ryzen 9 5900X||Gigabyte X570 Aorus Xtreme||16 Phase (14+2)|
|Best Budget High-Performance Motherboard for||Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Hero (Wi-Fi)||16 Phase (14+2)|
|Best mATX Motherboard for Ryzen 9 5900X||Asus TUF Gaming B550M-Plus (Wi-Fi)||10 Phase (8+2)|
|Best mini-ITX Motherboard for Ryzen 9 5900X||Asus ROG STRIX X570-I Gaming||10 Phase (8+2)|
Best Entry-Level Motherboard for Ryzen 9 5900X
The Asus TUF Gaming X570-Plus (Wi-Fi) still represents some of the best price-to-performance on the market for any mid to high-end Ryzen CPU, even still for the new Ryzen 9 5900X. With how mature the AM4 socket is at this stage, the “cream has risen to the top,” so to speak, and you’re almost guaranteed to see many similar recommendations consistently over time. Asus’s TUF Gaming series has proven a reliable option for many different Intel and AMD chipsets for years, including X570, and that’s why it remains our go-to pick for nearly every current chipset.
With the TUF Gaming X570-Plus (Wi-Fi) you get 50A Power Stages, a 14 Phase VRM (12+2), support for up to 128GB of DDR4-4400MHz memory, 2x M.2 slots, Realtek 1G LAN + ALC S1200A Audio CODEC, 3x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (1 is Type-C) + 4x USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, and 8x SATA III 6Gb/s ports for $190. For builders in search of the most well-rounded motherboard under $200 to pair with any Ryzen CPU, the X570-Plus (Wi-Fi) is hard to pass up.
Best Overall Motherboard for Ryzen 9 5900X
Next, our best overall pick for the 5900X: The MSI MEG X570 Unify. Considering the early, and worrying, reports regarding many of MSI’s VRM temperatures for their X570 motherboards priced under the MEG X570 Ace, the X570 Unify is a world-class response from a motherboard manufacturer. With the X570 Unify, MSI has showed they’re genuinely determined to improve in terms of overall product quality and their commitment to their userbase. The X570 Unify is universally praised, and rightfully so, for being arguably the best “total package,” capable of handling any component you can throw at it, now including the 5900X.
The X570 Unify offers 60A Power Stages, a 15 Phase VRM (12+2+1), support for up to 128GB of DDR4-5000MHz memory, 3x M.2 slots, Intel AX200 Wi-Fi 6 + Bluetooth 5.0, Realtek 2.5G LAN + ALC1220 Audio CODEC, 4x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (1 is Type-C) + 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 + 2x USB 2.0 ports, 4x SATA III 6Gb/s ports, an integrated I/O shield, Clear CMOS + BIOS Flashback buttons, onboard Power/Reset buttons, and a POST code readout for $300. If you’re not in the market for something smaller, or cheaper, the X570 Unify is an extremely sleek and powerful motherboard for your new 5900X.
Best High-Performance Motherboard for Ryzen 9 5900X
Given the $550 price tag of the 5900X, we’re going all out with our high-performance pick this time: The $700 Gigabyte X570 Aorus Xtreme. Ryzen 9 processors are monstrous, with 12 cores/24 threads on the 5900X, 16 cores/32 threads on the 5950X, 105W TDPs, and blistering performance across both gaming and productivity workloads, they’re bound to be two of the best consumer desktop CPUs on the market, period. If you’re buying one of the best processors around, you’re likely interested in the best motherboards as well, and the X570 Aorus Xtreme is the king of VRM thermal performance, while also having the benefit of a passively cooled chipset!
The X570 Aorus Xtreme comes barreling in with 70A Power Stages, a direct 16 Phase VRM (14+2), support for up to 128GB DDR4-3600MHz memory, 3x M.2 slots (PCIe 4.0), AQUANTIA 10G LAN, Intel Gigabit LAN + AX200 Wi-Fi 6 + Bluetooth 5.0, Realtek ALC1220-VB Audio CODEC + ESS SABRE9218 DAC, 6x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (1 is Type-C) + 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 + 4x USB 2.0 ports, 6x SATA III 6Gb/s ports, onboard Power/Reset buttons, Clear CMOS + Q-Flash buttons, and a POST code readout!
Of course, we’re well aware that a $700 price tag may have made some of you audibly laugh, and that’s entirely fair. If you’re like the majority of even PC enthusiasts, and you don’t have money positively burning a hole in your pocket, you’re going to want to check out the Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Hero (Wi-Fi). The Crosshair VIII does not have passive cooling and typically ends up running a few degrees hotter than the X570 Aorus Xtreme. Still, it’s nearly 50% cheaper at only $380 for otherwise identical features. Furthermore, while Asus may run “teamed” phases, they’re not cheaply/improperly “doubled” without the prerequisite additional, and high-quality, components. Not adding the necessary hardware to a doubled VRM design is a supremely inefficient (and potentially dangerous) way manufacturers occasionally try and “raise” phase counts to match better designed VRM configurations. Asus has undoubtedly been doing things right. Where both the Gigabyte X570 Aorus Xtreme and MSI MEG X570 Godlike cost $700, the Asus Crosshair VIII Hero (Wi-Fi) readily competes in terms of clean power delivery and thermal performance at a massively lower price point. If you’re not sweating (😊) the few extra degrees and still desire one of the best enthusiast AMD motherboards out there, the Crosshair VIII Hero (Wi-Fi) significantly lessens the impact on your wallet for the same quality and nearly identical features.
Best mATX Motherboard for Ryzen 9 5900X
mATX, I will die on the hill that says it’s a criminally underappreciated form factor ☹. Despite being every bit as capable of providing top-tier VRM configurations, hardware compatibility, connectivity options, and overall design quality, builders and motherboard manufacturers alike seem to be a bit disinterested in mATX. This disinterest, in addition to the massive spike in popularity of small form factor (SFF) mini-ITX builds, leads to regularly sparse micro motherboard options for both AMD and Intel chipsets. Thankfully, we have the $180 Asus TUF Gaming B550M-Plus (Wi-Fi) to make up for the general lack of higher-end mATX motherboards we’ve seen, especially with B450 and X570.
The TUF Gaming B550M-Plus (Wi-Fi) provides 50A Power Stages, a 10 Phase VRM (8+2), support for up to 128GB DDR4-4600MHz memory, 2x M.2 slots (1x PCIe 4.0 x4), Intel AX200 Wi-Fi 6 + Bluetooth 5.1, Realtek 2.5G LAN + ALC S1200A Audio CODEC, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (1 is Type-C) + 4x USB 3.2 Gen 1 + 2x USB 2.0 ports, 4x SATA III 6Gb/s ports, and BIOS Flashback. If you find yourself interested in building an mATX Ryzen system, the TUF Gaming B550M-Plus (Wi-Fi) is your best bet, especially when it comes to VRM performance and rear I/O USB connectivity.
Best mini-ITX Motherboard for Ryzen 9 5900X
Considering the aforementioned interest in mini-ITX builds, with no end in sight, the Asus ROG STRIX X570-I Gaming is the proof in the pudding that they’re only going to continue to grow in popularity. At $250, there’s a good reason for the X570-I Gaming’s consistent appearance as our recommendation for the best Ryzen mini-ITX board; it’s beastly. Of course, there are other excellent contenders for mini-ITX Ryzen motherboards (especially on B550), but if you’re choosing a Ryzen 9 CPU for your next SFFPC, you’re going to want the best, and the ROG STRIX X570-I delivers.
This tiny Asus board touts 70A Power Stages, a 10 Phase VRM (8+2) with active cooling, support for up to 64GB of DDR4-4800MHz memory, 2x M.2 slots, Intel Gigabit LAN + AX200 Wi-Fi 6 + Bluetooth 5.0, SupremeFX S1220A Audio CODEC, 4x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (1 is Type-C) + 4x USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, and 4x SATA III 6Gb/s ports. Thanks to the active VRM cooling for already robust power delivery, the X570-I Gaming is guaranteed to keep even a 3950X nice and cool in all but the most restrictive SFF cases!
AMD continues to put their money where their mouth is by consistently introducing amazing performance at a reasonable price, even with their slight markups for Zen 3. They’ve had Intel on the ropes for some time, and if Intel isn’t able to conjur some modicum of technological wizardry, they may get knocked over them before having a chance to strike back! That may not be entirely true, as this massive game of cat and mouse has been going on for decades, but we’re potentially still at least a couple of years before Intel might be considered truly competitive with AMD again. Here’s hoping Intel haven’t done themselves in for a 14-year chase like AMD just finished!
Best Entry-Level: Asus TUF Gaming X570-Plus (Wi-Fi) – The tried and true TUF Gaming series from Asus continues to deliver stellar price-to-performance value, under $200, for even the top-tier Ryzen CPUs.
Best Overall: MSI MEG X570 Unify – MSI knocked it out of the park with the X570 Unify, and at the same time, proved they’re committed to their users and the overall quality of their products. If you’re in the price range for it, the X570 Unify is arguably the sleekest and most compelling X570 motherboard to date.
Best High-Performance: Gigabyte X570 Aorus Xtreme – Raw, undeniable performance… For a price. At $700, Gigabyte is asking a lot, but the Aorus Xtreme truly offers best-in-class VRM performance, extensive connectivity, and build quality. However, if you nearly choked at the thought of spending $700 on a motherboard, the Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Hero (Wi-Fi), is the best reasonable enthusiast-class X570 at nearly half the price; $380.
Best mATX: Asus TUF Gaming B550M-Plus (Wi-Fi) – Asus provides one of the absolute best mATX AM4 motherboards to date, with equivalent VRM performance compared to its direct competition, but with superior rear I/O USB connectivity.
Best mini-ITX: Asus ROG STRIX X570-I Gaming – Despite a strong lineup of high-end mini-ITX AM4 motherboards for X570 and B550, the X570-I Gaming still comes out on top. Especially for a high-end Ryzen 9, Asus is the king of the SFF scene.