The Best Motherboards with PCIe 5 (2022)

Best Motherboards with PCIe 5
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PCIe 5 is at the cutting edge of technology that allows you to connect the different components on your PC’s motherboard. PCIe 5 provides for significantly higher data transfer rates between components.

Motherboard manufacturers have been busy ever since Intel declared its latest processors would support PCIe 5 and DDR 5. Within a matter of months, the buyers are faced with a problem. However, this is a good problem. A problem of plenty.

A problem of plenty is always a good problem to have.

Today, the market offers several options in motherboards to choose from. However, the market is far from saturated. There is plenty more to come. Plenty of permutations and combinations to try. Plenty of features to play around with.

There is no way that you can future-proof yourself without investing in one of these superfast speed demons. Not only for the sake of future-proofing, one must consider these motherboards as they offer significant performance enhancements. Hence, they promise greater utility.

In this article, we bring to you some of the best motherboards available in the market. We will discuss some must-have features. Some features you can do without and more.

Comparison of the 8 Best Motherboards with PCIe 5

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Asus ROG Maximus Z690 Hero Socket: LGA1700
Form Factor: ATX
CPU: Intel 12
RAM: Max. 128 DDR5
Expansion Slot: 2 X PCIe 5.0 X 16 slots (x16, x8-x8)
1 X PCIe 4.0 X 16 slots (x4, x4/x4 via ROG Hyper M.2 card)
3 X M.2 slots
2 X M.2 slots Via ROG Hyper M.2 Card
Storage: 6 X SATA 6GB/s
I/O Ports: 1 X HDMI
2 X USB 2.0
2 X Thunderbolt 4
7 X USB 3.2 Gen 2 (6 Type-A + 1 Type-C)
1 X 2.5GbE Ethernet port
5 X Gold-Plated Audio Jack
1 X S/PDIF Out
1 X Intel Wi-Fi 6E connector
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Gigabyte Z690 AORUS Master on Amazon
Gigabyte Z690 AORUS Master Socket: LGA1700
Form Factor: ATX
CPU: Intel 12
RAM: Max. 128 DDR5
Expansion Slot: 1 X PCIe 5.0 X x16
2 X PCIe 4.0 x16
4 X M.2 slots
Storage: 6 X SATA 6GB/s
I/O Ports: 1 X DisplayPort v1.2
2 X USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type-C
8 X USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A
2 X Thunderbolt 4 Header
1 X 10GbE Ethernet port
5 X Audio Jacks
1 X S/PDIF Out
1 X Intel Wi-Fi 6E connector
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Asus Prime Z690M-Plus on Amazon
Asus Prime Z690M-Plus Socket: LGA1700
Form Factor: mATX
CPU: Intel 12
RAM: Max. 128 DDR4
Expansion Slot: 1 X PCIe 5.0 X x16
1 X PCIe 4.0 x16
2 X PCIe 3.0 x1
3 X M.2 slots
Storage: 4 X SATA 6GB/s
I/O Ports: 1 X HDMI
1 X DisplayPort
2 X USB 2.0
1 X Thunderbolt 4 Header
1 X USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type-C
1 X USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
4 X USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A
1 X 1GbE Ethernet port
3 X Audio Jacks
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Gigabyte Z690 AORUS Xtreme on Amazon
Gigabyte Z690 AORUS Xtreme Socket: LGA1700
Form Factor: EATX
CPU: Intel 12
RAM: Max. 128 DDR5
Expansion Slot: 1 X PCIe 5.0 x16
1 X PCIe 5.0 x16 (x8)
2 X PCIe 4.0 x16 (x4)
4 X M.2 slots
Storage: 4 X SATA 6GB/s
I/O Ports: 2 X Thunderbolt 4 (supports DisplayPort v1.4)
10 X USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
1 X 10GbE Ethernet port
1 X 2.5GbE Ethernet port
2 X Audio Jacks (Line-Out, Mic)
1 X S/PDIF Out
1 X Intel Wi-Fi 6E connector
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Gigabyte Z690 AERO G on Amazon
Gigabyte Z690 AERO G Socket: LGA1700
Form Factor: ATX
CPU: Intel 12
RAM: Max. 128 DDR5
Expansion Slot:
1 X PCIe 5.0 X x16
2 X PCIe 4.0 x16
4 X M.2 slots
Storage: 6 X SATA 6GB/s
I/O Ports: 1 X HDMI v1.4
1 X DisplayPort v1.2
2 X USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type-C
2 X USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
2 X USB 2.0/1.1
4 X USB 3.2 Gen 1
1 X 2.5GbE Ethernet port
2 X Audio Jacks (Line-Out, Mic)
1 X S/PDIF Out
1 X Intel Wi-Fi 6E connector
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Asus Prime Z690-P Wi-Fi on Amazon
Asus Prime Z690-P Wi-Fi Socket: LGA1700
Form Factor: ATX
CPU: Intel 12
RAM: Max. 128 DDR4
Expansion Slot: 1 X PCIe 5.0 x16
1 X PCIe 4.0 x16 (x4)
2 X PCIe 3.0 x16 (x4)
1 X PCIe 3.0 x1
3 X M.2 slots
Storage: 4 X SATA 6GB/s
I/O Ports: 1 X DisplayPort
1 X HDMI
1 X USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type-C
1 X USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
2 X USB 2.0 Type-A
2 X USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A
1 X 2.5GbE Ethernet port
5 X Audio Jacks
1 X S/PDIF Out
1 X Intel Wi-Fi 6 connector
1 X PS/2
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Asus Prime Z690-A on Amazon
Asus Prime Z690-A Socket: LGA1700
Form Factor: ATX
CPU: Intel 12
RAM: Max. 128 DDR5
Expansion Slot: 1 X PCIe 5.0 x16
1 X PCIe 3.0 x16 (x4)
2 X PCIe 3.0 x16 (x4)
1 X PCIe 3.0 x1
4 X M.2 slots
Storage: 4 X SATA 6GB/s
I/O Ports: 1 X DisplayPort
1 X HDMI
1 X USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type-C
3 X USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
4 X USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A
1 X 2.5GbE Ethernet port
5 X Audio Jacks
1 X S/PDIF Out
1 X PS/2
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GIGABYTE Z690 AORUS Ultra on Amazon
GIGABYTE Z690 AORUS Ultra Socket: LGA1700
Form Factor: ATX
CPU: Intel 12
RAM: Max. 128 DDR5
Expansion Slot: 1 X PCIe 5.0 x16
2 X PCIe 3.0 x16 (x4)
4 X M.2 slots
Storage: 6 X SATA 6GB/s
I/O Ports: 1 X DisplayPort
2 X USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type-C
4 X USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
4 X USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A
4 X USB 2.0/1.1
1 X 2.5GbE Ethernet port
2 X Audio Jacks
1 X S/PDIF Out
1 X Wi-Fi Connector
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Best Motherboards with PCIe 5 – Our Picks

1. Asus ROG Maximus Z690 Hero – Best Aesthetics

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The Asus ROG Maximus Z690 Hero is a true “Hero”. How? It saves you from plenty of choices to make. Further, it offers you multiple instances of useful features.

For instance, the motherboard offers you two PCIe 5 expansion slots where most others will provide you with only one. That is not all; you will also get five M.2 slots for expansion of your computer peripherals. Three of these are on board, and two come with a Hyper M.2 card, which is bundled. Most other motherboards will give you four or lesser.

All of this is packed on an ATX size motherboard. These allow you to tweak your PC to achieve your perfect working environment conveniently.

There is support for the Intel 12th generation CPUs and 128GB of DDR 5 RAM. This ensures you are future-proofed for some time to come. One has to be aware that several Z690 motherboards offer only DDR 4 RAM. It may not seem a big deal for most users; however, DDR 5 may be important for purists.

In addition to all of this, you also get a long list of I/O ports. There are a few that stand head and shoulders above the rest. Firstly, you get two Thunderbolt 4 ports. Most other motherboards do not give you Thunderbolt 4 ports. Next, you get seven USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports to connect your peripherals or external storage device. You also get a 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet port along with Wi-Fi 6E.

If all of this wasn’t enough, this motherboard from Asus also offers excellent aesthetics. These come in the form of RGBs lighting, which can be synced with Asus’s Aura Sync. Aura Sync allows you to play around with several million lighting colors and effects to make your PC look cool.

Key Features

  • Thunderbolt 4 ports
  • Support for DDR 5 RAM
  • RGB Lighting and Aura Sync
PROS
  • DDR 5 Support
  • Wi-Fi 6E support
  • Thunderbolt 4 ports
  • Two PCIe 5 expansion slots
  • Five M.2 slots
CONS
  • Only 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet

2. Gigabyte Z690 AORUS Master – Best Gaming Motherboard

This motherboard from Gigabyte offers the PCIe 5 and DDR 5 RAM options. The LGA1700 socket will allow you to install the 12th generation of Intel’s processors without a hitch. So, what is different?

Well, unlike the Asus, this motherboard from Gigabyte offers only one PCIe 5 expansion slot. However, you also get two PCIe 4 slots. Further, there are four M.2 slots on offer. Two of these M.2 slots offer the PCIe 4 standards. Also, one M.2 offers the PCIe 3, while the last one uses the SATA and PCIe 4 for SSD Support. Additionally, there is a provision for SATA storge separately.

The motherboard also offers addressable RGB headers and Thunderbolt headers for you to customize according to your need. RGB lighting can be installed and customized conveniently for a holistic gaming experience.

There is a provision for eight USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, which are more than one could require. Additionally, there are two USB 3.2 Type-C ports as well. While there are Thunderbolt headers available, the user will miss the Thunderbolt 4 ports.

For display, there is one DisplayPort that supports a maximum resolution of [email protected] The Realtek ALC1220-VB Codes supports DTS:X. Again, a great feature to enhance your gaming/audio experience.

For network connectivity, you are spoilt for choice. You get both the 10 Gigabit Ethernet as well as the Wi-Fi 6E (with Bluetooth 5.2). This is ideal for network gameplay with low latency and higher bandwidth.

You also get Gigabyte’s Q-Flash feature. This is a button on the back panel, placed alongside the ports. To install the CPU, memory, or graphics card, you need to download the BIOS file, plug it into the USB port, and hit the Q-Flash button. This will update your BIOS automatically.

Key Features

  • Support for DDR 5
  • Plenty of customizable options for gaming
  • 10 Gb Ethernet
PROS
  • Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2
  • DisplayPort
  • 10 Gb Ethernet Support
  • PCIe 5 and PCIe 4 Slots
  • Q-Flash
CONS
  • Thunderbolt 4 ports missing

3. Asus Prime Z690M-Plus – Best mATX Motherboard

The Asus Prime Z690M-Plus is a small motherboard that packs a big punch. Right off the block, you will get support for Intel’s 12th generation CPUs. This includes the core, Platinum Gold, and Celeron series of processors. Needless to say, you will get the PCIe 5 standard for expansions. However, it does disappoint when it comes to RAM. Why? This is because the Prime Z690M-Plus does not support DDR 5. You will have to make do with a maximum of 128 GB of DDR 4 RAM.

The motherboard comes in the mATX form. Due to this, it needs to keep its offerings limited. One such limitation is visible with the number of M.2 slots. You get three. Two offer the PCIe 4 standard, and one provides the PCIe 4 along with the SATA mode.

As for the PCIe expansion slots, you get one PCIe 5 x16, one PCIe 4 x16, and two PCIe 2 x1 slots. While the numbers may seem less, there is very little that this motherboard cannot do.

For graphics, the motherboard offers you both an HDMI 2.1 port as well as a DisplayPort 1.4. It is among only a handful of Z690 motherboards that provide both these ports.

You also get one USB Type-C port. Along with this, there are four USB 3.2 Gen 1, one USB 3.2 Gen 2, and 2 USB 2.0 ports on the back panel. In all, there are eight USB ports to take care of your peripheral connectivity.

Additionally, you get one Thunderbolt 4 header, one 1 Gigabit Ethernet port, and three audio jacks.

Further, you also get addressable RGB headers which you can use to install lights. This motherboard being an Asus product, you also get support for Aura Sync to customize lighting and effects.

Therefore, considering the above, the motherboard offers some great features and utility despite some glaring constraints.

Key Features

  • For PCIe expansion slots (1 X PCIe 5, 1 X PCIe 4 and 2 X PCIe 3)
  • Only DDR 4 RAM support
  • mATX form factor
PROS
  • HDMI and DisplayPort
  • Number of expansion slots
  • USB Type-C port
  • Thunderbolt 4 Header
  • Asus Aura Sync
CONS
  • 1 Gb Ethernet port
  • No Wi-Fi 6E support

4. Gigabyte Z690 AORUS Xtreme – Best EATX Motherboard

This motherboard from Gigabyte scores some mega hits on the features list. However, this should come as no surprise considering its mega-size and mega price tag as well.

For the basics, you get the LGA1700 socket for the Intel 12th generation CPUs. Not surprisingly, there is support for both PCIe 5 and DDR 5 too. All of this fits comfortably in the EATX form factor of the motherboard.

You get two PCIe 5 (x16 and x8) for the expansion slots and one PCIe 4 x16(x4). In addition to this, you also get four M.2 slots. Three use the PCIe 4 standard, while one adds the SATA mode to the mix.

The Gigabyte Z690 AORUS Xtreme offers a host of ports to cater to a diverse set of needs. To begin with, it provides two Thunderbolt 4 ports that support DisplayPort 1.4 as well. Hence, you do not need additional dedicated HDMI or DisplayPort ports.

Next, you get ten USB 3.2 Gen 2 type-A ports for all your peripheral devices. Further, you also get two Gigabit Ethernet ports. One for 10 GbE and one for 2.5 GbE. If this is not enough, you can use the Wi-Fi 6E connectors to attach the antenna. Hence, you will not miss the network interface with these many options.

The motherboard also supports RGB Fusion 2.0, which allows you to tweak the RGB lights schemes on the motherboard. You can use it to sync with audio and gameplay as well.

The ESSential Hex Audio Card provides the audio. The audio jack on the back panel is limited to just the Line out and Mic. Remember, if you have read this entire article, some motherboards offer up to five jacks each for a dedicated audio experience. However, this is not a deal-breaker.

Key Features

  • Supports DDR 5 RAM
  • Thunderbolt 4 ports
  • 10 GbE port
PROS
  • Thunderbolt 4 Ports
  • 10 GbE, 2.5 GbE, and Wi-Fi 6E
  • Two PCIe 5 expansion slots
  • Ten USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports
  • Four M.2 Connectors
CONS
  • Price

5. Gigabyte Z690 AERO G – Best Motherboard with DDR 5 RAM

The motherboard will give you most of what you need, and it will not burn a hole in your pocket. However, do not be impressed just yet.

The AERO G will give you support for the LGA1700 socket that is necessary for the 12th Generation Intel CPUs. Yes, you also get the PCIe 5 as well as a maximum of 128GB of DDR 5 RAM. Hence, once you buy this motherboard, you are pretty much covered for the foreseeable future upgrades. Therefore, no worries here.

You get one PCIe 5 x16 for the expansion slots and two PCIe 4 (x16 and x4) slots. Additionally, you get four M.2 slots to take care of most of your expansion needs. Three of the M.2 expansion slots come with the PCIe 4 standard. Further, you also get the standard one M.2 slot with PCIe 4 and SATA support. Therefore, no worries here either.

What you must remember is that low prices come at the cost of lesser features on offer. In this particular case, the Thunderbolt 4 ports’ absence brings down the price compared to its peers. However, this is not too much of a problem. They do give you a Thunderbolt 4 header for retrofit customization.

What you do get is both HDMI v1.4 and DisplayPort v1.2 ports. They also give you four USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports and two each of Type-C and USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A. Additionally, you also get two USB 2.0/1.1 ports.

For the network interface, there is the 2.5 GbE port and the Wi-Fi 6E card included. Here again, the absence of a 10GbE port attempts to justify a lower price tag.

Key Features

  • DDR 5 RAM Support
  • 2.5 GbE LAN support
  • HDMI and DisplayPort
PROS
  • Price
  • DDR 5 RAM Support
  • USB Type-C Ports
  • HDMI and DisplayPort
  • 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet Port
CONS
  • No Thunderbolt 4 ports

6. Asus Prime Z690-P Wi-Fi – Best Motherboard with DDR 4 RAM

There are very few motherboards that offer DDR 4 RAM on the Z690 platform. Most Z690 platforms couple the LGA1700 socket with PCIe 5 and DDR 5 RAM. This is a natural selection, and most users would prefer to keep it this way.

The question that needs to be asked is why one requires DDR 4 RAM on the Z690 platform?

If you have recently upgraded your RAM to DDR 4, there is very little need to be in a hurry to upgrade to DDR 5. However, an upgrade from PCIe 4 to PCIe 5 offers a significant upgrade in data transfer speed. Hence, there may be a situation where users continue with DDR 4 but still upgrade to a PCIe 5 compatible motherboard. Manufacturers are and always remain one step ahead. Therefore, you now have Z690 motherboards that support DDR 4 RAM.

The Asus Prime Z690-P Wi-Fi is the best of them. This is because you get the support for Intel 12th generation “Alder Lake” processors. You also get PCIe 5 and DDR 4 RAM along with these CPUs.

The expansion slots included with this motherboard are one PCIe 5 and one PCIe 4 x16 (x4). Additionally, you also get two PCIe 3 x16 and one PCIe3 x1 slot. There are three M.2 connectors; two use the PCIe 4 standard, and one couple the PCIe 4 and SATA mode.

Where most Z690 motherboards offer Wi-Fi 6E, this motherboard provides Wi-Fi 6. To add to this, you also get a 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet port for connectivity.

The number of USB ports is disappointing. You get only one each of USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A and Type-C ports and two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A. Additionally, you get two USB 2.0 ports. In all, you get six USB ports. This is significantly less as compared to the earlier motherboard we have seen. Amazingly, there is a PS/2 port on offer for your keyboard/mouse.

For the display, you get both HDMI and DisplayPort.

The sound card included with the motherboard is the Realtek 7.1 Surround Sound High-Definition Codec. It supports up to 24-bit/193kHz playback. There are five audio jacks included in taking care of your specialized audio equipment.

Key Features

  • Supports DDR 4 RAM only
  • Wi-Fi 6 support
  • HDMI and DisplayPort
PROS
  • HDMI and DisplayPort options
  • USD Type-C port
  • 2.5 GbE port
  • Thunderbolt Header for Customization
  • DDR 4 RAM Support
CONS
  • No support for Wi-Fi 6E

7. Asus Prime Z690-A – Best Budget Motherboard

The Asus Prime Z690-A is yet another racehorse from the Asus stables. It offers some essential features like PCIe 5 along with support for DDR 5 RAM. However, as we mentioned earlier, budget devices usually come at the cost of features. Let us see what these are in the case of the Asus Prime Z690-A.

Firstly, you get five expansion slots. However, only one of these is a PCI 5 slot. The remaining four are PCIe 3 (x16, x4, and x1) slots. There are no PCIe 4 slots that you get with this motherboard.

The Asus Prime Z690-A offers four M.2 connectors. Three use the PCIe 4 standard, and the last one gives you the PCIe 4 and SATA mode.

Secondly, you do not get any Thunderbolt ports with this motherboard. The ports on offer are all USB. You will get eight ports in all. Of these, only one is a USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C port. Also, you will get three USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, two Type-A and one Type-C. Additionally, the motherboard also includes four USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports.

Finally, you do not get a 10 GbE LAN port. Instead, you get a 2.5 GbE port. Further, there is no provision for Wi-Fi either.

These are vital features that one would expect on the motherboard. However, the absence of these will not hamper the utility. There is support for PCIe 5 and DDR 5 and the LGA1700 socket for Intel’s 12th generation processors. Further, the Asus Prime Z690-A offers you all the necessary headers to conveniently customize it to your preferences.

The motherboard also offers both DisplayPort and HDMI ports for your high-resolution display screens. Additionally, there are five audio jacks to support specific audio equipment. All of this is neatly arranged on the ATX form factor of the motherboard.

Key Features

  • DisplayPort and HDMI ports
  • DDR 5 RAM Support
  • Five PCIe Slots (one PCIe 5 and four PCIe 3)
PROS
  • Support for DDR 5 RAM
  • Price
  • Two USB Type-C ports
  • DisplayPort and HDMI Ports
CONS
  • No Wi-Fi support

8. GIGABYTE Z690 AORUS Ultra – Best Motherboard for USB connectivity

This motherboard from Gigabyte offers a great set of features if you want something that gives you more peripheral connectivity.

First, the basics, there is the LGA1700 socket to support Intel’s 12th generation CPU. Of course, there is support for PCIe 5. This is matched with support for DDR 5 RAM to give your investment a longer horizon.

The expansion slots on offer include one PCIe 5 slot along with two PCIe 3 slots. As seen with the Asus Prime Z690-A, there are no PCIe 4 slots on offer. Moving along, there are four M.2 connectors on offer. Even here, there are no points for guessing the configurations you will get. Three M.2 slots offer the PCIe 4 standard, and one M.2 slot offers PCIe 4 along with SATA.

Now for the ports, you get one DisplayPort. Not impressed? It offers 14 USB ports for you to connect your peripheral devices. This is amongst the highest, if not the highest, number of USB ports on offer.

These 14 ports include,

  • Two USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C ports
  • Four USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
  • Four USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A
  • Four USB 2.0/1.1

Additionally, you also get connectors for the Wi-Fi 6 card that comes pre-installed. Ideally, one would have liked the motherboard to have offered Wi-Fi 6E. However, this would be a classic case of nit-picking. Further, you also get a 2.5 GbE port for the network interface.

You also get the Realtek ALC4080 codec. This promises excellent sound output along with support for DTS:X Ultra and High-Definition Audio. The codec also provides for 2-channel analog output and support for S/PDIF Out.

If this does not cover your connectivity needs, there are headers for Thunderbolt and more USB ports.

Key Features

  • Support for DDR 5 RAM
  • 14 USB ports for peripheral connectivity
  • Wi-Fi 6 support
PROS
  • 14 USB port of connectivity
  • Support for DDR 5 RAM
  • Four M.2 expansion slots
  • 2.5 GbE Port
CONS
  • No Thunderbolt Ports

Choosing the Best Motherboard with PCIe 5 – Our Buying Guide

To choose the ideal motherboard to suit your requirement, one must consider several factors. The chief among them is what your need is. Once you have analyzed your requirement, it is easy to evaluate the motherboards against specific parameters. Some of the critical parameters for assessing are as follows:

RAM

There are PCIe 5 Motherboards that either offer DDR 4 or DDR 5 RAM. Due to the inherent design (of DDR RAM and Z690 Motherboards), you can have support for either of the RAMs, but not both. There are no motherboards that are compatible with both forms of RAM.

Generally, users are better off selecting one that offers DDR 5 compatible motherboards. However, if you are already using a DDR 4, you may like to continue to do so. This is because presently, DDR 5 offers no significant advantage. Also, upgrading to DDR 5 would mean additional costs. Hence, a better option would be to select a Z690 motherboard suited for DDR 4.

PCIe and M.2 Expansion Slots

Of course, the Z690 standard comes with PCIe 5 support. Hence, you always find a minimum of one such expansion slot. A motherboard that offers more than one PCIe 5 slot is excellent. Therefore, the Asus ROG Maximus Z690 Hero is a class apart.

Similarly, for M.2 slots, you must not settle for anything less than four M.2 slots. The par for the course is four M.2 slots. Of these, three ought to offer PCIe 4 standard, and one should offer PCIe 4 along with SATA mode to connect your older hard drives. Anything less than that requires a re-think.

Form Factor

Motherboards come to you in three form factors: the ATX, mATX, and the EATX. These refer to the size of the motherboard. This invariably means that the smaller mATX motherboard may offer fewer features due to its size constraints.

On the other hand, the EATX motherboards offer more.

This is generally true. Hence, you need to ensure that the motherboard will fit in the intended cabinet. Further, you need to evaluate the features list to match it to your requirement. In this article, we have highlighted the best mATX, EATX, and ATX motherboards for you.

Thunderbolt Ports

Thunderbolt ports offer an incredible amount of utility and hence are gaining in popularity. Some motherboards like the ASUS ROG Maximus offer Thunderbolt 4 ports built into the back panel. Others, like the Gigabyte’s Z690 Aorus Master, offer Thunderbolt connectors to customize it to your needs.

You may have noticed here that the motherboards that offer Thunderbolt ports tend to be more expensive. This is so because of the included hardware of the Thunderbolt cards.

Display ports

If you already have a high-resolution display monitor, you need to pay close attention to the ports.

Motherboards offer various ports to attach your display units. Several, like the oner from Asus, offer HDMI and DisplayPort on one motherboard. However, they are exceptions to the rule.

For this reason, we have made it a point to list the port offered by the motherboard explicitly. Hence, be sure to check whether the motherboard offers HDMI, DisplayPort, or Thunderbolt connectivity.

USB Ports

This is also a vital feature to consider while buying a motherboard. It is essential because you will require multiple USB ports to attach your peripheral devices to your PC.

Ideally, a good motherboard should offer you a mix of USB 2.0 and USD 3.2 Gen 1/2 ports. Further, a good motherboard will make it a point to include at least one Type-C and multiple Type-A USB connectors.

If you need a motherboard that offers you plenty (of USB ports), consider the Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Ultra.

Additionally, motherboards offer a few USB headers for you to add-on to the number of ports.

Wi-Fi

A good motherboard should include a Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 6E card. While we agree this should not be a deal-breaker, it is an added advantage if it comes included.

Gigabit Ethernet

More than the Wi-Fi component, you must make sure that you get at least a 2.5 GbE port for your network connectivity. Some motherboards try to get away with offering you only 1 GbE port. We recommend that you do not settle for these.

On the other hand, some motherboards offer 10 GbE capable ports. These aim to future-proof your connectivity requirements. Consider the Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Xtreme, which provides both 2.5 GbE as well as 10 GbE ports. However, be informed about the EATX form factor of the motherboard.

Headers

A great way to get precisely what you want on your PC is to customize it. Pretty much all motherboards offer several headers for this purpose. You must go through the specifications to look for what you require.

Typically, motherboards that do not offer Thunderbolt ports do offer headers so that you can add-on later. Further, good motherboards offer headers for fans, water pumps, RGB lighting, USB, and more.

Price

Though not the most important, the price of the motherboard does play an essential part in decision-making. The universal rule that applies to everything else also applies here. Which is, the more features you want, the higher you pay.

Typically, a budget motherboard will set you back a few hundred dollars. On the other hand, a heavy-duty gaming motherboard may be well over a thousand dollars.

The Best Motherboard with PCIe 5 – Frequently Asked Question

What is PCIe 5?

PCIe 5 is the latest standard in Peripheral Components Interconnect express. Think of it as a medium that connects the devices of your PC. The CPU, Storage, and the RAM are all interconnected with each other using this medium. The medium comprises data lanes that allow data to move from one device to the other.

Simply put, PCIe 5 governs the number of such lanes and the width of the lane. Thereby, it regulates the speed with which data moves between devices.

Do all motherboards support PCIe 5?

PCI-SIG launched the PCIe 5 standard officially in May 2019. However, the actual demand for PCIe 5 compatible motherboards came when Intel launched its 12th generation CPU. These were the first CPUs available in the market that supported the PCIe 5 standards.

What is Z690?

Think of the Z690 as a specification from Intel that brings together the power of its 12th generation CPU and PCIe 5 on one motherboard. This is coupled with the power of either the DDR 4 or the DDR 5 RAM modules. These specifications together have been serialized as Z690. Therefore, all motherboard manufacturers who claim to offer Z690 standard will provide you with an LGA1700 socket, PCIe 5, and DDR 4/DDR 5 RAM.

What is LGA1700 Socket?

The LGA1700 socket is the specification provided by Intel to run its 12th Generation “Alder Lake” processors. The LGA1700 socket is nothing but a 1700 pins interface between the said processor and the motherboard.

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